Join us for 9 day aquatic culinary adventure in Southern Croatia.
Soak in the history at our arrival city of Split. Hop aboard our private catamaran for island hops to Hvar, Brač, Korčula & the wine peninsula of Pelješac. Spend some time in perhaps the prettiest walled city in the world, Dubrovnik. Meet the winemakers from some of the best vineyards in the country and hear the stories on how they got started & savor their amazing wines.
Do all of this with amazing guides who know Croatia. The trip is in conjunction with Vinotopia Wine Imports and includes many vineyards being imported to North Carolina.
Split is Croatia’s 2nd largest city in Dalmatia and is equally as beautiful in its own right. It’s one of the only cities in the world where the old town is actually inside an ancient palace called Diocletian. The great location of our hotel makes it easy to stroll around the ancient city or relax at the Riva, Split’s boardwalk.
After hotel arrival and check-in, wanderers have the rest of the day to get acquainted with the city and meet us for welcome drinks at MoNIKa’s bar.
Includes: Drinks at MoNIKa’s
A scrumptious breakfast will be served at the hotel and you will have a little time before your personal tour of Diocletian’s Palace with Jelena Vrančić. She is going to take you on a history and culture walk of the city.
The afternoon is yours to explore and we suggest walking up to Marjan park for some spectacular views, imbibing at a local bar on the Riva or getting lost in the old city. We have a special dinner planned at a great wine bar called Zinfandel.
Includes: Breakfast/Dinner & Diocletian’s Palace Tour
We begin the day with breakfast at our hotel in Split, before embarking on our 5 day boat journey. After check-in, we have the rest of the morning to enjoy our new surroundings and have a little lunch.
By the afternoon, we should have reached the seaside town of Skradin, our jumping off point for some truly magnificent wine. We have 2 vineyards on the itinerary: Bibich & Sladic. Sladic is a smaller family run winery growing hyper-local varietals. We are stopping here for a full tasting. After Sladic, we have a 5 minute drive to Bibich, one of the most popular and famous winemakers in Croatia. Bibich is preparing a special dinner and tasting for us. If we play our cards right we will taste one of the finest vintages, Bas de Bas, a Syrah-Merlot blend and their flavorful R6 comprised of 6 native varietals.
After dinner and some after dinner coffee in Skradin, we board the boat for our next adventure.
Includes: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner & Bibich and Sladić tastings
Our plan for the day is a leisurely morning breakfast, swimming and/or relaxing before our island hopping experience begins with a visit to Hvar [pronounced Hwar]. Our arrival city is Stari Grad [old city]. This city is very charming and we will have a couple hours to explore the area and have lunch. We can also arrange for a local walking tour of Stari Grad for those interested.
On Hvar island we will have the opportunity to taste with winemaker Jo Ahearne, one of the only women to be a certified Master of Wine in the world. Jo works with lesser known indigenous Croatian grapes and has gained international acclaim for her wine.
Towards dinner, we get back on the boat for dinner and special wine tasting with Jo Ahearne
Includes: Breakfast/Dinner & Wine Tasting with Jo Ahearne
Korčula is a charming island with strong historical roots, Marco Polo is from this island when it was part of the Venetian empire. Italians don’t take too kindly to Croatia claiming Marco Polo is theirs.
Korčula is also the home to Grk, the most potent local white grape variety. It grows only around Lumbarda, a small town at the southern end of island Korčula. There are couple of places producing excellent Grk wines that we will try, Bire and Zure.
Our intended stop is the walled city of Korčula town. Think of the city as a mini Dubrovnik with less crowds. After breakfast on the boat, you have most of the afternoon to explore, go to the beach before we depart for a succulent seafood dinner in Lumbarda at Konoba Zure.
Includes: Breakfast/Dinner & Wine
The first stop today is at the other end of the peninsula, the walled city of Ston, lovingly known as the “European wall of China”. In Ston, we can walk the 7km wall or see local salt production.
Next door to Ston is Mali Ston (small Ston) and this is where we embark on a boat tour of oyster and mussel production. You will see first hand how they have harvested the fruits of the sea for centuries while sampling as many as you can eat along the way. And, we don’t forget the wine. Bottles will be opened to be enjoyed with the oysters.
After stuffing our faces on the boat, we get back on the wine road and make our way to a couple vineyards, stopping at a few wineries along the way where we will try different styles of Plavac Mali, including from the famous Dingač appellation.
We aren’t done yet, the evening meal will involve more wine and fantastic Croatian fare in the hard to reach Dingač region of Pelješac. Dingač is one of the highest regarded wine regions of Croatia, this is in large part to how it is grown. The vines here struggle under what they call the “three suns” which the vine is exposed to direct rays of sun, reflection of the rays from the sea and the reflection from the white rocky soil.
Once dinner concludes, we head back to the boat so our wanderers can dream of another day in Croatia.
Includes: Breakfast/ Wine Tasting & Dinner/ Oyster Tour
One of Croatia’s most famous and photographed beaches is on Brač [pronounced Brach]. The beach is Zlatni Rat or golden horn. It constantly changes its shape based on the tide. Also note, there is a nude beach in the vicinity.
After breakfast, wanderers can relax on board or we can drop you off at Murvica beach and/or there is an optional hike to Zmajeva špilja (Dragon’s Cave), which is highly recommended if you are fit enough for the hike.
We will have lunch in the quaint town of Bol followed by an optional beach visit to Zlatni Rat, a ten minute walk from Bol.
