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XAD 14 Day Croatia Tour & Montenegro

Day Hiking in Adriatica

14 Day Croatia Tour
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Stunning day walks on Croatia's coast; Kotor, Montenegro - Unesco site; Plitvice Lakes: natural wonder; Fairy-tale Dubrovnik; Hvar & Korcula - town tours and area walks

INQUIRE ABOUT THIS TRIP
  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices


Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


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How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?

The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website.

A non-refundable $500 deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s).

Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time.

Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.

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I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?

All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location.

This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement.

The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible.

On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available.

Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.

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What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?

Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted.

Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason.

All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date.

If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances.

If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.

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Do you have a shared accommodation program?

Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Fri 05 Jun 2020Thu 18 Jun 2020 $3720 USD
Fri 25 Sep 2020Thu 08 Oct 2020 $3720 USD
Fri 28 May 2021Thu 10 Jun 2021 $3720 USD
Fri 24 Sep 2021Thu 07 Oct 2021 $3720 USD
Fri 27 May 2022Thu 09 Jun 2022 $3720 USD
Fri 23 Sep 2022Thu 06 Oct 2022 $3720 USD

Arrival in Tivat/Kotor: Due to limited air connections to this destination, some past passengers have had success flying into Dubrovnik instead and making their own way to Kotor.

Optional Single Supplement: $963 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


An Adriatic day hiking trip like no other, our Croatia and Montenegro tour offers myriad enticements for those with a sense of history and adventure.

Known for its air of hospitality, breathtaking scenery and ancient walled city of Kotor (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Montenegro will not disappoint. Croatia, for its part, features wold class cities in Dubrovnik (dubbed the Pearl of the Mediterranean) and Zagreb, with its eclectic mix of Turkish, Italian and Austro-Hungarian influences. Not to mention a wealth of ancient sites, monuments and stunning vistas at seemingly every turn.

Begin in Kotor, a baffling and enchanting maze of alleys that's maintained its medieval character. The city's fortifications and monuments date as far back as The Venetians and you will see the Cathedral of St. Tryphon, with its priceless artworks and frescoes.

Also, during a walking tour of the area, climb the city walls to the Fortress of St. Ivan, pausing to marvel at the Chapel of Our Lady of Salvation. Free time in Kotor allows for exploration of its antique and market stalls.

Our Croatia and Montenegro tour continues on to Dubrovnik, stop along the way to in Perast to see the picturesque chapel Our Lady of the Rock. In Dubrovnik an introductory stroll along the city's walls offers views that many have considered a highlight of the trip. Apt preparation for the next day's walking tour of the city's historic centre. Bombarded by shells as recently as 1992, the site has been restored with baroque buildings and limestone streets that exude intrigue and historical significance.

The breathtaking island of Korcula is a hub for Croatian folk traditions and notable for the clarity of its surrounding waters and thriving farm culture with olive groves and herb gardens the order of the day. The old town is a gem that features a fascinating museum and Venetian Cathedral of St. Mark among its attractions. En route stop in Ston, a major defensive fort with an impressive Great Wall encompassing 5 km.

A half-day hike along Napoleon's Road to Pupnat immerses travellers in the quaint and charming interior, eastern part of the island with a traditional lunch at a local diner included.

Travel by ferry to Hvar, an astonishingly beautiful island that increasingly attracts a worldly, well-heeled demographic.

Walk the narrow streets and visit the old rectory and Franciscan Monastery, with time left over to indulge in the city's bustle as one sees fit. An uphill hike in the morning to the highest part of the island affords an amazing view of the local beaches and vineyards.

Further excursion, by ferry to Brac Island, takes tour participants past Croatia's most famous Beach, the Golden Horn (don't worry there will be time for a swim later). A trailhead leads to the dramatic and inspirational Hermitage of Blaca. Established in a cave as hideout from invading Turks, it has grown to include a church and school and the accompanying museum houses a trove of treasures that include ancient books and artifacts from the last monk to live there.

The remainder of the day is spent, with time for individual exploration, in nearby town of Bol.

Before a return to the mainland, tour Brac island with a stop at its highest peak and the famous marble quarry village of Pucisca.

