26 September 2016
This tour takes in all the highlights of the spectacular Dalmatian Coast, including the cities of Dubrovnik and Split and the picturesque islands of Korcula and Hvar. It's a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of this fascinating country, as well as to enjoy some rest and relaxation in a beautiful part of the world.
You'll arrive in Dubrovnik and have your first day free to begin exploring before this evening's welcome meeting at your hotel. You might want to spend some time strolling around the charming old town, or perhaps just relax on one of Dubrovnik's gorgeous beaches.
Today you'll take a walk around the city walls which surround the town, to enjoy the views of the ocean and the white stone buildings of the old town. You'll visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, built in the 15th century by architect Onofrio della Cava, and the 13th-century Franciscan monastery with one of the world's oldest continuously functioning pharmacies. Finally, you'll take a walk up Srd hill to enjoy the spectacular views of the city and the Dalmatian coastline.
This morning you'll travel by bus and boat to the island of Korcula, believed by many to be the birthplace of Marco Polo. The town has a rich history – it was occupied in turn by the Greeks, the Romans, the Slavs and finally the Venetians – and you can see all these influences in the architecture of the stunning Old Town. You're at leisure to choose how to spend your two days here, whether you want to explore the historical landmarks, relax on the beautiful beaches or take a snorkelling, kayaking or mountain-biking day trip.
You have the chance to enjoy a charming and authentically Croatian outing today, as you make the short journey by local bus to the tiny village of Pupnat to visit a local restaurant, based on a family farm, for an al fresco meal and wine tasting. You'll have the chance to try typical local dishes such as meatloaf, or pasticada, and grilled vegetables with olive oil, served with goat and sheep cheeses and smoked ham, washed down with travarica, a grappa-like drink, with Korcula cakes for dessert.
Today you'll take a speedboat the neighbouring island of Hvar, known as the "Queen of the Dalmatian Islands". Here you can take a stroll through the town to admire the Renaissance facades or hike past dramatic limestone cliffs. If you're feeling energetic, join an optional four-hour walk through the fragrant lavender fields and olive groves, or if you'd rather relax, head to one of the island's many quiet beaches.
You're at leisure all day today, with a wide range of optional excursions to choose from. You could a short hike in the nearby Pakleni islands, or visit the island of Brac, famed for its white pebble beach and picturesque harbour villages.
This morning you'll catch a boat to Split, Croatia's second largest city, where you'll enjoy a guided tour of the imposing ruined Diocletian's Palace. Diocletian (245-313 AD) was a Roman Emperor infamous for his cruel treatment of Christians. He built this huge palace on the peninsula at Split as his retirement home. Afterwards, you'll join a local guide for a walking tour of Split. You'll see the original basements under the city, as well as the Cathedral in Diocletian's Peristyle, a large open space framed by columns and arches, with the entrance to the Emperor's old living quarters at one end. You'll also have plenty of time to explore the modern city and meet the locals, perhaps at one of the many markets.
You're at leisure for the final day of your trip. You may want to visit one of the city's museums, or the art gallery, perhaps take a hike up Marjan Hill, or browse the markets and shops for some souvenirs of your holiday before beginning your homeward journey.
Standard fr £905pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated