Culinary Adventure: Croatian Gourmet Journey

Ready to-use itinerary

OVERVIEW

  • 13 days private tour
  • Regions: Istria, Kvarner, Dalmatia, Lika, Zagreb and Central Croatia
  • Discover must-see places in Croatia like Zagreb, the capital, National Park Plitvice Lakes, Dubrovnik, Istria and many more
  • Discover local dishes served in traditional taverns, first class restaurants and/or countryside farms
  • Arrival airport: Zagreb - Departure airport: Dubrovnik

 

Day 1    ZAGREB AIRPORT - ZAGREB

Arrival at Zagreb airport. Transfer to your hotel in Zagreb. After the accommodation in the hotel, use a free time and take a relax walk through a center of a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times. In the evening, enjoy in excellent local dinner in one of taverns or restaurants in Zagreb. food is a great storyteller – it can tell you a lot about local people, tradition and way of life so don’t miss to try Zagreb rich and widely appreciated gastronomy, part of the Austro-Hungarian heritage. Try dishes such as Grenadir marš - tasty pasta with onions and cheese, Kajzeršmarn, an original dessert with caramelized pancakes, pasta with cabbage (krpice sa zeljem) or turkey with pasta slivers. Drink a glass of local wine and later cup a coffee in Tkalca Street or Cvjetni Square. Overnight at the hotel in Zagreb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2    ZAGREB

Explore Zagreb on private guided tour and enjoy “slow food” lunch. Private guided city tour of Zagreb and its historical center - the settlement on two hills: secular Gradec, today known as the Upper Town, and ecclesiastical Kaptol. You will hear interesting things and facts about Zagreb and its rich history. Visit the Cathedral with two high bell towers that have become the symbol of Zagreb and St.Mark’s Church with its picturesque roof featuring Croatian coats of arms, the Stone Gate, the entrance to the Upper Town. Take a ride with Funicular Railway, walk along streets of Lower town, feel the energy of the main square of Ban Josip Jelačić, the heart of the city and a meeting point for all Zagreb citizens. Relax in famous city park Maksimir or city square and park Zrinjevac. On the Strossmayer Promenade in the Upper Town enjoy a romantic panorama of Zagreb accompanied by the sculpture of Croatian poet Antun Gustav Matos sitting on the bench. After visiting Dolac farmers’ market, optional: you can go to the cooking studio where you can experience real cooking art and make a lunch perfectly paired with quality Croatian wines. In the evening, while you are in Zagreb you can have a dinner in the restaurant serving real Slavonian cuisine and enjoy in tasteful traditional dishes from Slavonia region  like kulen, shepard's stew, paprika-based stew or fresh water fish stew. Overnight at the hotel in Zagreb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3    CENTRAL CROATIA: VARAŽDIN - TRAKOŠĆAN CASTLE

Leaving Zagreb and traveling to Varaždin, a town in the North of Croatia, inhabited since the Roman times. Located on the southern bank of the River Drava, your private tour guide will introduce you Varaždin, the city of the baroque, music, flowers and bicycles - „Little Vienna“ with parks, town palaces, splendid churches, artistic and cultural heritage including Varaždin’s fortress from 12th century, known as Old Town where today you can find the City Museum. After lunch in local tavern where you can try traditional local pastry from wheat flour recognized across Europe, Varaždinski klipić, protected as a traditional Croatian product and excellent local dishes like zlevka (corn cake), turkey with mlinci (type of pastry), štrukli, local strudel-like specialty or meals from Varaždin sauerkraut. After lunch, we are traveling towards Trakošćan castle, located in Zagorje region where you will enjoy fresh mountain air and discover the beauty of the mountainous landscape mixed with a culture, tradition and superb cuisine. Trakošćan castle is situated on a hill and surrounded by a forest park and beautiful lake and represents a natural and cultural heritage of the highest category. Here you will spend the whole afternoon exploring the castle and surrounding area where you can have a light dinner. Overnight at the hotel near Trakošćan castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4    SAMOBOR - ROVINJ

After breakfast, leaving Trakošćan and first stop is Samobor, a medieval town of Baroque architecture that lies on the eastern slopes of the Samoborsko gorje hills - great location for hikers and holiday-makers. Here you can take a relaxed walk along downtown promenade and by the romantic stream. Optional: visit adapted old mill build in 1904 which has revived the traditional processing of grain. Have an excellent and healthy lunch  before departure. Enjoy in local dishes of superb Zagorje cuisine since here you can find a rich and varied offer of traditional dishes. Don’t leave Samobor without trying a famous kremšnita (a custard slice)! Before dinner arriving to beautiful Istria and its romantic medieval town Rovinj. Rovinj for sure will charm you with its colorful buildings and squares, as well as the diverse culinary and entertainment offer. The narrow cobblestone streets will take you to the top of a small hill, where you will find the biggest and most significant monument in town - the church of St. Euphemia. In one of many restaurants and tavern you can enjoy light seafood dinner where the most popular seafood dishes are served, like fresh seashells, octopus salad, black squid risotto (with black squid ink) or grilled fish. Overnight at the hotel in Rovinj.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5    MOTOVUN - GROŽNJAN - POREČ - PULA

