Croatia, a land of natural wonders and cultural treasures, is a must-visit destination for any traveler. Its picturesque coastlines, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters make it the perfect place to indulge in the authentic flavors and culture of this part of the Adriatic. From the historic walls of Dubrovnik to the charming villages of Istria and the castles of Slovenia, our 10-day tour will take you on a journey through the heart of this enchanting region. Croatia and Slovenia have a unique combination of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and delicious cuisine. On this trip, we will take you on a culinary and cultural journey where you can taste and soak in the region's authentic flavors. You'll savor traditional dishes, cook with local chefs, and explore bustling markets while immersing yourself in the local way of life. Whether you're swimming in the Adriatic or walking through National Parks, you'll discover the genuine side of Croatia and create unforgettable memories. Join us and taste and feel Croatia and Slovenia like never before!
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Our adventure begins in the famous city of Dubrovnik. You'll be picked up at the Dubrovnik airport and taken to the Rixos Premium Hotel, perfectly located with amazing sea views.
After a brief refresh, we'll explore ancient Dubrovnik. Since the 13th century, Dubrovnik has been one of Europe's most important republics. The impressive Old Town, surrounded by ancient walls, was the city's crowning glory of the city. Our local guide will take you to discover incredible Renaissance palaces and lead you on a stroll along the city walls.
Today, we'll enjoy a delicious seafood lunch after our walk. The menu includes delicacies like black risotto and fisherman's stews combined with a delectable choice of wines.
You'll enjoy some free time after lunch. The hotel has a lovely spa with a sea view - a great way to fight off jet lag.
At sunset, we'll head to a small hill above Dubrovnik's old town. Here, we'll enjoy a local meal served with Croatian wine as we say cheers to our first day in Croatia!
Today, we'll get to know the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea and its hidden islands. After breakfast, we’ll take a short and enjoyable boat ride to explore Šipan, Koločep, and Lopud, little-known to tourists. We'll meet the local islanders and immerse ourselves in their way of life.
The highlight of the day is lunch. We'll indulge in the freshest seafood prepared by a local chef. Grilled with olive oil and sea salt, it's the simplest and most authentic way to taste the flavors of Dalmatia. Chilled local wine will complement the meal to make us feel like true Dalmatians!
We return to the city by boat after exploring the islands and soaking up the sun.
Take the evening to relax and unwind at the hotel. Dinner is on your own.
Our first stop after breakfast today is the historic city of Ston, where we'll take an exclusive tour of the ancient saltworks. Here, we'll discover the fascinating history of the second longest wall in the world, built to protect the "white gold" - sea salt in production.
Next, it's time for our first gastronomic adventure of the day. We'll head to a private oyster farm located in Maloston Bay. Here, we have the unique opportunity to try the world-renowned, protected endemic oyster species found only in this area. We'll also enjoy an exclusive cooking class with local fishermen tasting the freshest oysters possible!
Pelješac is Croatia's most famous wine region, and we're about to taste its award-winning wines. A sommelier will take us on a vineyard tour and guide us through the world of Croatian wines. Our gastronomic adventure culminates in the middle of the vineyard, where we'll taste the best of these regional wines.
After a day filled with history, culture, and gastronomic adventures, we head to our next destination, Split. This city is known for its lively atmosphere and stunning architecture. After checking in at the Heritage 19 Hotel Split, we'll freshen up and head out for a welcome dinner at one of the best restaurants in Split, with modernly presented local cuisine. The view is spectacular as we raise our glasses to another perfect day in Croatia!
Wine Tour & Tasting
Today, we explore the historic city of Split.
We start with a delicious breakfast. Then, our adventure will begin with a guided tour of Diocletian's town. Here is where the great Roman Emperor, Diocletian, chose to retire. We'll learn the secrets of the ancient palace, including the world's oldest cathedral, Diocletian's cellars, and the ancient thermal baths.
