Cruise Croatia: Dubrovnik to Split via Zadar
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Discover the jewels that decorate the glittering crown that is the Adriatic Sea during this 15-day cruise along the Dalmatian Coast. While treasures like Hvar and Split are no secret to travellers, our small ship enables us to explore lesser-known towns and islands, stepping right off the boat onto cobblestone streets. Stroll through enchanting alleyways in Mostar, dive into unbelievably blue waters off the coast of Kornati National Park’s many islands and sustain yourself on a diet of fresh seafood and local wines along the way.
Day 1 Board in Dubrovnik
Zdravo and welcome to Croatia. Lovely Dubrovnik features the terracotta rooves, ancient cliff-built walls and crystal coasts that most people associate with Dalmatia. Your adventure begins this evening at 5 pm, when you will be welcomed aboard and introduced to your crew and fellow travellers. Enjoy a drink and get to know each other before your first dinner on the ship this evening. Later, perhaps relax with a glass of wine on the deck and take in the incredible sight of waves lapping at rugged cliffs.
Day 2 Korcula
Enjoy breakfast on board then set sail for Korcula, one of many towns that claims to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. Eat lunch on the ship and if time permits stop for your first deep sea swim en route. Once in Korcula, get acquainted with the idyllic streets during an orientation walk and then explore at your own pace. Perhaps continue your stroll through the narrow alleyways of the marvellously-preserved Old Town or run your hands over the rough-hewn walls and towers that were built to protect Korcula in the 13th and 14th century. Ask your leader for dinner recommendations this evening, and don’t forget to sample some of the famous local white wines.
Day 3 Trpani and Opuzen
Depart early for Opuzen, enjoying breakfast on board and a mid-morning swim stop in turquoise waters near the small island of Badija. Continue to Trpani, alighting and transferring to the Matusko Winery for a tour of the evergreen vineyard and a wine tasting. Return to the ship and set sail up the River Neretva, taking in the sight of the steep cliffs that rise on either side of the fjord. Arrive in Opuzen and later enjoy a barbecue on the deck of the Peregrine Dalmatia.
Day 4 Mostar
Make an early start this morning and transfer to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina by minibus. Take a guided walk through the charming town, visiting a workshop specialising in traditional coffee sets and copper wall carvings. Enjoy some free time to explore the town, snap some photos of the iconic, arched bridge of Stari Most. Return to Opuzen in the early afternoon and hop in a small wooden boat for a leisurely cruise through the surrounding wetlands, enjoying some local snacks and music while you glide through the water. Alight at a beautiful local restaurant that looks over the water, and savour the rich flavours of Peka lamb and other local dishes. Spend the evening in Opuzen as you wish. Perhaps venture out to one of the friendly bars around the town square to meet the locals over a beer or two.
Day 5 Hvar
Depart for the famed shores of Hvar, arriving at the town of Jelsa and taking a private transfer to a local honey farm. Taste some of this sweet specialty and then take a stroll through the vibrant purple lavender fields. Continue to Hvar Town and explore this small but glamorous city on a leader-guided walk. Spend the evening in Stari Grad to experience a quieter side of Hvar. Stari Grad is one of the oldest in towns in Europe and it still has much of its ancient charm, without the crowds found on other parts of Hvar.
Day 6 Split
Spend the morning at sea, arriving in Split in the early afternoon. Get your bearings on a guided walk through the city, then the afternoon is yours to explore the beautiful streets and squares of the Old Town. The Octagonal Cathedral of St Domnius, the remarkable ruins of Diocletian’s Palace and the ancient Temple of Jupiter are all worthy of a closer look. There are plenty of places to eat in Split, but if you find the choices overwhelming consider taking an optional Urban Adventures Dalmatian Wine and Dine tour. Find more details at urbanadventures.com/Split-tour-dalmatian-wine-and-dine.
Day 7 Krka National Park
After a leisurely breakfast on board, enjoy some more free time to discover the delights of Split. After lunch, take a private bus transfer to Krka National Park. Board a small boat and cruise along the river the park rests along, taking in the sight of an area renowned for its beauty. Visit some of the gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfalls and stop for a refreshing swim or two along the way. Return by bus to Split, in time for a captain’s dinner for your evening repast.
Day 8 Split
Your day is as clear as the waters of the Adriatic Sea, so spend your time as you wish in gorgeous Split. Maybe take a relaxing stroll along the palm-lined Riva Harbour. This evening, welcome some new travellers to your group at a dinner on board the Peregrine Dalmatia.
Day 9 Trogir and Primosten
Set sail early for Trogir and enjoy breakfast en route. Start exploring upon arrival with a leader-led orientation walk. Stop at the Cathedral of St Lawrence and take in the fine detail on one of Croatia’s most famous pieces of architecture. Continue to the imposing 15th-century Kamerlengo Fortress. Return to the ship for lunch and set sail for Primosten where your evening is at leisure. Perhaps enjoy dinner at one of the many seafront cafes, taking in view and watching the sunset.
Day 10 Kornati National Park
Sail to Kornati National Park, a nautical wonderland made up of 89 islands. Explore the myriad small islands that make up this gorgeous area, stopping at secluded bays to swim. If you wish there will be an opportunity to discover the area by kayak. Alternatively, sit back and relax with a beer in hand and take in the endless blue-green vistas. Spend the evening moored in the bay of Telascica, where you can gaze upon the dramatic cliffs and undulating green hills.
Day 11 Zadar
Cruise to Zadar, stopping en route at a deserted cove for a dip and beach barbecue. Discover the history and culture of Zadar on a a walking tour with a local guide, which includes admission to St Donatus Church. This imposing 9th-century building is still used for music performances. In the afternoon you’ll head to the Riva and listen to the lilting sounds generated by the Sea Organ, which is both a profound piece of art and a feat of engineering. As the sun sets, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine at nearby Greeting to the Sun, a monument consisting of 300 multi-layered glass plates that produces a stunning show of light after dark. It works in tandem with the Sea Organ – one communicates with light, the other with sound.
Day 12 Plitivice Lakes National Park
Transfer by coach to Plitvice National Park, where a leisurely hike with your leader is a lovely way to take in all the natural beauty. While you can’t swim in these lakes, the vistas are stunning. Waterfalls rush and butterflies flit through the lush green forest, providing many a photo opportunity. Return to Zadar in the afternoon and spend the rest of your day as you like.
Day 13 Sibenik
Today is all about gastronomical indulgence. Sail to Sibenik, take a short orientation walk with your leader and transfer to a nearby village for a traditional Dalmatian lunch in an agriturismo (a farm cum restaurant). This particular spot is famous for its smoked ham, known in the to the locals as prsut. After your meal, take a tour of the farm and stop in at one of Croatia’s finest wineries for a tasting. Please note that the order of these activities may vary. Return to Sibenik in the early evening and spend the rest of the night as you wish. If you purchased some wine earlier perhaps enjoy a glass on the deck of the ship and enjoy the gentle sea breeze.
Day 14 Split
After breakfast on board you’ll make a stop at Ciovo Island for a swim (if time allows) before sailing back to Split. Croatia’s second largest city is abuzz with life and Dalmatian culture. Take an optional guided walking tour on arrival. Then, perhaps visit any attractions you may have missed last time. As night falls, sit down to a captain’s dinner on the ship and raise your glass to the adventure that has been.
Day 15 Disembark in Split
Enjoy a final breakfast at 8 am. Your trip comes to an end as you disembark at 10 am.