Croatia's Adriatic Coast

Explore Croatia in depth from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, as you discover pristine parkland and miles of sun-drenched Adriatic coastline and experience its vibrant cultural heritage.

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 Dubrovnik, "the Pearl of the Adriatic"  The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia's capital  Diocletian's Palace in Split  Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park  Waterfall in Croatia's Plitvice Park  The captivating setting of Hvar  Vineyards on the southern coast of Hvar Island  Panorama of Dubrovnik's Old City defensive walls  Dubrovnik's Old Town, with St. John fortress at the harbor entrance  Traditional street in Dubrovnik

Explore a diverse land and discover the vital culture and dynamic history of Croatia, rich with opportunities to explore and discover. Begin your journey in cosmopolitan Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. Visit the historic Upper Town and see the detailed art nouveau architecture that is a legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Delight in the crystal clear lakes, cascading waterfalls and lush woodlands of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Discover the Roman heritage of Split, a picturesque city by the sea where you’ll see Diocletian’s Palace, one of the most important Roman antiquities on the Dalmatian coast. Visit the island of Hvar, delve into the rich local heritage and visit a winery to sample the local vintage. Conclude your journey in Dubrovnik, and marvel at the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture tucked within medieval city walls. Join us on this exciting journey that will bring Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast to life.


September 12 - 13 — Depart the U.S., Zagreb

Depart on an evening trans-Atlantic flight for Zagreb, Croatia. After an afternoon flight arrival and brief arrival formalities transfer to the deluxe Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. You’ll have personal time to relax and refresh before joining fellow travelers at a Welcome reception and dinner accompanied by local wine. (D)

September 14 — Zagreb

Learn about contemporary Croatia this morning at a lecture given by a local expert. At mid-morning depart the hotel for an excursion to see the highlights of Zagreb. See the fortified Upper Town the city’s historical center, St. Mark’s Church including the city’s art nouveau architecture that provides a lasting reminder of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The balance of the day will be free of planned activities so you can explore on your own. (B)

September 15 — Zagreb and Hrvatsko Zagorje

On a full-day excursion visit the small hamlet of Klanjec about 30 miles northwest of Zagreb known for being the home of sculptor Antun Augustincic whose most famous work is the Monument to Peace found in front of the U.N. building in New York. At a museum dedicated to his work visitors will see his art and learn about his life. Also of note in Klanjec see a 17th-century Franciscan Monastery and the baroque Church of St Mary. A monument created by Robert Franges-Mihanovic and dedicated to poet Antun Mihanovic, composer of the Croatian national anthem can be seen in the main square. The excursion continues to visit Kumrovec the birthplace of former Yugoslav President Tito. The old quarter of Kumrovec, known as Kumrovec Staro Selo, is an open-air museum with beautifully restored thatched cottages and wooden farm buildings, orchards, with a stream that offers an authentic reconstruction of 19th-century rural life. Lunch will be served at a family-run restaurant featuring local specialties. Continue to see Veliki Tabor a 12th-century fortress surrounded by remarkable rural Zagorje landscapes that convey the romantic and dramatic past of Hrvatsko Zagorje. The evening will be free of planned activities. (B,L)

September 16 — Split

Depart Zagreb and motor to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Once there see pristine lakes located at different levels and linked by spectacular cascading waterfalls. The forested land surrounding the lakes is home to bear, wolves, wild boar, deer and many species of birds. After lunch motor to Split on the remarkable Adriatic coast. Accommodations have been reserved at the Cornaro Hotel. This evening sit down with fellow travelers for dinner served with wine at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

September 17 — Split

Croatia’s seafaring heritage will be the subject of an interesting morning talk. Next engage in a walking tour of Split including Diocletian’s Palace a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll visit the Ancient Cellars and the Peristyle Square in the center of the palace. Continue to see the Cathedral of St. Domnius, one of the most beautiful on the Adriatic coast, former Roman Temples now Christian, the famous Golden Gate and the statue of Grgur Ninski an honored Croatian bishop. Continue to the bustling local fish market and select your lunch. Your special lunch will be served in a local restaurant. After lunch, take some time to explore Split at your leisure. (B,L)

September 18 — Hvar

This morning, cruise to the island of Hvar and continue to the lovely Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel where accommodations await. Join an afternoon walking tour of this small island town rich in history and culture. Largely designed and built by the Venetians, Hvar is home to a lovely 17th-century Baroque Cathedral, numerous picturesque squares and the 13th-century Arsenal. A stop will be made at a Benedictine Abbey where the nuns make intricate lace from agave plant fiber. (B)

September 19 — Hvar

One of the joys of foreign travel is discovering a new cuisine. A local expert will give a talk about Croatian specialties and wine. The remains of ancient times can still be seen in most settlements on the island. After visiting Stari Grad, continue to a winery for a sampling of the local vintage. You’ll sit down with fellow travelers to a traditional “Peka” Dinner in a local country house. Peka is a traditional specialty featuring veal, lamb, chicken and potatoes roasted over hot coals under an iron bell and accompanied by an assortment of roasted vegetables. (B,D)

September 20 — Dubrovnik

Depart Hvar and travel by deluxe motor coach to the remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik. Accommodations have been reserved for you at the renowned Grand Villa Argentina Hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)

September 21 — Dubrovnik

Each corner of this legendary city is its own unique experience. Join a memorable excursion through Croatia's most famous medieval city that begins at the monumental Pile Gate, located at the top of Stradun, the splendid main promenade of the Old Town. See the Franciscan Monastery, whose cloister is one of the most magnificent sites in the city and then to the home of the oldest pharmacy in Europe that first opened in 1317. A little further on is the Sponza Palace, notable for its portico with columns and elaborate stone carvings which today houses the State Archives. Visit the Cathedral that was built on the ruins of a 12th century church destroyed by the great earthquake of 1667. Continue the walk around the fabled walls of the Old Town. (B)

September 22 — Dubrovnik

The city is yours, so follow your own path to explore and discover at your leisure. This evening join fellow Smithsonian travelers for a Farewell reception and dinner with wine served in the hotel. (B,D)

September 23 — Depart for the U.S.

Depart the hotel for the airport and the flights to the U.S. (B)