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Luxury Trips to Croatia: Vacation and Travel Guide

Experience an unforgettable European adventure with our custom-designed Croatia vacations and insightful travel guide.

Why Visit Croatia: Outstanding natural beauty, rich history, and delicious cuisine

Croatia is beloved for its unspoiled natural beauty, crystal-clear waters and rugged coastline, complemented by a rich history and culture. Easy-going charm resonates everywhere you wander in this pleasantly warm country, whether you’re seeking adventure in Plitvice Lakes National Park or exploring the vibrant capital city of Zagreb.

Experience the Old World charm of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with postcard-perfect streets and ancient ruins. Take a boat trip to one of Croatia’s many breathtaking islands – Hvar and Korčula are perennial favorites, though there are countless others to discover.

Not to be overlooked is Istria, a heart-shaped peninsula where Croatian, Italian, and Slovenian influences entwine. It is the truffle hub of the country, sitting atop the throne of culinary excellence with its fine wines and olive oils. The hilltop towns smile over vine-striped hills, beckoning a visit with the promise of panoramic vistas.

Lose yourself in a Dalmatian vineyard, let Peljesac oysters melt in your mouth and indulge in paper-think prosciutto at an Istrian farmhouse. Taste olive oil where it’s produced, take a curator-led museum tour or bike through the countryside, getting to know the locals. From its Venetian palazzos to its Austro-Hungarian opera houses to its Illyrian fortresses, Croatia has a sense of place like no other.

Croatia Fun Facts at a Glance

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Truffle Hunt Giant Truffles
Pakleni Island Hvar
Croatia was the backdrop for much of Game of Thrones

Dubrovnik – with its old stone walls and gleaming sea – was transformed into a backdrop for the hit HBO Game of Thrones series. Here, battles for power unfolded amid historic fortresses and coastal beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, paired with the Diocletian’s Palace in Split meshed its real-world charm with the fantasy of Westeros. You can also venture into the Dalmatian hinterland to discover Klis, a small town guarded by a fortress, and on Lokrum Island, wander through green gardens and past peacocks to uncover mysteries linked to the Iron Throne. Exeter International has planned many trips to Croatia with a Game of Thrones interest.

Truffles are Croatia’s Buried Treasure!

As well as the highly prized white truffle, Istria is home to various varieties of black truffle, all of which are some of the finest examples of the fungus in all of Europe. The season for white truffle hunting is between September and December, but you can go black truffle hunting in Istria and close to Split all year round. For anyone traveling to Istria in the fall, every Saturday, and Sunday in October we recommend visiting Zigante Truffle Days. Giancarlo Zigante found one of the largest white truffles in the world weighing in at almost 3 pounds!

Land of 1000 Islands

It is said that Croatia has over 1,000 islands, in fact the Croatian archipelago has a total of 1,244 natural formations, of which only 78 are islands, 524 are islets, 642 are cliffs and reefs. Just 49 of the islands are permanently inhabited. Our favorite island remains Hvar, due to the quality of accommodations found there, but if you want to find your own Robinson Crusoe spot, this can be done on a day trip by boat.

Croatia Vacation Experiences

Journey to Istria for an authentic truffle hunting experience alongside skilled dogs, and learn the timeless art of fresco painting in this cultural heartland. Set sail to discover your own secluded paradise in the Elaphiti Islands close to Dubrovnik where the azure sea kisses private coves just waiting to be explored. In Split, enrich your senses with a private tour of the Mestrovic Gallery and a private tour of the Diocletean’s Palace. Indulge in the culinary with exclusive tastings with the finest artisan olive oil producers and vintners of the region, or get hands on with a cooking class in Konavle.

Personalize Your Croatia Itinerary

Unlock the extraordinary experiences Croatia has to offer with our custom itineraries tailored to your unique preferences, desired pace, and interests. Below are some samples, designed to inspire your Croatian vacation. Custom private itineraries start at $800 per person per day.

Contact us to plan your personalized Croatia trip today.

