Croatia is perhaps one of the most beautiful countries in the world, not only for his scenery but it’s culinary richness. Croatia offers 1100 miles of coastline, has a varied landscape of coastal towns, mountains and fertile wine growing regions. Croatia is also the birthplace of the Zinfandel grape for any indication of the quality of wine you will get there.
This trip combines 10 days of the beauty of Croatia’s old medieval towns with the vibrant wine growing region of Dalmatian coast. This trip is for people who appreciate wine & food in all of it’s splendor. We are slated to see a handful of vineyards throughout several of Croatia’s local wine regions as well as embark on sea cruises, historic walks and enjoy lots of meals. This trip begins in gorgeous Zadar and takes a meandering pace south along to the coast to Split, then to the islands of Pag, Brac & Hvar before stopping at Dubrovnik. Along the way, we enjoy tastings at famous Croatian vineyards, roadside stands for olive oil and other culinary treasures. Join us for 10 days of sun, wine & laughter.
DAY 1 | ZADAR
Arrival day. Zadar is a low-key less touristy city on the Dalmatian coast and is a perfect place to start our trip. After an afternoon arrival in Zadar and checking into thehotel and freshening up, we will explore this medieval city on foot. It’s compact old town is woven with historic churches, cafes, restaurants and plenty of photo opportunities. It was also recently named the Best European Destination in 2016.
At sunset, we head to the sea organ to hear it’s majestic call and stroll over to a light art installation called ‘Greeting to the Sun’ & then on to a nourishing dinner where the wine instruction begins.
Points of Interest:
DAY 2 | ZADAR + SURROUNDING
Day two. After breakfast & morning coffee, let’s find the Zadar market. This is a great place to buy authentic, family produced olive oil, sachets of lavender and other goodies.
Late morning, we venture into the Zadar countryside with a journey to the island of Pag, famous for its olive groves and sheep’s cheese (paški sir). There will be many places we stop along the day to sample roadside cheese as well as olive oil and wine. You will not be hungry today!
For lunch, I have arranged a special meal with tasting at the Boškinac winery on Pag. Anthony Bourdain came here a couple years and raved about the place.
After lunch, no doubt you will be stuffed s we will leave Pag and make our way to the town of Nin, considered one of the most romantic cities in Croatia and a famous place of salt production.
To complete the day, we head to the Kraljevski vineyard in Petrčane for a late afternoon tasting and take in the seaside views of its vineyards.
DAY 3 | ZADAR SURROUNDING + SPLIT
Day 3. Day 3 is one of my favorites. We leave Zadar and head south to some of my favorite, Bibich & Sladić, which are located outside of Šibinek. You will most likely buy 2 bottles of wine today. The rose, made from lasina & plavina grapes, from Sladić is one of my favorites.
We plan to arrive in Split in late afternoon and check into the hotel located in Split’s old town and head to the Riva (the local boardwalk) for a drink & have casual stroll through old town and the Diocletian’s palace. Split is the 2nd largest city in Dalmatia and is equally as beautiful in it’s own right. At the center of the city is Diocletian’s Palace and the rest of the city exists within and around it. For those that want to relax and take an afternoon nap, you will have that option. Our day ends with dinner & wine at a local wine bar called Zinfandel.
DAY 4 | SPLIT
Day 4. Today, we are taking a food, wine & history tour of the city. You will visit the local markets, hear about the history of Split and pick up supplies and head back to the the hotel for a personal cooking class.
The rest of the day is yours to explore and/or relax around old town. There is a park called Marjan located on the west end of the old town and our group can take a stroll there and just enjoy the day. At the top of Marjan is a perfect place to watch the sunset (if you want to tackle the 300 steps) and it is also a great place to get great views of Split’s Old Town.
DAY 5 | SPLIT + HVAR ISLAND
Day 5. We will spend the entire day on Hvar [pr: ha – whar] exploring the island, it’s towns and a few select vineyards. It’s a 2 hour ferry ride, so we start the day early and I have 2-3 vineyards for us to try once we arrive.
DAY 6 | IMOTSKI
Day 6. Imotski is located in central Dalmatia about a 1.5 hour drive from Split and skirts the border with Bosnia- Herzegovina. Imotski is away from the strong tourist centers of Split and Dubrovnik and gives a true slice of Croatian life. We are staying the the Eko Selo farm village which is a small hill town abandoned in the 90’s and fully restored by a local family. You will stay in beautifully restored farm houses and eat traditional Croatian dishes.
Also, this region is home to one of my favorite winemakers, the Grabovac family. They make over 14 types of wine and the quality was astounding (Syrah and Sauvignon (Blanc) were 2 of my favorites.
The region also features the famous blue and red lakes, of which, the blue lake you can swim.
