Day 1: ZAGREB
We start our gourmet tour in Zagreb — the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. Our guide will pick you up at the Zagreb Airport and transfer you to your accommodation. Once you have settled down, we are taking you on a tour of the city centre where you will see the most famous sights of Zagreb including the marketplace where you can find delicious homemade products. Our guide will also take you on a tour of Zagreb’s best pubs to taste a variety of Croatian brews and learn something about the local microbreweries and the rise of the beer-crafting trend in Croatia. For dinner, our guide will take you to a restaurant located near the Zagreb Cathedral where you can taste some typical local dishes and gain some insight of Croatia’s continental cuisine. For those who have a sweet tooth, Zagreb has a special treat — Vincek pastry shop, regarded the best in the city and famous for its chestnut flavoured cakes. Typical dishes and beverages: Štrukli pastry, fresh sour cream and cheese, dried ham, Sarma (pickled cabbage stuffed with minced meat), roasted turkey with mlinci dumplings, ajngemahtec soup, buncek, sacher cake, cake with chestnut pate, gemišt.
Day 2: LJUBLJANA — BLED
On the second day, we will briefly leave Croatia to visit the charming lake resort of Bled, famous for its medieval castle situated on a cliff high above the lake and the amazing surrounding Alpine peaks. The castle terraces offer a spectacular view of the lake and the tiny island in the middle. After that, we will take a break to taste the delicious vanilla custard and cream cake “kremšnita” — one of the most famous Slovenian desserts. After that, we’ll head towards Ljubljana, stopping on the way to sample Karst prosciutto, local varieties of homemade cheese and wine. We will spend the rest of the day visiting Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia and have a nightcap tasting the traditional plum brandy — Rakija. Typical dishes and beverages: prekmurska gibanica, sausage and sauerkraut, karst smoked ham, goulash “Bograc”, jota, “Kremšnita” cream cake, premurska double pie; Šipon, Traminec and Refošk wines, rakija.
Day 3: ROVINJ
We return to Croatia to get to know the Istrian region and its vineyards, olive groves and gastronomic features. Throughout history, Istria has been determined by the olive-tree and some of the first historic manuscripts regarding this peninsula and dating back to ancient Greeks and Romans are related to the olive groves. Our guide will take you on an olive-oil trail to visit olive orchards, learn about the process and taste olive oil of some of the finest producers in the region. Later on, we will take you on a walking tour of the beautiful town of Rovinj, through the picturesque old town streets, famous for its Venetian architecture, including Grisia, known as the street of artists and the St. Eufemia bell tower. Typical dishes and beverages: sheep milk cheese, Istrian prosciutto, Maneštra and Jota soups, crabs and scampi, seafood in buzara sauce, fuži and njoki pasta with sauce made of Boškarin (istrian native ox breed) or wild game meat, truffles, olive oil; Teran, Merlot and Malvazija vines, blueberry and honey brandy.
Day 4: MOTOVUN — GROŽNJAN
The Istria region has a tradition of winemaking centuries long and in the last decades istrian wines became well known throughout the world. It seems that already the Fenicians and Greeks brought grapevines to Istria. The native settlers of that time, the Histri tribe, successfully cultivated this noble plant and mastered wine production. Today we will take a drive along one of the many wine roads located in the central Istria and taste local wine sorts such as teran and malvazija. We will also visit the most famous Istrian medieval town — Motovun, a fortified town located atop a 277-meter high hill, overlooking the splendid Mirna River Valley. After that, we head to nearby Grožnjan, known as the “town of artists”. After a quick stroll through the town’s streets and art galleries, we will spend the rest of the day truffle hunting with specially trained dogs and licensed truffle hunters. Typical dishes and beverages: sheep milk cheese, Istrian prosciutto, Maneštra and Jota soups, crabs and scampi, seafood in buzara sauce, fuži and njoki pasta with sauce made of Boškarin (istrian native ox breed) or wild game meat, truffles, olive oil; Teran, Merlot and Malvazija vines, blueberry and honey brandy.
Day 5: OPATIJA — PLITVICE LAKES
Opatija, often called the pearl of the Adriatic, is one of Croatia’s most famous holiday destinations, located on the slopes of Mount Učka gently descending towards the coast of Kvarner Bay. Opatija with its mild climate, beautiful architecture and luxurious, well-tended parks and promenades, is an ideal spot for coffee and cake before spending the day at Plitvice Lakes. After a pleasant drive, we’ll arrive to the Plitvice Lakes NP, which are considered one of the most beautiful natural phenomena in the world: 16 lakes connected by numerous waterfalls. Enjoy thousands of sparkling falls, clean pure air, the great Splasher, an idyllic boat ride on Lake Kozjak, the endemic flora and fauna. After a 4 hour relaxing walking tour of the lakes we’ll use the rest of the day tasting food such as Sarma, the “squeaky” cheese and fruit flavoured brandies typical of the Lika region. Typical dishes and beverages: fish and seafood garnished such as Brodet or red scorpionfish, with Mediterranean herbs and spices, fish soups, figs, grapes, almonds, olives, škripavac cheese, cabbage, beans, Sarma, Lika prosciutto, dried wild boar meat or mutton, sausages and čvarci; cherry, plum and quince brandy.
