Tag Archives: planning your trip in Croatia

Srdj Portolan advises you on how to explore Croatia on budget and travel in luxury style.

Everyone talks about Croatia as this beautiful country with 1000 islands. Srđ Portolan, a member of Dubrovnik Luxury Travel

Srđ Portolan
Srđ Portolan

management board tells us that you do not have to be rich and travel in style. Srđ has recently worked with four Brazilian clients who wanted to have fun in the sun and to enjoy Croatian food and wine. Srđ has managed to include visits to Elaphiti islands, Korcula ( this is where Portolan surname originally comes from ) Hvar and Vis.

Interestingly enough Srdj who is a keen diver, managed to squeeze a diving session for the Brazilians off the island of Vis,

Srđ Portolan Vis
Srđ Portolan Vis

near the world famous Blue Cave. It was a lovely day out with a speedboat from the island of Hvar. Portolan explained to us that a common mistake that people sometimes make is to try to link their journey from starting point, Dubrovnik to Split via the ferry. Srdj Portolan continues to tell us that a journey from Dubrovnik to Korcula in a luxurious mini van is equally pleasant one and that on the way to Hvar you can

Srđ Portolan in Hvar
Srđ Portolan in Hvar

always go via Trpanj and then Drvenik to Starigrad on Hvar and continue your journey to Hvar Old City on the island of Hvar. We asked Srdj could this be a bit tiresome. He answered back that we should not forget the fact that the Brazilians had two days out with a speedboat, one on the Elaphiti islands and the second one on the island of Vis which proved a true winner because it was a unique opportunity to dive in the Blue Cave. Srđan told us that this itinerary included a visit to Krka National

Srdj Portolan NP Krka
Srđ Portolan NP Krka

Park, the town of Split and for the true lovers of oysters on the way back from Split, they stopped in the medieval town of Ston.

So we agreed this was the true luxury tour for a 7 days tour for a price of EUR 9980 for four people and considering that the accommodation was a five star one ( except Korcula and Hvar, an excellent four star one ) this is indeed a true winner.

Interview with Dubrovnik Luxury Travel Operations Manager Mr Kristian Vrbanic

Could you tell us more about Dubrovnik Luxury Travel and your role as Operations Manager?

dubrovnik luxury travel operations manager
dubrovnik luxury travel operations manager

Dubrovnik Luxury travel has been a market leader in the luxury segment for the past 15 years, here in Croatia and in the region. We are proud that we have served the world’s most powerful clients. Each year our base of luxury clients is growing.

If I were a VIP client, what would be your best recommendation to explore Dubrovnik and Croatia?

Croatia is a country of over 1300 islands. There are many National Parks like the world renown Plitivce Lakes, Krka waterfalls, National Park Brioni, president’s Tito ex-residence, National Park Kornati, an ideal destination to charter a yacht or perhaps do a spot of sailing. In one word, Croatia is a country of many beautiful spot. My recommendation to explore Croatia is the sea way from Dubrovnik to Split. I would charter a yacht from Dubrovnik, I must say that the both, Dubrovnik airport and Split airport are well connected with the rest of the world. En route from Dubrovnik to Split there are many beautiful towns like Cavtat, picturesque Mediterranean town close to Dubrovnik Konavle wine region. The next one is the medieval town of Korcula on the island of Korucla, a birthplace of Marco Polo. I must say that Korcula has excellent gastronomy and white wines, Posip. I like diving and the island of Vis is my favorite. There are so many wrecked ships from the Second World War and would you believe sunk airplanes. Sea next to the Blue Cave just like in Capri, has the best sea visibility in the whole of the Adriatic. There are no sharks.

Croatian sailing at its best
Croatian sailing at its best

What about this island of Hvar. Is this a must see island?

