Private tour of Croatia – history, nature, culture, food and wine

This is a comprehensive private tour we’ve designed for a client in Croatia, it covers whole country with emphasis on culture, food and wine. Day 1, September 26th Dubrovnik Arrival..

This is a comprehensive private tour we’ve designed for a client in Croatia, it covers whole country with emphasis on culture, food and wine.

Day 1, September 26th
Arrival day
Arrival to Dubrovnik Airport. Upon arrival of your flight, meet your chauffeur and tour leader for a private transfer to your Hotel Excelsior 5*. Operating since 1913, Dubrovnik Hotel Excelsior is known as one of the finest five star hotels on the Mediterranean according to the eminent Sunday Times. Just a few steps from the UNESCO Dubrovnik Old town and overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the hotels stunning location, elegance and Mediterranean charm make it one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The Excelsior Hotel is distinctive for its outstanding service of the highest quality.
In the evening hours short walk to Old town for a welcome dinner.
Hotel: Excelsior 5* Meals: dinner

Day 2, September 27th
Private guided walking tour of Dubrovnik Old town
Afternoon visit to Konavle Valley with traditional dinner at family run farm
Meet your tour leader and localc guide after breakfast for a walking tour of Dubrovnik Old Town. Famous George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by this beautiful city, about which he said “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik”, as well as, famously, describing it as “the pearl of the Adriatic”. Dubrovnik truly is a stunning city with its amazing Old Town, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. A magnificent curtain of walls surrounds marble streets and baroque buildings that exude a pearly light in the Adriatic sun. The main pedestrian thoroughfare, Placa, is a melange of cafés and shops with outstanding monuments at either end. Churches, monasteries and museums ornamented with finely carved stone recall an eventful history and a vibrant artistic tradition.

In the afternoon hours depart to Konavle valley. Framed by the southern mountains of Herzegovina and Montenegro, its small population lives in some 32 picturesque villages scattered across this south-easterly tip of Croatia. At the end of the tour you will visit small village of Lovorno where you will meet Mujo family in their 500-year-old farmhouse and enjoy private dinner that will teach you about local gastronomy as well as Croatian culture and history. Return to Dubrovnik after dinner.
Hotel: Excelsior 5* Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 3, September 28th
Exclusive wine tour of Pelješac peninsula
Secret Dalmatia’s Peljesac Wine Tour takes you to the beautiful Pelješac peninsula. A breathtakingly scenic 45 minute drive from Dubrovnik, this picturesque area is home to some of the most intriguing red wines in Europe. Hosted by Mario Bartulović, a renowned Croatian wine-maker, this is a superb opportunity to learn about the country and its traditions, especially the art of winemaking, from a true local. The tour is a trio of wine-tastings at Croatia’s most respected wine cellars, visits to vineyards on the slopes of this magnificent peninsula and a delicious, traditional Dalmatian lunch at your host’s family winery.
Our first experience on Peljesac is the Miloš winery, home of the charismatic poet/wine maker Frano Miloš. Here you will have a chance to taste his red Miloš plavac or his, now legendary, Stagnum, also a red, made of 100% Plavac Mali grapes. The visit to Miloš winery is the ultimate introduction to Peljesac.
Next, we visit the Grgic winery in Trstenik. Miljenko Grgich studied wine-making in Zagreb. After migrating to the US, with only $20 in his pocket, he founded the famous Grgich Hills winery in Napa Valley but not before he made a name for himself being part of Chateau Montelena success story in the 70s! At the Grgic cellars, on top of hills overlooking the charming Trstenik harbour, you will taste their famous white Posip and their red Plavac Mali Dingac.
Our final sojourn will be to the 500-year-old wine cellar of Bartulović family, of your host Mario. By this time, it will feel like visiting a friend’s house. Here you will enjoy a wine-tasting and a superb traditional Croatian luncheon, accompanied by their great wines!
Please note that this is much more than a wine tour. This is a cultural program with wine as the main theme but this program offers a great insight into local life and traditions of this unique region.
Hotel: Excelsior 5*Meals: breakfast, wine tasting, lunch with wine

