NORTH AND SOUTH ADRIATIC
Transfer by automobile, with luggage assistance and English-speaking guide upon arrival, from Zagreb airport to Opatija.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 1 to 8: Opatija
Accommodations at the Hotel in Opatija - 7 nights on half board basis.
Once the resort of choice for European royalty and cultural figures from Gustav Mahler to Isadora Duncan, Opatija is Croatia's oldest seaside resort. Situated in the picturesque Kvarner Bay, Opatija has been a "spa" town offering rest and recreation to its innumerable visitors since Roman times. With all the sun-drenched pleasures of a European resort town, its grand villas, sub-tropical botanical gardens, old-style grand hotels, wide boulevards, and busy marinas have attracted Europeans since the 1840s with almost religious fervor - attracted year after year by its crystal-clear sea and the Mediterranean blue of its seemingly limitless sky.
Accommodation at the Hotel - 7 nights on half board basis
After breakfast, depart Opatija for a tour of Istria - Croatia's largest peninsula. After crossing the Opatija Riviera, the motorcoach plunges into the five-kilometer long tunnel of Ucka and winds its way through the town of Pazin (whose castle Jules Verne described in a novel).
Cross the Lim Fjord and enter Porec (1 1/2 hours). Founded as an ancient Roman town, Porec evolved into a Byzantine community and is today a tourist "Mecca" on the Adriatic. Occupying a small peninsula which just out into the sea, Porec offers architectural and artistic treasures, of which the highlight is the Basilica of Euphrasius - a complex of buildings whose oldest parts date from the sixth century. There is much to explore in Porec, as the sun soaks into the red-tiled rooftops and cool sea breezes blow through the town's maze of narrow streets.
Lunch at restaurant before proceed to Pula.
The tour takes you down the west coast through Rovinj, a typical Mediterranean town with narrow cobblestone streets and stone houses built centuries ago with extra thick walls and small windows as a protection against pirates. Continue down the coast to Pula.
Upon arrival in Pula, embark upon a city tour. Pula is well known for its exceptional Roman amphitheater. A busy port town where commerce flourishes amid Roman arches and temples, Pula's Gothic buildings and Byzantine churches make it a historical treasure.
Return to Opatija (1 1/2 hours) for dinner at one of Opatija's many traditional restaurants.
The end of the tour.
Transfer from the hotel in Opatija to Rijeka Harbor.
Depart by Jadrolinija ferry from Rijeka to Dubrovnik.
Dinner and overnight on board Jadrolinija ferry.
Upon arrival to Dubrovnik Harbor, transfer with assistance from the harbor to the Hotel.
Day 9 to 16: Dubrovnik
Accommodations at the Hotel in Dubrovnik - 7 nights on half board basis.
After breakfast, transfer to Pile Gate for a walking tour of the old city. "Those who seek paradise on earth," George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "should come to Dubrovnik." Today, he might add that Dubrovnik is the place for all those who wish to renew themselves and their faith in human nature. Dubrovnik has been reclaimed not just as a Croatian treasure but one of the world's treasures, a fact that was officially recognized when the United Nations declared it a World Cultural Heritage site.
Completed in the 13th century, the old city of Dubrovnik has remained basically unchanged. Visit the Sponza Palace, notable for its columned courtyard with elaborate stone carvings, the Dominican church and monastery with its rich treasury, the impressive Rector's Palace, the church of St. Blaise and the 14th century Franciscan Monastery whose cloister ranks among the most inspiring sites of the city. Medieval ramparts encircle the city, which pedestrians can enter through one of two gates. Crossing a stone bridge under the watchful gaze of the city's patron saint, Blaise or Vlaho, visitors find themselves joining the centuries old evening promenade down the broad, stone-paved avenue known as Stradun. More than an avenue, it is the city's main artery, lined with graceful stone palazzos where people both work and live. Either join in the stroll or watch with drink in hand from one of the various cafes or restaurants along Stradun.
At 10:00 am, depart the Hotel Grand Park for Cavtat in the Konavle region.
Cavtat is today a picturesque seaside resort town, which was the ancient Roman city of Epidarus. Over the years Cavtat has been a favorite destination for sailors and yacht enthusiasts. Edward the Eighth and Wallis Simpson also came here during their honeymoon. Visit the Bogisic museum and the Racic mausoleum on the hillside built by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic. This is a unique opportunity to spend an unforgettable afternoon in an idyllic natural setting.
Continue to Konavle.
Receive a traditional welcome of local brandy and figs in front of "Konavoski Dvori," one of the most famous restaurants on the Dalmatian coast. The restaurant is located in an ancient mill next to a cascading stream, and has been beautifully restored in the style of the Konavle region. A sumptuous lunch of traditional delicacies including roast lamb, veal and freshly caught trout grilled to perfection - cooked under iron bells and covered with hot coals.
Depart Konavoski dvori and continue to the gallery of the native painter Mijo Sisa Konavljanin. This gallery is a showcase of Croatian naive art.
Transfer with assistance to the Dubrovnik airport for flights home.
The end of the tour.