Captivating Croatia & Montenegro

This enchanting journey takes you from iconic landmarks in bustling Adriatic cities to hidden gems known only to locals. 

Discover rich heritage dating back 2,500 years on a guided walk through majestic Dubrovnik, see how oysters are harvested on the floating oyster beds of the Adriatic and marvel at the stunning cascades of Plitvice Lakes National Park.  Along the way, you’ll stay in beautiful hotels, taste local wines and cuisine, and marvel at the rugged beauty of the coastline.

Explore the Itinerary below:

On arrival at Dubrovnik airport, meet your personal driver and transfer to your hotel overlooking the Adriatic Sea. As you make your way to the hotel you will have fabulous views of the coast line and the medieval city of Dubrovnik. This walled city has charming pedestrian cobblestone streets, many restaurants and cafes scattered throughout, and the most beautiful blue sea that literally sparkles in the sun.  

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with towering walls that rise above a 13th-century main street. No wonder so many consider Dubrovnik a precious gem. In fact, the origins of the Croatian language and its classic literature can be traced back here, and the city remains an epicenter of culture, art, music and science. All of this is surrounded by a brilliant-blue seascape, pretty beaches and idyllic islands.

​This morning, you will join a Local Specialist to explore the wonders of Dubrovnik’s Old City Centre, a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most important living historical monuments in this part of Europe. Your expert guide will take you around this magical medieval town full of legends and give you a glimpse of the incredible history that makes Dubrovnik such a unique city. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to “walk the walls”, which will provide unique views of Old Town Dubrovnik including its narrow streets and small squares. At the end of the walking tour you will take a comfortable cable car ride up to Mt. Srđ. The 778 meter journey will give you a breathtaking view over the Old City. The upper station has two panoramic terraces equipped with binocular telescopes. The cable car is simply a must for a complete visit to one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Enjoy a relaxed start before traveling to the diverse and tiny nation of Montenegro.  Flanked by mountains and a stunning coastline, Montenegro is a melting pot of exotic cultures, warm people and spectacular scenery. 

The fairy tale is that Montenegro has been enchanting visitors for centuries. This amazing land of contrasts offers the most alluring coastlines, crystal clear lakes, picturesque national parks and breathtaking snow-capped mountain tops. At a nearby winery, you’ll meet the vinter and taste some of the region’s famed red wines. Complete your visit with a late lunch of delicious farm-to-table fare.  Later in the evening, arrive at Tivat, a glamorous seaside village characterized by super-yachts and sunshine.

Journey to the enchanting bayside town of Kotor and walk through the romantic Old Town with a Local Specialist, exploring ancient alleyways and passing chic boutiques. The town is one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Adriatic. You will meander through the beautiful medieval streets to the most beautiful cathedral in Montenegro before walking around the 405 kms of fortifications overlooking the town. This is a wonderful tour to learn more about the history of Kotor and to see firsthand the wonderful architecture and magnificent views that this town has to offer. 

Continue along the bay to Perast, where you will take a boat to “Our Lady of the Rocks”, and discover the legend behind this island. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Perhaps enjoy lunch at a bayside cafe. In the evening, enjoy taking in the views of the coastline, catching a spectacular sunset and sampling the coastal cuisine in Tivat.

After breakfast, you will depart to explore Ston, a gothic medieval city, surrounded by 6 kilometers of city walls, famous for their salt works and oysters. Ston is located on the Peljesac Peninsula. It is famous for the Walls of Ston and is often referred to as the “European Walls of China”. 

The bay of Mali Ston has been famous for seashell cultivation since the days of the Roman Empire as it hosts the largest oyster cultivation facilities in the Adriatic. Oyster production has been a long time tradition of a local family, which they have developed into an exceptional location for tourists. The excursion starts with a panoramic boat ride on a beautiful wooden boat through the Bay of Mali Ston to the oyster beds. You will not only have the opportunity to see and learn something about the oyster production but you will also taste oysters, sample local wine and Rakia in these amazing surroundings.

Meet your Captain this morning and set sail, on your private boat, to the island of Hvar, one of the world’s truly exquisite destinations. Your crew will be anchored in the historical heart of the island-Stari Grad on Hvar’s north coast. The town is situated in a landscape where the blue of the deep bay touches the green of the wide and famous field of Pharos, with vineyards and olive-groves.  Start your journey in Hvar by driving through the island with your private driver guide. You will pass through old villages of Brusje and Velo Grablje and then meander through many lavender fields. Your driver may stop along the way to let you breathe in the beautiful smell of the lavender! 

After this stress-free sightseeing, you will venture towards di Agera (Hora) – a protected field, one of Greek cultural masterpieces, which has remained intact during a period of 2400 years. Next, you will drive further toward Jelsa where two specially chosen wineries are waiting for you. First, you will take a sightseeing tour around the winery and then enjoy wine tasting. You will try the famous Tomić Plavac. In order to provide you with a really holistic experience you will have 4 wine courses specially paired with accompanying food: prosciutto, cheese, chocolate and other lovely gastronomic surprises.

After visiting modern Tomić’s Winery you will venture back to the roots by visiting Duboković Winery…pure and traditional. Croatian tradition of wine, cheese and bread – let’s be honest – pure heaven or some say “Hvar Heaven”. Besides visiting Duboković Winery, you will be able to enjoy their production of aroma infused olive oils. Try Basilicum or sage flavored olive oil. 

After the Dubokovic wine cellar tour and tasting, you’ll head to a historic abandoned village Malo Grablje, where Chef Bertie will whet your appetite with true Dalmatian specialties. Get ready for an authentic farm-to-table experience overlooking the abandoned village!

