The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, 2023
Last June Tricia and I traveled to Croatia to research and design a T&T Travel Experience that meets our standards for great small group travel. For us this means the right blend of active exploration, fun activities, amazing hotels & meals and the simple luxury of time to just relax. In past retreats, this has always meant that we stayed at one perfectly located boutique hotel and day tripped from there.
Our challenge for this trip was to create our T&T Travel experience while covering more territory so our guests can experience the breadth and diversity of the Dalmatian Coast's history & natural beauty. To achieve this we have reduced the maximum number of guests in the group from 20 to 12 to allow for more nimble travel, and we have added an additional night to the trip. We think you will find our trip design meets these goals and will create many great memories for everyone.
Fall 2023 Trip
8 Days / 7 Nights
Arrival: Sept. 30th 2023
Check In: After 2:00 PM
Departure: Oct. 7th 2023
Check Out: Before 11:00 AM
Our journey will have two primary locations from which to explore the Dalmatian Coast, the seaside village of Cavtat on the mainland and the Island of Korcula nestled between the Pelješac Peninsula and other Croatian Islands of the Adriatic.
Cavtat is the ideal destination for the arrival and departure days of our Southeast European adventure. This beautiful small town is just 10 minutes from Dubrovnik International Airport and is outside the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik City. On arrival we stay at a family-owned boutique hotel on the water with nearby options for seaside strolls, swimming, sightseeing and dining. On the eve of departure, we stay at a large luxury hotel on the hill above Cavtat whose amenities will help us unwind prior to our return home.
Korcula Island is our home base for five nights of the trip. Art and history lovers will marvel at the Gothic and Renaissance architecture of Korcula Town. Often nicknamed ‘Little Dubrovnik’ the old town (just like Dubrovnik) is packed on to a peninsula. The name Korcula translates to ‘Dark Corfu’ named by the Greeks for the enchanting tangled woods that cover its landscape. Korcula is also well known for its own crisp white wines made from the Posip and Grk grapes that decorate the island's beautiful vineyards. Our hotel sits on a quiet bay just minutes from Korcula Town.
From these two perches we will explore the natural beauty and history of the region. We will tour the Old Towns of both Dubrovnik and Korcula to learn about the ancient Greek and Venetian influences on the Croatian culture. We will explore Korcula by sea to appreciate its beautiful coves, hidden beaches and small isles of the Korcula Archipelago. We'll travel to Mljet Island to hike/bike our way through an amazing national park. We will even drive dune buggies into the interior of Korcula to explore the native forests and vineyards that cover the inland hills. All the while, we will enjoy delicious meals, inspiring accommodations and the comradery of our fellow travelers. And don't worry, we have built in plenty of free time for guests to relax or to create their own personal adventures.
We will informally try to continue two popular T&T Travel traditions: Yoga Classes & Toby Tours. For this trip we will try to do one or two of each of these activities during the unscheduled portions of our trip. Tricia's yoga classes are suitable for all levels. Toby Tours are ad hoc and spontaneous adventures, where Toby grabs a van and invites anyone interested to explore parts of the island or attractions not included in the main itinerary. These tours are casual, and their destinations are often determined the night before over a glass of wine and fun conversation.
Browse some trip highlight photos here and review our daily itinerary below.
Day 1 (Sept. 30) - Arrival Day: Welcome to the Dalmatian Coast and the Seaside Village of Cavtat We will meet all guests as they land at the Dubrovnik Intl Airport on Arrival Day and transfer them to our Cavtat hotel for check in. Everyone has the day free to explore Cavtat, go for a swim in the ocean or relax at an outdoor cafe. At 5:00 PM we will have our first official group gathering and stroll to a local beach bar for a welcome cocktail. Afterward we will dine at a local restaurant on the promenade for our first taste of some delicious traditional Croatian cuisine and fresh seafood. Accommodations Villa Pattiera (1 night) Included Activities Welcome Gathering & Happy Hour at Local Beach Bar Included Meals Dinner on the Cavtat Promenade Included Travel Services Airport Pick Up Optional / Free Time Activities (9 AM to 4 PM Unscheduled) Explore Historic Cavtat Enjoy an Ocean Swim
Day 2 (Oct. 1) - The Pearl of the Adriatic: The History & Beauty of Dubrovnik After breakfast at Villa Patteira Tricia will lead the group for an adventure in Dubrovnik. We will jump in a water taxi from Cavtat Harbour and motor directly to the Dubrovnik's Old Town Port. This journey takes us up the beautiful Dalmatin coastline and past Lokrum Island. There we will meet up with our local guide,who will reveal the history and secrets of this charming city. From the great walls to the bustling narrow streets, we will visit the Old Town's highlights of Rector's Palace, St. Blaise Church, Luža (the Main Square) and much more. After the tour we will have 2 hours to explore on our own and have lunch in one of the many great restaurants. Next we take a fast ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula where that evening we check in to our new home away from home, Tara's Lodge. Fortunately, Toby will have transferred our bags from Dudrovnik earlier that day, so our rooms will be ready to go. Once settled in, we will enjoy our first delicious dinner at Tara's beach side restauant, Mimi's Bistro. Accommodations Tara's Lodge (1st of 5 Nights) Included Activities Guided Tour of Dubrovnik Old Town's Walls and City Center. Included Meals Breakfast at Villa Pattiera Dinner at Tara's Lodge Included Travel Services Luggage Transfer: Villa Pattiera to Tara's Lodge Water Taxi: Cavtat to Dubrovnik Old Town Fast Ferry: Dubrovnik to Korcula All Local Transport As Required Optional / Free Time Activities (1 PM to 3 PM Unscheduled) Browse Old Town Post Guided Tour Grab Lunch in Old Town Shopping
Day 3 (Oct. 2) - Korcula By Sea: A Boating Adventure to Introduce Croatia's Emerald Island What better way to introduce our new island home than a leisurely boat tour along the coast and to the cluster of 18 Škoji Islets that make up the Korcula Archipelago. There will be stops to secluded coves for swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear water and to historic landmarks like the Franciscan Monastery on Badija. Lunch is planned for the famed Moro Beach Bar on the tiny Stupe Isle for a glass of wine from Korcula or nearby Pelješac, the Napa Valley of Croatia. They offer fresh seafood and handmade pasta as well, to form a perfect match to our Croatian white wines. Our afternoon is completely unscheduled allowing time to relax at Tara's Lodge or time to explore Korcula Town. In town you can discover restaurants, taverns, shops, and bars as you roam the maze of gray stone houses, alleys, churches, and squares. Korcula's Old Town is one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture on the Dalmatian coast including the impressive St. Mark's Cathedral. As we will be dining in Korcula that evening, early visitors can stay the whole afternoon/evening and meet us at the restaurant if they desire. Accommodations Tara's Lodge (2nd of 5 Nights) Included Activities Guided Boat Trip Along Korcula's Coastline & Archipelago Included Meals Breakfast at Tara's Lodge Lunch during Boat Tour Dinner in Korcula Old Town Included Travel Services Local Transport To / From Boat Tour & Dinner As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities (2 PM to 7 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Tara's Lodge Visit Korcula Town
Day 4 (Oct. 3) - Island Hopping: A day Trip to Mljet Island's Magical National Park Today, we take a short 30 min. fast ferry to the stunning Mljet Island. Mljet is Croatia’s greenest island, with a large section of its northwestern shores dedicated as a national park. According to legend Odysseus holed up here for 7 years with the nymph Calypso… and its easy to see why. The park is well known for it's two salt lakes – Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero (big lake and small lake). The lakes are encircled by tarmac paths, ideal for walking or cycling. There are numerous spots to stop and swim in the warm and clear waters. Kayaks are also available to rent if you would like explore the park from the water. An interesting feature of the park is St. Mary’s Islet and its 12th-century Benedictine monastery. Abandoned in the 19th century by the monks, the monastery nowadays features a nice restaurant, cafe and shop. Accessible by a free ferry boat or by kayak, St. Mary's is a great choice for a lunch spot. The ferry boat has additional stops around Big Lake if you would like a more relaxed way to experience the park. We will provide you a bike or kayak as a part of the visit to the park. Others may choose to hike instead. One great hiking destination near the lakes is Montokuc hill. The trail climbs 253 meters on a lovely path which zigzags through the forest. The amazing view from the top encompasses the whole National Park, the Pelješac Peninsula, and the islands of Korčula and Lastovo. After an exilerating day in the park, we return by ferry to enjoy a relaxing dinner and drink at Mimi's Bistro. Accommodations Tara's Lodge (3rd of 5 Nights) Included Activities Day Trip to Mljet National Park Included Meals Breakfast at Tara's Lodge Dinner at Tara's Lodge Included Travel Services Fast Ferry: Korcula - Mljet Island Roundtrip Local Transport To / From Korcula Ferry As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities Hike Mt. Montokuc Lunch in Pomena or St. Mary's Island
