Euphrasius Basilica in Poreč is famous for its ornamental decorations with figural mosaics. It is one of the most remarkable examples of mosaic art in Europe

Photo: Rudy Balasko
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Explore UNESCO heritage in Croatia: 14 days private trip from Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Although small in surface area, Croatia abounds in rich cultural heritage, and UNESCO's World Heritage List substantiates this with a registered 27 tangible and intangible goods. There is hardly a city or region in Croatia where you will not encounter them, perfect for discovering the country's cultural identity.

Parts of Croatian heritage, due to their exceptional characteristics, are considered as goods of "outstanding universal value" and are inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage.

It seems like you are traveling through the time when you look at the old roman cities of Zadar, Split, Šibenik, or Trogir, some more than 3,000 years old. Walk through the historical complex of the Diocletian's Palace in Split and be amazed by the glorious Old Town of Dubrovnik. 

Trip highlights

  • Admire magnificent 15 century-old colourful mosaics in the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč
  • Hike between turquoise lakes, waterfalls and cascades in Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Go back in time by visiting Diocletian's Palace in Split, a more than 1700 years old city
  • Explore Trogir's best-preserved Romanesque-Gothic complex in Central Europe
  • Visit remarkable Dubrovnik's Old Town, which remained unchanged for centuries 

Trip availableMAY-OCT
Duration14 days
Suitable for2-4 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 4,680.00 €
Great for
  • Culture and history lovers
  • Experienced travellers
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 4-star and 5-star hotels
Trip designed by Vesna Luzar

Extremely versatile trip designer with an established career in travel business

Activities are taking place in Zagreb, Pula, Poreč, Rovinj, Opatija, Zadar, Split, Trogir, Hvar, Dubrovnik

Croatia may be a small country but it has a rich culture and history and it boasts a total of ten UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here are some of the important ones you will see during this trip.

Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč

Along with Pula, Poreč was the first Roman colony in Istria. It retained the ancient layout of the streets in the old town and remains of a Roman temple, and it is also known throughout the world for its sixth-century Basilica. The Euphrasian Basilica is one of the best-preserved early Christian structures and belongs to the most significant historical monuments in the world.

The historic city of Trogir

Trogir's rich culture was created under the influence of old Greeks, Romans, and Venetians.

Trogir's medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of dwellings and palaces from the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

The must-see attractions in the town are the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, known for its Romanesque door carved in the 13th century, the Kamerlengo fortress, the 15thcentury loggia, clock tower, and Gothic Renaissance Cipko Palace.

Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

The Palace was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century A.D. and later served as the basis of the city of Split. A cathedral was built in the Middle Ages along with the ancient mausoleum, churches, fortifications, Gothic and Renaissance palaces.

Diocletian's Palace is a combination of a Roman military camp called Castrum and a luxury villa.

The Palace is divided into four parts and has two main streets. The stone used for the palace building was from the quarry in Seget, from Brač and different parts of the Roman Empire, even from Egypt.

Today, it is fully open for visits and was one of the famous worldwide Game of Thrones show filming locations.

Old City of Dubrovnik

Jutting out into the Adriatic Sea with a backdrop of rugged limestone mountains, Dubrovnik Old Town is known as one of the world's finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities in the world. For centuries, Dubrovnik rivalled Venice as a trading port, with its vast sturdy stone walls, built between the 11th and 17th centuries, affording protection to this former city-state.

Today, these walls still enclose Dubrovnik's historical centre, and it is possible to walk along them to enjoy the best views of the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' and the surrounding lush green islands. Dubrovnik's Baroque churches, monasteries and palaces; its Renaissance fountains and facades are all intertwined with gleaming wide marble-paved squares, steep cobbled streets and houses, all of which have also remained unchanged for centuries.

The Stari Grad Plain on the island of Hvar

The Stari Grad Plain is an agricultural landscape that the ancient Greek colonists set up in the 4th century B.C. and remains in use today. Stari Grad Plain represents a land organisation system based on geometrical parcels with dry stone wall boundaries. This system was completed from the very first by a rainwater recovery system involving tanks and gutters.

Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards

The most recent Croatian contribution to UNESCO's World Heritage Site list is an honour shared between Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, each of whom hosts stećci. Stećci are medieval tombstones notable for their unique design and decoration that typifies funerary art in this region between the 12th and 16th centuries.

