Jewels of Dalmatia: My recount of the tour

  • Teresa Robertson
  • 27 Oct 21

Our Jewels of Dalmatia 21-day small group tour is truly an unforgettable travel experience. Follow along and hear from Teresa as she recounts her experience of the tour.

Split, Croatia by Jeremy van Heerde

Split, Croatia by Jeremy van Heerde

Our tour begun in Zagreb, Croatia’s beautiful capital and largest city. We travelled to the ‘Hungarian Sea,’ the largest freshwater lake in Europe and along the ‘Dalmatian Coast’ which is visually relaxing as you unwind. We visited St Mark’s Church dating back to the 13th century and the beautiful St Catherine’s Church. There was plenty of time to wander and enjoy the sights of the city or take a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships which was both interesting and unique. Whilst wandering around the city I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful flowers constantly displayed as another way of beautifying this part of the world.

Zagreb by Dennis Bunnik

Zagreb by Dennis Bunnik

On our fourth day we crossed the border to enter the country of Bosnia & Herzegovina. The journey through the beautiful mountains surrounding Sarajevo is a complete contrast as you move through the city which has so many different cultures living together creating their own style. Catholic churches, Mosques and Jewish synagogues next to each other but you can appreciate the historic bazaar, Baščaršija as you explore the unique local crafts. We also enjoyed a panoramic view of the Sarajevo Olympic Stadium, which hosted the Winter Olympics back in 1984. From there we went to the Husrev Beg Mosque, one of the oldest and most beautiful mosques even though it was heavily desegrated in the Bosnian War. We stood on the corner of the street where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated and visited the Gavrillo Princip Museum. We learnt about how this event in history changed everything for World War 1. 

Sarajevo by Dennis Bunnik

Sarajevo by Dennis Bunnik

We visited Mostar, the second largest city in Bosnia & Herzegovina on our way to Dubrovnik which was one of the most interesting towns.  Home to the famed Stari Most (old bridge) which was destroyed by the war but rebuilt with many of its original stones.  It is a huge tourist attraction and famous for people jumping from the bridge into the waters below as a sign of bravery.

Mostar by Dennis Bunnik

Stari Most (old bridge) Mostar by Dennis Bunnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia was a highlight of the tour as it is a town surrounded by walls from another time and the Adriatic Seas. Many famous scholars from that time sought refuge here. We enjoyed a walking tour of Old Dubrovnik and explored Rector’s Palace.  On our walk we passed the Bell Tower Clock and Orlando’s Column as well as Sponza Palace and the Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries (known as one of the world’s oldest pharmacies).  Leisure time was spent enjoying the delicious seafood of the area, followed by dinner hosted by locals.

Dubrovnik by Jeremy

Dubrovnik by Jeremy van Heerde

Our eighth day saw a day trip to the tiny country of Montenegro and the historic town of Kotor. We drove along the beautiful Bay of Kotor, the longest and deepest fjord in southern Europe and took a boat ride to Our Lady of the Rocks.

Kotor by Marion Bunnik

Kotor by Marion Bunnik

We then headed north along the spectacular coast to Hvar Island, followed by boarding a ferry to Split. Split is one of the jewels of Croatia’s glittering Adriatic Coast. The Adriatic coastline with its small fishing villages is charming. We explored the historic city, built around the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace which was well worth a look. We learnt about Roman rule and what happened in that time. There were so many things to see including Jupiter’s Temple and the Cathedral. We then dinned along the water’s edge with friends enjoying a relaxing dinner in this beautiful part of the world. We stopped by the small town of Trogir on our journey and took a walking tour through the old city, which is full of history and a perfect place to buy some souvenirs. We were immersed in the artistic influence surrounding this area.

Trogir by Chloe Marshman

Trogir by Chloe Marshman

Continuing we arrived at Plitvice Lakes National Park which was another highlight. We stayed in wooden lodge and the quarters are full of charm and luxury. The next morning, we explored the stunning lakes, gardens and waterfalls surrounding us. The beautiful countryside immerses you as you walk through the surroundings. It was a glorious day.

Opatija was our next stop, a beautiful town located on the Gulf of Kvarner which is popular with tourists. Our drive then took us through to the town of Poreč, where we visited the Euphrasian Basilica. We journeyed onward along the Istrian Peninsula to Rovinj and the port of Pula on the southern tip of the Peninsula. We took a leisurely walk through the town and sampled some local sweets. We visited the Roman Amphitheatre which was so authentic and felt like we were stepping back in time.

Opatija  by Adam Dickson

Opatija by Adam Dickson

On our sixteenth day we crossed the border into Slovenia. We visited the amazing Postojna Caves, a network of 20 kilometres of passages, galleries and chambers. The cave has its own ecosystem and is home to the unique amphibian, the olm, also known as the human-fish. We were amazed at the sights seen underground.

Postojna Caves by Adam Dickson

Postojna Caves by Adam Dickson

Arriving in Bled in the afternoon, we were amazed at its beauty and scenery. We visited Bohinj an old typical Slovenian Farming Dairy Museum and sampled the local cheeses. 

We arrived at Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia and explored the markets, the baroque buildings of Old Town, Robba’s Fountain and Congress Square. We then took a relaxing boat ride on the Ljubljana River, passing under the four bridges.

On our last day we travelled back to Zagreb for our final night. We had a final group dinner which was filled with sadness as we farewell new friends made on this amazing Bunnik Tour.

Check out our 21-day Jewels of Dalmatia small group tour here.

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