A climb to Starigrad Fortress

May 11, 2020
By Robert Bralić

This Sunday, under the already well-known circumstances caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, I went on a trip to nearby Omiš – a charming town located at the mouth of the river Cetina.

Cetina river mouth with Omiška Dinara mountain from the northern side

Omiška Dinara from the south with Stari Grad fortress on top

But the town of Omiš itself was just a passing destination; Eager for some fresh air, beautiful weather, and physical activity, I decided to climb the 260-meter Omiška Dinara hilltop located above the town and visit the fortress of Starigrad (Old Town) or Fortica. Fortica is a common name used for this fort, but that name is nothing but a general term for a military-type fort on the Croatian coast and islands. Speaking of common names, they seem to have grouped in the area of ​​the town of Omis, which an inexperienced traveller could mistake with the names of some other places in Dalmatia. For example, Omiš Fortica should not be confused with the ones on the island of Hvar, Vis, or Pag, nor should another name for the fort – Strarigrad be confused with the settlements on Hvar (Stari Grad) or Starigrad under the Velebit mountain. Furthermore, the hill of Omiška Dinara with the “real” Dinara mountain in the interior of Dalmatia, Omiška Rogoznica, or nearby Lokva Rogoznica to one near Šibenik. While this might be confusing even for some locals, these names are frequent historical coastal toponyms or phytotoponyms.

Coming back to my climbing, starting with an earlier morning drive from Split, with an empty road and soft early morning light ahead, I arrived in Omiš in half an hour’s drive. I drove uphill by car to the Borak hamlet where only two to three vehicles can be parked, after which the walk could start. Otherwise, if the situation was normal, parking in Omiš and walk from the city itself is highly advisable.

The fortress zoomed in from the start of the trail

The very beginning of the trail does not look particularly promising. The winter lack of activity on the path and the plants’ spring growth seems a bit rustic but tempting. We climb between the houses and the surrounding gardens, so we walk briefly along a solid fence that prevents us from falling off the mountain and crashing into the settlement. I say we now because I forgot to mention my companion.

Start of the track from the parking area

Escarpment safety fence

Going into a rare forest, a view of the Brač channel and the Omiška Dinara cliffs opened. I stopped and took a look from top to bottom; life flowed in its course as in the old days; the occasional ship was sailing, local fisherman fishing in the company of very patient seagulls waiting on his mercy throw.

Breakwater with Brač Island in the distance

Breakwater binocular view

Idyllic Mediterranean scene

A lot of beaks to feed

However, perhaps it is not patience that is at stake, but security. Very high above me, I noticed a few birds in flight quite specific for the ultimate predator – a bird of prey. I took a shot and magnified the image on my camera. Maybe it’s…? Is it…? Could it be…?

The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in flight

Yes! The fastest animal in the world. Quite surprised to see them here. There were three to four of them, almost floating in place, scanning the cliffs, waiting probably for their future victim to get wet, and then to swoop down upon them. Not even five minutes passed when I looked up again when … there was nothing, no sign of them. Their patience must have paid off. Pity I missed it.
Little by little, as we came under the very slope of the cliff, an impressive view opened up below and towards the southwest. Visibility is often much better, though, but it would be wrong to whine on this lovely day.

The town of Omiš with Cetina river mouth beneath Omiška Dinara cliffs, sand beaches and islands Brač and Šolta in the distance

Closer view of sandy beaches

Omiška Dinara is a favourite climbing area for many hiking enthusiasts. Climbing to its highest peak called Kula or Imber is a bit longer, but higher altitudes usually give a higher reward. The trail to the Starigrad fortress is, for the most part, quite easy and suitable for kids and very inexperienced climbers. There is a shorter, steeper and more rocky part, but nothing that can’t be crossed over with a little effort. Even my pocket dog went through everything without any help from me.

My faithful companion was well ahead, checking on me frequently

Ours led to the left

Before I arrived at the very top of the ridge, I suddenly saw one surprise, but for a better photo, she was a bit too fast and me – a little too slow.

A squirrel; damn! She got away like a bullet.

Once we reached the top of the ridge, the Starigrad Fortress was just a 5-minute walk away, along a beautiful path, in addition to an open view of the southern slopes of the Mosor Mountain across the Cetina River that separates Mosor from the Omiška Dinara.

The view of the Cetina river canyon

Easy-peasy; there was the fortress

Although the history of this area could be related to prehistoric times from the name of the Illyrian tribe Onastini mentioned by ancient sources, the earliest solid material traces date back to antiquity, i.e., during the Roman colonization of the eastern Adriatic coast. The fort itself was first mentioned in the 15th century, under the Croatian name Starigrad, which is worth emphasizing, but which is also logical given the prolonged economic activity of piracy carried out by some Croatian tribes most famous of which were Kačić and Nelipić. It was at the time of the Nelipić tribe that the first construction of this fort could be connected, while during subsequent Venetian administration, it was renovated and upgraded, especially just before and during the greatest Ottoman invasion of this area, which took place in the 16th century. From the 18th century, this position started to lose its strategic importance, leaving the fortress to oblivion, until the time of a slightly newer strategic importance – cultural and historical, but as well as touristic and economical.
Namely, the reconstruction of the fortress began in the ’80s and, given the not so generous funds, was a real construction project. The value of this fortress is all the more significant because it was restored by many lovers of heritage from the Omiš area. Still, the efforts of government organizations that resulted in several financial campaigns are not negligible.

The fort can only be approached from the east, entering through one of the two bastions that secured that access side from intruders. After an irregular entrance situated within the bastion, the courtyard of the fortress opens.

Aerial view of the fortress in the evening light from the west, picture courtesy of Kris Martin (www.krismartyn.com)

One can immediately see the terrain on which the walls were built; hence the bedrock protrudes everywhere and is only in the necessary places removed or carved into stairs. In addition to these elements, there are only the most basic constructions of a small water tank and a modest barrack for the crew. Then to the west, a narrow corridor leading to the tower, or watchtower – as stated in historical documents.

Fortress interior from the east

Primitive steps carved towards the corridor with the tower in the background

An easterly view from within the tower

Of course, the view is the best from the tower – the highest point on the hill and the fortress. From here, the strategic importance of this position is easily recognized. The view is genuinely far-reaching in all directions except to the east. I sure took advantage of having my lenses at this point.

Northwesterly view with the village of Naklice and a small church to the left, at the edge of the hill…

Close-up view of the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, very nicely blended with these electric power transmission lines.

View to the north with Gata village barely visible in the distance

Above Gata village, I was able to focus on Skočibe – one very charming, long time ago abandoned hamlet.

Just enjoying some motives from above

This is a very famous Loger shipyard, established more than a century ago. Trade went from father to son for generations here and continues still. Some stunning ships have started their journey from this very modest dock.

