Heritage in hues: Croatian artistic voyage 2024

Tour Info

TOUR DESCRIPTION – OVERVIEW

This itinerary is crafted for creatives and art aficionados who wish to experience a two-week journey that combines artistic growth, cultural immersion, and the wonders of nature, exploring both Northern and coastal Croatia. It is an opportunity to embrace the contrast of urban centres and the serenity of natural landscapes while simultaneously diving into your artistic practice.

Our primary objective is to provide an authentic experience that nurtures artistic inspiration and self-discovery. The itinerary invites you to soak in the beauty of unique Croatian urban and nature landscapes, with a chance to savour the unhurried, rhythmic cadence at which creativity unfurls. Throughout your journey, you will have the chance to connect with local artists and participate in workshops that will elevate your artistic skills.

Within the first part of the trip is a plethora of diverse scenic landscapes, encompassing inspirative motifs and unique surroundings which will, with the help of our academic painter, shine a new light on your practice and maybe give way to new thoughts and ideas. Rivers, forests and mountains wait for a perfect moment of capture and inspiration.

The second part pertains to our gulet cruise across the Adriatic, where you will voyage to numerous islands, each a canvas of its own. With ample time to paint and sketch while sailing, you can capture what makes Croatia’s coast the heart of the Mediterranean. From ancient villages to secluded coves and sun-drenched vineyards, each island offers a fresh palette of inspiration.

This tour is a recommendation to anyone seeking to better their artistic process without any rush, willing to explore, immersing themselves in the rich contrasts of Croatia’s natural and cultural heritage with their brush.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Professional guidance by an academic painter
  • Developing artistic practice in scenic locations
  • Authentic cuisine
  • Local artistic practices
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Outdoor activities / creative workshops
  • Meeting the locals

BRIEF ITINERARY

DAY DATE PLACE/ROUTE ACTIVITIES/THEMES MEALS
1 12 May 2024 Zagreb/Arrival Welcome dinner and program intro D
2 13 May 2024 Croatian Zagorje-Varaždin Outdoor painting in Croatian Zagorje, Zagreb walking tour B L
3 14 May 2024 Zagreb – Rastoke Urban painting, Exploring Zagreb, Leisure time in Rastoke B L
4 15 May 2024 Rastoke Rastoke exploration, Outdoor painting & leisure B L
5 16 May 2024 Rastoke – Baške Oštarije Tour of Plitvice Lakes, Outdoor painting B L
6 17 May 2024 Baške Oštarije Velebit ridge area exploration, Outdoor painting & leisure B L
7 18 May 2024 Baške Oštarije -Šibenik Tour of Šibenik, Gulet embarkation B L D
8 19 May 2024 Šibenik – Split Painting on gulet, Tour of Split, Urban painting B L D
9 20 May 2024 Split – Brač Painting on gulet, Brač & Škrip village B L D
10 21 May 2024 Brač – Hvar Painting on gulet, Tour of Stari Grad & field B L D
11 22 May 2024 Hvar – Korčula Painting on gulet, Tour of Korčula town B L D
12 23 May 2024 Korčula – Mljet N.P. Mljet exploration, Outdoor painting B L D
13 24 May 2024 Elaphite archipelago Painting aboard gulet, Šipan & Lopud exploration B L D
14 25 May 2024 Dubrovnik Disembarkation & hotel check-in, Tour of Dubrovnik Old Town B L D
15 26 May 2024 Dubrovnik/Departure Airport transfers B

DAY 1 –> Zagreb/Arrival / Welcome dinner and program intro

Upon landing in Zagreb, you will be welcomed by our team member and taken to your accommodation. Although the day is more focused on arrival technicalities and your relaxation, we still considered a welcome dinner with our tour leader / academic painter well worth organising. Discovering local culinary heritage on our welcome dinner, followed by a destination and programme introduction along with a weather forecast overview, will give us a chance for a smoother entrance to this itinerary.