Oh, Hvar is simply amazing! This is a must visit destination for all those chartering yahct, sailboats, catamarans and this is also party island, it’s Croatian version of St Tropez. Carpe Diem, Croatian best known night club and lounge bar.hvar

Tell me about this upcoming destination, Split?

diocletian palace
diocletian palace

Split is originally a Roman city, the remains of the Diocletian palace are still there. It is the second biggest town in Croatia. What I like about Split that its Old City is quite unique, good choice of restaurants, good shopping. Transportation wise, it’s a hub for islands, ferries run from Split port to the islands of Hvar and Brac. Split Airport is well connected to all European destinations. Krka National Park is nearby and the towns of Sibenik and Skradin.

Where do you see the development of Croatian luxury market ?

I see Adriatic as a destination not only Croatia, but Montenegro as well. Adriatic has a pristine clear sea, islands, it is only two hours away from London and Istanbul. Top investors have recognized this. Dubrovnik is building a golf course and luxury villas. At the moment there is a shortage of luxury villas in Dubrovnik and the whole of the Adriatic. I have clients contacting me on daily basis to enquire about the hire of luxury villas. Luckily I have few on the books. Continuing on this subject of investing, in Montenegro for instance, there was a British-Russian investment into marna project Porto Montenegro. There is even bigger marina being planned. Montenegro will be a starting point for the luxury yacht cruises and this would include Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Zadar. I really see the future of the Croatian tourism on the whole and in particular the luxury market segment in the nautical tourism.

When I, Srdj Portolan and Darijan Portolan went for a business trip in France we saw a true example of nautical tourism model with a supportive infrastructure and this is what we lack.

skradin

Mr Kristian Vrbanic, thank you very much for taking your time to talk to us.

Luxury travel through Croatia & how to plan your holiday in Dubrovnik?

So, you are coming to Croatia for the first time and you want to maximize your stay as you have heard all these things about Dubrovnik and its city walls, you have heard about Plitvice Lakes, Split, the magical islands of Hvar, Brac, Vis, Lastovo. But then again, there is the island of Korucla . Questions, questions, questions! What are the answers?

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes

Well, from my local experience angle, there are three types of luxury travelers There are those who opt out for a private luxury tour starting from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes and then continuing from Plitvice Lakes to Zadar and then from Zadar to Split. From Split one would normally take the old picturesque road route to Dubrovnik passing through Makarska Riviera before reaching their final destination, the city of Dubrovnik. This is what I call a luxury roadie, someone who would strictly move on the road. Other type of luxury roadie is the one who is not that impressed by the guide reviews. It is the type who would be after unique local experience. In  ssence, his trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes would extend to Opatija.

Brioni islands Istria Croatia
Brioni islands, Istria – Croatia

From Opatija which would serv as his hub, one would expect him to go on one day shore and boat excursions to Pula, Rovinj and Brioni. He or she has heard of Istria and its magic cuisine especially when the tartuffe season is on. The semi roadie luxury traveler is one who would opt for a journey from Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes and they would charter a private boat from Split to Hvar and continue their private cruise in the direction of Dubrovnik stopping at Korcula. For those who simply love sun and sea, they would charter a private boat from Dubrovnik and go on a cruise along Dalmatian coast visiting Elaphiti islands, Korcula, Hvar, Vis, Kornati islands. Couple of words of advice. If you start your road trip from a fly in Zagreb airport try to arrive as early as possible. This would give you more time to explore Zagreb region. Have you ever heard of a picturesque town of Samobor. Well it is situated in Zagreb region. The same goes for Trakoscen castle which is situated in hilly region called Zagorje around Zagreb. If you are to be semi-roadie then  hoose Split as your hub port. Some people have this wild desire to visit Mljet or Korcula en route from Split to Dubrovnik.

Peljesac wine trail
Vineyards Matuško – Pelješac

For Dubrovnik Luxury Travel everything is possible yet for yourselves it could be a bit time consuming and tiring. There is always a  possibility to charter a boat from Dubrovnik or perhaps go on a wine trail tour of Peljesac from Dubrovnik and cross with a private boat from Orebic to Korcula. So if you happen to have questions, please ask us freely, will be glad to be at your disposal.