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Croatia – Leisure and Pleasure at its Finest

Croatia – Leisure and Pleasure at its Finest

CROATIA, DESTINATIONS, TOURS

Ever wanted to experience Pleasure, relaxation and comfort away from home? Then, Croatia is the place to be. In a private guided Tour…

Croatia – the hidden gem of Europe has become one of the most popular places in the Mediterranean and Europe altogether. From our experience, personalizing your tours enhances the memories and uniqueness of your trip.

 

National Park Plitvice Lakes - UNESCO World Heritage
National Park Plitvice Lakes – UNESCO World Heritage

 

DestinaTour – a luxury oriented private tour agency provided us with the finest accommodation, services and terrific private guide & driver; they ensured we had value for every amount we spent with them. Their dedication to providing class and comfort, from our transportation to our lounges. During our stay in Croatia, we were privileged to visit lavish resorts, five star hotels, and wine and dine on their tantalizing Croatian cuisine and sparkling wines made from local wineries.

One of our major highlights was that: Croatia was given a golden award for producing the best variant of olive oil in the World, “Grimalda” – an organic robust blend from Croatia, manufactured with the utmost respect for tradition. Being with Max, our private guide, and his company DestinaTour, we were privileged to have a feel of this oil in Istria, which is the biggest peninsula in Croatia.

 

Motovun (Flickr: Pavel G)
Motovun (Flickr: Pavel G)

 

During our private tour of 2 weeks, we visited 4 countries within 11 UNESCO sites including our primary tour of Croatia; it was fun filled going to neighboring countries: Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro.

We found out that Croatia along with Spain has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of any European country.

Some interesting facts were discovered about Croatia, a striking point was the discovery that: The necktie, worn by business people around the world, originated from Croatia. The cravat as it is called was originally rocked by Croatian soldiers who served as mercenaries to the King of France. So, thanks to Croatia we do not have to wear this outfit anymore!!  🙂

 

Necktie originated from Croatia
Necktie originated from Croatia

 

Our tour began in Dubrovnik, this city left us in awe, it had so many things to keep us shell shocked in a good way. Initially, we did not know where to begin in this marvel of a city, after a while, we chose to walk the Dubrovnik city walls. On realization that these were the same walls that were chosen for the king’s landing in the Movie Series – Game of Thrones, our excitement was increased a notch, being diehard fans of the movie; it felt like “dreams come true”.

 

 

Dubrovnik - The Pearl of Adriatic – UNESCO World Heritage
Dubrovnik- The Pearl of Adriatic – UNESCO World Heritage

 

From the walls, we went in for dinner at “The Pearl of Adriatic”, as it was named by English poet Lord Byron. Our guide was awesome, he had just the right things to keep us engaged and excited. Our meal was prepared according to the original recipe from 16th century, reminding me of a quote by: The great George Bernard Shaw wrote: “Those who seek paradise on Earth must come to Dubrovnik”. We could not agree more.

For the next 2 days, we walked and explored the stunning Kotor bay in Montenegro, where the mountains surrounding the Kotor bay reflect themselves in the clear blue sea; a unique feature in itself.

One of the most remarkable experiences we had in Dubrovnik, which was real fun for my foodie husband, was oyster picking and the amazing food experiences along the way to the local wineries, with amazing cheese and olive produce. We had the freshest oysters possible, taken right from the sea; it was an amazing oysters’ picnic. We also walked on the 2nd largest defensive walls in the World! The Great Wall of Croatia, it was amazing!

 

Ston walls
Ston Walls – The Great Wall of Croatia 

 

We visited numerous attractions including the off road visit of the vineyards, high in the hills of famous wine region of Peljesac peninsula, which was on our way to Korcula, the birth place of famous Marco Polo, whom we just realized was Croatian.

 

The Medieval Trogir Old Town – UNESCO World Heritage
The Medieval Trogir Old Town – UNESCO World Heritage

 

Another attraction was crossing over the famous Mostar Bridge; even though we lacked the courage to jump into the cold river beneath the bridge, the local guys gave us a feel of how it was, as they were happy to entertain us, jumping off the bridge. We also experienced coastal drive, another amazing experience in Croatia; with mountains piled up on one side and hundreds of islands on the sea side, giving you nature at its finest.

