Croatia Food Tour: Explore The Culinary Pearl of the Adriatic
From ancient walled cities to glistening turquoise waters, Croatia is a country of contrasts. Eastern traditions mingle with European sophistication while a Mediterranean climate gives way to serene lakes and forested mountains. Meanwhile, the uniquely blended cuisine illuminates centuries of cultural influences and beckons you to explore on one of our sumptuous Croatia culinary tours.
Journey to the far coast of the Adriatic, where authentic Dalmatian markets, ancient ruins, and classic hill towns await you. On our Croatia culinary tour, you’ll cook alongside welcoming locals whose home-prepared meals reflect a diversity of Italian, Turkish, Hungarian and Austrian styles. Along the way, you’ll dive into Croatia’s multifaceted heritage with a traditional truffle hunt, a boat ride to a private island, and excursions to some of Croatia’s most iconic cities and Roman ruins.
Top Croatia Culinary Tour Experiences
Food walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town
Visit to a private island to sample fresh oysters paired with wine
Croatian cooking class in a private home
Visit to a vibrant food market
Authentic truffle hunt, followed by a truffle cooking class
Delicious wine tasting in Istria
Our signature cooking classes, stellar local guides, and unique experiences provide the ultimate access to this uniquely exotic yet classically European destination. Find out why Croatia is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” on one of our new culinary tours of Croatia, which are offered exclusively as a private trip year-round. For more information, please call 1-800-567-9400 or email us today.
Is a Croatia Food Tour for You?
Our Croatia culinary tours are ideal for those wishing to enjoy authentic connections with locals and experiential travel both in cities and in rural areas.
Please note that although our culinary tours of Croatia are not an exceptionally active trips, there is quite a bit of walking, including some uneven pavement and dirt paths during our truffle hunt.
All of our food tours include a rich combination of delicious ingredients: expert cooking classes, visits to flourishing farms and vibrant markets, and world-class cuisine!
Your Croatia Culinary Tour Itinerary
DAY 1: Our Croatia Culinary Tour Begins in Dubrovnik
Welcome to Croatia, Europe’s Adriatic jewel. After passing through customs, you will exit the airport, where our driver will be waiting for you. The salty breeze and stunning turquoise waters will greet you as we make our way to our charming, historic seaside hotel where you can spend the afternoon at your leisure. Our Croatia culinary tour begins in the evening with a welcome dinner at an authentic Croatian restaurant in the heart of old town Dubrovnik.
Meals included: Dinner
Drive time: 30 minutes
DAY 2: Old Town Dubrovnik & Walking Food Tour
Today we explore Dubrovnik through a special walking food tour of the city. Equal parts history, food, and culture, this is the ultimate glimpse into Croatia’s most iconic city. You’ll wander through the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries and palaces within ancient city walls transport you back in time. Along the way, you’ll sample local flavors and regional specialties, while perusing locally produced, artisanal products and uncovering the role of food in local traditions. The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy by soaking in the atmosphere of Dubrovnik or relaxing by the sea at our hotel’s private beach.
Meals included: Breakfast, food tour tastings
DAY 3: Oyster Tasting on a Private Island & Transfer to Split
Today we say farewell to Dubrovnik and continue our Croatia food tour as we head up the coast. After a delicious breakfast we’ll make our way to ancient Split. Along the way, we’ll stop at the Pelješac peninsula, an area known for its its velvety, full-bodied red wines, long city walls, and authentic salt works. We’ll continue our drive, stopping in Ston for a boat trip to a local oyster farmer’s private island. After learning about the oyster-growing process, you’ll have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim while our host prepares a mouthwatering lunch of fresh oysters, homemade bread, and of course, wine. Upon arrival in our centrally located hotel in the city of Split, the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Drive time: 3.5 hours
DAY 4: Diocletian’s Palace, Market Tour & Cooking Class
We start our day with an exploration of Diocletian’s Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient and impressive 4th-century Roman complex makes up about half of Split, a thriving city that is both ancient and modern. From there, we will immerse ourselves in Split’s exuberant culinary scene with a visit to the food markets. You’ll mingle with locals, peruse the vibrant stalls, and find fresh harvests for our upcoming cooking class. With the help of a local chef, we’ll journey to the Peškarija (the fish market), Mesnica (the local butchers), or Pazar (the vegetable market) to bring authentic Mediterranean recipes to life. The old town of Split and its surrounding islands will serve as your backdrop as we prepare, and enjoy, this delicious meal in an authentic Dalmatian home.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
DAY 5: Plitvice National Park & Transfer to Rovinj
This morning we will journey from Split to the delightful town of Rovinj on the Istria peninsula. We’ll stop at Plitvice National Park along the way, one of Eastern Europe’s greatest natural wonders and one of Croatia’s most stunning destinations. The Plitvice lakes are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site and we’ll have a local guide to help us explore the shimmering turquoise lakes and majestic waterfalls before continuing on to our lovely boutique hotel in Rovinj. The Istrian peninsula is shared between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, with the largest portion belonging to Croatia. Istria is known for its truffles, vineyards and olive groves, as well as its Roman ruins and charming hill towns – of which Rovinj is arguably the most charming. You’ll spend the next two days of your Croatia food tour exploring Istria’s culinary and cultural delights.
