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Croatia is an undiscovered gem

★★★★★Reviewed 08 June 2012

My husband and I are experienced international travelers. We’ve been to many places and had many great experiences, but we have never felt compelled to write a review. Our recent trip to Croatia with Zagreb Tours made us feel differently … Croatia is an undiscovered gem. We’ve wanted to go to Dubrovnik for a while, since seeing it on a TV several years ago. We expanded our trip to two weeks, however, once we started reading about all of the things to see – more UNESCO sites within reachable distance than anywhere else I can recall visiting.

Dubrovnik is, in fact, one of the most romantic and charming old towns of Europe, but Croatia more generally is the real story here. From amazing national parks with terraced lakes and hundreds of waterfalls to a breathtaking coastline that hugs the Adriatic Sea – including magnificent churches adorned with stone carvings, fertile grasslands, arid mountains spotted with ornamental cacti, fjord-like azure waters filled with oyster traps and mussel farms, salt pans, walled fortresses protecting charming towns, vineyards with unique varietals, and finally, the most beautiful islands and posh coastal towns – Croatia literally has something for everyone. There are so many things to fall in love with, one more beautiful than the next. So for anyone tempted by places like Italy, France, and Spain, try the undiscovered gem of Croatia. It has as more to offer than many other destinations … and at a much more affordable price. Croatia lacks efficient train service between towns, so getting around is best done by car. Although we’ve driven in Europe many times, I thought having a driver/guide would be more relaxing and enable us to better experience Croatia. Although I had my doubts about traveling with one person for two weeks, I made arrangements with Zagreb Tours for a private tour starting in Zagreb, traveling down the coast, and ending in Dubrovnik. Two of our friends joined us for the first few days and then it was my husband and I for the rest. Going with Zagreb Tours was a great decision – we had one of the best trips ever – compared to many previous trips - and got so much more than a driver and guide. Enter Jakov – a personable, funny, upbeat, energetic, hard-working, accommodating guy – who did everything he possibly could to make sure we had a great time. His enthusiasm and love of Croatia were infectious. While Jakov shared a great deal of knowledge about all of the historical sites we visited, more touching was the personal insight he shared about the fabric of Croatia, its people, and their experience. We did not understand a lot about this area of the world, the struggles of the people there, or how they have prevailed, rebuilt, and evolved. We had opportunities to talk with people who lived through the war, hear their stories, and even see some of their personal videos. We met Jakov’s brother and parents, saw their house, and learned some about how people actually live. As we traveled from the Istrian peninsula, sometimes reminiscent of the Italian coast and sometimes reminiscent of Tuscany, to the tranquil Caribbean-like islands of Dalmacia, we experienced many unique local specialties. In restaurants that were off-the-beaten-and-path, we had many Croatian feasts – truffles, squid ink pasta, tender grilled calamari, fresh trout from the river next to us, mussels, Croatian wine, grilled bread, great olive oils, grappa of every kind (cherry, mistletoe, dandelion, fig, and others), rozata (Croatian flan), peka – (baked dish with meat and vegetables made in a pot that is put into the embers of a fire), nuts and fruit soaked in honey, huge plates of grilled meat, sugared lemon and orange peels, and much, much more. One day when we wanted to go sailing, Jakov called “his guy” (girl in this case) Eva “the Legend,” who hooked us up for this tremendous sailing trip at half the price others were offering. Then in Dubrovnik there was another guy with a boat – just because my husband loved boating. Once Jackov got to know what we liked, he switched things up – like an unexpected day trip to Mostar in Bosnia, a fascinating war-torn confluence of Muslim and Catholic existence; regular stops for “art photos;” and live tastes and smells of goodies all along the way – figs, oranges, lavender, which surrounded us. Whatever we needed, from souvenirs to Coke Zero to new shorts (for boating), Jakov made it happen. Not only were we extremely well taken care of, but Jakov always arrived early – with a smile on his face, good sense of humor, eager to go. We did not merely “look at” Croatia as tourists, like most other places we’ve visited. Rather, we had this incredible opportunity to spend time with a special, native Croatian who gave us a glimpse into Croatia’s heart. While we could have traveled through Croatia many ways, none would have given us the unique, wonderful experience we had traveling with Zagreb Tours. This trip was special, ergo our first travel review - high value and well worth our limited vacation time. We hope to go back someday and again experience Croatia with our friend, Jakov. Elaine Pulakos, US
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Great value for money!

★★★★★Reviewed 11 April 2013

We wanted to see Croatia out of season, in March, and for Zagreb tours, this was no problem, despite the closure of many of the usual hotels and restaurants. Our guide, Jakov’s passion for his country and it’s history shone through at every turn. His knowledge was absolutely amazing, and we learnt far more than you get with a conventional tour group. His wit, gregarious nature and obvious like and respect for others meant that everything flowed really smoothly, and local proprietors were willing to go that extra mile for us also. The highlights were many, but especially the home-cooked feast with his family, where we were made to feel unbelievably welcome, and given an opportunity to be off the usual tourist track and see how real Croatians live. The quality of our transport, accommodation and included meals was outstanding.