Day 5 (Oct. 4)- Korcula By Land: A Buggy Adventure to the Inland Forests & Vineyards Start your engines and prepare for an off-road adventure in your own 2-seater buggy convertible. This family owned and operated business starts and ends at their estate. Family members guide us around the island offering history and insights about life on Korcula. At the end of our ride, we are treated to some local liquors and wines as well as traditional Croatian foods. It's a family affair in every aspect of the trip. The ride starts by driving uphill to the best position for viewing Korcula Town and the Peljesac-Korcula channel. We continue up the hill through the pine forest to the top, where there is a centuries-old stone fortress. After visiting the fort, we ride along beautiful olive groves and vineyards surrounded by ancient stone walls. Along the way we will also visit some monuments from the Second World War. Our next stop is the big sandy beach “Pržina” in Lumbarda, where we will visit for about 45 minutes to swim and relax. Next we ride through the village of Lumbarda about 3 km along the sea with great southern views of the sea, the islands and the bay. Then we return to the forest and hills leading to the ancient village of Žrnovo. This is our last stop before the end of the trip. The afternoon is completely unscheduled and this is your night to create your own a dinner plan. This gives everyone lots of free time either to relax at Tara's Lodge or to create your own personal adventure. Accommodations Tara's Lodge (4th of 5 Nights) Included Activities A Guided Buggy Tour Through Korcula's Interior Forests & Vineyards Included Meals Breakfast at Tara's Lodge Lunch as Part of the Buggy Tour Included Travel Services Local Transport To / From Buggy Tour As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities (2 PM to 10 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Tara's Lodge Visit Korcula Town Join a Toby Tour or Tricia Yoga Class TBD Organize Your Own Personal Adventure, e.g. - Wine Tasting Tour - Rent Scooters to Explore the Island - Water Taxi to Popular Beaches - Hire a Boat for Fishing or Sailing
Day 6 (Oct. 5) - Korcula By You: Enjoy a Free Day To Create Your Own Personal Experience The only scheduled event for today is dinner at Mimi's Bistro at 7 PM. This gives everyone a full day to pursue their own interests and passions. Let us know your ideas in advance, so we can help you organize your perfect day. There is a fun optional activity for guests to consider on Thursday night. The Moreska Sword Dance is Korcula's proudest tradition and one of the Adriatic's most unusual customs. Essentially, it's a danced version of a sword battle and tells the story of an abducted princess. It is performed at a small open-air stage right on the edge of the Old Town. Accommodations Tara's Lodge (5th of 5 Nights) Included Activities N/A Included Meals Breakfast at Tara's Lodge Dinner at Tara's Lodge Included Travel Services N/A Optional / Free Time Activities (9 AM to 6 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Tara's Lodge Visit Korcula Town Join a Toby Tour or Tricia Yoga Class TBD Organize Your Own Personal Adventure, e.g. - Wine Tasting Tour - Rent Scooters to Explore the Island - Water Taxi to Popular Beaches - Hire a Boat for Fishing or Sailing Post-Dinner - Moreska (Sword Dancing) Show
Day 7 (Oct. 6) - A Return to The Coast: Relax in the Luxury of Hotel Croatia Cavtat As our trip slowly comes to a close, we transition back to the mainland. A mid-morning fast ferry whisks us back to Dubrovnik, where we are met by a minibus to transfer us back to our last night's stay at Hotel Croatia Cavtat. We selected this hotel because of all of the amenities that it provides, including: 4 restaurants, 3 bars, 2 beaches, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sun terrace and walking trails along the coast. Their spa center features a steam bath and Finnish sauna, massage and aromatherapy, beauty and body treatments, and a hair salon. So if you didn't want to go anywhere else on your last day, this hotel provides you a lot of convenient options to just chill out. For those who want to continue their adventures, Cavtat is only a short walk from the hotel. Our one and only scheduled activity for the day is our Farewell Gathering and Happy Hour at the hotel. Accommodations Hotel Croatia Cavtat (1 night) Included Activities Farewell Gathering & Happy Hour at Hotel Croatia Cavtat Bar Included Meals Breakfast at Tara's Lodge Included Travel Services Luggage Transfer: Tara's Lodge to Hotel Croatia Cavtat Fast Ferry: Korcula to Dubrovnik Private Minibus Transfer: Dudrovnik Ferry Port to Hotel Croatia Cavtat All Local Transport As Required Optional / Free Time Activities Relax at Hotel Croatia Cavtat Visit Cavtat Village & Harbour Ocean Swim Shopping
Day 8 (Oct. 7) - Departure Day: Off to Home or Your Next Destination We say our final goodbyes this morning and check out of the hotel by 10 AM. We return our rental van to the airport at 10 AM, so we will be offering airport drop off services between 7 AM and 10 AM. Otherwise the hotel offers airport transfers for a minimal cost throughout the day. Accommodations Check Out by 10:00 AM Included Activities N/A Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Croatia Cavtat Included Travel Services Airport Drop Off (7 AM thru 10 AM) Optional / Free Time Activities N/A
Our trip has only (6) rooms, including (1) Deluxe Room, (5) Superior Rooms in each hotel. Due to the limited room supply, we are not offering single occupancy at this time. Please use the gallery below to become familiar with the room options at each of the properties.
