Country Roads of Croatia
Discover the pristine landscapes, idyllic islands and sun-dappled seas of Croatia, where fortified towns of cobblestone and terracotta echo a time when Venice ruled the waves.
13 nights from £2695pp
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Country Roads of Croatia Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb.
Transfers to your hotel depart from Zagreb airport at 11:30 and 14:00. Relax and settle in or perhaps head for the romantic chestnut-lined Stross Promenade for your first views over the city. At 17:30, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening with wine. Meals: Dinner with Wine
Day 2 Zagreb’s Twin Towns.
Join your Local Expert to explore the two-tiered capital of Croatia. Drive through the squares of the Lower Town, Donji Grad, designed to give a sense of grandeur. See the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square and continue to Ban Josip Jelacic Square en route to the cathedral. Board the city's funicular to the medieval Upper Town, Gornji Grad. It's a network of little streets, stretching between the Kaptol and Gradec hills. View the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Lotršcak Tower. The afternoon is at leisure. Relax and enjoy your hotel's amenities or perhaps take an Optional Experience to the Zagorje region to learn about the local traditions and visit the house of Marshall Tito? Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 The Postojna Caves and on to Belle-Epoque Opatija.
Venture into Slovenia to visit the world-famous Postojna Caves. Step aboard the cave train and descend into a subterranean world of stunning stalactites, stalagmites, columns and curtains. Marvel at the five-metre tall Brilliant, the cave's most beautiful stalagmite. Return to Croatia where your hotel is in the Belle Époque seaside-resort town of Opatija, nestled at the foot of Mount Ucka. Take time to stroll by the luxurious villas along the tree-lined seafront promenade. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 4 Discover the Jewels of Istria.
Cross the heart-shaped peninsula to explore the Jewels of Istria with your Local Expert. Visit the well-preserved first-century arena at Pula, scene of brutal gladiatorial battles in Roman times. Continue to the charming old town of Rovinj, rising directly from the sea. Wander through the cobbled streets lined with tempting shops, pastel-coloured bars and sidewalk cafes. Meals: Breakfast
Day 5 Pristine Plitvice National Park.
Enjoy the scenery of the Adriatic coast in the morning - journey past sparkling deep blue seas, studded with rocky islands, before heading inland to visit one of Europe’s great natural wonders. Zig-zagging timber footbridges will lead you through the blue-green beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a scenic wonderland of 16 interconnected lakes, flanked by waterfalls and primeval forest. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 6 The Dalmatian Coast to Split.
The green forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park give way to pebble-dashed shores lapped by turquoise waters. Walk through the Roman Ruins and market to see the sea organ of Zadar before witnessing a dramatic change in landscape, as you travel through Mediterranean olive groves on your way to Trogir, founded by the Greeks in 3rd Century B.C. Admire the cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace before continuing to the historic port of Split. In the evening, don't miss the opportunity of dinner in a traditional konoba. Meals: Breakfast
Day 7 Island Hopping to Hvar.
The Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace here, and today it forms the heart of the Old Town of Split. With your Local Expert, explore the 1,700 year-old palace cellars, and learn the story of the infamous emperor. Continue through the labyrinthine streets and arcaded squares to see St. Duje's- originally Diocletian's Mausoleum, and the Temple of Jupiter, which today is a baptistery, as well as the Golden Gate. Continue your venture underground, to explore the cellars. Your island-hopping adventure begins here. Cross the azure waters of the Adriatic to spend two nights on Hvar, famed for being the sunniest island in the country and boasting an interior dotted with lofty mountain peaks and aromatic fields of lavender. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 8 Exploring the Island of Hvar.
Enjoy a full day at leisure, as you explore the hidden coves, secluded beaches, old monasteries and villages of Hvar. Perhaps stroll around seaside Stari Grad, known for being one of Europe’s oldest towns and a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Maybe visit the local museum with its impressive collection of archeological finds dating back to Greek antiquity or enjoy fresh seafood at a local restaurant? You could even see the glitz and glamour of Hvar Town with its yacht-lined marinas, famous for being the trendy playground of the rich and famous. Meals: Breakfast
Day 9 On the Trail of Marco Polo to Korcula.
Cruise back to the mainland and continue your journey to the island of Korcula, known for its grace, history and rich culture. The perfect place for relaxing, the island is filled with quiet coves and small beaches that dot the southern coastline. This evening, delight in Croatian fare at a local restaurant. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 10 Captivating Korcula.
In the morning, join a knowledgeable Local Expert for a walking tour of the Old Town. Marvel at spectacular views of the mainland as you stroll towards the main square of Korcula where the Cathedral of St. Marc dominates the ancient skyline. Hear about local legends and history from your Local Expert, stopping by the Town Museum, the Bishop’s Palace with its treasury collection and the Town Hall. Visit the ruins of the house where - according to local legend - Marco Polo was born. The rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the narrow streets, beautiful churches and magnificent palaces of this charming medieval town. Meals: Breakfast
Day 11 Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic.
