“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.
Dear Mariana,(please share with Alan)
I have finally found a minute since getting home to provide feedback on our trip. Overall, it was an incredible and exciting journey and we all had a great time. We were most impressed with the magnificent scenery, mountains, rivers, ocean, islands and villages. We generally do not move too much from hotel to hotel during our vacations but this was definitely the right thing to do and it allowed us to see a very large amount of Croatia. Every village and city was different and we had favorite things about all of them. The coordination and communication between our drivers was amazing! Everyone we met was polite and helpful. We especially appreciated your calls to us on the first few days of our arrival. It was reassuring to know that we were being looked after!
All of the hotels were magnificent and their breakfasts were great as well.
Day One: Debrovnik:
Our flight was a little late but our chauffeur was there and called to notify Maris that we would be a little late.
Our tour with Maris was excellent. She is very polite and intelligent and made the walking tour very interesting, despite how tired we were from traveling.
Day Two: Debrovnik:
In the morning we walked the wall and the fort and took lots of pictures! In the afternoon, we met Marko and Ante (?) on time at the hotel. Marko offered and took us to the hardware store as my youngest daughter needed a part for the GoPro! The biking trip and hike was very nice. Dinner was great. Niko (?) was a great host and taught us about his family's very old vineyard. We had a wonderful dinner that was preceded by wine tasting (which we enjoyed but didn't expect!). Niko, Marko and Ante were very polite and eager to make sure we were enjoying ourselves.
Day Three: Split:
The rental car was dropped off as promised and it suited our needs perfectly with plenty of room for all and our luggage. The GPS didn't seem to work in Debrovnik (it was about two minutes late) but after that worked fine. We had a beautiful ride to Split.
Upon our arrival, the GPS lead us to the wrong pick up spot but this was quickly identified when we were called by the Hotel. Our chauffeur for this hotel picked us up in the electric car and made us laugh all the way back to the hotel. He was our favorite chauffeur all week.
The Zip Line tour was incredible with breathtaking scenes and high adrenaline fun! We got lots of good video. This was probably the most exciting thing we did all week and definitely one of the highlights. We were very impressed about the coordination of our rides.
Day Four: Split:
Probably the biggest disappointment came when we got into the boat and were told that we could not go to the Blue Cave because the seas were too high. In fact, we didn't even make it to Hvar. The guides were very nice and friendly and we managed to see a little bit of an island and had lunch in a village (only one restaurant was open). They truly did the best that they could do but had we known before we got into the boat that we were not going to the Blue Cave or Hvar, we might have scrambled to do something else that day (as you may recall, we were going to do the ATV adventure that day but changed it to the Blue Cave/Hvar).
Day Five: Zadar:
We had an easy drive to Zadar. On our way, we were stopped on the highway, on top of an overpass and saw the Tour de Croatia pass right below us about 30 min later. We are cyclists so this was an unexpected treat. Next, we stopped at Krka Waterfalls and were amazed by the incredible beauty. We spend about four hours here. That evening we enjoyed the sea organs and solar cell light show both on our way to dinner and on our walk back to the hotel.
Day Six: Zadar:
Marijan met us right on time in the hotel for our Hiking tour and Modric Cave trip. Unfortunately, we were unable to do the hiking tour of the Zrmanja and Krupa rivers because of the strong winds and so this part was cancelled. Also, Ann only had sneakers and not real hiking shoes, something that may have prevented her from going on the hike if the weather had been better. The cave was so interesting and challenging. We really enjoyed it. This was an excellent experience and nothing like we have ever done before!!! Marijan was polite and informative throughout our tour and stopped the van on the way back to the hotel for us to take pictures. We really didn't know the extent to which we were going to be crawling and twisting in the cave but it was very fun (It would have been helpful for us to know that the hike required real hiking boots and the cave included a lot of crawling, twisting and going in tight places. If someone has claustrophobia, is very overweight (125kg or more) or not agile, it could be a problem, fortunately we don't have any of these problems. We should have done more homework on this as well).
Day Seven: Rovinj:
We departed Zadar and headed to Rovinj. On our way, we stopped at Plitvice Lakes NP. We spent most of the day there and we thought it was one of the most beautiful series of waterfalls and places we had ever seen! In fact, at one point, I told Ann that this what Eden must look like!
The drive to Rovinj was a bit long and the GPS took us through some very rural parts of Croatia but the landscape was beautiful and different than the coast line beauty we had been seeing.
