Croatia Gourmet (Hike, bike & eat)
Visiting Croatia, you will discover a cuisine as the finest in the Mediterranean, with world-class food, cheese and wine, and hospitality of the Gods. During your time in this mouth-watering country, you’ll eat in the places Anthony ate, learn the history behind the cuisine and wine, and get your hands dirty with various cooking and sommelier workshops.
You’ll explore Croatia’s diverse culinary regions form North to South, including continental Istria’s Konobas (countryside inns/pubs for food), the area’s heavier meat and pasta dishes, truffles, risottos, cheese, prosciutto and sausages; the Pelješac region and its beautiful, complex wines, and the Dalmatian coast; known for its fish and seafood, salty cheeses and grilled meats and lamb. Try the freshest oysters you´ll ever taste, visit a fig farm, and other unique culinary treats. In between these hedonistic pleasures, you’ll enjoy cultural immersion, hiking, cycling and kayaking, to see Croatia from all angles and throughout the many parks, mountain ranges and vistas.
D1 Arrival to Zagreb / Croatian Cooking Class
Arrival to Zagreb, capital of Croatia. In the evening you’ll put on an apron and participate in a hands-on culinary course with our professional chef instructors! Today’s menu will highlight specialties from the Zagreb area, accompanied by great locally-produced Chardonnay, among other wines.
Features:Accommodation Boutique Hotel President Pantovcak . Transfer Time 3 hour. Cooking class with meal.
D2 Zagreb Gastro-Adventure / Hrvatsko Zagorje – B, L, D plus snack & wine tasting
Be prepared, because we have a big day of tasting and exploration. First you’ll have a gastro guided tour through Zagreb’s fish and food market led by one of Croatia’s most famous gastro-nomads. Next you can feast on freshly prepared snacks, right in the Dolac, one of Zagreb’s best-known farmer’s markets. In the Zagorje region, just outside Zagreb, we’ll learn how to make “štrukli” – a creamy, cheesy doughy treat, served across Hrvatsko Zagorje and Zagreb, followed by a wine tasting. We’ll work off all the wining and dining with a hike through the Zagorje hills’ beautiful valleys and vineyards. In the evening we’ll settle into our Zagorje guesthouse, and enjoy a traditional village meal. The cuisine of Zagreb is a bit more complex with Viennese, Hungarian, Turkish and Balkan influences.
Features: Accommodation Vuglec Breg Winery Estate Hiking 2 Hrs ( 4 km). Transfer Time 1 Hr. 1 Hr Hiking.
D3 Gorski Kotar: Foraging in the Countryside – B, L (green lunch), D
Croatians have been foraging their rich and fertile land for centuries. After breakfast today we will drive to the region of Gorski Kotar to meet a traditional forager who will give you hands-on foraging tips and techniques. You’ll spend a relaxing morning searching for wild edible plants like mushrooms, asparagus, capers, wild sorrel and herbs – whatever is in season. After a hearty lunch, featuring your foraged finds, you will have the chance to create a memory that will literally last a lifetime and benefit the local community. As part of the region’s reforestation project to recover areas damaged by forest fires and to increase environmental awareness, we’ll each plant a tree, a pine perhaps, and next time you visit Croatia you can check back to see how your tree is growing! The rest of the day you’ll enjoy cycling through the area’s local villages, the best way to get to know the area, much of which has been proclaimed a special geo-morphological reserve. The two hour cycle will take you from Brod na Kupi village to ‘Vrajži prolaz’ (Devil’s passage), ‘Zeleni vir’ (Green spring) and the cave ‘Muževa hiša.’ The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. In the evening our chef will demonstrate how to cook a local surprise specialty.
Features: Accommodation Agrotourism Japodi in Sunger – Forgaging & Cooking 3 hours Gorski Kotar Cuisine. Transfer Time Total about 3 hours (About 2.5 hours to Gorski Kotar; 30 to 45 mins to accommodation, 2 Hrs combined Dirt and Asphalt trails.
