Here is a rough itinerary for our trip. I think the time spent in each city is probably set, but all activities are certainly subject to change! We'd love to have friends join us on this trip, so let me know if you're interested!
September 4-5, 2017: Travel Days
Depart Kansas City on September 4th. Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia on September 5th.
September 5-7, 2017: Zagreb
Croatia's capital and largest city, Zagreb also was the cultural capital of the former Yugoslavia. The city boasts many museums, art galleries, orchestras and folk festivals. Today, outdoor cafes are full, dance clubs pump music into the night air and art festivals are popular.
Zagreb has several reminders of the Austro-Hungarian period, particularly the decorated facades and the deep yellow color of old government buildings.
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
In the heart of Zagreb, one of the first buildings you see exiting the train station, within walking distance of most of the city's attractions and trendy new cafes and restaurants, this hotel is arguably the most stylish hotel in Croatia, not just Zagreb.
September 5, arrive at Zagreb airport mid-day. Check into hotel. Afternoon and evening free to explore Zagreb.
September 6 - Activity ideas:
- Guided walking tour of Zagreb (approximately 2 hours)
- Castles tour (full day)
- Ancient Zagreb bike tour (approximately 2.5 hours)
September 7-10, 2017: Split with visit to Plitvice Lakes
September 7: Check out of Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. Transfer to Split with a stop at Plitvice Lakes. Check into Le Meredien Lav Split for 3 nights.
Plitvice Lakes are the Croatia’s oldest and most visited national park, enlisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1979. One of the biggest gems of our country is a must see while spending time in Croatia. Through centuries water was carving lakes and forming waterfalls resulting with creation of 16 crystal clear lakes. Enjoy outstanding natural beauty of the forest landscape and clear water of the lakes interconnected by a series of waterfalls. Board an electric boat across the Kozjak lake and don’t miss to learn more about karst phenomenon and rich animal life of the site. Become one with nature, enjoy the clean pure air and get lost in the breathtaking views that surround you.
Le Meridien Lav Split
This chic resort is a destination unto itself, a prize for both leisure and commercial travelers seeking a wide range of facilities in a prime beachfront setting. Stretched along nearly a half-mile of seafront, just 5 miles south of Split, Le Meridien Lav is both an architectural standout and a purveyor of some of the highest service standards in the country.
Recreation focuses on the large indoor and even larger outdoor pool complex. The outdoor infinity pool merges like a mirage into the sea, whereas the indoor pool provides a pragmatic option for lap swimmers. Both areas have ample lounge space with reclining chairs and pillow-covered ottomans. The gym comes with an excellent assortment of cardio and weight machines. Organized children's activities keep kids entertained.
The unique Diocletian Spa breaks the mold with its space-age Aroma Grotto, whirlpool, Finnish sauna, Roman Treatment Room and futuristic water bed. Don't miss the kaleidoscope-colored Relaxation Lounge with its specially designed chaise longues. A similarly tranquil ambience is harbored in front of the fireplace in the hotel's library lounge.
There is also watersports rental at the beach club, a lavish casino and tennis. Yachtsmen gather at the Promenade Marina Lav, which boasts 80 state-of-the-art berths, along with additional shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.
September 8-9: At leisure in Split.
The seaport of Split, Croatia, designated by UNESCO as a cultural treasure, lies on the Dalmatia coast 160 mi/260 km south of Zagreb. Its palm-lined oceanfront promenade is reminiscent of the French Riviera, but the rest of the old city reveals a striking combination of Roman, Venetian and Hapsburg influences.
Tourists aren't the only ones who have enjoyed the charms of the city—the Roman emperor Diocletian built a palace in Split in the fourth century, and Prime Minister Joseph Broz Tito maintained a palace in the city.
Art aficionados will not want to miss the two galleries dedicated to Croatia's greatest sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic.
Be sure to spend time just walking around this interesting city. Take a ride up the hill of Marjan for a fabulous view of the city and the sea.
- Take a boat to neighboring islands such as Hvar and Brac. See the Blue Cave and Blue Lagoon.
- Walking tour of Split with a visit to Diocletian Palace.
- Bike or kayak tour of Split.
- Day trip to Trogir.
Bellevue Hotel Dubrovnik
Carved into a cliffside, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing the vast Adriatic, five-star boutique Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik is a state-of-the-art seaside retreat around the bay from Dubrovnik’s a magnificent 6th-century Old Town.
Strikingly set on a 30m-high cliff on Miramare Bay, Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik gives you some of the most cinematic panoramas of the Dalmatian coast. From the moment you arrive, you’re immersed in a world of contemporary luxury and elegant service that makes you feel as if you’re on your own private ocean liner.
Yet it is just a 10-minute walk down to the mesmerizing medieval city centre. Which means you have the best of both worlds. At the bottom of the cliff our private pebble beach invites you to lie on a sun lounger, so there’s not far to go when you’re in the mood to lie back and soak up the hot Mediterranean sun.
September 11 - at leisure in Dubrovnik.
Like something out of a picture-perfect fairy tale, the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a walled medieval city, with drawbridges (used in the 1991-92 war) and 18-ft-/6-m-high gates guarding the main entrances. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but it's also very much a living, breathing city.
From the crenulated ramparts and watchtowers, there are some perfect vistas of the city and the Adriatic Sea. Because the Old Town is blissfully free of traffic, the main streets (Placa or Stradun), squares and alleyways are perfect for exploring the city on foot.
Most of the inhabitants of Dubrovnik live outside of the Old Town's city walls. However, inside those walls, the streets and alleyways are crammed with tiny shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that spill out onto the street at every conceivable point.
The serious damage from the Serbia-Croatian War has been completely repaired. Locals are still keen to point out the shrapnel and bullet damage that has been retained as a reminder of those dark days, which still come up frequently in conversation.
September 12 - Day trip to Montenegro
Head south to diminutive coastal Montenegro on this day trip from Dubrovnik. Take a scenic drive on the southern Dalmatian Coast and experience small Adriatic villages and towns, including the UNESCO-listed Kotor, situated in Europe’s southernmost fjord. Admire Sveti Stefan, a medieval island turned luxury hotel, and spend some time in Budva, a walled medieval town on the sea, like a mini Dubrovnik. Finish with a ferry ride back to Dubrovnik.