Testimonials

“They are group of enthusiastic and passionate professionals.”

Written by the people who have explored this stunning region with us, the selection of testimonials below highlights the places, the people and the feelings you are bound to experience on your journey. Honest and unrevised, they give you a clear idea of the personal efforts and virtue which go into crafting each individual itinerary and have over time become the trademark of travelling with Secret Dalmatia.

Kathy and Bill Jones, USA
Explore Slovenia and Croatia, Private program

October 2019

Mariana,

Here’s our feedback - sorry for the delay. If you’d like us to post on travel websites, please let us know which ones.

Experience of a Life Time

With the support of Secret Dalmatia and Mariana, our travel designer, we had the experience (not just trip or vacation) of a life time in Croatia. The main purpose of our trip was to find Kathy’s family home in Komiža on the island of Vis - but it turned out to be so much more!

Throughout the planning process for our 18 day trip, Mariana provided excellent suggestions and was very responsive to all our requests. The information provided before the trip was detailed, accurate, complete and extremely useful. We particularly enjoyed the Secret Dalmatia exclusive activities (truffle hunting, cooking class, day with a wine maker) that allowed us to see the country in an intimate way and meet wonderful dedicated artisans.

Throughout the trip, we were very impressed with the coordination and flexibility between the drivers, guides and hotel staff. When everyone learned of Kathy’s Croatian background, they were interested in how they could help find the family home (which we did). And in the process, we learned about their lives in Croatia. By the time we had to leave, it felt like we were leaving our extended Secret Dalmatia family - the joy of working with a smaller in-country travel agent.

We look forward to returning next year and staying longer. We strongly recommend the Secret Dalmatia travel agency and Mariana. Our experience was perfect!

Kathy and Bill Jones

September 2019

Hello Dubravka,

We arrived back home safely, rather tired, but full of wonderful memories of our trip to Croatia that you so skillfully arranged for us. From the first day of hunting and eating truffles to the last day of a delicious lunch with Katja in the arboretum, we successfully ate our way thru your country.

It seemed each day the experience was better than the day before, some of our favorites—exploring an olive grove with a 2000 year old tree (an excellent idea to add this to our trip), lunch with the Diva of Trogir, our private boat trip to Korcula, learning about oyster production and then eating incredibly fresh mussels and oysters, and exploring the old towns of Split and Dubrovnik. Actually the entire trip was our favorite.

As we talked about our time in Croatia we decided that the best part of our trip was the guides, drivers and very talented chefs. Each one of them was so knowledgeable, entertaining and willing to share with us their lives and experiences. We have been on many trips to all parts of the world but our trip to Croatia interacting with these people made this trip a very special one. We have only amazing memories of our trip to Croatia. Thank you once again for your assistance in making this trip what we had hoped it would be and so much more.

Our very best thoughts,

Paula, Nick, Mary and Barbara

Ann Marie Turnbull & Cathryn Klassen, Canada
Explore Croatia and Montenegro, Private program

September 2019

Hello Emina.

Thanks very much for your follow up note. We’re happy to provide our feedback on the trip as everything went so well! The arrangements you made for us were excellent and we had a wonderful time.

We enjoyed all the accommodation, with the Lemongarden on Brač being a real highlight.

The guides for all the tours, except at Plitvice as we let you know earlier, were first rate. They each gave us comprehensive information about the architecture, culture, history, politics and food, providing a great overview and feel for the places we were visiting. And they steered us very expertly through the crowds, taking us to some less traveled places where we could experience the local flavour in more detail.

All our transfers went smoothly and we are very thankful you suggested we spend time and travel by boat to visit to the Dalmatian Islands around Split, as well as transfer by boat to Montenegro. This was one of the highlights of the trip, a unique experience for all of us and thoroughly enjoyable, especially our two days with Kreso, an excellent skipper and tour guide.

We also appreciate the work you did in the planning stage of the trip to meet our budget requirements. You responded to our numerous requests in a timely fashion and provided a variety of options for us to consider. And the final travel document to guide us each day as we travelled was excellent, with the restaurant recommendations a nice touch.

We can strongly recommend you and Secret Dalmatia to anyone interested in traveling to Croatia and Montenegro. It was our pleasure to work with you.

Anne Marie and Cathryn

Private Program for Goddess Gathering Group, USA
Private program for Goddess Gathering Group

September 2019

Dear Mariana and Emina,
I just spent ten perfect days with nine of my favorite people traveling throughout Croatia. I cannot thank you enough for your flawless coordination. From the transportation, to the excursions, to dining, to the hotels, to our drivers and guides, everything was amazing and beyond hoped for. The National Parks were dreamlike in their beauty. Your attention to detail and connections to private field to table dining filled our souls and bellies with Croatian traditions at the finest. We have all recommended your agency to others who have drooled over our photographs and heard our amazing stories. I have also contacted Alan through LinkedIn commending you both for your expertise and professionalism.
All the Best,
Denise

godess gathering

Linda Meiller, USA
Perfect stay in Croatia, Private program

September 2019

Dear Natasa,

I wanted to tell you how pleased we were with our past trip to Croatia . We appreciated all of your suggestions . The itinerary was perfect , the hotels were all wonderful , the drivers and tour guides were all well informed and enjoyable . You did a wonderful job ! Thank you for making the trip such an enjoyable experience .