D4 Trekking on Učka / Off-Roading in “The New Tuscany” – BLD
After breakfast, enjoy a morning of free time either strolling the edge of Lake Bajer or doing whatever your heart desires! Mid-morning we’ll depart for Nature Park Učka, a scenic mountain range on the Istrian peninsula, where you will have beautiful views of the sea during your two-hour hike. After a well-earned lunch, the real adventure begins. On your personal ATV, you’ll explore Istria — deemed “The New Tuscany” — and its fertile plains, rolling hills topped with quaint villages, and rugged seaside. Istria’s likened to Tuscany not just for its landscape, but for its wine, and during your off-roading tour you’ll visit one of many wineries, for a special wine tasting. The conditions here are perfect for grape growing, including position, soil, climate and relief, each contributing to the charm of excellent wine. Tonight, relax and dine in a local tavern in one of the many Istrian village homesteads! Enjoy Istrian cuisine which is a mix of continental European and coastal Dalmatian cuisines. The handmade pasta dishes of Istria aref amous, and the fertile grounds and mild climate is ideal for truffles. Try the Fuži handmade pasta in a truffle or venison sauce. In addition, the cheeses,
Features: Hotel San Rocco in Brtonigla. Transfer Time 2 Hrs to Nature Park Učka. Hiking 2 Hrs (on dirt trails; can be pebbly/stony). Off-Road Tour on ATV vehicle
D5 Brtonigla, Exploring Veliki Brijun Island by bike / Opatija Cooking Class B, L, D (cooking class)
After breakfast we’ll boat across the Istrian sea (20 minutes) to visit the beautiful, an archipelago of lush islands with a surprisingly diverse range of fauna, such as ox, deer and hare. The mild climate and the favourable geographical conditions, deep retracted bays and elevated fortifications, have secured a continuum in the human activity on the island from a pre-historic age until the present day. You’ll have the option to explore the Park by bike or electric cars. Next we’ll head to Pula, on the mainland, for lunch at one of Croatia’s best restaurants, Batelina. After lunch you’ll have time to relax in, according to legend, a three-thousand year old town. Next we’ll take a drive to Opatija where you can enjoy another cooking class in the chic Le Mandrać with a well-known chef in Croatia, this time focusing on Kvarner risotto and other wonderful local dishes.
Features: Hotel Mozart Opatija. Transfer Time Total 3 hours (1.5 hours Brtonigla to Veliki Brijun (including boat); Veliki Brijun to Opatija 1.5 hours). Riding 2 to 3 hours, on a choice of asphalt trails (24 KM) or unpaved trails. Cooking Class 3 Hrs includes dinner
D6 Hiking National Park Paklenica B, L, D
After breakfast you will drive towards Zadar. En route is National Park Paklenica, in the region of Starigrad, northern Dalmatia at the southern slopes of Velebit Mountain. Velebit is the largest, though not the highest, mountain range in Croatia. Velebit begins in the northwest near Senj with the Vratnik mountain pass and ends 145 km to the southeast near the source of the Zrmanja River northwest of Knin. We will hike along the trail „Premužićeva staza „ which leads through the northern and middle parts of Velebit (about 2 hrs.) This trail ‘s total length is 50km, and was built between 1930 and 1933 to connect northern and southern Velebit. We’ll enjoy a welcome lunch upon completion of the hike, and of course a snack along the way. With a vigorous morning behind us, we’ll spend the afternoon at the Nin Saltworks Park to see how salt is produced in the traditional, natural way. We’ll also take a short visit to a fig plantation before arriving in Zadar. We’ll celebrate the day’s accomplishments with a meal in a fine restaurant.
Featurs: Hotel Bastion. Trasnsfer Time Total 3 to 4 hours (about 3 hours to Starigrad; 45 mins Starigrad to Zadar). Hiking 2 hours (Uphill, mostly dirt trails, can be pebbly/stony, a bit of asphalt trail)
D7 Zadar, Prosciutto Sampling, Maraschino and Fig Cake Feast, National Park Krka B, L, D, plus oyster and wine tastings
In the morning we’ll sightsee through Zadar, a city monument surrounded by archaeological and monumental riches of ancient and medieval times. There are many contemporary architectural achievements here as well, such as the first sea organ – a structure which plays music by way of sea waves and tubes underneath a set of large marble steps. Your walking tour will end as all should, with maraschino and fig cake tastings! Next you’ll head toward National Park Krka waterfalls, making a short break en route at the House of Dalmatian Prosciutto to enjoy brunch with prosciutto tastings, and of course, more wine. At National Park Krka we’ll traverse the area by bike, seeing the travertine waterfalls of the Krka River close up. Later we’ll drive toward the small town of Skradin on the coast, with a history of 6000 years. In Skradin you’ll experience fishing for oysters straight from the sea. Tonight’s meal will be in Skradin followed by a late in the evening transfer to Split.