After our history lesson, we'll stroll the charming streets of Split and absorb the spirit of the Mediterranean. We'll try local specialties and embark on an adventure of our own.
At lunch outside the city, we'll sample the famous lamb bursting with flavors to tantalize the taste buds.
After lunch, the Klis fortress beckons. Here, we'll enjoy breathtaking views of the Dalmatian coast and all its islands and learn a bit of Croatian history.
Tonight, enjoy time and dinner on your own.
After a delicious breakfast, we'll take a local ferry to one of Croatia's most famous islands – Hvar. We'll wander the winding streets of the ancient town of Pharos, founded by the Greeks during their campaigns. We'll explore the oldest public theater in the world, a Greek shipyard still in operation, and enjoy the smell of the Mediterranean. The tour will culminate in a visit to the small fortress of Fortica. The breathtaking views will leave you speechless.
Next, we're off to an abandoned village to visit a small household run by a local, the only remaining village resident. This is the perfect opportunity to taste homemade extra virgin olive oil and other local delicacies. An entertaining host will lead us through a cooking class, where we'll learn the secrets of island cuisine and enjoy the local wine.
Enjoy some free time exploring the town of Hvar before we return to Split by ferry. Upon our return to Split, we'll enjoy a relaxing dinner.
After breakfast, we'll venture over to Skradin, a charming fishing village where the Krka River meets the sea. We'll explore this magical place by boat.
Krka National Park boasts a beautiful blend of the Mediterranean climate and lush vegetation. Hundreds of small waterfalls surround us as we make our way to the main attraction - Skradinski Buk, the area's largest and most famous waterfall. We’ll walk a trail through untouched nature, enjoying the view.
It's time for some authentic, homemade food. We'll visit a small household in a remote location, where we'll try handcrafted prosciutto, pancetta, aged cheeses, and local wine while enjoying the peaceful sound of the tinkling waterfalls around us.
For the rest of the day, we'll explore the region's heritage. The watermill complex at the Roški slap waterfall is one of Dalmatia's most interesting ethnographic monuments.
After a full day, we'll ride back to Split for free time at the hotel before dinner at a nearby restaurant.
We start our day with a hearty breakfast in Split, then hit the road to inspect the enchanting Istrian peninsula. The drive is a delight in itself, with picturesque views and landscapes you'll want to capture in your memory forever.
Our first stop is Hum, the smallest city in the world, located atop a hill. We’ll take a leisurely walk through the charming town, during which we'll savor some local liqueurs. But wait, there's more! Istria is the second-largest truffle region in Europe. Today, we're doing a truffle hunt in the forest with a local family and their trained dogs.
After we've found truffles (fingers crossed, we're off to a cooking class with the family to prepare a 3-course lunch, including homemade pasta or gnocchi with fresh truffles. We'll pair our meal with local wines for a truly authentic Istrian gourmet experience.
Next on the agenda is a visit to a small boutique winery, where the friendly host will reveal the secrets behind making Malvasia, a famous local white wine. You'll have a chance to taste all his products and immerse yourself in the local flavors.
Our final stop is the magical Motovun, a fairytale town on a hilltop. We'll take a leisurely walk and listen to local myths and legends. Then, head to our nearby accommodation - Villa Menenghetti, part of the famous Relais & Châteaux group. The chef will welcome us with a light local dinner to conclude this amazing gastronomic adventure.
Exclusive truffle hunting
Cooking class & tasting of traditional products
We'll begin the day with a farm-to-table breakfast in the beautiful gardens of Villa Menenghetti. Our first stop is the ancient city of Pula, where we'll take a tour of the sixth-largest Roman amphitheater in the world.
After exploring the city, we'll visit a small farm near Pula, where a local farmer raises Istrian cattle and goats. The farm boasts a collection of over 100 different goat milk products, and the host will prepare an irresistible feast full of unctuous cheeses and much more.
Our next destination is Rovinj, the charming fishing village filled with colorful houses. It's so pretty, it's the subject of many postcards. We'll explore the little streets and alleyways in this lovely coastal village and spend time shopping.
