CROATIAN FAMILY ADVENTURE
CROATIAN FAMILY ADVENTURE
What a treat you and your family will have in store on this 15-day Croatian Family Adventure! Start in elegant Zagreb. Then, make your way to the Istrian peninsula. Next, it’s the beauty of Plitvice National Park. After that, head to Zadar and nearby islands. After Zadar, it’s on to Split and the island of Braç. Last but not least, end your vacation in the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik. With everything from walled medieval cities to island hopping on the Adriatic, engaging in local customs, eating amazing food, and the Croatian love of children, this will be an unforgettable vacation for the entire family.
ZAGREB – 2 NIGHTS
Welcome to Croatia! The first stop on your Croatian Family Adventure will be the country’s capital, Zagreb. A private transfer will greet you at the airport and take you to your gorgeous accommodations in the city center. We will leave the first evening free to recharge your batteries before starting your amazing adventure ahead. The next day, enjoy the following excursion:
- Your private guide will take you on this Personalized Walking tour of Zagreb including the most important cultural, historical architectural sites. Start at Governor Jelačić Square, or simply The Square, the main square in Zagreb. Them, head to the Upper town known as Gradec and Kaptol. These two medieval settlements are where the city of Zagreb grew from. Here you will also visit the Cathedral, the Dolac open market, and several charming cobblestoned streets lined with shops and cafes. Next, you will take a short ride on a funicular to Ilica Street. There will be time for a cup of coffee/tea is part while learning even more about Zagreb and Croatia. Last but not least, you will visit the fantastic Museum of Illusions, which will amaze both kids and parents alike!
- Additionally, if desired, you can visit the rustic Zagorje region to visit Trakoscan Castle, dine on regional specialties at a local tavern, and sample wine produced in Zagorje.
ISTRIA – 3 NIGHTS
You’ll privately transfer about three hours west to the coast on the Istrian Peninsula. Often called the “Tuscany of Croatia”, the landscape is spectacular. You will meander through rolling hills, vineyards, and Mediterranean forests to get to your final destination. There will also be a nice treat in store along the way (see below!).
On your way from Zagreb to Istria, you will have some time in Golubinjak Forest Park. The forest is home to huge, unbelievable trees that seem to rise high above the cliffs surrounding them. You will enter the forest is through a gorgeous, fresh meadow. Here, you can enjoy a bite to eat before or after you venture into the forest. There is a children’s playground around the forest if the kids need to burn some energy. There is also a BBQ area if you want to eat al fresco. Then, take a beautiful walk through the many paths to follow. Pass by the famous ‘Queen of the Forest,’ as well as sculptures in the rocks, and the numerous ice caves (yes, even in the summer months!). It is a wonderful place to split up the drive and give everyone a chance to enjoy Mother Nature at her best.
Then, it’s off to your accommodations for the next 3 nights. There will be a few choices here from a wonderful wine hotel amidst the vineyards or a seaside resort in one of our favorite villages. During your stay in Istria, you will enjoy the following special experiences:
- A Truffle Hunting, Olive Oil, and a Fisherman’s Village for the Family. Known best as the truffle region, Istria is a fine mélange of picture-perfect landscape and exquisite gastronomy. Your exploration starts in the village of Livade, where you will learn about harvesting truffles in a private truffle hunting demonstration with a hunter and his sniffer dog. Unknown to the world’s stage of luxury gastronomy until recently, the Istrian white truffle is a real delicacy for true connoisseurs. Then, in the nearby Brtonigla village, stop for an olive oil tasting and a light snack of truffle products. In Roman times when the empire spanned an impressive amount of the world, the most sought-after olive oils were the ones from Istria. Then head to the Adriatic coast and the picturesque town of Rovinj. Once a fishermen’s village, it now offers warm Mediterranean settings to its visitors. Wander around the winding cobblestone streets and delightful passages the symbols of the most “photogenic town in Adriatic”. If staying in Rovinj, we will replace this with a winery tour & tasting lunch at one of our favorite producers in Croatia!
