Pearls of Dalmatia
Independent, democratic Croatia welcomes visitors eager to absorb its remarkable history and culture – and its beautiful and unspoiled Dalmatian coastline. As our small group travels from historic Zagreb and beautiful Lake Bled to the Habsburg resort of Opatija, the island of Hvar, and beloved Dubrovnik, we see why this cherished region lays such a claim on the hearts of all who visit.
Exclusive Departure: this departure is considered exclusive and the participants are U-M travelers, who consist of alums, family and friends.
Depart U.S. for Zagreb, Croatia
Arrive in 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.