Cathedral of St James in Šibenik

The Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik is one of the most important Renaissance architectural monuments in the eastern Adriatic. It is unique because it is a structure built entirely from stone, and over more than 100 years, during the 15th and 16th centuries. The structural characteristics of the Cathedral of St James in Šibenik make it a unique and outstanding building in which Gothic and Renaissance forms have been successfully blended.

Venetian Works of defence - Zadar, Šibenik

This property consists of 15 components of defence works in Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, spanning more than 1,000 kilometres. Croatian sites include the defensive system of Zadar and St. Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik dating from the 15th to 17th century.

Paklenica, Northern Velebit National Park

Hiking is the only way to get to know Paklenica. The Park area contains 150–200 km of trails and paths, from those intended for tourists, leading from Velika Paklenica Canyon to Manita peć cave, Lugarnica forest cottage and the mountain hut, to those designed for mountaineers, leading to the highest peaks of Velebit. The trails in the Park are marked with boards and mountaineering signs.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Its status as a UNESCO site comes from its unusual geology, which results from thousands of years of water flowing over limestone and chalk to create natural travertine dams. Over time, water has flowed over the natural limestone and chalk, building natural barriers creating a series of connecting lakes, waterfalls, and caves. The nearby forests are home to bears, wolves, and many rare bird species.

The main attractions of this Park, unique globally, are the 16 small lakes joined by waterfalls created by the sedimentation of travertine, a particular type of limestone. There are also several caves in the Park and springs and flowering meadows.  

Day-by-day itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival in Zagreb, take a stroll in the city centre

Private transfer from Zagreb airport to the hotel. Check-in at the hotel. Time at leisure.

You can hear quite often that Zagreb is a tailor-made city, not too big, not too small, offering the feeling of a European metropolis while remaining small enough to be covered on foot. Enjoy a baroque-like feeling of the Upper Town, Dolac, the lively and the largest city open-air market, green parks and promenades, and a relaxing atmosphere.

Since the city also has a highly regarded food scene, we recommend that you take dinner at one of the well-known national restaurants downtown and taste some of the traditional meals of the region.

Overnight in Zagreb.

DAY 2

Zagreb walking tour, visiting the shrine of Marija Bistrica and wine tasting

Have breakfast at the hotel and take off on a private guided walking sightseeing tour of Zagreb.

In about two hours stroll, you get to learn all about Zagreb's history, architecture, and traditions. See the gothic church of St. Marco, Lotrščak tower, Stone Gate and Cathedral of Zagreb (from outside). You will also visit the colourful "belly" of Zagreb – the Dolac farmers market, the largest and most known 28 city markets.

After some free time, your driver will take you on a private tour to the biggest sanctuary in Croatia, Marija Bistrica. The miraculous statue of Our Lady, with baby Jesus in her arm, is black because it got burned in the fire that engulfed the Basilica in 1880.

Marija Bistrica is also known for its gingerbread, honey, wood and clay products inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The region is also famous for its vineyards and quality wines. You will visit a family farm that produces grapes and wine and will taste five varieties of wine made according to ecological principles.

Return to Zagreb and overnight.

DAY 3

Visit the almost 2,000 years old Pula Amphitheater and admire Rovinj's Old Town

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out.

Your driver will take you to Pula, the largest city in Istria. Upon arrival, a guided sightseeing tour includes visiting the Pula Amphitheater or Arena, one of the six largest Roman amphitheatres. Erected in the 1st century during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, the amphitheatre was primarily used for gladiator fights in front of 20,000 spectators.

Coming up is a visit to the Augustus' Temple in the centre of the town and the Forum Arch of the Sergii, a monument from the Roman era, also known as the Golden Gate.

Proceed to Rovinj, the pearl of the western Istrian coast and the most romantic place in the Mediterranean. Check-in at the hotel. Time at leisure to explore the city on your own. You can stop for a glass of wine at Konoba Veli Jože and watch the amazing sunset over Rovinj Old Town.

Overnight in Rovinj.

DAY 4

Walking tour of Rovinj and visiting the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč

After breakfast at the hotel, start a walking city tour of Rovinj.

What makes the old city centre so special are the characteristically built chimneys. The view of Rovinj is dominated by the baroque church of Saint Euphemia, with a 60-meter-high tower - the replica of the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica in Venice.

Part of the Republic of Venice for over 500 years, Rovinj's historic centre is modelled on Venice and still has some Italian atmosphere. Take a walk around Carrera street, Bregovita street and Grisia street, the gallery under open skies and open to all – academic artists and amateurs.

Continue the drive to the antique town of Poreč.

Upon arrival, take a walking tour of the town and its complex of sacred buildings erected during Bishop Euphrasius (6th century A.D.). Visit the Basilica with its ornamental decorations with figural mosaics, one of the most remarkable examples of mosaic art in Europe.

Time for lunch (on your own) and drive back to Rovinj. Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Rovinj.

DAY 5

Take a stroll on the Croatian Walk of Fame in Opatija

Breakfast and check–out. Your driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to Opatija.

Since Roman times Opatija has been a "spa town "offering rest and recreation to its numerous visitors. With all the sun-drenched pleasures of the European resort town, its grand villas, subtropical botanical gardens, old-style grand hotels, wide boulevards and busy marinas, it has attracted Europeans since the 1840s.

Check-in at the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the city.

Have a photo on the picturesque promenade, on the Croatian Walk of Fame. Or, you can pose next to the statue on a sea rock – the Maiden with the Seagull – the famous symbol of Opatija.

Overnight in Opatija.

DAY 6

Visit the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park and spend the night in Zadar

Breakfast and check-out.

Departure towards Plitvice Lakes National Park, a magical world of lakes, waterfalls, moss and forests. A guided sightseeing tour includes a boat ride and allows you to experience first-hand the beauty of the lakes and waterfalls, each spectacular in its own right. (Electric boats and scenic train rides are subject to weather conditions).

Nestled in the embrace of the surrounding wooded mountains are sixteen smaller and larger crystal turquoise lakes interconnected by foaming cascades and deep falls. The Park includes the headwaters of the Korana River in an area surrounded by dense forests, caves, springs and flower-filled meadows, which show the vast diversity of flora and fauna in the Park.

Continuation of the journey to the coastal city of Zadar. Check-in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Walk through the ancient streets of the city, lookup, and you'll be in awe of the opulent Gothic- and Renaissance-style windows.

We recommend that you take dinner (on your own) at some well-known Zadar restaurants and get to know the gastronomic image of Zadar: blue fish, lamb and scampi.

Overnight in Zadar.

DAY 7

Hiking through Paklenica National Park and lunch at a family-run farm

After breakfast, you are meeting with a licensed tour guide, after which you will be transferred to the amazing Paklenica National Park. It is situated on the southern slopes of Mount Velebit and encompasses the torrent flows of Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica.

You will take a genuinely awe-inspiring route and will get to see the Paklenica mills the Velika Paklenica canyon. Afterwards, visit Anića Kuk, the most famous rock in Croatia that rises to 712 m above sea level.

Trekking beneath these formidable rocks that rise on both sides of the Velika Paklenica canyon as you listen to the soothing sound of the eponymous babbling stream will provide a total experience of the natural environment of this national Park that you will never forget.

You will be stopping at a family-run farm at the foot below the mountain hamlets for a lunch break in the company of our hospitable hosts.

Late afternoon return to Zadar and overnight.

DAY 8

Guided walking tours of Zadar and Šibenik

After breakfast at the hotel and check-out, you will take a walking tour of Zadar. It includes visiting the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, considered the most impressive Basilica in Dalmatia, the church of St. Donatus, a representative bishop's chapel dating back to the 8th century and the ruins of Roman Forum.

Admire the defensive walls, part of UNESCO heritage that protect the city on three sides with four medieval gates. Sit next to the Sea Organ, a one-of-a-kind instrument embedded in the waterfront, and listen to the music created by the waves. Zadar's monument The Greeting to the Sun symbolises communication with nature and communicates with light (LED panels), while the Sea organ transmits via the sea-generated sound.

Continue your journey along the coast to Šibenik. Take a guided stroll through the historic centre of Šibenik. You will marvel at the streets and squares' Dalmatian Medieval and Renaissance architecture. Explore the city's famous symbols – especially the Cathedral of St. James, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the only cathedral in Europe made entirely of stone and the Šibenik fortresses.

Continue to Split and check-in at the hotel. We recommend that you take dinner on your own in one of the famous Split restaurants and taverns such as Zrno soli or Pimpinella.

Overnight in Split.

DAY 9 SPLIT

Visit Diocletian's Palace in Split, the medieval Trogir and the ancient Salona

Breakfast at the hotel. Your local guide will take you on a 2-hours walking tour which includes Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the heart of the old town.

The historical complex includes the ruins of Diocletian's Palace built between 295 to 305 and medieval buildings such as the Cathedral tower, 12th and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style.

From there, you will move on to Trogir (by car), a medieval town whose nucleus is situated on a small island. Visit the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, built in the 13th century, one of the most significant monuments in the city.

