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We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Historic Zagreb
  • Scenic Lake Bled excursion
  • Vibrant Ljubljana
  • Visit to Postojna Cave
  • Istrian Peninsula touring
  • Visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Dramatic Dalmatian coastline
  • Diocletian’s Palace, UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Charming Opatija
  • Two-night stay on island of Hvar
  • Three-night stay in Dubrovnik
  • Dubrovnik touring, including Old City walls
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Zagreb, Croatia

Day 2: Arrive Zagreb After a connecting flight in Europe, we arrive in Zagreb and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned for today.

Day 3: Zagreb This morning’s tour of the Croatian capital by coach and on foot reveals a gracious city of culture and hospitality. We visit Mirogoj Park Cemetery, known for its arcades and sculpture; then continue through Old Town with a visit to St. Stephen’s Cathedral. After calling on the colorful Dolac open-air market, the remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner. B,D

Day 4: Zagreb/Ljubljana, Slovenia Departing by coach this morning, we arrive in the Slovenian capital in time for lunch on our own. An afternoon walking tour reveals the heart of this friendly mid-sized city of romantic bridges, ornate façades, pedestrian zones, and abundant parkland. We dine tonight at our hotel. B,D

Day 5: Ljubljana/Lake Bled This morning we visit Bled, Slovenia’s popular resort town whose namesake lake is the stuff of fairytales. Sitting in the foothills of the Julian Alps with a medieval castle perched above its emerald-green waters, Lake Bled draws visitors and locals alike. We tour the castle then enjoy a leisurely boat ride around the placid mile-wide lake. After lunch together at a lakeside restaurant, we return to Ljubljana with the remainder of the day at leisure. B,L

Day 6: Ljubljana/Postojna/Opatija, Croatia En route to Opatija today, we stop to explore Postojna Cave, the almost 13-mile-long karst cave system where an electric train takes us deeper than is possible in any other cave in the world. Then after free time here for lunch on our own, we continue on to Opatija, the seaside resort where Habsburg princes once vacationed. Upon arrival, we explore the “Opatija Riviera” on a walking tour of this modern-day resort town nestled between green forested hills and the cobalt Adriatic. We dine together tonight. B,D

Day 7: Opatija/Istrian Peninsula Today’s tour of the Istrian Peninsula reveals the multicultural roots of this alluring spit of land jutting into the Adriatic. At various times a vassal of Venice, the first Austro-Hungarian Empire, Fascist Italy, the Yugoslav Federation, and finally, Croatia, Istra, as it is known, boasts an interesting history, mild Mediterranean climate, lovely scenery, and good wines. Our first stop is in the port of Pula, where we visit the well-preserved remains of a Roman amphitheater (c. 177 CE). Next is Rovinj, a charming old Venetian port where we are free to explore on our own and perhaps enjoy lunch at an outdoor café. After returning to Opatija late this afternoon, we dine together tonight at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 8: Opatija Today we visit nearby Moscenicka, a one-time fishing village that now draws visitors to its tranquil port and beautiful pebble beaches. After lunch together, we return to Opatija where the remainder of the day is at leisure. B,L

Day 9: Opatija/Plitvice Lakes/Trogir We travel south this morning for an excursion to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famed for its string of 16 turquoise-colored lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, separated by distinctive travertine deposits, and surrounded by dense forests, Plitvice counts as one of UNESCO’s first natural sites and Croatia’s largest national park. Late afternoon we depart for Trogir, arriving early this evening in time for dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 10: Trogir/Split/Hvar This morning we travel to Split, the main city of the central Dalmatian Coast and home of 3rd-century Diocletian’s Palace. As we see on our guided tour, the palace, and eventually its ruins, formed the historic heart of picturesque Split. After time for lunch on our own, we board a ferry for the two-hour cruise to Hvar, “queen” of the Dalmatian islands. Upon arrival we travel by coach to lively Hvar Town, where we spend the next two nights. We dine tonight at a local restaurant just a short walk from our hotel. B,D

