private tour Croatia - 9 days
ZAGREB - Opatija - Istra - PLITVICE LAKES - ZADAR - SIBENIK - Split - Trogir - STON - DUBROVNIK
Start in Zagreb and finish in Dubrovnik! 9 days in Croatia tour takes you up from the north and Croatian Capital of Zagreb to magnificent Dubrovnik and the warm Croatian South.
With this itinerary, you will see the very best of Croatia. Tour starts in Zagreb, a typical Central European city, then continues with two overnights in charming town Opatija, situated at the shores of Kvarner bay. From here where we will explore the region of Istria and its beautiful cities Pula and Rovinj. The tour continues with the visit to the most famous Croatian national park Plitvice Lakes, situated in Lika – a mountainous region in central Croatia from where we continue toward the Croatian south.
Explore the unique Dalmatian coast with impressive architecture, rich history, and arguably some of the best scenery in Europe that includes cities: Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split, Ston, and cherry on top – Dubrovnik, with two overnights in Split and two overnights in Dubrovnik.
Tour includes accommodation in centrally located 4* hotels, based on B&B, experienced tour leader, local city guides for Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir, Split, and Dubrovnik.
Enjoy Delicious Truffle sampling in Istria and Winery visit and tasting local wines in Dalmatia.
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Your 9 days in Croatia tour begins with a welcome, upon arrival at Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport. Transfer to the hotel. (Selected Accommodation in 3 / 4*/5* hotel) . Check-in and overnight. If your flight is earlier in the morning, we can arrange Day 1 to fit your timetable and add more activities.
ZAGREB – OPATIJA
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Zagreb with an local guide. Exploring the Croatian capital you will surely fall in love with this city.
Let’s first visit one of the symbols of the city, the beautiful Zagreb Cathedral. We procced to Upper Town by walking through Croatia’s biggest Green Market “Dolac”. In the fortified, medieval Upper Town, you will visit St. Mark’s church, with its multicolor tiled roof, Parliament and government palace. We will take a ride with Zagreb’s funicular. The shortest cable car in the world has only 66 meters in length and connecting downtown Zagreb with the Upper (old) Town.
After the sightseeing and some free time in Zagreb we proceed to Opatija. This small town situated in the picturesque Kvarner bay is considered the cradle of tourism in Croatia . Opatija is a home of the first tourist accommodation at the eastern side of the Adriatic – Hotel Kvarner, bulit in 1884 as well as of Croatian museum of tourism.
The streets of Opatija still exude some forgotten time when the European aristocracy walked through it, for which Opatija was a favorite vacation destination. Dinner and overnight in Opatija.
ISTRIA: Pula and Rovinj
Today it’s time introduce you another Croatian charming region – Istria, situated on the biggest peninsula in the country. In the morning we are in Pula visiting the Colosseum (Arena).
With a capacity of 20,000 people, the Arena of Pula is the 6th largest coliseum in the world and definitely a must-visit while in the city! It is also the only remaining (and the best-preserved!) Roman amphitheater to have a four-sided tower.
Now, the Arena hosts concerts and festivals frequently.
Time at leisure in Pula and departure towards Rovinj. It is no wonder that Rovinj is one of the best places in Istria, as this city is pure seaside bliss! Rovinj is just too pretty to be excluded from Croatian highlights itinerary.
Shiny stone streets, local markets with delicious treats, countless little boats wherever you look and a bell tower with a postcard-like view… What more could you wish for? At the way back to Opatija we stop to sample of one the Istrian tastiest treasures, the truffle. Overnight in Opatija.
OPATIJA – PLITVICE LAKES
After breakfast in hotel we drive toward central Croatia to visit one of it’s most valuable gem, Plitvice lakes National Park. The most beautiful and oldest national park in Croatia under UNESCO protection – consists of 16 lakes connected by magnificent waterfalls.
Leisurely hike with your guide allows you to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The park is visited mostly on foot – however, the entrance includes a boat ride across the Emerald Green Lake “Kozjak” and a train ride back to the main entrance.
The visit to the park grounds takes approx. 3 hours. While you can’t swim in these lakes, the experience of nature is amazing, with waterfalls and butterflies piercing the ambience of the lush green forest, providing many photo opportunities. Dinner at the hotel restaurant and overnight in the Plitvice area.
ZADAR – SIBENIK –SPLIT
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive down from the mountain region of Lika via the coast towards the city of Zadar. The historic town of Zadar is rich in cultural and historical monuments. Here you can see The Roman forum dated to the 1st century AD, the church of St. Donatus dated to the 9th century AD.
Zadar is also known for some of the modern attractions: let’s see and listen to the sea organ a sound art object and experimental musical instrument that creates lovely chimed tunes using only the rolling power of sea waves.
On the waterfront we will also find another permanent installation Greeting to the sun which is the work of the same architect. This inspiring monument consists of 300 multi-layered glass plates that absorb solar energy during the day and create a spectacular waterfront light show just after sunset.
From Zadar, we continue to Sbenik. Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik is one of the most significant and most beautiful architectural achievements in Croatia and was included on the UNESCO Cultural World Heritage List in 2000.
The Cathedral of St. James is also well known for its iconographic innovations, among which the frieze of 74 head sculptures (individual portraits of the contemporaries of it’s architect Juraj Dalmatinac)
Šibenik is also known as the first city in the world whose street lights were powered by a polyphasic system of alternating current. We continue towards split where we have an overnight stay.
