Jewish Heritage Travel in Croatia
GUIDE TO ABUNDANT JEWISH HISTORY IN CROATIA
Jewish heritage in Croatia is not as abundant like in other European countries that used to have much bigger Jewish communities. Croatia, and Balkans in general, were destinations for Sephardic Jews when they were expelled from Spain. Those people stayed mostly on the coast and moved inland in the Turkish part of the Balkans as Turkey was far more tolerant towards Jews and other religions then the Catholic Europe.
Small communities were started in Split and Dubrovnik but in other towns as well. Those were primary merchant towns and Jewish people had a great opportunity to start their own businesses.
Besides Croatia, Bosnia had a very interesting Jewish history. Unfortunately, Nazis and their allies back in WW2 murdered most of the Jews from former Yugoslavia in the most brutal way. The remaining communities further shrunk during the wars of the 90s.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Jewish Heritage Travel in Croatia
Best Jewish Travel Destinations in Croatia and the Balkans
Jewish Travel in Croatia Itinerary for Families
Multi Generation Jewish Family Travel in Croatia
Croatia Jewish Travel Package(s)
Croatia Jewish Travel Day Trips
Best Hotels in Croatia for Jewish Travel in the Balkans
Family Travel Ideas for Jewish Travel in Croatia
Luxury Jewish Travel in Croatia and the Balkans
Unique Jewish sites in Croatia and the Balkans
Combine Croatia and Bosnia for Jewish interest travel
Sarajevo Haggadah for Jewish Travelers
Jewish Travel Itinerary for Families
Jewish travelers often travel with their families and, while not always traveling primarily for Jewish interests, they always like to include them in their itineraries. When traveling with their families. Combination usually includes simple synagogue visits and/ or Jewish history focused walking tours while in Croatia.
Arrival to Zagreb
Private transfer from Zagreb Airport to one of the Croatia’s most iconic hotels located in the very heart of Zagreb, Hotel Esplanade is perfectly located for exploring the treasures of this truly central European city! From its historic Upper Town to the bustling main square of Ban Jelačić and trams on Ilica street, rest assured Zagreb will enchant you.
Jewish heritage tour of Zagreb
Your guide will meet you at your hotel for a walking tour of Zagreb. Explore the Jewish sites and the site of a synagogue destroyed in 1941. Learn of the great influence Jews had on the modern-day Croatia, but also on the tragic destiny of many in the WWII. After your walking tour, enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Magic of Plitvice Lakes National Park
Continue your journey south but first stop by one of Europe’s most stunning natural wonders. Plitvice Lakes leave no one indifferent; the mesmerizing beauty of 16 turquoise lakes combined with hundreds of waterfalls is a unique natural spectacle. Reach the largest city in Dalmatia, Split, in the afternoon hours.
Jewish community of Split
The morning is reserved for enjoying a very special walking tour of Split. Visit all the important sights of the Diocletian’s Palace, but also learn about the abundant Jewish heritage of Split. Meet members of the local Jewish community and visit the ancient Jewish cemetery on Marjan Hill. After your tour, enjoy a relaxed afternoon exploring Split.
Salona & Trogir
Learn more on the history of the region by visiting two important historic sites just a short drive away from Split. Salona, the capital of the historical Roman province of Dalmatia and another UNESCO-listed jewel, the town of Trogir makes a great day trip for history and culture lovers! Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
Dubrovnik Old Town
Morning departure south, to the timeless Dubrovnik. After checking in to your hotel, your guide will meet you for an afternoon Jewish tour of Dubrovnik and a visit to the second oldest Synagogue in Europe still operating. Your guide, a member of Jewish community, will give you a great insight into classic and modern-day life in Dubrovnik.
This special journey continues by visiting the beautiful Boka Bay and the historical church of Our Lady of the Rocks built on an artificial island made up of rocks thrown to the site by sailors! The stunning UNESCO gem of Kotor is a place of very special beauty. Return to Dubrovnik late in the afternoon.
Silk making presentation
Dubrovnik area still preserves many treasures. It is all about passionate and very special individuals dedicated to holding onto the traditions of the past. One of such traditions is an ancient tradition of silk making which, combined with the beauty of Konavle region, makes for a very special experience. Enjoy your last evening in Dubrovnik at leisure.
It is time to head inland to the mystical hillside of Hercegovina and the endless mountains of Bosnia. But your first stop is in the very special town of Mostar, the town known for its UNESCO-listed Old Bridge, a masterpiece of classic Turkish architecture connecting the Catholic and the Muslim part of the town. Arrival to Sarajevo is planned in late afternoon.
Jewish History of Sarajevo
Sarajevo is a unique place in Europe. Often called the Jerusalem of Europe, it is a meeting place of Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, Islam and Judaism for many centuries now. The walking tour provides insight into many cultural and historical aspects of this beautiful city, but also the most recent war and post-war period.