Following an overnight in the fortified town of Split it's on to explore in two of the nation's National Parks, a highlight on our Croatia and Montenegro tour. There's time for a hike in the stunning surroundings of Plitvice ahead of a visit to the World Heritage designated - and what is undoubtedly Croatia's top natural attraction the terraced lakes and waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park. The literally hundreds of waterfalls linking the water features in this lush valley location are a sight not to be missed and included is a short boat ride across the largest lake.

End your journey on a metropolitan note in the underrated European capital of Zagreb. Familiarize yourself with a city tour that takes in the enormity of Govenor Jelacic Square and buildings of note that include St Catherine's Cathedral and Lotrscak Tower.

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe
Countries visited: Croatia and Montenegro


Testimonials


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(Toronto, ON, CA)

The excursions we enjoyed most on the tour were walking the walls of Dubrovnik, the walk in Plitivice lakes park, all the tours of the walled towns and visits to the islands. Laura was very well organized but also very flexible and friendly - we really enjoyed her company as she was cheerful and had a great sense of humour. She is an exceptionally mature young woman. Laura was exceptionally knowledgeable about all topics - history, current events, geography, art and architecture, even botany and chemistry at times. For such a young woman her breadth of knowledge was incredible yet there was never any ego involved when sharing it.

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(Toronto, ON, CA)

The excursions were excellent. Good pacing, variety, blend of activity, culture, history. Dubrovnik never disappoints, the Plavice Lakes were and absolute and awesome surprise. The Stone Mason school in Brac which we thought would just be a pleasant little experience was one of the real live human moments that was inspiring and taught us so much about the past and craftsmanship. Whew! The guides were professional and informative. Our exceptional Tour Leader, Laura, had a way of bringing out the best in all of us and the guides. Her people skills, gentle respectful manner, and desire to keep learning and growing herself encouraged all of us to show and value the same traits.She automatically put the guides at ease with us and us with them, encouraging questions, comments, interaction - a friendly comfortable learnng and exchange environment. The hotels were totally fine - a good variety of quaint, posh, functional, convenient. The beds were comfortable, the service excellent. There were many more swimming opportunities than the literature indicated which was a pleasant surprise.

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(Burnaby, BC, CA)

Enjoyed all the excursions! I thought all local guides were very good to excellent! All vans and buses were very comfortable and generally clean. I felt safe with the competent drivers. Loved that most vehicles were Mercedes Benz! Yes, very delicious and healthy dinners! Lots of choice and generous portions. Peter, our tour leader, was friendly, helpful, caring, mature, responsible and fun. Would be very happy to have Peter as a Tour Leader on a future Adventure Abroad tour. Adventure Abroad is a very good travel company to do business with/use for my travel experiences. There were ten other people on the tour and a number of them were repeat customers several times.

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(West Bennd, WI, US)

Really,.... enjoyed all excursions. But a May visit to the Plitvice National Park was magical, and blew us away. Wow! Peter exceeded my (our) expectations. He was genuine and personable to everyone. Really, it was just wonderful. We had a great time and were very pleased with everything for the price of the tour.

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(Travelers Rest, SC, US)

Excellent - primarily because of the niche market of walking/active tours and also going to places not covered by most tours - but still covering the basic places all want to visit. Peter, our tour leader, was very well organized and excellent at communicating the plan; so that everything was clear and went very smoothly. Peter also had strategies to improve the visits to particular places (such as starting time and logistics). Thus, we were able to do more and enjoy it more! The meal plan met, or exceeded my expectations. Went to Plitvice National Park (by far the highlight of entire tour - no words or even pictures can describe the experience of being amongst the waterfalls as you can do on the boardwalks at Plitvice)- Plitvice is a treasure of the world and Croatia is being a good steward.

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(Harrow, ON, CA)

All the local guides were great particularly Dianja. Transportation was great. All meals were excellent. Everything you needed Peter, our tour leader, was there to help. Hopefully the next trip I book Peter will be the guide. Everything was done to perfection. Peter s attitude is exceptional. I don t think any of us have laughed so hard and had a such a great time on a tour. Peter was an outstanding guide. Very knowledgeable and very personable. Fabulous tour.

