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.

Christine Taylor & Douglas Buchanan, Canada
Explore Croatia, Private program

September 2016

Dear Vlasta

Doug and I are home and trying to adjust to the jet lag! We both wanted to thank you and Secret Dalmatia for putting together an absolutely perfect trip for our 30th anniversary. We loved Croatia- it is a beautiful country with wonderful people . We travel extensively and I usually organize all trip details but in this case we are very happy that we let you organize it for us. I think we saw and experienced things that I would not have been able to organize on my own. All of the hotels, tour guides, drivers and skippers were wonderful. The tours and experiences you organized for us were excellent. Although we were quite busy with activities each day it still felt relaxing as everything was so well organized- we just had to show up! Finishing the trip off at the beautiful Villa Dubrovnik was definitely a highlight. This has definitely been our favourite trip to date and we are already planning on returning to Croatia. We have also recommended Croatia and Secret Dalmatia to our friends.

Thank you again for helping make this anniversary trip so special

Sincerely

Christine Taylor

September 2016

Hi Mariana,

Thank you so much for the follow-up! We loved our trip and I am happy to provide feedback!

Overall, we were completely thrilled. We loved that everyone had a cold bottle of water waiting for us and were very engaging. Our favorite guide was Ivan with our wine tour in Hvar. We loved the whole experience, although, at the first winery, there was a Polish reality tv show being filmed, so we weren't able to talk much because they kept asking us to be quiet. Ivan did a great job of working around it and making the best of the situation. Our favorite meal of the entire trip was at the abandoned village. The food and people were fantastic.

We also really loved our skippers for the boat transfer to Hvar. The whole day could have been a disaster because of the weather, but you made it so easy for us with the private driver and the change in pick up location and I think that overall, this was a perfect example of why it was a great choice to work with you. I can't imagine trying to make those changes on our own.

Thank you again and we have been recommending you to everyone! We met a couple from Houston, TX named Michael and Stephanie Hamilton and we believe they will be reaching out to you in the next year or two.

It was a great experience!

Jenna

Francine Trull & Barbara Dixon, USA
Discover Croatia, Private program

September 2016

Mirna-

Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Very hectic after being out of town for 2 weeks . You and your Secret Dalmatia team were terrific and we’re very pleased we chose to use your services for our first trip to Croatia. The trip was seamless as guides and drivers were all at designated locations at the correct times. We had some exceptional guides, especially Nada in Pula, Nives in Rovinj and Vesna in Dubrovnik. All were articulate and provided exceptional descriptions of the history, the buildings and the local surroundings.

Igor, our driver a couple of times, including between Zagreb and Rovinj, was also a stand-out. All the drivers were very good except for the man who drove us to Motovun. His style of driving – constant pumping up and down on the gas pedal – made me carsick. I’m sure other passengers have experienced similar problems.

The stand-out hotels were The Esplanade and Monte Mulini (our favorite). We would not recommend Villa Nora, although the innkeepers were very nice and helpful. Hotel Vestibul is in a great location with an exceptionally helpful staff, but the rooms were substandard.

We also loved our lunch with Tatiana and the dinner in the abandoned village.

If we had one complaint about our trip it would be the restaurants. Some were quite good, but others were very disappointing. However, despite the food, we appreciated both the beauty of Croatia and the kindness and warmth of the people.

Mirna, you did a great job for us and we both thank you. I will be reviewing Secret Dalmatia on TripAdvisor along with some of the hotels and restaurants in the coming days.

Thanks so much,

Frankie

Mawson, Drouet Family, USA
Family Tour of Croatia, Private program

August 2016

Dear Mirna

I know it has been a few weeks since our return but finally I have some time to sit down and write to you! I have thought about our trip alot and have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed it. I have included some more detailed information for you and if you want to clarify anything with me please let me know.

Firstly I would like to give you some feedback about the organisation of Secret Dalmatia. We love to travel and try new things and with your help our itinerary was varied, fun and interesting. We could never have done this on our own!! Mirna you made organising the trip seem easy although I know it wasn't and we really appreciated your flexibility and advice on where to go and what trips to take. Also really tailoring things for us and making it so personal. You were easy to contact before the trip and I know that you were in touch with each of our guides every day. We also found the activities to be really well paced. At first I thought we were going to be really rushed but the only late night/early start was after Krka and then to Solta. It was also a good mix of lazy (boat days) and other activities.
We also really appreciated your help to get us an extra Epipen. Your personal service was excellent!

