The Best of Croatia with John and Judy Stickney

The Best of Croatia with John and Judy Stickney - September 2021

Croatia is “Full” – Full of World Heritage, Full of History, Full of Spectacular Adriatic Islands and much, much more.

Late this summer join John and Judy Stickney exploring, in depth, Croatia: from Zagreb to Dubrovnik and back. This specially tailored tour explores her treasures in a leisurely paced journey of discovery. The Best of Croatia awaits and invites you to delve into her history, culture and the beauty of one of Europe’s most enchanting destinations.

With thanks to the Croatian National Tourism Office: “Don’t fill your life with days, fill your days with life!”


Itinerary

The Best of Croatia with John and Judy Stickney - September 2021

September 12 Zagreb Welcome to Croatia!
Our first stop is Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Zagreb is the largest city in the country and the one with the best position. The city is in the heart of the country and makes it an excellent starting point for exploring Croatia. Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to our hotel.
Overnight: Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre

September 13 Zagreb (City Tour) (B, D)
After breakfast join our Local Expert to explore the capital of Croatia. We start our city tour from squares of the Lower Town, Donji Grad, see the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square and continue to Ban Josip Jelacic Square enroute to the cathedral. Board the city's funicular to the medieval Upper Town, Gornji Grad. View the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church, the Lotrščak Tower and the Mirogoj Cemetery The afternoon is at leisure. Relax and enjoy our hotel's amenities.

Tonight we join our tour director for a Welcome Dinner and an opportunity to meet our fellow travelers over a pleasant evening with wine.
Overnight: Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre

September 14 Zagreb – Motovun – Pula (B)
This morning we continue our journey to Istria, the largest peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. The region of Istria is also known as the “Croatian Italy”. Make a stop in Motovun, a small medieval town located on a hill and later continue to Pula.

The city of Pula is best known for the Arena Pula, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. Here we visit the permanent exhibition inside the Arena (Optional if any activities on that day, attend a concert or a show here because the atmosphere of the place is incredible).
Overnight: Hotel Park Plaza Histria Pula

September 15 Pula – Rovinj – Opatija (B, D)
After breakfast we travel to the city of Rovinj, one of the most beautiful on the Adriatic. Rovinj is a popular tourist destination and an active fishing port. This charming and compact city can be easily walked, and we will notice the Venetian impact that reflects in the architecture.

Rovinj Old Town – Picturesque Old Town is an ideal starting point when visiting Rovinj. The city core is situated on a small peninsula filled with cobbled streets and colorful buildings. In 1963, the town was declared a national monument.

Church of Saint Euphemia – In the middle of the Old Town rises a recognizable bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia that dominates the peninsula. After visiting Rovinj, we continue to the city of Opatija. In the past, when Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Opatija had been the holiday destination of the nobility and Austrian royalty. Therefore, the city has preserved, to this day, a unique architecture, lovely charm, and luxurious parks.
Overnight: Remisens Premium Heritage Hotel Imperial

September 16 Opatija – Plitvice Lakes – Zadar (B)
Breakfast and start our journey to the south of Croatia. We will stop at the most beautiful place in the country and visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The Park is a place of unique natural beauty and was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 16 larger lakes and several smaller ones. The lakes are all interconnected like a ladder and are cascading one into another over several beautiful waterfalls.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park covers the area of around 300 km2 and is home to more than 250 animal and 1,300 plant species. Following our visit here we continue to Zadar, in Dalmatia.
Overnight: Hotel Niko

September 17 Zadar – Trogir - Split (B, D Show)
After breakfast we start our city tour of Zadar, one of the main cities on the coast. Built on Roman urban principles, where there are several major longitudinal streets traversed by a greater number of latitudinal streets, gives the city a rectangular shape. The old town is a magical trove of archaeological treasures and monuments to the ancient, medieval and Renaissance periods.

Zadar is rich with heritage: the church of sv. Donat [St. Donatus], the Roman Forum near the main square, Kalelarga – the longest and widest street, the Cathedral of sv. Stošije [St. Anastasia], its exceptional treasures and many other monuments of cultural and historical heritage town gate, Arsenal, churches.

Another symbol of the city is the church of St. Donatus from the 9th century built on the remains of the ancient Roman Forum. Drive toward the city of Split first making a stop in Trogir. The beautiful town of Trogir is one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. The historical center of the town is situated on a small island. The town is famous for Venetian Gothic architecture, with several churches and many beautiful palaces.

After exploring the city of Trogir, we continue to Split. Split is the second largest city in Croatia, and offers beautiful architecture, some of the best beaches and a rich and vibrant nightlife. This evening enjoy dinner with a live folk music show.
Overnight: Hotel Prima Luce

September 18 Split – Hvar (Catamaran) (B)
After breakfast, take a catamaran boat. The port of Split is located close to the Riva, next to the Diocletian’s Palace. The easiest way is to go on foot, because cars are not allowed in this area. Get the ferry and enjoy the ferry trip to Hvar Island for app 2 hours.