While I was enjoying the view and the solitude on the fortress, I noticed some climbers arriving slowly from the west and began feeling the heat of the sun as well. Therefore, I slowly started heading down, pausing here and there for a few interesting shots.

Local climbers doing the Ferata trail to the fortress. A trail for serious climbers, as you can see. They are dead serious.

Aurinia saxatilis (lat.) – or commonly called Golden Alyssum. Convenient to decorate brick walls because they require very little soil.

Spanish broom (lat. Spartium junceum) sprouting in the middle of the trail.

I took a break in the town of Omiš, which has an exciting story in its genes and therefore deserves a separate blog post. It was a shame not to stop by because I hadn’t been to the old center for a while. I parked under the Peovica fortress, right next to the river, and headed towards the center. The streets were charming, deserted, with only a soul here and there.

Descended all the way to the canyon

Parked near here and started my walk

aw only a few people. It felt a bit strange but beautiful.

The old centre feels authentic. Is there something on the window to the right?

Yes, there is. Another soul I saw in town. She was very curious, surprisingly.

Going from Omiš to Split or vice-versa, I rarely take the coastal road; I much rather enjoy driving through the ancient Village Principality. I stop for a moment in Priko (eng. Across) – (part of Omis across the river Cetina), to see the pre-Romanesque architecture of the church of Sv. Nicholas in this light.

I just love Pre-Romanesque architecture in Dalmatia. This church derives most probably from the 10th century. I wonder how it had looked in these stunning surroundings at the time of its construction.

Then I climb the winding road to Mosor to visit the unique panorama spot and the monument to a legend about one Dalmatian heroine. All in all, one beautifully spent morning.

The road I adore. Curvy, a bit dangerous and empty.

A last glimpse of Omiš before I go…

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Croatia & More - Wrapped Around a Cruise

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Touring Croatia in 9 days, Tailor-made program

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Dubrovnik & Split Tailor-made program

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Touring Croatia & beyond in 11 days, Tailor-made program

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Liana Muresan, New York (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

Rob at Ventula Travel is incredible – he is detail oriented, organized, and went above and beyond to ensure we had a terrific vacation when my husband and I visited Croatia! He even noticed and remembered that my husband had a birthday while we were visiting and made sure to drop off some wine and dessert for us to celebrate! All the travel arrangements were seamless, punctual and very thought out/considerate. Our off the beaten track tours to an ancient water mill, an olive oil tasting and sea kayak tours were perfect! Just what we had asked for. We will definitely recommend any one to make use of this hidden gem of a travel agency for the best travel experience in Croatia!

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From Zagreb & Rovinj to Dubrovnik, Tailor-made tour

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Split & Dubrovnik – Tailor made tour

It is a 5 stars archeological and cultural tour of Croatia. With every minute planned by Robert to the last detail. Robert takes care of each person in the group based on individual needs and preferences. I had many guides and tours in my life but nothing even close to the one Robert provides. Hotel is located right near Salona excavation site with beautiful view on the park from the room’s balcony. Room is very nice and clean. WiFi works great. Service is amazing. Hotel serves breakfast and dinner with large selection to any taste. There is a general store and bakery across the street. This was my first archeological dig. Archeological team consisted of 5-7 tourists, 10-12 students from Zagreb university and supervised by dr. Dino Demicheli. Dino is a great person and has extensive knowledge of history and archeology that he is willing to share. Dino supervised our every day excavations with detail explanations of how work should be done and why. All students spoke very good English and it was wonderful working with them everyday and share experiences. Daily trips around Split area cover diverse historical and cultural past of Croatia. Robert carefully selects guides for different places or guides himself. Each day trip is an unforgettable experience.

Alex Shulman, Illinois (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

We did the island hopping from Split to Dubrovnik Brilliant tour – highlights were – The abandoned shepherds village and the agri estate on Hvar. Stari grad was our favourite little place. Food, people, sights, service – everything was beyond what we expected. Jelena took great care of us throughout.

K. J. Sandman, Melbourne (Australia)

Dalmatian Island-hopping tour, Tailor-made program

Our agent in Croatia, Robert was excellent. His knowledge of the area was amazing and nothing was too much trouble for him. We had a very full days and we were exhausted after but had such an enjoyable and memorable times. I would highly recommend to anyone that is going to Croatia to organise a tour with Robert.

Carolyn Davies, Perth (Australia)

Customised Tour of Dalmatia

Its a great family vacation. The Croatian coast seems unspoilt versus the rest of the Mediterranean and the water & landscape are beautiful. Lots of activities on land as well, the kids were never bored. Would highly recommend it.

Keiling family – Berlin, Germany

Family island hopping private cruise, Tailor-made tour

My experience with Ventula Travel was easily one of the best I have had whilst travelling. As a student of archaeology, the excavations at ancient Siculi gave me practical experience in the field with a team of friendly people, and the added bonus of being right next to the beach! The days at the site were physically demanding, but also incredibly rewarding; there is truly nothing like watching a 2000 year old amphora emerge from the earth! As it was my first time at a dig, the local archaeologists running the site, Dijana and Ivan, were very helpful and patient in answering all my questions, making the experience that much more educational. The excursions in the afternoons and on the weekends really allowed us to experience what the region has to offer. Croatia is so much more complex and diverse than I had ever imagined in terms of culture, history and food. The excursions allowed us to experience all sorts of aspects of this heritage, from prehistoric sites and Roman Salona and Split, to stunning medieval Trogir, regions of the hinterland and the Alka Museum at Sinj, to name just a few. The personal service and guiding on this tour was also exceptional; after being delayed for 5 hours on arrival, I was still met by Robbie with a friendly face and an enthusiastic welcome (despite it being 1am!). The quality of the guiding was also excellent; Robbie has a superb knowledge of the region and its history, and was always thinking of ways to make our time in Croatia more enjoyable. He even managed to organise a last minute trip to the Augusteum at Narona, which for me was a dream come true. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in archaeology or history in general. Croatia’s Roman past is fascinating, and the opportunity to dig incredible, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Great coffee, pizza and prosciutto await you, as do historic sites from the prehistoric to the modern, and all with some of the friendliest people in the world to guide you through it.

