Take a dash of Dubrovnik, a bit of Bled, a smidgeon of Split and an ounce of Opatija, and you have the pearl of the Adriatic -- Croatia. We've rounded up the latest deals to Europe's current "It" spot.
Croatia Travel (tel. 800/662-7628; www.croatiatravel.com) is featuring a nine-day "Dalmatian Sunshine" tour that includes eight-nights' accommodations in first class hotels with hotel taxes, breakfast daily, six dinners, arrival and departure transfers, and an escorted tour via motor coach accompanied bya professional tour director. Visit Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes, Opatija, Postojna, Bled, Ljubljana and Zagreb with highlights including UNESCO World Heritage sites, castles, national parks, lakes, Roman ruins, churches and historic landmarks. The tour is priced at $1,278 per person for departures on April 22 and November 11, 2006, or $1,348 for departures from May to October 2006. International airfare to Dubrovnik and home from Zagreb is additional. Croatia Travel can also arrange airfare, car rental and additional accommodation in Croatia.
Travel Time (tel. 800/354-8728; www.traveltimeny.com) offers a variety of guided and independent packages to Croatia. Their "Split/Korcula/Dubrovnik Special" package is a 12-day trip that includes round-trip airfare from New York (with weekly departures on Tuesdays); three nights in Split, three nights on the island of Korcula and five nights in Dubrovnik; breakfast and dinner; airport transfers in Split & Dubrovnik; ferry tickets (for trips between Split-Korcula & Korcula-Dubrovnik); and local taxes.Â¿This trip is priced from $1,390 until March 31, 2006, with departure dates later in the year starting from $1,460 plus taxes. Extra nights start from $130 per room for Dubrovnik, $85 for Korcula and $110 for Split
Travel Time's "Dubrovnik and Dalmatian Islands Kayaking" trip departs every Saturday from April 1 to October 29, 2006. This 11-day package includes round-trip airfare from New York, airport transfers in Dubrovnik, breakfast daily, five lunches and three dinners, eight-days' kayaking in small groups around Sipan and Lopud or Korcula islands with seven-nights' accommodations at privately owned guest houses, plus three nights in The Hotel Lero Dubrovnik with breakfast daily and local taxes. Trips during April, May, September or October 2006 are priced at $1990 per person. Add $50 from Boston, $110 from Chicago, $120 from Miami $120 and $250 from Los Angeles or San Francisco. In peak season (June, July and August), the price goes up to $2,390.
The Dubrovnik, Opatija and Venice, Italy independent trip is priced from $1,690 per person for travel in March, 2006. The 11-day package includes airfare from New York (Saturday departures), four nights in Dubrovnik at the Hotel Kompas, three nights in Opatija at the Hotel Palace Bellevue and two nights in Venice at the Villa Igea, breakfast daily, local taxes, airport transfer in Dubrovnik and overnight ferry tickets/cabin from Dubrovnik to Rijeka. April and May departures start from $1,890 per person. Taxes are additional. Add $80 from Washington, D.C.; $100 from Miami; $110 from Chicago; and $200 from either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
It may seem rather strange to book a land-only Croatian tour through an Australian travel company, but considering there is a large Croatian community in Australia, and the Australian dollar is lower than the U.S., it may well be a money saving option. See Croatia (www.seecroatia.net) has some great options including its 12-day "Adriatic Islands" tour features the best of the Adriatic islands and Dalmatian coast including historic Dubrovnik and Split. The tour starts in Split and visits Korcula, Biokovo National Park, St. Jure Mountain, Makarska, Ancient Salona, Klis, Ston, Dubrovnik, Omis, Hvar and Medjugorje. Transfers, sightseeing, entrance fees, all lunches, two dinners and 11-nights' accommodations are included. This tour is priced from $2,063 and departs April 9 and 30, May 21, June 6, September 9 and 24 and October 15, 2006. Airfare is additional.
Their six-day "Dalmatian Coast" tour that visits Split, Zadar, Sibenik, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Trogir, Pag and Krka National Park. The combo includes the same amenities and features as the Adriatic Islands tour except your five-nights' accommodations are in three-star hotels, and it's priced from $1,326 per person for departures on April 25, May 16, June 6 and 27, August 29, September 19 and October 10, 2006.
Cruising is an exceptional way to see the highlights of Croatia. Jauntee (tel. 888-371-6826; www.juantee.com) is currently offering a sale on its seven-night cruise aboard the MS Arion that is priced from $799 per person (inside cabin) or $999 (outside cabin). Departing from Rijeka, the ship will berth opposite ancientÂ¿city walls in numerous ports along the Dalmatian coastline, includingÂ¿Pula, Zadar, Split, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Kotor and Ploce. French company Rivages du Monde manages the cultural and entertainment activities aboard the ship but on land, highlights include Roman temples and amphitheatres, Romanesque cathedrals, museums, palaces, and stunning land- and seascapes. Sale prices are applicable for the April 30, 2006 cruise. Mid-season departures start from $999 and $1,100 on weekly cruises in May, June and July 2006.
Port taxes of $155 are additional. Book this cruise in 2006 and receive a free U.S. getaway in the form of two-nights' accommodations in a standard hotel room at one of 21 U.S. destinations (including Hawaii and St. Thomas) subject to availability and certain restrictions. Accommodations are for two adults 21 years of age or older and up to two children under age 18. The approximate retail value of the accommodations is $118 to $560 depending on the location, hotel availability and time of year traveled.
For those wishing to take a more independent approach to Croatian travel, take a look at Adriatica.net (tel. + 3851/241-5611; www.adriatica.net) for some interesting accommodation options from apartments and hotels to lighthouses. There are 11 lighthouses listed with accommodation capacity from 4 to 14 people. Obviously to reach your lighthouse, you'll need a sailboat and luckily for you, the website also offers sailboats for rent (actually the cost of rental sometimes includes transfer to the lighthouse (or ferries can get you there) but for some of the more remote location, I'd still recommend not being left stranded for a week without a boat. Prices start at $15 per day for 14 people or $30 per person per day for four people.
Round-trip airfares to Croatia are very reasonable starting from around $350 from New York to Dubrovnik through 1800 Fly Europe (www.1800flyeurope.com) through May 28, 2006. In summer these fares go up to around $700. United Airlines also has fares around $350 to $400 during the months of March and April 2006. Taxes are additional. Flights to Zagreb generally tend to be about $100 more and Split up to $200 more.
For more information about Croatia, visit www.croatia.hr/English/Home/Naslovna.aspx.
Frommer's will be releasing it's first edition to Croatia in early May this year. www.frommers.com/bookstore/0764598988.html. In the meantime, you can get advice for free on our Croatia Message Boards.