Arrive in Hvar and start the City tour as you explore the hidden coves, secluded beaches, old monasteries.
Overnight: Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort

September 19 Hvar (Boat Ride to the Pakleni Islands) (B, D)
After breakfast we drive to seaside Stari Grad, known for being one of Europe’s oldest towns and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit the local museum with its impressive collection of archeological finds dating back to Greek antiquity, optional lunch fresh seafood at a local restaurant. We then transfer back to Hvar town. 5:00 pm:

Afternoon Private Sunset Boat Tour from Hvar - Pakleni Islands. This tour will amaze us with the orange sunset on the horizon from the boat! During the 2 hour tour, we can swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic and relax on board while our local skipper takes us to the picturesque Pakleni Islands.

At the Golden Hour, we head towards the horizon to find the best spot to watch the amazing magical glow that will certainly be one of your favorite memories from your holiday in Hvar.
Overnight: Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort

September 20 Hvar - The Trail Of Marco Polo To Korčula (B)
Cruise back to the mainland and continue our journey to the island of Korčula, known for its grace, history and rich culture. The perfect place for relaxing, the island is filled with quiet coves and small beaches that dot the south coastline. This evening, delight in Croatian fare at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Hotel Liburna

September 21 Captivating Korčula (B)
This morning, join a knowledgeable Local Expert for a walking tour of the Old Town. Marvel at spectacular views of the mainland as we stroll toward the main square of Korčula where the Cathedral of St. Marc dominates the ancient skyline. Hear about local legends and history from our Local Expert, stopping by the Town Museum, the Bishop’s Palace with its treasury collection and the Town Hall.

Visit the ruins of the house where according to local legend Marco Polo was born. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the narrow streets, beautiful churches, and magnificent palaces of this charming medieval town.
Overnight: Hotel Liburna

September 22 Kercula – Dubrovnik (Catamaran) (B)
Breakfast and continue to Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. Dubrovnik is one of the most visited cities in Croatia, internationally known as the King’s Landing due to the famous “Game of Thrones” series. To get to Dubrovnik you need to take a catamaran boat. The city is in the very south of Dalmatia. The old town walls date back to the 16th century and are among the best preserved in the world. The entrance to the walled city is free and the best way to visit it is to get lost in its streets. There are two main gates to the city: Pile and Ploče. Entering the Pile gate, we will find ourselves at the beginning of Stradun, the city’s main street. There, we can also see the Franciscan Church with the bell tower and the Monastery.
Overnight: Valamar Argosy Hotel

September 23 Dubrovnik - Optional Montenegro Experience (B, AM Tea)
Spend the day at your leisure or enjoy an optional visit to Montenegro, travelling along the coast to the pretty port town of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A photographer’s dream - capture one of the most beautiful parts of the bay and learn about some of the compelling history of this area.

Return to Dubrovnik and enjoy an evening at leisure. Perhaps start at a trendy wine bar, followed by dinner at a romantic sidewalk café.
Overnight: Valamar Argosy Hotel

September 24 Dubrovnik - Tucepi – Makarska – Split (B)
After breakfast drive to little town of Tucepi, a small tourist destination, inhabited from Roman times. According to a preserved old Illyrian document in the Albanian language, the word Tucepi means “village by the spring”. Visit the Church of St. George which was raised in 1311 and has now been preserved as a one-nave Romanesque and Gothic building with a semicircular apse and interior painted crosses.

Another interesting church which we can visit is the Church of St John which was built in 1703 as a nave building with all the features of the Dalmatian provincial baroque. We then continue to the town of Makarska town and enjoy a city tour including a visit to the Franciscan monastery which recently celebrated its 500th anniversary. Drive to Split.
Overnight: Hotel Prima Luce

September 25 Split – Zagreb via Train (B, D)
After breakfast drive to the Split train station for our direct departure at 08:35 – arrival in Zagreb 14:54 – on arrival a short walk to our overnight hotel. The balance of the afternoon is open for shopping or sightseeing. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant
Overnight: Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre

September 26 Zagreb Home (B)
After breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Zagreb airport.


Cost

Tour Price:
  • Complete Tour with Air:
    Canadian $6,425 per person share twin
  • Land ONLY Tour Price:
    Canadian $5,200 per person share twin
  • Single Room Surcharge:
    Canadian $1,450
  • Deposit Required to Secure Your Booking:
    Canadian $1,500 per person DUE June 1, 2021

Insurance
We recommend adequate travel insurance and will provide details of insurance suggestions approximately 4 months prior to tour departure. See special notes on COVID below.

Passport
A valid Canadian passport is required to travel to Croatia. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to return home. We strongly recommend a minimum of 6 months validity to avoid any possible issues.


