Charms of Croatia

About the Experience

Croatia is admired for its old-world charms, from the ancient cultural treasures of Dubrovnik to the sapphire Mediterranean waters of some of the most mesmerizing coastline in the world. It will stun you with its grandeur, cuisine, and customs. Sip a homemade drink in a tiny, family-run tavern, or dip your hands into the earth and gather sun-warmed clay for a pottery lesson led by a local.

Our Charms of Croatia Multisport Adventure will take you hiking, biking, sailing, and kayaking throughout a landscape that stretches across the earth like a string of precious jewels. In between your swims in emerald lakes, or streaking across the sapphire waters of the Adriatic, you will pause to sip rich local wines, or to run your hands over the cold stone walls of stunning architectural treasures.

As you explore the dazzling island of Vis – a place that was only opened to visitors a mere 25 years ago – it may feel impossible to imagine that this storybook island, with its blazing blue sky, once hosted secret military installations.

Your camera won’t quite capture the sparkling waterfalls of Plitvice lake or the sprawling majesty of 1700-year-old Split. But your heart will capture it all, and it will never forget.

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Charms of Croatia

About the Experience

Croatia is admired for its old-world charms, from the ancient cultural treasures of Dubrovnik to the sapphire Mediterranean waters of some of the most mesmerizing coastline in the world. It will stun you with its grandeur, cuisine, and customs. Sip a homemade drink in a tiny, family-run tavern, or dip your hands into the earth and gather sun-warmed clay for a pottery lesson led by a local.

Our Charms of Croatia Multisport Adventure will take you hiking, biking, sailing, and kayaking throughout a landscape that stretches across the earth like a string of precious jewels. In between your swims in emerald lakes, or streaking across the sapphire waters of the Adriatic, you will pause to sip rich local wines, or to run your hands over the cold stone walls of stunning architectural treasures.

As you explore the dazzling island of Vis – a place that was only opened to visitors a mere 25 years ago – it may feel impossible to imagine that this storybook island, with its blazing blue sky, once hosted secret military installations.

Your camera won’t quite capture the sparkling waterfalls of Plitvice lake or the sprawling majesty of 1700-year-old Split. But your heart will capture it all, and it will never forget.

 

 

DAY ONE: WELCOME TO CROATIA

We will meet in the lobby of the Dubrovnik Hotel, in Zagreb at 1 pm and take a group transfer from Zagreb to the region of the Samobor Highlands. We will check into our hotel and then set out for an easy hike through Zumberak and Samobor Highlands Nature Park to stretch our legs after all the travel.

Samobor Highlands Nature Park is a popular weekend destination for hikers, climbers and nature enthusiasts from central Croatia. The Park abounds in hiking trails of varying length and difficulty.

After our gentle hike, we return to the hotel to freshen up and meet again for our welcome dinner.

 

DAY TWO: TOURING PLITVICE LAKES

After breakfast, we will pack up and drive 2.5 hours south for a walking tour in the Plitvice Lakes National Park. We want to start early today to beat the crowds and to ensure we have time to enjoy the many trails and waterfalls.

Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia. The process of tufa formation, which results in the building of the tufa, or travertine, barriers and resulted in the creation of these unusual lakes. The park is primarily covered in forest vegetation, with smaller areas under grasslands. The most attractive part of the park – the lakes – cover just under 1% of the total park area. The lake system is comprised of 16 named and several smaller unnamed lakes, cascading one into the next. Due to the geological substrate and characteristic hydrogeological conditions, the lake system has been divided into the Upper and Lower lakes.

We will walk anywhere from 8 – 12 km / (5 – 7.5 mi) along the boardwalks to observe and learn about this special place.

We return to our accommodation for time to freshen up and relax before regrouping to head over to our agrotourism for dinner.

  • Activity: Hiking. Easy terrain (gravel paths and boardwalk), 8 – 12 km (5 – 7.5 mi)

 

DAY THREE: HIKING THE VELEBIT MOUNTAINS

We have an early start today with a 2-hour transfer south to Paklenica National Park. Exploring a new region by foot gets us up and into the wild spaces of the Velebit Mountains. We aim to hike into Velika Paklenica – a huge valley with stunning views of the Velebit mountain range and up to a mountain hut. We will have a picnic along the way.

The trail is about 12 km / 7.5 mi (return) on gravel paths and up the stone stairs to the mountain hut. This is a linear trail so you can opt to only do a portion if you do not feel up for the entire climb. If you opt-out, there is an underground exhibition area, coffee shop and many rock climbers to watch while you await the groups return.

We will overnight at a nearby accommodation in Starigrad, located adjacent to Paklenica National Park.

  • Driving: 3.5 hours
  • Activity: Hiking. Moderate terrain (gravel paths, incline, rocks), 12 km (7.5 mi), 3 – 5 hours, 600 m elevation gain/loss (gradual up/down)

 

DAY FOUR: SPLIT LIKE A LOCAL

This morning we drive further south for about an hour and a half to Split. After settling in, we meet our local host – a young lady & artist who will take us on a tour of some ‘off the beaten path’ areas of Split.