 

 

Mostar Bridge – UNESCO World Heritage
Mostar Bridge – UNESCO World Heritage

 

We visited Split, and came to another UNESCO World heritage – Diocletian’s palace, we were told about Diocletian who was a famous Roman emperor and how people still live in his ancient massive palace, differentiating it from other similar palaces around the world which are just a bunch of stones that fuel Archaeology.

During our tour, we arrived in town of Sibenik, where a cardinal attraction site is the St. James’ Cathedral, built over 500 years ago. Uniquely, it is made entirely of stone slabs and ribs, without any binding material. How it is still standing till today is remarkable.

 

Hvar
Hvar

 

We then proceeded to Island Hvar, one of the 1000 islands in Croatia. Hvar is tagged “the sunniest Island” in Europe. There, we were treated to homemade dinner; our host was a family of fisherman, and as you would expect, sea food was the main menu. We had Octopus prepared in the traditional way.

At Zadar, we had gained the impression that Croatia is home to the “world’s most beautiful sunset”, according to Alfred Hitchcock who had a cinematically magnificent view of Croatia, and claimed Zadar had the best of sunsets. This is corroborated by the award given to Zadar as the best European destination of the year 2016.

 

Adriatic Sea
Adriatic Sea

 

Another significant event at Zadar was the visit to The Kornati National park. Kornati National Park is a site to behold, words would not let me describe the embodiment of its beauty, I would herein make reference to George Bernard Shaw who wrote in his book: “On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown his work, and thus created the Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath”. With steep cliffs or “crowns” making the coastline unique and dramatic, waters are crystal clear unlike anywhere else. It is one-of-a-kind, the sailor’s paradise.

The Kornati Islands are the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean. Nowhere else in this large sea would you find such a great number of islands crammed in so little space. Lest I forget to add, we had the best fish ever in a private restaurant on a small hidden island, where our skipper Nick took us on the private speed boat day-trip. It sometimes feels like that fish grows only in that part of the world.

 

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park

 

With all the fun we had experienced up until Zadar, we thought we had reached the pick of our adventure, we were wrong! After Zadar was the real highlight of our Croatian adventure. We walked through the Plitvice lakes, one of the most stunning places in the world. At every turn and corner, with every passing second, you could feel this engineering masterpiece of nature; there were hundreds of waterfalls, streams and lakes to leave you speechless. Our guide, Max, continued impressing on us telling us the finer details about the lakes, giving us some insider tips and taking us on some of the beaten paths and secret viewpoints. Of course, here we had totally different specialties, because we were in the mountains, a bit far from the coast.

The very next day we were already breathing fresh alpine air, exploring another hidden gem – River Soca valley an amazing emerald river with hidden gorges and incredulous waterfalls, which were hidden by surrounding cliffs.

 

Kozjak Waterfall in the Alps
Kozjak Waterfall in the Alps

 

The biggest castle in the world inside a cave!!! We were speechless. Other landmark sites were the Postojna cave – the most visited tourist cave in Europe. In our tour, we also went to Hum, the world’s smallest town officially with a population of 26; Hum was founded in the 13th century.

 

Predjama Castle in the cave
Predjama Castle in the Cave

 

Other places of excitement were: Roman times Gladiator’s Amphitheater, in Pula, Croatia, one of the best preserved, we also ate one of the best truffles in the world in tasty meals that amazed the famous Anthony Bourdain.

 

 

Gladiators Amphitheater in Pula
Gladiators Amphitheater in Pula

 

We took strolls in the medieval towns on the Istrian hilltops and the capital city of Croatia, in the Upper town of Zagreb.

Croatian wine cannot be exempted from the pleasures, the famous Zinfandel wine has its roots in Croatia. Croatia is also a land of vineyards, with more than 300 geographically defined wine districts corralled into an area roughly the size of the state of West Virginia.

Croatia is filled with many architectural marvels, landmark sites and gems of nature, it has a vibe of excitement, which ensures that all types of travelers come in anticipation. The same can be said of Slovenia, which is slowly gaining prominence amongst holidaymakers. We really should come back to have some more of it! Soon!

These are really some of the landmark and unforgettable memories of Croatia, and it was not possible without our hosts: Max and his luxury travel agency – DestinaTour, they gave us memories to last a life time, it was a great, unique and highly customized experience of Mediterranean. Most importantly, there was value for every amount spent.

Destinatour provides you an exquisite luxury travel tourism experience in Croatia and Slovenia (plus Bosnia and Montenegro), for your leisure and pleasure!

