Highlights of Croatia

Highlights of Croatia

2,265 Views
8 Days From

$2310

$2091

Highlights of Croatia

8 Days Starting in Dubrovnik and ending in Seget Donji

Visiting: Dubrovnik, Ston, Omis, Split, Fortress Klis, Knin, Plitvicka Jezera, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zadar, Trogir, Seget Donji

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

DD

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 11

Physical rating:

Medium

Age range:

16-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Small Group

From: $2310 $2091 Operator discount: -$160 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$59

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

This one-week trip to Croatia offers the chance to discover its historic cities, pretty red-roofed coastal towns and stunning waterfalls. Explore Croatia's old capital Zadar and discover the narrow streets and medieval buildings in Trogir.

Dubrovnik - Explore the 'pearl of the Adriatic' that has been wonderfully restored by UNESCO
Split - Wander through the old town and take a guided tour of the sprawling Diocletian's Palace
Plitvice Lakes National Park - Walk among the shimmering lakes and cascading waterfalls

Highlights

  • Experience the rich cultural heritage of Croatia's towns on the Dalmatian coast

  • Visit the world famous medieval Old Town of Dubrovnik

  • See the cascading waterfalls and lakes in the Plitvice National Park

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Trip In Dubrovnik

Location: Dubrovnik

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Ivka Hotel

Meals Included: None

Arrive in Dubrovnik. Our hotel is about 30 minutes' drive from the airport. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Dubrovnik at any time. If you would like an transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dubrovnik Airport (DBV). Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to take the public bus into the Old Town. The bus stop is in front of the hotel and it is only around seven minutes' drive. This evening you might choose to have your first taste of Croatian cuisine. Fish is a popular choice, as it is caught locally and often served alongside grilled vegetables. Olive oil is a staple in Croatian cooking and there is more of an Italian influence than in most other Balkan countries. Black Risotto is a traditional Dalmatian dish, is coloured with squid ink, and has other seafood in it such as mussels. Both white and red wine are popular choices with Croatian varieties including Babic and Lumbarda. For dessert, a custard pudding covered in caramel sauce is a speciality that is similar to a crème caramel.

Day 2: Explore Dubrovnik Old Town On Foot; Free Afternoon In The City

Location: Dubrovnik

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Ivka Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we will take the public bus to the Old Town and enter through Pile Gate. The best way to get a feel for the wealth of monasteries, museums and historic buildings in Dubrovnik is on foot and so a local guide will take us on a walk to get our bearings. We'll learn about how the city was almost entirely destroyed by shelling in the Siege of Dubrovnik between 1991-92 and how this fortified medieval town was thankfully restored by UNESCO and the local people and still retains its unique atmosphere and charm. George Bernard Shaw once wrote 'those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik'. This afternoon is free for you to discover more and to make your own way back to our hotel at a time of your choosing. You might like to visit the Rector's Palace and the Maritime and Ethnographic Museum. The Rector's Palace was built in the 14th century for the Rector of the Regusa Republic before later becoming an armoury, watch house and prison. As well as the buildings' fantastic architecture, it also houses a museum that will give you a taste of the Ragusan lifestyle. The Maritime Museum is located in the Fort of Saint John and gives you an overview of ship building and trading from the start of the Dubrovnik Republic right up to World War II. The Ethnographic Museum is in an old granary dating from the 16th century. Here you can learn about the heyday of the Dubrovnik Republic and see the traditional folk costumes and textiles from the time. You may choose to get a view from above the Old Town by taking the cable car to a nearby hilltop or by enjoying a walk around the city walls, (the walk of the full course is 1,940 metres). Perhaps also visit the Franciscan Monastery, Dominican Monastery or the cathedral in the Old Town to see some of the most well known religious buildings in the city. For something a bit different you might like to visit the Red History Museum where you can learn about different forms of communism and also about the Cold War. Alternatively, you could leave the city and take a boat ride to Lokrum Island Nature Reserve. This idyllic island, with an ancient Benedictine monastery at its heart is only a short boat ride away. As well as visiting the monastery, there is the opportunity to take one of the forest walks, relax on the small beaches or take a dip in the mini 'dead sea' on the island.