Explore Istria on full-day private guided tour where you will visit small hilltop towns, beautiful Poreč and Pula. First stop is Motovun, picturesque hilltop town with medieval walls where you'll have marvelous view on Mirna River valley and Motovun forest, famous by truffles. Here you can experience unique truffles tasting since Motovun forest  is rich with truffles. You will have a chance to try different combination with truffles paired with a glass of wine. From city walls enjoy breathtaking view on hills in the heart of Istria. Driving further with next short stop in Grožnjan, a town of artists where you will experience local culture and architecture visiting its galleries that are lining the narrow, cobble stone streets. Passing through small but picturesque Buje our lunch stop is in excellent gourmet restaurant nearby with first class gastronomic offer based on typical seasonal specialties, such as fresh locally caught fish, truffles, mushrooms, game and other typical Istrian specialties. This territory is called “City of Wine” and it is known for its long tradition of wine and olive oil production so it will be an opportunity for you to taste excellent local wines and olive oils. After lunch, our next stop is town of Poreč  former  Roman colony. Explore the town together with a private tour guide and find out all about the old town core, its various monuments, cultural and historical attractions. Enjoy the sights of Romanesque architecture with beautiful Venetian gothic palaces and visit UNESCO World Heritage Site - Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica - a masterpieces of Byzantine sacral art in the Historic Centre of Poreč. In the afternoon arriving in 3000 years old town of Pula, a place where you can have great dinner and find many ruins from Roman time, like the Amphitheatre - imposing Arena, the 6th largest in the world, one of the best preserved Roman Amphitheaters in the world, the most significant monument in Pula. Your  private guide will show you all the beauties of Pula and tell you interesting stories of its history. Overnight at the hotel in Pula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6    OPATIJA

In the morning, traveling to Kvarner region where you can feel an unique mixture of sea air and mountain climate. After the accommodation in the hotel in Opatija, a beautiful small town with perfect location on the coast at the foot of Mount Učka, you will take a private guided tour of Opatija that will charm you with its public gardens, the illuminated 12-km-long coastal promenade known as the "Lungomare", beaches and fountains and beautiful villas due to rich history as Europe's most important health resorts of the 19th century. In Opatija and surrounding area you can find many excellent restaurants and taverns, many of them with ethno feel, where traditional coastal and highland meals are served, prepared with the freshest local produce, along with olive oils and wines from the Kvarner region. Afther the tour, enjoy excellent wine & dine experience complemented with professional service in a first-class location by the sea or a combination of traditional and modern Mediterranean cuisine with historical touches of the Austro-Hungarian and Venetian culinary traditions. Besides that, here you can enjoy in homemade dishes typical of the mountainous region prepared from wild game and wild fruit. Did you know that the Kvarner scampi (shrimps) are best in the world? Since they live in very shallow water with lot of drinking water, therefore they are very soft and sweet and represent one of the specialties of Kvarner which you should definitely taste! Overnight at the hotel in Opatija.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7    PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK

After the breakfast, driving direction Lika region to to enjoy in beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park but as well as Lika cuisine. Enter into the world of green forest and crystal water -  famous and one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe, largest in Croatia and UNESCO Site - Plitvice Lakes National Park, arranged in cascades. The 16 lakes that can be seen from the surface are grouped into the 12 Upper Lakes (Gornja jezera) and the 4 Lower Lakes (Donja jezera). Walk along the network of paths and bridges that permit pleasant and safe walking during the visit and sightseeing is also organized by tourist train and boat rides. You will see many small streams and spill into each other in cascades and thundering waterfalls but as well as the highest waterfall - the Large Waterfall (78m). Every season has its own unique charm and the Plitvice Lakes with their alternating colors and every new awakening, both trapped in ice or in the shade of the trees, will leave you with a very distinct, unique and invaluable impression. In addition to all nature beauties, experience the gastronomy of the region, starting from well-known Lika potatoes, enjoy traditional Lika lamb, polenta with cream, milk or pork greaves, the Škripavac cheese, widely known Lika’s sheep cheese and Velebit honey. Don’t miss the specialties of freshwater fish trout, smoked or marinated fillets and excellent seafood caviar of trout. Lika is famous for the plum and pear brandy, berry liqueur, the fruits of the forest like blueberry and raspberries. Overnight at the hotel in Plitvice Lakes National Park area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8    ZADAR - ŠIBENIK

