“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.
Croatia was absolutely beautiful! Michael and I enjoyed our trip very much.
We loved the rich history, friendly people, delicious food & wine.
Thank you for thoughtfully planned our itinerary as all left us speechless.
All local guides- Mislav, Marija, our driver Tony and two skippers were wonderful! They were all enthusiastic in sharing their own culture with us. It was also amazing to see Mario's vineyard and dined at his home for lunch prepared with love and fresh ingredients. We have been praising how beautiful (& delicious) Croatia is to all of our families and friends.
As I am typing this email to you, I'm daydreaming about our trip and can't wait to return in the ear future.
Again, thank you for your professional guide in helping us to create beautiful memories on this trip.
Btw, I did receive the picnic refund.
All the best,
Dani & Michael
We are back home again now, although the cold here is a bit of a shock!
On behalf of the three of us, I wanted to send you a big thank you for organising a wonderful tour for us. We enjoyed every minute of it, and were so happy and thankful that we had you to organise it. Thanks for all your good advice, and for your patience with all the changes we needed to make. I really felt that you were putting the tour together to suit us, rather than what was easiest on your side. Everything went like clockwork, the guides and drivers were all excellent and went out of their way to help us with little extra things, and we really enjoyed the hotels as well (the Hotel Esplanade in Zagreb was a highlight, and a bit of a treat at the end). We also really enjoyed our afternoon with Chef Sandra, she was great.
But most of all, it was particularly good to meet you on the dock in Split, a lovely surprise, and to speak to you on the phone at the end. And, at all times we felt you were looking out for us, and that the guides and drivers were too, all that communication between you all made us feel looked after, and valued.
Good luck in the future, and please if you visit Sydney at some stage, please let us know!
Jennifer, Tom and Gordon
Dear Vlasta and Alan,
We couldn't have been more pleased with our experience with Secret Dalmatia, from our first phone call from Alan, until we were picked up promptly at the hotel and delivered to the airport in Dubrovnik to return home.
You chose terrific hotels for us. They were all clean, adequately spacious for our needs and located perfectly -- considering factors such as noise, access to city center attractions and our ability to walk to the best sites.
The guides were all prompt, friendly, professional and had a great sense of humor which we appreciated. The drivers were welcoming, helpful in orienting us to the area and added the personal touch of allowing us to learn about their home and work lives in Croatia.
We had some real surprises on this trip. As our time to fly from Milan to Zagreb approached, I had some anxiety about how we would manage on our own for most of two days in the City. How would we order food, find our way around, ask for help if we needed it? It was such a relief to learn that nearly everyone in the country speaks English -- far more common than in Italy, where we'd just left.
Croatia values cleanliness -- I'm embarrassed to say, more than in our country. We felt comfortable and safe everywhere we went. We also never felt any discomfort with being a same sex couple traveling in Croatia.
One regret -- I wish we had included Plivitce on the itinerary while traveling from Zagreb to Split. Toni took us to an overlook where I got some fantastic shots of all the waterfalls. In talking with him and with other travelers, it's not always jammed with tourists. I think if we had planned an 8 a.m. arrival to somewhere other than the main gate, we would have been very pleased. One suggestion -- as you write out the itinerary, give a more explicit idea of the time we'll spend with guides. For example, we knew that on Brac, we'd be returning sometime in the afternoon. It would help to know it's really an all day excursion and the boats return only at 3:30 and 6:00 p.m. Spending any less time than a full day on Brac would be a mistake. That island with its diversity, history, archaeology and beauty is an absolute gem.
Croatia is a relatively new destination for Americans. The numbers will undoubtedly blossom in coming years, and your business will continue to grow. You have my permission to use these comments in any publicity and you can forward requests for references for potential future travelers to me.
All our best, and thanks for a wonderful Croatian experience!
Eric and Lorn
We had a fabulous vacation in Croatia. You live in such a beautiful country with very nice people. - Croatia exceeded my expectations by a long shot.
I really enjoyed the day with Dom- Braca Island- good challenging hike for sure with a delicious lunch. Goren was great- very interesting tour of the military tunnels- he also provided some information regarding herbs growing on the island- and had us smell some of them he was able to locate on our tour. He recommended a terrific restaurant for dinner- Rocki's- had the best squid. - Anna and Maria were very informative and easy to talk to . I enjoyed my time with both of them.
