Explore Croatia's Dalmatian coast on this food tour, starting in the historic walled city of Dubrovnik and with wine tastings, a beer tasting, and traditional meals on the island of Korčula and the Pelješac Peninsula. Explore the beauty of Mljet National Park before transferring to the town of Omiš for a rafting experience along the Cetina River. End the trip in the city of Split, where you'll explore Diocletian's Palace, shop at local markets, and enjoy a cooking class from a celebrated chef.

Highlights

  • Go wine tasting and try local varieties such as Plavac Mali, Posip, and Grk
  • Enjoy a traditional dinner and beer tasting on the island of Korčula
  • Admire the Makarska Riviera on a boat trip and go rafting on the Cetina River
  • Shop at a local farmers market and take a cooking class from a local chef in Split
  • Canoe through the lakes of Mljet National Park and discover an island monastery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik - Explore the city with a group walking tour Dubrovnik
Day 2 Explore Korčula Island via the vineyards of Pelješac Peninsula Korčula Town
Day 3 Enjoy a boat trip of the Korčula Archipelago and a traditional dinner Korčula Town
Day 4 Explore Mljet National Park - Enjoy a beer tasting in Žrnovo Korčula Town
Day 5 Go wine tasting on Korčula Island - Transfer to Omiš Omiš
Day 6 Raft the Cetina River and transfer to Split Split
Day 7 Tour Split's Diocletian's Palace and take a cooking class Split
Day 8 Depart Croatia via Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik - Explore the city with a group walking tour

Views of Dubrovnik's Walls and Harbor
Views of Dubrovnik's Walls and Harbor

Welcome to Croatia! 

Upon arriving at the airport in Dubrovnik, you'll transfer to your accommodation in the city and meet with your group for a walking tour of the Old Town. Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is a piece of history in itself. While there's evidence of settlements as far back as the Byzantine era, this region only came into its own in the 12th and 13th centuries when it was under the rule of the Venetians. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was a fortress port encircled by stone walls and filled with baroque churches and renaissance-Gothic palaces that still stand today.

You'll start with a walk along its walls and visit the Lovrijenac and Bokar fortresses. There are almost too many sights to see, but you can't miss the Saint Ignatius Church, Rector's Palace, or the Dubrovnik Cathedral. Other interesting monuments include Sponza Palace, the Dominican Monastery, and the Dubrovnik Synagogue. Outside the walls, you can visit the Porat, the West Harbour, and Pile Gate.

As the sun starts to set, you can opt to ride the cable car up to Srđ Mountain to take in the views over the nearby Elafiti Islands. Afterward, stroll down Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street, and along its side streets to find a hip bistro for dinner and a wine bar for a nightcap. Taj Mahal is a great option serving Bosnian-style food, or head to Konoba Jezuite for more traditional options.

Day 2: Explore Korčula Island via the vineyards of Pelješac Peninsula

The Old Town of Korčula
The Old Town of Korčula

After breakfast, you'll transfer to Korčula Island. Along the way, you'll stop in Mali Ston, where you can enjoy a walk along the historic walls that connect the town to its larger neighbor, Ston. Once in Ston, you'll refuel with lunch at a local restaurant, including an appetizer of the world-class oysters grown in the area.

After lunch, you'll continue along the Pelješac Peninsula to one of the area's most popular vineyards. Here, you'll enjoy a tour of the winery and a wine tasting featuring Plavac Mali red wine, the region's most famous variety. 

Next, you'll take a short ferry to Korčula Island. After settling into your accommodation, your hosts will provide an orientation of Korčula Town before leaving you to spend the rest of the day at your leisure. For views of the town and coastline, you can climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Mark. Afterward, relax at one of the wine bars, such as Lole or Bokar. Both of these spots also serve tapas-style food.

When you're ready for dinner, Radiona is a fantastic restaurant by the marina serving modern-traditional food, or you can opt for Aterina within the Old Town walls, which specializes in fish and vegetable-based meals.

Day 3: Enjoy a boat trip of the Korčula Archipelago and a traditional dinner

Exploring the Korčula Archipelago
Exploring the Korčula Archipelago

Today you'll explore the Korčula Archipelago by boat. Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is home to over 100 islands, 20 of which sit between Korčula and Lumbarda, creating the Skoji Islands. As you cruise through the sea admiring the forested coastlines, you'll enjoy a few stops to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. For lunch, nosh on locally-sourced grilled fish, cooked on the boat with the captain’s family-made wine.

After the boat trip, you'll have the afternoon free to explore Korčula Town and the area. You can opt for a bus over to Lumbarda village and visit the sandy beaches of Przina or Bilin Zal. There are restaurants at both beaches for refreshments and snacks. You can also stay local in Korčula Town and relax at Banje Beach.

