DAY 1 | June 6.
Depart your gateway city for Zagreb, Croatia.
DAY 2 | June 7. Zagreb, Croatia
Upon arrival, transfer to the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
DAY 3 | June 8. Zagreb
Educational Focus: Contemporary Croatia. Gain a thorough understanding of recent events that have shaped the stable, independent Croatia of today.
Excursion: Exploring Zagreb. Tucked between the sparkling Sava River and the forested slopes of Mount Medvednica, the city of Zagreb awaits you. Stroll the narrow, winding streets and admire the city’s rich array of Austro-Hungarian architecture. At the heart of Zagreb’s beautifully preserved Upper Town, visit iconic St. Mark’s Church. Originally erected in the 13th century, its brilliant tile mosaic roof depicts the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavic coats of arms as well as those representing Zagreb.
DAY 4 | June 9. Zagreb / Hrvatsko Zagorje
Excursion: Croatia’s Countryside. Enjoy a scenic drive from Zagreb to Hrvatsko Zagorje, Croatia’s stunning north country. Visit Klanjec, its Antun Augustincic Museum and Gallery and the Church of St. Mary. Continue to Kumrovec, a quaint village with an open-air museum in its old quarter that also is the birthplace of Josip Broz Tito, longtime president of the former Yugoslavia.
Local Flavor: Savor lunch at a local restaurant.
DAY 5 | June 10. Plitvice Lakes National Park / Split
Excursion: Plitvice Lakes. Enjoy a refreshing escape to one of Croatia’s most spectacular natural wonders. In a vision of unsurpassed beauty, 16 crystal lakes are laced together by a series of waterfalls and cascades. They shimmer in vibrant, constantly changing colors, a result of the karst terrain. Follow trails in the fragrant forest of beech and pine, which is home to many rare, endemic species. Continue to Split and check in to Cornaro Hotel.
DAY 6 | June 11. Split
Educational Focus: Croatia’s Seafaring History. Discover the significant role the Adriatic coastline has played throughout centuries of nautical history due to its strategic location and abundant bays, inlets and coves.
Excursion: Exploring Split. Journey to the ancient harbor of Split and delight in the city’s abundant historical riches. Visit the incredible living ruin of Diocletian’s Palace, which has been continuously inhabited since the Roman emperor abdicated his throne in A.D. 305. See the cellars, temple ruins, peristyle, the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the Golden Gate. Roaming this complex’s tangle of passageways, courtyards and underground chambers is one of Croatia’s most enchanting experiences.
Local Flavor: Visit a local fish market before sitting down to a lunch featuring the catch of the day at a nearby restaurant.
Independent Exploration: Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 7 | June 12. Split / Hvar
Silver sunlight dances upon the turquoise waters of the Adriatic as you enjoy a ferry ride to the island of Hvar. Upon arrival, check in to the Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel.
Excursion: Exploring Hvar. Discover the great treasures lying within the 13th-century walls of Hvar’s Old Town, including richly ornamented Gothic palaces, picturesque squares and marble streets. Visit the Renaissance-era Cathedral of St. Stephen. Explore the Arsenal, where imposing war galleons were once repaired and refitted. Converted into a public theater in 1612, part of the Arsenal is still in use today.
DAY 8 | June 13. Hvar
Educational Focus: Food and Wine of Croatia. Learn about traditional Croatian wines and regional dishes that reflect the diverse cultures that have influenced the country throughout its history.
Excursion: Hvar Wine Country. Admire the architecture in the historic city of Stari Grad and other towns dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries en route to Hvar’s wine country. Croatia’s wine-making traditions date back more than two millennia, when Greek settlers planted the first vineyards along the Dalmatian coast. Today, Hvar wines are attracting international attention. Grown near craggy limestone bluffs, several local grape varieties have proven themselves superbly suited to the rugged environs.
Cultural Event: Participate in a wine tasting at a local winery.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a traditional dinner roasted on hot coals under a peka, an iron bell.
DAY 9 | June 14. Hvar | Dubrovnik
After breakfast and some free time, cruise back to the mainland and take a scenic drive to Dubrovnik, where you will check in to the Grand Villa Argentina.
DAY 10 | June 15. Dubrovnik
Excursion: The Pearl of the Adriatic. This beautiful city was relentlessly shelled during Croatia’s Homeland War in the early 1990s, but the medieval churches, graceful fountains and squares have been restored to their former glory. Admire the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery’s Romanesque cloister, and visit its small apothecary, the oldest working pharmacy in Europe. Explore medieval Sponza Palace, which houses ancient manuscripts. Admire the loggia and ornamentation of the Rector’s Palace. Visit the baroque cathedral.
Independent Exploration: The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own.
DAY 11 | June 16. Dubrovnik
Independent Exploration: Spend the day exploring Dubrovnik’s trove of architectural, cultural and artistic gems. Discover for yourself what writers throughout time have struggled to convey about this city’s inimitable allure. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
DAY 12 | June 17. In Transit
This morning, transferA to Dubrovnik airport for the return flight to your gateway city. NOTE: Itinerary sequence and/or scheduled events may change. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.