Sincerely,
Linda Meiller

September 2019

Hi Dubravka,

Dan and I loved our trip to Croatia. We were hesitant to go with a travel agency at first. We initially wanted to plan everything on our own, but I quickly found out how overwhelming of a task that would be.

I found Secret Dalmatia on a travel blog and was impressed with what I saw. When I contacted the company, Dubravka replied. She did an amazing job planning our trip. We traveled to Dubrovnik, Brac, and Split. We also had a day Island hoping - stopping in other popular spots like Hvar. Dubravka was flexible with our budget and thorough in understanding what we wanted to experience. She did a great job suggesting things that I would have never thought of doing - like a wine tour - and provided us with a list restaurants and places to see in each city we visited. I was impressed with her organization and interest in how we were doing. She checked in with us when we got to Croatia and was readily available to contact during our entire trip. Even helping us plan a last minute trip to Krka.

We loved all the tours she booked us - each one uniquely enjoyable. All of our guides, skippers, and drivers were so friendly and fun to talk with. It made our trip even more special.

Croatia is the whole package. Beautiful scenery, amazing food, and such friendly down to earth people. I will definitely work Dubravka again and would recommend her to anyone planning a trip to Croatia!

Best
Anna

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Ron Smith Group, USA
Discover Dalmatia, Private program

September 2019

Dear Ivana:

My friends and I had a wonderful time in Croatia. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we had. It really was a trip of a lifetime for us.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you as we planned this trip together. Every detail was planned and executed to perfection. Not one fumble from the day we arrived at the Dubrovnik airport until the day we departed from the Split airport. The logistical challenge was formidable and yet you and your colleagues pulled it off without a hitch. Our travel group of ten people with various and diverse needs and interests is not an easy task to manage. Every one of us was thoroughly impressed and satisfied with the level and quality of service provided by the Secret Dalmatia Team of professionals.

I hope I don’t forget any of the great people who helped make our trip so memorable but they all know how important they were to our experience. Our special thanks to:

Our chauffeurs:

Marco and Mario in Dubrovnik and Peljesac

Anton on Hvar

Robert on Solta and in Split

Our yacht crew:

Ivan and Beppo (so capable, professional and very personable)

Our tour guides:

Maris in Dubrovnik

Lori on the Island of Hvar

Dom on the Island of Solta

Our Activity Hosts:

Mario Bartulovic and his lovely family on the Peljesac Peninsula (wine tour and delicious lunch)

Ivo Dubokovic wine tasting on Hvar near Stari Grad

Matte and his wife Michaela at their Kanoba on Hvar (could have been the most outstanding meal we had in Croatia. Unbelievable food and hospitality in an idyllic countryside setting)

Chef Tatjana and her husband Kaja (This is an activity not to be missed. Tatjana has so much energy and love for her cooking class and her students. Everyone was involved in the preparation of the meal . We met as strangers but left their home as friends!)

Goran Tvrdic and his wife Natasha on Solta (Another activity not to be missed. Goran is so knowledgeable as a beekeeper and their hospitality was extraordinary. What a wonderful educational experience and a very enjoyable day with the Tvrdics.)

I would unreservedly recommend Secret Dalmatia to everyone considering a trip to the region. I felt entirely comfortable during the entire planning process with Ivana and Secret Dalmatia. There was never a reason to doubt my decision to engage your company. Long distance communication was never an issue and your responsiveness to my many questions and queries was reassuring. Upon our arrival in Croatia, your attentiveness and follow through continued until our departure from Split. I am amazed!

Warmest regards,

Ron Smith - USA

Eileen Kawas, USA
Discover Croatia, Private program

September 2019

So here are some specifics on my trip:

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Croatia and hope to return again next year.

Istrian Peninsula
Loved the seaside villages and medieval mountaintop villages: Rovinj was delightful, Motovun and Groznjan very special. I could have skipped Pula, there wasn't enough there to capture my attention.
The truffle hunt was a treat, Visnja made it a very complete experience: historical background, hunting with the dogs, delicious food prepared with the truffle we found.
Dinner at Puntulina was a slight disappointment, I thought they were a victim of their own success. Ivan, my driver, suggested Konoba Jure, he knows Jure, who spoiled me with several very nice dishes, very fresh and a friendly atmosphere. I was happy.
Rossana was very pleasant and informative, she's eager to please.
Monte Mulini was a great choice: extremely comfortable and well located. Consistent service.