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(Travelers Rest, SC, CA)

Enjoyed all excursions. All local guides were superb. Drivers were all excellent. The meal plan vastly exceeded my expectations. Everywhere Peter, our tour leader, went the local people he interacted with treated him like a long lost son/brother. They obviously liked him as much as we all did. One member of our tour said she just signs on for whatever tours Peter leads. He was wonderful.

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(Damascus, OR, US)

We enjoyed all of the excursions. The tours around the towns which highlighted the old parts of the town were excellent. The tour guides in each town were very knowledgeable and personable. It was great doing the physical hiking up steep steps or grades to get to the places we were to tour. Each restaurant that we ate at was prepared for our group and made delicious, local meals for us to enjoy. The buses were clean and air conditioned, with good drivers who never got lost. The vans were similarly pleasant. The ferries were the most fun. As were the boat rides. All meals represented local fare and were delicious. Excellent tour, will heartily recommend it.

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(Woodbridge, ON, CA)

All excursions were good - guides knowledgeable and concise. Liked all local guides. Excellent transportation. We have been on more than ten tours with AA and on several others with other tour companies. Peter was the best tour leader yet. A wonderful tour.

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(Elora, ON, CA)

It was one of the highlights of my life. The small-group experience led by knowledgeable leaders plus active hiking/walking each day allowed me to experience a part of the world I did not know in a way that will be part of me forever. Breakfasts were very good on the whole. Having breakfast and dinner or lunch was wonderful. Our tour leader gave us some amazing lunch/dinner experiences that added immensely to our trip. All transportation was impressive. The two bus drivers were amazing...safe and helpful. The ferries were wonderful and I loved experiencing all the different sizes.

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(Alliston, ON, CA)

All excursions were excellent , but our favourites were the small boat trip on the island of Brac followed by the hike to the monastery, followed by swimming in the Adriatic off the Golden Horn. Our second favourite was our hike in Plitvice National Park. The accommodation was far better than we expected. All were modern, clean and well located for walking to our destinations. Laura was warm and welcoming. She has a quiet, easy going demeanor and never became ruffled. She was able to diffuse difficulties easily and never exhibited worry. She knows herself and is self confident in a fresh and unique way. She is professional and showed respect for all. We all enjoyed our time with her greatly.

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(Woodbury, MN, US)

I enjoyed all the longer hikes and the local guide led excursions around the cities. All local guides were excellent. Their knowledge of local history was excellent and was extremely helpful. The guide in Split was excellent PLUS. Transportation was very comfortable and efficient. Our tour leader Peter was friendly, knowledgeable and well organized. Each day went like clockwork. He was available for assistance when needed and conversed well with ALL the guests. He added additional depth to our understanding of the country and the cities we visited.

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What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?

Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.

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Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?

Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.

Full Itinerary


Day 1 Arrival in Kotor
Today we arrive in Kotor, Montenegro [the closest airport is Tivat (TIV)].*

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor was inhabited even at the times of Illyrians and Romans. Its history is also entwined with that of the Venetian Empire. Within its walls, the city of Kotor has retained a mediaeval feel. A map of the old city shows hardly a single right angle; the town consists of a maze of tiny alleys that meet unexpectedly to form "squares" that are anything but square. Overshadowed by both towering cliffs and the high walls of four-storey stone houses, some of these narrow lanes must never see sunshine. One of the great pleasures of Kotor is wandering at random through this little labyrinth.

PLEASE NOTE: We rate this tour as "moderate" in terms of its physicality. Though all of our hikes are "day walks" and therefore optional, in order to fully enjoy the areas visited, you should be adequately fit in order to safely and comfortably participate in each day's activities. If you think that this trip might be too strenuous for you, we recommend our non-hiking Adriatic trips.

* If you are having difficulty finding satisfactory air connections from your home airport, some passengers have had success flying into Dubrovnik instead and making their own way to Kotor.

Overnight in Kotor.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Kotor: Fortress of St Ivan
This morning we enjoy a walking tour* to see a number of the city's fortifications and monuments dating from the time of Venetian rule, including the Cathedral of St Tryphon, which contains a rich collection of artifacts. Older than many famous churches and cathedrals in Europe, the Cathedral of St. Tryphon has a treasury of immense value. In its interior there are frescos from the 14th century, a stone ornament above the main altar in which the life of St. Tryphon is depicted, as well as a relief of saints in gold and silver. The most representative works of Kotor's masters and craftsmen are kept in this Cathedral, making its collection quite unique.