Grace Stafford, University of Oxford (England)

Siculi Excavations Program

We had an unforgettable custom tour with Ventula Travel to Serbia and Montenegro where my parents grew up. The tour was well-organized and tailored specifically to our desires. Marko gave us an excellent overview of Belgrade — driving and walking. Salon presented one of the top meals of our entire trip. Absolutely delicious. Very good wine. We had beautiful weather, Nicola was a great driver and once again, Marko was knowledgeable and sensitive. He did careful research, he was kind and informative and very sensitive. It was an emotional day for sure but I will remember it for the rest of my life! Montenegro is an absolutely stunning destination. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Helen Bogolubov Desai, Richmond (USA)

Serbia & Montenegro – Tailor made tour

I have spent many years travelling the world, and the 2 1/2 weeks I spent in Croatia this year would be one of the highlights. The excavation site of Siculi was amazing, so much material to be uncovered, and great finds happening along the way. During the two weeks, we saw much of Croatia in and around Split, and learned a lot about the history of the country. Our guide/friend was very knowledgeable, and willingly shared his knowledge with us. I would thoroughly recommend Ventula Travel to anyone looking to spend quality time in Croatia.

Joy Fisher, Adelaide (Australia)

Siculi Excavations Program

Very personal and seamless arrangements with careful selection of unique experiences. Ventula was with us through out the ten days of our trip, making sure that plans were well carried out, that we were comfortable and enjoying learning about this very interesting part of the world. And the guides were extraordinary in their knowledge and ability to individualize a tour!

Whitley party, Spokane (USA)

Exploring Croatia & more, Tailor-made program

Robert responded informatively and helpfully throughout the planning of our month long sojourn to the amazing Balkans region. His advice and recommendations were excellent. As he learnt more about us during our email conversations, he amended the itinerary to suit us more personally. It was a superb experience that ran seamlessly. We were driven, hiked, flew, and self-drove within and between Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro and back. A myriad of different experiences and with local guides who were such a delight to get to know, and were such a wealth of knowledge. Our admiration and respect for the people of this region is enormous. The choice of accommodation, the guides and drivers were arranged to suit our travel style, and couldn’t have been better. As an example, a night alone amongst the stars alongside a crackling fire above the Tara River was a surprise that is unforgettable and was totally unexpected. Dinner was delivered so we didn’t have to leave. This sort of attention to detail doesn’t surprise us now that we have experienced what Ventula is capable of. Thank you for everything . . . we can’t wait to return.

Lucille Franklin, Perth (Australia)

Western Balkans experience, Tailor-made program

I wish I could use Robert for all my travel planning! If it wasn’t for him, I would have given up planning our Croatia boat cruise. At the time I couldn’t find an available cruise to suit our dates or flights. But Robert was persistent and he found us the perfect match. Prior to our arrival, all emails were handled promptly and clearly. He was able to answer all our questions, and provided everything we needed to know. Upon airport pick up, he was extremely professional and friendly, but mostly, informative. He gave us a fascinating car ride around Split, showing us the layout of the city. It was practical too, so that we were able to navigate the city ourselves when we had the next day to explore. He arranged for our luggage to be taken to the hotel and then to and from the boat. It was seamless. We decided last minute to get a hotel for the final day as we had to leave the boat by 9am but had a day to explore in Split. Within half an hour of contacting him, a hotel was booked and all arrangements and payments were confirmed. His colleague Frane picked us up. He was punctual, polite and also full of interesting stories about Croatia. This is how all travel agents should be. I will insist on any friend visiting Croatia to use Robert’s services.

Crew: Nikolai, the tour guide on cruise was extremely helpful and tried his utmost to make us feel welcome.

Nikolai the bar tender was excellent, remembering our names and drinks preferences by the second day!

Heritage Hotel: Marco was the most helpful and courteous concierge we have ever met. He carried our heavy luggage all though the old town, he gave us detailed information regarding sight seeing, and restaurant recommendations, he served us breakfast and made our stay in Split so wonderfully pleasant.

Annette Lee Polley, Coventry (England)

Island Hopping Cruise from Split to Dubrovnik

We had a fabulous time in Croatia and Montenegro! We went with two other couples and Robert tried his best to accomodate everyone’s needs. Bogdan, our tour guide in Montenegro, was fabulous! He made the tour fun and interesting; we enjoyed him a lot. Anada was our tour guide in Dubrovnik – she was fabulous too! So knowledgeable and very kind. Each meal Robert set up for us was better than the last. All the food was incredibly fresh and so yummy and the restaurants weren’t commercial – they were little “finds” away from it all! We really enjoyed Split’s Kašjuni beach and wish we could have stayed there another day or two. Overall, Robert did a wonderful job on the itinerary for our trip and we would absolutely use Ventula again and recommend him to all our friends!

Liza M. (USA)

Montenegro & Croatia – Tailor made

Croatia should be in the list of every avid traveller. It has a rich history, art heritage, diverse culture and has varied gastronomical delights. Our group was lucky to have found Ventula Travel to create this tour for us. From the moment Robert Bralić submitted his initial proposal for a customized tour of Croatia for 11 days for a group of 6, we knew that his version stood out from the other 3 companies we asked to submit proposals. Apart from the usual tourist destinations, Robert incorporated unique experiences that only a learned and passionate local guide would know about. It was actually a risk on his part to depart from the usual tour packages and offered a package to a group he hardly knows would welcome such off the beaten tracks. And as such, while the likes of Dubrovnik, Diocletian Palace, Dalmatian Islands tour, Plitviče Lakes would top the list of a regular tourist’s experience in Croatia, our group would forever remember the moments we had cruising the Nretva river in a traditional boat, getting to know the family that owns a Medieval watermill (that still operates) and being served local cuisine; being served ancient cuisine while getting educated on olive oil in a historic site, having fun following a dog hunting for truffles, listening to an energetic local entrepreneur in his quest to get a trade patent to protect his strudel recipes, and many more unique encounters with locals that made our holiday truly enriching. The tour guides assigned to us were all excellent. As tour guides, being educated is our minimum expectation. We were assigned Archaeologists, art historians, educators who passionately shared with us not only what they know and learned from books but also stories from their own family experiences which makes the exchange even more meaningful. No moment was wasted with any of them as we devoured every information they were sharing with us. We got very good tips on where to eat or where to spend our free time or what to watch out for when we are walking around. While we will not retain everything that we learned about Croatia, the moments we shared with a lot of the people we met in this trip would last a lifetime.

Sol Vivas, Manila (Philippines)

Customised Tour of Croatia for Friends

I had an excellent trip to Croatia planned by Robert and Jelena. The food was excellent, the tours were all great, and the hotels were very deluxe. The Hotel Adriana in Dubrovnik was especially nice; we had a great view from our room and there was a nice area you could swim in the Adriatic right from the hotel. We also had a great meal at their restaurant. The second half of my trip I spent helping on an archaeological dig, which was a bucket-list item for me. Dino, in charge of the dig, was knowledgeable and patient with me and the other tourists. Overall, it was an experience I will never forget and I hope to get back soon!