Day 4, September 29th
Dubrovnik – Međugorje – Mostar – Split
Private guided tour of Međugorje and Mostar
Wine tasting in Međugorje
Check out after breakfast and depart with your tour leader to Split.
En route you will stop in Međugorje for private guided tour. Medjugorje is a unique phenomenon in the modern world, a sacred place which gathers a multitude of pilgrims from all over the world coming to face a God with great faith and to find peace in their souls and hearts… Today it is one of the biggest prayer centers in the world. Legend of the Medjugorje is one of the most amazing supernatural events of our time. Since 1981, in a small village named Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. Innumerable witnesses say that, they have found faith and peace at this place.
The Shrine of Medjugorje has three Spiritual zones: the Church, the hill of Virgin Mary appearance and the hill Krizevac. Those sacred places are accessible to the millions of faithful willing to satisfy their spiritual and religious needs.
Wine tasting of Međugorje wines will follow.

Continue to Mostar. Upon arrival to Mostar where you will be met by local guide for the private stroll through historic center.
The slim, elegant Stari Most (Old Bridge), which arches over the swirling Neretva River, provides this ancient town with its icon and name: Mostar meaning ‘keeper of the bridge’. Flanking the bridge is the old cobbled Ottoman Quarter, a haven for the city’s artists and craftsmen, along with 16th-century mosques, old Turkish houses and endless cafés.. Enjoy lunch, turkish coffee and cakes at one of typical Bosnian taverns before continuing to Split.

Upon arrival to Split check in to Hotel Cornaro 4*. The excellent central city location of Cornaro Hotel, its ancient history surroundings and interior elegance are complemented by discreet placement of the latest technology thoughtfully integrated throughout each room bringing guests high-definition television and wireless high-speed internet access. It’s the combination of personal touch, our remarkable people, exceptional city central location and property full of charm that create the Cornaro Hotel experience.
Enjoy evening at lesiure.
Hotel: Cornaro 4* Meals: breakfast, wine tasting, lunch

Day 5, September 30th
Private guided tour of Split
Educational Class of Croatian wines at Paradox premium bar
Meet your local guide after breakfast for tour of Split historic center. The palatial walled summer residence of the Emperor Diocletian, Split became a city after Salona, the Roman capital of Dalmatia just 6km north, was sacked in 7thC. Fleeing refugees were given asylum inside the two meter thick walls of the palace and over the next 1000 years, the “city” of Split was such a safe haven, it never grew beyond the same walls that exist today! As a result, the remarkable ensemble of Roman, Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance and other architectural remains are all still here—and so are more than 3,000 people still living inside these ancient walls.
After the tour, your guide will escort you to the premium wine and cheese bar Paradox for exclusive educational class of Croatian wines with Dalmatian delicacies and wine tasting.
Return to hotel on your own and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Hotel: Cornaro 4* Meals: breakfast, wine and delicacies tasting

Day 6, October 1st
Wine and olive oil tour of Brač
Aboard the morning ferry to Brač with your tour leader and chauffeur. The history of wine and olive oil making on Brač goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks. Our first stop is the town of Bol to experience Stina wines in the first Dalmatian wine cooperative building dating back to 1903. Stina wines draw their inspiration from the famous Brac island stone and the word stina itself means stone in the local Dalmatian dialect. After touring the production area and the oak barriques in the warehouse, taste exceptional wines such as their Plavac Mali and Pošip. Next you continue to small historic village Škrip to learn more about classic olive oil production and taste island’s best olive oil. The highlight of your Brač tour will definitely be the charming small town of Dračevica where you will visit Senjković winery and have the opportunity to taste their two Plavac varieties Bosso and Brocko Ric and the Plavac Mali rosé Spoza.
Memorable lunch with live music will be served at charing village of Dol. Return to Split by late afternoon public ferry. Overnight.
Hotel: Cornaro 4* Meals: breakfast, wine & olive oil tasting, lunch with live music