Upon return, you will visit the remains of the ancient city of Salona, the capital of the Roman province Dalmatia, founded in the 2nd century B.C. As legend has it, it was the hometown of Emperor Diocletian. You will see the remains of fortified walls, aqueducts, basilicas, thermal baths, theatres and amphitheatres.

Return to Split and time at leisure. You can explore the old Matejuška fishing pier, or you can sit in one of the cafés and indulge in the favourite pastime of Split's denizens – sipping coffee and observing the surrounding hubbub.

Overnight in Split.

DAY 10

Half-day tour to the Stari Grad Plain on the island of Hvar

Breakfast at the hotel.

Take the ferry from Split to Hvar (Stari Grad port). Your private driver and guide will wait for you there and will take you towards the city of Hvar. Stop at Vidikovac, and enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the island stretching to islands Vis and Brac.

Upon arrival to the city of Hvar, you will visit Fortress Spanjola, one of the most "photogenic" places

in Croatia, and take a tour of the old town, exploring its small cobblestone streets and hidden shops, as well as the Arsenal, the oldest communal theatre in Europe, built in 1612.

You will then depart the city of Hvar and leave for Jelsa and Vrboska, also known as Little Venice, where you will have some time to explore the town's hidden corners.

A visit follows to the famous 2,400-year-old Stari Grad Plain or Ager. Ager is a cultural landscape with the oldest trace of greek parcelization in the Mediterranean, also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In Ager, you will enjoy wine and olive oil tasting, a definite must-do whilst on the island.

Return to Hvar city and rest of the day at leisure to explore the city independently.

Travel back in time at St. Stephen's Square, stretching from the harbour to St. Stephen's Cathedral. The square is flanked by medieval-era buildings housing restaurants, museums, and cafes.

Departure back to the ferry port (Stari Grad) and take the ferry back to Split overnight.

DAY 11

Oysters in Ston, Arboretum in Dubrovnik

Visit the salt pans in Ston, enjoy oyster tasting and admire Trsteno Arboretum before reaching Dubrovnik

Breakfast followed by hotel check out. The driver will take you south of the country's most famous gem- the eternal Dubrovnik. On the route to this city, stop to visit the glittering salt pans in Ston and experience a unique oyster tasting session.

You will enjoy sailing the untouched natural beauty of the protected ecosystem of Mali Ston Bay. Taste world-famous oysters, just taken out of the sea, on a floating dock in the middle of the oyster farm.

You can have lunch(on your own) at the Bota Šare restaurant. Almost everything you eat and drink here is farmed, caught, or produced within 100 m of your table.

When you're ready, continue your journey down the coast and make a short stop (self-guided) in a beautiful green oasis of Trsteno Arboretum. This oldest arboretum in this part of the world was used as the setting and filming location for the world-famous series Game of Thrones.

Drive to your hotel destination, check-in and overnight in Dubrovnik.

DAY 12

Half-day walking city tour of the splendid Old Town of Dubrovnik

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, take a guided private tour visiting the old city of Dubrovnik. From Pile square on the eastern side of Dubrovnik Old Town, walk through the maze of narrow streets, lively piazzas, and stunning palaces like Sponza and churches like St. Blaise. Enjoy the moderate tempo of your walk as you stroll down the main thoroughfare of Stradun, all the way to the Cathedral and the Rector's Palace, where you will discover a delicate synergy between governance and faith, which kept Dubrovnik afloat as the independent Republic of Ragusa for 450 years.

Walk to the Game of Thrones filming location Fort Lovrijenac. Fort Lovrijenac doubles as the Red Keep in King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. Many scenes are filmed at this Fort, including the tournament thrown in honour of King Joffrey's name day in season two.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Take a walk along the 2 km long Dubrovnik's city walls and enjoy the views of the fortresses, lively squares, and the hidden narrow streets below. Come early evening; you can get stunning panoramic views over the city and the Adriatic by taking the cable car up to Srđ Mountain.

Overnight in Dubrovnik.

DAY 13

Full-day excursion to Konavle and lunch at the rural estate

After breakfast at the hotel, join a full-day excursion to the Konavle valley, which manages to remain an authentic and peaceful place away from the crowds.

You'll set off along the sun-bleached coast to Sokol Kula, a fairy tale fortress in the hills of Konavle whose history stretches back to 2000 B.C., and Sivi Soko viewpoint from where you will enjoy breathtaking views of Dubrovnik, Konavle, Cavtat and the neighbouring islands.