Laura A., Washington, (USA)

Dalmatia – A Historical Exploration – Tailor-made program

A truly unique and rewarding experience! Robert, his family, and colleagues are warm, knowledgeable and proud to show their beautiful and historic country. Spending two weeks gave me the opportunity to appreciate the diversity and delights of Dalmatia. Wine, food, history and culture were all a short walk or drive from my accommodation. I highly recommend Ventula travel and a vacation to Split!

Tom Riherd, Florida (USA)

A two-week Split & Dalmatia Tour, Tailor-made program

We are experienced older travelers who have always booked our own travel, however our trip to Croatia was a bit overwhelming when we realized we would have many stops and transfers to see everything we wanted to see in two weeks. Ventula was recommended to us by friends and I am grateful for the recommendation. Robert and his staff with very short notice and little time to plan supplied us with an itinerary that met all our needs. We started in Zagreb at the spectacular Espanade Hotel and ended in the little town of Trogir near the Split airport. I have to commend all of our private guides and drivers, Drazen, Andrija, Antonio, Ivana, Leo, Lea, and Anada to name a few. All very knowledgeable of the area, so friendly and helpful. The hotel accommodations at every stop were exceptional from the Chalet at Plitvice Lakes, the Villa Nepos in the Diocletian Place at Split, the Korsal Hotel in Korcula, the Sun Gardens in Dubrovnik and the Berislavic Palace in Trogir. The Plitvice Lakes are a must see. Small stops along the Dalmatian coast at Nin, Zadar, a speedboat ride from Split to Korcula with a stop at Hvar was incredible. Split and Dubrovnik are unlike any “city” we have ever seen. Great food, a visit to the oyster beds in Peljesac, visits to several vineyards, wine and olive oil tastings made this trip one we will remember for a long time and all personalized just for us. Fantastic experience. Thank you, Robert.

Judy Poe, Chicago (USA)

Zagreb to Dubrovnik – Tailor made

Ventula was excellent. Flexible, patient & responsive. I`d highly recommend Robert Bralic to any traveler to the Croatia area.

Michael Baxter, Baltimore (USA)

Montenegro & Croatia – Tailor made

I’m not used to taking packaged trips. I usually do my own research and planning for travel. But I feel like I got to know the area on a level I haven’t with other destinations. I think you’ve fundamentally changed how I approach traveling from now on due to how wonderful this experience was. Thank you for hosting us and letting us take part. The attention to detail was phenomenal. Everything worked like clockwork. Everyone we met was wonderful, on time, helpful. For all the transportation, I never had to wonder where someone was or if I was in the right place. It all just worked exactly to plan. And given the traffic at Pile Gate, that is saying a lot. It was a delight. We spent part of the way home looking for rental property in Croatia. Whether on vacation, while working remotely or during retirement, I can safely say we’ll be back. It has quickly become one of our most favorite countries. It was one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken.

Jessica E., Maryland (USA)

Dubrovnik, Hvar & Salona – Talior-made programme

Ventula Travel made me fall in love with Croatia and archeology. The trips we were on, the food, wine, and company were truly outstanding. I had the pleasure of meeting the most intelligent and interesting people with unique hobbies and vast knowledge. Trips to the Archaeological Museum in Split and the fortress of Klis will forever remain in my memory. Just as diving in the submerged port of Siculi settlement. In addition, I absolutely LOVED the excavations in Salona – they were very rewarding! The group was supervised by a highly specialized archaeological team, Dino and Ana, who made us feel very welcome. It was truly a wonderful visit, and I will definitely be coming back.

Daniela Wojas, Illinois (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

Ventula put together a great tour for us. The destinations were a good mix of what inland Croatia and Slovenia have to offer, the recommended restaurants were great, and the personal guides made the trip a total pleasure. We felt we had a fantastic scenic and cultural experience. I would highly recommend Ventula to friends traveling to the region.

Karen W., USA

Slovenia & Croatia – Tailor made tour

Croatia was magical. The wine, accommodations and transportation services were top notch. Tomislav did a fabulous job of handling all aspects of coordinating transportation, especially changes, guides, food, and experiences for our group of 14 people and she did it seamlessly.

Susan B, (USA)

Tour of the Croatian coastline

My husband and I worked with Robert at Ventula Travel for our recent visit to Croatia. He was easy and quick to communicate with via email. Being local he had the insight and connections that were so valuable to our experience. He curated a trip through the country from Zagreb to Split, island hopping with a stay in Korcula, the Peljesac Peninsula and ending in Dubrovnik. We hit all the highlights with the best guides and were treated like family in the best locals restaurants. We traveled with wonderful private drivers in comfortable cars and boats seeing and experiencing more of this amazing country than we ever could have otherwise. I would highly recommend Ventula Travel to anyone looking to travel to Croatia.

Jill K, San Francisco (USA)

Zagreb to Dubrovnik by land and sea, Tailor-made program

Robert put together a perfect time and introduction and immersion to the culture people and food of beautiful Croatia.

Terry Mather, Littleton (USA)

Split & Dubrovnik – Tailor made tour

We would have no hesitation what so ever in recommending Jelena and Ventula travel. The professionalism and knowledge exhibited by this company and the tour guides was outstanding. They planned and organised our trip to Split and Dubrovnik. The personal guides provided were extremely knowledgeable and took us to some of the places where tourists would not normally go. We Have no hesitation in recommending this company to organise your travels.

Kaye & Mal Wolfe, Perth (Australia)

A Week in Croatia, Tailor made program

There are no words to adequately describe the two weeks I had. Having been on tours before and travelled to many interesting places I still didn’t know what to expect. Croatia is a country rich in culture and history, in the end I didn’t want to leave. I know a large part of that is due to Robert and the programme that was set up for us. Each day was filled with adventure and new interesting things to see. After a few days of the programme we started eagerly anticipating our pickups, realising that each day was going to bring a wealth of new incredible experiences. I loved eating the pekka which I was fortunate to experience twice! The wine tastings was also very refreshing given I don’t normally drink wine. My favourite places to go were Sinj and Kliss but a lot of what made the trip special were the small magical moments whether they were driving through the breathtaking scenery, visiting one of the sources of the Cetina, stumbling upon one of the most incredible museums I’ve ever seen (of the Alkar tournament and 1715 siege), or having that museum topped by an equally amazing one (Narona). In comparison to some of the dry and bland tour groups we passed while exploring Split I have to say I pity anyone who ends up in this amazing country without a guide like Robert because he truly brought everything to life. I am already desperate to go back, I think I left part of me behind!

Elina Larravide, Maryland (USA)

Customised Tour of Dalmatia

We asked Ventula to devise a program for us outside our cruise and they did an extraordinary job. We got a real feel for Croatia away from the obvious tourist sites, although we enjoyed those too. Particular highlights were the town of Sinj and our traditional peka lunch in an abondoned village with a local family. Our drivers and guides were excellent – thoughtful, knowledgeable, flexible and charming!

