Venice

Venice & The Croatian Coast

A Women's Only Tour

Summer, 2022

Designed for women, by women, journey from elegant Venice and along the Dalmatian Coast to spectacular Dubrovnik. Visit fairy-tale towns, discover lush islands, and marvel at dramatic landscapes as you connect with inspiring female entrepreneurs through unique Make Travel Matter Experiences on this women's-only tour.

Contact Grace at grace@vellingastravel.com for details.

wanderwomen_cf0135_summer2022_ww.jpg
Venice
Colorful Boat Ride
Pula Amphitheater Croatia
Image by Matthias Mullie

DAY 1: Welcome to Venice

As you start off your women’s-only tour, meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers at 17:30 to enjoy a delightful Welcome Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

DAY 2: Relaxed Start - The Magic Of La Serenissima

On your orientation see the Byzantine basilica in St Mark’s Square, the colonnaded Doge’s Palace and the iconic Bridge of Sighs. Continue to the island of Murano and witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practiced by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices and support the master glassblowers in preserving their art. Listen to traditional Venetian songs as your gondola glides through the myriad of beautiful canals. Spend the rest of your day further exploring the back lanes and campi of Venice or perhaps join an optional excursion to the colourful island of Burano.

DAY 3: Through Slovenia Onto Croatia

Travel to Slovenia and meet Irena Fonda, a passionate and awarded biologist carrying out important conservation work in the Gulf of Piran. Join her on a short boat ride to see her family’s fish farm and learn about the breeding of highest quality sustainable sea bass. Make your way to a seafront restaurant in the atmospheric Old Town of Piran and indulge in a fresh Sea-to-Table lunch, tasting the unique and refined flavours of the fresh Fonda sea bass. Cross the border to Croatia and arrive to the Opatija Riviera, a favourite destination of the Austro-Hungarian elite in the 19th century and still synonymous with style and elegance. Take time to stroll along Lungomare, the seafront promenade lined with luxurious villas.

DAY 4: Discover The Jewels Of Istria

The Istrian Peninsula is dotted with coastal towns, rocky bays and rustic hilltop villages. Join a Local Expert to learn about the various influences that shaped its present image. Start in Rovinj, a seaside gem with a prominent Italian heritage and wander through its cobbled streets filled with art galleries. Continue to Pula and visit its well-preserved first-century Roman amphitheatre. Enjoy a mouth-watering Farm-to-Table lunch in Barban hosted by three generations of women of the Zufič Family. Learn about Prstenac, a popular medieval jousting game they reintroduced to the community in 1976 and that became a highlight cultural event attracting thousands of visitors each year.

DAY 5: Pristine Plitvice National Park

Head inland to the breathtaking Plitvice Lakes National Park and walk along the forest paths among 16 interconnecting lakes with your Local Expert. Be amazed by this unique landscape and learn how the site actively carries out research to monitor the natural habitat of its species. Spend the night surrounded by nature at your hotel, a modern resort committed to sustainability, the regeneration of the war-torn local area and bringing together different ethnic communities. Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared from locally available ingredients and when the night falls take your chances at stargazing undisturbed by light pollution.

 

DAY 6: The Dalmatian Coast To Split

In the morning meet the industrious women of the Tara Community Centre, who produce handicrafts enabling employment and engagement in the community. Your journey then takes you to Zadar, the ancient capital of the historical region of Dalmatia. On your orientation, walk through the market, past the Roman Forum to the Sea Organ and take a moment to enjoy the sounds generated by the waves. Visit Brlog, Croatia’s first women co-op brewery and try a selection of their natural craft beers. Hear the inspiring story of founders Maja Šepetavec and Ana Teskera and how they built their responsible social enterprise. Continue towards Split and meet mother and daughter Deana and Ivana Perič to taste their homemade cakes steeped in local folklore. In the evening, don't miss the opportunity of dinner in a traditional konoba.

 

DAY 7: Island Hopping To Hvar

Explore Split with Insight Choice. Choose between discovering Diocletian’s Palace and the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town with a Local Expert, or alternatively go on a walk with the local Domine organisation to uncover the stories of the women who helped shape Split’s history and who often go unnoticed on the pages of history books. Spend time at your leisure before your island-hopping adventure begins this afternoon. Cross the azure waters of the Adriatic to Hvar, famed for being the sunniest island in the country. Dine tonight at a local restaurant.

DAY 8: Relaxed Start - Exploring The Island Of Hvar

Hvar is often called the Lavender Island but aromatic herbs, citrus fruits, olive trees and grapes also flourish in the warm Mediterranean climate. The Faria Women’s Co-op is doing a remarkable job in using the indigenous island ingredients to create delicacies and cosmetics. Explore Hvar with Insight Choice. Choose to join Fedra Gamulin, the founder of the co-op and taste her sustainable chocolate creations that were inspired by the love of locally available produce and grandma’s recipes. Alternatively, meet Ivana Carić and join her for a wine tasting at her family’s wine cellar. Spend the rest of your day at leisure or perhaps stroll around Stari Grad, Croatia’s oldest town and Hvar’s historical heart.

DAY 9: Onto Korčula

Your journey takes you back to mainland. Pass the fertile and colourful fields of the Neretva Delta before you briefly enter Bosnia Hercegovina. Continue to the island of Korčula and delight in Croatian fare at a local restaurant.

DAY 10: Relaxed Start - Captivating Korčula

Get active this morning and start your day with Insight Choice. Choose to immerse yourself in nature as you join a Local Expert for a gentle hike in the area surrounding Korčula Town. Alternatively, grab a sea-view spot and connect with your inner peace as you take part in a yoga class. Visit an organic farm run by the Marovič family offering seasonal homemade products ranging from olive oil to jams and marmalades. The rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the narrow streets, beautiful churches and laid-back atmosphere of this charming medieval town.

DAY 11: Dubrovnik, The Pearl Of The Adriatic

This morning, should weather permit, cruise the tranquil waters of the bay of Mali Ston and meet Tomislav, a local oyster farmer. Enjoy a delicious Sea-to-Table tasting of fresh shellfish, accompanied with a glass of wine. Continue along the coast and arrive to Dubrovnik and its perfectly preserved Old Town. Known as the self- governing Republic of Ragusa for most of its history, the city has always been a metaphor of freedom. Enter through the 15th century gate and join a Local Expert to walk past Onofrio's Fountain, see the Rector’s Palace, the Church of St Blaise and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. Visit the workshop of Deša, an organisation founded following the Siege of Dubrovnik to help refugees and women who were victims of violence. Settle into your seaside hotel and perhaps join a home hosted dinner.

DAY 12: Relaxed Start - A Dazzling Finale

Travel into the heart of the nearby Konavle region and meet Antonia Rusković Radonić, a dedicated artist working to preserve the local silk and embroidery traditions originating in the 15th century. Learn how silkworms became popular here, the importance of the craft in national folklore and the efforts made to keep this heritage alive. Upon returning to Dubrovnik enjoy time at leisure. This evening, should weather permit, embark on a dazzling cruise before savouring authentic flavours of local specialties at your Celebration Dinner. Raise a glass to your travels and the wonderful women of the Adriatic.

DAY 13: Depart Dubrovnik

Your travels draw to a close after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dubrovnik airport at 05:00, 09:00 and 11:30.