From: September 16 to September 23, 2018

Destination: Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

  • Pearls of the Croatian Coast

    Located on the Balkan peninsula and stretched out along the Adriatic Sea, Croatia's Dalmatian Coast is a unique meld of cultures. While this is most clearly seen in the beginning and end of our trip, the contrasting cities of Split and Dubrovnik, every place we go has its own unique feel. We'll visit Diocletian's Palace in Split, learn about traditional life away from the coast and the Alka Tournament in Sinjin, sea kayak in the Pakleni Islands, learn about lavendar production on Hvar, sample local specialties on Korcula, taste wine and oysters on the Peljasic Peninsula, and walk the walls of Dubrovnik. We'll go beyond sightseeing as we journey off the beaten path on little-known hikes. And at the end we'll have a new appreciation of this area that only twenty years ago was largely unknown to modern travelers. Maximum group size: 12

  • September 16, Sunday
    Our trip starts at 12PM at our hotel in Split. After a welcome and introductions, our Croatian guide will take us on a walking tour of the Old Town of Split, including a visit to the Marjan peninsula. Split is best known for Diocletian's Palace and the co-existence of ancient Roman Walls and current commerce is fascinating. It can also be a bit overwhelming and do a visit to Marjan is particularly welcome. Marjan, a beautiful and protected park forest with beaches on all three sides, little churches, trails, and viewpoints, is also known as the lungs of the town. The true locals can't imagine living in Split without Marjan - for many it meant first time experiencing nature, love, first day-trip, and first kiss. Greeks built a little temple there dedicated to goddess Diana, and some five centuries ago hermits walled up caves in the vertical rocks and contemplated life 'far from civilization'. It is an easy place to lose yourself, whether exploring its viewpoints or wandering among various species of Mediterranean herbs and plants growing along its paths as they wind through shades of pine trees in the north side. That night we'll go out for our first taste of delicious Croatian cuisine. Overnight Hotel Slavija

    September 17, Monday
    Today we're going to explore the Split hinterland with a visit to the picturesque and historic town of Sinj and its nearby villages. Although Dalmatian topography is mostly karst limestone, there are many fertile valleys, oases of fields, forests, rivers, creeks and waterfalls, sometimes set against spectacular canyons or mountains. Only a 30 minute drive from Split, this area has its own unique surroundings, history, and architecture. We start in a small village with a visit to an old stone mill where flour is still produced in the traditional way, using the force of water and stone mills. We'll then enjoy a short walk to the source of a small river called Grab, untouched and untamed, under protection from the nearby mountain Kamesnica. We continue to Sinj and a visit to the museum of ALKA. The Alka Tournament, protected by UNESCO as part of the unique cultural heritage of Sinj and Dalmatia, is a symbol of the struggle for freedom and independence, dating to the times of epic battles against the Ottomans. We'll then visit one of the local taverns for an authentic Dalmatian lunch, with famous Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese, delicious and completely homemade by locals! We'll return to Split where we'll have some free time in the afternoon before meeting up to go out to dinner. B, L, D

    September 18, Tuesday
    Today we take a ferry to Stari Grad on Hvar island, known as "the sunny island". Although now known as a summer resort, Hvar's history is long and compelling. We'll learn about some of it on our hike today, through two villages. Lavendar production was once central to Hvar's economy and while that is no longer true, small scale production still continues. We start in Velo Grablje in the lavender area. It was founded 500 years ago when Hvar's patricians and nobles sought refuge in the hills during the rise of the disempowered plebeians. Nowadays there are only a few full-time inhabitants in the village; many people maintain their homes there and return for the lavender festival during harvest and distillation. We will meet a local lavender producer and learn about the origins and production of lavender oil in these parts. Then we hike down the canyon to get to Malo Grablje - a little village abandoned in the 1950s due to hardships of life. Walking the alleys between the houses that were once bursting with family life and now reclaimed by vegetation, you can almost hear children play or adults talking about making olive oil. Our efforts are rewarded with a tasty lunch in the special ambience of an authentic local tavern in Malo Grablje. Our walk then continues down to a road where you can return to town for some free time. If you prefer to keep walking, a delightful hike along the coast line will bring you back to town. Regardless of which you choose, we'll share dinner at one of the local restaurants. B, L, D Overnight: Hotel Palace Hiking: 3 -5 hours depending on the option you choose

    September 19, Wednesday
    Croatia is defined by it's location on the Adriatic and today we will be exploring it by sea kayak! We'll start from Hvar Town, close to our hotel and paddle to the group of small islands called the Pakleni. The origin of the name goes back to the time when the islands were the main source of rosin for local shipbuilders. Today, like then, the islands are covered with thick pine woods providing refreshing shade even during the hottest summer days. The route through narrow straits and along islands reveals small hidden pebble beaches where we can swim, snorkel and relax. Lunch is in a restaurant on the beach and afterwards we return to Hvar.