Day 3: Visit To Ston And Omis; Discover Split On A Walking Tour

Location: Ston, Omis

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Globo

Meals Included: Breakfast

We will leave Dubrovnik this morning and begin our drive to Split. Our first stop along the way is in Ston; a village known for its unusual saltpans and its impressive defensive walls. Built in the 14th and 15th century the town's walls are much longer than those found in Dubrovnik. They run for five kilometres, which makes them the longest defensive walls in Europe. The saltpans are even older and are thought to have greatly contributed to making the Republic of Dubrovnik wealth and successful in the past. If you fancy going for a walk then you could head for Mali Ston or 'little Ston' as it is also known. It's about one and a half kilometres along the peninsula. Here you can find the oyster bays that produce this speciality, which is famed as being some of the best, found anywhere in the world. After spending a couple of hours in Ston we will drive to Omis, where we have a little free time to have lunch. This small port town sits at the mouth of the Cetina River and was once known as, the home of pirates. The pirates that used to patrol these waters would ambush trade ships trying to enter the port and steal their goods. Now it's a far more peaceful place and there are a number of local cafés and restaurants to choose from. Leaving Omis we'll take a scenic drive up the Cetina River Canyon. Arriving in Split, we'll check-in to our centrally located hotel, which is only about 15 minutes' walk from the Diocletian's Palace. Split is vibrant city set on the coast and with a beautiful old town area. We begin our explorations with a guided walking tour to see the Diocletian's Palace and old town. Emperor Diocletian built the palace at the turn of the 4th century and it quickly became the heart of the city. The Roman emperor was buried here, and it later become the world's oldest Roman Catholic cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. Walking in the palace is like taking a step back in time, as we wander through the intriguing maze of narrow cobblestone streets where pre-Romanesque churches nestle alongside Gothic chapels. We'll see the peristyle (central square), cathedral and subterranean halls. This evening you may like to take the opportunity to join the glamorous locals on a stroll along the Riva, Split's seafront promenade and stop off in one of the restaurants or bustling cafes along the way.

Day 4: Free Day To Discover Split Or The Chance To Visit Krka National Park

Location: Split

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Globo

Meals Included: Breakfast

Split is the second largest city in the country and it's a hive of activity, and today is free for you to further experience the city. It has a long history and is a pleasure to explore, with its small boutique shops, hidden art galleries and reams of restaurants and cafes - some of which are built into the ancient city walls. A Game of Thrones Museum is a popular new attraction that is a must see for fans of the TV show with over 100 exhibits. Nearby the cellars of the Diocletian Palace were used as a Game of Thrones filming location. If you are an art lover then you might want to visit the Mestrovic Gallery with its pillared exterior and manicured gardens overlooking the sea. Inside you can see paintings, drawings and sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia's most famous modern sculptor. You could take the opportunity to relax on the city's main beach, Bacvice and perhaps try your hand at a popular local game called, Picigin. A small group of people will swim in the sea whilst trying to keep a rubber ball out of water for as long as possible, but your only allowed to touch it once on your turn. Alternatively, you might decide to leave the city and join an excursion to visit the Krka National Park. This park is similar to Plitvice that we will be visiting later in this trip, but it is smaller and less well known. Here you can see stunning waterfalls and Visovac Island with a pretty monastery in the centre. If you wish to remain closer to Split then you could take a guided walk on Marjan Hill, which is on the same peninsula and offers great views over the city and coastline below, and the surrounding mountains. Starting from the Diocletian's Palace cellars and winding through the narrow streets of the old peasants' district of Varos to the first viewpoint. Next you'll see the 16th century Jewish cemetery before walking through a pine forest to an old abandoned zoo which is a favourite picnic spot, and on to the top of the hill (178 metres above sea level). On a clear day, you can see as far as the Central Adriatic Islands. From here, you walk to the old hermitage of Saint Jerome, where people used to live in the caves but today only the front facade is visible. Heading downhill past the Church of our Lady of Bethlehem and Saint Nicholas Church you will arrive back into the Old Town.

Day 5: See Klis Fortress And The City Of Knin En Route To Plitvicka Jezera

Location: Fortress Klis, Knin, Plitvicka Jezera

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Hotel Plitvice Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we leave Split and drive to the nearby Klis Fortress. It is 360 metres above the sea and has been built into the rock face; nestled between the mountains of Kozjak and Mosor. The fortress played an important role in defence of Dalmatia from the Ottoman invaders and more recently, it has been used as a filming location in Games of Thrones, and so you may recognise it as part of the fictional city of Meereen. Next we stop in the city of Knin where we'll have the opportunity to have lunch. During the The Croatian War of Independence, Knin was occupied by Serbian forces and became the capital of the Republic of Serbia Krajina, but on the 5 August 1995 the city was liberated in Operation Storm and this date is now marked as a national holiday in Croatia. We will arrive at our hotel in the Plitvicka Jerera region in the early evening and you have the rest of the day free. Our hotel is an ideal base for visiting the nearby Plitvice Lakes National Park. Located in a valley between high-forested mountains, Plitvice was the first and it is one of the most attractive national parks in the country. It is considered to be one of Europe's greatest natural wonders.

