THE BEST OF CROATIA & THE DALMATIAN COAST

9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Description

Undoubtedly the best kept secret in the Adriatic, Croatia is a captivating European country that revels in a year-round mild Mediterranean climate, rich cultural heritage, and stylishly cosmopolitan appeal. Along the Dalmatian Coast you will find exquisite towns and villages from Dubrovnik to Split and beyond. Its capital city, Zagreb, is justly known as the "city of museums," encompassing more museums per square foot than any other city across the globe. Old Dubrovnik is considered one of the best preserved medieval walled cities in the world. Here you can walk along the city's walls, delve into its resonant cultural heritage, savor the flavors of the Mediterranean tasting the areaطs food and wine, and make new friends as the warmth of the locals draw you into their world. Shop the open-air markets of Split and experience the area's trendy restaurants. On average this sun-soaked land basks in a splendid 2,600 hours of sunlight each year, earning it acclaim as one of Europe's sunniest seaside settings. With 1,778 kilometers of coastline, plus more than one thousand offshore islands, Croatia is an alluring and attractive beach destination that has become a popular vacation spot waiting to be explored by jet-setters, yachting enthusiasts, and travelers seeking exploration, culture, sun and fun from all over the world.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA 
Embark on your overnight international flight to Zagreb, Croatia. Meals and refreshments served on board. 

Day 2 Arrive Zagreb, Croatia 
Upon arrival to Zagreb, you will be met at the airport by your Central Holidays representative and transferred to your hotel for check-in. This afternoon you have the opportunity to experience Zagreb like a local as you explore the city at your own pace. Zagreb is justly known as the "city of museums", encompassing more museums per square foot than any other city across the globe. From its main square you will discover the storied history and modern pulse of this enigmatic place as you stroll through its pedestrian center or sit for a spell at an open air cafe. Tonight we invite you to join together with your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner. (D) 

Day 3 Zagreb/City Tour - Split 
After breakfast at your hotel, embark on an insightful walking tour of Croatia's capital Zagreb. Your included city tour showcases Zagreb's historic center, featuring the opportunity to see its acclaimed Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, Parliament, and Governor's Palace. Time at leisure gives you the opportunity to explore the area's culinary treats on your own before heading on to Split. Tonight, Split greets you with plenty of time to check out the area's food scene and savor local recipes at trendy restaurants. (B) 

Day 4 Split/City Tour - Trogir/City Tour - Ethno Village - Split 
After breakfast, get ready to discover Split on a tour of the historic city center that takes you to delve into the city's Roman heritage. Discover the Palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World heritage Site. Then explore remnants of the Split's past, including its Renaissance and Gothic structures: the Peristyle, Cathedral, and Jupiter's Temple. Early this afternoon we head on to Trogir, a harmonious stone town on a small island that is connected to the mainland and the island of Čiovo by bridges. On a walking tour we will visit the old town, a UNESCO world heritage site that is a treasure trove for lovers of art and architecture with its renaissance and Baroque buildings, and Romanesque churches. The area's narrow streets and small village squares, numerous restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and galleries, all come together to give this town a superb Mediterranean ambiance. Next, we venture on to inland Dalmatia and Ethno Village Zagora - Stella Croatica, an estate comprised of typical stone houses and surrounded by an orchard, olive groves, and gardens. The estate host will guide you on a tour as she presents their collection of items used by Dalmatian families historically. Then, enjoy a tasting of traditional Dalmatian delicacies made on-site. Overnight in Split. (B) 

Day 5 Split - Dubrovnik/City Tour 
Rise and shine with breakfast at your hotel before embarking on a scenic drive from Split to Dubrovnik. Get ready to discover the treasures of Dubrovnik upon arrival with a spectacular walking tour of old Dubrovnik, considered one of the best preserved medieval walled-cities in the world. Highlights of your tour include the rector's Palace, Sponza Palace, Orlando's Column, Bell Tower Clock, Dominican Monastery and Franciscan Monastery with its pharmacy-one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore this magical place. Here you can walk along the city's walls, delve into its resonant cultural heritage, savor the flavors of the Mediterranean tasting the area's food and wine, and make new friends as the warmth of the locals draw you into their part of the world. (B)

Day 6 Dubrovnik 
Today greets you with a full day at leisure to explore Dubrovnik or to join the optional tour to Montenegro. The republic of Montenegro beckons, boasting what was once thought to be Southern Europe's longest and deepest fjords, the Bay of Kotor. In fact, it is actually a submerged river canyon. This expansive bay is made up of four smaller gulfs surrounded by mountains plunging into the Adriatic. Here you will enjoy a boating adventure to Our Lady of the Rocks Church. Then head back for a visit of Perast, situated at the foot of St. Elijah Hill. Here, Baroque architecture, and splendorous 17th and 18th century villas and churches greet you as you stroll the quaint streets of this charming village. Kotor is the next stop on today's exciting itinerary where you can explore its medieval maze of pedestrian streets, its bustling market and see its beautiful Renaissance buildings and impressive nearly 3 miles of fortified walls. Return to Dubrovnik for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 7 Dubrovnik - Mostar/City Tour - Plitvice Lakes 
The day's exciting activities commence with an early morning breakfast and drive through the Gorge of Neretva River, passing the border of Bosnia and arriving in Mostar. The cultural capital of Herzegovina, Mostar is the fifth largest city in the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, named after the bridge keepers that would guard the old bridge over the Neretva in medieval times. On your walking tour of the city you will visit the 16th century stone bridge, explore the remnants of its Turkish quarter, and discover the old city center. After your tour, there is free time to explore and have lunch on your own before heading on towards the Plitvice Lakes area where you will overnight and enjoy an included dinner at your hotel.
(B,D)

