The years of discovering unique sites in Croatia both through our work and through our personal curiosity lie at the backbone of this itinerary, intended to portray the vast history and underground riches of our beautiful country. However, the final touch should be yours and just like all others, this route can be modified to suit your schedules and personal interests.
Start your Croatian exploration in Croatia’s largest city, Zagreb. Having settled in the exclusive Hotel Esplanade, which once hosted guests of the Orient Express, enjoy a private afternoon tour introducing you to Zagreb’s intriguing history. Established in the Middle Ages, the capital is still far younger than the site of Krapina Neanderthals, our great ancestors who lived over 125.000 years ago. You will encounter their culture in the in-situ museum in Krapina on your second day, after spending the morning exploring Zagreb’s Archaeological museum with a professional guide.
Then head down to Istria. Over the two days in Croatia’s largest peninsula, you will get well acquainted with its impressive Roman heritage, from exploring the town of Poreč which still retains its original Roman street disposition to visiting the famed Roman Amphitheatre and Sergi Triumphal Arch in Pula. Brijuni Archipelago National Park, just off the shores of Istria, is nowadays best known as the former Yugoslav President Tito’s private paradise, but this is an important archaeological site as well, hosting remains of a Roman Villa Rustica, as well as Kastrum, a site continually inhabited from Roman to Venetian times.
As you start your journey down the Dalmatian coast, get ready to discover some less known, but nonetheless valuable historical sites. Start your day in Zadar with a guided tour of a fascinating exhibition of sacral arts and then head out to find the lost Roman cities of Burnum (military complex), Varvaria and Asseria. As you travel to Split the next day, enjoy two interesting stops: first to visit an ongoing archaeological site of the sunken village of Tukljaca, and then to visit a han, an Oriental mansion which is the largest monument of Turkish heritage in Croatia, erected by a non-Turkish man from Vrana.
The region of Split brings Roman heritage at its best: UNESCO listed Diocletian’s Palace, the town of Salona - the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, plus a unique adventure of exploring an underground section of Diocletian’s aqueduct accompanied by a speleologist. The last highlight of Split region, the island of Brač, was settled already in the Bronze Age.
After Brač, travel to your final destination on the far south of Croatia. Half way, stop at the site of Narona, former part of the Roman province of Dalmatia to visit the Augusteum, a Roman temple with 17 preserved marble statues. As you finally arrive to Dubrovnik, enjoy its fantastically preserved, UNESCO listed Old Town and possibly a cruise around the Elaphite islands, before departing from Dubrovnik International Airport on day 12 of your journey.
As you fly out, keep in mind that this was a mere introduction to the vast archaeological heritage in Croatia and contact us for your second go!
After you arrive, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, a private guided walking tour introduces you to Croatia's largest city, founded in the Middle Ages. Enjoy the treasures and stories of the nation's capital before ending the day with a welcome dinner.
Neanderthal Museum in Krapina
Start the day with a morning tour of the Archeological Museum in Zagreb, followed by a trip to Krapina, one of the most important habitats of Homo neanderthalensis. The museum of the Neanderthal people is one of the most fascinating museums in the region! Last night in Zagreb.
UNESCO listed Euphrasian Basilica
Private transfer to Poreč in morning hours. Check in to Hotel Mauro in the historic quarters and enjoy Poreč before meeting your guide in the afternoon. Your tour will present the entire complex of Euphrasian Basilica, and many more great artifacts.
The Arena of Pula and Brijuni NP
Morning departure to Pula to explore several Roman monuments. Arena is the highlight for many, but the Temple of Augustus and the Arch of the Sergii are equally important! Pula was the main harbor of K.u.K. Kriegsmarine and still echoes that unique charm. The next stop is the very unique Brijuni National Park with treasures from almost all eras!
Morning departure to Zadar. This 3000-years-old town was the capital of the region for over 1100 years and, despite terrible devastation in WWII, still holds numerous fascinating treasures. Afternoon walking tour will explore many of them: from St. Donatus church to the unique museum of Antique Glass and collection of religious art.
Lost Roman cities
This unique, and Secret Dalmatia exclusive tour, takes you off the beaten path to the megalithic walls of Asseria, layers of the past at Varvaria (Bribirska glavica) and the recently excavated military arena of Burnum. A day of discovery in every sense!
Underwater archaeological site
Morning departure to one of the most interesting, recently uncovered sites: an underwater settlement proved to be 3500 years old, but still of mysterious origin. The initial funding for the research was provided by us and we will continue supporting it in the future! Afternoon arrival to Split.
Historic heritage of Split and Salona
The morning is reserved for a walking tour of Split's Diocletian's Palace, continuing with a tour of the former Roman capital of the region. Ruins of Salona are still impressive and visiting both sites in one day makes the history come together seamlessly. Afternoon at leisure.
Blaca Monastery and ancient churches
You will take the morning ferry to Brač island for a hike to the hidden Blaca Monastery. Afterward, return to the main roads to explore the vast heritage and many treasures of ancient churches, abandoned quarries and historic towns. Late afternoon return to Split.
As you head south, Neretva valley discloses the trails Romans used for their conquest of Bosnian mountains. The small hamlet of Vid was once the important Narona and the in situ museum of Vid holds one of world's best preserved collections of Imperial statues! Afternoon arrival to Dubrovnik.
Treasures of Dubrovnik
An easy and beautiful finish of your journey: Dubrovnik. With your private guide, discover the history of its Old Town and the historic walls and get a few peaks behind closed doors on this very special tour. Afternoon at leisure to explore on your own.
Private transfer to Dubrovnik International Airport and many more treasures and secrets to return to.
As you discover the intricate layers of the Croatian past, continue the discourse discovering the histories of these chosen hotels. From Bastion in Zadar, built upon the foundations of a 13th century fortress to former nobleman’s palace Pucić in Dubrovnik, these hotels adorn your stay with bits of living history.
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 Mauro 4*, Poreč
Overlooking the island of St. Nicholas, Hotel Mauro 4* sits on the waterfront of Poreč Old Town, 30 meters from the famous Euphrasian Basilica. The building was once merchant’s palace, but was restored to meet all the expectations of guests with a refined taste. First-rate comfort, discrete luxury, attentive staff and a choice of services make staying here a pleasant experience.
Hotel Bastion 4*, Zadar
Built on the remains of the 13th century medieval fortress “Kaštela”, this unique boutique-hotel sits in Zadar’s historic core, minutes away from contemporary Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. Comprising 28 luxuriously equipped rooms, an assortment of gastronomic delicacies, a wellness center and a videoconference room which turns business into pleasure, Bastion charms with a world-class feel of its intimate atmosphere.
Hotel Judita Palace 4*, Split
Judita Palace Hotel is a place for lovers of culture: the facades of this extensive four-story building display the fundamental historical and cultural periods of medieval and modern Split. But Judita is not only a building, it is a boutique hotel of the finest service and most welcoming staff. It's unbeatable, central location on Split's main square makes it ideal for exploring Split's historic quarters!
Pucic Palace 5*, Dubrovnik
The Pucić Palace luxury hotel in Dubrovnik Old Town overlooks the Gundulić square, a picturesque space which serves as a quaint market in the morning and the setting for tasty alfresco dining in the evening. This 17th century Baroque palace comprises 17 luxury rooms, 2 suites and 2 restaurants, one on the beautiful Gundulić square and another in a private terrace with a chapel.