Croatia: Istria and the Dalmatian Coast

Hill Towns, Islands, and Culinary Delights


On the sunny northern Dalmatian Coast (and away from the cruise ships), we’ve crafted a journey of vineyard hikes, walks in truffle and olive oil country, island hopping, and seaside rambles along the blue Adriatic. We’ll hike up to the castle-topped hill town of Motovun, with a walk on its ancient walls, explore the Kvarner Gulf by sailboat, enjoy swim stops, and see the grand Roman amphitheater at Pula. Along the way, our Trip Leaders introduce us to fascinating people, great wines, and regional delights (freshly grilled calamari, enjoyed waterside!). Our journey begins in Slovenia’s lovely capital, Ljubljana, and our finale is in the medieval island-town of Trogir, a World Heritage Site known for its mix of Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque architecture.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Ljubljana, Slovenia / Motovun, Croatia / Grožnjan

In castle-topped Ljubljana, set along the curving Ljubljanica River, we stroll across picturesque bridges and visit the market, then cross to Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula for a hike through truffle country to the hill town of Motovun, entering town through its original gates. After our hike on the Parenzana Trail, which links Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy, we visit the artists’ haven of Grožnjan, once a Venetian fortress town.

Hotel Cubo
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Day 1 (1 night)
InterContinental Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Day 1 (1 night)
Kastel Motovun
Motovun, Croatia
Days 2 to 3 (2 nights)
Days 4-5
Rovinj / Porec / Pula

We walk another scenic stretch of the Parenzana, then head to Porec, climbing up the bell tower of its majestic cathedral for Adriatic vistas. At Pula, we explore its impressive Roman amphitheater. Overnights are in Rovinj, set on a peninsula jutting into the sea. With its quayside cafes, yachts, and Venetian mansions, it has a delightfully Italian flavor.

Villa Angelo d'Oro
Rovinj, Croatia
Days 4 to 5 (2 nights)
Days 6-7
Cres / Lubenice

On rugged Cres, an island of tiny stone villages, we hike from clifftop Lubenice down through pine forests to the bay of Martinšica for a picnic and a swim. We walk along the seaside promenade to Veli Lošinj, set around a natural harbor, and up a ridge to the church of St. Ivan, overlooking the sea.

Boutique Hotel Alhambra
Losinj, Croatia
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 8-11
Rab / Trogir

By private sailboat, we head to the Renaissance-era island of Rab, and we hike in Krka National Park to enjoy its karst landscape of cliffs and canyons. Our trip ends in Trogir, with its medieval Old Town surrounded by the sea. Depart on Day 11 via Split or extend to Dubrovnik.

Hotel Arbiana
Rab, Croatia
Days 8 to 9 (2 nights)
XII Century Heritage Hotel
Trogir, Croatia
Day 10 (1 night)



Hike to the stunning hill towns of Motovun, Gracisce, and Lubenice
Discover the amphitheater at Pula, whose amazing state of preservation brings the Roman world to life
Explore exquisite Rovinj, Veli LoĊĦinj, and islands of the northern Dalmatian Coast
Enjoy private tastings of regional delights and sample great local wines


Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5795  
Arrive: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Depart: Split, Croatia
Lodging: 10 nights hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 3 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

A mix of easy to moderate walks and hikes, 2-5 hours a day, van support

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