What our Happy Travelers Say

Kris SeegerKris Seeger
22:33 28 Oct 22
The Founder's Trip to Turkey this month was amazing in every respect. From start to finish, just perfection! Greg's personally curated outstanding itinerary set the stage for the best small group trip we have ever taken. From our greeting at the Istanbul Airport to our goodbye in Bodrum, everything was seamless ---first class hotel accommodations; fabulous guide; excellent drivers/vehicles; and wonderful dining venues. Every day was filled with history, joy and new friends. We cannot wait to travel with Exeter International again! Kris & Chris
Jennifer AndrewsJennifer Andrews
16:52 24 Jun 22
All my trips with Exeter have been amazing. I worked with Ala and Gwen for different trips and they go above and beyond to make the trip exceptional. They have access to places others don’t, they plan everything from the perfect hotel, experiences and even incredible restaurants. Even better, they communicate within so Ala was able to get with Gwen and tell her my likes and dislikes. You work with the person with the most knowledge of the area you are going and they genuinely know it inside and out. I totally trust Exeter with my travel planning. They are the best.
Nikki DavidsonNikki Davidson
20:31 23 Jun 22
This trip was as close to perfection as one can get.Ala and her team created the most perfect Croatian vacation trip for me, my husband and the other couple that we were traveling with this month. I've had the good fortune to have travelled all around the world and never have I experienced such an incredible team to ensure that literally every detail, every activity, every hotel we stayed at was top-notch.If you are even considering a vacation to this incredible country, I would highly recommend speaking with Ala and her team first. I know I will be recommending Ala friends and family that want to visit Croatia and I can do it with complete peace of mind knowing I am referring them to the best!Nikki Davidson
Nancy HutchisonNancy Hutchison
00:13 08 Jun 22
We just returned from a fabulous trip that included Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland and Amsterdam Netherlands, all arranged by Leigh Landis at Exeter International. Leigh was amazing. She put together individual excursions in each country, arranged hotels, assisted with restaurant suggestions and reservations, purchased train tickets and the tickets for the Silja Line ship to cross the Baltic Sea. Leigh gave us the phone number of an Exeter contact in each city in case of a problem but we did not have to contact them. Still, it was reassuring knowing that we had someone to contact if needed. Each of them reached out to us when we arrived to let us know they were available. The itinerary, guides and tickets were all arranged in advance by Leigh. She spent a lot of time with us before booking anything. We communicated by emails or phone. It was clear to us from our first contact with Leigh that she wanted to make sure the trip had exactly what we wanted.The guides in each city were so fantastic. They each had a wealth of experience as guides, planned the routes well and asked about our interests when we first met so they knew what we wanted to see and do. They were all spot on time! The guides made the trip a truly special experience. They helped us to understand each city, its history, special characteristics and helped us with questions about how to navigate the city and use public transportation. The guides expedited getting into busy museums or other venues because our guides had passes to jump queues. They maximized our time so that it was spent enjoying the sights and venues instead of standing in lines and figuring out how to purchase tickets. They knew where to go and when to go there. Some venues required advance tickets and Leigh took care of that. Leigh arranged our very own private saloon boat tour of the canals of Amsterdam. Leigh checked in on us along the way on our trip and sent us special notes. She arranged to have a gift sent to my hotel room in Helsinki on my birthday.Leigh arranged really great hotel rooms with the best views possible. And our stateroom on the Silja line cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki had an amazing view so we saw the sunset and sunrise over the Baltic from our room and that was stunning. With Exeter involved in making the hotel reservations we were treated like special guests at each hotel by the staff.The drivers were all outstanding. They were polite, helpful, on-time and made all our connections and excursions seamless and stress free. We actually started our trip in Gothenburg Sweden at the Volvo factory. After that Exeter took over and we proceeded on our dream trip to Stockholm, Helsinki and Amsterdam. We did no driving. We used trains and boats all arranged by Leigh at Exeter. And in each city we used drivers arranged by Exeter for excursions outside the city centers, such as when we went to the delightful town of Porvoo, Finland.When we took the train from Gothenburg to Stockholm our train was over an hour delayed and it was late evening when we arrived in Stockholm. The driver who met us in Stockholm, arranged by Exeter, had waited for us. While waiting she arranged for the hotel to have food for us upon arrival. Also when we arrived at our room at the hotel Leigh had arranged for a lovely charcuterie tray to be sent to our room. So although we arrived late and were worried about being hungry, everyone involved made sure that was taken care of without having to ask.I can't say enough positive about Leigh Landis and Exeter International. I feel we got more than our money's worth. Without Exeter we would have wasted so much time trying to figure out what could be seen each day in each city, how to get tickets, how to find a good restaurant and figure out how to make reservations etc. We did not have to worry about any of that. All the details were taken care of in advance and all we had to do was enjoy it!We will be forever grateful for Leigh and Exeter!
Jonathan RosenbergJonathan Rosenberg
16:28 02 Jun 22
My wife and I completed our second trip with Gwen's team at Exeter last month. Our first trip a few years back included Vienna, Prague, Budapest. This trip was Amsterdam, Berlin and Munich. Gwen is absolutely terrific and does a fabulous job of listening to client interests and preferences ex ante and then presenting options and framing the trips. Gwen's advice on hotels and specific rooms in hotels and the Exeter private touring options was consistently spot on. And ALL the guides she uses are terrific which really makes the trip. I was very pleased with both itineraries before the trips started and like any travel experience, circumstances and weather changed during the trip. Gwen and her team were always on top of quickly making changes. They possess the unique combination of pliancy about the route taken coupled with an adamantine resolve to give the client the experience they want and get them to see the things they wish to see. The team also has access to private experiences that were amazing. A tour of a tulip farm, a visit to a closed museum and medieval library, a wine and cheese tasting with a local expert. Not only did we have two good trips, on the second trip, Gwen started with all her notes and preferences from our first trip which made things even easier. I have used many operators in my travels and my experience with Exeter and Gwen Kozlowski in particular was truly top notch.