We were excited to see Lone as my youngest had been looking at this hotel as her favorite for months and she/we were not disappointed. The hotel, grounds and amenities were wonderful. Because it was so late, we had dinner in the hotel and it was really, really good!!
Day Eight: Rovinj:
We started the day by going to Pula where we walked around the Roman amphitheater ruins and then the town. After a quick lunch, we headed back to Rovinj where we explored the town and the kids had a fish pedicure. We had an exciting climb on an 190 step, old wooden and vertical staircase to the top of the bell tower for a panoramic view of the city. Finally, we made it back to the hotel where we finished the afternoon with a swim in the indoor pool and the indoor hot tub. We went back into town for dinner that night. We really liked Rovinj and thought it was one of the prettiest villages that we had seen all week.
Day Nine: Slovania and Zagreb:
We checked out of the hotel and headed to Slovania where we took a tour of Skocjan cave. This cave was huge and majestic and a very different and more touristy adventure than what we had enjoyed with Marijan. It was definitely worth going there.
Finally, we arrived at Hotel Esplanade and once again, a very nice hotel with gracious staff to assist us. That night, we had an excellent dinner at Gallo's and enjoyed walking around the City Center, having our gelato (like we had done every night in Croatia), snapping a picture of Tesla's statue and taking in the culture.
Overall, it was one of the nicest vacations we have ever had! We are also sailors and may return one day to sail the beautiful coastline and maybe have another chance to get to the Blue Cave.
Natasa, thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful and coordinated trip. Our hotels were magnificent and both a combination of being in the middle of the action (Split and Zagreb) and out of the hustle and bustle (Debrovnik, Ravinj). Thank you for taking the time to get to know who we are as a family to coordinate this trip to fit our needs and interests.
We returned early morning on 2nd May to Mumbai-safe and sound. We would like to thank you for a wonderful holiday in your lovely country. Everything was perfect and the guides and drivers were very knowledgeable and extremely friendly. We really had a wonderful time and will definitely strongly recommend your agency and country to all our friends. Monica had left a small gift for you at Hotel Dubrovnik in Zagreb for Vanja to pick up and forward to you. I hope it will reach you soon.
Warm regards from a warm country (its 38 degrees C here)
Keshav & Monica
I must thank you for the wonderful arrangements.
Everything worked well.The guides and the drivers were courteous and professional.
I will recommend Secret Dalmatia to all my friends who wish to travel to Croatia.
Our travel group of 8 had done some bare boat sailing in the British Virgin Islands and loved the view from the sea and the intimacy with nature. Wanting to try some place different, we looked to Croatia with its huge coastline and its troubled history. Being located between western Europe and the communist block we knew there was a lesson to be learned by making it our choice. We decided to go in early September. We missed the 100 degree heat, the water was warm, the crowds were gone, but everything was still open and alive. We found Secret Dalmatia and Mirna. They are located in Croatia and she arranges tours for people like us who have no idea how best to put together a land and sailing trip to Croatia. Mirna spoke perfect english and was immediately responsive to our ever question. In no time she coordinated a 7 day land trip with small buses, drivers and guides. Everything was taken care of down to the smallest detail. As a bonus she met us for lunch just outside of Dubrovnik. We started in Zagreb and in 7 days made our way down to Dubrovnik and then back up to Split. Everything was great from the accommodation to the guides but the best was yet to come. Mirna hooked us up with Captain Vinko Buble and a catamaran, the Lagoon 45 . There is nothing like seeing Europe from a catamaran. All of civilization grew up near the sea. It was so intimate I think the people we met we can now call family. Vinko knew the sea and knew the people in the sea side villages. Croatia is a beautiful country with wonderfully friendly people, but without Vinko the jewels of this country would have been missed. Sailing can be tricky in Croatia the winds can be strong and seas a little rough but Vinko knew exactly were to be to avoid any discomfort. Vinko managed our time and our itinerary with lots of sailing, site seeing and intimate diners with the locals. Vinko is a very special guy. One minute he is a no nonsense captain aggressively taking on the challenges of the sea, barking orders, taking command of his crew. Then latter he is soft, caring, and engaging, almost like a girl friend. Some say he is like a big strong captain with a Pizda. That to me is the best kind of captain you can have. Croatia is a beautiful country, having Vinko and Mirna makes the place come alive. They are the best. I can not tell you what a kick in the pants this trip turned out to be. Our expectations were exceeded and I don't say that often. Call Mirna, have her hook you up with Vinko and know you will see the heart and soul of Croatia
The Menotti’s were also remiss in not speaking up sooner. We are in enthusiastic agreement with everything that Brent says in her email. We would add is that your tour showed us how much richer a travel experience can be when assisted by experienced guides. I think we would have missed a great deal if we had tried to do Split on our own, just to give one example. And it was a great relief to leave the driving chores to Christian, and not to have to worry about how to find our way around, much less about running out of fuel, etc. This group has done more than ten trips the old-fashioned way, with rental cars or vans we drove ourselves. While this lead to many unplanned adventures, the Croatia trip showed us that there is a better way. Thanks so much for everything.
