Croatia adventure
Croatia adventure
Soak in the iconic beauty of Croatia’s ancient walled cities – stone buildings and red tile roofs – sitting at the very edge of glistening turquoise waters. This Adriatic gem and its cuisine will reveal a country of contrasts as eastern old-world traditions mingle with European sophistication.

This culinary journey includes cooking classes where you’ll learn to make seasonal favorites with the help of a local chef, visits to wineries where you’ll try wines you may have never heard of before, a boat ride to a private island and its oyster beds, as well as a traditional truffle hunt.

You’ll also experience the natural beauty of Krka National Park and excursions to some of Croatia’s most iconic cities and Roman ruins.

From Dubrovnik all the way to Istria, the sights and flavors of Croatia will delight you. You’ll truly expand your horizons as we get to know local chefs, explore the local marketplaces, try local delicacies, and see the natural wonders of the beautiful Adriatic Coast. We’ll get to know each other as we cook, eat, hunt for truffles and relax over a glass of wine together.

Let me tell you more…

Venue

Dubrovnik

Grand Hotel Park – Grand Hotel Park is located in the heart of Dubrovnik’s Lapad Peninsula and only 100 meters away from the beautiful beach. It has a large outdoor pool and a brand new and modern spa area with indoor pool. Consisting of the main hotel building and 2 historical villas, it offers air-conditioned rooms with shower/bath, minibar, flat-screen TVs, free of charge safe and free of charge wi-fi. Croatian and international cuisine can be enjoyed at Grand Hotel Park’s main restaurant or in the picturesque à la carte Tavern Maria’s Castle. Bars/Snack Bars are located within hotel, by the outdoor pool, and at the beach. Live music can be enjoyed 3-5 times a week. Tennis courts and a seashore promenade with restaurants, coffee shops, shopping center and magnificent views toward the Elaphite Islands are only a few steps away from the Grand Hotel Park. Dubrovnik’s Old town is less than 3 km away and can easily be reached in 5 minutes by frequent buses, as the bus station is just 2 minutes away from the hotel.

Photos courtesy of Grand Hotel Park.

Split

Dioklecijan Hotel & Residence Dioklecijan Hotel & Residence is a luxury hotel with a rooftop pool and a spectacular panoramic view of the city, sea and islands. It is located just 15-minute walking distance from the old town of Split, UNESCO’s heritage – Diocletian’s Palace and attractive sandy beaches where you can sunbathe and enjoy the crystal-clear sea. Dioklecijan Hotel & Residence is an engaging blend of classic elegance and modern comfort.

Photos courtesy of Dioklecijan Hotel & Residence.

Pag

Hotel Pagus – Hotel Pagus is located in a quiet part of the city Pag on a pebble beach. Reaching the center of town is just a pleasant 500m walk along the sea.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Pagus.

Rovinj

Hotel Angelo d’Oro – Hotel Angelo d’Oro is a delightful and charming boutique heritage hotel, located in the heart of Rovinj’s Old Town lively center, only a few steps away from the sea. The hotel benefits from the wonderful sea view as well as an adjacent green garden view. Situated in the former Bishop’s Palace from the 17th century, Hotel Angelo D’oro has the discrete elegance and welcoming atmosphere of a traditional Istrian private villa. Offering an unequalled level of hospitality and original array of aesthetics it is a perfect base for exploring Rovinj and its surroundings.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Angelo d’Oro.

Llubljana, Slovenia

Hotel City Superior – Hotel City Superior is located in the heart of Ljubljana, one of the most relaxed capitals in the world, where castles and dragons rub shoulders with trendy coffee shops and a lively night life.

Photo courtesy of Hotel City Superior.

Cuisine

Because this is a Croatia Culinary Adventure, get ready to dive in and experience a cuisine that reflects a diversity of Italian, Turkish, Hungarian and Austrian influences. The chefs in Croatia focus on using fresh, local ingredients to offer you an array of dishes in harmony with the climate of the region. But on this culinary adventure, we won’t just dine at local restaurants. We’ll also choose fresh delicacies from the local markets and cook with renowned chefs.

