Day 1: Zagreb's Old Town
On your arrival at the Zagreb International Airport (ZAG), a Sights and Soul Travels representative will meet you at your flight arrival time for your private transportation to Regent Esplanade Hotel in the very center of Zagreb. After some time to rest after your journey and settle in your room, you will meet the rest of the group in the afternoon, to enjoy an introductory walk through Zagreb's Old Town, followed by a welcome dinner of Dalmatian culinary specialties and wines, where you'll get to know other travelers and enjoy a light-hearted discussion about the city's history, past and present.
Day 2: City Tour of Zagreb
Today, we'll spend the morning with our private costumed guide, slowly discovering the hidden gems of the city of Zagreb, hearing some amazing true stories not mentioned in any guidebook. The "steampunk" themed tour will captivate us with a sense of what it might have been like to live in Zagreb during the 19th and the early 20th centuries. At the conclusion of the tour, we'll enjoy a traditional Croatian lunch, and the afternoon will be free to explore the city's historical atmosphere, great shopping and many historical surprises at leisure.
Day 3: Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and Split
This morning, we'll leave the city, and set out to discover the Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the country's most unforgettable sights. We'll spend the day strolling by the sixteen terraced lakes, along, above and below the dozens of crystal waterfalls and across the moss covered fairyland, admiring the travertine underwater formations taking on the jewel-toned colors of the surrounding nature. Then, we'll take a short boat ride across the pristine Kozjak Lake and enjoy free time for a lakeside rustic picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we'll continue to the city of Split and check into the historic Hotel Park Split with its stunning beachfront location and luxurious amenities. In the evening, we'll enjoy an elegant dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 4: Trogir
Today, we can spend the morning enjoying the resort amenities at the hotel: we can visit the spa, kayak on the Adriatic, stroll in the beautifully landscaped gardens or relax on the beach with fantastic views of the sea and the islands. In the afternoon, we'll join our guide for a private tour of the Roman island city of Trogir, formerly a leper colony and now famous for the many celebrities coming here in their yachts. We'll continue the tour in the city of Split itself, as we tour the Emperor Diocletian's Palace, the old fishing harbor, turned a picturesque seaside promenade and the Old Town section of this white marble city. In the evening, we'll enjoy dinner at an atmospheric restaurant just off the Riva Promenade, followed by an evening stroll for a gelato.
Day 5: Hvar Island
After breakfast today, we'll spend the day exploring one of the Mediterranean's most celebrated islands. We'll start by taking a private speedboat to the lavender-covered island of Hvar, one of only three European islands included in the World's Ten Most Beautiful Islands List. Upon arrival, we'll take a guided tour of Hvar's Old Town, then we'll have time to explore the island: we can enjoy the many secret beaches and coves, walk up to the medieval castle overlooking the town, walk among the lavender fields and olive groves below the castle and right outside the town's medieval gate, spend time in a café people watching or shop for unusual jewelry, lavender and olive oil for which Hvar is famous. In the evening, we'll sail back to Split and enjoy a traditional Croatian Mediterranean dinner.
Day 6: Split to Dubrovnik via Ston: Oysters and Wine Experience
We'll continue our exploration of Croatia's dramatic Dalmatian Coast, as we travel south today, along the celebrated Dalmatian coastline, past the unique Ottoman Empire cross-road towns with exotic oriental architecture. En route, we'll stop at the Peljesac Peninsula, known for its wine and for its oysters. We'll visit the village of Ston, famous for its Great Wall of Ston, its salt flats, and also for its oysters, considered an aphrodisiac since the Roman times. We'll take a short boat excursion to enjoy the untouched natural beauty of the protected ecosystem of the Mali Ston Bay, dotted by many small islets to learn about the cultivating oysters process and to sample several kinds of locally harvested oysters, paired with excellent local wines. We'll have a lavish lunch at a family-owned restaurant in Mali Ston, followed by a visit to a local vineyard to learn about and sample several Peljesac Peninsula wines. In the afternoon, we'll arrive at Rixos Premium Dubrovnik Hotel in Dubrovnik, and after such an exciting day, we'll enjoy a low-key dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 7: Dubrovnik's Old Town and Srd Hill
This morning, we'll enjoy a private guided tour of Dubrovnik's Old Town to learn about the history of the city. We'll stroll down the Stradun Promenade, visit the Franciscan Monastery, Orlando's Fountain, Sponza Palace, the Rector's Palace and the Renaissance Dubrovnik Cathedral with works by Titian and Rafael. After lunch at a terrace restaurant in the Old Town's prime seafront location, we'll take the cable car up the Srd Mountain for spectacular views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. We can spend the afternoon according to our personal preferences: walk the ancient walls surrounding the Old Town, further explore the Old Town, spend time at the beach or take advantage of the many amenities of our hotel.
Day 8: Elaphite Archipelago Islands
Today, we'll spend the morning at sea, as we experience the Adriatic Sea, sailing on a private boat. We'll explore the Elaphite Archipelago islands with gardens full of oranges and lemons, lovely seashore landscapes, picturesque villages with old seamen's houses, tiny votive churches, pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance ruins scattered among the pine forests, then enjoy a freshly grilled fish and wine lunch onboard the ship. We'll return to the hotel in the afternoon, and after some time to enjoy at leisure, we'll meet in the evening to celebrate our adventures during the farewell dinner.
Day 9: Dubrovnik Departures
Depending on your returning flight's departure time, you may have some free time in the morning, before your private transfer to the Dubrovnik International Airport (DBV) according to your flight departure time.