Chef Richard Gruica and Captivating Croatia Tours cordially invite you to join us and our Chef-Host, the acclaimed Chef Scott Crawford and escape with us to exotic Slovenia and Croatia for a week-long, food-centric vacation of a lifetime. Come, experience the ultimate culinary adventure which will take place from Sunday, August 29th to Sunday, September 5th, 2021. Get ready to explore some of the most beautiful places in the world, as we visit the raw beauty of Slovenia and explore Istria, Croatia’s Tuscany. We will visit these regions’ most storied areas, which are brimming with history and lore while enjoying the very best food, drink, and sights alongside Chef Scott. Experience a luxury holiday unlike any other in the style you deserve. For more details and to book the tour, go here
What is included-
What is not included-
The cost is $4949 pp for the trip.
Chef Scott Crawford…Savor Slovenia and Istria Tour
Tour Beginnings-Pick up and transit to Slovenia
Top of the Top
The Chef Scott Crawford Savor Slovenia/Istria Tour begins in our arrival city of Venice, Italy where a luxury van will gather all guests to begin our journey to Slovenia. Along the way, we will build up our appetites before stopping for lunch in Slovenia’s famed wine country for a gourmet meal full of local delicacies and try the world-renowned natural/orange wines of the region with amazing views of the vineyards from the scenic terrace. After lunch, we will experience scenery that is truly majestic to behold as we make our way through the mountains until we join renowned Chef Ana Ros (check out her Chef’s Table episode on Netflix https://www.netflix.com/watch/80075153 ) and her sommelier/cheesemaker husband Valter at their boutique country inn, which has been voted one of the best in the world where we will be staying the next two nights. Once settled in, we will sit down to enjoy the degustation menu dinner at their two Michelin starred place called Hiša Franko, which at present, is the 38th best restaurant in the world.
One with Nature
After a relaxing morning savoring the amazing Hiša Franko breakfast, we will head out for a day relishing the natural beauty of the Kobarid area and get one with nature and take in the Soča Valley, which has been voted one of the best natural areas in the world. Those that wish to do so, can take part in some white-water rafting, while the rest of the group will visit the Kobarid War Museum, which is a stately museum dedicated to the events of the First World War on the Isonzo Front, which was documented by Ernest Hemingway. After regrouping, we will visit local cheesemakers and a trout farm, which houses a unique variety of trout found only in Slovenia. We end the day with a lovely rustic meal before heading back to Hiša Franko.
A Day Fit for a King or Queen 😉
To Bled and the Magical Lake
After an amazing gourmet breakfast, today’s journey begins with a most scenic drive to Bled, a resort town in the foothills of the Julian Alps. We will visit Bled Castle and enjoy a tour and lunch at the top of the castle. As a special treat, we will participate in a hands-on cooking class to learn about “potica,” Slovenia’s most famous pastry on the island housing the Church of Mary the Queen, which is Slovenia’s most photographed location. Afterward, we will head out to experience the open roads of the region as we make our way to the ancient city of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, which dates back to the 12th century. Once in the city and checked into our 4-star hotel, we will regroup and embark on a walking tour of the city, ending with a gourmet meal at one of the top restaurants in the country, Atelje, which has one Michelin star and is where Chef Jorg Zupan will introduce us to his version of Slovenia’s remarkable cuisine. The city and the night are free for you to enjoy and explore on your own. We will be planning an informal get together at one of the watering holes for those that want to join in for a nightcap.
What is Old, is New Again
Today, we will leave lovely Slovenia and make our way to Croatia, but before we do, we will make a couple of stops along the way, first, we will visit Slovenia’s most famous natural and historic site, the Postojna Caves for a train ride and gentle walking tour of their caves. The other is a visit to the top sea bass farm in the world located on the Adriatic Sea near Piran and get on a boat to experience them in the sea and as well as on the table with a degustation afterward, with olive oil and wine of course. We will cross over the border into Croatia and make our way to Rovinj, one of Croatia’s most picturesque towns. We will check-in to our amazing 4-star hotel and re-group to catch the sunset. The night is yours to enjoy as you see fit.
It’s All About the Sea
Today begins with a visit to Vodnjan, a town known mostly for two things, one as the home of the top Croatian olive oil producers (FYI, Istria has won best olive oil region in the world the past four years) and for its street art, with the city hosting a festival yearly to highlight the artwork. We will visit Croatia’s number one oil producer, hear their amazing story, and try their wares. Then, the real adventure begins as we head to one of Croatia’s natural treasures, Kamenjak National Park, a protected nature preserves, on the Premantura Peninsula, where we will join up with Croatia’s top chef, David Skoko, as he will show us the area in which he grew up fishing and we forage for local ingredients. Eat, drink, swim, and relax to your heart’s content until we head to the hotel for a respite before venturing out for dinner at Chef David’s Michelin restaurant Batelina for a seafood meal unlike any other. (Check out Bourdain’s Croatian episode to find out more about Chef David https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03qhsE7UcI ).
The Long and Winding Road to Paradise
Our morning starts with a scenic drive to Truffle Country!!! We will have the cool opportunity to embark on a truffle hunt led by a local expert guide and their incredible dogs – who knows what we will find! After our trek through the forest, our reward will be a truffle tasting to enjoy the rich treasures found in the area. Afterward, we will visit one of the cutest distilleries ever and enjoy a tour and tasting of their liquid libations. We will then visit Motovun, Croatia’s most scenic hilltop town before visiting one of the top wineries for a tasting. Our day ends with a visit to Kunparička, a magical place where goats nosh on over 200 herbs and botanicals and the group will get to see the farm, the cheese production area, and then sit down for a mouth-watering meal on the farm.
The Gypsy Table Awaits
Today is going to be a chill and relaxing day as Chef Scott and Chef Richard will be getting ready for tonight’s main event, the Gypsy Table. They will be joining up with some of Croatia’s top talent for a dinner unlike any other. We have arranged for a private walking tour of Pula including the famed Arena, which is the most preserved example of Roman architecture in the world. You will have free time in the city to explore and shop before your ride to the secret Gypsy Table venue to experience THE GYPSY TABLE.
All Good Things Come to an End
Today we check out from our amazing hotel and pay a visit to Groznjan, a hilltop village most known for its art galleries and artists before we head out to a wine tasting and lunch. After lunch, we will head back to Slovenia briefly to view the famed Lipizzaner Stallions in action. Lastly, we make our way back to Venice and conclude our extraordinary tour. Based on your flight schedule, an airport transfer will be provided as you depart our adventure filled with fond memories of the past week.
-Please note, all guests should arrive in Venice, Italy at their own timeframe with the tour beginning on Sunday, Aug 29th, with an estimated 11 am departure time at a location TBA. Please make sure to arrive no later than Saturday, Aug 28th in order to make sure we all leave together promptly on the 29th. Those guests that are not present upon our intended departure time will have to make their own arrangements to arrive at our first hotel stay in Slovenia.
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