As the sun sets, the Rovinj fishermen will take us on a sunset sail on traditional sailing boats around Rovinj Old Town. This is the crowning glory of the tour.
We'll end the day with a ride back to Villa Menenghetti to relax and enjoy the comfort of our accommodation.
Today, our adventure will begin with a scenic drive from Istria to the picturesque city of Bled, Slovenia. We'll explore the breathtaking Lake Bled, taking a small wooden boat ride to an island with a monastery. A trip to Bled without tasting the famous Bled Cream Cake isn't proper. We'll savor the cake with coffee on the lakeshore.
Later, we'll stop at a perfect spot to taste the distinctive flavors of Slovenian mountain cuisine prepared by one of the world's top chefs, Ana Roš. She was a subject on Netflix's Chef's Table. This is a gourmet experience to end them all!
In the afternoon, we'll tour the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, known for its vibrant energy and friendly atmosphere. We're headed for the city's main attractions, including the famous castle built in the Middle Ages.
After free time in Ljubljana, we'll make our way to our next stop, Zagreb, where we'll stay at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. Blessed with old-school charm, the hotel was originally built as a rest station for passengers on the Orient Express.
To toast our last day together, we’ll have an exclusive dinner, savoring delicious cuisine and beautiful memories of our trip through Slovenia and Croatia.
Exclusive lunch with chef Ana Roš
We'll enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Esplanade Hotel, among the best in Europe.
After breakfast, it's time to say goodbye and head for the airport. Airport transfers will be organized based on your flight details, so we can relax and enjoy the rest of the day stress-free.
The holiday is over but your memories will last a lifetime.
A premium, lifestyle hotel, the Rixos Premium Hotel close to the Old Town is the perfect springboard into the surrounding areas. Step onto the beach and into elegant restaurants and the on-site spa.
A hop and a skip from Diocletion's Palace, the Heritage 19 Hotel, offers you all the modern day comforts in an old-world environment, overlooking the water.
Relax on a beautiful Istrian winery at the Menegheti Hotel and Winery. Enjoy tranquility and luxury in this historical building in the heart of the winelands.
Doni Belau is the creator and founder of Girls' Guide to the World. She is an inveterate traveler, having been to nearly 70 countries (and counting). She loves to help other women experience this sensation as she truly feels it helps us see a larger world of possibilities within ourselves.
Embark on a Culinary and Cultural Journey Through Croatia and Slovenia
In Croatia, we'll visit the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik, and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. We'll explore picturesque villages far away from tourist crowds and learn how to cook famous Croatian meals. We'll also visit traditional local markets, experience the local way of life, and indulge in world-famous Croatian wines.
Moving on to Slovenia, we'll explore some of the most famous National Parks, visit charming Lake Bled, and learn about the myths and legends of Slovenian castles. We'll stay at authentic boutique hotels, where you'll have the chance to relax and unwind in style.
Everything specified in the itinerary
All meals (except where indicated), including beer & wine with dinner
Accommodations at unique, 4-star or better hotels
All transportation during the trip (except where indicated)
Expert guides and trip leaders
A small group experience
Round-trip airfare to Dubrovnik
Additional wine, beer, and/or spirits beyond what’s offered at meals
All personal souvenirs
Travel and medical insurance (required)
"Traveling to Croatia with Girls Guides was just what I needed to relax (which is not a natural state for me to be in). The prearrangements were detailed. The balance between guided time and free roaming time was just right for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the history and beauty of Croatia, the great wine, meeting wonderful fellow traveling women and laughing, lots. I would not have been able to plan this on my own for one. I have already recommended Girls Guide to select family and friends, and I hope to see more of the world with Doni and GG soon."
Deirdre, Sept 2023 on Trip Advisor
The trip officially starts the afternoon of September 8th, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to Croatia consider arriving a day or two early, so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, let us know and we’ll help you with arrangements.