Day 6: Walk Amongst The Lakes And Waterfalls Of The Plitvice Lakes National Park

Location: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Accommodation: Resort

Accommodation Name: Hotel Plitvice Resort

Meals Included: Breakfast

Spend the day wandering along the well-marked trails in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which follow the course of 16 crystal blue-green lakes on their dramatic and cascading descent over 92 travertine barriers and waterfalls. Over the millennia, the waters of these lakes have dissolved the limestone rock and carved out the valley in which they now lie. Through the sedimentation of calcium carbonate and the work of special kinds of algae and moss, travertine has been deposited to form the natural dams that separate the lakes. This dynamic process continues with new falls breaking through the travertine barriers and constantly changing the look of this icon national park. A popular circuit leads you from the Upper Lakes, taking a ferry across Lake Kozjak and then the path twists between the Lower Lakes. Every turn leads to new scenery and yet another stunning waterfall. The walk is mostly on wooden promenades and you can either follow the Red Dot Walk, which takes around five to six hours or the shorter Yellow Dot Walk for about three to four hours. Later this afternoon there is the chance to take an excursion to Barac Caves to see the stalagmites and stalactites formations. The caves were first opened to visitors in 1892, but then were left abandoned and forgotten after World War II, but in 2004 they reopened to visitors.

Day 7: Scenic Drive To Trogir Via Ancient Zadar

Location: Zadar, Trogir

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Tragos

Meals Included: Breakfast

Following scenic backroads initially through rolling farmland, we make for the northern Dalmatian Coast towards the ancient capital of Dalmatia, Zadar (two hours drive). On arrival, we'll take a guided walking tour to see the unique experimental musical instrument on the sea front, known as the Sea Organ, as well as the Sun Salutation, which is a multi-coloured sun powered light display. We'll also see the round Church of Saint Donatus, which is considered to be the symbol of the city and there will be free time to go inside, should you wish to. Continuing we drive along the twisting and picturesque Dalmatian coastal road to the charming medieval harbour town of Trogir (one-and-a-half hours drive). Once here we'll have some time free for lunch before a local guide takes on a walk to discover the main sights. After our tour you can either go to our hotel in nearby Seget Donji with our bus or spend longer in the old town and return later by taxi (it's about five minutes' drive). If you choose to stay longer then you might like to visit the Saint Lawrence Cathedral.

Day 8: Trip Ends In Seget Donji

Location: Seget Donji, Trogir

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Seget Donji. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Seget Donji at any time. If your flight departs later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel and you can spend more time discovering historic Trogir. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Split Airport (SPU), which is only around 20 minutes' drive away.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation is included throughout the tour.

  • All Domestic Transportation

    Includes all domestic transportation within Croatia, including internal flights.

  • Fully Guided

    The tour is fully guided, providing insightful information at each destination.

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

    Breakfast is provided daily during the tour.

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Why Book this Tour

Discover the hidden gems of Plitvice National Park, the UNESCO Heritage city of Dubrovnik and the charming town of Trogir in this one week trip.

Meals

Breakfasts: 7

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Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    The maximum group size is 16.

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, on the first and last day of the trip

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Joanna  

Highlights of Croatia

Our guide Marin was extremely knowledgeable and ha

Our guide Marin was extremely knowledgeable and had aod sense of humour. He offered local options for excursions to fill free days to maximise the experience for us. Excellent,

1 Select your preferred date

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Saturday - Saturday

Jul 20, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024
$2310 $2091

Operator discount: -$160

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$59

Saturday - Saturday

Aug 03, 2024 - Aug 10, 2024
$2310 $2246

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$64

Saturday - Saturday

Sep 07, 2024 - Sep 14, 2024
$2380 $2159

Operator discount: -$160

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$61

Saturday - Saturday

May 17, 2025 - May 24, 2025
$2690 $2616

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$74

Saturday - Saturday

May 31, 2025 - Jun 07, 2025
$2820 $2742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$78

Saturday - Saturday

Jun 07, 2025 - Jun 14, 2025
$2820 $2742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$78

Saturday - Saturday

Jul 05, 2025 - Jul 12, 2025
$3020 $2937

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$83

Saturday - Saturday

Aug 23, 2025 - Aug 30, 2025
$3020 $2937

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$83

Saturday - Saturday

Aug 30, 2025 - Sep 06, 2025
$2960 $2879

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$81

Saturday - Saturday

Sep 06, 2025 - Sep 13, 2025
$2960 $2879

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$81

Saturday - Saturday

Sep 20, 2025 - Sep 27, 2025
$2820 $2742

Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$78

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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