In the morning, departure direction Zadar, 3000 years old town full of historical and cultural monuments. This will be an opportunity to enjoy the splendid view while sitting and listening to “The Sea organ”, an experimental musical instrument which plays music by tubes located underneath of large marble steps near the sea where the waves create harmonic sounds. After the sightseeing, have an excellent lunch in traditional meals made from local ingredients in Slow Food philosophy restaurant or in typical cozy tavern with charming stone interior. Take a relaxed walk after lunch, enjoy your coffee in one of many coffee bars along Kalelarga, enjoy it slowly like the locals do! Our next stop is town of Šibenik, a historic city where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Private guided tour will ensure you to find out more about this town, created initially as an ancient Croatian castrum, where St. Michael’s Fortress still dominates the town. Visit world famous The Cathedral of St James, UNESCO World Heritage Site, built entirely from stone using unique construction techniques where the form and the decorative elements of the Cathedral, such as a remarkable frieze decorated with 71 sculptured faces of men, women, and children, also illustrate the successful fusion of Gothic and Renaissance art. After the accommodation in the hotel, explore local gastronomy in first-class restaurants where aspire to preserve flavors of the local gastronomic based on the tradition of natural and healthy Mediterranean food that is rich with vegetables, olive oil, fish, shells, wine, goat and sheep cheese, citrus fruit, marasca cherries, grapes, figs and almonds. Enjoy in fish prepared "al brodetto" (fish stew), boiled or grilled, or meat made under a baking lid that has a unique flavor together with vegetable cooked in small amounts of water and spiced with olive oil and herbs such as rosemary, sage, basil and marjoram. Overnight at the hotel in Šibenik.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 9    SPLIT

In the morning, departure to Split, another UNESCO Sites. Upon arrival, you will meet your local guide to take you to private guided sightseeing tour of Split where you will hear all about the Diocletian Palace, an ancient palace built by the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD. A walk through the ancient city takes you through time, along the great examples of ancient architecture like Peristyle, the middle aged Romanesque Church and Gothic Palace, Renaissance portals of the noblemen’s houses, Baroque facades and modern architecture superbly merged in the rich heritage. After the tour, enjoy in excellent lunch and a glass of delicious local wine. What to eat? You can choose among many traditional meals from Dalmatia like fish prepared on grill, al brodetto, boiled but also salted or marinated. Besides that, you must try octopus under baking lid ('peka'), shells and crabs in a stewed savory way or meat specialty like 'pašticada' with gnocchi. For the dessert, take typical Dalmatian pastries - 'fritule' (plain dark-flour fritters) or 'rožata' (caramel pudding). In the evening, take a walk across the Riva, famous Split waterfront, and have a cup of coffee in one of many cafes and enjoy in this amazing gathering spot that is there day and night for the people of Split and its guests. Overnight at the hotel in Split.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10  PELJEŠAC PENINSULA - KORČULA OLD TOWN

Leaving Split and driving direction Pelješac, a 70 km long peninsula in southern Croatia, with stop in Ploče. Lemon, fig and almond trees, olive grove with perennial olive trees, herbs and wildflowers surround the villages gardens and fields. You will have an opportunity to taste excellent local wines in one of the vineries. On the southern coast of Pelješac peninsula facing the island of Korčula, you will find the historical small town of Orebić, the cradle of sea captains and sailors, whose rich tradition is kept at the Maritime Museum, situated on the bottom of the Sveti Ilija Mountain. In Orebić, you can have an excellent lunch since in selected taverns serving traditional Mediterranean dishes prepared from fresh hand-picked, low-fat organic ingredients. Taste excellent backed fresh white fish, octopus salad, stuffed roast squid or crabs, lobsters, shells or shellfish, seasoned with excellent olive oil, fresh herbs and local wine. After lunch, take a boat ride to Korčula old town, a medieval walled city on the Island of Koručula, grooved with a succession of narrow streets that branch off the spine of the main street like the fish bone. You can explore the old town, where the architecture is mainly influenced by Venetian Renaissance, by visiting splendid St Mark’s Cathedral built in the Gothic-Renaissance style. Optional: visit Marko Polo Birth House and house tower (loggia) which allows a panoramic vista of Korčula, stretching from east to west. For dinner, try famous oysters from Stone, traditionally eaten raw with lemon juice and a piece of bread or served in the soup, fried or baked in the oven. Overnight at the hotel in Orebić.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11  STON - DUBROVNIK OLD TOWN