TOURS:

KrKa
Very pretty and good to go in the evening. Still super busy but I am not sure how you avoid this in August. Nevis was very knowledgeable and it was good to have this as our 'introductory' tour. Despite the end of the evening, dinner was amazing and the staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful.
A big thank you to Nevis and our driver for looking after us so well and not panicking in a crisis!

Olive Oil and Honey Tour
Dom was a great guide, interesting and friendly. We would be interested in finding out some details about the other more 'outdoorsy' adventures he does with you.
Philippe and I really enjoyed the olive oil tour and personally learnt a great deal. The girls didn't find it as interesting, perhaps this is something more for adults?
However they LOVED the honey tour. Goran made the whole visit so fun and informative. We talk about it most days as we eat our honey. The lunch at their place was lovely. Goran and his wife were so lovely when Gen fell asleep on their sofa. This is a must trip for families with children!

Whilst we were with Dom I know he took many photos. He told us he would create an account where we could view them and give you the details. Do you have that information?

Boat trip with Jacob
One of our favourite days. We let Jacob advise us on route and visits. Great sightseeing, lovely boat, delicious lunch, super Captain

Tour of Hvar and Dinner
We really apprciated seeing a little bit more of the Island of Hvar and liked the short hike to the peak. The tour was just the right amount of time. Dinner at the deserted village was so great. Simple but delicious and so very different. We would highly recommend this

Sailing trip with Eddie
Again another lovely Captain. We know he was disappointed about the wind but we still had a lovely day. Perhaps our favorite lunch in Croatia was on this trip at the Dionis restuarant.

Transfer Day and Dubrovnik Tour
Our driver was very friendly and knowledgeable about Croatia, very easy trip from Hvar to Dubrovnik. Loved stopping for Lunch in Ston
The tour in the evening was informative for Philippe and I but I think was a little too adult for the girls. It was good to go later in the day when it was quieter but it felt a little rushed as we also needed to fit in dinner. I know our days were full with boat trips but an early morning tour might be a good idea.

Boat tour from Dubrovnik
Again another lovely boat day ( we really liked these!) Good swimming and nice lunch. Of the three boat trips this had the least impressive beaches and sceneery but was still very nice.

Kayak Trip
Wonderful day. Sandy was excellent with Gen and Annie. It was great to have our own guide as we could really go at our pace (good with little ones!) Sandy was very patient and I think we were out for much longer than he anticipated! The Island of Lokrum was lovely, it would have been nice to have a little more time to explore but we had already had a full day. We felt very safe kayaking with the girls with Sandy and everyone really enjoyed the day. Not one complaint about the effort needed!

HOTELS:

Judita Palace
Excellent hotel and service, the family room was perfect for us. Andreas was so helpful and friendly, his personal service and jokes made us really feel at home. Our favourite hotel

Adriana
Great location, friendly staff, very delicious breakfast!

BelleVue
Another lovely hotel, very helpful staff.

What more can I say? We had a wonderful trip and I would thoroughly recommend your company. If you want to use us as a refernce for anyone I would be happy to help out.

Keep well Mirna

Best wishes
Joanne

Weinstein group, USA
Croatia and Slovenia Discover, Private program

August 2016

Hi Dubravka,

As promised, I'm following up with the feedback.

The trip was very well organized. Thank you for keeping in touch with us and tracking everything. All hotels were well chosen. I don't regret insisting on our downgrade at Plitvice Lakes as proximity for the park enabled us to visit it twice - in the afternoon upon arrival and the following morning before departure. And, thanks to Secret Dalmatia, I think I left a part of my soul at Heritage Villa Apolon on Hvar - feel free to check my review on TripAdvisor, which I posted on September 4 (trying to be productive on a ferry Hvar - Korcula and taking advantage of free wifi). What an amazing place, I want to go back already!