Later we'll climb the city walls to the Fortress of St Ivan, passing the Chapel of Our Lady of Salvation along the way. The steps begin at the northwest corner of the city. It's a stiff climb so don't set off without something to drink: there are 1,350-1,500 steps according to various guidebooks. From the highest point the ground drops away sharply on three sides with the rooftops of Kotor immediately below. To the north you can see the whole inner part of the bay. Look out for a dome near the shore to the west -- it belongs to the implausibly large church in the village of Prcanj.

When we have finished admiring the view we can scramble around the crumbling ruins with a freedom rarely found in more litiginous countries -- the only ones likely to challenge you are the goats. After our hike, you'll have some free time to enjoy Kotor. Browse the town at your leisure and discover souvenir, antique and craft shops, boutiques and market stalls.

* Depending on season and concerns about weather, your Tour Leader may elect to hike first thing and then tour Kotor in the afternoon.

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 3 HOURS. Elevation gain/loss 530m/1,738 ft (this is likely the most strenuous hike of our trip, given it's steepness and amount of vertical rise).

Our hikes: Because some hikes can/may be adjusted at the discretion of your Tour Leader depending on things like weather and group interest, the final distances/durations of our hikes as indicated in our itinerary should be taken as guidance only. In the meantime, however, we can advise that, generally-speaking, our walks are leisurely on well-trodden pathways over undulating terrain (some walks are downhill), 2-5 hours in overall duration with plenty of breaks for refreshment, photos, and taking it all in.

Overnight in Kotor.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Kotor - Perast, Montenegro - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Our journey to Croatia travels via Boka Kotorska, the only fjord in the Mediterranean, a bay of 32 km / 20 miles cut deep into the stone of the Orjen and Lovcen mountains. We will drive along the coast to the town of Perast where we take a small boat to Perast's most famous site, Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rock), a picturesque chapel built on the only artificially built island in the Adriatic. The island was built upon a rock after two Venetian sailors from Perast miraculously found a picture of the Virgin Mary on it in 1452.

We continue to Dubrovnik, or ancient Ragusa, whose story begins in the 7th century when it was under the protection of the Byzantine Empire. In the 12th century, Ragusa, formerly an island, merged with mainland settlements and the channel between was filled in with carted-in material. Today this area is the main street of the old city named the Placa or Stradun. After shaking off the yoke of Venice in 1385, Ragusa became an independent republic. It remained one of the most powerful maritime powers in the Mediterranean for over four centuries (until 1808). Ragusa was the link between the Mediterranean and the Balkans and hence developed into an important centre of trade and shipping. Dairy products, wax, honey, timber, coals, salt, silver, lead, copper, wine, oil, fish and slaves were all traded. During the "Golden Age" of Ragusa in the 16th century, she had the 3rd largest merchant fleet in the world and consulates in over 50 countries. After changing hands a number of times, the city was finally ceded to Croatia (former Yugoslavia) and in 1918 the Slavic name of Dubrovnik was officially adopted.

On arrival we'll walk the walls of Dubrovnik, considered by many to be a highlight of our visit. The total circuit is nearly 2km / 1.25 mi, and from the bastions you will have magnificent views of the city's monuments, including the Minceta Tower, Revelin Tower, and the mighty fortress of St. Lawrence, with walls 12m / 40 feet thick!

Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Dubrovnik: City Tour
This morning features a walking tour of Dubrovnik's historic center. Dubrovnik has been called "Croatian Athens" and the "Pearl of the Mediterranean" for its astounding beauty, sophisticated history and culture, and prosperity.

Over the course of its tumultuous history, the city had to be extensively reconstructed; the earthquake of 1667 destroyed much of the city; and in recent memory, the town was bombarded by over 2,000 shells in 1991-92. After great international efforts, the city has been restored to its former glory, with its towering fortifications, magnificent medieval architecture, red tiled roofs, winding paved streets and picturesque harbours.

The afternoon is yours for independent exploration.

Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Dubrovnik - Ston - Korcula
Today we travel by bus and ferry to the breathtaking island of Korcula. En route we stop at the Peljesac Peninsula where we can walk the city walls of the town of Ston and pause for lunch (the area is known for its wines and oysters!). Ston was a major fort of the Ragusan Republic whose defensive walls were regarded as a notable feat of medieval architecture. The town's inner wall measures 890 metres in length, while the Great Wall outside the town has a circumference of 5 km.

We continue to Korcula. Situated on a small peninsula, the cluster of brilliant red tiled roofs perch above the aquamarine harbour waters, clear to a depth of 21m! Korcula was settled by the Greeks who called the island "Korkyra Melaina", or "Black Corfu" because of the dark appearance of its densely wooded forests. Today the island is covered with olive groves and vineyards; cereals, carob, citrus and vegetables are all grown on this island, as well as an array of wild herbs. The island is also proud of its heritage: it is the home of traditional shipbuilding and stone masonry, and also the center of Croatian folk traditions of costume and dance.

Later this afternoon we will have a walking tour of the old town. The street plan of the town is unique and often compared to a fishbone pattern: the north-south streets allowed the defenders of the town to reach the walls and towers, and the east-west lanes were designed to capture the pleasant maestral winds and minimize the force of the cold "bora." The Venetian Cathedral of St. Mark is an architectural delight, squeezed into a small square. Tucked into a narrow lane nearby is the small house where it is believed Marco Polo was born. We will also visit the Treasury and Town Museum with fascinating exhibitions of Korcula's history and traditions, from prehistoric times to the present.

Overnight in Korcula.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Korcula: 'Napoleon's Road'
Today we begin our walk along 'Napoleon's Road' to Pupnat, stopping for a traditional Dalmatian lunch at a small local restaurant en route (included today).

Pupnat is a village in the interior eastern part of the island of Korcula, located on the regional road running along the island. The population of Pupnat is about 500 making this the smallest village on the island. The name Pupnat, according to some interpreters, derives from "pampinata," which means vine leaves. The Illyrian lived around Pupnat, in the area of Mocila, where remains of Illyrian graves were found. The location of the village was chosen by its settlers, in the hilly part of the island so as to be invisible from the sea and passing pirates.

Our route passes small farms and vineyards surrounded by countless miles of dry stone walls and dotted with kucice -- traditional dry stone huts used for housing livestock. The prehistoric life that existed in the area was found in Jakasove Spila (cave). Zrnovo has numerous small churches that one can see walking along the road.

We transfer by road back to Korcula. Balance of the day at leisure in Korcula (dinner on your own this evening).

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 4 hrs; elevation variation +/- 100m / 330 ft.

Overnight in Korcula.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 Korcula - Hvar: Walking Tour
Today we travel by ferry to Hvar, "Queen of the Dalmatian Islands," considered one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world.

The island of Hvar receives 2,724 hours of sunshine per year, more than anywhere else in Croatia, and is thus called the "Island of the Sun". Greeks from Paros first settled on the island in the 4th century BC in Pharos, the modern town of Stari Grad. In the 13th century, the capital of the island was transferred to the town of Hvar (a mutation of Pharos in Slavic) and prospered during the 3.5 centuries of Venetian rule. This picturesque town and marina is alive with the constant hum of activity.

This morning we have a walking tour through narrow streets to the 15th century Franciscan Monastery where we visit the Renaissance cloister, the old rectory that today houses a collection of lace, manuscripts and books; and the church with its remarkable collection of paintings. We visit St Stephen's Cathedral, and see the Arsenal (closed for refurbishment), a thick walled fortress overlooking the harbour.

For those interested, there is an excellent walk up to the Venetian castle above town.

Overnight in Hvar.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Hvar & Sveta Nedelja Hike
This morning we drive to the village of Sveta Nedelja where we begin our uphill hike.* We then walk to the highest part of the island; you will enjoy beautiful scenery, a cave with a monastery, views of beautiful beaches, and vineyards. From the top, we'll hike down to a village where we are met by jeeps and transferred back to Hvar with time at leisure to enjoy this charming town.

