Thursday, 19 October 2017 12:59

SCENTS OF CROATIA 2018 – departure Zagreb


Enjoy a welcome at the Zagreb airport and a transfer to the hotel in town where you will stay for the next two nights. Refresh and relax before your welcome meeting at the hotel at 7pm. Overnight in Zagreb.
Start your day with a guided stroll around Croatia’s largest city, wandering its historic Upper town and the modern Lower town. Zagreb charms with green parks and open-air terraces, quiet courtyards and bustling streets, and landmarks like the Church of St. Mark with the colorful roof, the Cathedral and the National Theatre. After the walking tour, enjoy watching the dreamy rural sceneries replace the image of the bustling capital as you travel to Zagorje. This bucolic landscape of slopes dressed in vineyards is home to many castles. Trakošćan, one of the best known and most attractive ones, is an estate with roots dating back to the 13th century while your second stop, Veliki Tabor, showcases Renaissance at its best. In between, enjoy a typical lunch at a traditional restaurant. Feeing royal, return to Zagreb for an overnight stay.
After breakfast, head southwest from Zagreb to a Croatian gem still hidden off-the-beaten-path. Gorski Kotar, the region backing Kvarner Bay, is a pristine mountainous jewel, with evergreen woods and beautiful lakes setting scene for lovely outings in untouched nature. You will travel to Fužine, a small lakeside village where you will peek in the cave Vrelo and stretch your legs in a stroll around the lovely Lake Bajer. Delve into the local specialties like venison at the famed restaurant Bitoraj, and then continue to the seaside Opatija. The grand dame of Kvarner is your destination for the night. 
Sitting like a gateway to the Istrian peninsula, Opatija is an ideal starting point for a day of discovering Croatia’s largest peninsula. Sometimes referred to as the Croatian Tuscany, along with its heritage, Istria is famed for tasty bits like truffles, wines, olive oils and such. Start in Buzet with Istrian salami and homemade brandies, then make your way to Motovun, the mystic home of the truffle. In Buje, enjoy a fantastic meal accompanying the local craft beer San Servolo. For the grand finale, venture out to the colorful Rovinj and as you admire its narrow streets, romantic seaside, and sky-high tower of St. Euphemia church, walk it all off. Return to the graceful Opatija for the night.
After breakfast, it’s discovering one of Croatia’s most special foodie islands, Pag. Stretching parallel to the coast, Pag is a rather rocky landscape known for winds and salt which nuance its every flavor. Thanks to the combination, even the grazing grass tastes different here, translating to remarkable dairy products, and especially the cheese. Savor the best of it at Sirana Gligora, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning cheese factory. Then head back to the mainland to the town of Zadar, your final destination for the day. As the sunset colors the horizon, savor your first seafood dinner on this foodie escapade and spend overnight in Zadar.
One of the most memorable moments on your journey from Zadar to Split is stopping to visit the Krka River National Park. Sometimes called ‘the little Plitvice’, Krka is nothing short of stunning. As you stroll around the forested paths, explore the history of the region dating back to the first Croatian kings. Take a boat to Skradinski Buk, a mighty waterfall which thunders so loud that for a moment, you will not hear your thoughts. Early in the afternoon, refresh with a typical local lunch in a traditional konoba restaurant and then continuing the drive. Take one more break to visit the charming Trogir. Split’s petite neighbor is also UNESCO-listed for its fortified maze of stone alleys which holds some of the most impressive Renaissance landmarks in the country. Stay overnight in the largest coastal city in Croatia, Split.
All about its seafront promenades, long coffees and white stone from the neighboring island of Brač, Split’s urbanity developed from its present day historic core, the immense palace intended for the retirement of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The theatrical open-air Peristyle, the immense temple of Jupiter, the Cathedral of St. Domnius, each one of these is a chapter in the story of Split. Your guide will tell you everything about this centuries-long journey from a palace to a town, leaving you ample time to explore the vibrant café and shopping scene of Split on your own. Complete the day with an afternoon tasting of olive oils and wines, two essential ingredients of every meal on the coast. Enjoy an evening at leisure and an overnight stay in Split.
After breakfast, head down the coast to Croatia’s southernmost gem - Dubrovnik. Enjoy the rhythm of the Adriatic islands lining up against the horizon as you drive by. Half way, divert to Pelješac peninsula, the wine empire of the south. Delve into the essence of the region in a wine tasting in one of the small, family-run local wineries, then stop in the tiny town of Ston. At the very entrance to the peninsula, sitting beneath a dramatic curtain of very long walls, Ston is the kingdom of delights: potent wines, salt from the historical salt pans and freshly harvested oysters are everyday treats here. An ideal place for a seafood lunch, Ston is a stop foodies will long remember! Reminisce during the remaining drive to Dubrovnik and then enjoy a dinner and the evening on your own. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Whether you know it as the Pearl of the Adriatic or the King’s Landing, Dubrovnik is sure to enchant as soon as you pass its immense stone gates. Between the medieval walls and baroque facades of its Old Town, turn corners to find stunning palaces, longstanding monasteries and revered churches interwoven with glorified movie sets and lively piazzas. The stories of your expert local guide will bring to life the town’s glorious history as a merchant force and an independent Republic. After the tour, head out to the Konavle region that has fed Dubrovnik throughout all these centuries. This serene fertile land surrounded in rugged hills is today a heaven of rural households which still upkeep their ancient traditions. At one such place, you will enjoy a honey tasting. Then, the grand finale: the traditional peka dinner, an ancient way of preparing meat and potatoes still favored today in many Croatian households! Dobar tek! Overnight in Dubrovnik.
After breakfast at the hotel, take a transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (or another hotel/accommodation in Dubrovnik).

