7 UNESCO Steps
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7 UNESCO Steps

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Such a small land, but a land whose rich cultural heritage is discovered not only from within the walls of numerous museums, galleries and churches, many of which today, as zero category monuments are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, but also in that magical place on the Mediterranean, where even the shortest stroll becomes a journey down a staircase thousands of years old, which takes one through a history that is at the same time turbulent, exciting and glorious.

On our magnificent journey you will enjoy in beauties of Dubrovnik Old Town, Plitvice Lakes National Park, The Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, The Cathedral of St. James, Stari Grad (Old Town) Plain on Hvar island and Trogir Old Town.

Each Croatian UNESCO site is different and unique, special and magical. Follow their tracks with us…

DURATION: 11 days / 10 nights

Day 1 – arrival to ZAGREB

On your first day of this great tour, you will meet Zagreb, capital of Croatia and its biggest city. We will wait for you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel, located in the city center, where you will check in. After check in we will take you for a walk through the city center, so you can discover your first experience with this exceptional old city; Zagreb – two cities in one city; two different faces in one face. Majestic Upper town, which is intimate, cozy and distinctly medieval in ambience and the Lower town, full of huge squares, wide boulevards and Secession architecture. You will see central square of Josip Jelacic, Zagreb Cathedral, the most beautiful market at the open – Dolac, Stone Gate and many other attractions. We’ll take a ride with the shortest funicular in the world (only 66 meters) to the Upper town and enjoy amazing view on Zagreb roof tops. We’ll take you through the beautiful Lenuzzi horseshoe or so called Green horseshoe, a complex of 7 parks and squares with fountains, in the center of the town. In the evening, we are inviting you to be our guests at a Welcome dinner in one of Zagreb restaurants where you will taste local delicacies.

Overnight in Zagreb, 4* or 5* hotel in the city center


After breakfast we are heading to the north, to admire the most beautiful, fairy-tale Castle in Croatia. Trakošćan castle is one of best preserved castles in Europe. With beautiful surroundings, lakes and woods of over 8 hectares it is a relaxing destination. With tour through the castle you can relive the life of their former inhabitants. It is known for its owners the family Draskovic, who besides Zrinski, was one of the most popular Croatian noble families from the feudal era. Beautifully situated on a hill with a garden in the midst of Park Forest, Trakošćan is amongst the highest category monuments of culture and nature. Take a tour through knights’ room, the hunting room, music salon, specimens of firearms dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Walk through the most beautifully formed parks in Croatia with rich vegetation and fascinating view. Moreover, a beautiful romantic gardens, built on the model of English parks, and a large lake in front of the castle is something that should not be missed. After exploring life in medieval times, we are going to visit baroque period in an old city Varaždin. Varaždin is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Central European cities. Owing to its charm and baroque architecture, Varaždin has been historically dubbed “Little Vienna”. The city, whose rich history goes back to the 12th century, was home to the region’s wealthiest nobles, landowners, artisans and artists. Once the capital of Croatia, Varaždin is a beautiful city with a wealth of cultural and architectural treasures. The city boasts a baroque city center, with numerous museums and galleries. The cities landmark attraction is the 16th Century Stari Grad (The Old city) castle which houses the Town Museum. Famous Varazdin’s Cemetery represents valuable monument of the park architecture and it is one of the most beautiful one in Europe. In 2010 Forbes declared Varaždin as the best place to live and work in Croatia. Among its many awards is that of the most tastefully arranged and best maintained destination in continental Croatia, the title it has received nine times. In the evening we are coming back to Zagreb

Overnight in Zagreb, 4* or 5* hotel in the city center


This morning we are leaving Zagreb behind us and heading to the south, facing crystal clear Adriatic sea.

Our first stop will be Opatija, an old lady and Queen of the Adriatic. Opatija, like a beautiful lady, enjoys her riches and fullness of life. Opatija’s villas and hotels of exceptional architectural value, surrounded by the evergreen mountain Učka, healing sea and beautifully arranged parks, have perfectly combined the modern spirit and the benefits of a top tourist offer. Because of its unique climate and temperature, Opatija is attractive not only in the hot summer months when offering refreshment, but in the winter as well, with its mild and warm temperatures because of which it was a popular resort and sanatorium of the Austrian aristocracy. Opatija is a place rich in cultural and entertainment events, unique culinary delicacies and, in recent years, in superb wellness and beauty treatments. Opatija is absolutely the ideal destination for a totally relaxing holiday. Each visitor of the beautiful Opatija lives with its timeless beauty, carrying it with himself wherever he goes.