Kohli family, Boston (USA)

Gulet cruise add-on, Tailor-made program

I’ll try to put into words one of the most memorable trips of my life. When I decided I would go to Croatia it never crossed my mind that the experience would mean returning home with the impression I had loved every single moment there. It was INTENSE. People made me feel comfortable and at ease, the places I visited were what I was looking for. The history in Split and Dubrovnik together with the beaches, the little streets full of stories, the museums and restaurants and squares and bars. I was in Zagreb as well and in Zadar and moved around without much effort in spite of being my first time there. Absolutely everything made me love that country. The people, tasting different types of oil, eating peka and drinking wine. I don’ t know, so many wonderful little moments I’ll cherish for the rest of my life…. And most of all, I was very lucky to have contacted a travel agent, Ventula Travels. As I see it that was crucial to my well-being and the success of my trip. For two reasons; one, they understood exactly what I was looking for and made sure I got it and second, they contacted me constantly to see if everything they had organised was correct and if I was doing well. It was perfect. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back but it won’t matter really because Croatia and all the people I met will always be in my heart.

Sandra Ricketts, Montevideo (Uruguay)

Customised Tour through Croatia

The guides, sightseeing destinations, accommodations, transportation vehicles were are first class. There was admirable attention to detail and excellent choices of guides who were knowledgeable, engaging and professional. Choices of hotels were what we expected. I would recommend this company to friends and family. Nancy G.

Nancy Gooding, Denver (USA)

Split & Dubrovnik – Tailor made tour

I wish I could use Robert for all my travel planning! If it wasn’t for him, I would have given up planning our Croatia boat cruise. At the time I couldn’t find an available cruise to suit our dates or flights. But Robert was persistent and he found us the perfect match. Prior to our arrival, all emails were handled promptly and clearly. He was able to answer all our questions, and provided everything we needed to know. Upon airport pick up, he was extremely professional and friendly, but mostly, informative. He gave us a fascinating car ride around Split, showing us the layout of the city. It was practical too, so that we were able to navigate the city ourselves when we had the next day to explore. He arranged for our luggage to be taken to the hotel and then to and from the boat. It was seamless. We decided last minute to get a hotel for the final day as we had to leave the boat by 9am but had a day to explore in Split. Within half an hour of contacting him, a hotel was booked and all arrangements and payments were confirmed. His colleague Frane picked us up. He was punctual, polite and also full of interesting stories about Croatia. This is how all travel agents should be. I will insist on any friend visiting Croatia to use Robert’s services.

Crew: Nikolai, the tour guide on cruise was extremely helpful and tried his utmost to make us feel welcome.

Nikolai the bar tender was excellent, remembering our names and drinks preferences by the second day!

Heritage Hotel: Marco was the most helpful and courteous concierge we have ever met. He carried our heavy luggage all though the old town, he gave us detailed information regarding sight seeing, and restaurant recommendations, he served us breakfast and made our stay in Split so wonderfully pleasant.

Annette Lee Polley, Coventry (England)

Island Hopping Cruise from Split to Dubrovnik

My experience with Ventula Travel was easily one of the best I have had whilst travelling. As a student of archaeology, the excavations at ancient Siculi gave me practical experience in the field with a team of friendly people, and the added bonus of being right next to the beach! The days at the site were physically demanding, but also incredibly rewarding; there is truly nothing like watching a 2000 year old amphora emerge from the earth! As it was my first time at a dig, the local archaeologists running the site, Dijana and Ivan, were very helpful and patient in answering all my questions, making the experience that much more educational. The excursions in the afternoons and on the weekends really allowed us to experience what the region has to offer. Croatia is so much more complex and diverse than I had ever imagined in terms of culture, history and food. The excursions allowed us to experience all sorts of aspects of this heritage, from prehistoric sites and Roman Salona and Split, to stunning medieval Trogir, regions of the hinterland and the Alka Museum at Sinj, to name just a few. The personal service and guiding on this tour was also exceptional; after being delayed for 5 hours on arrival, I was still met by Robbie with a friendly face and an enthusiastic welcome (despite it being 1am!). The quality of the guiding was also excellent; Robbie has a superb knowledge of the region and its history, and was always thinking of ways to make our time in Croatia more enjoyable. He even managed to organise a last minute trip to the Augusteum at Narona, which for me was a dream come true. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone with an interest in archaeology or history in general. Croatia’s Roman past is fascinating, and the opportunity to dig incredible, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Great coffee, pizza and prosciutto await you, as do historic sites from the prehistoric to the modern, and all with some of the friendliest people in the world to guide you through it.

Grace Stafford, University of Oxford (England)

Siculi Excavations Program

I’ll try to put into words one of the most memorable trips of my life. When I decided I would go to Croatia it never crossed my mind that the experience would mean returning home with the impression I had loved every single moment there. It was INTENSE. People made me feel comfortable and at ease, the places I visited were what I was looking for. The history in Split and Dubrovnik together with the beaches, the little streets full of stories, the museums and restaurants and squares and bars. I was in Zagreb as well and in Zadar and moved around without much effort in spite of being my first time there. Absolutely everything made me love that country. The people, tasting different types of oil, eating peka and drinking wine. I don’ t know, so many wonderful little moments I’ll cherish for the rest of my life…. And most of all, I was very lucky to have contacted a travel agent, Ventula Travels. As I see it that was crucial to my well-being and the success of my trip. For two reasons; one, they understood exactly what I was looking for and made sure I got it and second, they contacted me constantly to see if everything they had organised was correct and if I was doing well. It was perfect. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back but it won’t matter really because Croatia and all the people I met will always be in my heart.

Sandra Ricketts, Montevideo (Uruguay)

Customised Tour through Croatia

Croatia should be in the list of every avid traveller. It has a rich history, art heritage, diverse culture and has varied gastronomical delights. Our group was lucky to have found Ventula Travel to create this tour for us. From the moment Robert Bralić submitted his initial proposal for a customized tour of Croatia for 11 days for a group of 6, we knew that his version stood out from the other 3 companies we asked to submit proposals. Apart from the usual tourist destinations, Robert incorporated unique experiences that only a learned and passionate local guide would know about. It was actually a risk on his part to depart from the usual tour packages and offered a package to a group he hardly knows would welcome such off the beaten tracks. And as such, while the likes of Dubrovnik, Diocletian Palace, Dalmatian Islands tour, Plitviče Lakes would top the list of a regular tourist’s experience in Croatia, our group would forever remember the moments we had cruising the Nretva river in a traditional boat, getting to know the family that owns a Medieval watermill (that still operates) and being served local cuisine; being served ancient cuisine while getting educated on olive oil in a historic site, having fun following a dog hunting for truffles, listening to an energetic local entrepreneur in his quest to get a trade patent to protect his strudel recipes, and many more unique encounters with locals that made our holiday truly enriching. The tour guides assigned to us were all excellent. As tour guides, being educated is our minimum expectation. We were assigned Archaeologists, art historians, educators who passionately shared with us not only what they know and learned from books but also stories from their own family experiences which makes the exchange even more meaningful. No moment was wasted with any of them as we devoured every information they were sharing with us. We got very good tips on where to eat or where to spend our free time or what to watch out for when we are walking around. While we will not retain everything that we learned about Croatia, the moments we shared with a lot of the people we met in this trip would last a lifetime.