I invite you to take a look at their website: http://destinatour.eu/ or contact them on email: tour@destinatour.eu

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

25 Comments

  1. kereta sewa puchong
    May 17, 2016 at 1:06 am
    Reply

    just discover this site from somewhere. great sharing story & experiences. i will recommend this site to my friends out there.
    kereta sewa puchong recently posted…Perkhidmatan Kereta SewaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 17, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Kereta! I’m glad to hear that you like my site and will recommend it to others.

  2. sarah
    May 21, 2016 at 8:36 am
    Reply

    Ah good to see that you took much the same route through Croatia as me, since I made up the route myself and you always worry that you miss something important that way.
    What time of year did you go? I went in August and it was very crowded. I’d like to go back and see these things again with less people.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      August is a terrible time of year to go, not only is it very hot but can be crowded from all the kids out for summer vacations. We went in June and it was the perfect time of year.

  3. Brianna
    May 21, 2016 at 10:50 am
    Reply

    Private tours are a great way to see a lot and learn interesting things about the place you’re visiting, but I fear they don’t always give the best insight to the true culture of a destination. What do you think?
    Brianna recently posted…How to do Kathmandu in One DayMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      It depends on the tour. I feel that working with a local company that knows the destination well is beneficial.

  4. Vicki Louise
    May 22, 2016 at 6:31 am
    Reply

    I love Croatia as a destination. It’s defiantly a bit of a hidden gem in Europe – the place, the people, the culture, the rustic charm – just incredible. Thank you for sharing the beauty!
    Vicki Louise recently posted…Top 15 Travel Bloggers Who DIDN’T Quit Their Jobs To TravelMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Croatia is such a wonderful place with so much charm that it’s hard to have a bad time anywhere you go. I’m definitely going back soon.

  5. Kathryn Hunter
    May 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm
    Reply

    A castle inside of a cave? That’s motivation to go to Croatia, all on its own, with the rest as a bonus!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Predjama Castle’s dramatic setting in the gaping mouth of a cavern halfway up a hillside is impressive.

  6. Kerri
    May 23, 2016 at 5:50 am
    Reply

    Visited Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar and loved them all. I think what’s it has done though is given me a yearning to visit nearby Bosnia, Montenegro etc. This post has definitely made me want to do this.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      We definitely want to go back and spend more time in each of the places.

  7. Jessica
    May 23, 2016 at 6:23 am
    Reply

    Marvelous landscapes Crotia has! I love how you captured it. Still wishinh to finally visit this finest place this year.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Two weeks isn’t enough time to visit Croatia. If you do plan a trip, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to visit all these sites.

  8. Nathan
    May 23, 2016 at 7:15 am
    Reply

    Amazing photos! I was in Croatia last summer and loved it. I would recommend it to anyone thinking of going!

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      I would highly recommend a trip to Croatia for everyone. It’s full of amazing landscapes and sceneries that you just can’t miss.

  9. Christine | The Traveloguer
    May 23, 2016 at 7:20 am
    Reply

    That’s so cool you got to see so many UNESCO sites in such a short period of time. I would love to visit Croatia.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      So many UNESCO sites to see in Croatia that we wanted to make sure we saw most of them. It was a lot to see in two weeks.

  10. Elisa
    May 23, 2016 at 5:58 pm
    Reply

    Nice pictures

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 23, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      Thanks Elisa! It’s hard to take a bad picture in Croatia. 🙂

  11. Tom
    May 25, 2016 at 3:41 am
    Reply

    Croatia is somewhere I really want to go! Looks great from the photos!
    Tom recently posted…The crazy time we were working for gypsies!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

      We loved our stay in Croatia and really enjoyed visiting some of these sites. I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones and its neat that now I recognize some of the places they filmed in Croatia.

  12. Hang Around The World
    May 26, 2016 at 10:28 am
    Reply

    Hi! I really like this post, it’s really interesting.
    When I read it I was able to imagine everything you’ve written. The photos did the remainder 😉
    You’ve included in few words the essential things to see and to do.
    Well done!
    Hang Around The World recently posted…Scrubba Wash BagMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 6, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

  13. Wyatt
    February 28, 2017 at 12:00 am
    Reply

    Hi to all, the contents existing at this web page are truly awesome for
    people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.
    Wyatt recently posted…WyattMy Profile

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