Gastro Tour - Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina

Gastro Tour - Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina

14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS

See and taste the best of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina! On this 14-day tour, see and taste the best of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Amazing cultural heritage, rich history, magnificent natural beauty, and great food are a guarantee you will have an unforgettable experience!

Day 1: ZAGREB

Arrive in Zagreb. Check-in and stay the night in a hotel.

Day 2: ZAGREB – HRVATSKO ZAGORJE - TRAKOŠĆAN - VARAŽDIN – ZAGREB

Breakfast at the hotel. Take a guided walking tour with a tasting of local products, štrukli, which will be served in a local café. First, enjoy a private 3-hour walking tour of the important sites of Zagreb. Enjoy a short funicular ride to the Upper Town – a totally different and enchanting Zagreb with architecture from the 15th and 16th centuries. At the Lotrščak Tower, a cannon is shot at noon every day letting everyone know it is lunchtime! See St. Catherine’s Square and St. Mark’s Square with the House of Parliament, Government, and St. Mark’s Church. Walk through the Stone Gate, a remnant of the medieval city walls, down to Radićeva Street and to Dolac, the most picturesque open-air market in the city. STRUKLI – a pastry filled with a mixture of cheese, eggs, sour cream, and salt, covered in clotted cream and baked in an oven – a traditional Croatian dish served in most households in the area surrounding Zagreb. In the afternoon, we will head out on an excursion to the Varaždin and Zagorje area. Visit Trakoščan, a beautiful castle built in the 13th century, one of the most famous in Croatia. Continue to Varaždin, the pearl of Central European Baroque architecture and the former Croatian capital. Discover the beautiful sites of the old town fortification and the central part of the town with numerous museums and galleries that house valuable art collections. Return to Zagreb. Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 3: ZAGREB – MOTOVUN – ROVINJ

Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for Motovun. MOTOVUN – monument city! The best-preserved medieval Istrian fortress was built on top of a steep 277 m high hill, to which the longest Istrian staircase of 1052 steps leads. According to legend, Motovun is one of the Istrian towns built by giants, but according to history, it was built by Illyrian or Celtic tribes. The Motovun forest that spreads along the Mirna River Valley is the biggest habitat of Istrian truffles. After the Motovun city tour, we head to the Zigante restaurant, where you will try your hand at truffle hunting. After a successful hunt, enjoy a lunch full of truffles! TRUFFLES – this unattractive-looking underground mushroom, shaped like a potato or a ball of mud whose aphrodisiac qualities are often debated, is a true treasure of the Istrian region. They can be found underground at a depth of 10-30 cm. This means that people can only find them if helped by specially trained dogs or pigs. These animals can trace and smell the exact location of truffles. The two most important types of truffles are white and black truffles. In Istria, we can find both kinds; the best white truffles can be found from September to December, and the best black ones can be found from May to November. Overnight stay in Rovinj.

Day 4: ROVINJ – ISTRIA TOUR – ROVINJ

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Poreč, where you will visit the Agrolaguna agricultural farm for an olive oil, wine, and cheese tasting. OLIVE OIL – Olive oil production in Istria has been popular since ancient times, which has been confirmed by numerous discovered oil tanks – amphoras, and it is assumed that the olive tree was brought to Istria by the Greeks and Phoenicians. Istria grows two types of olives, typical only for that area: ‘buza’ and Istrian ‘bjelica’. Due to the specific land and climate, and the application of modern methods in farming and processing olives, Istrian virgin olive oil is known for its high quality today, just as it was in ancient times when it was enjoyed by the Roman emperors that planted their own olive groves there. POREČ – a town located in a harbor protected by the sea by the small island of St. Nicolas, today represents one of the most significant Istrian and Croatian tourist centers. It was developed and created by the Romans 2000 years ago after overtaking it from its first inhabitants – Histrians. Today, Roman heritage in Poreč is evident even in the old town center – the position of the two main streets Decumanus and Cardo Maximus represents a typical Roman castrum preserved in its ancient form. The most important sight in Poreč, on the other hand, was made in Byzantine times – the complex of Euphrasian’s Basilica with the diocese that dates back to the 5th century. UNESCO protected and listed this valuable monument on its World Heritage List in 1997. Continue on to PULA. The history of Pula starts with the myth of the Argonauts and the search for the Golden Fleece. Various historical periods contributed to the making of this unique town in which Roman temples defy baroque palaces, early Christian churches stand face-to-face with Austrian villas, and the remnants of medieval walls are cut through by ancient town gates. And then you will meet the Amphitheater, revealing itself in all its beauty. This is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world, the most significant monument in Pula! The Arena, the place where gladiators faced lions, used to be able to entertain 25 000 spectators. This grandiose edifice allows you to get insight into its glorious history, the one you can see, feel, and experience. It also serves as a venue for the greatest cultural programs. Return to Rovinj. Overnight stay.

