866 862 3031

Begin in Croatia's capital, before exploring Rovinj and surrounding Istria and then head to Venice

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Privately guided and exclusive tours
  • A private hot air balloon flight over Istria and a gondola ride in Venice
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Imbibe Croatia’s fine food, wine and culture before a romantic finale in Venice.

This intimate journey starts in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. It’s a place that retains a warm old world charm yet, as the home to around a quarter of the population, is the country’s cultural heart with a slightly offbeat arty feel, always buzzing cafés and a happening culinary scene. You’ll spend two nights here, with a private walking tour and a trip to Zagreb’s renowned markets with a local foodie, and an afternoon spent discovering the fairy-tale castles in the mountains to the north.

Next head to Croatia’s Adriatic coast via the incredible turquoise waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Spend the next five nights in Rovinj, a beautiful fishing town on the Istrian peninsula. Think steep cobbled streets lined with medieval townhouses leading to Venetian piazzas, little artist workshops and fine-dining restaurants, all looked over by the towering St. Euphemia’s Cathedral.

Explore the old town and venture out into the surrounding countryside, tasting some of Istria’s famous wines, hunting for truffles, seeing the Roman ruins of Pula and hopping islands in Brijuni. To top it all off, soar above the peninsula on an unforgettable hot air balloon flight ending with champagne.

And then to Italy and a final three nights in Venice. Wind your way through its alleys and waterways to St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and Rialto Bridge and for that most quintessentially romantic of things to do in Italy, take a gondola ride along the city’s canals. You will also visit some of the lesser known islands out in the lagoon and learn how to prepare some Venetian specialities at an expertly led culinary class.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Zagreb

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Zagreb

Accommodation in Zagreb

Two nights in Zagreb Two nights in Zagreb

A city of grand Austro-Hungarian architecture and home to a multitude of museums and the majority of the country's residents, inland Zagreb is Croatia's cultural hub. Enjoy your time in this lively little capital strolling the cobbled streets, watching the world go by in busy cafes and darting between collections in the many museums and galleries. You'll also find that it's a year-round outdoor city thanks to the presence of Jarun Lake in the southwest where people venture to swim and sail; Mount Medvednica where Zagrebians hit the ski slopes; and the hiking destination of Samobor.

Private guided walking tour of Zagreb Private guided walking tour of Zagreb

Meet your guide for a private walking tour of the city center. Founded in the Middle Ages, Zagreb began life as two separate entities, Kaptol and Gradec, which today comprise the historic Gornji Grad (Upper Town). Centred on the city's landmark cathedral, Kaptol was a religious centre, while Gradec was home to craftsmen and merchants. Outsiders collectively referred to the settlements as Zagreb (meaning 'behind the hill'), although they were not officially united as the City of Zagreb until 1850. Boom time followed with the late 19th century characterized by the arrival of the railways and the construction of Donji Grad (Lower Town). You will also visit Museum of Broken Relationships, innovative museum that exhibits include personal objects left over from former lovers, accompanied by brief descriptions.

Foodie walking tour of Zagreb Foodie walking tour of Zagreb

Embark on a culinary journey today, visiting open food markets Zagreb is known for, stopping to taste some of the local specialties, before a classic Zagreb home cooked meal. Zagreb’s markets are scattered throughout the town and present an ideal opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the local culture, see locals as they interact in this important daily activity, and witness the exact amounts of freshness delivered daily onto the Zagreb plates. During the tour, you will have a chance to sample other local specialties, such as štrukli, small squares of dough layered with soft cheese, boiled and baked at the same time, gemišt – a Croatian version of spritzer, white wine with sparkling water or rakija, a potent brandy produced from different sorts of local fruits and herbs and claimed to improve blood circulation and immunity.

Zagorje Castles private tour Zagorje Castles private tour

Head out of Zagreb to picturesque Zagorje, a hilly region filled with medieval and Renaissance fortresses, and numerous Baroque castles all blending into a wonferfully romantic landscape. Explore the most famous of all Zagorje castles, Trakoščan, which was originally a small medieval observation fortress until it was turned into a castle for noble families Today, Trakoščan features an impressive weapons collection, an ethereal music salon, integral architecture and décor of its noble times and innumerable picture-perfect moments throughout the estate.

plitvice-park-croatia
Private guided tour of Plitvice Lakes Private guided tour of Plitvice Lakes

En route to Rovinj, stop at Plitvice Lakes National Park for a private guided walking tour. According to legend, the Plitvice lakes were created after a long drought when the "Black Queen" took pity on the people and animals that cried for water. Heavy rain began to fall and continued until they formed the lakes we see today. Plitvice National Park is Croatia’s natural masterpiece. Even for seasoned world travellers, the overpowering beauty and grandeur of Plitvice National Park is simply astounding. With waterfalls spilling over impossible hills, sixteen different lakes, and fascinating flora and fauna, Plitvice is the most visited place in Croatia. Since 1979, the park has been under the protection of UNESCO as a rare World Heritage Site.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Pribate transfer to your hotel in Rovinj

Days 3-8

Rovinj

Accommodation in Rovinj

Five nights in Rovinj Five nights in Rovinj

The picturesque town of Rovinj sits on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, facing out towards Venice. While one of the Mediterranean's last true fishing ports, it's also an important city as the third most populous in Croatia. Once an island, the old town now occupies an intriguing oval-shaped peninsula that juts out from the mainland. Its past stretches back through Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish, and Austrian settlers and today, you can see the remains of medieval defensive walls and one of the old town gates, the 17th century Balbi's Arch. Inside the town proper, you'll find steep cobbled streets leading to Venetian piazzas, little artist workshops, fine-dining restaurants, a Baroque palace turned heritage museum, and even a late-Renaissance clock tower.

Walking tour of Rovinj's old town Walking tour of Rovinj's old town

The old town occupies an intriguing oval-shaped peninsula that juts out from the mainland. Its past stretches back through Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Frankish and Austrian settlers and today you can see the remains of medieval defensive walls and one of the old town gates, the 17th-century Balbi's Arch. Inside the town proper, you'll find steep cobbled streets leading to Venetian piazzas, little artist workshops, fine-dining restaurants, a Baroque palace turned heritage museum and even a late-Renaissance clock tower. Get a bird's eye view of all of this from the top of the 60-metre-high bell tower of St. Euphemia's Cathedral.

Wines of Northern Istria Wines of Northern Istria

Discover Istria’s traditional and modern views on the the regions long winemaking tradition. Curiously diverse with authentic sorts such as Malvazija (white) or Teran (red), the region features many small wineries each bringing a unique take on the peninsula’s favorites. The Kabola winery, the first stop, is an authentic Istrian estate with a farm house, endless vineyards and a century of experience. Founded upon the mastery of Momjan Muskat, sweet white wine made from an indigenous grape variety of the area, Kabola is today best known as the pioneer of Istrian indigenous Malvazija macerated in amphora’s (clay vessels) for seven months.

Following a scenic drive, next arrive at the Kozlovic winery, repeatedly awarded for both its wines and the impressive modern design of the winery. Sitting atop the hidden valley of Vale near historic Momjan, this estate fits perfectly with surrounding landscapes. Despite their top class takes on local sorts of Malvazija, like the fresh and fruity Valle or rewardingly complex St. Lucia, and Teran, Kozlovi is still known as the 'King of Muskat', for the playful wines made of this grape.

Motovun tour and truffle hunt Motovun tour and truffle hunt

Visit Motovun, a picturesque settlement perched on the very top of the hill, protected by the strong defensive wall. The Motovun forests and surrounding area is home to the precious white and black truffles, which attract food-lovers from all over the world. A private truffle hunting tour will bring you a culinary experience quite like no other you have experienced. The stop is the nearby village of Livade, where you will learn all about truffle hunting and different delicacies produced using the various truffles you have found.

Tour of Pula Tour of Pula

Pula, as the largest town on the Istrian peninsula, offers a diversity of attractions to lovers of culture. With 3000 years of history, every step through the old town uncovers a different landmark, none more impressive than the Roman amphitheatre. While strolling through Pula you will come across numerous other monuments of Roman architecture such as the Triumphal Arch of the Sergi from the 1st century BC, Hercules’ Gate and the Temple of Augustus. The main town square has managed to retain its role as the meeting place since the Augustan Age.

brijuni-national-park-croatia
National Park Brijuni tour National Park Brijuni tour

Meet your guide along with your chauffeur for a private exploration of National Park Brijuni. Upon arrival, enjoy guided tour of this beautiful island and its safari park. Explore Brijuni with golf cars, see the remains of ancient Roman villa and visit the safari park which breeds unusual animals such zebra, Somali sheep, zebu (the holy east Indian humped ox), dromedary, llama and elephant, all gifts to Croatia from heads of state over the years.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Rovinj to Venice

Transfer

Private boat transfer to your hotel in Venice

Days 8-12

Venice

Accommodation in Venice

Santa Maria della Salute cathedral and the Venetian lagoon
Three nights in Venice Three nights in Venice

Sat within a shallow lagoon between the mouths of Po and Piave rivers, Venice is formed of 118 islands formed by some 170 canals connected by over 400 bridges. The entire city is considered a World Heritage Site, an extraordinary architectural masterpiece in which even the smallest building may contain works by some of the Europe's greatest artists.

Iconic attractions on the main Rialto islands are evocative by name alone - Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, Doge’s Palace, Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Grand Canal - a unique collection of brooding Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque architecture. Days can be spent discovering tucked away galleries, museums and palazzos. Away from the crowds, other islands are where traditional Venetian culture still runs deep.

Highlights of Venice walking tour Highlights of Venice walking tour

As you wander through Venice's winding streets and waterways, you'll learn all about the city's history and development. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Doge's Palace is just as impressive inside with works by Titian, Veronese, Tintiretto, Vittoria and Tiepolo adorning the walls. Your historical walking tour will also take in a visit to the shimmering, mosaic-filled St. Mark's Basilica, the mightiest of Venetian monuments. Its architecture, a mixture of Byzantine, Roman and Venetian, is the work of artists and craftsmen from all over the world.

You'll also visit the lively market on and around the Rialto Bridge, where sellers hawk their mountains of colourful fruit and veg and shimmering seafood.

Gondola ride Gondola ride

No visit to Venice would be complete without experiencing it. Travel like a Venetian on a gondola down the city’s iconic canals. It gives you a very special point of view and it is from the water that Venice offers its most spectacular side.

Venetian cooking class Venetian cooking class

Enjoy a typical Venetian cooking class at the Venice Lido. The cook will introduce you to the secrets of this tasty cuisine, and teach you how to cook a 5 course menu. All necessary equipment is provided. You have different possible options, one includes the shopping at the famous Rialto market, where you will buy fresh products as ingredients for your meal. Learn how to identify the freshest fish and seafood before creating your dishes. Home made pasta, a Venetian menu for fish lovers and a vegetarian menu are all possible.

Island tour: Murano, Burano and Sant'Erasmo Island tour: Murano, Burano and Sant'Erasmo

Your first stop will be Murano, famous worldwide since the 1200s for the art of glass making. You will visit one of Venice’s most important factories to learn how the intricate glasswork is made and tour the showroom with works of masters like Signoretto. The second picturesque island is Burano, a fishermen’s island known for its brightly coloured houses and lace school. You will also visit the lesser known island of Sant'Erasmo. Ruined fortifications ring the isle, including the Torre Massimiliana - Tower of Maximilian - which was used by the Italian army during WWI. You will enjoy a short bike ride here.

Brenta Riviera tour Brenta Riviera tour

The Brenta River connects Venice with the city of Padua and was considered by many Venetians to be a continuation of the Grand Canal. Winters would be spent in the grand palaces along the canals in Venice, while in summer noble families would head to their villas in the countryside, giving rise to the Brenta Riviera. Amazingly there are about 3000 such villas in the Veneto and today you will be visiting two particularly beautiful ones.

Asolo tour Asolo tour

Today, visit Asolo, one of the most charming small towns in the Veneto and long a favourite with artists and writers. Its nickname of ‘the city of a hundred horizons’ refers to its magnificent position with views across to the foothills of the Dolomites. One of the first streets you will come to is the Via Browning, named in honour of Robert Browning, who was one of many famous visitors and whose last work, ‘Asolando’ was written here. Another famous resident was the actress Isabella Duse, whose tempestuous love life caused her to seek refuge here. The whole town is a delight to wander around and has some lovely shops and galleries as well as a museum and castle.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private boat transfer from your hotel to Venice airport

Use the navigation to jump down to a particular part of this example trip
What's Your Dream Trip?
We design private journeys for people who wish to go beyond the typical and experiencing something truly special. Our amazing team of travel designers, concierges and local guides work together to create unique journeys that get deep under the skin of where you’re visiting.

Get in Touch

A Romantic Sojourn to Northern Croatia and Venice

12-Day Example Trip
 
1
Simply complete the form below or give us a call
2
We'll get in touch within 24 hours and work with you to perfect the details of your trip.
3
Sit back and relax while we plan the perfect itinerary for you.
Travel Information
    Please enter the number of passengers.
    Your Trip
    Please leave a message so we can start planning your bespoke trip.
    Budget
    Your Details
    You haven't entered your name.
    Please enter a valid phone number so we can get in touch.
    Please enter a valid email address so we can get in touch.

    How We Work

    We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

    Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.

    From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.