Day 11: Hvar With captivating natural beauty and a strategic Adriatic location, Hvar has prospered since antiquity. We discover some of its charms this morning, first with a walking tour of Venetian-tinged Hvar Town then with a walking tour of nearby Stari Grad, one of Croatia’s oldest cities and where we also have time to wander on our own. Then we visit a local winery for a tasting and lunch. B,L

Day 12: Hvar/Dubrovnik We continue our journey south today, leaving Hvar for the mainland then traveling along the scenic Dalmatian coast to popular and beloved Dubrovnik. After reaching our hotel late afternoon, we enjoy dinner there this evening. B,D

Day 13: Dubrovnik Today we discover the city whose ancient walls have withstood both time and tide for hundreds of years. We begin with a walking tour around the city walls, whose original ramparts and bastions date to the 12th and 13th centuries (Dubrovnik itself was founded in the 7th century). Then we continue through the Old City, paying a visit to the stately Baroque Cathedral (c. 1672). We also see the Treasury, whose gilded shelves and historic relics sit behind locked wooden doors; and the Franciscan monastery with a 14th-century pharmacy. This afternoon is free to explore on our own. B

Day 14: Dubrovnik Today is free to explore on our own. From the medieval Old Town to the contemporary city with its Mediterranean accent, Dubrovnik offers discoveries aplenty. Then we enjoy a small group highlight as we set out late this afternoon for a farewell dinner with a local family whose home overlooks Dubrovnik. Our menu features produce from their garden, homemade olive oil, and local wine. B,D

Day 15: Depart for U.S. This morning we transfer to the airport for our return flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking uphill and on uneven or cobblestone streets. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy this tour to the fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 25 meals: 13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Apr 15
Apr 18
Apr 25*
Apr 29+
Oct 3
Oct 7
Oct 10
May 6
May 9^
May 13^
Sep 23
Sep 26
May 20
May 23*°
May 27
May 30
Aug 29
Sep 2, 9
Sep 12°
Sep 16
Sep 19°
Boston, New York$4,184$4,484$4,684$4,884
Phil, Wash, DC$4,384$4,684$4,884$5,084
Atlanta, Charlotte,
Chicago, Cinc,
Cleveland, Detroit,
Miami, Minn,
Orlando, Tampa
$4,484$4,784$4,984$5,184
Dallas, Denver,
Houston, Los Ang,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,584$4,884$5,084$5,284

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $489, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,095 Apr, Oct; $1,295 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: *Hotel Cubo (Ljubljana); +Hotel Amfora (Hvar); ^Hotel Excelsior (Dubrovnik); °Hilton Imperial (Dubrovnik)

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

Post-Tour Montenegro Extension: $995 Apr, Oct; $1,195 all other dates. Single Supplement: $395 Apr, Oct; $455 all other dates.

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Esplanade Zagreb, Zagreb / Days 2-3 / Deluxe

    Dating to 1925, the art nouveau Esplanade Zagreb is one of Zagreb’s best known buildings. Hotel facilities include two restaurants, lounge, bar, casino, Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, and health club with fitness center, sauna, and massage. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana / Days 4-5 / Superior First Class

    Opened in 1905 following the Great Earthquake and now a city landmark, the Art Nouveau Grand Hotel Union stands in the heart of Ljubljana. The 194-room hotel offers three restaurants, bar, and café; fitness center with indoor swimming pool, saunas, and massage treatments; beauty salon; jeweler; gift shop; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Milenij, Opatija / Days 6-8 / Superior First Class

    The Hotel Milenij is located alongside the beautiful Park and Church of St. James on one side, and the famous Lungomare seafront promenade and Slatina beach on the other.  The 96-room luxury hotel offers a restaurant, bar, and café with outdoor terrace; indoor and outdoor swimming pool; spa; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Trogir Palace, Trogir / Day 9 / First Class

