Split, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia Hvar, Croatia

Essential Dalmatia

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Highlights

  • 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

$4,950 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for exact pricing and specific availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Split 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.

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.

Exeter Services: Arrival Transfer

Hotel: Briig

Day 2
Split | Split, Croatia 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 shelter within the palace’s protective walls. In the following centuries, the castle’s population outgrew its capacity 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.

Later today, your guide and driver will take you to visit 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:  Briig

Day 3
Hvar | Hvar Hvar, Croatia

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel for the transfer 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, utilize your boat to see 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. It may be too cold to swim, but the beaches themselves are gorgeous and great for a stop for a snack or to relax. Some of these are nude beaches, so please do let your guide and skipper know if you would like to avoid this.

Note: A visit to Hvar can also be arranged via public catamaran (lowering the cost of the program).

Exeter Services: Guide (8 Hours); Motorboat Charter & Skipper (8 Hours); Two Port Transfers

Hotel: Briig

Day 4
Split to Dubrovnik | Split to Dubrovnik Oyster lunch Ston, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

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

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

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 Dubrovnik, Croatia

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.

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 take you into the Rector’s Palace. The Rector was the highest authority in the city and his palace now houses 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 the ancient 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 15th century, 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 care of the 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.

The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. You can stay in the city to enjoy the shops and cafes or return to your hotel and indulge in the spa.

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

Exeter Services: Guide (6 Hours)

 

Hotel: Excelsior

Day 6
Konavle Region | Konavale Wine, 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 become today’s Dubrovnik. Today, Cavtat is one 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 a 16th century Count’s Palace. You will also see a Franciscan 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.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

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) that he makes from rare indigenous grapes. His wines have already been awarded the title of World’s Best Dessert 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 | Konavale, Croatia Dubrovnik, Croatia

This morning you will meet your driver for your transfer to the airport to board your departing flight onward.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

Meet a ballerina in St Petersburg
Extraordinary Experiences
VIEW VIEW page

Extraordinary Experiences

Discover our insider access Extraordinary Experiences.

VIEW PAGE
Exeter Experts Feb 2019
The Experts
VIEW VIEW page

The Experts

Meet the Experts that will make your trip extraordinary.

VIEW PAGE
Rovinj, Istria
View Our Destinations
VIEW VIEW page

View Our Destinations

Our specialty is in the countries that link East & West, both in Europe, and between Europe & Asia.

VIEW PAGE
Family travel
View Our Trip Types
VIEW VIEW page

View Our Trip Types

How do you like to travel? View your choices here.

VIEW PAGE