Day 5: ROVINJ – PLITVICE LAKES

In the morning, after breakfast, we leave for PLITVICE. Take a tour through the National Park. Embraced by high wooded mountains, sixteen beautiful lakes of crystal blue-green water are connected by a series of foaming cascades and thundering waterfalls, fed by many rivers and streams. Plitvice Lakes was declared a National Park in 1949, and since 1979 it has been on UNESCO’s list of World Natural Heritage sites. Overnight stay at a hotel in Plitvice.

Day 6: PLITVICE LAKES – ETNOLAND DALMATI IN PAKOVO SELO – SPLIT

After breakfast, depart to Pakovo Selo, where we will visit Etnoland Dalmati. A journey into the heart of Dalmatian culture – an experience you will never forget! Discover for yourself why ETNOLAND Dalmati was declared the best tourist attraction in continental Croatia in 2012! The ETNOLAND experience begins with the journey to the Dalmatian hinterland, to Pakovo Selo. Here, you can expect a 1.5 to 3-hour experience taking place no matter the weather conditions are any time of the year. There, after a formal and, for us Dalmatians, sacred welcome ceremony; you’ll be welcomed into the village. Listen to Dalmatians tell stories of their ancestors and history, see and learn about Dalmatian customs and tradition. See Dalmatian stone houses, traditional tools, and utensils, learn how households were run, experience traditional Dalmatia, and so much more. The ETNOLAND experience culminates in a splendid feast for your palate. ETNOLAND Dalmati offers its visitors authentic Dalmatian food and drinks and delicacies prepared under traditional “peka”, “drniški pršut” smoked ham from Drniš, and traditional red and white wine. We continue on to Split. Dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel in Split.

Day 7: SPLIT

After breakfast, a morning guided tour around Split. Located in the center of the Dalmatian coast and nestled between the mountains and the sea, Split is a picturesque ancient town built by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Visit the impressive emperor’s palace built in the 3rd century, Peristil, and the Cathedral. In the afternoon, cooking classes will be organized for the group. We will take you on a journey through the secret recipes of our grandparents in small villages just outside Split, Croatia, where you will enjoy your gastronomic adventure undisturbed by the hustle and bustle of urban life. Overnight stay at the hotel in Split.

Day 8: SPLIT – PELJEŠAC – STON – DUBROVNIK

After breakfast, depart to Pelješac, where you will enjoy a wine tasting. The sunny climate provides the perfect conditions for the wine-growers on the peninsula. The picturesque hillsides and valleys of Pelješac are covered in vineyards. The most famous wines produced in this region are Dingač and Postup. Drive to Ston, the well-known oyster farming capital of Croatia, where we taste the famous Ston oysters. Our visit to Ston includes a walk around town, during which you learn about Ston’s history and see its major sites. We continue on to Dubrovnik. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 9: DUBROVNIK - KONAVLE