DAY 2 –> Croatian Zagorje-Varaždin / Outdoor painting in Croatian Zagorje, Zagreb walking tour

Following breakfast, we start this artistic journey with the region of Hrvatsko Zagorje, more precisely – the fairy-tale-looking castle of Trakošćan, nestled between a lake and a forest, perfect for capturing the aristocratic rural extravaganza. Lunch followed by some free time we seek in the nearby Varaždin . a Croatian Baroque town. Returning to Zagreb in the afternoon, we enjoy in a guided walking tour, learning about Croatia’s capital and scouting some sketching locations along the way.

DAY 3 –> Zagreb – Rastoke / Urban painting, Exploring Zagreb, Leisure time in Rastoke

We begin our day with an urban painting adventure as we dive into the urban jungle, trying to capture the essence of the environment, its architecture, and intriguing street scenes. Zagreb has many attractive locations, such as its main square of Ban Jelačić or the ever-bustling Tkalčićeva street, where one can find various exciting motifs and scenes that depict everyday life in a modern urban center. After lunch, we begin our slow descent towards the south of the country, stopping at the picturesque village of Rastoke overnight.

DAY 4 –> Rastoke / Exploration, Outdoor painting & leisure

With its historic water mills and riverside setting, the charming village of Rastoke offers the perfect backdrop for a day of relaxation and the development of your artistic practice. Your academic painting guide will suggest an assignment which should produce a unique insight into your work process, after which you are free to explore the village, seeking your inspiration. For lunch we savour traditional flavours and dishes, after which you are free to enjoy Rastoke at your own pace.

DAY 5 –> Rastoke – Baške Oštarije / Tour of Plitvice Lakes, Outdoor painting

Leaving Rastoke we’re in for a real treat; a UNESCO World Heritage site known as National Park Plitvice Lakes. You will discover small pathways between cascading waterfalls, serene vistas, and lush greenery, all waiting for you to capture the essence of this famous national park. After exploring Plitvice, we will depart towards Baške Oštarije, a tranquil respite situated between rolling hillsides and a panoramic road descending towards the Croatian shore. In Baške Oštarije, we rest and prepare for tomorrow’s exploration of Velebit Mountain.

DAY 6 –> Baške Oštarije / Velebit ridge area exploration, Outdoor painting & leisure

We will use this day to traverse the mighty Velebit mountain and its rugged terrain, exploring its hidden pathways, turning from staggering sea to inland views. Many different sceneries are available for interpretation as the better part of our morning will be an interlude for any artistic practice that resonates with you. This so-called cult Croatian mountain, from its peaks to its valleys, will serve as a source of inspiration, whether it be with its unique geology or its cultural and historical significance in our folklore. Following lunch, there will be free time for hiking or quiet contemplation.

DAY 7 –> Baške Oštarije -Šibenik / Tour of Šibenik, Gulet embarkation

From the Dinaric mountains, we descend to the shores, to the small town called Šibenik. Prior to boarding the gulet and following lunch, you’ll have the chance to explore the various charms concealed within the narrow pathways of this seaside treasure, including the cathedral of St. Jacob. In the afternoon, your cruise commences upon boarding, setting course for Split without delay. Throughout our voyage, the gulet will pause at strategic points, presenting panoramic or memorable views for you to capture as you please. In addition, for this evening, a Captain’s dinner is in order.

DAY 8 –> Šibenik – Split / Painting on gulet, Tour of Split, Urban painting

Your initial morning aboard the gulet offers the opportunity to rise before dawn, capturing the enchanting scenes of the nearby islands or the coastal villages nestled beneath the mountainous terrain. Following this, a tour of Split awaits, delving into the legacy of Emperor Diocletian, his palace, and the enduring influence of the Roman Empire. There will be abundant time for capturing the nuances of local urban life and traditional architecture. In the afternoon, we reboard the gulet, continuing our journey to the next destination, the captivating island of Brač.

DAY 9 –> Split – Brač / Painting on gulet, Brač & Škrip village

The early morning is dedicated to artistry as our gulet gracefully anchors itself off the shores of Brač, a quintessentially Dalmatian island. Subsequently, we’ll journey to the island, traversing its myriad fields and roads en route to a tiny village Škrip, where encounters with local villagers await. Following Škrip, our destination is the extraordinary Pustinja Blaca (Blaca Desert), featuring a 16th-century monastery perched on a cliff and an onsite historical museum. As the day concludes, we’ll reembark on our gulet, setting sail for the enchanting island of Hvar.