We’ll meet oyster farmers and enjoy oysters fresh from the sea. We’ll also spend time with truffle hunters and their trained dogs and head out into the forest to hunt for our very own truffles. And along the way, we’ll be tasting exquisite wines from local winemakers. Get ready for a true culinary adventure!

Activities

Walking Food Tour through Old Town Dubrovnik

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site this is a city that is the jewel in the crown of Croatia. Steeped in history, rich in culture, full of respect for tradition and a magnet for international travelers, Dubrovnik is timeless beauty. After a short walk from the hotel, meet our local guide and spend a few hours getting to know Old Town Dubrovnik on a walking food tour. Our guide will tell us all about the local sights and the city while also teaching us about the local delicacies. We’ll sample tastings at a Sweets & Liquor Shop, a Tapas Bar, a Family-run Restaurant, an Enoteca and a Pastry Shop along the way.

Wine Tasting at Peljesac Peninsula

Red, white, dry – whatever you fancy there are plenty of options in Pelješac. Vineyards cover large tracts of the Pelješac peninsula, starting in Ston and stretching all the way northwest to the outskirts of Orebić. The velvety red wine produced by the indigenous Plavac Mali vine is the wine for which the peninsula is famous. Generally, these reds have a deep color, and are rich, fruity and full bodied, with lots of tannins and a comparatively high alcohol level. The moister soil of the vineyards found slightly inland produce Plavac Mali that is lighter and marginally less distinguished than the Plavac Mali that originates on the stony southern coast, where arid conditions and salty breezes produce vines that are low in yield but rich in flavor. These south-coast wines are so specific that they were among the first Croatian wines to be accorded an appellation denoting the precise village they’re from, notably Dingač and Postup, the shore-hugging settlements just east of Orebić.

Visit a Local Oyster Farmer’s Private Island

The bay of Mali Ston located on Pelješac peninsula has a unique mix of freshwater and seawater. This is essential component that makes their oysters renowned as the best in the world. There are 3 essential characteristics of Ston oysters: they refresh, calm and encourage love. They are well known as the best natural aphrodisiac. Legend has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and lust, was born in a shell. And if you ask the people of Mali Ston, they have no doubt that the shell was an oyster. Ostrea edulis – the species of oysters grown only in Mali Ston Bay — are specific for their taste and they are very sensitive to grow. They react to any kind of sea pollution and therefore they are a confirmation that the sea is extremely clean. The best way to serve oysters is directly from the sea, with a splash of lemon and eaten by hand. We’ll stop at Ston for a boat trip to a local oyster famer’s private island to learn all about how these amazing oysters are grown and enjoy a delicious lunch of fresh oysters, homemade bread and wine.

Cooking Class in an Authentic Dalmatian Home

The story of Split began when Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to build a palace for his retirement days here, on a peninsula close to the great Roman city of Salona. Many centuries later, that palace and the city that was born within its walls became part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Walking around this ancient city is like travelling through time, from antique-era Aspalathos to modern day Split. With its outstanding architecture and top-notch gastronomy, Split will absorb you into its special state of mind.

For this experience in Split, we’ll join a famous local chef in the morning to shop the Peskarija (fish market), Mesnica (local butcher) and Pazar (vegetable market) at Diocletian’s Palace. After shopping for our fresh, local ingredients, we’ll walk to an authentic Dalmatian home for an immersive cooking class. Together we’ll prepare a delicious lunch of five different dishes based on fish, shellfish and shrimp, local vegetables, fruits and spices. We’ll enjoy homemade bread, carpaccio, risotto, homemade pasta and gregada (fish stew) followed by a Dalmatian dessert — all from recipes that we can repeat at home when we want to bring back the memories of this fun and delicious day.

Visit Krka National Park

Named after the Krka River, the Krka National Park covers an area of just over 142 square km and includes two thirds of the river itself. The top attractions of the park are its magnificent waterfalls, including the famous Skradinski Buk falls which are one of Croatia’s most famous sights. Other highlights include the small island of Visovac and Roski Slap waterfall. There’s a wide variety of both flora and fauna in the park. Over 800 species of plant life have been identified as being present in the National Park. Much of the animal life lives, unsurprisingly, in and around the waters of the Krka River which is home to different amphibian and reptile creatures. You will also be able to see many different bird species (there are over 200), and possibly some of the 18 different species of bat who call the Park their home! We’ll take a boat trip which will allow us to see the amazing sights.

