“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.
Hi! I know we still have a few days left but I can already tell that we will be sad to leave Croatia. It's been just great so far and I thank you for your planning! Before I forget I wanted to say how impressed and happy we have been with the guides and skippers and drivers. Mislav, Bepo and Ivan have been great on the boats - professional but relaxed. Dom was fantastic all day with us, we really loved him and of course Frani and Goran were educational and terrific too. Nives gave me a crash course in Croatian history and answered all my hundreds of questions! And I forget the name of our bike guide but the whole excursion to Konavle Valley will stay with us for a long time. I already said how terrific Matija was in Dubrovnik but I'll say it again!
Your restaurant suggestions have been spot on. Thank you. We are dining at Foša tonight!
Besides Trip Advisor, if you need me to write any other recommendations I would be happy to do so!
I apologize for my delay in getting back to you! We've been trying to get our life in order after the wedding and the amazing honeymoon :)
I can't thank you enough for all of your help in planning the unforgettable trip, and for checking in on us along the way. We had the time of our lives, and are so in love with Croatia! It was so beautiful, and we just loved the people, food, and wine! Every single experience was amazing, and you were right not to cancel the day with Mario, it was wonderful!
We absolutely loved each hotel, and even got upgraded to an amazing suite at Villa Dubrovnik. We were so blown away by how beautiful it was! Also, each of our chauffeurs, guides and local experts could not have been better (Tatjana, Mario and Denis). They made our experience that much more wonderful and unforgettable.
We plan on telling everyone that we know to visit Croatia, and to go through Secret Dalmatia. You really made the planning experience so easy, and we are so grateful for all of your help. Please let us know if there are any sites that you like to use for reviews and we would be happy to write one about how wonderful you were!
Thank you again, and please let us know if there is anything that we can do on our end!
All the best,
We have greatly enjoyed two trips to Croatia in 2016-2017 organized by Secret Dalmatia. The first trip was a visit to Split during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Secret Dalmatia arranged two fantastic hiking tours: one to the Hinterlands and one to Brac, both with Dom. On the Hinterlands tour, he showed us a beautiful and little discovered part of the Croatia mainland where we learned about the region’s history and nature while hiking. The day culminated with a delicious lunch prepared by Dom on a picturesque hill overlooking a lake. Truly spectacular! Our hiking trip to Brac was equally breathtaking. After a stunning hike down a cliff face to the Blaca Monastery, we were treated to an exquisite traditional meal (peka) at a tavern that had been opened just for us (since it was off-season).
Our most recent experience with Secret Dalmatia was a chartered sailing trip for a week in June. We departed from Split and sailed among the islands of Hvar, Pakleni, Vis, Korcula and Mljet before disembarking in Dubrovnik. The sailboat was gorgeous (Bavaria 51) and our skipper (Ivan Vekic) was wonderful and ensured that we had a perfect vacation. He was attentive to our interests, chose just the right places for us to stop and swim each day and evening, and his dinner recommendations (including making all reservations) were fantastic. He is a lovely person and a super captain.
In summary, Secret Dalmatia’s knowledge of the region, their ability to organize a vacation tailored to your needs, the quality of the personnel and the people they work with, and their ability to DELIVER on their commitments are exceptional. Simply, you can TRUST Secret Dalmatia to give you a unique and truly remarkable vacation experience in this beautiful region of the world.
Tom Hanlon & Stephanie Leone
Dear Secret Dalmatia,
Many thanks to Secret Dalmatia for making our trip to Croatia an amazing experience. From Mirna and Vlasta, to all the guides, drivers, and hosts everything was flawless. It exceeded all expectations!
From information requested, initial planning, questions answered, and changes while on our trip, your attention and professionalism went above and beyond. I appreciate you asking the "right" questions while developing our itinerary. Each of our experiences were unique, from a day trip to Montenegro, winetasting on the Pelijesac peninsula, cooking class in Trsteno, a hike to a Blaca Monastery, a private boat tour, and lunch with Chef Tatjana. We couldn't say what our favorite part of our trip was with so many amazing adventures! Can everything be an answer?!
Our local guides at each location were informative, friendly, and willing to answer any silly question we might ask. It was like visiting a new city hosted by a friend. I so enjoyed learning about the Croatian culture and the honesty and love of Croatia each person we encountered shared. Our drivers and our skipper also enhanced our experiences. They were very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly, willing to stop for a photo at any request! Trust me, when I say at every bend another amazing view needed to be captured on film.