Published in Zagreb
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 16:59

CROATIAN HIGHLIGHTS 2018 - from Zagreb


Arrival to Zagreb Airport. Transfer to hotel in Zagreb and overnight.
Following breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a guided encounter with Croatia’s largest city. With an air of a true European capital, Zagreb charms with its baroque facades and spiffy towers, green parks and open-air terraces, quiet courtyards and bustling streets. Between its historic Upper town and urban Lower town, spot landmarks like the Church of St. Mark with its colorful roof, the Cathedral and the National Theatre. In the afternoon, enjoy the scenic ride to Opatija, the seaside resort town gracing the shores of Kvarner Bay, exuding a grandeur of its 19th-century vogue. Overnight in Opatija.
Sitting like a gateway to the Istrian peninsula, Opatija is an ideal starting point for a day of discovering Croatia’s largest peninsula. Sometimes referred to as the Croatian Tuscany, along with its heritage, Istria is famed for tasty bits like truffles, wines and olive oils. From hotspot to highlight, marvel at the impressive Roman amphitheater in Pula, the outstandingly charming Rovinj and the mystic Motovun, wrapped in its medieval cloak of walls on top of a lushly green hill. Spend the evening in the graceful Opatija.
The first visit of the day takes you to Croatia’s most popular natural gem, the Plitvice Lakes. A guided walk around the wooden pathways unveils an amazing world of 16 cascading lakes interlaced with over 90 stunning waterfalls, bound to mesmerize you in any season. Continuing the drive to Split, take a break in Trogir, UNESCO-listed World Heritage site. A bundle of narrow atmospheric streets which twist and bend between houses, palaces and churches, the heritage of Trogir is rooted in the Greek and Roman times and showcases some of the finest architectural works in Croatia, including the incredibly intricate portal of its Cathedral, the Town Loggia and the Cipiko palace. Arrive to Split and spend overnight in Split/Split area.
After breakfast at the hotel, set out on a late morning walking tour of Split. Dalmatia’s
largest coastal town bustles and buzzes, as it grows more and more popular among travelers for its easy-going spirit, creative food and shopping scene and of course, remarkable heritage. Learn about the Diocletian’s Palace, once the Roman Emperor’s retirement estate and today a lively city center housing 3,000 people!
Finally, enjoy a ferry or catamaran ride from Split to the neighboring island of Hvar where you will spend the night at a hotel in the glitzy town of Hvar.
The island of Hvar is known for its purple lavender fields, a backdrop for oil production, potent red wines from steep vineyards especially enjoying the island’s status as Croatia’s sunniest island, and the glitzy jet-set scene along the starlit waterfronts of the town of Hvar, so often featured in national and international summer media. In your morning walking tour, explore the island’s prime gem and its most trendy destination, the town of Hvar. Home to the oldest theatre in Europe, also the home of organized tourism in Croatia, the heritage of Hvar extends far beyond the popular party scene! Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure and spend the night in a hotel in Hvar.
