Include Bulgaria in Your Balkan Tour

Croatia is a small gem of a country rich in natural beauty and opportunities for cultural tourism – it makes the best choice to add to your guided tour through the Balkans. It’s easy to see the lesser known spots few travelers get to experience when you’ve a guide from Balkan Tales to lead the way. Your guided tour is rewarding, because:

  • Your guide is a local with perfect grasp of English, making communication simple and pleasant.
  • Flexible itinerary tailored to fit the interest of the entire group, be it a few people or as large as 50 individuals.
  • Excellent timekeeping to ensure you see everything on your itinerary without hurrying and actually enjoying yourself.

Find out what where we’d love to take you on your visit to Croatia. Have something special or wild you’d like to do here? Give us your suggestion and we’ll incorporate it in your tour!


Natural (2)

Croatian Intangible Cultural Heritage

Where to stay in Croatia

[accordion-item title=”Dubrovnik”]

  • Dubrovnik is an outstanding destination on the Mediterranean, with the perk of being a UNESCO site.
  • In the past, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries, it rose to prominence in wealth, with busy trade.
  • The picturesque old town comprises old buildings, and Sveti Vlaho statues dot the city to commemorate its patron saint.

The Sponza Palace, the Rector Palace, the St. Savior Church are examples of old and imposing Renaissance buildings. In the Franciscan Monastery, the library is especially wealthy in volumes and documents, and features a 15th century silver cross, and an 18th century cricifix. Visit Dubrovnik, too, for the Summer festival, abundant in plays and concerts. Saint Vlaho’s feast on February 3 is especially worth attending, with parades and other festivities.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Split”]

  • Split, on the Adriatic coast, is spread on a peninsula, and boasts ancient history of over 1,700 years.
  • The historic centre is a UNESCO site, one of its heritage spots worldwide.
  • The top sight, Diocletian’s Palace, will show the central point, built by the Roman emperor, around which the city developed.

The Archeological Museum is the oldest such museum in Croatia, with over 150,000 artifacts. To learn about different parts of its heritage, cultural, economic, etc., visit the City Museum. The Maritime Museum will show off marine equipment and weapons, plus ship models. The Science Museum, together with a zoo, is unmissable as well, so head for it to the Marjan Peninsula.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Zagreb”]

  • Croatia’s capital Zagreb is yet another spot dating from Roman periods.
  • The Plitvice Lakes, listed under UNESCO, is a nearby national park, combining the magic of water and vegetation verdure, with forest trails and crystal blue lakes, streams, and waterfalls.
  • The Archeological Museum boasts around 450,000 artifacts, among which of special interest are the Zagreb mummy and the Egyptian collection.

Museums abound, to acquaint you with the archeology, modern art, natural history, technology, and more. Outside St Mary’s Cathedral, you will see the amazing Holy Mary monument. The Museum of Illusions will leave indelible memories with the Kaleidoscope, the Vortex Tunnel, Holograms, and other fascinating sections.[/accordion-item]

Important landmarks

[accordion-item title=”Plitvice Lakes National Park”]

  • This park, Croatia’s largest, belongs with UNESCO’s list as a heritage site.
  • The protected area covers over 296 square kilometres.
  • The 16 lakes, formed by river confluences, are arranged in cascades, and separated by dams.

The Plitvica joins the lakes on the north, via a waterfall. The river and the lakes reach to the lowest lake, where the point of origination of the Korana river is. The forests are composed of beeches, spruces, and firs. Orchids also grow here. Brown bears and wolves breed in the park. Butterflies and reptiles are also common. Butterfly kinds are 321, bird species 157, and bats inhabiting the part are of 20 kinds.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Zadar”]

  • Zadar, with a rich ancient history, lies on the Adriatic, is Dalmatia’s historical centre.
  • Its structure was formed in Roman times, under Julius Caesar and Augustus, and the aqueduct from that period still stands, partially preserved.
  • The city features four old gates; Porta Marina comprises relics of a Roman arch, and Porta di Terraferma dates from the 16th century.