Wine-Pairing Experience

Wine production in Croatia goes all the way back to Ancient Greek times, and the country has over 300 defined wine-producing regions. Despite the influx of modern grape varieties and adoption of modern techniques, many traditional local grape varieties survive in Croatia. White wines are the most common in Croatia, with a smaller amount of reds and tiny amount of rosés.

Following in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain, we will enjoy a very special wine-pairing experience consisting of a 4-course chef’s choice meal paired with the perfect wines. It’s an experience we won’t soon forget!

Pag Cheese Tasting and Olive Tour

We’ll venture to the Island of Pag — known as “The Island of Rock” — the Adriatic’s sunniest island, where we’ll visit and tour the Gligora cheese factory.

The Gligora family has been making cheese since 1918 and the modern-day Gligora cheese factory began in 1995. Today the factory produces over 450 tons of various types of cheese each year, including about 50 tons of Pag cheese, while milk is being purchased from over 200 partners from Pag (used for making Pag cheese) and from the regions of Dalmatia, Lika and Kordun (for other cheese types). Almost every year the Gligora Dairy receives the top international cheese awards thus promoting Kolan and Pag worldwide.

As we tour the factory, we’ll learn the story of Pag cheese, visit the aging room and taste the various Gligora cheeses while enjoying the breath-taking view from the tasting room. We’ll also visit the Lun Botanical Reserve and learn about the history of olives and their importance today.

Truffle Hunt and Cooking Class

The truffle, or tartufi as they call it in Croatia, a unique underground fruiting part of a fungus with knobby potato-like shape, is considered the highlight of Istrian cuisine. They cost thousands per pound. Why are Croatian truffles so expensive and rare? It’s because they cannot be farmed. They grow wild and only at the base of European hazelnut trees in this region. White truffles only stay fresh for 5 days and black truffles for about a week. After that, they begin to lose their flavor. Most of Istria’s truffles are harvested in the legendary Motovun forest, where they are buried under a thin layer of soil, and almost impossible to spot. Unless, of course, you’re a well-trained truffle dog. Istrian farmers train puppies to love the taste and scent of these mushrooms. We’ll meet the Karlic family whose third generation is now hunting for truffles, and they’ll share with us all about the tradition of truffle hunting and we’ll join them and their dogs for the exciting experience of a truffle hunt. We’ll also enjoy a beautiful tasting of truffle products.

We’ll also take part in a cooking class with a local household cook to prepare a delightful three-course meal paired with local Istrian wine. There will also be time to enjoy the town of Motovun — one of the most picturesque towns in Istria.

Visit the Roman Ruins in Pula

There is a strong Roman influence in Pula’s history, and we’ll take an excursion to see and learn about the Roman ruins. The largely intact Roman Colosseum dominates the city’s center, its stone walls visible from almost any point in the city. This three-level Colosseum may be much smaller than the one in Rome, but it is no less impressive. The Arena was built in the 1st century AD and was used until the 5th century for gladiatorial fights and other mass spectacles. In addition to The Arena, the Temple of Augustus, the Triumphal Arch of Sergius and the Twin Gate are other historic sites that still stand in Pula.

The Location

Why Croatia? Because the friendly people, gorgeous landscapes, sparkling Adriatic Sea, ancient cities and delicious cuisine combine to create an atmosphere that welcomes you with open arms.

Language: Most people speak Croatian (hrvatski), which is the official language.

Currency & Banking: The national currency is the Croatian kuna (HRK). There are exchange bureaus in airports, certain hotels, and most banks. Currency exchange bureaus will require your passport for the transaction. ATMs are available in all cities and major towns. Croatia is one of the leading countries in Europe when it comes to receiving card payment or other types of electronic payment. All major credit card companies are represented in Croatia, and payment is possible with credit or debit cards, while the amount of retail outlets that accept payment by electronic means, such as Google Pay, is increasing every month. It is recommended to notify your bank or card issuer that you intend to travel abroad so that no block will be put on the usage of your credit or ATM cards.

Electricity & Internet: In Croatia the power sockets are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection) and using a converter for hair dryers and hot tools.

