Split, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Hvar, Croatia Fruit - Dubrovnik, Croatia Perast, Montenegro

Essential Dalmatia

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Highlights

  • Private Tour of the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery with a Curator
  • Private Wine Tasting in Hvar
  • Private Oyster Tasting in Ston
  • Private Wine Tasting in Konavle

The following is just a suggested daily touring schedule. 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 Dalmatia and Croatia, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download Captivating Croatia PDF

Download PDF itinerary here.

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$5,300 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for exact pricing and specific availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Split, Croatia

Arrive into Split, where your driver will meet you just outside customs and baggage claim. Please note that no airfare is included in your trip cost. Transfer to your luxury hotel right in the heart of Split’shistoric center.

The remainder of your afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Split, the second largest city in Croatia, is a busy maritime and shipbuilding center, but also the home of the Diocletian Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 3rd Century and covering an enormous area in the heart of Old Town. Your hotel is actually in the remains of the Diocletian Palace.

Exeter Services: Arrival transfer

Hotel: Park Hotel Split

Day 2
Split | Split, Croatia

This morning, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby to take you for a walking tour of the Old Town Split.

The Diocletian Palace, facing onto the Split harbor, is one of the most impressive Roman architectural monuments in existence and is protected as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Roman Emperor Diocletian, noted for his persecution of early Christians, was supposedly a native of nearby Salona before rising through Roman military ranks before finally being appointed as emperor by his legions. He ruled for 20 years before abdicating and retiring to this palace. After his death, the palace was gradually abandoned until the 7th century when refugees from the surrounding areas, fleeing foreign invasions, sought shelterwithin the palace’s protective walls. In the following centuries, the castle’s population outgrew itscapacity and the town sprawled outside the walls.

You will have the chance to explore 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 roughly 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.

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Later today, your guide and driver will take you on a private visit to the gallery of Ivan Mestrovic - the most celebrated Croatian artist of the 20th Century. Even as a child in rural Croatia, Mestrovic demonstrated a unique talent for molding clay. This talent was later honed in Zagreb and Vienna from which emerged an exquisite artist whose brilliant creativity translated itself into sculpture. He was a colleague and friend of the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin in Vienna. During World War II, Ivan Mestrovic was imprisoned but later freed when the Vatican intervened on his behalf and he later came to the United States to teach and sculpt until his death in 1962. He is buried in a mausoleum that he designed himself. The artist was known for immortalizing womanhood in pieces such as Maternity and the History of Croatia. The gallery in Split was the original residence of the artist.

This afternoon, your driver and guide will take you a short distance outside of Split to Trogir - a treasury of cultural and historical monuments dating as far back as the 4th Century BC. Set on a small island just off the mainland, Trogir was first settled by the ancient Greeks, before falling under the Romans and later the Byzantines. Destroyed by the Saracens and abandoned in the 12th Century, thanks to its strategic location the town was soon revived and became an artistic and cultural center under the Austro-Hungarians and later the Venetians. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Old Town Trogir is surrounded by a fortress wall with two gates and is connected to the mainland by a bridge.

Your guide will show you the Gradska loza (the Old City Hall) from the 15th Century, the city walls, and the Kamerlengo Castle, which was once the residence of the Venetian governor. On the sea-side of the island, you may see the Sea Gate, which was built in the 16th Century, and the nearby old fish market, located in an open loggia, surrounded by a colonnade.

Enjoy some time at your leisure to browse the small shops and cafes in Trogir, before heading back to Split.

Exeter Services: Half-Day Vehicle & Driver (4 Hours); Full-Day Guide (8 Hours)

Hotel: Park Hotel Split

Day 3
Hvar | Hvar

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel for the short walk to the marina, where your private motorboat will be waiting for you. Today your motorboat will take you to explore the neighboring island of Hvar. Through the course of history, Hvar Town has been a melting pot of cultures and influences and is still bursting with history, art and culture, and the home of Europe’s oldest municipal theater, which was built in the early 17th century over an arsenal in a peace-making attempt by the then ruler of Hvar.

You will start from Hvar’s main square, right next to the harbor, which is dominated by the Renaissance Cathedral with its distinctive bell tower dedicated to St. Stephen. The square is surrounded by buildings dating from the 16th – 17th centuries when the town was an important Venetian trading and seafaring center. Also in this part of town, you may wish to visit the Benedictine Convent, where the nuns spend their lives praying and weaving elaborate laces from the fibers of the agave plant.

This afternoon your private boat will take you to explore some of the coast of Hvar as well as the neighboring Pakleni Islands. These islands face the town of Hvar and are uninhabited and mostly woodlands. They feature a myriad of small secluded beaches. Some of these are nude beaches, so please do let your guide and skipper know if you would like to avoid this! You can stop as you desire for swimming or snorkeling.

Exeter Services: Guide (8 Hours); Motorboat Charter (8 Hours)

Hotel: Park Hotel Split

Day 4
Split to Dubrovnik | Split to 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 Ston, you will enjoy a 45-minute private boat tour. You will head to the oyster banks and see how these rare oysters and mussels are being cultivated in the region.

Afterwards, join your oyster farmer on his little private island for a picnic lunch hosted by his family.You’ll have an 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 to Dubrovnik via Ston

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 5
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 areinvited to use the hotel’s private motorboat to transfer to Old Town and you won’t want to miss thisentrance into 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 willtake you into the Rector’s Palace. The Rector was the highest authority in the city and his palace nowhouses the 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 theancient relics 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 15thcentury, survived earthquakes and wars, and is still in service today. Make sure to see the Franciscan monastery of the “Order of Minor Friars” (Ordo Fratrum Minorum) which includes one of the three oldest pharmacies in Europe, still serving customers. Part of the Franciscans’ mission was to take careof the health of the local residents, so they opened the pharmacy in 1317 and it has been in operationever 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 6
Konavle Region | Konavale, Croatia

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 up the coast where they established Ragusa, which later expanded to becometoday’s Dubrovnik. Today, Cavtat is one of the most charming towns on the coast and retains a smalltown, laid-back ambience. Of historic interest here is the Baltazar Bogisic Collection, which includesmany fine paintings and works of art and is housed in a 16th century Count’s Palace. You will also see aFranciscan monastery from the 16th century and a monument designed by Mestrovic.

Later, you will continue your drive through the southern Dalmatian countryside and the region known as Konavle. This is Dalmatia at its most traditional, where people still maintain the old customs and authentic costumes and cultivate olives and vineyards.

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This afternoon you will visit the winery of Niko Karaman, a local enologist who is quickly making a name for his tiny operation. He is known for dry wines and exquisite sweet Prosek (dessert wine) thathe makes from rare indigenous grapes. His wines have already been awarded the title of World’s BestDessert Wine in 2009. Konavle is also known for its excellent cuisine and we recommend having lunch at the restaurant Konovaski Dvori, a traditional southern Dalmatian restaurant located on the banks of the Ljuta River. (Cost of lunch is not included).

Later this afternoon, your driver and guide will take you back to Dubrovnik. The rest of the evening will be at your leisure.

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

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 7
Departure | Dubrovnik, Croatia

Morning at leisure before check-out and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

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