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Adriatic Luxury Journeys

A Guide to Planning a Heritage Journey in Croatia

 

 

Have you ever wondered what life is like in the land of your roots? What the fishermen’s life looked like in the tiny town of Komiza on the island of Vis where your grandfather was from?  Have you ever tasted a slice of soparnik made by your great-grandmother in a tiny village beneath Mosor?  Have you ever heard of Turoplje in Croatia where your great aunt used to make zlevanka in a typical wooden house called cardak?  How did a world you have never been to impact the person you are today?

What better way to experience self-discovery than through a heritage tour, traveling to a place of your cultural identity?  Our clients who travel on heritage tours to Croatia don’t just go to discover a place, they travel to discover themselves.  We design such private ancestral tours so you can immerse yourself in the culture and heritage of your ancestral homeland which is tied directly to your own roots and history and culture in Croatia. One of the best ways to understand history, including your family history, is to go to a place where you can relive it. Each heritage itinerary handcrafted at Adriatic Luxury Journeys is to bring travelers into close personal contact with Croatia’s people and culture. Your local guides know the fishermen, the farmers, the everyday folk who live modern lives that strongly echo tradition and history. You’ll gain eye-opening insights into the events that incited emigration.

Some of our clients recently took such a trip through the heart and soul of Croatia.  One of them was discovering his roots in a small town near Split. He and his wife decided to have their best friends join them on this experiential heritage journey. They had the opportunity to visit the land of his roots near Split where his grandmother was from but at the same time, they had a taste of the local life throughout Croatia.  Unfortunately, this gentleman had no living family there anymore, so we handcrafted a unique private experience that made him and all of his travel companions feel right at home in Croatia.

We hope you’ll enjoy these incredible photos of their journey of a lifetime!

 

This picture says it all…we welcomed them as royalty 🙂  A warm and friendly greeting upon arrival in Zagreb by our driver/guide.

 

Waking up in Zagreb, and taking a morning walk in Zrinjevac park, one of the greenest and nicest parks in the center of Zagreb.

 

Exploring the charming streets and historical sights in the beautiful upper town..They enjoyed touring the city center, with its beautiful Lower Town filled with Austro-Hungarian architecture, medieval Kaptol and Upper Town…

 

Friends are easy to be found in this friendly city…

 

When in Zagreb, do what locals do…shop for the best homemade cheese sold by local kumice at the famous Dolac open air market…

 

But before their final destination, their driver/guide took them to Plešivica, an important wine route of Zagreb region, and home of Portugizec, a light red with a young wine character. The steep slopes of the foothills covered with vineyards will captivate you. And as you pass by small picturesque villages, you will wonder if the time has stood still here. And what better way to learn all about local life, traditions, and winemaking than by visiting some of the best local producers in their attractive cellars. And that is the kind of wine tasting experiences that we at Adriatic Luxury Journeys create for our clients. Here you will taste the local specialties that pair well with their Portugizec, Sauvignon, Chardonnay & Zeleni Silvanac.

In a typical wine klet…Cheers to the long friendship and the start of a great vacation in Croatia!

 

These awesome mushrooms were just picked for their lunch to be prepared at a local klet…

 

And finally the sea breeze in Zadar. Just listening to the music of the Sea Organ…

 

They spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying Zadar at their own pace. They also enjoy the evening dining at one of Zadar’s local konoba while looking out to the Riva, the seaside promenade on the western side, where families, lovers and locals walk, gossip, and assemble for Zadar’s sunsets. In a city with the most beautiful sunset, in a maritime archipelago facing a multitude of islands and islets, which protect the city from the strong winds, enjoy the symphony of the Sea Organ and magical urban light installation Greeting the Sun.

Good food, excellent wine, and great company!

 

From Zadar, they traveled to spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They really enjoyed walking the boardwalks to get up close to the falls and taking easy hikes along the paths around the lakes.

Taking it all in at Plitvice Lakes…

 

 

Zadar is a northern Dalmatian coast city often called the capital of Dalmatia with a rich architectural legacy and easy access from various points in Europe. There are many nearby islands and national parks to explore with stunning lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and wilderness areas. They explored Zadar’s architectural treasures which span some 2,000 years in the company of their local guide.

 

They also visited delightfully beautiful Kornati islands by private boat in the company of a local skipper/guide.

 

They continued to Split, one of the most beautiful cities on the Dalmatian coast and the highlight of their trip. They made a couple of interesting stops along the way such as Krka, one of the most fascinating national parks in Croatia.