In the evening, you'll meet the group and head to the rural village of Žrnovo to visit one of the island’s family-run, agrotourism restaurants. Here you'll try the region’s famous dish peka for dinner. Peka is a slow-cooked meat dish with potatoes and vegetables, cooked under a metal lid shaped like a bell and over hot embers on the grill. Pair your meal with local wine for a perfect, traditional dining experience.

Day 4: Explore Mljet National Park - Enjoy a beer tasting in Žrnovo

The Island of Mljet
The Island of Mljet

This morning, you'll take a local catamaran to Mljet for a day exploring Mljet National Park, which encompasses the entire western part of the island. You'll start with a short walk through the park, admiring the forests and hills. Then you'll paddle across the interior lake to the monastery islet, Saint Mary's Island, where you'll break for lunch.

After lunch, you'll have time to explore the islet and visit the monastery. After canoeing back across the lake, you can relax and swim in the park before returning to Korčula by catamaran.

Back on Korčula, you'll meet with the group in the evening and return once again to the village of Žrnovo to visit the island's only brewery. Here you'll enjoy dinner while learning about the beer-making process from the master brewer and tasting several of his concoctions.

Day 5: Go wine tasting on Korčula Island - Transfer to Omiš

Vineyards on Korčula
Vineyards on Korčula

Today you'll leave Korčula Town behind and enjoy a wine tasting tour of the island. You'll first stop at one of the island's best vineyards near the town of Smokvica to try Posip, a local variety of white wine. Next, you'll enjoy seafood at a local restaurant on the water, then continue to the village of Lumbarda. Here you'll visit another family-run winery to try the island’s other famous variety of white wine, Grk.

After your day of wine tasting, you'll take the catamaran along the Makarska Riviera, transferring to the coastal town of Omiš at the mouth of the Cetina River. After settling into your accommodation, you'll have the rest of the evening to explore the town. Enjoy the picturesque alleys and streets near St. Michael’s Square before heading out for dinner. Brzi Gonzales, which serves Mexican dishes, is a good choice, or opt for traditional seafood dishes at Restaurant Bastion.

Day 6: Raft the Cetina River and transfer to Split

Harbor of Omiš
Harbor of Omiš

The area around the town of Omiš includes an incredible river canyon, with dramatic rocks and forested hillsides towering above the waterway. You'll start your morning with a drive up into the mountains above the town, finding the starting point for today's rafting experience on the Cetina River. Your professional guide will provide all the necessary equipment, as well as a full orientation. The route requires no previous rafting experience and follows easy rapids, stopping to swim in waterholes. At the end of the tour is a great spot to grab lunch.

After lunch, you'll transfer further up the coast to Croatia's second-largest city, Split. You’ll have some time time to yourselves to explore the historic surroundings of the city before meeting the group for dinner. You can stroll through the city's historic streets and alleys in Diocletian's Palace, or walk up to Marjan Forest Park for views of the sea and the city. If you prefer to relax before dinner, check out Bacvice Beach for an afternoon in the sun, or enjoy a glass of wine at a Paradox wine bar.

Day 7: Tour Split's Diocletian's Palace and take a cooking class

Historic Streets of Diocletian's Palace
Historic Streets of Diocletian's Palace

You'll certainly need the entire morning to explore all that Split has to offer. Start in Peristyle Square, taking in the 3,500-year-old sphinxes that Diocletian brought back from Egypt, then head into the 4th-century Diocletian's Palace. As you start exploring, take part in a much-loved ritual among Dalmatian people: drinking coffee. Grab a seat at one of the Palace's terraced cafe and sip your coffee amongst ancient ruins.

After your coffee, continue walking through Diocletian's Palace. Stroll through the slick, cobbled streets to the People's Square and admire the Mediterranean architecture. Stroll by the old clock tower on your way to Saint Domnius Bell Tower, where you can admire the ancient colonnades and pass through the open Mozaik Podrum. Then wrap around to the Palace's old cellars. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll certainly recognize this filming location.

For stunning views over the city and the Adriatic Sea, be sure to climb the Romanesque bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus, which is considered the oldest Catholic cathedral still in use. After your tour, you'll head to the local farmer's market to buy ingredients for today's cooking class. A local chef will teach you how to prepare and cook a traditional lunch using local and regional ingredients. What you eat will all depend on the group’s preferences and what is available at the markets.

After lunch, you're free to continue exploring Split. In the evening, you'll join the group for a farewell dinner at a restaurant in the city.

Day 8: Depart Croatia via Split

Split Promenade at Dusk
Split Promenade at Dusk

After breakfast, you'll say your farewell to the group. When you're ready, you'll transfer to the airport or train station in Split to return home or continue your trip.