The itinerary moved exactly on schedule and all drivers and tour guides were friendly and professional. Our favorite has to be Linda in Split: not only was she a wealth of information on history, culture and architecture, but she also recommended a terrific restaurant in town as well as what turned to be one of our culinary highlights - peka. We learned that we needed to make reservations in advance and managed to do this in Korcula at Konoba Ranch Maha, which was an overall fantastic experience in agrotourism. Perhaps, you can add it to the recommendations for foodies visiting the island.

We are really happy to have worked with Secret Dalmatia. Your firm's special touches - from an unforgettable lunch prepared by Tatjana in Trogir at her historic house to another unforgettable lunch in Malo Grablje on Hvar - contributed to enriching us - figuratively and literally - with local flavors and deeper understanding of the country.

The only addition to the itinerary I could recommend is combining a trip to Bled with a visit to Postojna Cave, making it an intense full day of memorable sightseeing. We haven't done it this time and there's so much more to see in Croatia, so I'm sure we'll be back at some point.

Once again, thank you and Secret Dalmatia for creating indelible memories for us! I'd be glad to refer anyone to your firm.

Best Regards,
Marina

Susannah i Robert, USA
Private Tour of Dalmatian Coast

August 2016

Dear Natasa,

Thank you again for creating such a memorable, pleasant experience for us. You made it so easy for us, as foreigners with limited knowledge of Croatia, to navigate our journey. What is more, you did an excellent job of setting us up with first-class contacts and guides to lead the way.

Not only do we feel we have experienced all the great joys of the Croatian coast, but also that we have learned a great deal about the nation and its compelling history. Our guides were passionate and informative, but also enthusiastic and friendly. They often tailored our tours to complement our mood and tastes, and introduced us to unique experiences.

Moreover, I can't express how much your responsiveness before, during, and after our trip made us feel comfortable that we were in good hands. As avid travelers, we know how rare it is to have exceptional travel support, and applaud your ability to truly create a seamless, enjoyable experience.

We have only wonderful memories from our trip, and we have you to thank! We will certainly be sharing Secret Dalmatia's information with our friends and family so they can also have wonderful experiences in Croatia!

All the Best,
Susie & Rob

Carter Meader & Daniel Sox, USA
Honeymoon in Croatia, Private itinerary

July 2016

Natasa,

I just wanted to let you know that our honeymoon in Croatia was absolutely perfect!!! We had the best time and all because of the amazing planning you did for us. Thank you so much for all of your help both before and during the trip. It was a dream come true!!

We can't wait to come back to Croatia again and we'll be sure to recommend your company to all of our friends. I'll also head over to Yelp and TripAdvisor to leave a review. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help spread the word.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Carter

Fritz & Oliver families, USA
Discover Croatia, Private Itinerary

July, August 2016

Mirna,
Thank you for the pictures.

I know Brooke wrote to you about our trip. I just wanted to add that you did a spectacular job. Everyone who helped us was wonderful. Several were outstanding. We had an unforgettable trip and Bill and I would be more than happy to serve as references for your company if you were ever to need any. We will certainly let our friends know what a wonderful job you did for us. Thank you for a very special trip.

Sincerely, Donna Oliver

Michael and Judy Mael, USA
Balkan Tour - Private itinerary

July 2016

Dear Dubravka,

Thank you again for your help in creating a memorable trip for us to Croatia. Here are some thoughts that may be useful to you and future travelers.

First, we are grateful for your advice and care along the way. After the initial proposal, I think you had a sense as to what we were looking for and put together a program that fit us well. Moreover, I am guessing you have many guides that you use and you chose well with the ones you had for us.

In addition, should you ever have the occasion to need a reference for future clients, please feel free to use us. We are happy to tell them of our outstanding experience with you and Secret Dalmatia.

Itinerary
We were happy with the overall plan and the stops along the way. We had discussions about what we would have done if we had one day more or less and what we would have changed. In looking back, we would have liked to have one additional day in Split. Perhaps we could have done with one fewer in Dubrovnik though we enjoyed our last day there with no plans.

We tried to have a balance of days with activities and days without plans. For us, having no formal plans on Korcula and Hvar worked out best.

In terms of the tours, the only change we would have made was to skip the stop in Kastela – interesting but we would have rather had more time in Trogir and especially Split at the end of the day. I suspect if we had started in Split that morning we would have skipped it along the way. It would have been nice to stop in Pazin but, given the long day, we were happy to skip it.