On our way to Dubrovnik  we will stop in Ston, a town famous by its town wall, the longest fortification wall in Europe, oysters but as well as by its medieval architecture since once it was a military fort of the Ragusan Republic (Dubrovnik). After the tour, departure direction Dubrovnik. Upon arrival in Dubrovnik in the early afternoon, enjoy in relaxed walk on the city’s main street, Stradun. You can choose one among many great restaurants to have excellent lunch in Dubrovnik old town. Most of the restaurants are situated in the attractive ambiances reflecting the romantic Adriatic atmosphere. To try local cuisine Dubrovnik is the perfect place to enjoy the simple richness of the famous South Dalmatian dishes. Traditional Dubrovnik cuisine rests on fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits, quality meat and fish with as little spices as possible and lots of olive oil. Don’t miss to try mixed shellfish stew, shrimps on Dalmatian, oysters, fried small fish and many other specialties. Overnight at the hotel in Dubrovnik.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12  DUBROVNIK OLD TOWN - ISLAND OF LOKRUM

In the morning you will meet your local guide which will take you to private sightseeing of Dubrovnik, another UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1979, also called “The 'Pearl of the Adriatic”. You will hear all about famous Dubrovnik’s history and explore the Old Town’s central street Stradun, the Franciscan Monastery (with one of the oldest pharmacies in the world), the renaissance Rector’s Palace, town walls, Lovrjenac Fortress as well as many picturesque squares and churches of this amazing town. After the lunch in one of many Dubrovnik restaurants where you can try local cuisine like picarels, anchovies , mussels in sauce , squid , sea bass with a glass of excellent local wine, visit Island of Lokrum, located from Dubrovnik only 10 minutes by the boat. On this Nature Reserve, inhabited since prehistoric times, you will discover many horticultural sites, interesting history and historic buildings. Discover why Lokrum’s gardens hold a special place in the Dubrovnik and Croatian heritage of park art. After the tour, take a cable car to Mt.Srđ and enjoy panoramic view on Dubrovnik and nearby islands. After the tour, have an excellent dinner and try some of the Dubrovnik signature meals like the green menestra, a smoked meat and cabbage stew, while fish lovers must try famous Dalmatian octopus salad, black risotto, shellfish or grilled sardines since all the fish specialties are made of freshest fish from the Adriatic depths and shellfish grown in unpolluted sea. Don’t miss to try  a local desserts such as Dubrovnik Rozata (crème brulee Dubrovnik style), Ston cake, kotonjata (quince pudding), arancini (candied orange rind) and many others. Overnight at the hotel in Dubrovnik.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13  DEPARTURE (DUBROVNIK AIRPORT)

Transfer from your hotel in city center to Dubrovnik airport. Departure to home-journey.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Istria and Kvarner region:

  • Traditional cuisine and excellent local wines from Istria and Kvarner Bay
  • Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, Motovun, Grožnjan, Opatija
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč
  • Roman Amphitheater in Pula
  • Truffles, wine & olive oil tasting

 

Dalmatia region:

  • Traditional cuisine and excellent local wines from Dalmatia
  • Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Šibenik, Ston, Korčula old town, Pelješac peninsula
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Old City of Dubrovnik, The Cathedral of St James, Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
  • Island of Lokrum Nature Reserve
  • Ston city walls
  • Marco Polo Birth House in Korčula
  • Wine & olive oil tasting in Pelješac

 

Other regions:

  • Traditional cuisine and excellent local wines from Central Croatia and Lika region
  • Zagreb, the capital, Varaždin, Samobor
  • Trakošćan Castle
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Plitvice Lakes National Park

 

PRICE PER PERSON

$ 1.550

starting from:

The price shown is approximate for a private tour based on a group of 4  people. Final price is depending on your specific query, special needs or interests and traveling date.

INCLUDED IN PRICE:
  • Private Car & Driver service for all road transportations including airport transfers
  • Boat ride to Korčula old town and island of Lokrum
  • Private local licensed English speaking tour guide for sightseeing: Istria tour, Učka nature park and Opatija, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Šibenik, Zagreb, Zagorje tour
  • Entrance tickets: Roman Amphitheater in Pula, Diokletian palace cellars in Split, Dubrovnik city walls,  Šibenik Cathedral,  National Park Plitvice Lakes, Trakošćan Castle
  • Truffles tasting in Istria
  • Wine & olive oil tasting in Istria and Pelješac peninsula
  • 24 hour assistance
  • VAT
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE:
  • Airline tickets
  • Accommodation
  • Additional health insurance
  • Meals 
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything else not mentioned in the inclusion

 

If you like this itinerary proposal and would like to book this tour, it is very simple - just click the Plan your trip button below and provide us additional information about your ideal trip!

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Click here to view our other suggested itineraries!