Cities to Explore

Croatia teems with an eclectic blend of historic charm and gastronomic delights, offering travelers a vivid tapestry of experiences. From the Venetian architecture and stunning vistas in Rovinj to the majestic hilltop town of Motovun, with its medieval walls and white truffle-infused dishes. Wander through the lavender-scented island of Hvar or time-travel in the stone corridors of Split’s Diocletian’s Palace.
Dubrovnik, the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, reveals its UNESCO-recognized maritime glory and invites visitors to dine above its ancient walls under a canopy of stars. These Croatian jewels await travelers eager for a blend of history, culture, and sumptuous feasts in settings that capture the essence of the Adriatic.

Our Favorite Croatia Hotels

Croatia has beautiful clear waters that make it perfect for a special vacation. Its top hotels offer amazing sea views and local charm for a special stay. Villa Dubrovnik and Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik are great for history lovers who also want luxury. The Grand Park Hotel in Rovinj sits by the sea and looks over the old town and forests, offering a stylish setting. In Split, the Santa Lucia Hotel is a peaceful place in a busy city, mixing comfort with the lively local culture. On the island of Hvar, Maslina Resort fits well with the Mediterranean way of life, having a cool style and green surroundings.

Best Time to Visit Croatia

Croatia has warm and dry summers with wet winters. The most pleasant times to visit are between April and June, and September and October.





What to Do in Croatia​

Diocletian Palace Dubrovnik
Maslina Hvar speedboat
Motovun winery Croatia

Packed with historic UNESCO World Heritage sites, Croatia features influences ranging from Roman and Illyrian to Venetian and Austro-Hungarian. It is the perfect destination to combine history and culture with food and wine and enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the Adriatic. Don’t miss these highlights on your Croatia vacation!

Explore the historic old towns of Dubrovnik & Split

Croatia has a multitude of charming old towns, but the two outstanding architectural and historical cities are Split and Dubrovnik. The Palace of Diocletian (pictured) served as the basis of the city of Split and today, over 1,700 years later it is the center of life in Croatia’s second city. Dubrovnik, once a Republic, just like Venice is magical at night, and despite its popularity, its beauty never disappoints. 

Make time for Istria

Croatia isn’t just about the southern coast of Dalmatia though! Istria, bordering Italy and Slovenia in the north is also known as the culinary heart of Croatia and has much to offer. Pula with its unique Roman Amphitheater, Rovinj, Italianate at heart, and the inland hilltop towns and villages of Oprtalj, Motovun, and Buje are highlights not to be missed.

Get out on the water

For the ultimate splurge in Croatia, hire a private boat for a day (or in several locations) to take in the natural beauty of the Adriatic and visit secluded coves and other parts of the islands that are otherwise inaccessible. Sunset cruises, kayaking and even canyoning are all also possible.

Taste award-winning wines

Croatia has four main wine-growing regions, and each has its specialties. The choice of wineries can be overwhelming and Exeter International can recommend the best in the most picturesque settings throughout the country.

Enjoy a culinary experience

Incredible seafood and farm-to-table dining are both available in Croatia. From truffles to oysters and award-winning olive oil it is no wonder that Anthony Bourdain said “Croatia is the next great thing. If you have not been here, you are… an idiot! I am an idiot!”. From our curated restaurant suggestions to hands-on experiences from cooking classes to truffle hunts Exeter can help you make the most of culinary Croatia!

Croatia Travel FAQs

The Croatian coast faces Italy in the Adriatic Sea, with a land border in the north. Montenegro, Slovenia & Bosnia, and Herzegovina all also have land borders with Croatia.

Croatia is known for its stunning coastline, beautiful islands, excellent wine, national parks, the city of Dubrovnik, and as a major film set for Game of Thrones!

The official language in Croatia is Croatian, with Italian being widely spoken in the North.

The Euro is the currency in Croatia.

Crime rates are some of the lowest in Europe and Croatia is a very safe place to travel.

If you have 12 days or more, it is possible to visit the north of the country and the region of Istria and combine with the Dalmatian Coast. If you have 7 days of less, we recommend a combination of Split, Hvar, and Dubrovnik, all on the Dalmatian Coast.

The travel season in Croatia is short, and in general from May to September which makes it a more expensive destination than people expect. Good hotels in excellent locations are significantly less expensive in April or October. Exeter private custom touring including accommodation in top hotels starts at $1,000 per day upwards June-September.

Private car and driver services, ferries, hydrofoils, and self-drive are the best ways to get around Croatia.

Slovenia in the North and Montenegro in the South combine perfectly with Croatia.

Taking day trips to Bosnia or Montenegro from Croatia is not recommended for the discerning traveler. More time is spent traveling in a vehicle than enjoying the destinations. As Croatia is now in the EU Schengen zone, border delays are also more likely.

Keep Exploring Croatia

Why Travel with Exeter?

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