Enjoy a breakfast at the hotel and some time on your own. Hvar is known for diverse opportunities, from bustling squares of Hvar town to the serene waterfront of Jelsa, the bridges of Vrboska and vineyards of Ivan Dolac, so expect time to fly. In the afternoon, bid farewell to Hvar and hop on a boat to take you to the neighboring island of Korčula. Arrive in the evening and enjoy an overnight stay in Korčula.
The far south of Croatia holds many gems. You’ll know Korčula was a Venetian stronghold as soon as you lay your eyes on the many lion statues which lurk at you from the town’s facades and gates, intertwined with some of the most outstanding stonework you will get see anywhere on the Adriatic coast. Stroll the narrow, curved streets, marvel at beautiful churches and magnificent palaces in one of the best preserved medieval towns in the Mediterranean. Early in the afternoon, cruise to Dubrovnik, which once successfully rivaled the Venetian Republic. Arrival to Dubrovnik and overnight stay in a hotel.
Enjoy a breakfast at the hotel and a lazy start of the day. In the late morning, embark on a guided walking tour of Dubrovnik Old Town, a.k.a. the Pearl of the Adriatic or the King’s Landing. Whatever you might consider to be the town’s main drawcard, the mighty city walls of Dubrovnik and its courteous spirit will swiftly transport you back in time to when this was an independent republic and a highly cultured Mediterranean town. After learning of its history and present, enjoy the afternoon exploring on your own. Stay overnight stay in your Dubrovnik hotel.
A marvelous city like Dubrovnik can only be surrounded by a marvelous region. Tailor this day to your own liking, whether you are up for just relaxing or perhaps venturing out to explore the islands nearby. Locals would suggest Lokrum Island as an easy trip from the Old Town Harbor. Promising a day of heavenly serenity, Lokrum envelops you in thick green forests of holm oak, pine and laurel, to be shared with the island’s only permanent inhabitants: peacocks and bunnies. Just a tad bit further away, the Elaphite Archipelago packs sandy beaches, remarkable heritage, fun hiking trails and good food into a day excursion. Enjoy the overnight stay in the hotel.
Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (or other hotel/accommodation unit in Dubrovnik). End of program.

Published in Zagreb
Thursday, 16 March 2017 11:04

Croatia in green for St. Patrick's day

The Tourism Ireland's „Global Greening“ initiative is taking place at Croatian cities of Zagreb, Rijeka and Pula with the support of Embassy of Ireland in Croatia. On Friday, 17 March 2017 Zagreb and Rijeka for the first time, and Pula second consecutive year are celebrating Ireland's national day, St. Patrick's day.

In Zagreb, the City's new fountain on Croatia Fraternal Union Street will light in green. Rijeka choose to green famous Trsat Castle above the City. And at the end City of Pula will once again green the „Lightning Giants“ in the Uljanik shipyard.

The City of Rijeka will join the Irish City of Galway in 2020 as a European Capital of Culture.

With the participation of three cities, Croatia is in select company of a few countries which will take part in Tourism Ireland's 8th annual celebration of St. Patrick's Day (Empire State Buiding in New York, USA; the London Eye, UK; the Colosseum in Rome, Italy; Matuse Castle, Japan and Great Wall of China).

Published in blog