Features: Hotel Villa Dobric in Split. Transfer Time Total 2.5 hours (Zadar to Krka 1.5 hours; Krka to Skradin 30 mins; Skradin to Split 1 hour). Walking 2 Hrs in the city. Riding (mix of dirt trails and Asphalt.
D8 Split Gastro Tour, Pelješac Wine and Oyster tastings, Dubrovnik B, L (cooking class), D, plus oyster and wine tastings
In case you have not enjoyed enough of the Mediterranean’s best food, today you will explore Split’s delicious side, beginning with a jaunt in the city’s abundant food market, which is a monument in and of itself. Everything that the Adriatic Sea has to offer can be found on the fish market’s white tables, from sardines to scarp to lobsters. (Fun fact: The natural sulfur smell from the springs nearby keeps away the flies.) Split Riviera cuisine is defined by tasty white fish, cheese and prosciutto. After the tour you will try cooking lunch alongside a local chef, using the market ingredients you purchased this morning. Afternoon drive towards Dubrovnik, making a short but important stop on Pelješac peninsula to sample the freshest and tastiest of oysters with some crisp, cold wine. Arrival in Dubrovnik in the late afternoon to relax before dinner. Overnight in Dubrovnik. Experience the simple and tasty Mediterranean cuisine of Dalmatia with its liberal use of olive oil, herbs and garlic is the favourite cuisine of many. Fresh fish, shellfish, molluscs and crustaceans are grilled, boiled or marinated.
Features: Hotel Villa Orsula. Transfer Time Total 4 to 5 Hrs with break in Pelješac peninsula. Cooking Class 3 Hrs.
D9 Dubrovnik, Konavle B, Snack (sandwich), D
This morning we’ll head back on the water, this time by sea kayak along the Adriatic coast, beginning beneath fort Lovrjenac in the small port called Pile. Accompanied with instructors, we’ll set off to explore the caves and beauties of Lokrum Island until we reach the hidden cave beach of Betina, where we’ll break for snorkeling and snacks. Upon our return, we’ll get acquainted with Dubrovnik from the seaside. After our kayaking excursion you will have free time, either to explore Dubrovnik’s old town by foot or to relax on any of the many beaches. This evening we will visit the small, picturesque villages of the Konavle region. Throughout the centuries the region of Konavle has managed to maintain a traditional rural style of living. The area is dotted with charming chapels, cloisters and summerhouses that once hosted the Dubrovnik´s high-class lairds. We’ll have a cooking class and dinner in the region. Before heading back to Dubrovnik, we’ll pass through an oasis of vineyards and olive groves where we´ll stop for a bit of wine tasting. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Features: Villa Orsula. Transfer Time 1.5 Hrs. Kayking 3 Hrs open Sea. Cooking Class 3 Hrs
D10 Dubrovnik, Konavle
After breakfast, transfer to the airport, complete with the kind of happiness only good food, wine and sunshine can bring.D10 Dubrovnik, Konavle
THE RATE INCLUDES
Accommodation and meals
- 9 nights´ accommodation inclusive with daily breakfast
- Single or double accommodation upon request
- Exclusive touring includes all meals, refreshments and water on the road, all activities and equipment, wine tastings, oyster tastings, cooking classes, and all admissions to venues as listed.
Equipment, logistics and personnel details
- Private transfers in a Mercedes Viano
- Bicycles and helmets/NP Krka
- Trekking sticks and head lamp if needed
- Sea kayak and paddle
- 24 hour service hotline
THE RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Tips, personal expenses, personal gear, international flights,
- All other alcoholic beverages not indicated in program, and refreshments not part of a set meal.
NOTES TO PRICING
- Prices are correct at time of publishing but may be subject to availability and any special requests at the time of booking.
- The hotels and other suppliers reserve the right to change their pricing due to availability and other unforeseen circumstances.
PRICING 10 Days/9 Nts cooking, hiking, riding off-road walking and Kayaking Tour
Individula rate in double room $5115.00 Cad (Minimum 6)