Arrive Split, Croatia
Arrive in Split after an overnight flight. You are met and driven to your hotel in the heart of the Old Town. After meeting your A&K Guardian Angel, the balance of your day is at leisure.
Join your guide to see the sights of lively Split, including the imposing Palace of Diocletian and its synagogue. Built in the third century on the shores of the Adriatic, this looming building with its cavernous interior is a unique remnant of the Roman Empire. Also see the octagonal Cathedral of Saint Domnius next door. Visit the daily market and then stop at Meštrovic Gallery, to view works by sculptor Ivan Meštrovic, whose art can be found on display around the world. Anyone familiar with Chicago’s Grant Park knows Meštrovic’s bronze masterpieces, The Bowman and The Spearman. Later, stroll through Split’s Old Town and along the palm-lined harbor-front promenade. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
This morning, transfer to the port and board a ferry to cruise along the stunning Dalmatian coastline. Arrive at Stari Grad and drive to nearby Hvar Town. Enjoy midday time at leisure in this charming community before setting out on a walking tour of its medieval buildings — legacy of four centuries of Venetian rule — led by an expert local guide. Then, visit the 14th-century Cathedral and the formidable stone-block Arsenal.
Today, continue your exploration of this extraordinarily lush, green island with a visit to a local winery for a tour and tasting. Discover a warm environment filled with lavender, pines and aromatic Mediterranean flora, where the local people have cultivated their vineyards with great skill and care for centuries. Return to Hvar Town, stopping en route at the Spanjol Fortress to enjoy breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, before enjoying the rest of your day at leisure.
Depart Hvar by public ferry to the mainland and then head south to Dubrovnik. Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” it is among the best preserved medieval walled cities in the world. As you travel along the coast, stop in the fishing town of Ston on the Pelješac Peninsula. Historic Ston has beautiful examples of medieval architecture and fortified walls, as well as numerous monuments. The town is also known for its oysters and salt works. You may wish to have lunch here in a typical Dalmatian restaurant, and sample the famous mollusks. On arrival in Dubrovnik, check in to your hotel, which overlooks the old city. The remainder of today is at leisure to begin your exploration of what is arguably the loveliest city in Croatia. Once a medieval center of maritime trade that rivaled Venice, Dubrovnik was heavily damaged by military conflicts in the 1990s. Today, however, its old city — since restored to its former glory — is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walk through Dubrovnik with your local guide to see the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, the Rector’s Palace and Dubrovnik Cathedral. Ascend Mount Srd by cable car for stunning views of Dubrovnik City, the Elaphiti Islands and Montenegro. Journey outside Dubrovnik to the beautiful Konavle Valley, travelling through vineyards, orchards and fields of grain. Once there, witness the traditional ways of weaving silk, performed by local artisans using skills handed down for the past 500 years. Then, return to Dubrovnik.
Travel to the small country of Montenegro, enjoying stunning scenery en route. With its rugged mountains that sweep down to the glittering blue Adriatic Sea, Montenegro features dynamic topography dotted with picturesque villages and fortified towns. Stop by the sea and embark by boat to Our Lady of the Rocks, a tiny church built on an island that dates back to 1452. Back on the mainland, visit the coastal town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on the Bay of Kotor — a submerged river canyon — the town is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. Later, return to Dubrovnik.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.