While all the rave about Croatia’s popular destinations is definitely justified, our country hides as many intriguing experiences as it flaunts. If there is a destination in Croatia that you would really like to visit along or instead of some of the ones included below, just let us know and consider it done. This is a suggestion based on our expertise and is awaiting the final touch - of yours!
Take a day to get acquainted with Zagreb, the capital, and your hotel for the continental nights – the famous Esplanade, built to host the Orient Express travelers. You will enjoy the contrast of the following day’s excursion to the hilly land of over 50 castles, the region of Zagorje and its star, Trakošćan castle.
The continental imagery is further contrasted by the landscapes of the northern Adriatic and especially the islands of Rab, Goli Otok and Pag. You will explore Rab on a hiking tour, Pag with all your senses – but mainly your taste buds (read: Boškinac), and kayaking around Goli Otok will add relevant details to the picture of the recent decades of our history. Then return to the coast, traveling to the rising Croatian destination of Zadar, building its reputation on Roman heritage, and also contemporary public art installations.
Sail out again for a day of surreal Kornati archipelago landscapes. Pass the tallest lighthouse in Croatia and enjoy a lunch in this National park. Another adventure awaits at the rivers of Krka and Zrmanja, and the National Park Paklenica, UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and a favorite hiking and climbing destination in this part of Europe. That day concludes with caving!
As you travel south, spend a day in Pelješac peninsula, touring, eating and tasting wines with Mario Bartulović, local winegrower and winemaker. Spend the following evening in the village of Trpanj at Morana B&B, a very artsy, family-run, and totally authentic inn. Definitely a night you will remember!
The last days of your tour present many beauties of the South: recently discovered, 8.000 years old site of Nakovane and the lively seaside village of Trpanj, both on Pelješac peninsula, then the romantic maze of Korčula Old Town and for the grand finale - the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik. Leaving Croatia, you will definitely be glad you wandered off the beaten path!
Arrive to Croatia’s bustling capital and get swept away by its central European charm, lively squares and vibrant open air markets, romantic city parks and urban spirit. Get settled in the renowned hotel Esplanade 5*, built to host Orient Express travelers. Spend the evening exploring the lively center of Zagreb, from the historic Upper town to the square of Ban Jelačić.
Magic of Varaždin and Trakošćan
Meet your guide in the morning to visit Zagorje region some half an hour from Zagreb. This hilly land hosts many scenic castles, which developed from medieval burgs (forts) into distinctive, elegant buildings. In Varaždin, enjoy baroque and rococo architecture, before visiting Opeka Manor, a ruined castle set amidst an arboretum. Enjoy your last evening in Zagreb.
The Island of Rab
Your chauffeur will meet you in the morning for a private transfer to the island Rab. As you drive from Zagreb to the coast, the mountains open up ahead of you into a remarkably blue scene dotted with green islands. After you check-in and get settled in hotel Arbiana, spend a relaxing evening on one of the greenest Croatian islands.
Hiking on Rab
After enjoying your breakfast over the Mediterranean scents of Rab, meet your guide for a private hiking tour of the island. Explore the rugged terrain of one of Croatia's most fascinating islands that known for historic forests, karst landscapes and the longest sandy beaches in the country. After the tour, enjoy a lovely seaside evening on your own.
Sea kayaking off Rab
Meet your guide in the morning to embark on a unique adventure. You will kayak to Goli Otok (the Naked Island), which was nudists’ favorite spot some decades ago. The island is best known for its dark ages as a political prison in the second half of the 20th century. Enjoy, as it will probably be just you and possibly some shepherds from Rab.
Moonlike landscape of Pag island
Say farewell to Rab as you hop on a ferry to your next island over – Pag. Known for many gastronomic delights, such as salt, lamb, cow and goat cheeses – all with a touch of wind and sea, Pag is definitely a place to arrive to with an empty stomach. And you will stay at Croatia’s original gourmet hotel Boškinac, so – dobar tek!
Unique olive grove of Lun
Today you will explore Pag in a private guided tour. Visit the Roman aqueduct called the “Italian hole” and the town of Pag famous salt warehouse from the 16th century. Learn about UNESCO listed Pag Lace, before heading out to awarded Gligora cheese factory. Conclude your tour with the olive groves of Lun, before returning to your hotel for evening at leisure.
Historic charm of Zadar
As you head back to the coast with your private chauffeur, don’t worry – there’ll be more islands along the way. And an easy day in Zadar has much to deliver! Croatia’s upcoming tourism hit is still off the mainstream grid, hence it delivers a local atmosphere among heritage spanning from the Roman Forum to public contemporary art installations.
A private boat tour of Croatia’s dreamscapes! After you embark your sailing boat and meet your skipper, head out to Dugi otok and pass the tallest lighthouse in the Adriatic. Then, it’s a journey through an archipelago of 140 islands and islets, mainly uninhabited, and with their barren terrain, somewhat resembling to the Moon. Or heaven?
Nature and fresh air lovers will adore this day. You will enjoy this day of nature adventures, comprised of hiking along Zrmanja and its tributary Krupa rivers and a visit to the NP Paklenica, the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and adventurists’ favorite. The experience comes complete with spelunking in Modrić cave. Enjoy an easy night out and about in Zadar.
Meet your private chauffeur and head south to Pelješac, Croatia’s second largest peninsula. You will meet with Mario Bartulović, an energetic wine-maker and also adrenaline lover. He will give you a private tour of the peninsula, compelte with wine tasting in his cellar. Stay in Morana B&B in Trpanj, possibly the most charming private b&b on the coast.
Your guide and your chauffeur will take you to the site of Nakovana, remains of a village 8.000 years old and almost abandoned, but for the occasional hikers. Your next stop is Orebić, a small town on Pelješac sitting right across from stunning Korčula Old Town. Enjoy a boat ride and a private tour of Korčula’s main sight.
How long the last day of your journey lasts depends on the time of your return flight. If possible, you can enjoy a guided walk around Dubrovnik’s Old Town, before departing from Dubrovnik International Airport. You know, in Croatia, we say Doviđenja!, meaning: Until we see each other again!
Discover unique stays and genuine hospitality as you travel off the beaten path in Croatia. In Art Hotel Kalelarga iz Zadar, savor its unique character, in Arbiana in Rab a seafront location and inspirational vistas, and chez Morana in Trpanj, a memorable home atmosphere delivered by a true artist and her family.
Hotel Esplanade 5*, Zagreb
Housed in an elegant and distinguished building originally built in 1925 and designed to accommodate passengers from the Orient Express, the Esplanade Hotel is known for its impeccable service and luxurious accommodations. Esplanade is one of the finest hotels in the region and has received numerous awards for the consistent quality.
Hotel Arbiana 4*, Rab
Arbiana Hotel is located on the greenest island of Croatia, and in one of the sunniest parts of Europe. You can find it just behind the city walls, in its own park, on the edge of the crystal clear sea. Hotel Arbiana distinguishes itself with exclusive care and excellent quality of service that creates an unforgettable experience for its guests. It is a perfect ambiance even for the most demanding of clients. Hotel offers to its clients an excellent service ensuring that each guest has a memorable and charming stay, together with complete relaxation for body and soul.
Boškinac 4*, Novalja
One of the most iconic foodie places in Croatia, the original gourmet hotel Boškinac is known as a true discovery for lovers of traditional or gourmet food and wine connoisseurs. The interior of its eight spacious rooms and three suites is decorated with carefully chosen materials and hand-made furniture, however its serene atmosphere and extremely peaceful surroundings remain the main trademark.
Art Hotel Kalelarga 4*, Zadar
Art Hotel Kalelarga is a new addition to the very heart of ancient Zadar, poised on the main promenade called Kalelarga, minutes away from St. Donatus church and the Roman Forum. Its ten thematically designed guest rooms have stone walls, plasma TV, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and modern furnishings. Stone pavements throughout the feel very much like a natural extension of the vibrant Kalelarga.
Morana B&B , Trpanj
Originally built in the 1830s, this charming five-room B&B in the fishing village of Trpanj on Pelješac peninsula enjoyed an artistic makeover as Ms. Morana and her Raguž family took it over. Returning from Florida, USA, they decided to infuse the traditional architecture with a touch of world-class food and service, plus their welcoming presence, as they live on the premises too.