Day 8 Plitvice/Plitvice National Park Tour - Zagreb 
Power up with breakfast at your hotel and get your camera ready to capture the treasures of UNESCO World Heritage site Plitvice Lakes National Park, including its breathtaking terraced lakes. Plitvice Lakes, a natural phenomenon, is a jewel of inestimable value. Between the town of Mala Kapela and Plje?ivica, in the area where the river Korana has its source, there are 16 large as well as many small lakes connected by small, medium and large waterfalls that lead to the river Korana and continue to Karlovac. The natural beauty of the waterfalls, cascades, caves and rocks, combine to create a beautiful mosaic of colors, sounds, and shapes surrounded by high mountain forest terrain. After your outdoor
adventure, the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb, welcomes you this afternoon to delve into the city at your own pace or take an optional tour to Kumrovec and Gresna Gorica. Kumrovec is situated along the Sutla River and on Croatia's boarder with Slovenia. Here you will see the town's premier attraction is its old village known as the historical Museum Staro Selo that showcases approximately 40 extremely well preserved houses and farms from the turn of the century (19th to 20th). Kumrovec is best well known as the birthplace of Yugoslavia's former president, Josip Broz Tito. You will also have the opportunity to visit the birth house turned museum of this popular Yugoslavian leader. Next, we will drive through the Zajorge hills to Gresna Gorica or "Hill of Sins" where you will have the opportunity to experience the regional gastronomy. This rustic and rural setting boasts spectacular views of Castle Veliki Tabor and offers the ideal ambiance to savor a delicious dinner with wine, featuring Zagorje specials made with fresh ingredients including locally-sourced cheeses, produce, and meats as well as homemade sausages and smoked ham. After dinner we head back to your hotel in Zagreb. (B)

Day 9 Zagreb to USA or extend your stay with an optional Bled, Slovenia
extension 
After breakfast you will be transferred to Zagreb airport for your flight
or extent your stay in Bled, Slovenia. (B)

OPTIONAL BLED, SLOVENIA EXTENSION

Day 9 Zagreb - Bled/City Tour 
Today, continue your travel adventure discovering Slovenia's most visited attraction..the story book alpine village of Bled. Acclaimed as one of Europe's most beautiful mountain resorts, the village features a picture-perfect castle surrounded by snow-capped peaks, overlooking a glittering lake in a tranquil valley -- it's a setting that seems to be etched straight out of a blissful fairytale. On a guided tour you will discover the magic of Bled, from its enchanting castle and charming cottages, to its amazing coastal splendors. The rest of the day is yours at leisure. (B)

Day 10 Bled - Ljubljana/City Tour - Postojna Cave Tour - Bled 
After breakfast at your hotel, we drive to the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Here on our guided tour you can take-in the splendid ambiance as you visit the city's many sights, including: the Three Bridges and the Central open-air market, Parliament, Robba's Fountain, and the Baroque town hall. Next, on the day's exciting activities, visit the Postojna Cave, one of the largest cave systems in the world. Situated in the Karst region and expanding over 15 miles, you will have the unique opportunity to head deep into the cavern and take-in the subterranean rock formations, stalagmites, and stalactites as you tour the caves by train. Return to Bled for a special farewell dinner at local restaurant and overnight stay.
(B,D)

Day 11 Bled to USA 
Wake to the day with breakfast at your hotel with a lifetime of memories of your travels to cherish and share. Then embark on your transfer to Ljubljana airport (or Zagreb airport) for your return flight home. (B)

Includes

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 9 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: a city tour of Zagreb, city tour of Split including Diocletian's Palace, tour of Trogir, visit to Ethno village Zagora, a city tour of Dubrovnik, tour of Mostar, and a tour of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Optional tours available
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Zagreb
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL BLED, SLOVENIA EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - First-class hotel for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 3 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: half day tour of Bled, half day tour of Ljubljana and Postojna Cave tour
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe airconditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

Notes

  • Zagreb, capital city of Croatia
  • Culture, arts, music, architecture, history and gastronomy
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Dubrovnik, Trogir, and Split
  • Ethno Village tour
  • Beautiful historical towns of Montenegro
  • Breathtaking Bay of Kotor
  • Ancient Ottoman city of Mostar
  • UNESCO protected Old Bridge
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Spectacular natural landscapes
  • Kumrovec, birthplace of Yugoslavia's former president, Josip Broz Tito
  • Alpine village of Bled and Lake Bled
  • Postojna's underground cave systems
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia's quaint capital city and more...