Hotel Adriatic - Rovinj, Croatia Market - Dubrovnik, Croatia

Culinary Croatia

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The following is just a suggested daily touring schedule focusing on the culinary wonders of Croatia. You will have complete control over your daily schedule and may change your plans at any time by simply telling your guide. Your time in Europe is yours to enjoy as you like!

For custom luxury travel and tours to Croatia, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download PDF itinerary here.

Day 1
Arrival | Istria

Upon arrival in Ljubljana, you will be met by your private driver who will be waiting for you just outside of customs after you pick up your luggage. You will be transferred to your hotel in Rovinj, approximately 2.5 hours away.

Exeter Services: Transfer Ljubljana - Rovinj

Hotel: Monte Mulini

Day 2
Istria | Istria

Today, embark with your guide and driver on a tour of the beautiful towns and villages of Istria.

The interior of Istria is very different from its coast. Your first visit today will be the artist colony of Groznjan. This hilltop town was all but deserted after WWII until being revitalized as a center for artists. Groznjan is also a favorite of musicians, as the International Cultural Centre of Young Musicians has its seat here. You will have time to wander the twisting streets, filled with shops from local artisans, or perhaps to take in an impromptu music or drama performance in the main square.

Riding through the rugged and hilly terrain you will come to the medieval ruins of the town of Motovun, which suddenly springs into view. Motovun is an excellent example of the ancient townships that dotted the Istrianpeninsula long ago. We think it’s worth the long trek up to the top of the hill, so eat a hearty breakfast! Motovun is a medieval city that dates back to the 12th century, which thankfully remained intact owing to its hilltop location and walled fortifications.

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Visit Livade, a small village in the Istrian countryside famous for being one of the best truffle regions in Europe. White Istrian truffles are among the most expensive in the world, and harvesting them is a local tradition going back centuries. Enjoy a truffle hunting demonstration, guided by an expert and a trained dog (pigs are no longer used in Croatia). Top off the experience with a fabulous truffle tasting at a local konoba. Truffle tasting is payable locally.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon you will also be invited to a private wine and olive oil tasting at one of the private family vineyards in Istria.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Monte Mulini

Day 3
Istria | Istria

This morning, meet your driver and guide who will transfer you to Zminj, where you will enjoy a private Istrian cooking class.

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Istrians like to say, “If all the roads in Europe lead to Rome, then all the roads in Istria lead to Zminj”, as it is the crossroads of the peninsula. In this small village, there is a little tavern called Puli Pineta. Here, the owner, Mr. Pino awaits you. Pino is a professional chef with a remarkable career behind him. He has cooked for some of the most important people in the country including Croatian president Mesic.

Pino decided to open up his restaurant where he would be able to cook only what he finds to be of the very best quality, but which also paints a portrait of Istria and life in it. He buys all of his ingredients from locals –fruit & vegetable producers, farmers, fisherman, olive oil & wine producers. You will be invited to his small tavern kitchen, where he will share his gastronomical ideology and ask your assistance in cooking delicious, traditional and authentic local dishes. Please notify us of any allergies, dietary restrictions, and preferences.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Monte Mulini

Day 4
Rovinj - Split | Rovinj - Split

Early this morning, meet your driver for your transfer to Split. This will be your longest drive. Along the way, you will make a stop at Etnoland Dalmati Pakovo selo to enjoy a guided tour.

At Etnoland, guests may experience the Dalmatian culture up close. This little village was created to portray the traditions and customs of Dalmatia, as well as its food, nature, and the spirit of the past. You may enjoy an interesting and interactive guided tour of the village with a tasting of the famous “Drniški pršut” (Drniš smokedham) and homemade wine. Afterwards, you will be served a lunch consisting of mixed peka (roasted meat).

Late this afternoon, continue your drive to your hotel in Split.

Exeter Services: Private Transfer Rovinj – Split via Etnoland

Hotel: Park Split

Day 5
Split | Split

This morning, meet your guide to explore the city of Split, including the ancient Diocletian Palace.

Diocletian’s Palace, facing onto the Split harbor, is one of the most impressive Roman architectural monuments in the world and is protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Roman Emperor Diocletian, noted for his persecution of early Christians, was a native of nearby Salona before rising through the Roman military ranks to be eventually crowned emperor by his legions. He ruled for 20 years before abdicating and retiring to this palace. After his death, the palace was abandoned until the 7th century when refugees from the surrounding areas, fleeing foreign invasions, sought shelter within the palace’sprotective walls. In the following centuries, the population outgrew its capacity and the town sprawled outside the walls. Today, Split is a major port and industrial center, as well as a perfect base for day trips to nearby attractions.

You will have the chance to explore with your Exeter guide the more than 200 buildings within the boundaries of the Diocletian Palace complex, many of which are still homes, while others house cafes, restaurants, and shops. Like a typical Roman fort, in its original form the palace had a square layout and was surrounded by a thick wall with gates and watchtowers. Some of the best-preserved sites you can visit are the Vestibule, the Temple of Jupiter, the Peristyle, and Diocletian’s Mausoleum – now the Cathedral of St. Dominus.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Park Split

Day 6
Split | Split

This morning at 9AM, you will be picked up at your hotel by the Chef for a unique cooking class.