    Opened in 2008, Hotel Trogir Palace is located on the island of Čiovo a short walk from Trogir’s historic town center, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 36-room boutique hotel’s amenities include a restaurant with terrace, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Each air-conditioned guest room has a balcony with sea view, private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Adriana Hotel Hvar, Hvar / Days 10-11 / Superior First Class

    Croatia’s only hotel belonging to The Leading Small Hotels of the World, the 59-room Adriana enjoys a prime location: it sits on the main Promenade, facing the old city center and within sight of the yacht harbor and bay, the Cathedral, Arsenal, and Venetian piazza. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, Internet access, laundry service, rooftop terrace with heated indoor and outdoor seawater pools, and fitness center with spa. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone. Please note that the rooms here are less spacious than elsewhere on your tour as the hotel is in the center of the historic waterfront district.

    Grand Villa Argentina, Dubrovnik / Days 12-14 / First Class

    The Grand Villa Argentina boasts a breathtaking location, set amidst terraced, manicured gardens on the slope of a hillside overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  From the gardens, guests can enjoy the shade of the cypress and citrus trees or descend the outdoor stairway to the hotel’s private beach, which also features a saltwater pool and lounge deck.  The hotel sits just a 10-minute walk from the walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, and offers a host of other amenities including three dining and drinking options (one of which is located adjacent to the private beach); full spa with massage, sauna, steam bath, indoor swimming pool, and beauty treatments; hairdresser; fitness center; laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms are decorated in a traditional style and feature private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, coffee- and tea-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Montenegro

4 days/3 nights from $995 total price
Single Supplement: from $395

Discover this tiny nation with a stunning coastline, imposing mountains, ancient towns, and a rich culture formed from its perch straddling East and West.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip private motorcoach transportation Dubrovnik/Tivat, Montenegro
  • 3 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights in Tivat at Regent Porto Montenegro (Deluxe); 1 night in Cavtat, Croatia, at Hotel Croatia (Superior First Class)
  • 5 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Kotor town and bay, Our Lady of the Rocks church, walled city of Budva, historic capital of Cetinje, Roman mosaics of Risan
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Extension not available on Oct 10 departure

Tour Directors for this Journey
Sandra Bandera

“Sandra was incredible. She could not have done more for us, both individually and as a group. Knowing she would be the tour director for a future tour, we would sign up in a heartbeat!”
Marilyn Fraktman
Wayland, MA

Irena Demsar

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Biba Galjanic

“Biba was the most amazing tour director I have ever experienced.  She provided unique personal assistance, a genuine kindness and [was] extremely knowledgeable.”
Jane Kalfus
Fair Lawn, NJ

Vjerocka Loncaric

“This tour director is a treasure – she could not have been more superb. She took care of every detail, saw to our every comfort, was very knowledgeable …”
Dr. & Mrs. Martin Shargel
Potomac, MD

Matija Radic

“Matija went above and beyond. He was always there for us and made it seem effortless (although I know he was working hard). His knowledge of and passion for his country are obvious.”
Susan Hebblewhite
Medford, OR

Thamila Rudof

“Tam was an unbelievable tour director.  Her calmness in the face of passenger concerns, her knowledge of areas visited, her genuine warmth and thoughtfulness made her a tour de force unequaled.”
Nancy Miller
Austin, TX

Jasmina Viljevac

“Jasmina is a superb guide. She is upbeat, intelligent, and precise. She knows how to communicate travel information at appropriate moments. Her talks about the history and culture of Croatia were excellent. She is a lovely person and a great asset to Odysseys.”
Martha Salper
New York, NY

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Benjamin Curtis
A Traveller’s History of Croatia
Curtis untangles the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.

Robert D. Kaplan
Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History
Kaplan interweaves history, art and culture with his travels through Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece in this regional portrait.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Croatia
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book offers a thorough overview of Croatia’s history, traditions, cultures and sights.