Absolutely superb

★★★★★Reviewed 08 September 2012

We have just returned from a 12-day customized private tour of Croatia that was absolutely superb. Thanks to Davor and to Roni, it was a most unique and fantastic experience. Both men were extremely personable and knowledgeable, showing us the beauty and diversity of their country in a way that could not be achieved on a large group tour or on our own.

Additionally, the accommodations and provided lunches were outstanding. We can't recommend Davor and Zagreb Tours highly enough, especially since Davor so willingly puts together a personal customized itinerary that more than meets one's individual needs and interests. The Milos Family from Ontario, Canada
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A++

★★★★★Reviewed 24 September 2012

The trip with Davor and Jakov surpassed our wildest dreams. They are so professional and knowledgeable about Croatia and they make you feel like part of their family. I would highly recommend them for any tour of Croatia. You can create your own custom tour or use one that they have put together. They also helped us track down our distant relatives in a small village. They went far above our expectations.

Steve Severn

Zagreb Tours has been terrific

★★★★★Reviewed 21 October 2011

Davor – Thank you for your excellent service. For each country the guide was specialized. The guides spoke English and were accommodating and flexible for our needs.
Trust their itinerary because they definitely know what to see; they are knowledgeable about history, geography and politics.
All accommodations were excellent and they also gave us good recommendations for cafes, bars and restaurants.
The car was comfortable and clean. We were more than satisfied with Zagreb Tours and would recommend them highly to travelers for a unique and comfortable experience.
Barbara and Sue

We could not have asked for a better guide and driver

★★★★★Reviewed 04 June 2011

Davor,
Bob and I feel very lucky to have found you on the internet. Your itinerary was excellent. We got to see the varied geography of Croatia and learn its complex history. We appreciate your flexibility in adapting the itinerary to our wishes. You always took the time to give us thoughtful answers to our many questions.You were pleasant to be with, a careful driver and an informative guide.
Thank you for a wonderful introduction to Croatia.
With best wishes,
Selma and Bob Josell

Thank you

★★★★★Reviewed 19 April 2011

On behalf of our little group of 5 friends, I would like to express thanks to Zagreb Tours for putting together the nice program for our visit to Croatia. The choice of destinations, hotels and restaurants was very good. Davor and Igor were both professional, yet warm. All of us enjoyed our visit very much and hope we will be able to see more of Croatia with Zagreb Tours in the future. JSF, Hong Kong

 

 

Thank you for making our vacation so memorable.

★★★★★Reviewed 25 October 2011

We are just finishing our 10 day itinerary with Zagreb Tours.
Davor responded promptly to all our initial inquiries and was flexible regarding hotels and the itinerary.
Our guide, Jakov, was attentive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He was constantly concerned about our well being and enjoyment of his country.
The hotels were a good mixture of full service ans boutique. The traditional meals were delicious feasts and our itinerary was enhanced with unexpected extras.
We were very pleased with our experience.  We hope to see you in the USA. Kathy and Lou Russo

Our 10 day tour thru Croatia was all and much more than we expected.

★★★★★Reviewed 25 October 2011

We highly recommend Zagreb Tours. This trip was a wonderful adventure that we will always remember.
Davor’s choices of hotels included beautiful boutique hotels as well as grand hotels all 4 and 5 star quality.
Our guide Jakov became a friend. He is kind and has a great sense of humor. He knew his history and also educated us of the many famous Croatians as well. He is very proud of his country and rightly so.
Jakov, Joanne and I want to thank you for your attentiveness, knowledge of history + your good natured humor.
If you + Davor are representative of the Croatian people, Americans will love your people + country.
You have made our trip a memorable one and to us we have found a new friend.
Thank you,
Joanne & Don, Princeton, NJ

Thank you, Davor

★★★★★Reviewed 08 June 2012

Just a few words to thank you for the wonderful tour I had with you. Six days went very fast, seeing beautiful places, eating great meals and being in your company. You are a very responsible, caring person. From the driving to seeing that things worked well, your detail to make me feel comfortable and relaxed was well accomplished. You know your history and your wishes for Croatia to grow and develop are focused. I wish you all the luck to develop your business further and I’m sure you will accomplish that task.
I enjoyed your energy and our conversations. When you come to Los Angeles it will be my pleasure to host you.
Be happy with your wife and children and all the best for the future.

Elena A.
Los Angeles, CA

Discover Croatia

Small towns

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UNESCO heritage

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia

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Knights and legends

Travel through time into the era of knights and legends

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The Thousand Islands of Croatia

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Neighboring countries

Discover how the neighboring countries helped shape Croatia

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Shades of blue

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Language guide

Learn basic travel phrases in Croatian and make a great impression.

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How To Book

Here you can check how to book Your Croatian Experience with us!

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Croatian facts

Learn about the history, geography and culture of Croatia with the help of these fun facts.

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