Day 7, October 2nd
Split – Krka Waterfalls NP – Zadar
Private guided tour of Krka Waterfalls
Wine pairing lunch at Bibic wine cellar
Check out and meet your tour leader and chauffeur for departure toward Zadar.
En route, you will stop at the amazing Krka Waterfalls NP. On its green path, River Krka has seven falls, the last one being the amazing Skradinski buk. Thanks to the constant process of travertine building, the Krka River is a karst phenomenon, carving a spectacular canyon on its 70 kilometers’ journey from the foothills of Dinara Mountains to the amazing estuary under the walls of historic Sibenik. Walk the winding wooden paths through the main park area and visit the ethno museum and shops housed in the old mills at Skradinski buk.

After guided tour of Krka Waterfalls NP, visit famous Bibich wine cellar, located in the close vicinity to Krka Waterfalls for a special wine pairing tasting lunch. This afternoon you will enjoy masterfully paired dishes and a glass of local wines like debit, plavina and babich served by the wine maker at Bibich wine cellar in Skradin himself. The cuisine is never the same because it depends on the inspiration of the owner’s wife – arguably one of the best chefs in the country!

After lunch, continue toward Zadar. Upon arrival check in at Hotel Iadera 5*. Hotel & Spa Iadera 5* is located in the exclusive resort Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Punta Skala, on the very peak of the Punta Skala peninsula with boasting magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea and the offshore islands. With contemporary design and state of the art technology flowing through the stylish accommodation in tuned with Mediterranean climate, one will find exceptional service for a long-remembered holiday. Spacious guestrooms and a great selection of leisure activities together with ACQUAPURA SPA will bring you excitement, comfort and rejuvenation you deserve. Conveniently located at only 28 km from Zadar International Airport and 12 km from city of Zadar, Hotel & Spa Iadera 5* is a perfect choice for abundant holidays, wellness retreats, family reunions and upscale events.
Beautiful historic city of Zadar was the capital of Dalmatia for many centuries. The walled Old Town is a treasure of the ancient city remains dating from Roman times, infused with ingenious adaptation of historic buildings. Fortified with medieval walls, distinguished for their impressive portals dating back to the sixteenth century, the ancient peninsula still preserves the old network of narrow and charming city streets, as well as a Roman forum dating back to the first century AD. The modern installations the “Sea organ” and the “Salute to the sun” only add to the charm of Zadar. It was Hitchcock who once said, “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world,” so be sure to catch one for yourself.
Enjoy evening at leisure.
Hotel: Iadera 5* Meals: breakfast, wine pairing lunch

Day 8, October 3rd
Day trip to Nin & Pag Island with cheese tasting at Gligora Dairy, visit to salt pans, combined with wine pairing late lunch at Boškinac restaurant
Meet your guide and chauffeur in the morning hours and depart toward Pag Island.
Your first stop is Gligora dairy to taste some of the award-winning cheese selection famous all over the world!
As a highlight of the day, you will arrive to Novalja and Hotel Boškinac 4*, a charming boutique hotel that coexists in the perfect harmony with nature. Hotel Boškinac is an oasis of tranquility, located next to a pine wood, vineyards, an olive grove, and not far from where sheep graze. This hotel also features a remarkable restaurant and a traditional tavern in the basement, which offer a choice of unique ambiance and are a discovery for lovers of traditional and gourmet food and wine connoisseurs. Enjoy wine pairing lunch in Boškinac before continuing your tour at Nin where you will visit the Salt Museum.
Nin has a very rich and tumultuous history. Its location is intriguing; the heart of Nin is its historical center on an islet only 500 meters in diameter. Nin is situated in a lagoon on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, surrounded by natural sandy beaches and linked with the mainland by two stone bridges from the 16th century. According to historians the area of Nin appears to have been settled 10000 years ago. The present-day town on the islet developed 3000 years ago and is one of the oldest towns on the eastern Adriatic. Nin sea salt presents a pleasure of taste and is more than a nutritional need. It is a gift of the Adriatic Sea, sun and wind from the slopes of Velebit that brings to life and exposes the essence of flavor. Increased concentrations of natural iodine due to algae (petula) inhabiting the seawater add extra flavor and increase the quality of Nin salt. In the world of flavors, salt is the spice that changes everything. It’s no wonder that correctly adding salt while cooking is a true form of art. Return to Zadar in the late afternoon / early evening hours.
Hotel: Iadera 5* Meals: breakfast, wine pairing lunch, cheese tasting