Journey to the beautiful southern slopes of the Pelješac Peninsula. Should weather permit, cruise the tranquil waters of the bay of Mali Ston and admire the surrounding untouched natural beauty, as you enjoy a glass of traditional Croatian brandy. Stop at a shellfish farm and meet Tomislav, a local oyster farmer, to learn about the cultivation and harvest of oysters. Enjoy a delicious Sea-to-Table tasting of the fresh shellfish, accompanied with a glass of wine. Continue to the walled town of Dubrovnik, 'paradise on Earth' according to George Bernard Shaw. Join a walking exploration of the city, guided by a Local Expert. Get a glimpse into local life, as you explore the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions of the Old Town. Walk past Onofrio's Fountain, see the Old Jewish Quarter and the synagogue, and marvel at the grandeur of the cathedral and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. With the rest of the day at your leisure, perhaps enjoy the luxuries of the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, your home for the next three nights. Located moments away from the Adriatic with spectacular views of the Elafiti Islands, your hotel provides exclusive access to a private beach. In the evening, there is the option to enjoy dinner at a family home in a local small village. Meet the family who will explain how they make olive oil using an antique olive oil press, before savouring a freshly prepared meal served with wine. Meals: Breakfast, Morning Tea
Day 12 Optional Montenegro Experience.
Spend the day at your leisure or enjoy an optional visit to Montenegro, travelling along the coast to the pretty port town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A photographer's dream, capture one of the most beautiful parts of the bay and learn about some of the compelling history of this area. Return to Dubrovnik and enjoy an evening at your leisure. Perhaps start at a trendy wine bar, followed by dinner at a romantic sidewalk cafe? Meals: Breakfast
Day 13 Dubrovnik at Leisure.
Make the most of a day at leisure in the Pearl of the Adriatic. Relax by the pool, shop in the markets or perhaps take the opportunity to visit Cavtat, one of the most enchanting seaside resorts in Croatia? This evening, should weather permit, you're invited to embark on a dazzling cruise around the fabled bay of Dubrovnik. Gaze out at views of the glistening Adriatic and the mighty city walls rising straight from the cliffs before your cruise moors in the Old Town Harbour. Start your Celebration Dinner with the national favourite drink, a glass of grappa. Savour authentic flavours of local specialties washed down with locally produced wine. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 14 Dubrovnik Airport.
Your journey draws to a close after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dubrovnik airport at 05:00, 09:00 and 11:30. Meals: Breakfast
- Mali Ston: Meet a local oyster farmer and learn about the cultivation of oysters, before enjoying a delicious Sea-to-Table tasting of fresh shellfish and local wine.
- Dubrovnik: Toast the culmination of your journey with a typical Dalmatian Coast Celebration Dinner, accompanied with wine and grappa.
- Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B), 1 Morning tea (MT) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW), all with tea or coffee.
Top Rated Highlights
- Zagreb: Your Local Expert guides you this two-tiered capital. Explore Donji Grad, the Lower Town, and see the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square, Ban Josip Jelacic Square and the cathedral.
- Zagreb: Ride the funicular to Gornji Grad, the medieval Upper Town, to view the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Lotršcak Tower.
- Postojna Caves: Enter by mini-train into these world-famous cave systems, before walking through an illuminated fairyland of stalactites and stalagmites.
- Opatija: Led by your Local Expert, spend a day discovering the Jewels of Istria, including the sparkling seas of Rovinj and the gleaming white stone of the Roman arena at Pula.
- Plitvice Lakes: Visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the water wonderland of Plitvice National Park as you walk along stunning cascades, guided by your Local Expert.
- Trogir: During your orientation, see the Cipiko Palace and Romanesque cathedral.
- Split: Explore above and below the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace. A Local Expert guides you through labyrinthine streets to see St. Duje's, the Temple of Jupiter, the Golden Gate and the Cellars.
- Split: Sightseeing with your Local Expert continues through the old town. Walk through the Jewish Quarter to reach Narodni Trg, the centre of Old Split. Continue to Trg Brace Radic, translated as the Square of the Radic brothers, but better known to the locals as Vocni Trg, or the Fruit Square.
- Split: Cruise to the sunniest island of the country, Hvar, your home for the next two nights.
- Hvar: Explore the coves and hidden beaches and ascend the lofty peaks from where there are magnificent views over this beautiful island.
- Hvar: Cruise back to the mainland to continue your journey.
- Korcula: Discover this fascinating island during your walking exploration of the Old Town with a Local Expert. See the main square, cathedral, Town Museum, Bishop's Palace and Town Hall. Hear about local legends and visit the ruins of the supposed birthplace of Marco Polo.
- Ston: Cruise to this quaint coastal village by private boat.
- Dubrovnik: Explore the Pearl of the Adriatic with your Local Expert. Walk the stone-paved streets of the Old Town to see Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Palace and the medieval city walls. Admire the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries.
- Dubrovnik: As the sun descends and should the weather be favourable, enjoy a relaxing cruise around the fabled bay of Dubrovnik.
- Scenic Drives: Admire the stunning scenery of the Adriatic Coast, the Dalmatian Coast, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Pelješac Peninsula.
Included Insight Services
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
- Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
- From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
- If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.