Day 6. Early morning departure from Split on our way to one of the most productive wine growing regions in Croatia, the Pelješac peninsula. [p: paley – shatz] This wine growing region is so full of vineyards and places to sample wine that it simply can not be done in 1 day, that’s why we are devoting 2 full days here. Pelješac is nestled between Spilt and Dubrovnik and is about an hour north of Dubrovnik. Its vines grow on steep hill slopes that rise from the sea creating a dramatic scenery. Pelješac is famous for its red wine, made of a local grape called Plavac mali [p: plavach – mali], a distant relative of the Zinfandel grape.
We will visit Ston, a notable city for the defensive stone walls that surround it. It is also the gateway city to the Pelješac peninsula. Our destination is the seaside city of Orbeić but to get here we have to pass about 20 vineyards!
DAY 7 | STON + PELJEŠAC
Day 7. Early morning departure from Imotski on our way to one of the most productive wine growing regions in Croatia, the Pelješac peninsula. [pr: paley – shatz] This is considered the premier wine growing region in Croatia. Pelješac is famous for its red wine, made of a local grapes called plavac mali [pr: plavats – mali]. You will have heard of the name dingač [pr: din – gatch] by now and this refers to the angle at which the vines grow in Pelješac. Dingač is only found on this peninsula and is classified as the highest standard recognized by the Croatian law – “Vrhunsko Vino” (“Premium Quality Wine”) and happens to be my favorite Croatian wine.
Our 1st stop here is Mail Ston (Little Ston), a notable city for its defensive stone walls, think great wall of China but smaller. It is also the gateway city to the Pelješac peninsula. In Mali Ston we will go on an oyster boat tour and learn how local mussels and oysters are farmed and harvested. After that, our destination is the seaside city of Orbeić but to get here we have to pass about 20 vineyards!
DAY 8 | DUBROVNIK
Day 8. Onward to Dubrovnik on a lovely seaside drive that takes about 60 minutes and affords some amazing views, so stopping along the way is obligatory. Dubrovnik is the jewel of Croatia’s crown and it’s why we saved it for the last city. There is simply no other city in the world that compares to the beauty of Dubrovnik.
Today will be filled with soaking in the history with a walk around the city walls, where you literally walk the circumference of the city on its defensive walls. The afternoon is open to wander around, go to a local beach or perhaps hit a local wine bar called D’Vino and then on to an amazing dinner.
DAY 9 | DUBROVNIK
Day 9. Our last full day in Croatia will be a celebration of her beauty, food, wine and culture. We have arranged a special food and history tour of the city so you can get to know all about her.
In the afternoon, you have some free time to go to the beach, explore the old town on your own or whatever else suits your fancy. We will have a final dinner with lots of food, wine and laughter.
DAY 10 | DUBROVNIK
Day 10. Today is departure for all wanderers. Depending on the flight departure, you will have some time to explore Dubrovnik. There will be shuttles to the airport all day. The drive to the airport takes 30 minutes with no traffic and is a very easy airport to check into.
Price of this tour is $4400 for wanderers sharing a room and $5500 for wanderers who want their own private room.
This small group trip to Croatia is designed for active wanderers. There will be lots of walking, drinking and driving by rental car on the Croatian road system. If you have questions about physical specifics of this trip, please contact me. Tour prices are based on accommodation (3-4 star hotels/guest houses) and a personal American tour guide for duration of the trip. All trips will have an orientation meeting (in person if geography suffices) or Skype if it doesn’t, for all guests approximately 4 weeks before departure. There will be alcohol (in some cases lots of alcohol) consumed on this trip.
The price of this trip includes:
The price of this trip excludes:
Subject to Change. All Croatia trips are subject to change as travel is as unpredictable, so please note, that some parts of the trip may be altered to account for holidays, closed venues and weather related events. A final itinerary will go out several weeks before the departure day of the trip.
Megan went to Croatia twice in 2016 and fell in love with it’s dramatic landscapes and slow pace. She was also an immediate fan of the wine, traveling to over 20 vineyards in 40 days to savor as much as she could.
Deposit Requirement: 10% deposit is required immediately with each booking request. A booking can not be guaranteed without a deposit.
Deposits can be paid by check, Paypal, bank draft or credit card.
Tour Costs: Each trip must be paid in full no less than 120 days before departure. If booking within this timeframe, trip must be paid 100% at the time of booking. If trips fees are not paid by within these time frames, trip deposits will be forfeited. If you trip is eligible for a early booking discount, this will be indicated on the invoice.
For deposit and payments, please make payable and mail check to:
Peregrine West Group LLC
309 W. 8th St
Newton, NC 28658
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. Cancellation fees are as follows:
No refunds will be given to no-shows. No refunds will be given to someone who has failed to pay their balance on time and/or decides to withdraw from the trip after the trip has started. In the event of a cancellation, the appropriate refund shall be sent out within 4 weeks from the date of cancellation.
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.
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