Sol Vivas, Manila (Philippines)

Customised Tour of Croatia for Friends

Croatia was magical. The wine, accommodations and transportation services were top notch. Tomislav did a fabulous job of handling all aspects of coordinating transportation, especially changes, guides, food, and experiences for our group of 14 people and she did it seamlessly.

Susan B, (USA)

Tour of the Croatian coastline

Robert put together a perfect time and introduction and immersion to the culture people and food of beautiful Croatia.

Terry Mather, Littleton (USA)

Split & Dubrovnik – Tailor made tour

Robert and Jelena were absolute pleasures to be around from Split to Plitvice Lakes to Zagreb. Everything was taken care of with no stress from pick up at the airport to drop off. My friend and I were in Croatia for a specific reason and these amazing people added to the experience and even changed original “plans” to accommodate our adventure as we went. All restaurants chosen were fantastic. Great food and even better service! We received so much more than we had requested or could have imagined. Amazingly friendly people from restaurant staff to winemakers.

Robert and Jelena are very knowledgeable in the history of their country but also, for a couple friends wanting to go out on the town, they knew exactly where to go for great beer, music and entertainment.
Warm, kind and heartfelt people. I cannot wait to plan my next trip with Ventula Travel!

Joan Minnie, Canmore (Canada)

Touring Croatia in 9 days, Tailor-made program

My husband and I worked with Robert at Ventula Travel for our recent visit to Croatia. He was easy and quick to communicate with via email. Being local he had the insight and connections that were so valuable to our experience. He curated a trip through the country from Zagreb to Split, island hopping with a stay in Korcula, the Peljesac Peninsula and ending in Dubrovnik. We hit all the highlights with the best guides and were treated like family in the best locals restaurants. We traveled with wonderful private drivers in comfortable cars and boats seeing and experiencing more of this amazing country than we ever could have otherwise. I would highly recommend Ventula Travel to anyone looking to travel to Croatia.

Jill K, San Francisco (USA)

Zagreb to Dubrovnik by land and sea, Tailor-made program

We work with a small number of family run DMC’s in the countries where we offer trips, some for many years. I’m pleased to say we have developed excellent relationships with all of them and both we and they have consistently gone the extra mile or beyond to try and help the other and to deliver an excellent service both directly to the partner company as well as to guests. We are very pleased that Ventula has become part of this family of DMC’s which are all very special. This is only the 4th year we are working in Croatia but we are very much looking forward to developing a wider range of trips and to expanding our collaboration with Ventula.

Peter Sommer, CEO at Peter Sommer Travels, Monmouth (UK)

CEO at Peter Sommer Travels, Monmouth (UK)

I would not hesitate to visit Croatia again as there are many more options to explore. The islands of Croatia are an excellent option and they offer such remarkable experiences. The people of Croatia are full of warmth and hospitality as well and were the stars of the destination.

I would not hesitate to recommend Ventula Travel. This great boutique travel agency was very attentive and delivered personalized service from start to finish. They helped to connect us with the heart of Croatia and we were fully immersed in authentic experiences, which we thoroughly enjoyed absorbing.

Aik Wye, New York (USA)

Touring Croatia & beyond in 11 days, Tailor-made program

An incredible trip, one which will always be remembered. Robert was incredibly attentive and planned a wonderful detailed trip for us. He was always accessible during the trip if we had a question. Also he gratuitously offered to give us an private tour of the ruins on a Sunday, his day off.

Byron Olson, Baltimore (USA)

Montenegro & Croatia – Tailor made

We are experienced older travelers who have always booked our own travel, however our trip to Croatia was a bit overwhelming when we realized we would have many stops and transfers to see everything we wanted to see in two weeks. Ventula was recommended to us by friends and I am grateful for the recommendation. Robert and his staff with very short notice and little time to plan supplied us with an itinerary that met all our needs. We started in Zagreb at the spectacular Espanade Hotel and ended in the little town of Trogir near the Split airport. I have to commend all of our private guides and drivers, Drazen, Andrija, Antonio, Ivana, Leo, Lea, and Anada to name a few. All very knowledgeable of the area, so friendly and helpful. The hotel accommodations at every stop were exceptional from the Chalet at Plitvice Lakes, the Villa Nepos in the Diocletian Place at Split, the Korsal Hotel in Korcula, the Sun Gardens in Dubrovnik and the Berislavic Palace in Trogir. The Plitvice Lakes are a must see. Small stops along the Dalmatian coast at Nin, Zadar, a speedboat ride from Split to Korcula with a stop at Hvar was incredible. Split and Dubrovnik are unlike any “city” we have ever seen. Great food, a visit to the oyster beds in Peljesac, visits to several vineyards, wine and olive oil tastings made this trip one we will remember for a long time and all personalized just for us. Fantastic experience. Thank you, Robert.

Judy Poe, Chicago (USA)

Zagreb to Dubrovnik – Tailor made

This really was a once in a lifetime trip for me. Each of our guides showed such passion and love for their city, it made us fall in love with the cities as well. I loved getting to try so many new experiences, food and activities, and doing so in such a beautiful place. My favorite part of the trip was meeting and talking with the people in each city. Hearing their stories and how their families are intertwined with the history of Croatia.

Hannah B., Oregon (USA)

Dalmatia – A Historical Exploration – Tailor-made program

We bring back with us fond memories of our tour to Croatis, thanks to my son who has picked the right choice for our destination, Ventura Travel. We have had a great time, dining and touring with your professional guides. we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Robert, ( our star guide ), Katarina, Julija, Timea. Miho, Stella and others who have accompanied us on this tour. We will certainly recommend Ventula Travel to our friends who intend to travel to Croatia. Thank you, once again for making our vacation a very memorable one

Amazing trip throughout Croatia. Very pleased to be able to learn about this remarkable destination through the eyes of the Ventula DMC team.

