Croatia & Montenegro - Splendors of the Mediterranean       May 22 - 31, 2017

Details at: goedventures@gmail.com

 

Old Town, Split, Croatia

Old Town, Split, Croatia

Croatia and Montenegro:

Splendors of the Mediterranean

May 22-31, 2017

The poet Byron christened Croatia The Pearl of the Adriatic. George Bernard Shaw (not a man easily impressed) called it Paradise on Earth. Are these praises legitimate?  They are. Croatia is historically fascinating, naturally beautiful, and wonderfully Mediterranean.  Astronauts report that viewed from space, Croatia’s Dalmatian coast displays the bluest waters on earth and it is along this coast where will be staying--in the cities of Split and Dubrovnik-- exploring the countryside and seacoast on a tour that features the best of the country and allows time for you to find your own favorite sights.

We will visit pristine medieval towns, meander past ancient stone homes along narrow streets, wonder at a Roman Emperor’s “retirement home” that features columns shipped from Egypt, and feast on sea to table culinary masterpieces.  We will visit and stay in the major cities of Split and Dubrovnik, both located on the Adriatic Sea, and from there take day trips to nearby islands, fishing villages, a national park, and other gems. Charm is a key word for many of our destinations that include three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The end of May means we benefit from lower costs and avoid the packs of tourist that arrive on cruises to spend one part of one day.  You, on the other hand, on a ten-day tour, will have the time to savor the Croatian experience and make your own memories.

Daily Itinerary:

Mon. May 22, 2017             Depart USA – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Edventures is in the process of reserving a flight for the entire group.  If you wish to travel on this flight, please indicate this on the reservation form at the end of the itinerary.  Otherwise, you can arrange your own flight.

Meals: Our flight from JFK includes dinner and breakfast.

Tues. May 23        

Upon our arrival in Dubrovnik our tour escort will meet us and transfer us to our hotel, the four star Lacroma Hotel. After settling into your room, have a beverage at the hotel’s wine bar terrace and enjoy the view of the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands, or take a swim in the pool.  In the evening we will meet for a welcome dinner.

Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast and Welcome Dinne

Lacroma Hotel: http://www.valamar.com/en/hotels-dubrovnik/valamar-lacroma-dubrovnik-hotel

 

Weds.  May 24: Tour of Dubrovnik      

After breakfast we will meet our guide and begin our visit to one of Europe’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities, surrounded by ramparts, watchtowers, and the azure Adriatic Sea, the first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites we will enjoy on the tour. Often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, we will spend the morning exploring a treasure trove of rich history within the city walls of Dubrovnik, which was an important Mediterranean Sea power from the 13th century onwards.  Its history is remarkable. For example, a Franciscan Monastery houses a 14th century pharmacy replete with ancient jars and jugs lining the shelves. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains grace the city. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will take a walk around Dubrovnik’s perimeter wall that offers a breathtaking perspective of red-roofed stone buildings and ancient, narrow alleys. Later we will visit a local artisan to learn about a traditional craftsmanship that still thrives today.  The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.  In the evening we will enjoy a family-hosted dinner where you will enjoy a traditionally prepared dinner.

Overnight: DubrovnikMeals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Thurs. May 25: Full Day Excursion to Montenegro

Today we have a full day guided tour of Montenegro.  Pack your passport because the country obtained its independence from Serbia only a decade ago and is not yet part of the EU. The area we will visit is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Bay or Kotor, an important artistic and commercial center in the Middle Ages, whose main city of Kotor maintains its 12th and 13th century buildings in a setting that creates perfect harmony between human creation, the sea, and a background of soaring hills and mountains. After visiting Kotor, we will take a boat ride to a nearby island and explore a monument well loved by Montenegrins.  We will also stop in Perast, an old, charming coastal town of ornate mansions built during a wealthy period when the city was under Venetian rule in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The video below, produced by the United Nations, provides a visual picture of this town of Kotor.

http://www.unesco.org/archives/multimedia/?s=films_details&pg=33&id=1201

          Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

         

Fri. May 26, 2017

Today is a free day to enjoy a Dubrovnik and it surrounds at leisure. There are many options to choose from, and here are just a few:

1) Take a swim in the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic by utilizing the hotel’s beaches, or enjoy the indoor or outdoor pool;

·  2) Take a kayak and snorkeling tour along Dubrovnik’s city walls, or for additional explorations, combine kayaking and biking on nearby islands. There are a variety of options to choose from by clicking here: http://www.viator.com/Dubrovnik-tours/Kayaking-and-Canoeing/d904-g17

3) Return to the walled city to spend time at your favorite site and have lunch or dinner in one of the coves overlooking the water; or

4) Go down to the Old Port and hitch a ride to see the walls of the old town from a new perspective, or join a cruise that takes you out to the islands you can see from the city.