Plitvice Lakes
Mario is passionate about Plitvice and appreciates anyone that shows similar interest. Starting early in the morning was the right decision, I didn't feel overwhelmed with people, we did both the upper and lower lakes.
Toni was a good choice, more than a driver, he is also a very knowledgeable guide. I appreciated his directness and honesty, it worked for me.

Zadar
Nice transition point. Low key. Hotel Bastion was very comfortable and centrally located.
Ivana was extremely knowledgeable and filled with self confidence; she would be great with educators and well educated audiences.
Lunch at Pet Bunara and dinner next door at Proto. Both excellent choices.

Krka Waterfalls/Sibenik
Convenient that I saw a lot in under two hours. Tina was a treat, wonderful personality who understands her audience.
Lunch at Pelegrini was so special, I don't think I need to say more. Everything I could have imagined and more.

Split
Crowded and hot, I enjoyed the early morning hours and late evening without the people. Very much enjoyed the tour of Diocletian's Palace, especially the cellars. Tina was informative, but a bit too much of the "schoolteacher".
Hotel Judita Palace was another great choice, perfect location. Andrea (?) at the front desk took very good care of me, he's quite the character.
Dinner at Makarun was very nice, as was Chops Grill.

Trogir & Tatjana
Love, Laughter and Good Food! Very fun experience with Tatjana. Throughly enjoyed our conversations while she whipped up enough food for the entire neighborhood! Very special lady.

Ivona & the Melody
What can I say, it was the highlight of my holiday, so very special. Ivona is one of a kind, a beautiful person inside and out, an excellent sailor. I trusted her completely, and felt safe at all times, even as we motored through 5 1/2 hours of rain. She understood me and took me to locations that met my needs: quiet bays and less touristy islands. Her dinner recommendations were spot on, she made sure I enjoyed my week. Ivona--unique and a treasure. My dreams came true on the Melody.

Dubrovnik
After a week of solitude on a sailboat, it was pure culture shock. Crowded and hot, the old town was nice to see, but more so in the early morning. Again, the Hotel Excelsior was perfectly located, I was pleased with the accommodations.
I enjoyed my time with Vesna, she didn't push it, oriented me to old town, showed me the highlights.
I dined twice at Posat, it was perfect--food, service, location.

Mario/Peljesac Peninsula
I just want to make sure you understand my feelings about the day. I think the day is well designed and the tour a great experience. I appreciate everything Mario did to make sure I enjoyed myself. I know this was a lot of work for him, especially the day before harvest. I enjoyed going to his home and the delicious food prepared for me. Mario is extremely knowledgeable.
Having said this, I did not enjoy myself as I had on previous other tours; I felt like I was a "captive audience" for Mario, it was a 6 hour monologue with nowhere to turn. I needed more space. Perhaps it was because I was a solo traveler, perhaps sitting in the front seat with him did not provide the distance I needed. Whatever the underlying cause, it was not my best experience.

Mostar
Very interesting country and history, but not sure it was worth 6 hours in a car thru not so interesting countryside. And definitely not worth it had it rained. Vedran was a good choice to drive, he respected my space and my needs. Selmir (?) was a good guide, I liked his sense of humor. He made sure to integrate a "lesson" on the horrors of the war, he's trying to educate the world, one visitor at a time.

Montenegro
Amazing how the landscape changed so dramatically as we crossed the border. I so enjoyed Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks, even in the rain. Katarina weaved a lovely story of the maritime history with the modern day lifestyle and culture.
Kotor, while beautiful country, the landscape was spoiled by the cruise ship docked at the port. Old Town was nice but did not hold much interest for me.

Mariana, I had a fabulous holiday, I can't thank you enough for all you did. Nothing short of remarkable. I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.

Thanks again..
Eileen

Karen and Chris Hughes, USA
Best Food and Wines of Croatia

August 2019

Mariana,
We want to thank you again for your professionalism in booking our trip as well as your day to day monitoring of your travels. Our favorite location has to be Brac and the Hotel Lemongardern. What a beautiful and serine island retreat. Followed by our Hotel in Split.
We found the itinerary to be full but with plenty of down time to just enjoy the sites however what truly made the trip exceptional were the local drivers and guides that were provided by Secret Dalmatia. Everyone did an excellent job of providing a wonderful experience and helped us to understand the areas as well as their personal history of the area. Marco was our favorite. I would be pleased to recommend you to anyone looking for guidance in a Croatian holiday .

Karen Hughes

Joan and Jenae Druckman, USA
Explore Dalmatia, Private program

September 2019

Hi Ivana,
We made it home safe and sound! We had a great trip and I'm already dreaming of a return visit with my husband. I know he would love it there. Thank you for all your help, especially with the last minute changes. The tours and drivers were excellent.
Best regards,
Joan
P.S. When I get over the jet lag, I'll send a few pictures!