Croatia: Culinary Pearls of the Adriatic

Spring, Summer 2017 (8 days, 7 nights)

It is difficult to find a European country with as much culinary diversity as in Croatia. The historical turbulence, geography, cultural traditions ¾ as well as the changes between the city and the country ¾ all contribute to Croatia’s culinary heritage. Connoisseurs of other European cuisines recognize the influence of former rulers. As Brendan Newnam wrote in Saveur, “This part of Central Europe was passed back and forth between the Italians, Austro-Hungarians, and sometimes the Turks, for centuries.”

With 3,600 miles of coastline, Croatia is, in many ways, a dream destination that is rapidly gaining in popularity. Why wouldn’t it? Delicious seafood, charming hotels, stunning architecture, great nature, friendly people and long history wait to enchant you. Join Global Gourmands on a journey to the Adriatic Coast of Dalmatia, rich in traditions and authentic charm.

Please note: if booking independent travel as a self-drive, some culinary elements of the tour may change.

Culinary Highlights

  • Begin your journey with a welcome drink and predjela(appetizers) on your hotel’s terrace
  • Join a local chef for a tour of Split’s open food market
  • Enjoy a traditional lunch at one of Split’s top bistros, adjacent to Diocletian’s Palace
  • Visit Bibic Winery for a tour, tasting and multi-course gourmet lunch
  • Experience wine tasting and food made from fresh local produce an island vineyard
  • Explore one of Croatia’s first wine cooperatives and enjoy a tasting of award-winning wines and an al fresco dinner overlooking the ocean
  • Embark on an exclusive boat ride around the Bay of Ston, sampling fresh oysters and wine before lunch on a private island
  • Dine at an exclusive restaurant on one of the Elaphite islands while enjoying panoramas of the Adriatic
  • Have a picnic lunch with freshly-prepared bread the Croatian way: under a bell

 Sightseeing Highlights

  • Embark on a walking tour of Split, known locally as the “most beautiful city in the world”
  • Visit Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore breathtaking Krka National Park and take a boat ride under the waterfalls of Skrandinski buk.
  • Head to the beautiful island of Brac for a day trip
  • Explore Dubrovnik’s city walls and the Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) during a private walking tour
  • Take a cable car up Mount Srdj (1,476 feet above sea level) for stunning views of the old city of Dubrovnik
  • Learn about silk production and make silk yourself during a visit to an ancient silk workshop

Your Tour Includes

  • 8-day tour by luxury motor coach with an expert driver/guide
  • Breakfast daily
  • 5 lunches and 3 dinners
  • 4 nights at Hotel Park, Split
  • 3 nights at Villa Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik
  • Sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Split, a major Mediterranean port that is the heart of Dalmatia and Croatia’a second-largest city. Spend your first four nights in the Marmont Hotel, located in Diocletian’s 4th-century palace. This evening, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome drink and predjela (appetizers) on the hotel terrace. At this time, your Global Gourmands host goes over the details of your the itinerary and the activities planned for the week.

Hotel Park, Split

Day 2
Set out this morning for a private guided walking tour of Split’s city center. Discover this dynamic city that boasts a perfect blend of historical and modern influences. Join a chef at the open food market and walk with him as he shops for fresh ingredients for your lunch. Continue to Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the heart of the city. Emperor Diocletian built it in the 4th century as a summer residence. Afterward, pause for lunch at the chef’s bistro within the palace walls. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy Split on your own.

Hotel Park, Split

Day 3
Drive through the foothills of the Dinara Mountain to scenic Krka National Park, where you board a public boat for a ride under the waterfalls of Skradinski. Later, stroll around the falls and visit a folklore museum. Housed in an old mill, it pays tribute to the history and traditions of rural life. Your scenic tour continues with a drive through the rolling hills toward Bibic Winery (where Anthony Bourdain was spotted in 2015). Explore the vineyards and cellars before a six-course gourmet lunch with wine pairing.

Hotel Park, Split

Day 4
Head to the island of Brac, a brief ferry ride away. Known as “the Napa Valley of Croatia,” it has a rich cultural and historic heritage that goes back to prehistoric times. Its primary landscape is karst limestone, quarried for centuries and once used by the Romans to build their amphitheaters and temples. It even found its way to the White House, where it was used for decorative trim on the mantles during the 1902 renovation. While you’re on Brac, visit two award-winning Croatian wineries for authentic, traditional meals.

Hotel Park, Split

Day 5
After departing the hotel, travel to Dubrovnik via the little town of Ston, famous for oysters grown in Little Ston Bay. A private boat ride around the bay offers the opportunity to sample the oysters and local wine. Before returning to Stone have a light lunch on a private island. Afterward, continue on to Dubrovnik and an evening at leisure.

Villa Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik

Day 6
After breakfast, stroll the cobblestone streets with a local guide to see why George Bernard Shaw said, “Those who seek paradise on earth must come to Dubrovnik.” The old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and as you amble along its glorious wall and view the magical Elafite Islands, you quickly understand why Dubrovnik is the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” Visit the Rector’s Palace, a Franciscan monastery and the cathedral. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore more of the city on your own. Dine tonight at Villa Rusza, one of the best restaurants in the Adriatic. Situated on Kolocep Island, it has breathtaking views of the sea, framed by the Bokar and Lovrijenac Fortresses.

Villa Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik

Day 7
Explore the Konavale Valley, renowned for its carefully preserved folk customs and traditional embroidery. Visit a local silk workshop to learn about the area’s centuries-old silk production traditions. While you are here, try your hand at silk making. From there, continue to an ancient mill on the banks of the Ljuta River for a traditional lunch of prosciutto, local cheese and bread baked under a bell. The rest of the day and evening are at leisure in Dubrovnik.

Villa Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik

Day 8
Transfer to Dubrovnik Airport for your homebound flight.

BLITVA (SWISS CHARD WITH POTATOES)

This is quick Croatian side dish great accompaniment to grilled fish.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 clove of garlic
⅓ cup olive oil
1 lb Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves cut into 2″ pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Place potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan and cover with water by 1″; bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.  Add some oil to the saucepan; place over medium-high heat.  Add garlic; cook until soft, 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes; cook, string occasionally until golden, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in Swiss chard, cook until wilted – about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

                                                 – Saveur, April 2014

“The gastronomic culture of Croatia is undoubtably one of the most interesting and richest in Europe.”

– Zeljko Zutelija

Prices and departures upon request.

QUESTIONS? Ask Us.

 

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