Our hotels, lovely, convenient and of high standard. "Flawless", "wow", "exceptional", "relaxing", but really no words could sufficiently describe or capture the essences of Hotel Lemongarden. The room, food, staff, location so wonderful. I hated to leave Hotel Lemongarden, a bit of paradise on this earth.
Our winetastings/pairings and lunches all incredible. I could go on and on praising each, trust me, my friends and family will be hearing about each for a long time. Again, I couldn't pick a favorite since each was such a unique experience.
Secret Dalmatia, again thank-you for making our trip the most memorable experience. Without hesitation I would, and have, highly recommend Secret Dalmatia in creating an awesome vacation. I look forward to my next trip.
I hope you are well.
I am writing you from the flight back to Toronto. I can’t tell you how sad Michael and I were to leave Croatia. I’m ready to move there (though I will never master the language!)
Many times over the last two weeks we have commented on how we feel that this trip might just have been one of the best that we have ever taken together. On a daily basis we were overwhelmed by culture, history, jaw dropping beauty, unparalleled meals, delicious wines, and incredibly warm, generous, and giving people. None of this would have been possible if not for you and Secret Dalmatia. We were truly blown away by your perfect suggestions, impeccable organization, amazingly funny and knowledgeable guides, and your unflappable disposition as we threw questions and requests at you while we were in the middle of our travel. You took such good care of us, to the point that in spite of our fatigue, we soldiered on with Mario’s tour yesterday purely because “everything Dubravka has designed for us has been incredible so we knew we’d be missing out if we “pooped out.” And we are so happy we did. What struck Michael and I is that everyone we met treated us like friends or family. They obviously take pride in their culture and their country and love telling tourists all about it. And they are all incredibly respectful of you, each saying how hard you work and that they prefer taking clients from Secret Dalmatia.
We cannot thank you enough. Your planning, combined with a really fun and spirited Backroads trip, gave us a perfect blend of everything we were looking for on this trip (however, I am leaving Croatia just about double the size that I was when I arrived). I think wine and TWO gelatos a day might do that to you! I have a big diet ahead of me! ☺
We have told so many people about you and will continue to do so. And don’t be surprised if you hear from us again, shortly, as I am convinced I would like to make some travel plans next summer, that ultimately lead me to a rented villa on one of the islands off Split for a few weeks. Can you help me with that???? ☺ ☺ ☺ Let us pay off this trip first and then we’ll talk. ☺
Thanks again, Dubravka. You have provided us many wonderful memories. (And thank you for all of the surprises! The truffle hunting, the Monastery hike, Mario’s dessert wine at the end of the tour yesterday.....) Those were very lovely touches that went a long way to helping us feel extra special.
All the best and we will be in touch- warm hugs,
Robin and Michael
Vlasta we had a wonderful time. We loved Maris and Nives our walking guides and loved Dom. He says he may be coming to Toronto we have all invited him to stay with us. Thanks for the last minute change on the last day to krka. It was a wonderful day and a great experience. The lemon garden was a beautiful hotel I highly recommend it. The Bellevue was great. The park was ok. Rooms are a bit small. Wonderful experience can't thank you enough
Huge thanks for the amazing trip that Secret Dalmatia put together for our group! We all agreed it was a marvelous trip & that Croatia was incredible!
We have to give special thanks to our three guides in all three countries. They were fantastic, & Nives especially went out of the way to be helpful! Our driver Ivansa (I know I am spelling that wrong) in Dubrovnik was just incredible. He went out of his way with many bathroom stops & helping to make border crossings easier. We all grew very fond of him! Both drivers were so good, though.
It was a wonderful vacation! I thank the staff at Secret Dalmatia for making our trip easy, interesting & such fun. My friends & I talked about it, we will definitely recommend you to everyone I meet who needs your services. Thank you for helping us not only see Dalmatia, but come to really appreciate the history & the beauty. Croatia will always hold a special place in our hearts now!
Geoff and I are back in Melbourne, adjusting to winter and resuming normal life again. I just wanted you to know we enjoyed our trip immensely. It was great to be able to meet the guides and talk to Croatians about life in Croatia as well as hearing about the places we were visiting. We learned a lot.
I would particular like to mention the Dalmatian guides, who seemed to be particularly well briefed about us and our interests. Nives, who met us at Split, took the initiative to rearrange our schedule as we had already visited one of the places on our itinerary while on the cruise. We had a fabulous day in the Krka park and her solution was highly satisfactory.
Thank you for your work on our behalf.
Kind regards, Rosie and Geoff
We made it back to the U.S. We wanted to let you know how much we all enjoyed our trip to Croatia. We feel so much closer to our Croatian roots! Every part of the trip was great. The hotel choices were perfect, all of the guides were interesting and very knowledgeable. The drivers and skipper were pleasant, courteous, personable (we didn't meet an unfriendly Croatian in our two weeks!). Our day with Tatjana was a special and unique experience. We're a "traveling family" but we all agreed this trip was one of the best we've ever taken.