There is wi-fi access in all the hotels.

Most US cell phones will not work in Croatia, unless you have a specific international plan. Contact your cellular provider to see what options you have in terms of international calling plans.

Safety: Croatia is the 19th-safest country in the world! That means that Croatia is statistically safer than both the UK and the US.

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodation as per itinerary based on twin share
  • All transfers and transportation is by private, air-conditioned coach with driver/guide (Any individuals traveling outside the group arrangement must organize own transportation)
  • Arrival Meet & Greet guide assistance, Departure guide assistance (Any individuals traveling outside the group arrangement must organize own transportation)
  • Sightseeing, tastings and admissions as per the itinerary
  • Local taxes on accommodation and sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary (B-full breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner included
  • Hotel porterage

What’s Not Included

  • All airfares, departure taxes & fuel surcharges, seat selection charges
  • Personal items e.g. telephone call bills, fax/email bills etc., souvenirs
  • Optional Tours
  • Meals unless listed in itinerary
  • Tips & Gratuities to hotel, wait staff, drivers and guides. Budget approx. $2.00 – $4.00 per person per day for hotel staff, $100. Per bag for porters and $10.00 – $20.00 per person per day for drivers and guides.
  • Early check-in & late check out of rooms (standard check-in time is 2pm and check out 10am)
  • Travel Insurance (HIGHLY recommended), any covid-19 testing
  • Visa/passport handling fees
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks not listed in the itinerary
  • Laundry services
  • Any other item(s) not listed in the itinerary

This trip is for you if:

…you love trying new foods and amazing wine
…you want to see the beautiful landscapes and coastline of Croatia
…you love learning how to cook foods you may have never tried before
…you want to travel with others who share your interests in food and wine
…you’re ready to get out and have an exciting culinary adventure!

Registration

Your Investment

$4,965 USD per person based on double occupancy.
$880 USD per person for single supplement.

$500 USD deposit per person is required to hold your space and is non-refundable.

Payments

Payment in full is due before June 15, 2023.

Payments will be the total divided out by how many months there are before the final payment date using the form of payment submitted for the initial deposit.  If you would like to break out payments differently it can be done but will need to be arranged. If you have multiple payment types, that can be arranged as well.

CANCELLATION POLICY

For the Trip: Any cancellation will result in a total loss of the $500 USD deposit. Any cancellation made between: December 1st, 2022 and March 1st, 2023 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price. Any cancellation made between: March 2nd, 2023 and the trip departure will result in a total loss of funds. We reserve the right to cancel the trip, (if we do so your deposit is refunded in full). Trip cancellation insurance is HIGHLY recommended.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 AND IMPACT ON TRAVEL

You should be aware that COVID-19 and the health and security measures around COVID-19 may impact elements of this trip and influence the operation of some travel services. Africa, and the airline(s) you are traveling on may all have strict requirements on travel to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Please Note: Due to Covid additional Bio-Security requirements may be implemented by your destination (s) after you have booked. Should we learn of any such requirements between now and the group’s departure we will inform you. Any extra costs associated will be passed on to each individual and will included in the final invoice. *It is unknown at this time what will be required by them. We will know more as we get closer to our departure date.

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These requirements may include but are not limited to:

  • Wearing of masks at airports, while in flight and when out in public.
  • Active testing for COVID-19 that may include blood testing before permission is granted to board any flight or enter a country.
  • Being able to show proof of health via formalized means (Certificate or similar).
  • Subject to screening on arrival at your destination country or any transit countries.
  • Subject to quarantine periods in any country subject to screening results.
  • Changing restrictions on sightseeing, due to closures or other public health concerns.
  • Subject to limitation/restrictions on travel to the destination by your country of residence/citizenship.
  • Possible compulsory quarantine on return to your country of residence/citizenship.

COVID-19 is causing constant and ongoing changes in the application of the above types of measures and the way an airline, airport or country chooses to deal with the threat of COVID is constantly changing.

We will keep you as informed as we can, however, it is also your responsibility to stay informed of all requirements in relation to your travels and any COVID-19 based restrictions, and I suggest these are constantly monitored right up until departure, as they can change at any time. See Travel.State.Gov or the CDC website.

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Website developed by Theresa Kibler.

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