There are many great reasons to visit Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast: a beautiful maritime landscape, numerous picturesque old towns and cities, with the various treasures they contain, and the fascinating and convoluted history of a region that has often been at the intersection between different cultural spheres. It is this setting between cultures that has created Croatia’s wonderful cuisine, in itself a major attraction for the curious traveller.
Croatian cooking is based on the excellent produce the country provides, both from her shores and inland regions: a vast array of fish and seafoods, excellent local meats, vegetables a-plenty and a great range of fruit, pampered by the many days of sunlight that Dalmatia is famous for. But it is the way these ingredients are used that makes Croatian food so distinctive: over the centuries, Croatians have incorporated influences from all over the map into their local cuisine. Mediterranean, Adriatic and Venetian, Balkan, Slavic and Central European, Ottoman Turkish and Austrian influences have all made their contributions.
On this cruise, we will explore the food and cuisine of Dalmatia, Croatia’s most maritime region. Travelling on an elegant gulet, with ample opportunity to swim in blue Adriatic waters, to admire the scenery and to simply relax aboard, but also to marvel at some of Dalmatia’s cultural wealth, we will discover the gastronomic riches of islands and mainland in the most insightful and enjoyable fashion possible. Visiting local producers, sampling the most authentic regional dishes, the area’s finest wines, best liqueurs and most exquisite olive oils, participating in cooking classes led by experts and eating at selected konobas (a unique Dalmatian phenomenon that has evolved out of traditional wine cellars) and restaurants, you will spend a week discovering the delights of Croatian cooking – and doing so, you will gain a deep understanding of the region’s past and present.
Join us on an unforgettable experience for all the senses.
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Day 1: Our gulet is in Slano Bay about one hour from Dubrovnik airport. Welcome drinks and dinner on board.
Day 2: We cruise to the Broce in the area of Ston, on the isthmus that connects the Pelješac Peninsula with the Dalmatian Mainland. We visit the enormous historic Salt Flats of Ston, going back to the Roman era, to learn about this valued natural product. We visit a lovely former salt warehouse and then head out by boat on an inlet to enjoy a lunch of the area’s famous maritime produce, including oysters and mussels and buzara, a typical Dalmatian dish of local seafood cooked in oil and wine. We have a chance to walk around the tiny historic town of Mali Ston, and then picturesque Ston itself. Rebuilt as a planned town after an earthquake in the 1250s. Ston was heavily regulated by medieval Ragusa to guard the peninsula’s resources, especially the salt pans and the vineyards further west. Later, we set out for a quiet cove on the island off Mljet.
Day 3: Today is devoted to the western part of the Pelješac Peninsula, and especially to the Dingač region, perhaps the most famous wine terroir in Croatia, to begin our exploration of the country’s wines. The local vineyards, set on breathtakingly steep south-facing slopes, receive over 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, its intensity increased by reflection from the sea. From the Plavac Mali grape, local winemakers produce one of Croatia’s most celebrated red wines, known as Dingač: an intensely aromatic dark red dry wine of profound flavours. We visit a winery to see the vineyards and sample their produce. The day also includes another fine local lunch, and a look at the famous Postup vineyards near the town of Orebić. We re-join our gulet to spend the night off a small island near the island of Korčula.
Day 4: We begin the day by touring the serenely beautiful town of Korčula, one of the loveliest places in all of Dalmatia’s islands. Then, we visit the sleepy village of Žrnovo, where a local family makes an amazing array of organic products from exclusively local sources: olive oil, vinegar, dried fruit and fruit preserves, candied citrus peels, liqueurs and vermouth, herbal teas, capers, pickled onions and much more. We tour the property and lunch on its bountiful produce, perhaps washed down with a glass of Grk, the local white (its name betraying its supposed origin). In the afternoon, we make a crossing towards a cove on Scedro Island, with a chance to swim.
Day 5: In the morning, we disembark at the historic town of Hvar and make our way to the historic Stari Grad Plain, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where today’s farmers still grow their vines, fruit, vegetables, and grains in a system of fields set up by ancient Greek colonists 2,400 years ago. We then participate in a cooking class focused on the peka, a cooking technique known in the Balkans since prehistory, where food is placed under a hemispherical dome (nowadays made of metal) that is then buried in glowing charcoal. Having enjoyed the fruit of our labours, we head to the village of Vrboska to taste local wine (descended from the grapes introduced by the settlers of the Plain) and chocolate. Later, we reembark and head to a bay near the town of Stari Grad.
Day 6: North to the island of Brač and after a morning swim, we head for lunch and a tour of a restored traditional olive oil mill in the charming village of Škrip, with a chance to taste local cheeses, pršut (cured ham), wine, oil, and jams. In the afternoon, we ascend the summit of Vidova Gora, the tallest Mountain not just on Brač but in all of the Adriatic islands, to enjoy the splendid view over the Dalmatian coast and the islands we have been exploring during the previous days. From there, we descend to beautiful Bol, on the south coast, for a wonderful wine tasting. Later we re-join our gulet and spend the night in a beautiful bay.
Day 7: We cruise to Split, where the enormous Roman Palace of Diocletian (built in the early fourth century AD) was repurposed as a medieval town centre. Here, we accompany a local chef to the local markets to buy ingredients for what is to be our lunch of Dalmatian specialities. What could be a better opportunity to learn about the various products of a region than choosing them alongside an expert from the area? Then, we make lunch together, in the form of a superb and highly enjoyable cooking class. In the afternoon, we cruise westwards to spend some time in a cove off the Island of Fumija, for a last chance to swim. Depending on the weather and timings, we may spend the night in Marina Baotić near the medieval town of Trogir. Final dinner on board.
Day 8: Departure transfers to Split airport, about 20 minutes away.
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Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Dubrovnik Airport (DBV)
Departure Airport – Split (SPU)
We plan for the gulet to leave Slano Bay, near Dubrovnik (approx. 40 minutes from Dubrovnik Airport) at around 17:00. Embarkation is from 16:00 onwards. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier to drop off your bags, but please be aware that the crew will be busy cleaning and tidying making everything ready for your group so you may not be able to settle in to your cabin.
If you arrive at the gulet later, we will do our best to enable you to join the tour at a later time and place.
Please Note: Departure time can be subject to change depending on weather, harbour or other conditions.
Disembarkation in Marina Baotić near Trogir, (approx. 20 minutes from Split Airport) is around 09:00. We will arrange local transfers from Dubrovnik airport and to Split airport on the first and last day of the tour.
Booking Flights If you are staying in or connecting via Zagreb then the easiest way to get to and from the gulet is to fly. The main domestic airline in Croatia, Croatia Airlines, has a wide selection of flights .
Please note: Flights are subject to change. Please contact the airline for exact details.
If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.
Travel Insurance:We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. You should ensure that you take out a suitable policy, to make sure that your trip is properly covered.
Visas Citizens of the U.K., EU countries, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need visas to visit Croatia. Visitors can visit Croatia for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. For more details, please visit the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Zagreb If you are planning to stay in Zagreb before or after your gulet trip please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with suggestions on things to see and do.
Custom tours or additional travel in Croatia If you are planning to spend any additional time in Croatia before or after your gulet trip please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with suggestions on things to see and do.