Click On Photo for a Slide Show Describing the Hotel & Rooms
Superior Room Package
Double Occupancy / $3,545.00 per person
First Night Stay (Sept. 30) Villa Pattiera
5 Night Stay (Oct. 1 to Oct. 5) Tara's Lodge
Last Night Stay (Oct. 6) Hotel Croatia Cavtat
Deluxe Room Package
Double Occupancy / $3,945.00 per person
First Night Stay (Sept. 30) Villa Pattiera
5 Night Stay (Oct. 1 to Oct. 5) Tara's Lodge
Last Night Stay (Oct. 6) Hotel Croatia Cavtat
How To Book Your Room
All Rooms are allocated on a first pay - first serve basis. A $700.00 non-refundable deposit is required for every trip participant. Deposits from both room occupants must be received before a room is allocated. These deposits guarantee your room reservation until the Final Balance Payment Deadline. An email invoice is sent at your request, and it allows you to pay by credit / debit card via our PayPal account.
Payment Options – Final Payment Deadline: July 1st, 2023
All trip packages must be paid in full by July1st, 2023. Retreat participants have the option of paying the entire balance at the time of deposit to receive a $150.00 discount. Alternatively, participants can sign up for an installment plan at the time of deposit by using a credit / debit card. This plan automatically pays the balance due with monthly automated installments that are completed on or before July1st, 2023. Beyond this deadline, the reservation may be cancelled, the deposit(s) forfeited, and the room may be allocated to the wait list and/or put back on sale.
In the event you must cancel your trip, your entire payment will be refunded less the $700.00 deposit, if your cancellation is made before July 1st, 2023. Should you need to cancel after this date, for whatever reason, we will not be able to provide a refund or credit. No partial refunds or credits will be given for participants who arrive late or depart early on the trip. For this reason we recommend that all retreat participants purchase travel insurance that allows for trip cancellations.
Travel Insurance: Strongly Recommended
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance in the case of any unexpected events or changes to your plans before or during your trip. Please review all policies carefully to ensure you get the coverage you want, including: trip cancellation or delay, personal property loss, medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation. The policies that offer "Cancel for Any Reason" benefits often require that you purchase this insurance within two weeks of your trip's first expense, i.e. the deposit.
Squaremouth.com - A Great Website To Compare & Shop for Travel Insurance Policies
I Need More Information - Please Contact Me
If you have questions regarding the room reservation process or you require additional information about the trip, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for answers. Just send us an email, and we will get back to you within 24 hrs. to provide whatever information you may need.
What’s Included in the Price:
* 8 Days & 7 Nights at Hand-Selected 4-Star Hotels
* All Hotel Taxes & Gratuities
* Meals: All Breakfasts, 2 Lunches & 5 Dinners
* All Group Meal Gratuities
* Welcome Gathering & Happy Hour in Cavtat
* Guided Tour of Dubrovnik Old Town
* Guided Boat Tour of Korcula's Coastline & Archipelago
* Day Trip to Mljet Island's National Park, including Bike & Kayak Rentals
* Guided Buggy Tour of Korcula's Forests & Vineyards
* Farewell Gathering & Happy Hour in Cavtat
* Entrance Fees, Taxes and Gratuities for All Scheduled Activities
* Full-time experienced guides who are with you throughout the trip, handle behind-the-scenes logistics and are there to help with anything
(i.e. Toby & Tricia)
* Airport Pick Up & Drop Off Services
* Toby Tours & Tricia Yoga Classes (When Available)
* Luggage Transfers between Cavtat and Korcula
What’s Not Included in the Price:
* Air Travel to Dubrovnik Intl. Airport (DBV)
* Select Meals: 4 Lunches & 2 Dinners
* Any Optional Tours and Activities Not Included on the Itinerary
* Misc: Souvenirs
* Alcoholic Beverages
* Travel Insurance (Highly Recommended)