The day we spent with Mario at his vineyard and then did some mountain biking was really fun- I'm not as big on wine as Tim- very interesting - and a very delicious lunch.
THe 2nd winery was disappointing and nothing that special- the bike ride was nice with Draco.
I would have preferred to go to the WIld Life Reserve near Dubrovnik on instead of the 2nd winery or probably the best day to go would have been the day we went kayaking. - I wouldn't recommend the kayaking- it was a bit boring (group tour, not private)
I would definitely would suggest to anyone going to Croatia to make sure to see one of the National Parks now that I know more about them from Croatians that we met. That the only thing I was disappointed that we didn't get to do.
Overall, a terrific vacation for sure and will definitely speak highly of your agency and Croatia. All the drivers were very polite and helpful. - really great staff.
Thank you for a wonderful vacation!!
Here are some thoughts regarding our trip:
1. All logistics, connections, transfers, etc. were seamless. No glitches anywhere.
2. We liked all of your guides and drivers. Not only did we learn a tremendous amount about your country's history and culture, but we also truly enjoyed their company! They were all willing to answer endless questions from us.
3. The hotels were all wonderful in a different way. The Palaca Judita was exceptional in terms of service, ambience and location and was the perfect introduction to the country and culture. The Adriana was beautiful in a totally different, more contemporary way and had a great location. However, the rooms were not perfectly functional (extremely dark, and we could not control the temperature--front desk told us to open the window to stop the air conditioning since that was the only way to make the room warmer on a chilly, rainy day). To balance that, the food was excellent, both breakfast buffet and lunch. And lastly, the Royal Princess was wonderful, and the perfect place to be for the last few days when we wanted a little relaxation. The suite was perfect with stunning views and by that time we were very happy to be away from the crowds and spend time by the sea!
4. All of our tours were great, but looking back I might have skipped the Montenegro day trip. Kotor bay was beautiful, and the walking tour was interesting but by that time I felt a little overload and the drive, although scenic, was a bit long. And as Drazan (spelling?) may have told you, we skipped the visit to Our Lady of the Rocks because we were a little tired. The place he suggested for lunch was perfect, though. Maybe we should have taken a day "off" somewhere along the way. We sure did enjoy the last 2 days of relaxation!
5. Your effort to retrieve our adaptor/converter was greatly appreciated! Lessons learned: bring more than one next time we travel overseas, and make sure you have a good travel agent to come to the rescue in case of "emergency".
In summary, our vacation was amazing--one of our best trips, and we are very happy with our decision to use Secret Dalmatia. Please feel free to use my comments in any way that would be helpful, and I will be writing a positive review on TripAdvisor and/or Facebook.
It was such a pleasure to meet you last night. Thank you for taking the time to come to the restaurant. Our trip was once again amazing and even more special to share with my parents!
I meant to tell you yesterday how much we loved our guide in Dubrovnik, Maris. She was incredibly knowledgeable with the history of the area, and gave us such an in depth tour that helped to bring together everything we learned during our trip about Croatia. We also loved her passion for her job.
Every aspects of our trip was fantastic! We can't wait to come back. We will be in touch!
Brooke Zrno Grisham
We are now home. It was a disappointment that there was no shiny, black Mercedes with a driver organised by Secret Dalmatia to pick us up on arrival at Heathrow!. We had to wheel our own cases and drive ourselves..........
I know that everyone in our party was delighted with everything you organised and all of the guides and drivers you allocated to look after us. They were all very special.The guides were knowledgeable, articulate and knew their subjects well and were able to express themselves in an interesting and understandable manner.They were a pleasure to be with. The drivers were pleasant young men who were courteous but friendly and skilful in handling the vehicle in such a way as to give a safe and comfortable ride. Everyone was prompt and on time for appointments.
The choice of hotels was perfect, each different in its own way but all providing comfortable accommodation in beautiful locations.
The itinerary gave great variety so that we did not do too much of the same thing on consecutive days. It allowed us to see a great deal of your wonderful country in a short time. I think we were all surprised by the beauty of the countryside and the coast and the way the towns and cities are being maintained. The people were always friendly and helpful (with one small exception at the seaplane check in!).