Roman landmarks are preserved to tell stories of glorious times, like the Roman Forum founded by Augustus, and the aqueduct. Churches merit special attention. The Church of St. Donatus dates from distant times, from the 9th century. Another gem is St. Anastasia’s Cathedral; its construction is dated to the 12th-13th centuries. The Sea Organ, on the coast, plays via sea waves; its tubes are under a set of marble steps.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Hvar Island”]

  • Hvar island lies in the Adriatic. Its diversity combines fresh water springs, pine forests, olive groves, lavender fields, orchards.
  • Inhabitants first settled in Ancient Greek times, and the site is considered to rank among the most ancient ones Europe wide.
  • The Stari Grad Plain is among UNESCO sites of heritage importance.

Hvar is, too, a town on the south coast, a historical one, with remnants of a 16th century theatre. Museums and galleries abound. The scenic bay is the port for boats and yachts. The town itself is a protected area of cultural heritage. In its area, five archaeological sites are located, comprising a rustic villa, a prehistoric site, etc.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Pula”]

  • Pula lies on the tip of the Istria, a Croatian peninsula, and prides itself on wine making, fishing, and sea vacations.
  • Roman buildings have survived, including the Amphitheatre, from the first century, one of the six largest arenas surviving since Roman times.
  • The Triumphal Arc also dates from the first century, as does the temple of Rome and Augustus.

The Amphitheatre is the venue for summer film festivals. One of the gates on the city walls, Porta Gemina, still remains, near some remains of the walls themselves. The first century built Gate of Hercules features Hercules’s head. The Pula streets are narrow, paved with ancient Roman stones.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Brač”]

  • Brač island is in the Adriatic, divided from the mainland via a channel, with Supetar as its main town.
  • Fishing, wine making, and olive growing comprise the livelihood.
  • The white stone from the island was used for the building of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, and, too, for a national memorial in Canada.

From Vidova Gora hill a fantastic view unfolds. Zlatni Rat is a famed beach, stony but picturesque and bordering crystal clear waters. The Blaca Hermitage, perched on the cliffs, is now a museum. It was run by Glagolitic priests who produced wine and honey. Now it features collections of old weapons and watches.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Korcula & Pelješac Tour (full day)”]

  • On Korčula, sword dances are performances which are must-see ones.
  • On Pelješac, near Ston, the Ston Walls are notable, as the second in length walls in Europe.
  • Again in Ston, the old salt planes rank among the oldest worldwide.

The Korčula island, off the Dalmatian coast, has known ancient times, because the rumour goes it was founded by a Trojan hero. According to a stone inscription, which is the oldest such inscription in Croatia, a colony was founded by Greeks there in the 3rd century BC. Then, in Roman times, Korčula was included in the Dalmatia province. In the area, stone masonry thrived, with its peak during the Venetian Republic.

The Pelješac strait is the separating area between Korčula and the Pelješac peninsula. There, records found from ancient Greek and Roman times testify to ancient history. In the 14th century, the fortifications, now widely known, called the Walls of Ston, were erected. [/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Konavle – EMPTY”]

  • Take the ferry to Dubrovnik, for a sea experience.
  • Enjoy a voyage on one of the luxury ships in Cavtat.
  • The promenade and the old town must be seen for full impressions of Cavtat.

Easily reached from Dubrovnik, the Konavle municipality has Cavtat as its centre. That is one of the country’s richest counties, lying between the mountain Sniježnica and the Adriatic Sea. The mountain peak rises to 1,234 metres. Cavtat, the principal town, lies by the coast. Founded by ancient Greeks, which is why its name means “old town”, destroyed by Avars, later Cavtat was rebuilt. In Cavtat cemetery, a mausoleum of the local Račić family stands, decorated with sculptures. A multitude of hotels, privately owned accommodation, plus shops and eateries dotting the coast, provide great conditions for tourists. On the coast, only one more settlement, Molunat village, lies.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”KRKA national park “]

  • Visit the waterfalls, to admire their beauty and the abundant lavender there.
  • Look for bats, because 18 bat species almost extinct elsewhere dwell there.
  • The river mouth is pristine and unpolluted, abounding in shellfish and fish.

Being a national park since 1985, Krka bears the name of the river whose course it lies by. The park was established to protect the river itself. In it, the Krka Waterfalls are a prime spot to visit, with the highest density of lavender per square km in the whole Europe. Because of the lavender, bees and wasps are in multitudes. Reeds abound by the river, and amphibians make their homes there.