Day 6: ZADAR — SPLIT
With its mixture of beautiful Roman architecture and Habsburg elegance Zadar is truly an extraordinary town. It is not too crowded, it isn’t overrun with tourists and its two unique attractions, the sound-and-light spectacle of the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation, need to be seen and heard to be believed. It’s the perfect location for tasting local specialties based on seafood (grilled fish with homemade olive oil, octopus salad, cuttlefish risotto or brodetto). In the afternoon, we head to Split, where during our walking tour, we will visit the Diocletian’s palace, built between the 3rd and 4th century A.D. which is the best-preserved Roman palace in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; but also the cathedral of St Domnius, Jupiter’s temple, the Peristil, the statue of Gregory of Nin, all near the Split Riva promenade. Split is the biggest city in the region and has a long tradition of winemaking, so we will seize the opportunity for wine tasting paired with some homemade prosciutto and cheese. Typical dishes and beverages: Trogir rafioli, dalmatian Pašticada, dalmatian smoked ham dried in the bura wind, homemade goat and sheep milk cheese, stuffed wine leaves, arambašići (minced meat, onions and garlic in vine-leaf parcels), fish and other seafood specialities, rožata, imotski cake; Crljenak, Kujundžuša, Pošip, Plavac Mali, Dingač and Zinfandel wines, rakija (homemade grappa).
Day 7: HVAR
On the seventh day, we leave the terra firma and head to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. The island is known as the sunniest spot in Europe, with over 2715 hours of sunlight in an average year. There you can enjoy its unspoilt nature, covered in sweet-scented lavender fields and vineyards and a pleasant walk on the promenade. In other words, an another perfect spot for tasting local delicacies such as dalmatinska Pašticada, lamb, octopus baked under a baking lid and the Stari Grad gingerbread, but also an opportunity to enjoy the iconic wine of the Dalmatia region — Plavac Mali, a cross between ancestral Zinfandel, Crljenak Kaštelanski, and Dobričić grapes. Typical dishes and beverages: grilled quality fish with homemade olive oil (dentex, sea bass, mackerel, or sardines), gregada of Hvar (brodetto stew), octopus marinated in Mediterranean spices under a baking lid, salads made of spider crab, lobster or scampi with capers and olives, lamb and mutton dishes, almond cake, gingerbread of Stari Grad; Plavac Mali, Crljenak, Prč, Pošip and Bogdanuša wine.
Day 8: MOSTAR
We leave Croatia briefly once again to visit Mostar, the economic, cultural and tourist centre of Herzegovina, but also a monument to the harmonious blend of different cultures and believes, of old and new. Mostar is the city of contrasts, where “the east and west meet”, as you will observe visiting the traditional Kujundžiluk (old bazaar) and the contemporary city centre. Mostar is famous for its magnificent stone bridge Stari Most (Old Bridge), built during the Ottoman Empire (in 1566) over the Neretva River. Today we switch from the Mediterranean cuisine to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s meat-based dishes influenced by the Turkish culinary tradition — a real treat for your taste buds! From a variety of Burek types (pastry made of a thin flaky dough filled with meat, cheese or vegetables), grilled meat dishes to interesting stews such as Mućkalica and Bosanski lonac, one thing is sure — you won’t leave Mostar hungry! Typical dishes and beverages: Čevapčići, sudžukice (grilled sausages), Burek, bosanski lonac (slow roasted pot of meat and vegetables), Mućkalica, Sogan Dolma (fried onions stuffed with minced meat), Tufahija (boiled apple filled with walnuts and honey, topped with cream),Baklava, Hurmašica and Tulumba cakes; brandies made out of herbs, plums and blueberrry.
Day 9: DUBROVNIK — STON
And for our grand finale we head to Dubrovnik, but first we will make a stop in the city of Ston, famous for its oysters and salt, the most famous products of this area, and for its city walls, the second longest walls in the world. Ston is located on Pelješac — Croatia’s second largest peninsula, famous for its red wines Dingač, Plavac, Posip and Postup. Prosciutto, cheese, oysters and olive oil tasting will complete the gastronomic tour. Dubrovnik during its 1400 year history was renowned as one of the most prosperous and advanced maritime republics of all time. Throughout its rich and troubled history Dubrovnik remained to this day one of the most beautiful medieval cities on the Mediterranean and today is the location where the popular Game of Thrones tv series is filmed. We’ll take you for a walk throughout its stone paved streets, where every stone has a story to tell. Our Dubrovnik native tour guide will take you off the beaten path to get acquainted with all Dubrovnik secrets but all major sights will be visited as well. Typical dishes and beverages: fish or oyster soup, stuffed calamari, codfish pate or stew, oysters and mussels, Zelena Menestra, makaruli pasta, makaruli cake, Ston cake, Dubrovnik rožata, Orancini (sweet made of sun dried oranges); Dingač, Plavac, Posip and Postup wines, loquat brandy.
PRICES (per person):
|2 persons||3.140 €|
|3 – 4 persons||2.890 €|
|5 – 6 persons||2.650 €|
|7 – 8 persons||2.400 €|
The price includes:
- 9 overnights (breakfast included) in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik
- 4* hotels
- A/C car or minivan transportation
- airport transfer
- licensed English speaking guide/driver
- all entrance tickets mentioned in the itinerary
- meal and degustations: breakfast, lunch, dinner
- all taxes and VAT
*Note: all tours can be customized by changing the accommodation type and city of departure