After breakfast at our hotel, we depart Trogir and travel to Split for a tour of Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This massive palace was built by Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD for his retirement. It's a fascinating place to explore and one of the most famous architectural and cultural features on Croatia's Adriatic coast. After touring Split we depart for Dubrovnik, arriving in the afternoon to allow time for a guided tour of its fascinating Old Town. One of the world's most beautiful and iconic fortified cities, Dubrovnik is a medieval port consisting of bastions, fortresses, bell towers, drawbridges, cathedrals and an endless, interesting maze of terracotta-roofed houses and shops. Our guide will share the rich history of the city while opening up some its hidden back doors. We retire in the seaside village of Zaton, our home for the next three nights. Zaton is a picturesque village set on a deep bay that offers us access to the bustle of Dubrovnik, while providing a quiet and traditional setting from which to base our explorations. Breakfast and lunch included.
Walking tour: 1.5 hours; Drive time: 3 hours.
Our destination today is southern Croatia's "undiscovered paradise"—the Elaphiti Islands. Depending on the weather, water conditions and group make-up, we paddle our kayaks directly from our home base in Zaton or take a short ride on a local ferry to one of the smallest of the Elaphiti Islands, Koločep. The island has fragrant cypress and pine forests creeping down rocky hillsides to beautiful sandy beaches and warm waters. We spend our day exploring the island coast on foot and in our kayaks. In the afternoon we return to Dubrovnik for independent exploration. Don't miss a walk on its city walls for superb views over the terracotta rooftops and the maze of alleyways. Relax in one of the Old Town's many sidewalk cafes and take-in the scene or visit crowd-free Lokrum Island, just 600 meters from Dubrovnik. All meals included.
Kayaking: 2-6 hours (depending on the weather and water conditions).
We start the day with a one hour boat transfer to Lopud Island; at 1.8 square miles it is the second-largest island in the Elaphiti archipelago. Lopud is a peaceful, car-free oasis, with about 200 inhabitants involved in agriculture and fishing. We will explore the island on foot, hike to the fortress on the top of the hill for amazing views of nearby Mljet and Sipan islands and the open sea and walk by numerous churches and chapels. In the afternoon we ferry from Lopud to the mainland and return to Zaton this evening for a final dinner together. All meals included.
Boat transfers: one hour each way; hiking: 4 miles; Terrain: Steep uphill with rocky sections and stairs, gradual descent on grassy and sandy pathways.
We provide one group transfer to Dubrovnik international airport for flights home today. Breakfast included (if flight departure time allows).