In the morning, you will depart to Šibenik for sightseeing.  Šibenik, a gem in the Croatian Adriatic, is situated along the mouth of Krka on the most picturesque part of the eastern Adriatic coast. Šibenik is the oldest Croatian autochthonous town and was first discovered in 1066 during the reign of the Croatian King Kresimir IV. 

The rich cultural and historical heritage of the city is visible in the impressive Cathedral of sv. Jakov [St. Jacob] built by the famous architect Juraj Dalmatinac and is under UNESCO protection. Numerous churches, monasteries, palaces and four fortresses ‘frame’ the city, and also testify to the perseverance, renunciation and faith of generations of people of Šibenik. You will explore the city with a local specialist. In the evening, you will join other travelers and enjoy a traditional dinner on a farm in a small village near Šibenik.

In the morning, let’s embark on a private boating excursion to Kornati National Park often referred to as “nautical paradise”. You will spend the morning cruising through the archipelago of Zadar towards Kornati, also known as the “Pearls of the Adriatic”. Enjoy the unusual island landscape. Your private boating adventure provides a day of amusement and relaxation. The Kornati is the most indented group of islands in the Mediterranean. The extraordinary karst phenomenon, rocks, cliffs and islands will stun you. Later in the afternoon, you will disembark on one of the islands to enjoy a fabulous prepared lunch.

After Kornati, you and your crew will sail to Zadar and then venture off for some additional sightseeing with a local specialist. Zadar is considered a Mediterranean heaven that is situated in the heart of the Adriatic. The town itself is a medieval walled city on the Adriatic Sea in Northern Dalmatia. The Old Town is a small harbor, but quite pretty with roman ruins, with a unique attraction known as the Sea Organ. According to Albert Hitchcock, Zadar is the city with the most beautiful sunset in the world and you will have the opportunity to see the beautiful skyline at dusk. After sightseeing, you will have some free time in Zadar and then cruise back to Šibenik.

Early in the morning your Local Specialist will travel with you to the Trogir Market to buy fresh fish and ingredients for your afternoon cooking class. After shopping, you will continue to Split for sightseeing. Your journey through ancient history starts with the fact that the Roman emperor Diocletian was born in nearby important Illyrian center, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia – Salona. He ordered the construction of one of today’s most preserved palaces of that time in the nearby town of Split. With a professional Local Specialist you will continue your journey to visit the 1700 year old Diocletian Palace in Split, a UNESCO protected site. Can you imagine what the life of Diocletian was like within the walls of the palace? During the tour you will stop by to see the Cathedral of St Duje, one of the most beautiful cultural wonders on the Adriatic coast, the ancient cellars, Peristyle, in the center of the palace, the Roman Temples – the famous Golden Gate and the big statue of Grgur Ninski. On this walking tour you will get to know Split and its history in an interesting way. 

In the afternoon, you will venture to Trogir for a fabulous cooking class. Trogir is a very colorful city with a historic past that is under UNESCO protection. Trogir is a “city-museum” in every sense of the word. More than 2300 years in existence, this city provides lovers of cultural and historical monuments, art, original architecture and cozy alleyway streets in an unforgettable setting. The old core of Trogir is an island surrounded by city walls, which was influenced by the Romans, Greeks and Venetians. You will learn about preparing traditional dalmatian food, try homemade drinks and listen to traditional music. The highlight of the day will be enjoying the savory meal that you’ll prepare with a local chef.

Get ready for an awe inspiring adventure to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Discover why millions of people visit this “Pearl of the World” natural heritage every year. Plitvice Lakes is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. Experience a unique blend of continental and maritime Croatia. The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodlands populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. Take a walk with your local “Naturalist” guide through this Heaven on Earth and enjoy the scenery of beautiful waterfalls and untouched nature. And don’t forget to make a wish under the largest waterfall as it will supposedly make your wishes come true.  After Plitvice Lakes National Park, you will stop for dinner in Old Dalmatian Village.

In the morning, you will visit Pula and Poreč for sightseeing with your Local Specialist. Then in the afternoon, your guide will travel with you to Motovun and share about this charming city.  South of Istria is Pula. You will take a walking tour and visit the magnificent Roman monuments, which include the immense Amphitheatre with its grand stone arches, Arch of the Sergii and the Temple of Augustus…one of the finest Roman temples outside Italy. You can say that Pula, the city itself is the best museum you may discover, for most of the city views are more rewarding than the views in museums.

Istria is also called “Tuscany of Croatia” and Poreč exemplifies this with its delightful Venetian architecture, harbor views and the astonishing UNESCO Basilica of St Euphrasius. The Basilica is a masterpiece of 6th century Byzantine architecture with mosaics to rival those in Ravenna.

The highlight of the day will be an Exclusive Truffle Hunt (demonstration) and Truffle dinner in Motovun. Motovun is a city-monument, an ancient Istrian acropolis city situated on the top of a 277 meter-high hill whose current appearance originates from the Middle Ages, the 12th and 13th century, and a very famous region for truffle hunting. Motovun is also a charming city with spectacular landscape including the Motovun Forest, a prime locale for truffle hunting. You will proceed to a local authentic restaurant for the most famous truffle specialties. Locals will pair best Istrian wine with Truffle specialties for the most delicious dining experience.

After breakfast, bid farewell to Croatia and transfer to Pula Airport for your onward journey. 

Stress-free, full of heart, and good for the soul.

That’s the XOOM Tour’s way.

Ready to embark on your own expertly planned journey? I invite you to connect with me on your complimentary consultation call.

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