Freytag & Berndt
Croatia Coast Map
A nicely shaded map covering the Dalmatian Coast from Porec to Dubrovnik at a scale of 1:200,000, perfect for the complex coastline.

Lonely Planet Publications
Lonely Planet Croatian Phrasebook
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Rick Steves
Rick Steves’ Snapshot Dubrovnik
A tour guide in your pocket, this compact guide covers where to go and what to do in flourishing Dubrovnik and surroundings.

Karen Evenden
A Taste of Croatia
This engaging memoir of a three-year sailing odyssey includes 100 enticing recipes.

Boris Danzer-Kantof
Full Steam Ahead, A Golden Age of Cruises
With photographs, archival reprints and firsthand accounts, this coffee table history of cruising focuses on the freedom and romance of cruise vessels in their golden age.

Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens (Introduction)
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
First published in 1941, this monumental work explores the complex history of Yugoslavia, its heroes, politics and culture. It’s a big, challenging book – some call it the best ever written on the Balkans.

Slavenka Drakulic
Cafe Europa, Life After Communism
These short essays capture the spirit of Croatia after the collapse of communism.

Robin Harris
Dubrovnik, A History
Harris, a journalist who writes frequently on the Balkans, presents a comprehensive portrait of the historically important maritime city-state in this nicely illustrated, scholarly and readable history of Dubrovnik.

Dennis Hupchick
Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Balkans
The changing borders and complex history of the Balkans are clearly and concisely shown through 50 double-page maps and accompanying essays, that are organized chronologically.

Andrew Wachtel
The Balkans in World History
A professor at Northwestern University, Wachtel focuses on the traditions and contributions of overlapping cultures in this lively short history.

Mark Mazower
The Balkans, A Short History
With eloquence and clarity, Mazower addresses issues of geography, nationalism and nation in this indispensable survey.

V. P., Jr. Gagnon
The Myth of Ethnic War, Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s
A professor of politics at Ithaca College and contributor to Foreign Affairs, Gagnon argues that political and economic elites encouraged violent ethnic conflict in order to retain power in this scholarly, revisionist history.

Laura Silber, Allan Little
Yugoslavia, Death of a Nation
Called “one of the finest volumes to come out of the war” by the New York Times, this book combines eyewitness reports, political commentary and documentary photographs to elucidate the origins and aftermath of the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Marcus Tanner
Croatia, A Nation Forged in War
A modern history of Croatia, from its medieval origins to Nazi occupation to the present day, written by the British correspondent who reported from the region during the events of 1993.

John J Norwich (Introduction)
Croatia
This richly illustrated, large format book offers a collection of essays that guides the reader through key elements of Croatia’s artistic and architectural legacy. Each essay is written by an expert in the field.

Slavenka Drakulic
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
These short essays capture the absurdity, struggle and day-to-day reality of being a woman in Yugoslavia under communism. Drakulic is an award-winning Croatian journalist and novelist.

Aminatta Forna
The Hired Man
When Duro Kolak encounters a strange car in his small Croatian village of Gost, he offers its British occupants assistance in setting up a summer cottage. But tensions soon develop between the village residents and the foreigners, as painful memories from the Croatian War of Independence are awakened.

Starling Lawrence
Montenegro, A Novel
Steeped in atmosphere, this compelling tale of intrigue set in turn-of-the-century Montenegro evokes the tangled politics of the region – Muslim, Turkish and British. Lawrence follows the adventures of reluctant British spy Harwell Auberon from the Adriatic to mountain villages, capturing the essences of the people and the land.

Ivo Andric, Lovette F. Edwards (Translator)
The Bridge on the Drina
These linked stories by the Nobel Prize-winning author capture the history and complexity of Christian and Muslim relations during Ottoman occupation. Hewn of stone, the bridge dividing the town of Visegrad was Andric’s inspiration.

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