Hotels
Overall, we were quite happy with the hotels. I know you had proposed some different options, particularly in Dubrovnik and Korcula. But, we were happy not to stay in the hotels inside the old city, the Marmont being the exception.

Bellevue – was outstanding. For us, it was the perfect location – on the water and close enough to walk to the old city. Staff was terrific.

Liburna – not ideal but not as bad as it seemed. The location was perfect for us. Again, it was on the water and close enough to walk to the old city. Staff tried to be helpful and responsive. The facility was OK – the big issue was our room. While spacious, given the location of the room and lack of view (we really didn’t face anything and certainly not the sea), it was just too hot. Not the quality of the other places we stayed but adequate for our needs.

Appolon – outstanding in every way. You knew quickly that we were not Hvar Town people and we loved Star Grad. Can’t say enough good things about them.

Marmont – also outstanding. For us, the perfect location, very comfortable and wonderful staff. Very happy here.

Remisens – I somehow feel that if you go to Opatija you need to stay at the grand hotel in the center. Remisens certainly fits that bill. Room was very comfortable with a wonderful view and the hotel was well located. We liked being in the center of town given the relatively little time we were actually there. They play live music under the window until 11:00 pm but it wasn’t an issue.

For people going on to other places, we were also quite happy with the hotels in Trieste and Ljubljana. Both were large, classic hotels but both very comfortable and well located. We were quite happy with each.

Drivers
Overall, all the drivers were excellent drivers.

Drujzan (spelling ?) sets the gold standard. He was a wonderful driver, excellent company and passionate about the country. We enjoyed our time with him, and he spoiled us.

We spent less time with Philip and the young man who took us to Plitvice, whose name I don’t recall. Both also were terrific. Lyjerka was our driver for two days and did a great job navigating the roads of Istria.

The two contract drivers for Slovenia were excellent drivers but really little more than cab drivers. Both had to be persuaded to help put our luggage in the car, for example. They got the job done but that’s about it.

Guides
Again, our guides were uniformly excellent and we feel like we got to know them with our time together. As they probably told you, we asked a lot of questions often making it a challenge for them to get through their program on time.

Vesna – a wonderful tour of Dubrovnik filled with her personal history of life there during the war. Happy that we had this introduction to the old city – much better than a guide book.

Katya – very good but for us, not of the caliber of the others. She gave us a wonderful introduction to the church of the Lady of the Rocks but our visit to Kotor seemed somewhat rushed and superficial. Perhaps we spent too much time in Perast and had less time to see Kotor but we felt like we really didn’t see much of it.

Nives – as said earlier, probably the best guide we’ve ever had anywhere. Can’t say enough wonderful things about her. She made the places come alive with a mixture of culture and stories. Incredible detail on our stops in Salona and Trogir in the Cathedral and especially in Split in the Palace. We left feeling we really knew the history and the place. Somehow, she also got us in for a brief visit to the Synagogue, something very meaningful for Judy.

Blanca – no better person for the lakes. At one point, she said that you could blindfold her and she could find her way around. We believe it. She gave us a detailed view of the park seeing things (flowers, frogs, snakes) somehow that we would have never thought to look for. Her love of the park comes through.

Ljerka – the perfect guide for us for two days in Istria with an incredible knowledge of the cities, the culture, the history and the backroads. She is certainly quirky and probably not for everyone but for us, she was just right. We enjoyed our time together learning about life in Istrian towns, seeing the ghost towns and getting her personal view. It was unforgettable.

I hope this is helpful to you and future clients.

Thank you again for all your help

Michael and Judy

Phillipe & Nadim, Lebanon
Explore Dalmatia & Montenegro, Private program

July 2016

Dear Vlasta,

Thank you! What a great trip and first class service.

The hotels you selected were excellent, clean and perfectly located. The drivers and representatives were professional, informative and friendly (hats off to Toni, our guide in Korčula, whose vast knowledge of history is only rivalled by his kindness!). Needless to say, all logistics were flawless thanks to your close attention to every detail.

You'll be hearing again from us soon. We're planning on discovering the rest of the Balkans and we couldn't find better than you guys!

Thanks again!

Best,

Philippe