Tastes of Croatia
CROATIA FOR FOODIES
Whether you are a foodie, or a wine connoisseur, traveling to Croatia must already be on your list. This is a perfect opportunity to get a taste, smell, and feel of its wonderful diversity. Head on a unique journey of exploring the cultural subtleties, historical influences, unique terroirs, and local characters that come together in the most splendid food and wine tour of Croatia.
During whole two weeks, indulge in traditional Croatian food and wine; take cooking classes with enthusiastic Croatian chefs, head on a truffle hunt, taste oysters directly from the sea, and get inside vineyards, wineries, and local homes to get a first-hand take on the Croatian wine past and present-day.
Starting in the capital city of Zagreb, the Taste of Croatia itinerary then takes you to the coast, from the country’s largest peninsula of Istria, over the towns of Zadar, Šibenik and Split, all the way to Dubrovnik. Replete with exclusive experiences, fine dining extravaganzas, and authentic local flavors, all coupled with Croatia’s fine wines, this immersive tour promises a savory Croatian vacation.
PROGRAM IN BRIEF
Štrukli & gemišt in Zagreb
Wine-pairing dinner at Meneghetti
Istrian olive oil tasting
Truffle hunt in Istria
Dinner at Pelegrini in Šibenik
Gourmet lunch at Bibich Winery
Cooking class in Trogir
Oyster tasting in Ston
Wine tour in Dubrovnik region
Private transfers throughout
Entrance tickets to all attractions
Tastings and meals per itinerary
24/7 phone support
With its many different regions, landscapes, and soils that nurture many different crops, traditions, and cuisines, Croatia is a true treat for the curious gourmet travelers!
Sharing a unique historic dimension, prime locations, and a refined ambiance, these unique stays add a sprinkle of grandeur to your gourmet travel in Croatia.
Hotel Esplanade 5*, Zagreb
Housed in an elegant and distinguished building, built originally in 1925 and designed to accommodate passengers from the Orient Express, the Hotel Esplanade is known for its impeccable service, high-quality restaurant offer, and luxurious accommodation. Esplanade is one of the finest hotels in the region and has received numerous awards for consistent quality.
Wine Hotel Meneghetti 5*, Bale
Set amidst Merlot vineyards and olive groves in the picturesque Bale village, the beautiful Stancija Meneghetti delivers a fine experience of a traditional Istrian estate coupled with internationally acclaimed wines and divine culinary delicacies. The ultimate Wine & Dine experience is combined with an exceptional service which makes for an unforgettable stay.
Hotel Life Palace 4*, Sibenik
Heritage Hotel Life Palace is perfectly nestled on a small and lively town square. Its name symbolizes everything that this hotel is – a Renaissance town palace, with historical heritage presented through a family hotel where life is happening. The elements of the 15th-century palace Marenci, are perfectly incorporated into an exclusive interior of this city hotel, where each step pays tribute to Šibenik’s glorious history.
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!
Hotel Palace Elisabeth 5*, Hvar
Palace Elisabeth is the first full service 5* heritage hotel situated in the heart of Hvar, overlooking the main square. Only steps away from the city’s most emblematic attractions, Palace Elisabeth elegantly combines the beauty of its past with its luxurious present. Distinguished by unique architecture and exceptional design this landmark hotel captures the true essence of Hvar heritage.
Hotel Excelsior 5*, Dubrovnik
The iconic Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik, in operation for over one hundred years, is one of the finest five-star hotels on the Mediterranean according to the eminent Sunday Times. Just a few steps from the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik Old Town, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the hotel combines a stunning location, sophisticated elegance and Mediterranean charm into an outstanding experience of superior quality.
Roam cities tasting their flavors along the way, dine at Michelin-star establishments, taste oysters straight from the sea, join home chefs for cooking classes, hunt for truffles, and hike to wineries in this all-telling foodie itinerary in Croatia!
Welcome to Zagreb
Your private chauffeur will welcome you at the Zagreb International Airport and take you to the iconic Hotel Esplanade, located in the very center of the town. With a private guide, head to the Upper Town for a welcome dinner at one of the oldest restaurants, Kaptolska Klet. Savour gourmet specialties such as duck confit, pasta tatters soufflé, and gratinated strudel, immersed in the soothing ambience of the restaurant’s garden.
Foodie tour of Zagreb
Take a foodie tour of Zagreb to explore its two parts, the historic Upper Town and the Lower Town (downtown), stopping to taste different local foods and drinks. At the colorful market of Dolac, chat with producers from all over Croatia and taste cheeses, cream, and charcuterie. Along the way, also try štrukli, dough layered with soft cheese, and gemišt – a Croatian version of spritzer. Complete your walk with a traditional lunch and enjoy the rest of the day on your own.
Depart Zagreb to Istria, Croatia’s largest peninsula. Get mesmerized by the landscapes shifting from continental flatlands over mountains to the rolling hills and the blues of the Adriatic Sea. Arrive at the tiny hillslope village of Bale, and check into the exclusive Meneghetti Wine Hotel and Winery. Finish the day on a high note, with a special wine pairing dinner, and sunset over vineyards of Merlot.