    In the afternoon we'll have a tour of the town. Although the area of the town was inhabited more than two millennia ago by Illyrians and later by Greeks and Romans, Hvar began to flourish during the Venetian Empire when it served as a naval base. This is most evident in the architecture of the Arsenal where they repaired galleons, one of the oldest municipal theaters in Europe, the cathedral, and possibly the longest square in Dalmatia. We'll start at the fortress that dominates the town. Known as "Spanjola" it tells stories of the past times. It is a beautiful viewpoint, with Hvar's port and the archipelago of Pakleni spread out below you. Dinner is on your own tonight and after the tour you can explore one of the many restaurants the town is known for. B,L

    September 20, Thursday
    After breakfast we get on a local ferry for travel to Korcula. Korcula is an historic and fortified town on the east side of the island, populated even before the Greeks arrived. Later Venetians built the city there in the shape of a fishbone, which served as natural air conditioning by regulating the wind flow, and with walls that protected it not just from possible attack but also from stormy and cold winds in winter. Korculans claim it as the birth place of the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo.

    We'll follow a trail out of town to the village of Zrnovo, one of the oldest settlements on the island and known for wine and olive oil making, agriculture, and stonemasonry. The churches of this little village, spread across a relatively large area, are known for the diversity of their different visions and architectural styles. We can stop here for a quick coffee and then proceed into the field to a trail that leads to a magical place known as Kocje. Kocje is a labyrinth of strangely shaped dolomite rocks, overgrown with ivy, surrounded by holm oak and fern. The flora is interwoven in a most delicate way with cave-like spaces between the rocks dressed in moss, seemingly hiding some primordial secrets. Although this protected area is relatively small we'll enjoy spending some time exploring its green corridors, aromatic herbs, or looking for the "Fairies' spring". On the way back from Kocje we pass through Zrnovo again, this time choosing a different route. Along the way we'll sample local products, prepared using traditional recipes and typical local ingredients. We'll have lunch in a small tavern, before returning to our hotel. Overnight Hotel Korcula B, L, D

    September 21, Friday
    Today we explore the Peljesac Peninsula. Taking a ferry to the beginning of our hike, our trail starts in the small village of Viganj. From here we ascend on a rocky trail through vineyards and stone terraces onto a ridge with stunning views of the Adriatic and Korcula. We descend to the port of Orebic, home to a new maritime museum. From there its off to one of the famous Peljesac wine producers. The peninsula is famous for its wines, especially the red wines that grow on steep southern exposed slopes. We'll sample teas made of home- or wild-grown ingredients, small biscuits, cheese, wine, and oil with one of the most-esteemed winemakers of this area, Milos.

    Our next stop is an oyster farm! We'll learn how oysters, a well-known aphrodisiac, are grown and then have an opportunity to sample them. As we continue our journey, we'll take a short break in the small town of Ston. It is a town with majestic walls, the oldest in Europe, and an old salt processing plant, the pride of the Republic of Dubrovnik. We then continue our journey to majestic Dubrovnik, made famous by Game of Thrones, but always the best known destination in Croatia. After checking into our hotel, we'll have time to explore before or after dinner. Overnight Hotel Lero in Dubrovnik B,L,D

    September 22, Saturday
    No photos in the world can match viewing Dubrovnik with your own eyes, especially from the amazing perspective of the city walls where you see almost countless red roofs of old stone houses, not to mention the towers, churches and palaces. The Republic of Ragusa, the historic name of Dubrovnik, was an independent state for four and a half centuries. The city's history dates back long before that, however, and new archeological findings suggest it was founded by Greek sailors. The Republic's independence, which was skillfully lead and preciously maintained against the Ottomans and Venetians, ended with the arrival of the Napoleon's troops. History left traces on Dubrovnik and the mentality of its people, as evidenced by amazing architectural, artistic and cultural achievements. On top of everything else, it is situated in a very beautiful part of Croatia with the hinterland only recently being rediscovered and reevaluated on one side and the archipelago of Elafiti islands counting as the Adriatic’s finest gems on the other.

    Today will be both educational and inspiring. After the morning guided tour of the city, we will journey to the hinterland of Dubrovnik where we will learn about the amazing history of the area and visit the fortress Sokolgrad. After lunch at a family owned tavern, we'll visit one of the last places we can still see the process of handmade silk production. In the past silk was a very important material in this area, and we will visit a family who demonstrates the traditional manufacturing process, from the cocoon to the delicate details of traditional costumes from Dubrovnik.

    Tonight we'll share one final dinner together, raising a glass to toast each other and our new found appreciation of Croatian culture, history, and cuisine. B, L, D

    September 23, Sunday
    You are free to leave anytime this morning. We'll arrange shuttles to the airport based on departure times.
  • $3195 (see this page for travel discounts)There are four single supplements for those who prefer their own room for $550. You can see our cancellation policies here

    Trip Includes

    • A local guide and an Adventures in Good Company group leader
    • 7 nights double occupancy lodging
    • All meals from dinner the first day to breakfast on the last, except for one dinner
    • Airport transfers anytime at the beginning of the trip and one group shuttle at the end
    • All transportation (private bus, ferry, private boat) within Croatia
    • All entrance fees and activities as described in the itinerary

    Not included: Transportation to Split (SPU) or back from Dubrovnik (DBV), one dinner, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, guide gratuities and travel insurance.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Visiting Split and Dubrovnik, two of Croatia's most vibrant and completely different cities
  • Hiking off the beaten path on Hvar, Korcula, and the Peljasic Peninsula
  • Savoring Croatian wine and cuisine
  • Experiencing a culture which melds both Italian and Balkan influence into a unique blend

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