- You will also have the option of a private full-day tour of Brijuni islands and Pula, gems of the Istria south coast. Known as “the pieces of heaven”, Brijuni served as the exclusive beach resort for the aristocrats and the personal summer residence of the Yugoslav president Tito. Enjoy a private tour by golf cart around its archaeological, natural, and historical sites. After taking the boat back to the mainland, head to the historic town of Pula. On the edge of empires for over 3000 years, this vibrant Roman outpost boasts with rich cultural heritage. The majestic 1st century AD Roman amphitheater is absolutely majestic!
- Note, there are plenty of fun kid activities such as zoos and waterparks. We will include information about these in your final travel packet.
ZADAR – 2 NIGHTS
You will travel in fun and style from Istria to your next destination on your Croatian Family Adventure! Make your way to charming Zadar, by private boat. On the way, cruise around the turquoise sea and endless islands. You will stop at magical Silba. This quaint island with no cars has kept a relaxed atmosphere and an authentic way of life. Boasting with lush forests and the most beautiful beaches, Silba offers the ultimate Mediterranean escape. You will have time for lunch and a swim and snorkeling here.
Upon arrival in Zadar, you will have a private transfer to your nearby hotel which is a lovely restored residence in the heart of the old town. During your stay in Zadar, do not miss a visit to the famous sea organ at sunset. Then the next day, we have an amazing day in store for you:
- Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes National Park is an absolute must for any traveler to Croatia. Made up of 16 terraced lakes over a total area of 114 square miles, the water appears to be emerald green just like the forest that surrounds it. But the real attractions are the gorgeous cascading waterfalls that plunge over the terraces in seemingly every corner of Plitvice. During your time here, you can enjoy some lovely hiking routes within the park that follow along wooden boardwalks. You can also take the kids zip-lining across some beautiful landscape!
SPLIT – 2 NIGHTS
Up next on your Croatian Family Adventure is the ancient city of Split. Upon arrival here, you will have a private transfer take you to your unique accommodations within the walls of Diocletian’s Palace or a seafront hotel. The choice is yours. During your stay in Split, you will enjoy the following special experiences:
- No visit to Split would be complete without an Essential Walk through the Place and Beyond. With your family-friendly guide, the tour starts at the south wall of Diocletian’s Palace. Here you can see the full view of its scale and hear how and why the palace was built. You’ll explore the untouched basements, then make your way to the central Peristyle square. Afterward, visit what was originally Diocletian’s mausoleum. It is the second oldest building structure in the world still used as a cathedral. Continue to the north entrance known as the ‘Golden Gate’. You leave the palace area and explore the medieval part known as the ‘Old Town’’. Walking the maze of cobbled streets and squares, see the architectural era which features buildings from the Romanesque, Renaissance, Gothic, and Succession period. The tour finishes on the seaside promenade known as the Riva.
BRAC – 2 NIGHTS
The next stop on your Croatian Family Adventure will be Braç. After checking out of your hotel, your private driver will transfer you and your luggage to the port. Here you will have a private boat take you to the lovely island of Braç with a fun excursion along the way (see below!). On the island, you will stay in one of our very favorite hotels in Croatia full of comfort and charm.
- Take the long way to Braç with a Private Boating Excursion. En-route cruise around Pakleni Islands, a breath-taking archipelago with lush vegetation, beautiful bays, and intact nature. Enjoy the azure waves, beautiful coves surrounded by pine forests, and gentle breeze scented by aromatic herbs. Don’t miss out on a delicious local meal! Your skipper will have some great recommendations of lovely little restaurants scattered around the islands. Later today you will continue the cruise to Braç.
- An Amazing Day of Biking Braç! You’ll be accompanied by your driver to the top of Adriatic island’s St. Vid, from where you’ll bike down to Sutivan. Start with a breathless view of the mid-Dalmatian islands. Then begin your journey down. This route leads through old villages and some of the most beautiful areas of the island. There will be interesting stops along the way. Once you reach our driver will accompany you back to your hotel in the afternoon.