On our way to Poreč, we will have a chance to see green-world of Istrian hinterland, visiting an old medieval town Motovun, built by giants, according to the legend. The hilltop town Motovun, with its elegant system of towers, walls, gates and squares, represents a strong example of Venetian colonial architecture. Perched on a hill about 227 meters above sea level, Motovun is the most attractive town in the Istrian interior. Take a walk around the town walls of Motovun: The sweeping view takes in the vineyards that produce Motovun’s fine Teran and Malvasija wines and the forests that harbor Istria’s prized white and black truffles. We will have lunch in one of Motovun taverns and try local delicacies and of course, go to unavoidable wine-tasting.

At the end of this exciting day, we are arriving to Poreč, the multiple champion of Croatian tourism. It’s the town with the biggest number of awards, but also a town with an enormous cultural and historical heritage. Poreč has one of the most magnificent early Byzantine churches in Europe called Euphrasius’ Basilica, which is built in 553 and is a part of UNESCO’s world cultural heritage, which you will of course, visit.

Overnight in Poreč, 4* hotel in the city center


This morning we are going to discover why is Euphrasius Basilica listed on the UNESCO world heritage; We will also take a walk through this marvelous city. Later, we will meet anotother Istrian pearl – stunning city Rovinj, proclaimed as one of 10 most romantic cities in Europe. And it truly is…

On the seaside, the town is protected by a high rocky shore and house walls built on cliffs, while the mainland side is protected by solid walls. The town is dominated by the baroque St. Euphemia’s Church, its 60-meter tower providing a view of grey and red rooftops and chimneys, streets and squares, the port and pier with ships and boats, and the marina harboring yachts.

This unique old town core, the 67-kilometer shoreline, 2,289 ha of protected green surfaces and improved park forests, 16 islands, islets and reefs, make this town unique. Built upon a rich fishermen’s tradition, it has become distinctive for its unique boat called batana and its songs bitinada. Its beauty was particularly appreciated by artists who have painted the most beautiful motifs here and exhibited them on Grisia, the street of artists.

In the afternoon we are coming to the world famous Plitvice Lakes – Croatian oldest National Park.

Overnight at Plitvice Lakes, 4* hotel


Today, we are going this pure paradise. Plitvice Lakes are a world pearl of incalculable value. Its specific beauty is a sanctuary for nature lovers and an inspiration for artists, whereas the uniqueness and richness of its nature is an occupation of scientists. This pure emerald beauty has deserved to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979, as the oldest Croatian National Park (proclaimed in 1949). Today, 60 years after its establishment, Plitvice Park continues to provide inspiration for visitors becoming nowadays one of Croatia’s biggest attractions. Thousands of people from all over the world visit the Park during all year round. They come to find peace and relaxation just to experience something different as a getaway from the city. The series of 16 bigger and a few smaller lakes, gradually lined up, separated by travertine barriers for which the period of the last ten thousand years was crucial, and which were ruled by ecological relations similar to those of today – suitable for travertine depositing and for the origin of the lakes – are the basic phenomenon of the National Park. Enjoy the timeless beauty of an impressive 78 meters High waterfall, take a walk through green oasis or take a ride with a train or an electric boat, while breathing fresh air and discovering pure intact nature…

In the afternoon we are coming to stunning old city Zadar, where history tells stories about it. Zadar is a city monument, surrounded by historical ramparts, a treasury of the archaeological and monumental riches of ancient Roman and medieval times, Renaissance and many contemporary architectural achievements such as the first sea organs in the world. It is three thousand years old, a city of old and dynamic history, often destructed, devastated, every time emerging from the ruins stronger, richer and more beautiful. Zadar has remains dating from the early Stone Age, while from the Neolithic it has remains of many human settlements. In Zadar we will see the Church of St. Donat, a city symbol from the early middle ages, Kalelarga, Cathedral of St. Anastasia and city walls from Roman times and middle ages.

In the evening we are coming to Šibenik, the oldest Croatian town on the Adriatic coast.

Overnight in Šibenik, hotel in the city center


On the sixth day of our UNESCO tour, first we are going to explore exceptional city of Šibenik and its charming narrow cobble-stoned streets. It is also called Krešimir’s town, since it was the residence of King Petar Krešimir IV, the most important ruler of the ancient Croatian state. Šibenik is located in a large bay where the Krka River meets the sea. It grew from an old Croatian fort near the fortress of St. Michael, which still overlooks the town. Apart from St. Michael’s, the town is surrounded by three other fortresses: St. Nicholas’, St. John’s and Šubićevac.

