- Dive deep into history with a private tour of Split's Diocletian's Palace
- Explore remote settlements and ruggedly beautiful island terrain on Hvar
- Admire Dubrovnik's baroque buildings and towering walls on a private tour
- Laze on a secluded pebble beach near Cavtat and swim in the azure Adriatic
|Day 1||Arrive in Split, Private Walking Food Tour||Split|
|Day 2||Private Day Trip to Krka National Park||Split|
|Day 3||Split to Hvar, Half-Day Private Island Tour||Hvar Town|
|Day 4||Private Speedboat Tour: Blue Cave, Vis Island, & Pakleni Islands||Hvar Town|
|Day 5||Hvar to Dubrovnik, Private Walking City Tour||Dubrovnik|
|Day 6||Cavtat & Konavle Region Private Culinary Experience||Dubrovnik|
|Day 7||Depart Dubrovnik|
Day 1: Arrive in Split, Private Walking Food Tour
Welcome to Croatia! Start your luxury adventure from Split. Upon arrival at the Zračna luka Split Airport, you'll board your private transfer to a centrally located hotel in the heart of the city. After settling into your upscale heritage boutique hotel set within the walls of famed Diocletian's Palace, you may wish to set out to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
Split is a dynamic ancient coastal city, founded 1,700 years ago by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Today its UNESCO-protected Old Town includes several impressive sites, including Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world. You'll have some time to wander Split's historic center before joining your food tour—an excellent way to experience Split as you snack your way through the city's streets sampling sweet and savory local delicacies.
You'll meet your guide in the evening and meander over to a restaurant where you'll taste Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese together with rakija, a typical fruit brandy of the region. Next, you'll stop to discover, as well as enjoy, how the savory soparnik—a type of Swiss-chard filled pie thought to be the prototype of the Italian pizza—is made. Following the tour, you'll dine al fresco from an exclusive rooftop terrace above Diocletian's Palace and then afterward, you might like to take a stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the views over the Adriatic.
Day 2: Private Day Trip to Krka National Park
Only a couple of hours away from Split, you'll stop to spend some time exploring Krka National Park on a private tour. With seven waterfalls—the largest and most impressive being Skradinski Buk—Krka National Park is one of Croatia's top-rated parks home to a network of striking waterfalls. The Krka River, another highlight of the park, carves through the limestone and creates a spectacular canyon on its 44-mile journey (70 km) from the foothills of the Dinaric Alps to Šibenik.
Accompanied by your guide, you'll follow the winding wooden paths that traverse emerald pools and river islands to prime lookout spots in which to view the falls. If the mood should strike, you can take a dip in one of the lagoons as Krka is the only national park in Croatia where swimming is allowed. Meanwhile, for a unique perspective of the captivating landscape, you'll cruise out to Visovac, an island in the heart of the park upstream from Skradinski Buk. Here you'll visit the 15th-century church and Franciscan monastery, and tour its rich library of historic books and paintings.
You'll get to see Roški Slap, where you can take a short walk across the river to a small set of rapids, said to resemble a pearl neckless from up above and then, of course, carry on to Skradinski Buk. The final of the seven waterfalls, Mother Nature saved the best for last. Cascading 78 feet (24 m) down into an emerald lagoon wider than the falls are tall, you'll find restaurants, snack stands, and ice cream shops at the base of this postcard locale to satisfy any food-related cravings, though you'll want to save room for lunch in a hidden-away location.
Day 3: Split to Hvar, Half-Day Private Island Tour
This morning you'll board a catamaran from Split to Hvar. A Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar draws visitors for its natural setting, mild climate, and its historic town of the same name. Highlights of Hvar Town include its 13th-century walls, the 16th-century Španjola Fortress, and the main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Cathedral of St. Stephen.
You'll check into your hotel to drop off your luggage before joining your local guide and setting out on a half-day private excursion to cover the undulating island terrain, accented with vineyard-covered hills, thick olive groves, and fragrant fields full of rosemary and lavender. You'll find your way to the abandoned 16th-century village of Malo Grablje before carrying on to the slightly older Velo Grablje. Once home to a thriving lavender industry, Velo Grablje is slowly undergoing a revival.
Stop for an authentic lunch at a family-run konoba for a traditionally prepared meal in the peka, a bell-shaped lid that is covered in coal. Next, you'll spend a little time visiting a family-owned vineyard or two where you'll have the opportunity to try wines endemic to the island paired with regional delicacies before heading up Vidikovac for views over the Stari Grad Plain. An agricultural landscape set up by the ancient Greeks (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) you'll meander amid small villages in the inner part of the island stopping to visit Stari Grad, Croatia's oldest town.