First, you will visit the local vegetables market and a fish market, where you will be able to pick out the ingredients that you would like to use in your dish. Afterwards, make the short walk to the cooking school where you will enjoy a welcome drink and snack before the cooking class starts. During this hands-on class, the Chef will guide each of you in preparing a fantastic Dalmatian dish that you all will enjoy for lunch at the end ofthe class. Don’t forget to try some of the Croatian wines that the Chef provides as well!

Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.

Exeter Experiences: Cooking Class

Hotel: Park Split

Day 7
Split - Dubrovnik | Split - Dubrovnik

Today you will continue your journey with a private transfer to Dubrovnik.

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En route, you will drive to the Peljesac Peninsula, which, similar to other coastal settlements, was first colonized by the Greeks, later by the Romans and Byzantines, and in the Middle Ages often changed hands between the Venetian and Ragusan Republics. The peninsula is known for its fine vineyards and the best oysters in Dalmatia, farmed in the town of Ston.

Upon arrival in Mali Ston you will enjoy a 45-minute private boat tour.

You will head to the oyster banks and see how oysters and mussels are being cultivated in the region. Your tour will be on a private boat and will include an oyster and mussels tasting.

Afterwards, join your oyster farmer on his little private island for a picnic lunch hosted by his family. You’ll havean oyster tasting and a light lunch of local specialties, along with local wine.

Late afternoon arrival into Dubrovnik and the remainder of your evening is at leisure.

Exeter Services: Transfer Split – Dubrovnik via Ston

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 8
Dubrovnik | Dubrovnik

This morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel for an overview walking tour of the historic center of Dubrovnik, which is protected as a UNESCO Heritage site. Guests of Villa Dubrovnik are invited touse the hotel’s private motorboat to transfer to Old Town and you won’t want to miss this entranceinto the historic district!

Begin in Dubrovnik’s main square - the Loggia Loza, situated at the eastern extremity of the Stradun –the centuries-old promenade which runs through the walled city from East to West. Your guide will takeyou into the Rector’s Palace. The Rector was the highest authority in the city and his palace now housesthe Museum of Dubrovnik. Over 15,000 works are on display documenting the economic and cultural history of the city. You can also visit the Dubrovnik Cathedral and its treasury famous for the ancientrelics including a fragment of the ‘true cross’ on which it is believed that Jesus was crucified.

If you like, you may visit Dubrovnik’s Sephardic Synagogue. The synagogue was established in the 15th century, survived earthquakes and wars, and is still in service today. Make sure to see the Franciscanmonastery of the “Order of Minor Friars” (Ordo Fratrum Minorum) which includes one of the threeoldest pharmacies in Europe, still serving customers. Part of the Franciscans’ mission was to take care ofthe health of the local residents, so they opened the pharmacy in 1317 and it has been in operation ever since. The monastery contains numerous medieval pharmacists’ tools and medical books which belonged to the English kings’ physicians, as well as 10th-Century manuscripts.

Later, we highly recommend a walk into town and a walk atop the fortress walls surrounding the Old Town. Just over a mile long, this stroll will help you get your bearings and enjoy the splendid views of the historic Dubrovnik and the sea. The fortification includes several bastions, the tallest of which is the Minceta Tower, located just near the Pile gate in the north-western part of the town.

Note: All touring today is on foot on cobblestones. Please wear appropriate footwear.

Exeter Services: Guide (4 Hours)

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 9
Dubrovnik | Dubrovnik

This morning, your driver and guide will take you farther south along the Dalmatian coast to the town of Cavtat. This historic town dates back to the 6th Century BC and was first a Greek colony and later a Roman town called Ephidaurum. When Slav tribes invaded the area in the 7th century, the local population sought refuge upthe coast where they established Ragusa, which later expanded to become today’s Dubrovnik. Today, Cavtat isone of the most charming towns on the coast and retains a small town, laid-back ambience. Of historic interest here is the Baltazar Bogisic Collection, which includes many fine paintings and works of art and is housed in a16th century Count’s Palace. You will also see a Franciscan monastery from the 16th century and a monumentdesigned by Mestrovic.

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Today you will visit the winery of Niko Karaman, a local enologist who is quickly making a name for his tinyoperation. He’s known for dry wines and exquisite sweet Prosek (dessert wine) that he makes from rareindigenous grapes. His wines have already been awarded the title of World’s Best Dessert Wine in 2009.

Later, you will be treated to a private cooking class on a small family run farm. The family’s property is locatedin the Konavle region, in the village of Lovorno. You will be welcomed with local liquor, desserts, and dried figs. The cooking class is presented by the 70-year-old matriarch who will help you pick the necessary ingredients from the garden in order to prepare the meal, in addition to sharing her cultivation methods. After that you will have the opportunity to go to the kitchen where you will learn how to prepare some Dalmatian dishes and homemade bread.

You will also visit some of the family’s livestock; picking fresh eggs from the chicken coup, and if you are up to the challenge, you can milk a goat, however this is completely voluntary. The property also has a viewpoint where you can enjoy a stunning view of the Konavle valley.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 10
Departure | Departure

Morning at leisure before check-out and the transfer to the airport to meet your departing flight.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

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