Its narrow winding streets, stony houses, many staircases and the remains of the city walls give Šibenik that romantic Mediterranean atmosphere. The St. James Cathedral is the most famous architectural master-piece in Šibenik, listed as the UNESCO World Cultural Monument. The building of the cathedral took over a hundred years. It was made according to sketches by Juraj Dalmatian, a renowned master builder from Zadar. Made of stone exclusively, its unique constructions were both bold and unusual for that time.

The cathedral is also known for its Apse, with a crown of 72 heads portraying the contemporaries of Juraj Dalmatian in a very realistic manner. The cathedral, the Renaissance town hall, the Prince’s castle, the neighboring churches and palaces – all are a part of an impressive square, probably the most beautiful one in the town-planning heritage of Croatia.

We are leaving this magnificent city-fortress and going to the mainland in an old rural domestic household, where we will enjoy in the local authentic home-made food.

After lunch, we will see one older Croatian jewel – small city Trogir. Trogir is an island with one of the biggest historical heritage in the world, abound in beauty and history and it’s protected by UNESCO. St. Lawrence Cathedral with its majestic portal of Radovan, priceless collection of the Chapel of st. Ivan Trogirski and gothic church bell makes the local people very proud. Most of the town walls, once used as a protection are preserved, forming, in the 13th century, the old center of Tragurium.

While walking through the narrow streets of the town you can come across Kairos, God of lucky moment… According to legend, whoever manages to grab his curl will have lucky moments of eternal beauty. In case you do not find it, this bronze relief and symbol of Trogir is the most valuable part of St. Nicholas monastery collection. Nowhere in the world you can find a town that magical at night time…

Stone walls become alive under the street lights, and Dalmatian songs are heard from every corner.

In the evening we are coming to Split.

Overnight in Split, design 4* hotel in The Old town

Day 7 – SPLIT

This whole days is aimed for exploring ancient city of Split, today cultural, economic and administrative center of Central Dalmatia. Because of its Mediterranean charm, vibrant and magical atmosphere, it’s often called “The most beautiful city in the world”. Among its majestic buildings, streets and walls, we will visit the most important monument of Roman architecture on the eastern coast of the Adriatic – The Diocletian’s Palace. The site was first settled when, at the end of the third century AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace here. These days the palace is known as Diocletian’s Palace and it is under UNESCO’s protection. The importance of Diocletian’s Palace far transcends local significance because of its level of preservation and the buildings of succeeding historical periods built within its walls, which today formed the very heart of old Split. Numerous valuable cultural monuments are also to be found beyond the palace walls. Take your free afternoon for exploring this magnificent city – the pines of the Marjan forest in the western part of the peninsula, the murmur of the sea and the sound of the Dalmatian song in the stone streets of the city. Once you get to know this town and the way of living here you are going to love it.

Overnight in Split, design 4* hotel in The Old town

Day 8 – SPLIT – Island HVAR

After breakfast we will take a ferry and going to the sunniest island on the Adriatic coast – Island Hvar. Voted one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world and praised by renowned international publications, the island of Hvar, on Croatia’s Mediterranean coast, has been known for the healing qualities of its pure air and crystal clear sea since ancient Greek times. In the heart of Europe, Hvar’s uniquely sunny microclimate, unspoiled landscape, and rich cultural heritage made it one of the first tourist resorts in the Adriatic. Whispered to be the new St. Tropez, Hvar has climbed its way to international recognition without effort. Effortlessly ranked as Croatia’s trendiest summer destination, Hvar became an ultimate must-be spot on a travel map for demanding international travelers looking for an authentic Mediterranean experience scented with glamour.

Hvar’s natural beauty and year-round sunshine made it one of the first tourist resorts in the Adriatic. In fact, the Austrian Queen Elizabeth sponsored the construction of one of the first hotels on Hvar, which was completed in 1899. Tourists from Austria and other countries started coming to Hvar and it was quickly tagged the “Austrian Madeira”.

The history of Hvar is closely tied to the history of the Adriatic and the greater Mediterranean basin itself. Beginning with Illyrian tribes, traversing the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, and later to become a part of both the Habsburg and Napoleon’s empires, Hvar reflects the nuances and subtleties of the greatest periods in western civilization while maintaining an identity that is totally unique. Today, visitors can marvel at eight centuries of architecture and art in an environment that is almost as pure as the one in which they were created. One of the remains of Hvar history is Stari Grad Plain, one of UNESCO World Heritage sites. This is a cultural landscape that has remained practically intact since it was first colonized by Ionian Greeks from Paros in the 4th century BC.

Overnight in Hvar town, 4* hotel


On our way till the extreme south and city of Dubrovnik, we will drive across Pelješac peninsula, where you will enjoy its green scenery and beautiful surroundings. This region is famous by the best Croatian wines and wine producing in general, as well as you will enjoy in extraordinary tastes of local cuisine, specially sea-food.

We will stop in a Ston bay, little fisherman village named Ston, well-known by its five-kilometers (3,5 miles) long walls, the longest in Europe, made as a fortification complex in 14th Century. After walking the walls, we will visit ancient salt factory (13.ct) where production still takes place under natural conditions on the same principles it has been running continuously for more than 7 centuries.

The gulf of Mali Ston has a clean and natural environment. It has been well-known for its mussel and oysters-growing farm since Roman times and the oysters from Ston (ostrea edulis), as an acknowledged natural aphrodisiac has made this region world-famous. You will have a chance to taste these sea-delicacies.

In the evening we are coming to Dubrovnik.

Overnight in Dubrovnik, 5* hotel


And finally, welcome to Dubrovnik – The Pearl of the Adriatic. Great George Bernard Shaw, impressed by its magic, once said – “Those who seek paradise on Earth, should come to Dubrovnik and find it”. And he was absolutely right. Dubrovnik’s nickname is a “Pearl of the Adriatic” and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979. Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia’s tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. History is present in the entire city, which is both a museum and a picturesque stage where cultural heritage and contemporary life meet. All houses and monuments have a unique value. The Old City is encompassed by medieval walls, which have been preserved in their original form and opened for visitors as Dubrovnik’s major attraction.

We will enter the old town through the Pile Gate and we will find ourselves on Stradun – biggest street in Dubrovnik. Here we will find the Onofrio Fountain, built in 1438, the Franciscan Monastery, with one of the oldest functioning pharmacies in Europe, in operation since 1391. At the other end of the Stradun, we will discover the locals’ favorite meeting place, the Orlando Column, with the nearby Sponza Palace and the baroque church of St. Blaise. Here is also the Rector’s Palace, which is now a city museum packed with valuable and historic exhibits. Opposite the palace through a narrow street is a square, Gunduliceva Poljana, which is the site of the busy morning market. In the same square is the Jesuit Monastery from the early 18th century. From here you can see the little old town port and visit the city walls which encircle the city and which have been remarkably preserved.

Whole city is alive monument and rich treasury of history. You will surely find it magical.

Take your free afternoon and evening for more exploring Croatian pearl.

Overnight in Dubrovnik, 5* hotel

Day 11 – departure from DUBROVNIK

Our amazing journey throughout Croatia and UNESCO attractions has come to the end. We will drive you to Dubrovnik Airport to catch your returning flight. We wish you a safe journey home, together with your memories collected in our small, but so diverse country. Till some next time, CroStory team says good-bye…

The tour price includes:
– Organization of the tour
– Accommodation in 5 and 4 star hotels, breakfast included
– 11 days / 10 overnights
– Comfortable air-conditioned vehicle (car or minivan) transfers
– Ferry tickets
– Professional guidance – service provided by CroStory guide and driver
– All entrance tickets: Trakošćan Castle, Euphrasius Basilica, Plitvice lakes, Šibenik and Trogir Chatedral, Diocletian’s Palace, Ston Walls, The Walls of Dubrovnik
– Sightseeing service: Zagreb, Trakošćan, Varaždin, Opatija, Motovun, Poreč, Rovinj, Plitvice lakes, Zadar, Split, Šibenik, Trogir, Hvar, Ston, Dubrovnik
– Welcome dinner in Zagreb restaurant
– Local authentic home-made lunch in domestic household near Trogir
– Wine-tasting and lunch in Ston/Pelješac peninsula

Please note: Prices are not fixed, they are flexible depending on a season period and hotel rates. Therefore we suggest you to send us a request so we could make for you a final offer. The travel arrangement can always be customized to your specific preferences. For more details, please send your request to info@crostory.com

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