Discover the best of Croatia’s Adriatic coast and the romantic island of Hvar, taking in spectacular scenery and savoring local delicacies, and experience the historic walled city of Dubrovnik, walking its medieval ramparts, meeting with locals, on this elegant independent journey.
Day 1 - 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.
Day 2 - Split
Venture to Split’s magnificent historical center to stroll with your guide around the lively Green Market and enjoy watching the locals as they sell their wares from open-air stalls. See the fresh seasonal produce and taste a local delicacy called soparnik, a savory, pie-like pastry made with chard and garlic. Navigate the maze of medieval streets leading to the imposing Palace of Diocletian. Built in the third century by a Roman emperor who was native to the region, it is a unique remnant of the glories of the Roman Empire. Admire the richly decorated octagonal St. Domnius Cathedral, originally the emperor’s mausoleum, and gaze at the beauty of surrounding buildings and grounds. Next, follow small winding streets to a Jewish synagogue that dates back to the 1500s. Also, meet a local family for an olive-oil tasting session complemented with traditional homemade snacks. After this extraordinary glimpse into local life, head to Split’s waterfront, lined with cafés, and then drive to the Mestrovic Gallery, to view works by sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, whose art is displayed around the world. Anyone familiar with Chicago’s Grant Park knows Mestrovic’s bronze masterpieces, The Bowman and The Spearman. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
Day 3 - Hvar
This morning, embark by public ferry along the stunning Dalmatian coastline to picturesque Hvar, a lush, mountainous island where Venetian palaces grace narrow backstreets and secluded coves beckon. Upon arrival, visit the family-owned winery of renowned winemaker Andro Tomic for a wine tasting. Later, on the scenic drive to Hvar Town, stop to view the gleaming limestone Spanjol Fortress. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 4 - Hvar
Today, walk the historic center of Hvar Town, pausing in the main square to take in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its baroque architecture and dramatic stone reliefs. Next, view the Arsenal, an impressive building once used to refit galleons as well as the Benedictine Nunnery, where resident nuns produce the world-famous agave lace. Croatia’s lacemaking has been recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
Day 5 - Dubrovnik
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 Peljesac 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 Town. Once a medieval center of maritime trade that rivaled Venice, Dubrovnik was heavily damaged by military conflicts in the 1990s. Today, however, its Old Town — since restored to its former glory — is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The remainder of your day is at leisure to begin your exploration of what is arguably the loveliest city in Croatia.
Day 6 - Dubrovnik & Konavle Valley
Walk through Dubrovnik with your local guide to see the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, the Rector’s Palace and Dubrovnik Cathedral. Enjoy a stroll along the beautiful city walls and ascend Mount Srd by cable car for stunning views of Dubrovnik City, the Elafiti Islands and Montenegro. Then, begin a pair of engaging visits that reveal the amazing skills of local artisans. Start at a silversmith’s workshop in the heart of Dubrovnik’s old city, where fine jewelry has been created since the 13th century. Experience the entire process, from a simple silver wire to the intricate final piece. Also explore the history of the recini (earrings) and the Konavle button (puca), traditional pieces of Croatian jewelry famed for their beauty and workmanship. Afterward, head out from Dubrovnik to the fertile Konavle Valley, travelling through vineyards, orchards and fields of grain. Once there, witness the traditional methods of weaving silk, performed by talented artisans using skills handed down for the past 500 years. Return to Dubrovnik where you spend the evening on your own in this romantic and appealing medieval city. Explore its winding cobbled streets, numerous squares and fountains, perhaps stopping to savor an unforgettable meal in one of Dubrovnik’s many fine restaurants.
Day 7 - Dubrovnik
Today, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Take a Walking Gastronomy Tour, savoring delicious local foods that tell a cultural story of Croatia as you go.
Kayak Zaton Bay, just north of Dubrovnik, on a tranquil paddle that includes a visit to a private cove.
Visit Game of Thrones Shooting Locations on a tour led by a local with a working knowledge of the series.
Return to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
Day 8 - Depart Dubrovnik
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.