Along our walk, we will visit spots close to the sea where we can find natural clay. We will gather some and then learn how to make pottery in a short workshop where you will have the opportunity to make your own souvenir from Split. Made in nature, using natural elements and tools. Find the artist within you!

  • Activity: Art activity
  • Vehicle Transfer: About 1.5 hours

 

DAY FIVE: PADDLE THE PAKLINSKI ISLANDS

This morning we catch the ferry to Hvar Island. Relax and enjoy the views of the approaching islands. We check into our hotel and then we will venture out to paddle among the emerald jewels of the Paklinski Islands.

We take a boat taxi from Hvar out to Zdrilca Bay where we get an introduction to paddling kayaks in the ocean. Then off we go to explore this divine collection of bays whose pine trees provide shade in numerous idyllic coves. There is time to swim, snorkel, chill, get a coffee or refreshing drink at the beach bar. Kayak slowly back to Hvar in the late afternoon.

Free evening. Your guide can recommend good places where you can have an appetizer or full-sized meal paired with the best local wines!

  • Activity: Kayaking 3 – 4 hours (with breaks) sit on top tandem kayaks, easy to moderate activity

 

DAY SIX: HIKING HVAR ISLAND

Discover authentic Dalmatia through the abandoned villages of Velo and Malo Grablje. A 20-minute transfer from the bus station to our starting point takes us to the village of Velo Grablje, from where we start our walk through forgotten villages. Enjoy the traditional architecture and learn a little bit about Mediterranean plants, especially lavender, grapes and olives and their importance for this area.

Malo Grablje is abandoned except for Berti Tudor family-run taverna. Enjoy a glass of his homemade wine while you enjoy the freshly grilled meats, best potatoes and plates of meats and cheese.

Our hike ends at Milna beach where you can enjoy a swim. From here, you may choose to keep hiking (another 7 km of coastal/exposed trail with guide) or catch the transfer to the hotel to get a head start on a free evening. Choose to dine where you like this evening and enjoy the buzz of the promenade.

  • Activity: Hiking. Easy-moderate terrain over a mix of roads, natural surface single track trails with rocks and gravel, and cobblestone stairs. 5 km (3 mi), descend 400 m.

 

DAY SEVEN: SAILING TO VIS

Imagine an island which was closed to foreigners until just 25 years ago. An island which endured huge British military impact over the centuries, with its own submarine base and secret military installations. An island which hosted the first sailing regatta in the world. This is Vis Island!

Vis is an island of fabulous wine, food, tradition and history, reassuringly far from the mainland, and one whose second town has more families living from fishing than tourism. It is a place of outstanding natural beauty, of traditional Dalmatian stone villages and fertile fields contributing to the healthy and natural Mediterranean diet.

This morning we will enjoy a day under sails, combined with exploring the island of Vis. It will take about 2 hours from Hvar to Vis town on our sailboat. As we arrive in Vis town we will get in our vehicle and continue the exploration of this amazing place. The exploration will include lunch paired with a wine tasting.

After wine tasting, we will return to our port and sail back to Hvar. Tonight is a free evening for you to stroll the promenade, sip a glass of wine or relax at the hotel.

  • Activity: Sailing! 4 hours return / 2 hours one way, easy activity

 

DAY EIGHT: CYCLING IN KONAVLE

This morning, we transfer from Hvar to Dubrovnik via ferry. As we arrive at Dubrovnik port we will have a light lunch and then meet our transfer to Konavle. We explore the hinterland of Dubrovnik – Konavle region – by bike. It is the best way to experience the countryside life. You will ride accompanied by your local guide at a relaxed pace, stops are made every few kilometres at each place of interest. Along the river, we will peddle past old mills, houses that bare the scars of the Yugoslavian war, and the many vineyards and local farms. We break to visit the old Franciscan monastery before we ride back the way we came.

We will head back to Dubrovnik for an evening stroll in Old Town – one of the world’s finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities in the world – and then enjoy a farewell dinner together.

  • Ferry Transfer: About 3 hours
  • Activity: Cycling! easy to moderate terrain, 15 km (9.3 mi), 2-3 hours with rest stops

 

DAY NINE: DUBROVNIK AND DEPARTURE

Oh, Dubrovnik. The place you have to visit while in Croatia, the city of exceptional beauty, also called the Pearl of the Adriatic. It used to be the seat of the Republic of Dubrovnik.

After a relaxed breakfast, you can take some time to explore the city independently and plan to depart anytime today or extend your stay another night.

  • Book flights for mid-morning or later.
  • Departure Airport: Dubrovnik (DVK)
  • A group airport transfer will be provided with drop off at DVK in the morning. Otherwise, bus service and taxis are reliable and affordable.
  • Hotel is not included tonight. Book in advance if you plan to stay in Dubrovnik post-trip.

 

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