Hvar is a high east-west ridge of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, which was part of the mainland until approximately 11,000 years ago. Around that time, sea levels rose, filling the valleys that are now the channels between the islands. Hvar has a typical karst landscape, which means limited or no surface water, despite adequate rainfall, which disappears quickly into crevices in the ground. Farming in such areas requires careful conservation of water, and protection of the soil against erosion. The water cisterns in the fields, and the dry-stone walls, especially terracing on the slopes are necessary for the continued success of agriculture on the island. The island has a typical Mediterranean vegetation, mostly bare with woody scrub at higher, steeper elevations, turning to pine forests on the lower slopes.

* We choose to walk uphill as past travellers and guides noted that we are less likely to slip on loose material than if we descended.

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 3 HOURS, 6 km / 3.73 miles. Elevation gain 550 m / 1,804 ft.

Overnight in Hvar.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Hvar - Brac Island & Hermitage of Blaca
This morning we will take an early ferry to the town of Bol on nearby Brac Island, the highest and third largest island in the Adriatic. Today's excursion takes us on a relaxing and panoramic boat ride along the coast of Brac to a hiking trail that leads us up to the intriguing Hermitage of Blaca, now a museum. Departing from Bol, our boat will pass Croatia's most famous beach, the Golden Horn, before continuing past pine forests, olive groves and coastal vineyards to the trailhead in Blaca Bay.

The reward for our 45 minute uphill climb is a visit to the dramatically situated Hermitage of Blaca, whose stone structures cling to cliff overlooking a dry ravine. The hermitage was established in the 16th century by monks from the mainland town of Polijice who sought refugee from invading Turks. Originally situated in a cave, the hermitage was built up over the centuries to include a church, school, astronomical observatory and library. Today the museum houses a unique collection of ancient books, clocks, astronomical instruments and artifacts from the life of the last monk to inhabit Blaca, Niko Milicevic.

After a tour of the hermitage we return to our boat in travel back to Bol, where you have the remainder of the afternoon to explore the town of Bol or swim at the Gold Horn.

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 2 hrs; elevation variation +/- 250m / 820 ft

Overnight on Brac.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Brac: Island Tour - Split
After breakfast we'll explore Brac with its stone landscapes, olive groves, and sheep dotting the hillsides. Our bus tour starts begins with a long but gradual climb to the ridge of the island, across Brac to the village of Pucisca, home to a famous marble quarry. Stone from Brac has been used in the a number of famous buildings, including Diocletian's Palace, the parliament buildings of Vienna and Budpest and the Canadian WWI memorial at Vimy Ridg

Our next stop will take us to Vidova Gora (778m / 2,567 ft), the highest point on the island offering spectacular views. We continue to Supetar, where we will stop for lunch before boarding a ferry for Split, located on the mainland.

This afternoon we tour Split (ancient Spalato), the second largest city of Croatia. The historic city center actually lies in the walls of the enormous retirement Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, built between 295-305 AD. The palace served as a palace, military fortress, and later, a fortified town. The city is enclosed by huge walls, pierced by 4 main gates, one on each side of the rectangular plan.

Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the streets of the former imperial city.

Overnight in Split.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Split - Paklenica National Park - Plitvice
Today we travel to Plitvice via Paklenica National Park where we enjoy a hike. The park is situated south of the Velebit range of mountains (the largest in Croatia) and covers an area of just under 100 square km, with a mixture of high peaks with stunning views, deep gorges and beech and pine forests. We take the track leading from Velika Paklenica Canyon to the Mountain Hut. The track has 10 educational boards providing information on the natural features of the park and cultural features of the area.

The first part of our hike is a steep incline for about 15 minutes; after that the grade is gradual uphill.

Our final destination is Plitvice, where 16 lakes, each at a different level, join each other in a series of cascading waterfalls.

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 4 HOURS. 10 km / 6.2 miles. Elevation gain 200 m / 656 ft.

Overnight at Plitvice.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Plitvice Lakes National Park - Zagreb
Travertine terraces have been continuously reforming themselves over 10,000 years as calcium carbonate dissolves and settles, forming barriers and cascades. Imagine Niagara Falls diced and sprinkled over a heavily forested Grand Canyon. This lush valley of terraced lakes is laced together by waterfalls and miles of pleasant wooden-plank walks. Countless cascades and strangely clear and colourful water make the Plitvice Lakes National Park a misty natural wonderland. The ever-changing fluid landscape -- created by water, gravity, limestone and time -- is mesmerizing.

