“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.
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.
It has taken us several weeks to begin absorbing the experience of our journey to your homeland. We were dazzled by your warm and embracing welcome. We were dazzled by content and beauty. We were enriched by the quality of people we met from the rising of the sun and its setting each and every day.
You, Alan, were the masterful architect who drew the blueprint for each day. We set high expectations and they were exceeded. We are grateful to you and your team beyond measure.
In the weeks to come we will attempt to create a photo narrative of a significant number of photographs (we took over 1,000). Our memories remain vivid and in abundance. We'll keep you posted.
We would be thrilled to welcome you and your family to Los Angeles. Please let us know how we may be helpful with your plans.
Pam, Jeff, Myna and I send our warmest regards from home to home.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but things have finally settled down and I have largely caught up from my time on vacation.
Our trip to Croatia was truly memorable. We thoroughly enjoyed our itinerary, the people we met, the guides that you provided and the beauty of Croatia. We are sorry that we were not able to stay longer and see more. I would have enjoyed going to various locations in Istria, some of the other off-shore islands and Slavonia.
In retrospect, while we thoroughly enjoyed Split and Dubrovnik, and would not have wanted to miss them, the highlights of the trip were visiting the islands of Hvar and Brac. They were truly unique and memorable. The excursions you provided and our interactions with your guides added so much more to the overall experience.
The hotels that you chose for us were generally of very high quality and well located. The guides who you assembled were generally very, very personable and knowledgeable
I suppose if we had any suggestions for enhancing the experience, I would offer only these a) the guides on the island of Hvar were not quite of the same caliber as the remainder of the guides that you provided ( but weren’t bad), b) it was probably a little too much for us (but perhaps not for others) to provide two wine tastings sequentially on two separate days. When the second wine tasting on Brac did not materialize, our guide, Dom, who was superlative, took us to a tavern where we roasted lamb and had the most amazing meal in a vineyard overlooking the island and the coast. That followed an earlier wine tasting with a truly memorable world class accompanying menu.
My wife and I would definitely recommend Secret Dalmatia to anyone interested in visiting you beautiful country. We have already recommended you to one friend.. Feel free to post this on Trip Advisor.
Bob and Andrea Pryor
The Croatian trip was dazzling. Of course the country has an abundance of magical elements: gorgeous coast, superb cuisine, fascinating history and architecture. But Secret Dalmatia managed to translate all these delectable aspects of Croatian culture and landscape into immediate, palpable, first-hand experiences for us. Ironically enough, some of our pleasures sprang directly from Croatia's economic travails. Because of the shortage of jobs in non-tech fields, professionals (art historians, economists, linguists, etc. ), have no choice but to gravitate toward tourism. Luckily for us, Secret Dalmatia seems to have scooped up the most personable, savvy, and brilliant of these experts. As a result, our guides were a consistent delight. Usually fluent in several languages, they amused and amazed us. As we sauntered around exquisite old towns, they pointed out landmarks and architectural curiosities, told us fascinating tales about Neolithic settlements, Roman emperors, and Christian relics. Their stories were not limited to distant times. They also told us about their first hand experiences of the Croatian War of Independence. ( In the case of one guide, half Serbian and half Croatian, this story was extremely moving.) Our pleasures were not limited to historical/cultural explorations. Guides escorted us on wonderful hikes, took us to farmhouses where we met local families and sampled traditional cooking. (One guide even prepared a simple meal for us in middle of hinterlands' hike. It was superb--best food of entire trip.). Several other aspects of the trip planned by Secret Dalmatia. One was the pacing. Somehow, trip planners intuited when we might need a morning or afternoon to ourselves. We loved the time-outs as much as the we loved the guided tours. We got a chance to sleep in, sun bathe, to ramble, to ride bikes, to swim in the warm buoyant Aaahhh-driatic--a real treat!. Another contribution of Secret Dalmatia was the choice of hotels. They were well-located, comfortable, and unpretentious. Several had exquisite ocean views. Perhaps the most important contribution of Secret Dalmatia was Mariana's on-the-spot availability if we had any questions, requests, or concerns. she was always just a text or a call away. We felt so well cared for--as though Secret Dalmatia really had a stake in the quality of our vacation.
Next time: I have a Croatian wish list for the future. First on the list is a visit to the pirate town where the Cetina flows into the sea; the second is to sample more of Dom's cuisine; finally, one of our guides told us about a trip she had taken on a boat around the uninhabited Kornati islands. (The guide's fluency in Russian was required by a Kazakstan princess and her entourage). The Kornati experience sounded wonderful. Dare i --a American commoner--aspire to such a royal excursion? Knowing what Secret Dalmatia can provide, I dare....
We had a wonderful trip and thank you for arranging everything! We will recommend you and Secret Dalmatia to our friends and Croatia as a premier vacation spot. Our accommodations were gorgeous; our guides and driver were professional (but also so friendly and kind). The special meals (Tatjiana, Pellegrinis, Peka train station) and wine tastings--absolutely superb! We have no complaints at all. If we were to recommend to someone, I'd probably not go to Plitvice, just because of enormous crowds, and spend the extra time in Split. We were not disappointed to miss the Stone picnic because of weather and my husband was able to find plenty of fresh oysters in Dubrovnik.
My husband says he would recommend taking lots of cash on the wine tasting trip, as the second one accepts only cash and we were anxious to buy lots of delicious wine. He thinks it might be better to go directly to the second winery, but I was delighted to visit two and compare the experiences.
Our motor boat drivers were great! We enjoyed traveling around Hvar and the Elephati Islands. Your country is absolutely gorgeous, full of history and rich with culture. We loved it and want to come back!
Thank you so much!
It is good to be home and somewhat caught up on our sleep after the ten hour flight and eight hours time change.
We do what to thank you again for keeping in touch on our travels in Croatia and especially for rearranging the ferry trip from Hvar to Korcula. Every aspect of our stay in Croatia was a marvellous experience from our first greetings in Spit to our bon voyage from Dubrovnik.Each of our guides was first class. The history lessons were excellent, but also the culture and personal experiences of our guides was a bonus. Our drivers too, were courteous and very attentive.
Highlights of our trip? There were several. We did so enjoy our lunch with Cedo. The lunch itself was enjoyable but also the conversation was so interesting. A fine dinner in the olive grove was the culmination of a wonderful day of seeing the island from one end to the other and from the highest point. Not forgetting the most enjoyable wine tasting stops. Monti was a great host. None of us had ever had mussels before and certainly never enjoyed oysters such as we enjoyed on Dennis’ family island. He and his wife prepared a great feed.
Our thanks again to you and Diana for providing us with an exceptionally fine two weeks.
Barbara and Allan
Cecily has only finished her conference in Dubrovnik yesterday afternoon and at airport there now in fact.
The holiday was terrific. Organisation seemless, no hitches at all. Very good and excellent selection of guides and drivers, cars good, hotels good and ones near old towns very convenient.
Dubrovnik hotel sensational location over the water!
Cecily at Kompas for conference and it is a good hotel too by the way, though further from town.
Food a little patchy at restaurants with Zadar ordinary tourist menus in general (Went to a couple recommended by you and high on tripadevisor but not great, but I think no good ones there...seems to be well behind other towns for modernised, gourmet food). Sibenik gourmet lunch very good (though wished we knew so many courses coming as struggled to finish it all!...lovely staff there.)
Only negative experience was tour the town of Kotor as 2 large cruise ships so town swamped with tourists, and I was glad to get out of there in the end.
Wine tour and village dinner v good in Hvar.
Very impressed with you and Secret Dalmatia. Happy to give more feedback after Cecily arrives back.