DUBROVNIK – 3 NIGHTS
Your last, but certainly not least, destination on your Croatian Family Adventure, will be the beautiful historic city overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik. Once you have been transferred back to the mainland by private ferry, you will meet your private driver/guide who will accompany you 3 hours south to this marvelous city, but with a bit of fun en-route (see below!).
You will several fantastic options to choose from in terms of accommodations. Our preferred list is quite extensive in Dubrovnik and we will match you with what best fits your travel style and taste. During your 3 days in Dubrovnik, you will enjoy the following experiences:
- On your way from Split to Dubrovnik, there will be a wonderful stop on the Peljesac Peninsula for Oysters, Wine, and More. Discover Mali Ston Bay, famous for the original European delicacy of succulent oysters! Your host, a local farmer, will take you for a private oyster farm tour in the bay. Learn how the oysters are grown and taste them fresh from the sea! Enjoy a glass of wine or two as you drift around and watch the local fishermen apply their trade. Then, walk the small coastal town of Ston with your guide. Once an important military fort of the Dubrovnik Republic, it features impressive 5 km-long medieval walls (which you and the kids can walk a bit) and 4000-years old saltpans. In the village of Ponikve visit a small family-run winery. A charismatic owner, passionate about his wines, makes some of the best organic wines in Croatia in a traditional way. The winery grows only Plavac Mali grapes, the most famous Croatian indigenous variety, related to Zinfandel. Take an exciting tour around the vineyards, followed by a wine tasting of their best local wines. Continue on to Dubrovnik.
- A Private Half-day Walking tour of Dubrovnik. The UNESCO-protected Old Town features medieval stone buildings, red-tiled roofs, and narrow passageways. A stroll down Stradun, the main street, reveals the intricate network of cobblestone streets and squares. Admire famous landmarks and monumental edifices that make Dubrovnik an open-air museum. A once quaint Franciscan monastery hides Europe’s oldest pharmacy; Rector’s Palace honors the mighty dukes of Dubrovnik and the baroque Church of St Blaise celebrates the town’s patron saint. And if you are a “Game of Thrones” fan, just let us know so we can add in some great tidbits about its filming of King’s Landing! No visit to Dubrovnik would be complete without a walk around the city walls, one of the best-preserved ramparts in the Mediterranean. An uninterrupted flow of walls, almost 2 km in length, with massive forts, towers, and bastions, was built to protect this freedom-loving city. Get a glance of the old town of Dubrovnik from a completely different angle and enjoy spectacular views of the shimmering Adriatic.
- A Day of Traditional Croatian Cooking. Just an hour’s south of Dubrovnik lies the charming Konavle region. Here there is a little gem of a place where cooking traditional Croatian meals is an everyday way of life. Your lovely host will introduce you to the local produce and other ingredients. The kids are free to roam and pick out the best fruits and vegetables in the owner’s garden, plus the opportunity to milk a goat! Afterward, enjoy a 2-hour hands-on cooking lesson. Afterward, when you are finished you will enjoy the “fruits of your labor” with a delicious meal created by you.
- Enjoy a bit of sea, sun, and exercise on our Kayaking Tour of Dubrovnik and Lokrum island. Explore Dubrovnik from the water and get a completely different perspective of the old city. Starting from the mainland, you will paddle to Lokrum Island where you can enjoy a swim and snorkel, explore the 15th-century Benedictine monastery, and hike along the car-less trails. You’ll explore wonderful hidden caves and beaches to explore. On the way back, you will pass by the imposing walls of Dubrovnik. Your guide will have plenty of good stories and folklore to share with you!
When it is time to say goodbye to Dubrovnik, we will arrange a private transfer to the airport.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Croatian Family Adventure. A few days on the up and coming (and very beautiful) Montenegro coast? Or a visit to a few of the more than 1000 islands to explore in Croatia (such as Hvar or Korcula?) Or even add Slovenia to the first part of your trip? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish!