Croatia: Coastal Palaces & Cutting-Edge Art - Atlas Obscura Trips
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Photo Credit: Elaine Ritchel
Photo Credit: Elaine Ritchel

Croatia: Coastal Palaces & Cutting-Edge Art

from $4,835 USD per person for 10 days, 9 nights
See Dates
  • 12 People Maximum
  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Overland Adventure
See Dates
Trip Overview
Overview

Cutting-edge artwork, traditional stonemasonry, hilltop fortresses, tucked-away monasteries, Roman ruins, and Renaissance palaces—Croatia has it all. On this visually inspiring journey, we’ll discover Croatia’s rich history and culture through its eclectic and innovative art and architecture. Traveling from Zagreb to the Dalmatian Coast, we’ll meet local artists and artisans, revel in haunting melodies created by the Sea Organ, explore the tucked-away corners of Diocletian’s Palace, visit the former seaside home of sculptor Ivan Meštrović, and stay in a Renaissance-era palace or two. We’ll also taste delicious local cheeses, olive oils, and other delicacies as we experience island life on the Adriatic. Each night, we’ll retire to atmospheric accommodations replete with architectural details that hint at a bygone era.

Highlights
  • Early computer art, experiential installations, and stunning sculptures
  • Visit to a seaside stonemasons’ school
  • A quintessentially Renaissance cathedral and a cliffside monastery
  • Hidden corners of Diocletian’s Palace
  • Distinctive, visually arresting accommodations

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
Croatia

Trip Leaders

Nikica Trutanić
Nikica is a native Croatian from the island of Brač. A tour guide with degrees in economics and business communication from the University of Lugano and University of Zagreb, Nikica is in love with his island and spends his summers there, working as a tour guide for his own agency. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of the island’s unique history and natural beauty with travelers, and providing insider tips on delicious local gastronomy and wine. A fan of outdoor activities,, Nikica has been leading hiking and cultural tours along Croatian coast since 2015. During the winter, when not escaping to a warm destination somewhere in the tropics, he leads cultural walking tours in Zagreb. Winter in Zagreb allows him to enjoy the city’s art and theatre scenes, and to discover the best new restaurants in town.
Elaine Ritchel
Elaine fell in love with art at the age of five. She can still remember being struck by the vibrant colors of van Gogh and Monet—and it’s this same fascination and curiosity that inspires the tours she leads today. She holds a master's degree in Art History and has worked as a gallery teacher and art museum educator in the US and abroad. She specializes in discussion-based teaching and creates meaningful, art-centered experiences that promote visual literacy, inspire personal awareness, and deepen connections with the world around us. After a three-year stint in Croatia, where she worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and the Croatian Association of Artists, Elaine returned to New Mexico to launch Santa Fe Art Tours. When she's not gathering people together around great works of art, Elaine enjoys exploring the desert landscapes of northern New Mexico and relaxing at her adobe casita with a good book. Elaine is also an arts, culture, and travel writer.

Additional Info

Pricing & Single Accommodations

The total cost of this trip is $4,835. For those traveling by themselves, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $1,125. Please contact us to request a single room.

Accommodations

We’ll be staying at several different hotels throughout our journey, each with a variety of room configurations available. Single travelers should be prepared to share a room with travelers of the same gender, depending on the composition of the group. A limited single supplement of $1,125 is available for single travelers who prefer a single room.

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a brief meet-and-greet with your guide at 5 p.m. on Day 1 at Palace Hotel, followed by a walking tour. We recommend you arrive at our accommodations in Zagreb by 3 p.m. that day, so that you’ll have time to settle in and freshen up before the group convenes. Our trip concludes the morning of Day 10, and you may depart whenever you wish. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’re happy to provide suggestions for things to do in the city on your own.

Activity Level

Travelers should feel comfortable walking two to four miles each day, climbing stairs, and remaining on their feet for long periods of time. Keep in mind that we’ll be visiting several historic cities, where we’ll be walking along slick and narrow stone streets and passageways as well as up and down stairs. Some of our accommodations are located in historic buildings located in pedestrian zones, so our bus may not be able to pull right up to the door. Please note that some hotels don’t have an elevator. While assistance with luggage is available, we recommend packing light and carrying luggage that will be easy to maneuver. 

Please note that the hike to Pustinja Blaca is indeed a hike, not a walk. It takes about 45 minutes each way, with uphill and downhill stretches along a rock and gravel path. If you choose not to join the hike to Pustinja Blaca, you can relax and enjoy free time on your own.

Included
  • Nine nights in hotels that range in feel from casual and charming to luxurious. All feature a striking aesthetic, unique histories, and fun architectural details.
  • Nine breakfasts, three lunches, four dinners with wine, a tasting at the Olive Oil Museum, and a local market tasting.
  • Private coach transfers throughout the trip and gratuity for our drivers.
  • Ferry tickets and private taxi boat.
  • An experienced trip leader and local guide to accompany you throughout the trip, as well as special guests throughout.
  • Admission to all proposed activities, locations, and events.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura adventurers, excited to explore all that Croatia has to offer!
Excluded
  • Transportation to and from Zagreb.
  • Airport transfers. Airport transfers to our hotel in Zagreb, if desired, may be arranged through Zagreb City Transfers.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including most alcoholic beverages.
  • Applying for a Croatian visa, if applicable. (Not required for U.S. passport-holders.)
  • Admission or fees for suggested “free time” excursions or activities.
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Trip FAQs

We’ll be spending time inland in Zagreb and on the Dalmatian Coast. In Zagreb, daytime temperatures typically fall in the 60s or 70s. At night, it’s a bit cooler, with temperatures dipping into the 50s. On the coast, it’s usually a little bit warmer, with daytime temperatures averaging in the 70s. At night, temperatures usually fall in the low 60s or high 50s. Layering is key for those chilly evenings, and because we may encounter some rain, we recommend bringing along a poncho, rain jacket, or travel umbrella. As for swimming, the sea may be too chilly for a dip, but temperatures are usually warm enough for sunbathing.

Upcoming Departures

  • May 21–May 30, 2020
    from $4,835 per person
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Booking and payment processing partners may vary with departure date.
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