Thank you for all of your help in giving us all a wonderful holiday. Please pass on our thanks to all of those who made our stay such an enjoyable one.We will recommend Secret Dalmatia to all and everyone.
MORE INFORMATION in the book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/7153513-carry-on-in-croatia
Hello Mariana thank you for the wonderful pictures and memories it was great fun. Mike and I had an amazing trip and we cannot even tell you how much we love Nevis. She became our family and she was so intelligent on all topics. Her knowledge of Croatia and the history was impeccable. We would do Secret Dalmatia again and again with the exception of having Nevis as our guide. At the end of our trip in Venice we were all in tears, it felt as though we were leaving family behind.
The itinerary was great! We felt like we learned the essence of Croatia, and it people. Mike and I hope to return again someday.
Please tell Nevis thank you again and we miss her!
Sincerely Kimberly and Mike Janes
It was so nice of you to meet with us in Split. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip through Croatia and into Italy. My expectations were exceeded and I have heard the same from others in the group. I have done many of these trips with small groups and this was by far the best. The people of Croatia were delightful, warm, friendly, open and spoke English well. I am touched by how tradition is still so strong and passed on to the younger generations. The country is amazingly beautiful and I only want to return to explore it more and maybe move there for a while as a base to explore other destinations in Europe.
Nives was the most amazing guide. We all cannot say enough, how much we loved her. She felt like family by the time we had to say goodbye. You are very lucky to have her guide for you. We understand she has had some very recent personal loss and I hope that we were able to distract her yet provide warm and comforting companionship for her.
All of our lodging was very comfortable and nicely located for exploring during free time.
The only slightly disappointment was on the island of Hvar. I would have enjoyed staying in Hvar town which was fabulous and lively but Stari Grad was very sleepy with very little open for business. I’m sure in a few weeks, things would be different but we saw much construction getting ready for the opening of the season and closed stores and restaurants. I chose not to go to Sibenik because we were enjoying Split so much and had not had time to explore on our own with shops open. It seemed a few hours there would not be worth it. Now, after doing more research on what we missed and seeing photos, I cannot wait to get there next time, spending a few days at least. Not to mention, it is where my grandparents are from.
By far our favorite wines and wine experience was at Bibich. The food pairings were amazing and beautifully presented, a caliber of culinary execution we had not experienced elsewhere in Croatia. In general, the food was rustic and delicious. I felt we ate like the locals not tourists. The meals were filling and memorable as well as those doing the cooking, welcoming us into their homes. My favorite food experience is hard to pick but i am an oyster lover and they were fabulous as well as the mussels. I don’t know if you are aware but because we had some people that did not want oysters we expected fish, but they cooked chicken. Tom was really looking forward to fish and sitting a the table without the chicken eaters so our host just caught a few fish off his dock and cooked them up. We were impressed! The water is so clean I only wish it was warm enough to get in at least once. We also all loved the spit roasted lamb and everything cooked in the peka.
As for Italy, our hotel was in a wonderful location away from the tourists and easy to get around and enjoy the back alleys and canals. Francesca did a great job setting up our transportation for our day touring Valpolicella and it was very enjoyable.
Our driver Ivan was great and most transportation connections were perfect except for the ferry to Hvar that was full and we had to wait for the next one. It is understandable with ferry schedules and so many people to move.
A lot of people that visit our wine tasting room, once they heard about our plan to go to Croatia expressed interest in visiting and those who have gone, rave about it. We can all be added to those that will rave about it!
I understand we were a larger group the you are used to accommodating.
Thank you for making the trip so successful and feel free to use me as a reference.
Terra Vina Wines - Respecting the Earth, Creating Great Wine.
" Beyond expectation " is the way I would describe your travel plan for us. The accommodations were well diversified from historic to new luxury which allowed us to experience two worlds of living. The Vans were very comfortable and the drivers excellent in knowledge as well as interesting and humorous and safe. The guides were exceptional in all respects, the food experiences a real pleasure and the wines superb. Many times I am asked by service providers. "how could we improve?" I really think you have, and are the perfect team, a dream accomplishment in business. After travelling to over 50 countries Croatia / Dalmatia rates in the very top.
Thanks for designing our trip, then keeping us on track by the day with your experts. Every aspect of your services was indeed "beyond expectation".
Larry Buhler Winnipeg Canada