Meals included: Breakfast
Drive time: 7 hours
DAY 6: Istria Truffle Hunt & Cooking Class
This morning we venture to the inner region of Istria for an authentic truffle hunt through the beautiful Croatian countryside, one of the highlights of our Croatia food tours. Local residents and their trained dogs will join us in the woods of Motovun along the river Mirna as we search for some of the finest truffles in the world. After working up an appetite, you’ll return from your exciting trek to enjoy a truffle cooking class. We’ll savor the lunch we have helped prepare before continuing on to the spectacular Medieval town of Motovun, one of central Istria’s best-known hill towns. Making sure you’ve got your fill of splendid views of the valley below, we’ll return to Rovinj with the rest of the evening free to relax.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Drive time: Minimum 2 hours, actual time may vary
DAY 7: Visit to Pula & Wine Tasting
This morning we depart for a half-day excursion to Pula, where some of Croatia’s most impressive Roman ruins await. We’ll explore the famous Pula Arena, which is the sixth largest Roman amphitheater in existence, as well as the Forum, the Temple of Augustus, the Twin Gate, and the Gate of Hercules. Following our tour of the ancient ruins, we’ll journey to a lovely estate for a farewell tasting of authentic Croatian wines. Dinner tonight will be at your leisure, giving you a chance to savor your last night in Croatia.
Meals included: Breakfast
Drive time: 45 minutes
DAY 8: Croatia Food Tour Ends
Sadly, your Croatia culinary tour ends today. After breakfast, you will head to the Pula airport for your return flight home.
Meals included: Breakfast
Drive time: 40 minutes
Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on our Croatia food travel experiences, but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored to the interests of the group.
Croatia Cooking Tours: Authentic Croatian Food
Croatian food derives its influences from a rich local history as well as the many surrounding regions and cultures. Mediterranean seafood along the coast blends seamlessly with rustic inland specialties, allowing the Croatia traveler to experience a world of tastes in a single day. Much of the Dalmatian coast and the Istria peninsula was dominated by the Venetians for centuries, so when you join one of our Croatia cooking tours you’ll enjoy strong Mediterranean and Italian influences.
When you join one of our Croatia cooking tours you’ll gather fresh ingredients from the market, cook with locals, dine in authentic Croatian restaurants, and enjoy regional delicacies like oysters, black risotto, and truffles. In Istria we’ll learn how Croatians use the land with a traditional truffle hunt and fantastic wine tasting.
Our Croatia cooking tours include daily breakfasts, three lunches, and a welcome dinner on the first evening.
Boutique Croatia Hotels
Our Croatia tour takes you from iconic Dubrovnik to ancient Pula. Along the way, we’ll stay at three top-tier boutique Croatia hotels that provide upscale amenities, convenient locations, and stunning rooms.
Days 1 – 2:
Our Dubrovnik accommodations offer regal luxury in a truly gorgeous setting. Our cliffside hotel, just above the old-town, overlooks the Adriatic Sea with terraced gardens, a lavish spa, and a private beach.
Days 3 – 4:
We’ll spent the next two nights at a centrally-located, stylish hotel in Split that combines sophisticated quality with refined comfort. In the heart of Split, this hotel is perfectly situated for discovering the city and its surroundings.