Morning sightseeing tour of Dubrovnik – a city-monument, registered on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage sites. Visit the Franciscan monastery, Rector’s Palace, and the Cathedral. An afternoon excursion to Cavtat and Konavle. Cavtat is a well-known summer resort that Edward the 8th and Wallace Simpson chose for their honeymoon. Dinner in Konavle at one of the best restaurants in the region, situated by an old mill and the small Ljuta River. After dinner, return to Dubrovnik. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10: DUBROVNIK – MOSTAR – SARAJEVO

After breakfast, we drive through the picturesque Croatian and Bosnian landscape to Mostar. Situated between Sarajevo and Dubrovnik, Mostar is the main urban center of Herzegovina founded by the Turks in the 15th century. During the sightseeing tour, explore the UNESCO-protected Old town, once the center of the city’s Islamic culture, and visit Mostar’s famous 16th-century bridge, which was destroyed during the last war and painstakingly rebuilt. Lunch in Mostar, then we leave for Sarajevo with a stop in Trebinje for a wine tasting. Trebinje is a small town, lost in the rugged mountains on the southern edge of Herzegovina. We continue on to Sarajevo. Dinner and an overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 11: SARAJEVO THEMED CITY TOUR WITH HOME HOSTED DINNER

After breakfast, a city tour of Sarajevo, which includes a visit to Baščaršija, the oriental Svrzo house, and the Princip Bridge. The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been home to Muslims, Croats, Turks, Jews, and Serbs, has a rich and fascinating culture. A city with a lot of diversity that shows the unique link between the East and the West. Home-hosted dinners with exquisite meals will be the real way to get to know Bosnia and Herzegovina. Home-hosted dinners will give you an insight into real life and how things are in Bosnia. It will be a great opportunity to see more than just mere architecture and to hear more than traditional history. These dinners will introduce you to the real-life stories of Sarajevo and its common residents and will definitively be the best way to meet and feel the culture of people than just seeing it through faces in the street. Our home dinners are served in lovely and interesting families open to talking about anything, who serve up the best of their cuisine – cooked not to suit you but to suit both you and the family. Spend the night at the hotel.

Day 12: SARAJEVO – OSIJEK

After breakfast at the hotel, depart to Osijek with a stop at a village in Bosnia near the Croatian border for lunch and a brandy-tasting at the Monogram distillery. A family distillery situated at the foot of Trebava Mountain with 30 hectares of the noblest varieties of fruit in the village of Donji Skurgic, near Modrica. Pure passion has motivated them to combine the incredible flavors, herbs, and different varieties of fruit to get the perfect Monogram brandies and liqueurs. Lunch and then we continue on to Osijek. Overnight stay at a hotel.

Day 13: OSIJEK

In the morning, after breakfast, we leave for the village of Karanac and take a cooking class in one of the local households. You will learn how to prepare a local traditional dish – Fish Paprikash.

FISH PAPRIKASH – One of the renowned dishes of Slavonia is fish paprikash, or simply referred to as Fish. Good-quality freshwater fish, plenty of red paprika stewed in a kettle over an open fire is the secret to a good fish paprikash. But an excellent fish paprikash can also be prepared at home. Make sure you serve it with wide noodles. After lunch, we head to Osijek where we will go on a sightseeing tour that starts in the old baroque citadel – Tvrđa. The guide will revive the vivid history of this area through a visit to the monumental buildings of the citadel, stories about battles, fairs, and unfortunate romances. We reach the city center through the shade of the trees and parks and by walking through European Avenue – one of the most beautiful art nouveau streets in this part of Europe. On the central square, you will get to know more about modern Osijek and its curiosities. After that, we continue to the Promenade – a long pedestrian zone along the Drava River. This is the ideal place for a coffee break or a cold drink on one of the many café terraces. We bring our tour to an end with stories about the Drava, its bridges, and battles. Dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel in Osijek.

Day 14 OSIJEK-ZAGREB (OR BELGRADE)

Breakfast and departure for Zagreb or Belgrade, depending on your outgoing flight.

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Zagreb | Dubrovnik | Sarajevo | Ljubljana
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