Sorry for the delay, but the flavor of our trip still lasts. all eight of us agree that you organized an exceptionally fine tour for us. from the comfort of the bus, the skill, punctuality, detailed attentiveness and congeniality of the driver to the very nice, centrally located hotels, and, except for one day, even the excellent weather, we could not have asked for more. along the way, our guides were of the first order and most pleasant. the meals and wine tastings you selected were outstanding. finally, the stop for a boat ride to the place where oysters are raised, along with a meal of raw oysters and steamed mussels, was the absolute icing on the cake. we loved the experience and meeting the proprietor and his daughter. we knew all these special experiences were due to your close attention and sensitive understanding of what would delight us. THANK YOU!
If you should want an enthusiastic recommendation of your company in the future, any one of us would be happy to oblige.
Brent goo (Goo and Menotti; group of 8)
Hello Mirna, we are back to Canada, safe and sound
We wanted to thank you very much for all your work, we had lots of fun and it was a great opportunity to learn a lot about Croatia and the people there.
Everything was perfectly organized and the experiences we had, we couldn’t have had them with another agency.
We will definitely recommend you to all our friends here in Canada, I am already telling everyone to go!
Please let me know how I could give a review online.
Thanks, Maria Perez J
Our time in Croatia is soon coming to an end. We arrived in Dubrovnik this afternoon and checked in to the Villa Dubrovnik, which is of the same wonderful character as all the facilities Mirna reserved for us. Spectacular! One of a kind! The best in Dubrovnik.
Every part of our trip has been spectacular, from the hotels, our B&B, our hosts, the tour guides, the drivers, the food, the restaurants, the interactions we've had with the people, the scenery, the highways, our transportation vehicles, and even the pace of our trip.
I suppose there are times when having s good time pales in comparison to one's real feelings. I think in our case having a good time has been elevated to a higher more fundamental feeling....pure joy! That's how we feel...joy... with everything that we have experienced. EVERYTHING...
There is nothing we can think of that we would have changed with our trip. Every person, every stop, every event has been memorable. The cooking class which, as you remember I was only luke warm about, was instead one of the highlights of our trip. The wine tour, which I unsuccessfully tried to argue would be "nothing new", was just the opposite. We learned more in a day about grape growing and wine making that I've been able to absorb in 20 years. And Mario, our host, wine grower and producer, toured us through his properties which have been in his family growing grapes and making wine for 400 years. Wow! Then he served us lunch accompanied by drinking his wines in his home in his village of only about 20 inhabitants. It all seemed too much to absorb. So much history and so much living.
And we still have three more days to enjoy even more. Someone, please stop us from having so much fun.
Everyone with whom we spoke about Secret Dalmatia only responded in glowing terms, "The Best", "Professional and Caring", "Serve only the best clientele", "I am honored to be on their team", and on and on! We agree.
The people of Croatia are among the friendliest that we've ever encountered in our traveling lives. They have been warm, welcoming, personal, interactive, informative, and just plain fun...we have laughed a lot with them. And we learned from them so much more than we expected was possible.
I could go on and on, but my guess is that you get my point. Debbie and I have enjoyed this adventure perhaps more that we've enjoyed any other. It certainly has been the most special and personal. We hope Secret Dalmatia offers tours to other countries because the formula and care with which Mirna has served us can not be exceeded. We would repeat our business with her in a heart beat. And, also with you! Thanks for working through her and I hope we can work together again.
Please let Mirna know that if I would gladly serve as a reference for her. All she has to do is ask! Our only disappointment was we didn't get the chance to personally meet her. She had business commitments which she had to honor. Hopefully, next time.