Days 5 – 8:
The remaining three nights are spent in a boutique waterfront hotel in the Istria region. Recently renovated, this 20th century building provides a classically elegant experience and is just minutes away from Rovinj’s many landmarks and sites.
Each hotel includes breakfast, en suite bathrooms, and internet access.
Note: All Croatia hotels are subject to availability and may be changed as needed.
Croatia Travel Information From Access Culinary Trips
Arrival and Departure Travel Information
You should make your flight arrangements to arrive at Dubrovnik Čilipi Airport (DBV). We recommend arriving by 5:00 PM to join for the welcome dinner.
This trip will end in Pula, so please plan to depart from Pula’s International airport (PUY).
Pick-up & Drop-off Information
We provide complimentary group airport pick-ups and drop-offs at the specified airports and times on the first and last day of the trip. We will be waiting for you with a sign saying ‘Access Culinary Trips’ as you exit customs at Dubrovnik’s airport. We will not know the group transfer time until we have received the final flight information from all guests. We will notify you in advance should there be a wait time longer than two hours from your flight’s scheduled departure time. In this case, you may choose to wait for the included group transfer or we can arrange in advance of your trip a private car and driver for an additional cost. If you would like to be picked up or dropped off on a different day, or brought somewhere other than the airport, please contact us.
Note: We are not responsible for last minute adjustments due to changes or delays with arrival and departure flights.
We do not book international flights to or from Croatia for our guests. If you would like assistance with purchasing your flight/visa or travel insurance, please let us know and we will forward your contact information and trip details to our travel agent partner.
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR CROATIA
Travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage, is compulsory for all our trips. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance that includes cancellation protection so that you will be covered in the event that you are unable to attend our trip (due to injury, illness or other unforeseen circumstances). Please do not attend any of our trips without purchasing appropriate insurance coverage and providing the details to Access Culinary Trips.
Please note: proof of insurance is due within 14 days of booking, and delay in receipt may result in late documentation charges.
We do not provide travel insurance for our clients. Additional details are on our website here.
Passports & Visas
Travel to Croatia requires a valid passport (most countries require a minimum of 6 months validity) and US citizens do not require a tourist visa. To learn more about visa and entry requirements for Croatia, please check out the State Department’s website at: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/croatia.html
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documentation.
HEALTH & SAFETY IN CROATIA
If your friends or family need to contact Access Culinary Trips due to an emergency while you are on the tour, please have them refer to the pre-departure email that is sent out three weeks prior to departure, which will have specific contact information relevant to your trip. If you need to contact Access Culinary Trips while traveling, please also refer to the emergency contact information in the pre-departure email.
Guests with preexisting medical conditions are required to disclose this information prior to traveling with Access Culinary Trips, and all guests with preexisting conditions are required to provide a note from a doctor clearing them for travel. The US Department of State recommends that travelers with medical prescriptions consider bringing small additional amounts of prescribed medicines as well as a copy of the prescription and a letter from the prescribing physician explaining the need for prescription.
We strongly recommend that all of our guests visit a travel doctor before embarking on international travel. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive any necessary vaccinations before traveling on your trip with us. If there is a chance that you may be pregnant during your trip, please discuss your travel plans with your doctor.
Please carefully review the health information section of the following webpage for up-to-date health information, including information on the quality of medical care, the availability of medications and the necessity for vaccinations in Croatia: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/croatia
Our trips are open to anyone who wants to explore our exotic destinations through cuisine. We do engage in multiple walking tours, some of which last several hours.
Safety & Security
To maximize your safety during our tours you should exercise common sense and caution at all times. We recommend that you always stick to set travel arrangements, and avoid unknown areas. We also recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items (including cell phones) safely stored. Always keep a copy of your passport, airline tickets, and credit card numbers separate from where you keep the originals. For more information on safety and security in Croatia, please review the safety and security section of the following webpage: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/croatia.html
Children ages 12 and up are welcome on group trips. Children under 12 are welcome on private tours. Please contact us with any questions.
Croatia sits between Eastern and Western Europe and boasts a traditional yet progressive society. Out of respect for the culture(s) we are visiting, please note:
If you are eating in a local’s home, come with a hearty appetite (it is a compliment to eat a lot), but do not begin eating until the host signals to begin.
