Captivating Croatia cordially invites you to join us and our Chef-Led culinary adventure! Escape with us to exotic Croatia for a week-long, food-centric vacation of a lifetime.
Chef Richard Gruica will be our Chef-Guide for this culinary excursion, which takes place Sunday, November 17th to Sunday, November 24th, 2019. Get ready to explore one of the most beautiful places in the world as we visit several regions in Croatia, each brimming with culinary history and lore.
Our home base for half of this tour is the Istria area of Croatia, which is in the Northern part of Croatia and is very close to Italy. This peninsula area is known as the Tuscany of Croatia. Istria simply soothes the soul with captivating and compelling scenery which is only enhanced by the amazing food and wines of the area. Truffles, meats, cheese and wine dominate the culinary landscape. The home for the remainder of the tour will be Central Croatia, where Croatia’s extraordinary coastline sparkles with jewel-like emerald hues. The tour will offer an intimate behind the scenes experience, featuring lavish backdrops and breathtaking landscapes that rival those anywhere else in the world. The tour focuses on delicious local foods, wines, and the amazing history and sights in and around these areas.
This trip is in collaboration with Big Fat World Tours, who specialize in food, wine & active trips for solo and couple wanderers.
Embracing his roots in Croatia, Richard Gruica created Captivating Croatia with the dream of sharing authentic experiences that explore the incredibly rich and varied cuisine of Croatia. He is a longtime member of the Slow Food movement and was a guest speaker at the 2014 Terra Madre Balkan Conference, at which he saw the immense beauty and diversity of Croatia, ultimately igniting the fuel for Captivating Croatia.
Richard’s extensive research has led him on paths to some of the finest examples of tradition, craft, and small production, but more significantly, to the people that have a true passion for what they do.
Welcome to Croatia! Dobrodǒsli! Arrive at the Zagreb airport and immediately get whisked off for a sweet pick me up to the nearby town of Samobor where we will stretch our legs and get a sugar rush as we sample some of the best desserts and pastries in Croatia paired with some delicious coffee and the imbibe in Bermet, at the world’s oldest producer, where we will sample this deliciously tasty spiked wine. (Will have to make changes based on arrival times, but most flights come in between 10 and 12, so this usually works) Afterwards, we will check into our hotel and enjoy a break to unwind and freshen up before we head out for dinner in the wine country just outside of Zagreb, where we will experience an introductory taste of Croatian cuisine served up with a gourmet twist and a view to die for. We will head back for to the hotel so that everyone can rest up for our adventure tomorrow.
The theme of the day is TRUFFLES! Today, we will venture from Zagreb enjoying the diverse terrain with a stop for lunch featuring regional specialties. Afterwards, we will continue our drive to the countryside dotted with hilltop villages until we check in and get settled. We are now in the area most known for truffles and will partake in a truffle hunt led by the cutest truffle hunting dogs. After the hunt, we will warm up in front of the fireplace and enjoy a cooking lesson on how to best prepare these edible treasures as we indulge in a black truffle degustation.
We begin the day with a short ride to Pula, a seaside town that is over 3000 years old and is famed for its Arena; one of the world’s best–preserved Roman Amphitheaters. Once in town, we will take part in a private history tour of the arena and the antiquities as we stroll the city streets of this ancient town. We will enjoy a meal at the local famer/fish market featuring that days catch. Afterwards, we will visit one of the top winemakers in Croatia, who is known as the “Bad Boy” of Croatian wine producers for a private tour of his winery and tasting of his award-winning wines. The day is capped off in fine style as we head to our favorite goat cheese farmers, whose farm dates back to the 14th century and whose goats graze on close to 200 types of plants and herbs, which produce some of the most astounding cheeses. We will visit the production area and see how they are made before sitting down for a meal on the farm.
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