Dreamy Days in Dubrovnik
A cable car took us to the top of Srdj Hill for breathtaking views of Dubrovnik’s red-hot roofs and the perfectly preserved medieval stone defensive wall that encapsulates the Old Town below. We swam in the warm, clear blue waters of Banje Beach and shopped for authentic Dubrovnik treasures like dried lavender and fruits and local brandies in Gundulic Square’s open-air market. Buza Bar, a hidden gem outside the city walls, was a picturesque spot to watch the sun set over the Adriatic Sea. A private oyster roast on Lokrum Island is a cherished memory. A chartered boat sped us over to the island where we feasted on local specialties like fresh oysters and grilled lamb, sampled Croatian wines, soaked in the island’s salt water pools, and visited the 15th century Benedictine monastery.
History and Horticulture Collide in Hvar
The longest and sunniest Croatian island, Hvar, is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and a fertile coastal plain that nourishes diverse agriculture. Here we swam and snorkeled at Dubovica Beach and explored the Grapčeva Caves before touring St. Stephen’s Cathedral and square. Commissioned in the 16th century but not completed until the 1800’s, the Cathedral’s intermittent construction gave way to diverse architectural styles including Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance. On the southern shore of Hvar, we explored the untouched beauty of the protected nature park, Šćedro Island.
Next Stop Split
A vibrant port located between the mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Split is Croatia’s second largest city. This fascinating historic city center, with its palm-lined harbor, is brimming with culture. Cobbled streets come alive as local musicians perform and boutiques offer Split’s fine linens. Diocletian’s Palace, and the nearby medieval town of Trogir, are both designated UNESCO sites worthy of hours of exploration.
Gastronomic Adventures Await in Istria
Another highlight of our trip was truffle hunting in the Istrian Region of the Motovun Forest. Guides with hunting dogs led our trek through the dense and beautifully fern-lined forest where we discovered an abundance of premium white truffles. Lunch at Mondo Tavern granted spectacular views of the truffle forest and a three-course lunch, each featuring the truffles we gathered. Finally, we were blessed with an exclusive, private tour of Grgich Hills Estate, an award-winning winery that boasts a second location in California’s Napa Valley. Here we sampled Grgich’s delicious, crisp Chardonnay wines, which have been heralded as the King of Chardonnays. For a grand finale, we enjoyed a seven-course candle lit wine dinner overlooking the Istrian mountains.
Magical Moments for Lifetime Memories
Our family journey to Croatia was a memorable adventure that we’ll cherish forever. What makes travel so unforgettable? I believe it’s the shared experiences, the immersion in local culture and the people you meet along the way that etch themselves in your mind. Every moment of your journey is a memory in the making. It would be my honor to cultivate such moments for you and your family. Put my experience and industry relationships to work for you and let me design and deliver your next adventure. Wherever your mind wanders to, I can take you there!
Peter Vukelic worked in his family’s beverage business Try-It Distributing in Buffalo, New York, for 25 years. Through that time, travel remained a life-long passion for Peter. He joined The Travel Team in 2015, creating a unique opportunity to parlay his extensive experience into an exciting career. Contact Peter directly to learn more about Discover Coastal Croatia, (716) 862-7607 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.