DAY 10 –> Brač – Hvar / Painting on gulet, Tour of Stari Grad & field

This morning promises a delightful journey as we leisurely stroll through the charming Stari Grad on Hvar Island. Our footsteps will lead us through the quaint streets, unveiling treasures like the Dominican Monastery and the famed residence of the poet Petar Hektorović, Tvrdalj. Following this enchanting walk, we’ll embark on a scenic ride across Hvar Island, with a special stop at the Starigrad field, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our lunchtime indulgence awaits at a local agricultural estate, where you can savour the rich flavours and unique specialities of the island. As the day gracefully concludes, we’ll return to our gulet for an overnight retreat.

DAY 11 –> Hvar – Korčula / Painting on gulet, Tour of Korčula town

Our next island escapade brings us to Korčula, a haven of cultural richness with its fortified Old Town, often affectionately dubbed as Little Dubrovnik. Post-lunch, we’ll immerse ourselves in the vibrant arts and crafts scene flourishing in Korčula, engaging with local artists to appreciate diverse art styles. As the day gently fades, a ferry ride awaits, transporting us to Orebić on the neighbouring island of Pelješac. Here, you’ll enjoy a splendid perspective of Korčula, capturing one last captivating motif before we bid adieu to the island and rejoin our gulet.

DAY 12 –> Korčula – Mljet / N.P. Mljet exploration, Outdoor painting

Embarking from Korčula & Orebić, our voyage leads us to a serene, forested haven amidst the sea – the enchanting island of Mljet. Our exploration will unveil memorable sites, including two saltwater lakes and a quaint monastery nestled on a tiny island within the Greater Lakes. The verdant forests and crystal-clear waters of Mljet create an idyllic setting for the contemplation of our artistic endeavours. A delectable lunch crafted from locally sourced seafood will be a delightful nourishment, perfect for a day of exploration and relaxation on this picturesque island.

DAY 13 –> Elaphite archipelago / Painting aboard gulet, Šipan & Lopud exploration

This day is reserved for the appreciation of local life and tranquillity, the practice of keeping “below radar” on the two most authentic Elaphite archipelago islands: Šipan and Lopud. Our first stop on Šipan will be the archaic village of Suđurađ, where centuries-old stone houses and olive groves drew us back in time. Moving on to Lopud, we’ll be greeted by crystal-clear waters and an atmosphere that beckons us to unwind. Throughout our day of exploration, we’ll savour a lunch made from locally sourced seafood and fresh fish.

DAY 14 –> Dubrovnik / Disembarkation & hotel check-in, Tour of Dubrovnik Old Town

Our final destination awaits in Dubrovnik, frequently hailed as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” for its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural splendour. After earlier morning disembarkation and hotel check-in, a guided tour will lead us through a labyrinth of narrow streets, unveiling hidden courtyards and serene corners that echo the city’s essence. Continuing our artistic odyssey, we’ll discover a secluded spot perfect for painting or sketching this architectural Mediterranean gem. Positioned above the enchanting rooftops, with a panoramic view of the cobbled street network, we’ll make the most of our time in Dubrovnik.

DAY 15 –> Dubrovnik / Airport transfers

Finally, the last day of this Croatian expedition has arrived, except for the ones that decided to continue the adventure with one of our private post-tour trip extensions to Montenegro or Bosnia. After savouring your breakfast in peace, you shall part with your group and your trusted academic painter-guide, boarding the airport transfers and saying goodbye to Croatia for now.

TOUR DURATION 15 days / 14 nights
AVAILABILITY May and October
GROUP SIZE Minimum 6 pax
Maximum 12 pax
ARRIVAL AIRPORTS Zagreb, Ljubljana
DEPARTURE AIRPORTS Dubrovnik, Podgorica
TRAVEL VISA Passengers from EU and English-speaking countries do not require Croatian Visa. For more information, please check the following link.
TRAVEL INSURANCE Advisable and available on request
OVERNIGHT LOCATIONS Zagreb, Rastoke, Baške Oštarije, Šibenik, Aboard gulet across Croatian Islands, Dubrovnik
ACCOMMODATION 4* Hotels / Heritage hotels
TOUR STYLE Active tour with leisurely evenings
TOUR PACE Light / Moderate
ACTIVITIES Hiking, painting, tasting, learning, sketching, photographing
FEATURES Historical sites, UNESCO sites and intangible heritage, local people
PRICE Land-based programme from 1625 EUR/PAX
Sea-based programme from 2245 EUR/PAX
AVAILABLE OPTIONS Land and sea-based programmes can be purchased separately
Pre & post trip extensions
DESIGNED FOR Professional painters & associations of painters, painting and drawing schools, therapeutic painting associations, art aficionados, amateur painters, attendees of painting and drawing schools
PRICE INCLUDES Transfers and Transportation

  • Private hotel and airport transfers on arrival/departure
  • Private minivan/minibus transportation
  • Gulet transportation from Šibenik to Dubrovnik

Accommodation

  • 7 nights at 4* hotels
  • 7 nights aboard gulet

Activities & Tours / Guides / Meals

  • Painting activities
  • Walking tours of sites en-route
  • Wine & food tastings
  • Swimming & leisure activities
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches during land-based program
  • All lunches and dinners on board

Other

  • Compensation for CO2 emissions released during this package
  • Organisation
  • Insurance
  • Tourist Tax
  • VAT
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
  • Gratuities
  • Additional private expenses of a client
  • All that is not mentioned in section “Price includes”
  • Drinks during meals, except if they are mentioned in section “Price includes”
  • All that is mentioned under “Optional”
  • Travel insurance package*

Inclusions: professional academic painter-guide, complete program with all entrance fees, transportation, road taxes, all meals as per program, tour guides, organisation, 24/7 agent & logistic support & VAT.

Tour Map

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

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

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

We never experienced Croatia before and we are a high-expectation travelers as we like to dwell into the possibilities before even planning the trip. Zagreb was great to start with; although we had to go with it because of our flight. Great room overlooking the central square. Great location. Good buffet breakfasts. A lot of food! The tour of the city in thet special little vehicle was a great way, especially once he was able to put the top down. Very informative and enthusiastic. We talked a lot about history and other topics.

Great car on the way to Plitvice, I wanted to drive. Ivan was also informative and enthusiastic. And, he helped with luggage from hotel to car. Amazing stop at the Mills. I want to return and stay there! He helped us again with luggage from car to hotel, which was not an easy task with roll-around luggage on slate stones. The “buggy” normally used for transfer was not available.. The park! What to say? Absolutely amazing walk through one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited. Our guide was a ranger there, so he knew how to avoid crowds. The hotel room was outstanding, nonetheless their food as well – a lot of food.

The Velebit Pass was awesome. The views were spectacular. Another unexpected trip highlight. And, we saw a bear!!! That was a highlight for all 3 of us… go figure! Dragan’s driving through the pass was safe and informative. While all the drivers we had on our trip drove safely, this stretch of road required an extra level of caution. I also appreciate the stops he made along the way for photos. He was also very friendly and talkative. We’ve had lots of good conversations!

Zadar vineyard was a nice addition to a perfect day. We enjoyed the wine pairing. Again, it was a lot of food! The accommodation stunning. Location, location, location – beautiful! The apartment was very comfortable and well maintained. Views of the sunset were fantastic, simply unforgettable. Zadar felt like a mini Venice. Ivana took us on a great tour of the city. I must admit I was hesitant about the glass museum but Ivana made the visit enjoyable – and short. She was very informative and knows lots of interesting historical facts. Sibenik – never heard of it until this trip, but another extraordinary surprise on the way to Split. Again, after living in Turkey, wine tasting and servings of pork are much appreciated. Bibich was a good stop.