Look for wildlife as you hike. The park is home to deer, wolves, wildcats, wild boar, and more than 160 species of birds (from eagles to herons to owls). The lakes (and local menus) are full of trout. The entire area is protected as one of UNESCO's Natural World Heritage Sites. We will follow wooden paths on our walk around the Lower and Upper Lakes, ending with a short boat ride across the largest lake.

In the late afternoon we will drive to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

TOTAL WALKING TIME +/- 4 hours (leisurely, easy)

Overnight in Zagreb.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Zagreb: City Tour
Today's city tour features Governor Jelacic Square, undoubtedly the very heart of the capital. Located in Zagreb's center, the square is dominated by the statue of Josip Jelacic who became the governor of the triple Kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia on the 23rd of March, 1848. In the District of Gradec, we take a funicular from the Lower Town to the Upper, which has connected, for centuries, the old part of town with Ilica Street, the main shopping area. We will then stroll back down to Kaptol, St Catherine's Cathedral, Church of St Mark, St. Stephen's Church, and Lotrscak Tower.

After our tour you will have time at leisure to explore, shop, relax, visit museums etc. Your Tour Leader can help plan your afternoon.

Overnight in Zagreb.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Departure
Departure from Zagreb.

SRETAN PUT!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


The Palace

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Hvar
Country: Croatia

As the oldest hotel in Hvar, The Palace is a grand dame framed by Gothic and renaissance architecture. History lovers
... particularly enjoy its central location, which provides romantic views of the ancient piazza and neighboring buildings. The rooms at The Palace have been equipped with modern fixtures and furnishings that provide comfort and convenience while allowing guests to thoroughly enjoy all the natural charm and beauty of this historic hotel.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Jezero

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Plitvice
Country: Croatia

Jezero Hotel offers a relaxing and active holiday in a wonderful natural environment. The hotel interior is modern, and its
... contours are perfectly integrated with the surrounding nature. It is located in the central zone of the National Park, approx. 300 m from the vastest lake, Kozjak.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information


Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner (mostly local restaurants) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Lunches, Tour Leader Gratuities, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable) and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in late spring and late summer/early fall when temperatures are relatively mild, crowds thinner, and airfares lower.

Late spring is popular with visitors who enjoy green landscapes and wildflowers. The region has a mild Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into late October. Showers are possible in spring and possible, though less likely, in fall.

Coastal towns/cities are busy with cruise passengers in September; October is a quieter month in this regard.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Most land transport is by private air-conditioned motor coach, +/- 24 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Some shorter journeys via public bus or taxi.

OUR HIKES
Because some hikes can/may be adjusted at the discretion of your Tour Leader depending on things like weather and group interest, the final distances/durations of our hikes as indicated in our itinerary should be taken as guidance only. In the meantime, however, we can advise that, generally-speaking, our walks are leisurely on well-trodden pathways over undulating terrain (some walks are downhill), 2-5 hours in overall duration with plenty of breaks for refreshment, photos, and taking it all in. Please note that some surfaces feature loose material (ie stones, gravel, sand etc) which can be slippery. Good footwear/tread and walking poles will help to steady you and support your knees.

While our "level 3" difficulty rating refers to the walks/hikes that are spread throughout our program and, while this activity does not occur every day, even when not on a "hike," we will be on foot quite a lot with town walking tours, site visits, and plenty of places with uneven surfaces and stairs. Participants should be fit and active and accustomed to trail walking, possibly in some remote locations, and be prepared to engage in a conditioning regimen prior to the trip.

This is a hotel-based tour with no camping, and you are required to only carry what you need for the day.

For daily summary of our hiking activities, please refer to the tour itinerary.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation

Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels and inns (3&4-star) used throughout. Some hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that may not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though some may have shower only. Porter service is sometimes available (see 'inclusions') though you should be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver(s), local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size

Maximum 16 plus Tour Leader

XAD TRIP DETAILS

DURATION14 days

TOUR STARTKotor/Tivat

TOUR ENDZagreb

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