Towards the evening, we are back on the boat for a quiet and relaxing dinner.
Day 8 – Return to Split
Today is our last day on the boat as we make our way back to Split. We will check into a local hotel and the day is open for whatever activities you would like but we suggest going to Marjan hill, exploring the markets or shopping at Uje, a local store famous for Croatian olive oil products.
We will have a farewell dinner to reflect on the past week.
If this is your last day, we will take you to the Spit airport for your departure.
If you are continuing on to Dubrovnik for the 2 day extension, we have late morning transportation arranged.
Dubrovnik is the jewel of Croatia’s crown and you will know why once you step inside the intact walls. There is simply no other city in the world that compares to the beauty of Dubrovnik. Game of Throne fans should completely geek out on this experience.
We have a great hotel in the Lapad neighborhood. It’s about a 15 minute walk to the old city. Once we get there and check in, you have the rest of the day to relax or wander. We recommend sticking around the neighborhood, there is a local beach and a sea facing walkway right next to the hotel.
We will meet for pre-dinner drinks at the Cave bar, a short 15 minute walk from our hotel. After drinks, we dine in one of Dubrovnik’s best restaurants, Pantarul.
Day 10 – Dubrovnik
If you didn’t make it to the old city the day before, we are definitely going today. We scheduled a local food and wine tour inside the walls of Dubrovnik in the late afternoon.
Outside of the food tour, you have the entire day to yourselves. The city features many day tours such as Game of Thrones and kayak tours or visit the nearby island of Lokrum. Click here to see a list of popular tours you can book ahead of time.
Includes: Breakfast/Dubrovnik Food Tour
All departing wanderers will get airport transfers. If anyone else is continuing their stay in this wonderful country, we wish you the best.
Harper Hornaday, Founder, and Matthew Lardie, GM of Vinotopia are the co-guides for these amazing 9 days. They started their wine business a couple years ago selecting the best unknown (to Americans) wines from Croatia, Slovenia, Herzegovina and Serbia.
They come from diverse backgrounds including academia, the restaurant industry, and food writing, but what unites them as a team is their love for wines and the stories they tell. They approach their wines almost from an anthropological angle; we want to know not only how it was grown and vinified, but also why that grape?
They have picked many of the vineyards we are visiting on this tour.
This Food, Wine & Boat Tour of Southern Croatia is designed for semi-active wanderers. There will walking, swimming and hiking options along Croatia’s rugged terrain. Trip prices are based on accommodation and an American tour guide for the duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation for all guests approximately 4 weeks before departure.
Discounts for couples signing up together.
Deposit Requirement: A deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking cannot be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Venmo or credit card. All credit cards are processed through Stripe.
Trip Costs: This trip must be paid in full prior to 4 months start of trip. If trip fees are not paid within this time frame, trip deposits will be forfeited.
Refund Policy: There is a 10% non-refundable fee per person on all received cancellation requests, regardless of the period when the cancellation is submitted. This trip is only 50% refundable if the request is made prior to 4 months. If cancellation request is made after, no refund will be issued. This is due to the strict booking policies for desired hotels.
We apologize for any inconvenience of this policy. You can however, transfer your reservation to another willing participant in the event you need to cancel. Just notify us if this is the case.
Tour Cancellations: Big Fat World Tours reserves the right to cancel any trip for any reason and will notify each guest as soon as possible. All deposits and monies paid will be refunded 100% in such an event.
These policies are strictly enforced due to logistical partners in country and reservations made with local hotels and providers.
For wanderers wanting a little more Croatia, we are adding 2 nights in Croatia’s famed Dubrovnik. This gorgeous walled city should not be missed by anyone visiting Croatia. We are staying in the Lapad neighborhood which has restaurants and a beach.
Wanderers will have lots of time to explore the old town and surrounding area.
Please note, this does not include onward transportation from Dubrovnik.
Do I have to drink wine to go on this trip? No, this trip is for anyone who wants to go to Croatia, whether they want to drink wine or not.
Is the wine really that good? Yes, the wine is fantastic in Croatia and we recommend packing a 2nd bag simply to carry your wine purchases home. You can fit 12-14 bottles into a carry on bag and wine sleeves are recommended. Of course, some of the vineyards are currently being imported into the United States by Vinotopia, please ask specifically if the bottle you like is. Read about Croatia’s vineyards.
What is the weather like in Croatia? In the summer months it can get quite hot on the coast with temps in some places reaching the 90’s, so plan accordingly. Winter is true winter in the Continental region and the capital, Zagreb, often with snow. On the coast, in winter it is quite windy and often stormy at times, but also quite mild. Our tours tend to run in the Shoulder Season, providing some of the best weather.
Do you tip in Croatia? Tipping is customary for good service unless stated otherwise – 10-15% on a restaurant bill is normal, and again note it is not possible to tip with a credit card payment and must be done separately in cash.
Is it safe in Croatia? Croatia is an incredibly safe and friendly country, with very little crime or theft. It is a beautiful country, with very clean cities, and sea, the tap water is drinkable – no need to buy bottled water.
There are no predators in the gorgeous sea, just keep your eyes out for the black sea urchins.
Is it possible to get vegetarian or vegan food in Croatia? The diet in Croatia, especially on the coast is Mediterranean and in most places has a focus on seafood. These days vegetarian meals in restaurants are possible, with vegan and gluten free less common but popping up. Some shops like DM drogeria have a selection of gluten free products.