PROGRAM IN BRIEF
Diocletian’s Palace in Split
Jewish community in Split
Dubrovnik Old Town
Synagogue in Dubrovnik
Private transfers throughout
Entrance tickets to all attractions
Expert English-speaking local guides
Jewish heritage guides where possible
Tastings and meals per itinerary
24/7 phone support
VIEW OUR ITINERARY
Multi Generation Jewish Family Travel
Same as regular families, multi generation families also tend to include some Jewish interests with their itineraries. If the entire family is not for visit synagogues, then we usually split the group in two smaller groups depending on their interest and preferences. All our Jewish walking tours are informative and adjusted for all ages so we always recommend entire families to take them as it is important to be aware of the Jewish history and the accomplishments. Especially in Split.
Jewish Travel Day Trips in Croatia
Many of our travelers, when doing shore excursions, are interested in private day tours as well. Jewish interest day tours are offered in Split and Dubrovnik with general interest Jewish tours, visits to the synagogue and can include more of local history as well. The addition in Split is usually a short walk (with quite a few steps!) to the important Jewish cemetery on Marijan hill overlooking the city. If you don’t have any mobility issues, we strongly recommend including this walk with your Jewish Tour of Split.
Family Travel Ideas
All families have various interests, so, for travel ideas for Jewish travel in Croatia, we recommend filling out our trip request form so we can tailor a perfect trip based on their interests, duration of stay and budget. In terms of preferences, we can accommodate all sorts of requests apart from a kosher diet.
If you want to experience Croatian Adriatic the right way, chartering the yacht will be the best way and you can include Jewish sites in Split and Dubrovnik. Besides Bosnia, during your Jewish interest trip in the Balkans, you can consider visiting Montenegro despite the lack of Jewish sites. It is a very special country with fantastic historical sites.
Unique Jewish sites in Croatia and the Balkans
While there are numerous synagogues in Slavonia, almost all of them have been turned into something different like music school in Sisak. The holocaust was terribe in Croatia with Ustashe – Croatian nazis – being extremely brutal to all minorities. Among other sites is also a monument to the concentration camp of Jasenovac by Sava river.There is a grave to one of the most famous local rabbis in Stolac , Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then, visiting Sarajevo Haggadah is a must while in Sarajevo. Also, “Fiddler on the Roof” was shot near Zagreb back in 1971.
Sarajevo Haggadah is a very special treat when visiting the Balkans! The Sarajevo Haggadah is an unique illuminated manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah which accompanies the Passover Seder. It is one of the oldest Sephardic Haggadahs in the world, originating in Barcelona around 1350. The Haggadah is owned by the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. Its monetary value is undetermined, but a museum in Spain required that it be insured for $7 million before it could be transported to an exhibition there in 1992.
The synagogue of Split is one of the oldest European synagogues still in its original use. It was established in the 16th century in the, at the time, a Jewish ghetto and it was formed of two floors of adjacent medieval houses.
The current interior was formed around 1728. The most sacred part, the Aron Hakodesh, is facing Jerusalem and it is of classicist style made of black and white marble. It It is built into the western wall of the Diocletian’s Palace, a 4th century palace of a Roman emperor Dicoletian!
Perfect for a multi-generational travel, no matter if you are chartering a yacht or staying firmly on land, Croatia has a lot to offer to family members of all ages! Contact us to design a trip all members of your family will love and remember.
BEFORE YOU GO
This itinerary was designed for those couples who love spending quality time together in nature, on water, and strolling through charming old towns. The activities are paired with splendid food and wine tastings for an ultimate experience. Enjoy the most memorable journey, from Zagreb and along the Dalmatian coast, visiting cities and places that will invigorate your romance. Contact us and together we will create the most romantic getaway based on your own preferences.
When to Travel
Visit from May to mid-October to get the most out of your trip. This itinerary features various outdoor and on-water activities so spring and summer would be the perfect months to come and enjoy it at its best. Although this trip is doable year-round, some activities may not be available during winter, and some hotels and restaurants closed. However, this may all be adjusted to your preferences, and you may combine or add other available activities to your program.
50% deposit payment is due upon booking of this program. After we have received the payment, you will be sent an official confirmation to your mail. Balance payment is due one month prior to arrival. We accept wire transfer and major credit cards through our secure payment gateway (Visa, Amex, Mastercard). In case of significant changes after finalizing the trip, there will be a 250€ surcharge. For more information on Payments, visit our Terms and Conditions page.
Secret Dalmatia’s team of travel designers is dedicated to creating custom-made itineraries that perfectly suit your clients’ interests. Providing exclusive experiences with our close-knit network of fascinating locals, experienced chauffeurs, and skippers, we aspire to provide unforgettable journeys in Croatia, and beyond. We remain at your clients’ disposal 24/7 over phone as your company representative, securing your relationship with your clients and making sure they are taken care of at all times.