They enjoyed an inspiring walk in the amazing nature along the wooden pathways and bridges. The views from the bridges are absolutely magical so they didn’t hesitate to snap a lot of photos! On the way to Split they stopped in a small town near Solin for marenda (lunch) at one of the local joints that offer traditional food typical for the countryside region around Split.  This is the place where locals stop for homemade lunch, and it is definitely off the tourist map. We wanted them to experience how locals do marenda in Split, where and what they eat.  The kind of experience that only true local experts can deliver. And this is what Adriatic Luxury Journeys organizes, so you feel like one of the locals, not a tourist.

 

This day was reserved for an unforgettable experience in a small town near Split. We prepared a wonderful surprise for them that they will remember for the rest of their lives.  And what better way to feel right at home where your family roots are from than to be hosted by a warm, local family and their friends who prepared a wonderful dinner accompanied by their organic homemade wine, authentic delicacies, entertainment and so much more.  And they were blown away by the entire experience…

Ready to explore the secrets of Split…starting with a morning walk and kava in one of the secret local spots…

 

And they got a taste of homemade soparnik, the authentic local dish from the villages near Split which used to be made by his ancestors here.  He only heard of it from his father, but never up until then had a taste of it…

 

…and singing along with a local musician…

 

Zivjeli! Bonding with new friends in a “man cave”…does this get any better?

 

Now, this is as local and authentic as it can get…dining on the peka, a famous dalmatian specialty made under the iron bell.

 

The locals there end it with a game or two of balote in the backyard of their hosts…and so did they…and more than just a few…

 

And off to the next adventure…transfer to Bol on the island of Brac by a private sailboat in the company of an English-speaking skipper.  They explored the tiny fishing village of Bol and lounged on the famous “Golden Horn” one of the best and most unique beaches in Croatia. Made up of tiny pebbles, this beach juts out into the sea. And relaxed in the Mediterranean sun and warm sea.  For a more private location, we took them to a secluded cove and a stretch of beach.

Out on the open sea..in the capable hands of the local skipper.

 

And who wouldn’t smile…

 

Feeling in charge…

 

A little breeze but nice…

Eying for a private swimming spot…

 

Not even clouds can spoil this day…

 

Experiencing a different side of Hvar. In the company of an expert local guide, they biked through small villages, vineyards, lavender fields, olive groves in the inner part of the island. A traditional Dalmatian lunch was prepared from organically grown food and wines on a local farm. The local guide customized the biking route according to thier interest.

 

 

 

Ending the Hvar experience with a dinner in the beautiful setting…

 

Another day, another amazing island…Transfer to Korcula by catamaran.  Exploring Korcula town in the company of a local expert guide.

Time for a swim…

 

Then a boat excursion to Mljet, one of the most beautiful and charming islands in the Mediterranean Sea and the biggest island of the South Dalmatian archipelago. They explored the National Park with its flora and fauna richness.  Visited the St Mary small isle and the Benedictine monastery from the 12th century.

 

And an amazing shot of Korcula…

 

Next, they transferred to Ston on Peljesac Peninsula for oyster and wine tasting and another secret experience. This experience started with a panoramic tour of a beautiful wooden boat around the bay of Mali Ston to the oyster beds. They had the opportunity to taste the oysters right there on the boat with local brandy (rakija) and wine.

 

And time for another surprise in a tiny village of Broce near Stone.  They were warmly hosted by a renowned local artist couple in their summer home.  After admiring their paintings in the gallery located in Ston, they dined on mouthwatering seafood prepared by their hosts…

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words…so let’s snap it right here…

And this dinner with locals in Ston would not be completed without a homemade Makarul or Stonska torta (Stone cake)!  The hosts made this cake after we told them that they always wanted to taste this wonderful dish called cake, but made of pasta, almonds and a variety of authentic spices…And the most important fact is that Makarul is rarely to made at home from scratch these days..and it was out of this world!  As a matter of fact, our guests asked to take a piece or two with them to Dubrovnik to enjoy the following day.  All we can say is: Mission accomplished!

 

And the end is near…but before that, they need to see Dubrovnik.

Lunch in a stunning setting…after a day exploring the most amazing sights of this lovely city.

 

And this wonderful and unique journey of immersing in the Croatian way of life and discovering this gentlemen’s roots here could not have ended any other way…but with the most amazing sunset in Dubrovnik.

 

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