Mr & Mrs Ng Ting Ah (Mdm Gan Kam Yoong), Georgetown (Malaysia)

Touring Croatia & beyond in 11 days, Tailor-made program

The Ancient Salona program has been one of the most fantastic travel experiences I’ve ever had. It’s overflowing with historical and cultural depth, from participating in the archaeological excavations of Salona, to exploring several cities and sites, both on and off the mainland, led and organized by the incredible Robert, who went above and beyond to make sure we had a truly great experience. The program included 2 weeks of hard but rewarding digging under the overview of the ever knowledgeable Dino who brought ancient history to life, the most delicious and sumptuous meals, incredible scenery, and immersive tours. Highlights include olive oil and wine tastings, walking tours of 10+ charming and interesting towns, interactive weapons demonstration, and getting to know a great group of people in the process. If I could do this again tomorrow, I definitely would. I can’t recommend this program highly enough!

Liana Muresan, New York (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

Best vacation ever! Robert planned it perfectly and thought of everything. I loved how he could customize the packages according to my needs and wishes and was always available when I needed him or had questions before and during the trip. He personally selects only the best guides, hotels etc he knows for the best quality/experience for his clients. I will be booking all future travel with him and recommend him to all my friends and family. My trip was very affordable and he can work with all budgets. I also loved how connected he was to so many people and places in the country and was so knowledgeable. Five stars!

Mary Frenkel, Texas (USA)

Dubrovnik, Hvar & Salona – Talior-made programme

We did the island hopping from Split to Dubrovnik Brilliant tour – highlights were – The abandoned shepherds village and the agri estate on Hvar. Stari grad was our favourite little place. Food, people, sights, service – everything was beyond what we expected. Jelena took great care of us throughout.

K. J. Sandman, Melbourne (Australia)

Dalmatian Island-hopping tour, Tailor-made program

We had a fabulous time in Croatia and Montenegro! We went with two other couples and Robert tried his best to accomodate everyone’s needs. Bogdan, our tour guide in Montenegro, was fabulous! He made the tour fun and interesting; we enjoyed him a lot. Anada was our tour guide in Dubrovnik – she was fabulous too! So knowledgeable and very kind. Each meal Robert set up for us was better than the last. All the food was incredibly fresh and so yummy and the restaurants weren’t commercial – they were little “finds” away from it all! We really enjoyed Split’s Kašjuni beach and wish we could have stayed there another day or two. Overall, Robert did a wonderful job on the itinerary for our trip and we would absolutely use Ventula again and recommend him to all our friends!

Liza M. (USA)

Montenegro & Croatia – Tailor made

It is a 5 stars archeological and cultural tour of Croatia. With every minute planned by Robert to the last detail. Robert takes care of each person in the group based on individual needs and preferences. I had many guides and tours in my life but nothing even close to the one Robert provides. Hotel is located right near Salona excavation site with beautiful view on the park from the room’s balcony. Room is very nice and clean. WiFi works great. Service is amazing. Hotel serves breakfast and dinner with large selection to any taste. There is a general store and bakery across the street. This was my first archeological dig. Archeological team consisted of 5-7 tourists, 10-12 students from Zagreb university and supervised by dr. Dino Demicheli. Dino is a great person and has extensive knowledge of history and archeology that he is willing to share. Dino supervised our every day excavations with detail explanations of how work should be done and why. All students spoke very good English and it was wonderful working with them everyday and share experiences. Daily trips around Split area cover diverse historical and cultural past of Croatia. Robert carefully selects guides for different places or guides himself. Each day trip is an unforgettable experience.

Alex Shulman, Illinois (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

We had an unforgettable custom tour with Ventula Travel to Serbia and Montenegro where my parents grew up. The tour was well-organized and tailored specifically to our desires. Marko gave us an excellent overview of Belgrade — driving and walking. Salon presented one of the top meals of our entire trip. Absolutely delicious. Very good wine. We had beautiful weather, Nicola was a great driver and once again, Marko was knowledgeable and sensitive. He did careful research, he was kind and informative and very sensitive. It was an emotional day for sure but I will remember it for the rest of my life! Montenegro is an absolutely stunning destination. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Helen Bogolubov Desai, Richmond (USA)

Serbia & Montenegro – Tailor made tour

Croatia is a wonderful country and Ventula Travel is the company to use to see it. The drivers and guides were a key to enjoying the sites and cities of the country and getting a real understanding of the history of the country. Something that we could not duplicate on our own.

Robert was endlessly patient with us during the planning phase of the trip – we had so many questions and ideas. The trip exceeded our expectations. Every detail had been attended to and we got to see and experience so much of this lovely country, much of which we may not have discovered on our own. Our drivers and guides were top notch.

Clark & Smith group, (USA)

Croatia & More - Wrapped Around a Cruise

Its a great family vacation. The Croatian coast seems unspoilt versus the rest of the Mediterranean and the water & landscape are beautiful. Lots of activities on land as well, the kids were never bored. Would highly recommend it.

Keiling family – Berlin, Germany

Family island hopping private cruise, Tailor-made tour

Ventula was excellent. Flexible, patient & responsive. I`d highly recommend Robert Bralic to any traveler to the Croatia area.

Michael Baxter, Baltimore (USA)

Montenegro & Croatia – Tailor made

Excellent tour, organised and carried out by competent and excellent people.

Ventula Travel organised an excellent visit to Croatia and some nearby countries for my wife and I. There was very good explanation of what we were seeing and how it fitted into history. We unfortunately have zero language skills ai any thing other than English and Ventula coped with this magnificently.

Penny & Ian McDonald, Katanning (Australia)

Private tour of Croatia & beyond

A truly unique and rewarding experience! Robert, his family, and colleagues are warm, knowledgeable and proud to show their beautiful and historic country. Spending two weeks gave me the opportunity to appreciate the diversity and delights of Dalmatia. Wine, food, history and culture were all a short walk or drive from my accommodation. I highly recommend Ventula travel and a vacation to Split!

Tom Riherd, Florida (USA)

A two-week Split & Dalmatia Tour, Tailor-made program

Ventula put together a great tour for us. The destinations were a good mix of what inland Croatia and Slovenia have to offer, the recommended restaurants were great, and the personal guides made the trip a total pleasure. We felt we had a fantastic scenic and cultural experience. I would highly recommend Ventula to friends traveling to the region.

Karen W., USA

Slovenia & Croatia – Tailor made tour

Ventula Travel made me fall in love with Croatia and archeology. The trips we were on, the food, wine, and company were truly outstanding. I had the pleasure of meeting the most intelligent and interesting people with unique hobbies and vast knowledge. Trips to the Archaeological Museum in Split and the fortress of Klis will forever remain in my memory. Just as diving in the submerged port of Siculi settlement. In addition, I absolutely LOVED the excavations in Salona – they were very rewarding! The group was supervised by a highly specialized archaeological team, Dino and Ana, who made us feel very welcome. It was truly a wonderful visit, and I will definitely be coming back.