It is polite to refuse seconds, but you should take more if the host insists.
When walking in town, strangers will nod their heads in passing.
Croatians are known for being lively conversationalists and speaking loudly, so you may experience interactions that are more exuberant than what you’re used to.
Most people speak Croatian (hrvatski), which is the official language. The main dialect is based on Shtokavian, or Eastern Herzegovinian, although there are a number of other regional dialects.
Croatia has a moderately warm and rainy climate, specifically along the Adriatic Coast. Our Croatia Culinary Tour takes us along the coast from seaside Dubrovnik, north through Split and Rovinj, culminating in the ancient city of Pula.
We start our tour in Dubrovnik, whose subtropical, Mediterranean climate lends itself well to beachgoing and sightseeing. It has hot, muggy, moderately dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Be prepared for intermittent thunderstorms throughout the year.
Next we travel to Split, which is similar in climate to Dubrovnik but can feel a bit chillier due to the strong northerly winds. July is the hottest month for this region, with an average high temperature of about 30 °C (86 °F), and January is the coldest month, with an average low temperature of around 5 °C (41 °F).
We then journey to the seafront city of Rovinj, where the climate is warm and temperate. Rainfall is common in Rovinj, even in the driest months.
Pula is our final stop on the tour, where the Alps to the north protect the region and produce a pleasant climate. The summers are usually warm during the day and cooler in the evening. Highs are around 24 °C (75 °F) during August and lows average 6 °C (43 °F) in January.
CURRENCY, BANKING & SPENDING MONEY IN CROATIA
The national currency is the Croatian kuna (HRK). There are exchange bureaus in airports, certain hotels, and most banks. Counters require your passport for the transaction.
For the latest currency exchange information please go to: https://finance.yahoo.com/currency-converter
ATMs are available in all cities and major towns. It is recommended to notify your bank or card issuer that you intend to travel abroad so that no block will be put on the usage of your credit or ATM cards.
Meals: All breakfasts, three lunches ( including the lunches we cook during classes) and the group welcome dinner are included, Please plan to bring at least $5-$10 per lunch and $10-$20 per dinner for those meals that are not included, as well as money for snacks and drinks.
Tipping: Tipping is standard throughout Croatia.
Tour Guide/Drivers: If you are pleased with the services provided by your tour guide and driver, then a tip for their hard work will be very much appreciated. In general, we recommend around US $10 -15 per day, per traveler for guides and US $5-7 per day, per traveler for drivers if less than 4 people in a group. We recommend around US $5-10 per day, per traveler for guides and US $3-5 per day, per traveler for drivers if there are 5 people or more.
Hotel & Restaurant Staff: We recommend 10% of the total bill in restaurants. When you stay a couple of days in the same hotel, a tip of $1-3 per day to the maid service is appreciated, as well as $1-3 for help from porters.
Other expenses: There are no required additional expenses for this trip, but you might like to take spending money for such things as souvenir shopping and nightlife.
ELECTRICITY & INTERNET IN CROATIA
In Croatia the power sockets are of type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
There is wi-fi access in all the hotels.
Most US cell phones will not work in Croatia, unless you have a specific international plan. Contact your cellular provider to see what options you have in terms of international calling plans.
WHAT TO TAKE
We strongly recommend using TSA approved luggage locks on your bags and to hand carry valuables on the plane. We recommend that you pack as lightly as possible. There may not always be someone available to help you carry your bags so you should only bring as much as you can carry on your own.
We suggest that you bring the following items:
Clothing & Equipment
Season specific clothing including items to layer with
Clothes to wear for optional upscale restaurants
Comfortable walking shoes
Sunscreen / sunglasses / hat
First-aid kit (should contain lip balm, aspirin, band aids, a cream for sore muscles (e.g. deep heat), Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
Click here to check out our recommended reading before your tour!
FINAL NOTES ON YOUR CROATIA TOUR
This is a tool meant to help you decide what you should bring on your upcoming trip. It is by no means comprehensive. While we do our best to be as thorough as possible, we cannot foresee every possible condition. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The information contained in this document is provided in good faith. Due to the nature of travel, details in this document may change. You should thus use the above information as an indication only and not as a contractual obligation on the part of Access Culinary Trips.