After the day's adventures, treat yourself to a drink in the town's ancient piazza that overlooks the Venetian loggia, 7th-century fortification walls, and the oldest municipal theater in Europe.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Private Speedboat Tour: Blue Cave, Vis Island, & Pakleni Islands
Today you'll set out on an exciting full-day outing to discover the islands of Biševo, Vis, and the Pakleni islands. On a private luxury speedboat, you'll first cruise to the east coast of Biševo Island, a popular, though often crowded destination, to see the mesmerizing iridescent blue waters of the Blue Cave (Modra špilja). Upon landing on the island, you'll transfer to a cave friendly boat before floating inside the cave to discover the natural phenomena for yourself.
From Biševo, you'll then travel to the southern coast of nearby Vis Island and to the stunning pebble beach of Stiniva Bay. Obscured by towering cliffs, the hidden-away beach offers excellent crystalline waters for swimming and snorkeling as well as shade for a respite from the mid-morning sun.
When you're ready, you'll hoist anchor and continue your journey around Vis to the fishing village of Komiža. An incredibly picturesque Mediterranean town, Komiža is made up of narrow winding streets and attractive stone houses. Find your way to a café amid 16th-and 17th-century Venetian-style buildings to soak in the charming scenery or visit the Kaštel, a squat centuries-old fortress that is now home to the comprehensive Fishing Museum. Be sure to check out the traditional falkuša fishing boat before choosing a restaurant for lunch.
Next, you'll return toward Hvar, stopping to sunbathe and swim the bays and inlets of the nearby Pakleni Islands archipelago. A collection of 14 wooded and rocky islets, the Pakleni Islands are the most beautiful part of the Hvar Riviera and are a favorite retreat for locals and the rich-and-famous seeking to escape the summer heat.
After a full day, you'll return to Hvar Town in the late afternoon for an evening of your own making.
Day 5: Hvar to Dubrovnik, Private Walking City Tour
In the morning you'll embark on a catamaran to the far south of Croatia and to one of the most ancient fortress cities in Europe. Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is a world-renowned city of exceptional charm. While there's evidence of settlements as far back as the Byzantine era, this area 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.
After checking into your accommodation, you'll set out to explore your surroundings on a private guided walking tour of the old city. Entering the medieval Old Town through the 16th-century Pile Gate, you'll uncover centuries of the city's rich history as you listen to stories of local life and legends and of the importance Dubrovnik once held in the era of the Republic. Highlights include Onofrio's Fountain, the 15th century Rector's Palace, Luza Square, the Church of St. Blaise (St. Vlaho), and the café-lined streets of Brsalje Street.
After touring the streets and alleys, you'll head for Lovrijenac Fortress as well as the city's impressive defensive walls, the second-largest set of city walls in the world. At certain places the wall rises 75 feet high, offering excellent vantage points for photos of the coastline.
For the rest of the afternoon, explore Dubrovnik and its surroundings on your own or enjoy the afternoon sun on the nearby beaches. Alternatively, you might like to join at Game of Thrones tour or opt for a kayaking tour around the city walls. Come early evening, however, it's an idea to take the cable car up to you Srđ Mountain for stunning panoramic views over the city and Adriatic before descending back down for dinner at one of Dubrovnik's great restaurants.
Day 6: Cavtat & Konavle Region Private Culinary Experience
Enjoy a day reserved for exploring the towns and villages to the east of the "Adriatic Pearl."
Your first stop will be the small town of Cavtat, just 30 minutes southeast of Dubrovnik. This gorgeous harbor village enjoys a postcard-perfect location nestled in a peninsular cove on the Adriatic. It also has quite a bit of history. It was founded in the 7th century as a haven for ancient-Greek Epidaurum refugees after invaders sacked their colony. Enjoyable activities here include strolling the waterfront promenade, lazing on pebbly beaches, and whiling away the hours in cafés and restaurants after navigating the network of charming streets and cobbled alleys of its Old Town.
From here, the tour takes you through the Konavle countryside, a famous wine region that stretches from Cavtat to the south-easterly tip of Croatia at the Montenegrin border. Its small population lives in some 32 villages scattered across the fertile land where you'll have the opportunity to visit a local family estate and participate in a cooking class.
You'll board your private transfer and head out to a family-run farmhouse where you'll meet your hosts and soon learn about the regional gastronomy as well as Croatian culture and history. Together with your hosts, you'll take in the picturesque scene as you explore the grounds by bike before picking fresh vegetables from the garden and preparing a four-course dinner. And when it comes time to sit down and taste your efforts, you’ll have the added pleasure of sampling homemade wines paired appropriately with your meal.
Day 7: Depart Dubrovnik
Your exploration of Croatia will end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport to catch your flight home or to your next destination.