Footpaths are convenient for exploring the park, and located there also are a museum and restaurants. Near Krka Park, several archeological sites mark where Roman fortresses once rose,

[accordion-item title=”Rijeka”]

  • Come for the Carnival held before Lent, the largest carnival for Croatia.
  • The Trsat Castle is a 13th century fortress with a view on the river valley.
  • Stadiom Kantrida, a football stadium, fascinates not only football fans, with its location between a former quarry, cliffs, and the Adriotic coast.

On Rijeka Bay, which is linked to Kvarner Bay, lies Rijeka, the main port of Croatia. Being founded by Celts, it was later part of the Dalmatia Roman province. When Croats settled in the 7th century, they gave it the name, Rika svetoga Vida, meaning “St Vit’s River”. Thus the name Rijeka was born. Passing through diverse periods of foreign rule, in the 16th century and afterwards the city had its baroque buildings erected.

Since 1982, the Carnival has been the main event. In the run up, many events are organized, and during it, the Charity Ball is an important event.


What to do:

[accordion-item title=”wine tourism”]

  • Sample Hvar wines, exported to many countries, especially the Plavac Mali wine.
  • On Hvar, Svirce will offer organic wines.
  • Reach Dingač, through a fascinating tunnel, narrow and passing under a hill, to arrive at the vineyards and the Matuško winery.

The climate auspicious for vineyards makes it easy to grow grapes and offer unique wines tourists can sample on a wine tour. Vineyard tours, competitions in grape harvesting, and accompanying meals complement the charm of the country.

Dalmatia is one of the areas for wine tasting. On Hvar island, wine tasting is a pleasure, along with sampling fish and seafood. On Pelješac peninsula, near Dubrovnik, red wines are prime products, delicious in tranquil settings and accompanied by great food; the most famed wine regions there are Dingač and Postup. The most renowned wine on the peninsula is Plavac Mali. Slavonia, in the east, is one more area with great wineries.


[accordion-item title=”Island hopping from Dubrovnik from Split”]

  • On Korčula, visit Marco Polo’s birthplace, and, too, the St Marco Cathedral.
  • From Hvar, a taxi boat can take you to the Pakleni Islands, lying close by.
  • Hvar’s city walls date from the 7th century.

Island hopping, by ferry, to explore Croatia means you will acquaint yourself with the charming Dalmatian coast, while you visit several islands. The islands are Korčula, Hvar, and starting from Dubrovnik and ending in Split, you will immerse in the atmosphere of these notable cities. Start with the UNESCO listed old town in Dubrovnik, and continue with Korčula and Hvar. The former is famed for Marco Polo’s birthplace and the museum, but wine tasting is equally popular. On Hvar, 2 hours away from Korčula by ferry, you will admire the Franciscan monastery, the Hvar city’s historical theatre. Finish the tour at Split, where the Diocletian Palace, UNESCO listed, is a must see,


[accordion-item title=”Snorkeling and Diving “]

  • Croatia boasts coasts and sea water expanse to welcome snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.
  • The Adriatic marine life, with octopuses, seahorses etc., is worth watching.
  • Pula, Dubrovnik, Vela Luka, and other spots welcome with water temperature of up to 24 degrees in summer.

In Pula, you can snorkel and explore caves and the underwater part around the Fratarski island. Dubrovnik is a great hub for diving, watching underwater creatures, and taking shorter or longer dives, according to your wish. Scuba diver novices in Pula get special lessons. For diving and snorkeling, the period May to November is the most auspicious. Taking gloves and a hood is a must, because of the rivers emptying into the sea, which makes the water colder.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Yachting”]

  • For supreme yachting, go to Split, Dubrovnik, or Zadar, enjoy the sea and the beautiful marine landscapes.
  • The Dalmatian islands are favorites with numerous yachting enthusiasts.
  • The exciting yachts, sailing boats, and motor sailers made of local wood, will sail smoothly along the Adriatic.

The natural richness of features, with rocks and cliffs, the balmy clime, and the azure waters will blend in the best backdrop for your yachting experiences. The 250 miles of coast are dotted hy over 1,000 islands, so visit them on board a yacht and delight in their pristine nature. Many of them have welcoming bays and have met visitors since the Napoleonic Wars.[/accordion-item]

Your Tour in Croatia Takes One Step to Organize!

Add Croatia to your tour by answering the questions in our questionnaire. Also, if you have a clear plan in your head, send it directly to [email]. The team at Balkan Tales then will send you your individualized itinerary.

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