Hiking and history Croatia and Montenegro

Situated at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean Sea, Croatia is blessed with enough topnotch attractions to guarantee the visitor an unending succession of highlights. Cultural treasures include stunning Roman, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, superb wines and cuisine, storybook castles, rich folk music traditions and impressive museums and galleries. Natural history and hiking enthusiasts will marvel at the spectacular scenery and unique setting of Plitvice, one of the most impressive national parks in the world. Island-seeking hikers and wine connoisseurs will be enthralled not only by glamorous, idyllic Hvar, but also by Mljet, an extraordinarily beautiful island paradise that will quickly have you contemplating your next visit! City lovers will be hard-pressed to find another small city anywhere with the physical beauty, cultural attributes and setting of Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic.”

History buffs will greedily soak in the fascinating story of a region in which the Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and Hungarians all figure prominently, and in which the tiny Republic of Ragusa managed to maintain independence for almost 500 years! Most likely you’ll return home from Croatia very glad that you did not limit your visit to a couple of cruise stops along the Dalmatian Coast. Highlights of your 12 day Croatian Adventure include a walking tour and Croatian fusion cooking class in Zagreb; exploring the impressive hilltop castles of the Zagorje highlands region; hiking along the stunningly beautiful lakes and waterfalls of Plitvice National Park; strolling along the laberynthine, cobblestone streets of ancient Trogir and of Split’s Diocletian Palace; visiting one or two galleries devoted to Ivan Metrovic, Croatia’s celebrated sculptor; hiking, swimming and bicycling in the island paradise of Mljet; wine-tasting, touring and relaxing in Hvar Island; hiking along the city walls of Dubrovnik; and cruising along the Kotor Fjord and touring the incredibly well-preserved Montenegrin cities of Perast and Kotor. You’ll also have the option of visiting Mostar, Bosnia.

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Plitvice National Park

Plitvice National Park is truly one of the most enchanting and unique national parks in the world. Situated in the mountainous Lika region, Plitvice consists of a total of sixteen turquoise lakes surrounded by dense forests. The hiking is quite easy and, because there are several different trails, the length of the hike can be adjusted to suit your preferences. On the Croatia Adventure itinerary, travellers have the opportunity to explore both the Lower Lakes and Upper Lakes of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hvar Island Hvar Island’s sunny climate makes it one of Croatia’s most appealing destinations. Did you know that Hvar Town is pedestrian only? This allows you to wander and admire its many Renaissance buildings the medieval fortress of Spanjola, which sits atop a high hill. Not far from Hvar is Jelsa, best known for its intimate streets and squares, beautiful waterfront promenade and marina and quaint shops and restaurants. After strolling around town, you’ll be treated to a special wine-tasting visit to the Tomic winery, famous for Prosek, the original Dalmatian dessert wine.

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Dubrovnik A stunningly beautiful city with a fascinating history, Dubrovnik was settled in the 7th century. Dubrovnik thrived through maritime trade and its merchants plowed much of their wealth into building many elegant Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings and monuments. Your time in Dubrovnik will be spent with a private guide on a walking tour of this historic city’s walls; over a mile in length, and with a tower in each corner. If you choose, you can also kayaking along the city walls for a completely different view of Croatia’s most famous city.

Mljet and Mljet National Park The island paradise of Mljet, boasts two sublime, cobalt-colored salt water lakes ringed by forested-covered hills, with an island monastery inside one of the lakes. The eastern side of Mljet has lovely cove beaches, vineyards and small villages. At Mljet National Park, hike, bike or swim inside this lush oasis of tranquility.

Mt. Medvedica Don’t be intimated by the English translation of Bear Mountain! The mostly forested Mt. Medvednica, located in central Croatia, is gently sloping and an easy scenic hike that NEI travellers can enjoy during the Croatia Adventure tour. Panoramic views of Zagreb at the foothills are the highlight of this optional excursion.

Montenegro Perast, known for its baroque architecture built during the Venetian period, is also home to the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks. The church contains 68 magnificent paintings by Tripo Kokolja, a 17th-century artist from Perast. Kotor has the best-preserved old city along the Montenegrin coast. Its walled medieval city, with its winding, narrow little streets, squares and small churches, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll discover many bustling squares where Montenegro locals love to sit, converse and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee – a fine reward for your Croatia and Montenegro Adventure!

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