Antarctica & Arctic
Discover the historic cities of Split, Trogir, Zadar and Dubrovnik on this 8 day journey.
a Destinations d > Croatia > Highlights of Croatia
Seven nights accommodation, meals as indicated, all transport and listed activities and Explore tour leader throughout.
Travel style: Small group journey
Selected dates, May - Sep
Holidays to Croatia offer the chance to discover historic cities, pretty red-roofed coastal towns and natural beauty. This one-week trip takes in the best places to visit in Croatia including UNESCO-Listed Dubrovnik, which has been wonderfully restored, the coastal city of Trogir and the sprawling Diocletian's Palace in Split. Of course no highlights trip would be complete without walking amongst the shimmering lakes and cascading waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park and there's also the option to go to the lesser-visited Krka National Park.
Back to Croatia Tours
Discover the picturesque lakes and waterfalls on foot in Plitvice Lakes National Park
Explore Croatia's old capital Zadar and see the sea organ and sun salutation
Discover the narrow streets and historical buildings of the charming Medieval town of Trogir
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Arrive in Dubrovnik and check in to our hotel.
Today is left free for you to enjoy Dubrovnik's Old Town or to join one of our excursions to the surrounding attractions. Now essentially fully restored following damage from shelling in the Siege of Dubrovnik in 1991-92, the Old Town still retains its unique atmosphere and charm. UNESCO granted it World Cultural Heritage status, as one of the world's finest examples of a fortified Medieval town. Those who seek paradise on earth, George Bernard Shaw once wrote, should come to Dubrovnik.
You may choose to get a view from above by taking the cable car to a nearby hilltop or by enjoying a walk around the city walls (the walk of the full course is 1940 metres). You may also like to visit the Franciscan Monastery, Dominican Monastery or the cathedral in the Old Town.
Alternatively you could leave the city and head to Montenegro, take a boat ride to the charming harbour town of Cavtat or cruise to the picturesque UNESCO protected Lokrum Island Nature Reserve. This idyllic island, with an ancient Benedictine monastery at its heart is only a short boat ride from Dubrovnik. As well as visiting the monastery there is the opportunity to take one of the forest walks, relax on one of the small beaches or to take a dip in the mini 'Dead Sea' on the island. (B)
The best way to get a feel for the wealth of monasteries, museums and old buildings in Dubrovnik's Old Town is on foot. Starting from Pile Gate this morning we'll take a walking tour including visits to the Rector's Palace and the Maritime and Ethnographic Museums. The Rector's Palace was built in the 14th century for the Rector of the Regusa Republic and was in use for this up until 1808. It was then used as an armoury, watch house and prison. As well as the buildings fantastic architecture it also houses a museum that will give you a taste of the Ragusan lifestyle. The Maritime Museum is located in the Fort of Saint John and gives you an overview of ship building and trading from the start of the Dubrovnik Republic right up to after World War II. The Ethnographic Museum is found in an old granary dating from the 16th century. Here you can learnt about the heyday of the Dubrovnik Republic and see the traditional folk costumes and textiles from the time.
This afternoon we drive to Split and if time allows we'll make a stop for lunch in Ston along the way. Ston is a village known for its unusual salt pans and its impressive defensive walls.
Split is vibrant city set on the coast and with a beautiful old town area. This evening you may like to take the opportunity to join the glamorous locals on a stroll along the Riva, Split's seafront promenade and stop off in one of the aromatic restaurants and bustling cafes along the way. (B)
Split is the second largest city in the country and it's a hive of activity. It has a long history and its old cobbled streets are a pleasure to explore, with their small boutique shops, hidden art galleries and reams of restaurants and cafes - some of which are built into the ancient city walls. Fresh fish and homemade wine is a popular choice for lunch with the locals.
You could take the opportunity to relax on the city's main beach, Bacvice and perhaps try your hand at a popular local game called, Picigin, where a small group of people will swim in the sea whilst trying to keep a rubber ball out of water for as long as possible, but your only allowed to touch it once on your turn.
Perhaps, you'd like to visit Krka National Park, which main attractions are its stunning waterfalls and Visovac Island with a pretty monastery sat in the centre. If you wish to remain closer to Split then you could take a walk on Marjan Hill, which is on the same peninsula and offers great views over the city and coastline below. Within the city itself you could visit the Mestrovic Gallery, which features works of art by Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia's most famous modern sculptor. (B)
After breakfast we take a guided walking tour of Split's old town and Diocletian's Palace, which is a particular highlight. The palace was built by Emperor Diocletian for his golden years at the turn of the 4th century as an imperial residence and fortified camp. It quickly became the heart of the city. What was then the mausoleum of this pagan Roman emperor evolved over time to become the world's oldest Roman Catholic cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius. A tour of the palace is a step back in time, as we wander through the intriguing maze of narrow cobble-stone streets where pre-Romanesque churches nestle alongside Gothic chapels. We'll see the peristyle (central square), cathedral, crypt and basement halls at the palace.
In the afternoon we drive to the Plitvicka Jerera region which is an ideal base for visiting the nearby Plitvice Lakes National Park. Located in a valley between high forested mountains, Plitvice was the first and is one of the most attractive national parks in the country and is considered to be one of Europe's greatest natural wonders. (B)
We'll spend a full day walking the well-marked trails in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which follow the course of 16 crystal blue-green lakes on their dramatic and cascading descent over 92 travertine barriers and waterfalls. Over the millennia, the waters of these lakes have dissolved the limestone rock and carved out the valley in which they now lie. Through the sedimentation of calcium carbonate and the work of special kinds of algae and moss, travertine has been deposited to form the natural dams that separate the lakes. This dynamic process still continues with new falls breaking through the travertine barriers and constantly changing the look of this icon national park.
A popular circuit leads you from the Upper Lakes, you take a ferry across Lake Kozjak and then the path twists between the Lower Lakes. Every turn leads to new breathtaking scenery and yet another stunning waterfall. The walk is mostly on wooden promenades and shorter walks are possible for those wanting less activity. (B)
Following scenic backroads initially through rolling farmland, we make for the northern Dalmatian Coast towards the ancient capital of Dalmatia, Zadar. On arrival we'll take a walking tour to see the unique experimental musical instrument on the sea front, known as the Sea Organ as well as the Sun Salutation, which is a multi-coloured sun powered light display on the pavement. We'll also see the round Church of Saint Donat, which is considered to be the symbol of the city.
We then continue our drive along the twisting and picturesque Dalmatian coastal road to Trogir. Here we'll take a walking tour of the main sights and visit Saint Lawrence Cathedral. This evening you're free to enjoy your final night in this charming Medieval harbour town. (B)
The trip ends in Trogir this morning after breakfast. (B)
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8 Days / 7 Nights
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