Day 9, October 4th
Zadar – Plitvice Lakes NP – Zagreb
En route private guided tour of Plitvice Lakes
Private guided tour of Zagreb
Check out after breakfast and continue to Zagreb. En route you will stop at Plitvice Lakes NP for a guided tour.
According to legend, the Plitvice lakes were created after a long drought. The “Black Queen” took pity on the people and animals that cried for water. Heavy rain began to fall and continued until they formed the lakes we see today. The natural attributes of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, uniqueness and sensibility of that phenomenon, deserve a full attention of our visitors. Plitvice National Park is Croatia’s natural masterpiece. Even for seasoned world travelers, the overpowering beauty and grandeur of Plitvice National Park is simply astounding. With waterfalls spilling over impossible hills, sixteen different lakes and fascinating flora and fauna, Plitvice is the most visited place in the entire country! Since 1979, it has been under the protection of UNESCO as a rare World Heritage Site.
Some free time for lunch (hotel will prepare lunch boxes) before continuing to Istria.

Upon arrival to Zagreb check in to Hotel Esplanade 5*. Housed in an elegant and distinguished building originally built in 1925 and designed to accommodate passengers from the Orient Express, the Esplanade Hotel is known for its impeccable service and luxurious accommodations. It is one of the city’s most famous and gracious buildings, and it has hosted presidents, politicians, movie stars and musicians among its many distinguished guests. This hotel flawlessly combines luxury and convenience providing exquisite accommodation in Zagreb and ensuring a relaxing and rejuvenating stay for business and leisure travellers alike.
In the late afternoon hours, meet up with your local guide in the hotel lobby for a private guided evening stroll of Zagreb city center.
Zagreb is a wonderful walking city! Modern Zagreb grew out of two medieval settlements, Kaptol, founded in 1094 and Gradec, proclaimed a free royal city in 1242. Today, the capital of Croatia is a lively Central European city busting with activity. The 20th century brought the Secession style to its public buildings, parks and fountains, emanating the lofty spirit of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With a rich tradition of art, music and culture, strolling the Upper and Lower town to enjoy numerous galleries, colorful open-air markets, coffee houses, fine restaurants and parks is marvelous.
Enjoy evening at lesiure
Hotel: Esplanade 5* Meals: lunch boxes, wine pairing dinner

Day 10, October 5th
Zagreb – Pula – Bale
Private guided tour of Pula followed by exclusive olive oil tasting at Chiavalon
Check out after breakfast and heat toward Istria and picturesque village Bale near Rovinj.
En route stop in Pula – Pula, as the largest town on the Istrian peninsula offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. The rich itinerary of its three-thousand-year old history, where every step you take through the old town is a landmark, begins and ends with the Roman amphitheater.
While strolling through Pula you will come across numerous monuments of Roman architecture: The Triumphal Arch of the Sergi from the 1st century B.C., Hercules’ Gate and Twin Gates, the Temple of Augustus, Arena and Small Roman Theatre in the town center. A unique experience will be moments of relaxation in the main town square, which has managed to retain its role as the meeting place since the Augustan Age.
Continue your journey in Istria with visit to the Chiavalon and taste some of the finest olive oils in the region! Chiavalon is a specialized farm for growing olives and producing top quality extra virgin olive oil. Currently they cultivate 25 hectares of olive groves with more than 7.000 olive trees. Their olive oil “Ex albis” is the most awarded Croatian olive oil and recognized like one of the TOP 15 olive oil in the world by Flos Olei, the Italian “Bible” for olive oil producers.