Daniela Wojas, Illinois (USA)

Salona 2021 excavations programme

We asked Ventula to devise a program for us outside our cruise and they did an extraordinary job. We got a real feel for Croatia away from the obvious tourist sites, although we enjoyed those too. Particular highlights were the town of Sinj and our traditional peka lunch in an abondoned village with a local family. Our drivers and guides were excellent – thoughtful, knowledgeable, flexible and charming!

Kohli family, Boston (USA)

Gulet cruise add-on, Tailor-made program

We would have no hesitation what so ever in recommending Jelena and Ventula travel. The professionalism and knowledge exhibited by this company and the tour guides was outstanding. They planned and organised our trip to Split and Dubrovnik. The personal guides provided were extremely knowledgeable and took us to some of the places where tourists would not normally go. We Have no hesitation in recommending this company to organise your travels.

Kaye & Mal Wolfe, Perth (Australia)

A Week in Croatia, Tailor made program

Very personal and seamless arrangements with careful selection of unique experiences. Ventula was with us through out the ten days of our trip, making sure that plans were well carried out, that we were comfortable and enjoying learning about this very interesting part of the world. And the guides were extraordinary in their knowledge and ability to individualize a tour!

Whitley party, Spokane (USA)

Exploring Croatia & more, Tailor-made program

I’m not used to taking packaged trips. I usually do my own research and planning for travel. But I feel like I got to know the area on a level I haven’t with other destinations. I think you’ve fundamentally changed how I approach traveling from now on due to how wonderful this experience was. Thank you for hosting us and letting us take part. The attention to detail was phenomenal. Everything worked like clockwork. Everyone we met was wonderful, on time, helpful. For all the transportation, I never had to wonder where someone was or if I was in the right place. It all just worked exactly to plan. And given the traffic at Pile Gate, that is saying a lot. It was a delight. We spent part of the way home looking for rental property in Croatia. Whether on vacation, while working remotely or during retirement, I can safely say we’ll be back. It has quickly become one of our most favorite countries. It was one of the best vacations we’ve ever taken.

Jessica E., Maryland (USA)

Dubrovnik, Hvar & Salona – Talior-made programme

We really enjoyed our time in Croatia. The days we spent with you were very easy, informative, and well planned. Tamara, our guide was outstanding; I’d welcome time with her again. Favorite visits were to Sinj and Ston. We were intrigued in the Alka, and hope to return to visit during this event. Thanks to Robert, and all your staff. Hoping to work with you again in the future.

Deborah Stegman, Colorado (USA)

Dubrovnik & Split Tailor-made program

Rob at Ventula Travel is incredible – he is detail oriented, organized, and went above and beyond to ensure we had a terrific vacation when my husband and I visited Croatia! He even noticed and remembered that my husband had a birthday while we were visiting and made sure to drop off some wine and dessert for us to celebrate! All the travel arrangements were seamless, punctual and very thought out/considerate. Our off the beaten track tours to an ancient water mill, an olive oil tasting and sea kayak tours were perfect! Just what we had asked for. We will definitely recommend any one to make use of this hidden gem of a travel agency for the best travel experience in Croatia!

Prachee Pathak, New York (USA)

From Zagreb & Rovinj to Dubrovnik, Tailor-made tour

I have spent many years travelling the world, and the 2 1/2 weeks I spent in Croatia this year would be one of the highlights. The excavation site of Siculi was amazing, so much material to be uncovered, and great finds happening along the way. During the two weeks, we saw much of Croatia in and around Split, and learned a lot about the history of the country. Our guide/friend was very knowledgeable, and willingly shared his knowledge with us. I would thoroughly recommend Ventula Travel to anyone looking to spend quality time in Croatia.

Joy Fisher, Adelaide (Australia)

Siculi Excavations Program

Our agent in Croatia, Robert was excellent. His knowledge of the area was amazing and nothing was too much trouble for him. We had a very full days and we were exhausted after but had such an enjoyable and memorable times. I would highly recommend to anyone that is going to Croatia to organise a tour with Robert.

Carolyn Davies, Perth (Australia)

Customised Tour of Dalmatia

There are no words to adequately describe the two weeks I had. Having been on tours before and travelled to many interesting places I still didn’t know what to expect. Croatia is a country rich in culture and history, in the end I didn’t want to leave. I know a large part of that is due to Robert and the programme that was set up for us. Each day was filled with adventure and new interesting things to see. After a few days of the programme we started eagerly anticipating our pickups, realising that each day was going to bring a wealth of new incredible experiences. I loved eating the pekka which I was fortunate to experience twice! The wine tastings was also very refreshing given I don’t normally drink wine. My favourite places to go were Sinj and Kliss but a lot of what made the trip special were the small magical moments whether they were driving through the breathtaking scenery, visiting one of the sources of the Cetina, stumbling upon one of the most incredible museums I’ve ever seen (of the Alkar tournament and 1715 siege), or having that museum topped by an equally amazing one (Narona). In comparison to some of the dry and bland tour groups we passed while exploring Split I have to say I pity anyone who ends up in this amazing country without a guide like Robert because he truly brought everything to life. I am already desperate to go back, I think I left part of me behind!

Elina Larravide, Maryland (USA)

Customised Tour of Dalmatia

I had an excellent trip to Croatia planned by Robert and Jelena. The food was excellent, the tours were all great, and the hotels were very deluxe. The Hotel Adriana in Dubrovnik was especially nice; we had a great view from our room and there was a nice area you could swim in the Adriatic right from the hotel. We also had a great meal at their restaurant. The second half of my trip I spent helping on an archaeological dig, which was a bucket-list item for me. Dino, in charge of the dig, was knowledgeable and patient with me and the other tourists. Overall, it was an experience I will never forget and I hope to get back soon!

Laura A., Washington, (USA)

Dalmatia – A Historical Exploration – Tailor-made program

Robert responded informatively and helpfully throughout the planning of our month long sojourn to the amazing Balkans region. His advice and recommendations were excellent. As he learnt more about us during our email conversations, he amended the itinerary to suit us more personally. It was a superb experience that ran seamlessly. We were driven, hiked, flew, and self-drove within and between Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro and back. A myriad of different experiences and with local guides who were such a delight to get to know, and were such a wealth of knowledge. Our admiration and respect for the people of this region is enormous. The choice of accommodation, the guides and drivers were arranged to suit our travel style, and couldn’t have been better. As an example, a night alone amongst the stars alongside a crackling fire above the Tara River was a surprise that is unforgettable and was totally unexpected. Dinner was delivered so we didn’t have to leave. This sort of attention to detail doesn’t surprise us now that we have experienced what Ventula is capable of. Thank you for everything . . . we can’t wait to return.

Lucille Franklin, Perth (Australia)

Western Balkans experience, Tailor-made program