Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, bordering Slovenia in the west, Hungary in the north, Serbia in the east and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the south; the country also has a long maritime border with Italy in the Adriatic Sea. These borders total 2,028 km altogether. Croatia has an unusual shape (similar to a croissant) that is unlike any other country in the world, which comes as a result of five centuries of expansion by the Ottoman (Turkish) empire towards Central Europe (although Croatia was never conquered by the Turks).
Croatia covers a land area of 56,691 square kilometers and has a population of about 4.29 million people (2011 census). Almost 90% of the population is Croat (the majority of whom are Roman Catholics), but there are also Serbian, Bosnian, Hungarian and Italian minorities. The main population centres are Zagreb, the capital (with a population of just under 800,000), Osijek in the northeast (population: 107,000), and the ports of Rijeka (population: 128,000) on the northern part of the coastline, and Split (population: 178,000) towards the south. Other well-known towns include Dubrovnik, Zadar, Šibenik, Makarska, Poreč, Rovinj and Opatija.
The official language is Croatian, which is written in the Latin script. Croatia has an amazing 5,835km of coastline, 4,057km of which belongs to islands, cliffs and reefs. There are 1,185 islands in the Adriatic, but only about 50 are populated. The largest island is Krk (near Rijeka) which has a land area of 462 square km, while the country’s other well-known islands include Hvar, Brač, Korčula and Pag.
The climate is Mediterranean along the Adriatic coast, which means warm dry summers and mild winters, with 2,600 hours of yearly sunlight on average; it is one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe! The interior of the country has a continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters.
Welcome to Croatia!
DAY 1 - Zagreb
Arrival at Zagreb Airport and meeting with a tour leader. Entering coach and transfer to City of Zagreb. Accommodation in the hotel. Leisure time. Sightseeing of Zagreb with local guide: Panoramic coach ride through downtown. Walking tour: The Cathedral, Jelačić Square, Manduševac, Tkalčićeva Street. Visiting Upper Town with funicular and sightseeing: St. Mark's Square and St. Mark's church, Croatian Parliament, Government's Palace, Katarina Square, Jesuit Square and Lotrščak Tower... Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 2 - Zagreb - Hrvatsko Zagorje - Opatija
Breakfast in the hotel. Drive toward region Hrvatsko Zagorje. Visiting Staro Selo (The Old Village) Museum in Kumrovec with local guide - the biggest open-space in situ ethnographic museum in the Republic of Croatia, including 30 or so traditional housing and farm facilities from the late 19th and early 20th century. At the entrance to the Museum stands the farm of the Broz family, which includes the birth house of Josip Broz Tito and historic and ethnographic exhibits. In the village the group will attend presentation of manufacture of traditional wooden toys – listed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Lunch and vine tasting in one of traditional restaurants of Hrvatsko Zagorje. Coach drive toward Adriatic Sea, passing near City of Karlovac, over mountain region of Gorski Kotar, and near City of Rijeka, arriving to Opatija. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Evening walk around town of Opatija, oldest tourist destination in Croatia. Overnight.
DAY 3 - Opatija - Plitvice Lakes National Park - Seget Donji
Breakfast. Coach drive toward Plitvice Lakes National Park – the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia. The lake system is comprised of 16 named and several smaller unnamed lakes, cascading one into the next. Sightseeing of the park with tour guide: lakes, waterfalls, cascades... Lunch in the restaurant within the park. Coach drive toward Dalmatia. Arrival to Seget Donji on the Dalmatian coast and accommodation in hotel Medena. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 4 - Trogir - Split - Klis
Breakfast. Boat ride from hotel Medena to City of Trogir and meeting with the local tourist guide. Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity. The orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period and it was embellished by successive rulers with many fine public and domestic buildings and fortifications. In Trogir, entire historic old town is a defined as an UNESCO site and sightseeing will include a visit to St. Lawrence’s Cathedral, one of the best-preserved structures of the Romanesque art on the Adriatic coast. Sightseeing will also include Camerlengo fortress, City Hall, City Loggia and St. Lawrence square. Coach ride to City of Split, the largest city on Croatian part of Adriatic. Visit to Split will offer a unique opportunity to learn what lead to construction of Diocletian’s Palace. This place is one of the most important roman palaces in the world because of its historical significance. A tour around Diocletian’s Palace and medieval part of Split with local tourist guide. Diocletian’s Palace is part of UNESCO protection as a world heritage site. During tour the group will enter St. Domnius Cathedral and Temple of Jupiter (Baptistery of the Cathedral) and visiting other main highlights of Split such as: Peristil, Vestibul, Central substructures of Diocletian’s Palace, Golden Gate, Cardo, Decumanus, Pjaca Square, Renaissance clock tower, Fruit Square, Venetian castle are other points of interest. Lunch in on of restaurants in Split. Coach ride to Town of Klis and sightseeing of Klis Fortress with tour guide. Visiting Stella Croatica – an estate for producing one-of-a-kind delicacies and natural cosmetics inspired by tradition. Return to hotel Medena. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 5 - Šibenik - Etnoland Dalmati - Zadar
reakfast. Coach drive to City of Šibenik. Sightseeing with a local tourist guide: City centre, City Hall, St. Jacob's Cathedral - the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in Croatia, listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. Leaving Šibenik and coach ride to nearby village Pakovo Selo. Visiting traditional estate Etnoland Dalmati where group will have lunch, vine tasting and a tour around ethnographic collection. Coach drive to City of Zadar. City tour with a local tourist guide: St. Donat Church, Five Wells Square, Benedictine Convent, St. Anastasia Church, Sea Organ, Greeting the Sun... Return to Seget Donji. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 6 - Dubrovnik
Breakfast. Leaving hotel Medena and coach drive toward famous City of Dubrovnik. Stopping by in village Komarna in Terra Madre Winery. Vine tasting and degustation, continuing drive to Dubrovnik. Lunch in one of restaurants. Sightseeing of the city with local tourist guide: The Pile Gate, Onofrio's Fountain, Stradun Street, Rector's Palace, Franciscan Monastery... A tour around the magnificent Dubrovnik City Walls. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 7 - Dubrovnik - Zagreb
Breakfast. Cable car ride to the Srđ Fortress with a breath taking panoramic view on Dubrovnik Old Town and surrounding islands and sea. Coach drive toward City of Zagreb. Stopping by for a lunch in one of restaurants along the way. Arriving to Zagreb. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight.
DAY 8 - Zagreb - Zagreb Airport
Breakfast. Leisure time in the centre of Zagreb. Lunch in a restaurant. Coach transfer to Zagreb Airport. End of service.