Upon arrival to Bale check in to beautiful Villa Meneghetti 5*. In the heart of Istrian vineyards and olive groves, luxury Villa Meneghetti offers its guests elegantly decorated rooms and residences, combined with the ultimate Wine & Dine experience and exceptional service, as they are well known for their production of superb wines and olive oils.
In the evening hours, enjoy special wine pairing dinner at Villa Meneghetti wine cellar combined with their olive oils and their famous wines long to remember.
While enjoying a glass of Meneghetti wine and watching the sunset over the vineyards of Merlot in you awakens a feeling of total peace and serenity.
Hotel: Villa Meneghetti 5* Meals: breakfast, olive oil tasting, wine pairing dinner

Day 11, October 6th
Visit to Hilltop towns of Grožnjan and Motovun with truffle delicacies tasting (light lunch) combined with Wines of Northern Istria tour
This morning depart to famous Istrian Hilltop towns. Your first stop will be the town of Motovun, a picturesque settlement perched on the very top of the hill, protected by the strong defensive wall. The town dominates above the river Mirna and Motovun Forest; this is the biggest habitat of the famous Istrian truffle – a gem of Croatian gastronomy. Here you will enjoy truffle delicacies tasting in a local restaurant on a very top of Motovun town.

Continue to Grožnjan – the town of the artists. Medieval urban complex has remained largely untouched until now. It is a natural base for an intense and interesting life Grožnjan lives today. From Grožnjan you can enjoy a view of about 20 surrounding villages, fields on the Bolara and Kostanjica hillsides on the left, meadows of the Bijele zemlje (White Lands) and Baredina slopes on the right, the Mirna valley below, and the coastline from Novigrad to Umag. This is one of the most beautiful and most fertile areas in Istria.

Afterwards with your driver and tour leader toward the inland of Istrian Peninsula for a private wine tour. The journey of North Istrian wines swirls between Istria’s traditional and modern views on the centuries’ old tradition of winemaking. Curiously diverse with authentic sorts such as Malvazija (white) or Teran (red), the region features many small wineries each bringing a unique take on the peninsula’s favorites. The Kabola winery, our first stop, is an authentic Istrian estate with a farm house, endless vineyards and over a 100 years long tradition of winemaking. Founded upon the mastery of Momjan Muskat, sweet white wine made from an indigenous grape variety of the area, Kabola is today best known as the pioneer of Istrian indigenous Malvazija macerated in amphora’s (clay vessels) for 7 months, discovering a whole new personality to this traditional sort.
Following a scenic drive, we arrive to the Kozlović winery, repeatedly awarded for both its wines and the impressive modern design of the winery. Sitting atop the hidden valley of Vale near historic Momjan, this estate fits perfectly with surrounding landscapes, just like their wines do with almost everyone. Despite their top class takes on local sorts of Malvazija, like the fresh and fruity Valle or rewardingly complex St. Lucia, and Teran, awarded with Decanter 2014 Bronze for the 2012 vintage, Kozlović is still endearingly known as the King of Muskat, for his playful wines made of this grape, truly honoring the peninsula’s authenticity. Return transfer to your hotel after busy afternoon of wine appreciation.
Hotel: Villa Meneghetti 5* Meals: breakfast, truffle delicacies tasting, wine tastings

Day 12, October 7th
Bale – Pula
Check out after breakfast. Transfer to Pula Airport will follow.
Meals: breakfast

This is a private customized itinerary, please contact us to design your own private tour.