Tour Includes:

  • Return air as noted OR land only
  • Tour escorts John and Judy Stickney
  • Local language capable Tour Manager
  • Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach and driver throughout the tour / WiFi equipped
  • Road taxes, parking fees and special bus permits to enter the cities
  • Accommodation in centrally located First Class Hotels (4****) in twin / double rooms with taxes
  • Overnights and breakfast (B) daily
  • Dinners (D): Welcome dinner with wine, Farewell Dinner, 2 dinners in local hotels and 1 night dinner folk music show
  • Visits with English-speaking local guides as noted in the itinerary
  • Entrances and excursions as listed in the itinerary including national parks
  • Boat trips / catamaran Split to Hvar and Korcula to Dubrovnik
  • Rail travel from Split to Zagreb

Special Notes:
COVID:
We realize the issues and uncertainty surrounding COVID and travel and have arranged specific special terms with our suppliers. As such, we do not require a deposit until June 1, 2021 and have limited cancellation penalties through to 31-days prior to departure. Optional COVID covered travel insurance will be provided for your consideration 4 months prior to departure.

A go / no-go final decision based on all available information at the time will be made approximately 3 months prior to departure. SHOULD WE CANCEL THE TOUR for the safety of our clients, full refunds of any funds received will be made to all travelers.

Excluded From the Price:

  • Drinks and not mentioned meals
  • Gratuities for driver, tour manager and step-on guides

Cancellation Penalties

  • From date of Booking to 91 Days Prior: No Penalty
  • From 90-Days to 46-Days Prior: $200 per person
  • From 45-Days to 31-Days Prior: $500 per person
  • From 30-Days to Date of Departure: 100% Non-refundable

If we can find a replacement from wait-lists or other requests received for the tour between date of first deposit June 1 and 31-days prior to date of departure, a flat $50.00 p.p. administration charge will be accessed. Within 31-days prior, we regret that all payments become non-refundable with or without a replacement. We cannot guarantee a replacement for any cancelled passenger regardless of the date the cancellation is received in our office.

Flights

Toronto September 11
Paris
Air France 351
Depart: 18:35
Arrive: 08:00
Paris September 12
Zagreb
Air France 1560
Depart: 10:05
Arrive: 12:00
Zagreb September 26
Paris
Air France 1581
Depart: 12:50
Arrive: 14:55
Paris September 26
Toronto
Air France 386
Depart: 16:35
Arrive: 18:55

First-Class Accommodations

Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre
Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre
Zagreb

Near the center of Croatia's capital, our hotel embraces Zagreb's mix of history and modern style. Our complimentary Canopy Bikes are ideal for cruising the cobblestone streets of the Upper Town, home to the Cathedral of Zagreb. Perks include a local keepsake on arrival and access to our 24-hour fitness center.

Hotel Park Plaza Histria Pula
Hotel Park Plaza Histria Pula
Pula

Perfectly located on the Punta Verudela peninsula overlooking the sea, guests can view Pula’s fascinating Roman remains including one of Europe’s best preserved Amphitheatres. The hotel’s location on the beautiful south coast of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula offers breathtaking views across the Adriatic Sea, and the historic city of Pula is only minutes from the resort.

Remisens Premium Heritage Hotel Imperial
Remisens Premium Heritage Hotel Imperial
Opatiia

The Heritage Hotel Imperial (4*) in Opatija is a historical building constructed in 1885 that was originally named after the Belgian princess and Austrian crown princess Stephanie and was built in the Secession style. The Heritage Hotel Imperial is located on the main street in Opatija, just a few steps from the main town beach, Slatina.


Hotel Niko
Hotel Niko
Zadar

Located only steps from a pebbly beach in Puntamika, Hotel Niko is a mere 10-minute drive from Zadar's center. This family-run hotel offers an on-site a-la-carte restaurant and free internet access. The air-conditioned rooms feature satellite TV, a work desk and a mini-bar. Some rooms come with a sea view. Our restauran serves Mediterranean cuisine with fish specialties as well as vegetarian cuisine. The meals are accompanied by Croatian and international wines.

Hotel Prima Luce
Hotel Prima Luce
Split

Located within the protected area of the old town centre this ultramodern luxury hotel is located on the 3rd floor of the building, offering an unparalleled view of the entire city of Split. In the ground floor of the building there is a newly opened, world-class “Central” club; the top floor is occupied by a coffee bar; while the remaining floors still function as a department store.

Hotel Liburna
Hotel Liburna
Dubrovnik

This hotel is situated right on the sea front, in a quiet and secluded position, 10 minutes away from the old town of Korčula. It boasts an excellent view of the sea and the old town and is surrounded by Mediterranean trees and vegetation. Comfort, service, peace and a beautiful panorama will ensure an unforgettable stay in Hotel Liburna. The hotel was fully renovated in 2015. Parking is charged.


Valamar Argosy Hotel
Valamar Argosy Hotel
Split

Located near the old town of Dubrovnik and is surrounded by stunning Mediterranean scenery, the unspoilt nature of the Babin kuk peninsula, just a few minutes away from three attractive Dubrovnik beaches. We offer an elegant hotel restaurant with a terrace and sea view. Relax in the wellness zone or by the fantastic infinity pool with a view of the sea and nearby islands.

Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort
Amfora, Hvar Grand Beach Resort
Hvar

Located in a private bay, featuring an exquisite cascading pool and offering a wide range of activities suitable for couples, families and business events.


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