Delights of Istria
Travel the winding roads to Istrian hilltop towns: admire the medieval walls and gates of Motovun, and wander the cobbled alleyways of Grožnjan. Meet up with Mirjana Kotiga whose family members are well-known truffle hunters, and enjoy a light lunch of truffle delicacies, including truffle honey, pate, biscuits, and homemade pasta. Finally, taste some of the best Istrian wines at the Roxanich winery famous for their light, long-macerated whites and bold reds.
Rovinj, Pula and Chiavalon olive oils
Today, walk the colorful labyrinth of medieval alleyways in Rovinj, and admire its archipelago from the town’s highest point at St. Euphemia Church. Marvel at the stunning Roman-era heritage of Pula, from the wonderfully preserved amphitheater to the Temple of Augustus. Afterwards, set out to Chiavalon estate and taste their superb olive oils – some ranked the best in the world!
Dinner at Pelegrini in Šibenik
En route to Šibenik, stop to tour Zadar. Sample regional wines at the boutique winery Degarra, set inside former military barracks. Then stroll around Zadar’s historical center with a guide and enjoy the sites such as the 1st-century Roman forum and contemporary Sea Organ. After arriving to Šibenik, check into the heritage hotel Life Palace. Round off the day with Croatia’s top dining experience – a wine-paired dinner at the Michelin-awarded restaurant “Pelegrini”.
Gourmet lunch at Bibich Winery
Enjoy a true delight for foodies: a wine tasting and a gourmet lunch served in the cellars of the Bibich winery in Plastovo, with each dish visually stunning and divinely delectable, and each wine chosen personally by the owner Alen. Tour the beautifuly city of Šibenik with a local guide, marveling at the renaissance heritage such as the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James and the St.Nicholas Fortress. Enjoy your evening at leisure.
Cooking class in Trogir
En route to Split, stop in the UNESCO-listed town of Trogir to cook with Tatjana, a creative and charismatic home chef. Roam the open-air markets, then roll up your sleeves in her 13 th -century palace-home. After checking in to the hotel Judita Palace in Split, meet your guide and tour the Diocletian’s palace, the historic heart of Split. Round it all off with a wine and delicacies tasting at the Paradox wine bar.
Hiking in Brač
Take a ferry from Split to Brač Island for an exclusive experience! Start your hike toward Škrip village, the oldest settlement on the island and one of the very few continuously inhabited localities in Europe. Continue to Blaca dessert and its famous 16th -century hermit monastery. Finally, in a traditional village of Dol, relax over lunch in a local tavern. Return to Split on the afternoon ferry.
Cruising Pakleni Islands and Hvar
Board a private motor yacht for the quintessential Adriatic experience: a full-day trip around Hvar Island and the neighboring Pakleni Archipelago. Swim in the crystal-clear sea, snorkel in the secret coves, and enjoy lunch in a restaurant suggested by your skipper. Disembark in the town of Hvar and check in to the Hotel Palace Elisabeth located in the very heart of the town. Settle in and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Culture of Hvar Island
Tour the town of Hvar and its treasures like the Benedictine Convent, where nuns make UNESCO-listed lace of agave. Get a bird’s-eye view of Hvar from the Spanjolška Fortress and continue to Stari Grad, the oldest town in Croatia. Visit the Tvrdalj fortress and Stari Grad Plain, another UNESCO-protected site, where agriculture has sustained since the time of ancient Greeks. Unwind in the pretty harbor town of Jelsa by enjoying lunch in a local tavern, before returning to Hvar.
Oysters of Ston
Traveling to Dubrovnik, stop in Mali Ston, hop on a boat and venture to oyster and mussel farms. Taste the oysters fresh out of the sea, and afterwards disembark on a private island for a feast of mouth-watering oysters, mussels, olive oil, and wines. Upon arrival to Dubrovnik, check into the Hotel Excelsior. Meet your private guide and enjoy an easy evening stroll of the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site wrapped in magnificent city walls.
Wine tour in Dubrovnik region
Join a local winemaker for a full-day tour of the Dubrovnik wine empire, the Pelješac peninsula. Enjoy wine tasting at three famous wineries of the region; Miloš winery, where different labels are made of a single grape variety; Grgich, of the famous Mike Grgić from Grgich Hills in Napa Valley; and Bartulović – your host’s winery. In the 500-year-old cellar, savour wines over a traditional local lunch prepared by Mario’s family.
Lunch in Trsteno
Take a 30-minute transfer to Trsteno, a small seaside town once loved by Dubrovnik aristocracy as their summer retreat. Trsteno is home to the oldest botanical garden in the region where your host-for-the-day Katja lives. Help Katja prepare a tasty lunch of seasonal fare and veggies from her garden and learn to bake your own bread under the iron bell-shaped lid called peka. Enjoy your last evening in Croatia at leisure.
BEFORE YOU GO
When it comes to food and wine, Croatia keeps no secret. Numerous foodie and wine tasting experiences throughout this itinerary will more than surpass all your expectations if you consider yourself a connoisseur or lover of food and wine. We have a great passion, knowledge, and desire to present all our food and wine treasures to the rest of the world. This itinerary is a selection of the best food and wine experiences Croatia has to offer, but it can also be adjusted to match your preferences.
When to Travel
This itinerary is doable year-round although please note that some restaurants and wineries are closed for the winter. The best period to visit is from April through October when everything is open. If you are interested in keeping the itinerary as it is, we suggest visiting from May through September to take advantage of the seasonal produce. Some specific interests like foraging for wild asparagus and famed white truffles require a more precise planning.
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.