Everything was so organized that we did not have to think about or worry about anything. (We're also glad we did not convince you to change our hotel at Lapad: the beach was still not finished but since it was not we could use the pool/beach at Dubrovnik Palace, which was great). We really enjoyed working with you and would wholeheartedly recommend Secret Dalmatia.
We're already looking forward to our next trip back to Croatia!
Kevin, Brenda, Emma and Leo Glass
Just got back to Boston - we had an amazing time.
The way you arranged our logistics from the time we landed (save for an early flight) to details about pick-ups, hotels, daily activities was tremendous.
We loved each spot and would not really have changed a thing.
Split – it was great to fly in and Hotel Judita Palace was an ideal place to start our trip. The walking tour was a great way to start. Saša was lovely! The dinner of wine tasting and local cheese and meat was amazing. Just a note – many people from the US may not eat as much meat or ham/pork (for us, it was not an issue) – but it is something to ask. The wines were good – not great (as we then experienced amazing wines later on our trip).
We loved the falls the next day and the time of day was perfect for us – it was lower on tourists and we had a chance to hike in the am and give the kids an opportunity to sleep in a bit.
Dinner that night behind the “closed doors” with Tatjana and her husband was memorable and I would do it again and recommend it to anyone. We felt a little “sloppy” since we came right from the falls and swimming to dinner at her house – it was hot and we were fine (in fact, I changed to dry cloths but Natalie and the kids were fine).
The next two days with Domagoj was among my personal favorite – LOVED him and all the activities and his historic knowledge. I don’t think the “typical” family would have done too well on the bike ride – it was a challenge. Dom was great and it was well worth the whole bike ride seeing the Natural spring. The walk to the monastery was beyond belief. For me, getting this exercise in was good timing on our trip. Both Dom’s picnic dinner and then the wine lunch were among our top meals (more on that). It would have been nice to have a little more time with the team at Senjković winery. We could have taken a later ferry so it was our choice to leave when we did. There was another couple so we were a bit slow to start the lunch (as we certainly were in no rush).
We also really, really enjoyed our day in the Adriatic sea – we ended up getting to Hvar after 6PM since we enjoyed our time with Tom and Tom. They picked such a special spot for lunch. Probably the best grilled whole fish of the week (get the name of the restaurant – it’s worth going ). Swimming and naps on the boat/yacht was perfect spot in our trip.
Hvar was worth it for us – the Hotel was fine – great service and amazing views (and it was the only hotel with a gym in it). Kids went out that night and enjoyed – and it was fun for all of us to see and compare and contrast. We realize that if you’re Croatian, it’s a foreign party town and not really what the country is about but still fun! We had dinner at Giaxa sitting in a palace square – unreal. Food was ok, wine was great.
Korčula island was wonderful as well – we loved our buggy adventure and lunch (they even took us on their boat for a traditional meal) – again, perfect for us. The views from the buggy were picturesque.
Something to recommend to any food lovers – the final dinner we had on the Island was at Lešić Dimitr – we did the chef’s tasking with wine pairing sitting outside on the terrace – I would list it was one of the top 5 dinners we’ve ever had (combination of food, location, location, location, wine, service, weather) – it’s up there with Chevre d'or in Eze. We got a detailed run down of each dish and wine (including history of each wine). We also happened to have dinner next to a wedding party and had the bride and Groom join us for a drink (or two) after their guests left.
The hotel suite was really cool – it rained day 1 and our patio didn’t dry out too well. I personally found the room very dark given that we were overlooking the sea and had such amazing views a blast. But we enjoyed the big Jacuzzi baths and the service was amazing. We had some free time which was great but didn’t get settled on a beach or area to hang together – we ended up doing our own things (which was fine).
And to cap off the trip was our tasting day with Mario on the Pelješac peninsula – we learned a lot about how wines are made and loved the day. We managed to bring back and ship 3 cases of wine for our Croatia week at our beach house. It turns out that, we eat like Croatians (simple salads, grilled meats and fish) so we are dedicating a week with our wine!
Finally – Dubrovnik was an amazing city and good end to our journey- the guided am tour was great (we added the synagogue) we enjoyed resting on the Adriatic again in the afternoon. On our own, we did a sunset wall walk before our final dinner.
Personally, if I could have figured out 1-2 mornings of exercise, I would have been even better (but that’s just me and not most others).
Count on us again!