Day 1: New Zealand – – Zagreb
Board your flight for the picturesque capital of Croatia.
Day 2: Zagreb
You’ll be met upon arrival at the airport in Zagreb and be taken by private transfer to the hotel. Zagreb is a vibrant city, brimming with art galleries, museums, restaurants and trendy cafes. Upon checking in to the hotel, choose to begin exploring the city’s beautiful green parks, streets lined with classic and Secessionist facades, promenades and Austro-Hungarian buildings. Though Zagreb may be small compared to other European capitals, it is packed with things to see and do.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel upon arrival in Zagreb.
Day 3: Zagreb (B)
Make the most of a full day of exploring Zagreb. Uncover its small-town charm, old districts with cobblestone streets and gas lamp-lit squares. There is plenty of history to appreciate in the Upper Town area (its centre dates back to the 11th century). Culture-aficionados will perhaps want to visit one of the city’s museums, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art – or even the Museum of Broken Relationships. Head into Zagreb’s Lower Town to see the Viennese-influenced architecture, 19th-century pavilions and manicured gardens. Devotees of retail therapy can make a beeline for Ilica Street to make the most of its shops or sample bites of local cuisine at authentic eateries.
Day 4: Plitvice Lakes National Park – Split (B)
Today you’ll enjoy a group excursion to Croatia’s most famous and stunning national park. Enroute, you will stop at the Homeland War Memorial in Turanj where you’ll learn about one of the most prolific battles undertaken by the Croatian Army during the days of the Ottoman Empire. It is then onto Plitvice Lakes, one of Croatia’s most recognisable natural landmarks. This network of azure-hued lakes flow into one another from a series of cascading waterfalls – seen from winding wooden pathways and viewing platform. A local guide takes you around the park, pointing out native flora and fauna as you go, and taking you on a scenic boat and tram ride.
The group then continues to Croatia’s second largest city, Split. Check in to your hotel and then head out to one of the local restaurants for dinner.
Day 5: Split (B)
Situated on the Dalmatian coast, Split is best known for its stunning beaches, ornate architecture, and the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Diocletian’s Palace. Join a guided tour of the Old Town and enjoy a history lesson as you explore the sprawling remains of the 4th-century complex inside the Palace. Explore its white stone-walled courtyard, cathedral and cafes, bars, shops and restaurants.
If you’re feeling energetic, hike up to the summit of the Marjan Hill for the most beautiful views of the Riva promenade and the Old Town. Alternatively, you will have ample time to explore the beautiful beaches in the area. Spend the evening strolling along the scenic Riva waterfront and enjoying delicious local cuisine; an excellent way to soak up the atmosphere and to admire the breathtaking sunset views of the Adriatic.
Day 6: Split – Hvar (B)
Hop aboard a catamaran for the transfer to one of Croatia’s most glittering isles, Hvar. The island is peppered with sun-bleached white houses and is fringed by tranquil turquoise sea. It is a favourite destination among international jetsetters. For the best views of the town centre, hike to the top of the Starigrad Fortress. Or stay closer to town by simply strolling around Hvar’s pretty streets, ducking in and out of shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
Day 7: Hvar – Blue Cave – Vis – Hvar (B)
A small group speed boat tour takes you to visit the Pakleni Islands and the magnificent Blue Cave today. The Blue Cave gets its name from a natural phenomenon, occurring when sunlight filters through the rock, hits the water and bounces off the sea bed floor. This produces a dazzling shade of blue that illuminates the cave; a sight that draws tourists in to this boat-only sight. The nearby Green Cave, Monk Cave and Stiniva Cove offer wonderful swimming opportunities and a chance to relax in spectacular natural scenery. Enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating swim in peaceful crystal-clear waters or jump off cliff sides and snorkel to your heart’s content. Return to Hvar in the afternoon.
Day 8: Hvar – Korcula (B)
A morning catamaran trip takes you from Hvar to the famous medieval island of Korcula, where a private transfer will show you to the hotel. You will have ample time to explore the Old Town, which has previously been ruled by Venetians, and was designed in the shape of a fishbone. This was done to prevent the strong winds from chilling the houses in winter and to increase the air circulation in the summer. The island is the birthplace of Marco Polo and you can visit his house and exhibition to learn more about his illustrious life. Korcula is a paradise for wine lovers and there is opportunity to sample some of the local specialities over a romantic dinner complete with water views and outlooks of the Peljesac Peninsula vineyards.
Day 9: Korcula (B)
Explore this fascinating island further, discovering more of the traditions of island life and meeting the friendly and welcoming locals. Some of the villages on the island have been untouched for centuries. If you travel over to the west side of the island, you will find the delightful small town of Vela Luka. This town is home to the Vela Spila cave, known for its medical mud deposits and springs of healthy mineral water. The island as a whole is rich with olive groves, vineyards and charming fishing villages.
Day 10: Korcula – Dubrovnik (B)
A high-speed morning catamaran journey transports you to the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, the beloved city of Dubrovnik. After checking into your hotel, take a meander around the elegant streets of the Old Town, with its impressive city walls, palaces, churches and villas. As one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed cities in the world, Dubrovnik is brimming with marble streetscapes and imposing medieval architecture. At night, enjoy a delicious meal from one of the rooftop restaurants as you admire another panoramic sunset over the Adriatic.
Day 11: Dubrovnik (B)
You will join a guided tour of the Old Town and see some of the filming locations made even more famous in Game of Thrones. The historic medieval city boasts protective defensive walls, majestic palaces and ornate churches, and wherever you look you will discover a unique magical charm and magnificent architecture.
In the early evening, why not take a trip on the Srd Hill cable car to experience breathtaking views of the Old Town and Elaphiti Islands and sip on a cocktail while gazing at the mesmerising sunset. Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous, go on a sea kayaking adventure where you paddle out to a selection of hidden beaches and coves accessible only by kayak. You can also paddle along the imposing city walls.
Day 12: Dubrovnik – – New Zealand
A private transfer takes you from your hotel to Dubrovnik airport, where you will board your return flight to New Zealand.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 13: New Zealand
Arrive home today.