Overnight:  Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

Sat. May 27, 2017 - Split 

Today we depart from Dubrovnik and travel north along the spectacular Adriatic coast, past old fishing villages and new resorts to the city of Split. In the afternoon we will enjoy a sightseeing tour featuring the historic inner city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose main attraction is the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, which was built to serve as a military fortress, a family residence and administrative center for a powerful man, ruler of the Roman Empire from AD 284-305. What is so different about visiting this Roman edifice is its accessibility to the sightseer. So often these ancient and historic buildings have a do-not-touch quality to them.  Not so this palace because many of its structures are still in use today. When Edventures staff visited, one of our favorite restaurants was the Augubio, which is situated at the very heart of the palace.  Its walls and floors are ancient, with the beauty and patina that only age can provide.  The restaurant apologizes to its guests for placing its tables on a sloping floor, but explains that it wants to reveal the oldest layer of the building, once part of a Roman road.  And it proudly points to a stone drain cover in the corner as valuable evidence of the high technical level of Roman engineering. You will want to plan on coming back to this area for dinner.  For inspiration on why you want to visit Split, take a look at this video produced by the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/travel/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-split-croatia.html?_r=0 

Overnight:  Split

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Corner http://hotelcorner.eu/en/        

Sun. May 28,2017Excursion to Krka, Sibenik and Trogir

Croatia is famous for its natural beauty so today we will head out to one of it prizes, the Krka National Park (pronounced KUR-kah), about one hour north of Split.  A spectacular feature of the park is its waterfalls, surrounded by a network of paths and bridges that provide comfortable and safe walking for viewing and exploring. From the park we will take a boat ride to the picturesque island of Visovac, one of the over a thousand Croatian islands. We continue our exploration with a visit to the towns of Sibenik and Trogir.  Sibenik is much younger than Split, having been founded only in the 11th century, so its major influences are not Roman, but Venetian, builders of the city’s defensive walls, and Austro-Hungarian.  Its charming medieval old town features a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Renaissance cathedral, one of the most important Renaissance architectural features in the eastern Adriatic. Next we will visit the island of Trogir, which, unlike Sibenik, is typical of many Croatian cities because its culture was created under the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the Venetians.  The city’s medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of palaces that reflect the conquerors of Croatia.

Overnight: Split

Meals: Breakfast

Mon. May 29, 2017 Excursion to Island of Solta for Culinary Treats

After breakfast, we will travel by ferry to another island, the quiet island of Solta, which is known for its honey, olives, and wine.  Our first stop will be at a traditional family-run farm known for its winemaking and olive growing. Here we will enjoy an island lunch of traditional Croatian fare.  After lunch we will continue on to a beekeeping estate where we will meet the owner and learn about the art of beekeeping and the life of bees.

Overnight: Split

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Tues. May 30, 2017

Your last full day in Split is designed to allow free time to explore the city on your own. And your choices are many. 

1)    Split is a very cosmopolitan city with wonderful boutiques, which you can find by strolling through the narrow, winding streets that surround the palace. Fashionable leather shoes and bags are some of the tempting items that will interest you.

2)    Join the locals and sit on the Adriatic’s promenade, a bustling seafront, sip espresso and people watch. You can also ooh and ah over the expensive yachts lined up in the harbor, many of which are owned by Russian oligarchs.

3)    Take a walking tour and learn about wine, wine production and specific varieties produced in Croatia.

4)    Join a sailing tour around the charming Palenki Islands on board a yacht.  Besides sight seeing, you can swim and snorkel off the boat.

5)    Join a kayaking tour around Croatia’s peninsula, cruising through untrammeled coves and inlets.

6)    Grab your camera and explore the vistas and details of this remarkable city. 

7)    Take a Game of Thrones tour and visit many of the film’s locations.

8)    Relax with an espresso next to those columns transported from Egypt.

Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

Weds. May 31, 2017       

Departure for home.

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TRIP PRICE:

The land only trip price per person double room occupancy is $2990.

The single room supplement is $599.

The reservation deposit fee is $500.

 

AIRFARE:  Many of our travelers have requested booking their own air arrangements in order to use their airline mileage points. However, Edventures will reserve a number of airline seats. The schedule and price are below:

May 22 Lufthansa Flight 413 departs Newark at 8:05 pm and arrives Munich at 10:00 am the next day

May 23 Lufthansa Flight 1720 departs Munich at 2:25 pm and arrives Dubrovnik at 3:50 pm

May 31 Croatia Air Flight 4438 departs Split at 7:55 am and arrives Munich at 9:25 am. 

May 31Lufthansa Flight 410 departs Munich at 12:05 pm and arrives JFK at 3:05 pm

Please note: for those who make their own flight arrangements, please note that the group departs from Newark but returns to JFK.        PRICE FOR AIRFARE: $1347

 The following elements are included in the price of the trip:

$100 tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, Academy for Lifelong Learning or North Country Arts;
Full time tour escorts and professional guides who will help make the histories and cultures of Croatia come alive;
Gratuities for guides, coach drivers, tour escorts;
Four star lodging in Dubrovnik and Split;
Daily breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners;
Luggage handling for one checked bag;
Scenic boat rides, and ferry rides;
Small group travel
Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip;
Pre-departure documents and meeting; and
Memories to last a lifetime!

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES: The average high in Dubrovnik in May is 70F with a low of 51.  In Split the range is a high of 72 and a low of 55.

Do you still have questions about the tour?  If so, contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322   or email at:  goedventures@gmail.com.