Visit a Konavle embroidery Antonia Ruskovic Atelier, where you will learn about embroidery from silkworms.

Then head to the archaeological site near the village of Dubravka. With 104 tombstones, it represents the largest preserved medieval cemetery in the Konavle region, dated in the 14th and 15th centuries.

After sightseeing, your host will welcome you to a typical local farm in Ćilipi, where you will enjoy a presentation at ethno sites. See the stone mill, old distillery, grape press, hand wooden mill and stone pit, and listen to the story of stone. You will taste everything presented to you: wine, brandy, herbal brandy, prosecco, olive oil, olives, arancini.

Enjoy lunch with local specialities at the farm: lamb and veal "under the bell", a traditional preparation where the meat is slow-cooked under a large, iron bell and covered with ashes and embers.

Return to Dubrovnik via the beautiful medieval coastal town of Cavtat. The Greeks founded the original city in the 6th century B.C. and named it Epidaurus.

Upon return to the hotel, time at leisure. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

DAY 14

Farewell Dubrovnik

Breakfast and time at leisure until check-out. Private transfer from the hotel to Dubrovnik airport.

Depending on when you depart, you may have time to visit one of Dubrovnik's museums. Some of them are unusual such as the Love Stories Museum, containing a display dedicated to romantic plots from movies filmed in Dubrovnik such as Game of Thrones, Robin Hood and Star Wars.

Safe travels back home! 

What's included?

  • Private transfer from Zagreb airport to the hotel
  • Private transportation during the tour including A/C vehicle, English-speaking driver, fuel, taxes, costs of the driver
  • 2 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Zagreb, city tax included
  • Zagreb private walking tour on Day 2 (approx. 2 hours) with an English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • Half-day private tour to the shrine of Marija Bistrica on Day 2 including English-speaking local guide and wine tasting at the local family farm
  • Private walking tour of Pula on Day 3 including English-speaking local guide, visit to Arena, Augustus' Temple and Golden Gate. Entrance fees are not included.
  • 2 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Rovinj, city tax included
  • Private walking tour of Rovinj on Day 4 (approx. 2 hours) with an English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • Private walking tour of Poreč on Day 4 (approx. 2 hours) with an English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • 1 overnight with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Opatija, city tax included
  • Private sightseeing tour of Plitvice Lakes on Day 6 including English-speaking local guide, admission to the Park, electric boat and train ride (subject to weather conditions).
  • 2 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Zadar, city tax included
  • Private full day excursion to Paklenica National Park on Day 7 including transfer, English-speaking licensed tour guide, admission to the Park, tour of the Paklenica mills, the Velika Paklenica canyon and Anića Kuk and lunch at a family-run farm
  • Private walking tours of Zadar and Šibenik on Day 8 with the UNESCO protected
  • defensive system of Zadar and St. Nicholas Fortress in Šibenik including English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • 3 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Split, city tax included
  • Private walking tour of Split on Day 9 (approx.2 hours) including English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • Private half-day excursion to Trogir and Salona on Day 9 including transfers and English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • Fast ferry or catamaran return ticket from the island Hvar to land (Split-Stari Grad-Split)
  • Full day private guided tour (in ENG) of Hvar Island on Day 10 in a private car/minivan with a driver, wine tasting, and olive oil tasting included and program as per itinerary above, entrance fees are not included
  • Private full day transfer with a driver Split – Dubrovnik with on Day 11 with stops in Ston and Ston bay area (Mali Ston) – Trsteno including oyster tasting experience in Mali Ston, entrance fees to the Ston salt pans and entrance fees for Arboretum Trsteno (self-guided)
  • 3 overnights with breakfast in a standard double room in the 4-star hotel in Dubrovnik or Dubrovnik Riviera, city tax included
  • Private walking tour of the Old Town Dubrovnik on Day 12 (approx.2 hours) including English-speaking local guide. Entrance fees are not included.
  • Full-day private excursion to Konavle on Day 13 including transportation and English-speaking local guide, visit to Sokol Grad, Antonia Rusković embroidery atelier, the archaeological site of Dubravka with medieval necropolis, visit to local ethno farm including a presentation at ethno sites with tasting of local products, lunch with local specialities at the farm, one drink included.
  • Private transfer on Day 14 from the hotel to Dubrovnik airport
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT 

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia
  • Meals, drinks and services other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees except the ones mentioned in the program
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory) 

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on additional bed (on request)
  • For children additional bed available (on request)
  • For single room (on request)   

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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