SPLIT and TROGIR
After breakfast we will take a guided walking tour of Split. Capital of region of Dalmatia and Croatian second largest city this town is also oldest site in Croatia protected by UNESCO. This city will win you over with its Mediterranean charm and warmth.
Today, Split is arguably Adriatic’s most vibrant citiy, it is still at the same place where in the 3rd century the Roman emperor Diocletian built a magnificent palace, which until today remained inhabited, making this place living monument and unique city in the world.
Afternoon we are visiting Trogir, another Dalmatian true gem and UNESCO World Heritage listed site. Nick-named as the ‘Stone Beauty’ , this city is a remarkable example of urban continuity.
After sightseeing tour you will have enough time to sit for a coffee, buy souvenirs or just relax at the beautiful Trogir waterfront promenade (Riva) where some of the world’s most expensive yachts are moored. Overnight in Split.
SPLIT - STON - DUBROVNIK
After breakfast, we take a drive from Split to Dubrovnik, by stopping to visit Stone. Another stunningly beautiful town of Croatian south. We recommend a visit to Saltworks, established as far back as the 13th century (although the harvesting of salt in the area is thought to go back much further). The production of salt contributed to the wealth of the Republic of Dubrovnik.
These days, the harvesting of salt from the sea is still done in a traditional manner. We also recommend walking up the magnificent old walls which overlook the town – the view from the top is fantastic!
This is perhaps what this little town is best known for – and rightfully so. The walls are much longer than those of its more famous neighbor, Dubrovnik, at 5km in length.
This makes them the longest defensive structure in Europe; they are sometimes referred to as the ‘European Walls of China”. Later we will visit local winery and taste the famous “Plavac Mali” wine, the primary red wine grape grown along the Dalmatian coast.
In this winery the traditional winemaking business has been passed on for generations, offering a unique story everyone wants to hear.
The wine tasting includes a wine presentation on all the specifics of the wine-making process, wine tasting, and snack. Arrival in Dubrovnik and overnight.
And here it is – a cherry on a top, the pearl of Adriatic, wonderful Dubrovnik, Not only the pearl of the Adriatic but the Perl of Mediterranean is a place that tourists simply adore and rightly so.
Did you know that the oldest document on maritime law in the world as well as and the oldest European law on maritime insurance were created in the Republic of Dubrovnik?
Here you can also find the oldest European pharmacy that is constantly used for pharmaceutical purposes! After the sightseeing free time to explore the city on your own.
City monumental walls are almost two kilometers long and definitely worth visiting if you want to admire the beautiful view of city rooftops, the old port, and nearby islands.
For more spectacular views you can take the cable car up to Srdj Hill behind Dubrovnik for spectacular views of the city and the Dalmatian coastline. Or to take a Game of Thrones tour.
Dubrovnik was the main filming location in Croatia for King’s Landing, a fictional city in Game of Thrones, the famous television series distributed by HBO. Overnight in Dubrovnik
DUBROVNIK - TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT
Breakfast. Check out and transfer to the airport. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
As there is so much to see in Dubrovnik and the surrounding area, you may want to consider extending your time in Dubrovnik, Croatia region. If so we will be happy to book additional accommodation and services for you.
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Experience this trip with destination experts and local guides with exceptional knowledge about the region.
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The easiest way to get from Split to Dubrovnik is to take a drive, you can take a bus, private transfer, or drive your self which will take you approx 3.5 hours subject to traffic and border delays. Delays at borders are common for the peak season in July and August.
In short, almost the whole water line in Split is suitable for swimming, with a great diversity ranging from popular sandy beaches like Bacvice beach to pebbled beaches, like Kasjuni and Kastelet, to wild rocky places and secret coves at Marjan hill.
The most popular and centrally located beach is Banje beach. Dance beach is the oldest beach in Dubrovnik and near Old Town. Also, you can look for Buza beach and St.Jakov beach with a wonderful views over Lokrum and Old Town.
The Croatian currency is the Kuna (HRK) , which is divided into 100 lips.
Past travelers have spent, on average, 141 HRK($23) on meals for one day and 87 HRK ($14) on local transportation.
Average prices in restaurants and bars:
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 7,80 EUR - 9,52 USD
- Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 39,00 EUR - 47,58 USD
- McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 5,85 EUR - 7,14 USD
- Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 2,21 EUR - 2,70 USD
- Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2,60 EUR - 3,17 USD
- Cappuccino (regular) 1,45 EUR - 1,77 USD
- Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1,95 EUR - 2,38 USD
- Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1,36 EUR - 1,66 USD
You should plan to spend around kn474 ($74) per day on your vacation in Dubrovnik, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, kn161 ($25) on meals for one day and kn52 ($8.11) on local transportation.
Average prices in restaurants and bars:
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 13,68 EUR - 16,69 USD
- Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 79,89 EUR - 96,25 USD
- McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 6,76 EUR - 8,25 USD
- Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 5,20 EUR - 6,34 USD
- Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3,90 EUR - 4,76 USD
- Cappuccino (regular) 2,86 EUR - 3,49 USD
- Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 3,38 EUR - 4,12 USD
- Water (0.33 liter bottle) 2,73 EUR - 3,33 USD