The trip just continued thrilling us more and more. Split architecture tour was the best of all. It was more a tour of Diocletian Palace, which I found fascinating – the way the palace has been repurposed over the centuries as a village, and now a gathering place for the entire city. Goran was obviously very respectable and knowledgeable person because everyone seemed to know him and he knew all the littlest details about the history of the palace and seemed energized by my interest in what he knew. I think we turned our 2 hour tour into 4 hours. Lots of walking around the Palace. Largely my fault for taking such an interest in the tour. Velora is a Game of Thrones fan, as was our guide Andrea on the day after. She kept pointing out scenes of the series that were filmed at sites between Zadar, Split, Diocletian’s Palace and including Klis fortress and she also was very knowledgeable about the real history of the surroundings. Lamb from spit was a fantastic meal. We tried to eat it all, but just couldn’t.
The winery in Kastele is not quite ready for prime time, but after visiting all the professional slick presentations at the more well established wineries, it was quite refreshing to be in a more informal family run environment. I enjoyed it, and besides, there was wine and pork!

What to say about Dubrovnik? After the “you know which” situation, it wasn’t a ball. However, you guys made things happen. Firstly, the ambulance drive, well… being an ambulance, the driver was remarkably nice, helped us with our luggage. We didn’t lift a thing. We actually tipped him good. Cannot say much good though about Argentina although everyone was very nice and we have been given a complimentary drink on arrival. The one person ‘assigned’ to help us was very cordial, helpful and patient. He seemed genuinely sympathetic, but he couldn’t really do anything to help. The poor rating from us is only because we didn’t really get to know any of the staff because we didn’t stay there due to their room alternative, which was simply unacceptable for us. But that was faith! What a find Ventula! Of everything Ventula travel did for us on our trip through Croatia, finding the alternative apartment in light of the Argentine Hotel fiasco was the best! We loved this place. We wanted to buy it! We had a beautiful four nights here! We enjoyed Petra’s company walking the walls. She was great, while we felt terrible because we were so tired.

Montenegro was a fantastic addition to our trip as we never heard of Kotor before. Now, we’ll never forget it and will recommend to others. Great tour with the boat and the island with the small church, remarkable meal in the mills restaurant. Farewell experience was another unforgettable meal – high quality food, extraordinary view. We will definitely recommend Ventula to anyone we know who will visit Croatia. Our tour was a proper below the radar travel experience. Shows that Ventula does make sure to choose the best services. We would love to visit again!

Stephen & Velora Brown – Istanbul, (TUR)

Croatia & Montenegro – tailor made trip

We worked with Ventula Travel on a couple of shows over the past years, and they are our favorite. The creativity, passion for the project and attention to detail is hard to match in another partner. We recently brought a large group to Dubrovnik this past September. Robert and the team helped us walk through options, explore creative solutions and worked with suppliers as our needs and numbers grew. In all seriousness I can say that we would not have been able to accomplish the event without Ventula. The whole team worked around the challenges and gave the event the attention I couldn’t only have hoped for.
Anything in the area, Robbie is the only option I would ever look at.

Will Davies – Muse Events Management

LifeVantage Incentive trip – Croatia 2022

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

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 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

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

We really enjoyed working with Ventula and especially found working with Robert a rewarding experience. The time that was spent working with us on our itinerary far exceeded our exceptions. Robert made sure our priorities were met and made fabulous recommendations on what we should experience in our 3+ week trip. Logistically the trip was seamless, the guides and drivers were all excellent. Julija was a lot of fun. Very much enjoyed our tine with her and the knowledge she provided. enjoyed spending time in a small family winery. Very nice wines. Ivana in Zadar was very knowledgeable and personable as well. She provided some great recommendations. On the was to Plitvice Iva was fabulous. A wealth of knowledge. She had the day well planned logistically as there was a lot of ground to cover, with wonderful stops and picnic lunch crossing over Velbitt mountain. Istria far exceeded our expectations, staying in Motovun was highly appreciated when we saw crowds in Rovinj. Adriano was amazing.

Slovenia started great with the private cave tour. What a surprise! We also loved Ljubljana. Would loved to have some extra days here. The winery in Vipava had great wine (we still need to check on getting some shipped back to US) and having our wine guide play the guitar for us was awesome. What a talented family!! The views from winery in Dobrvo was beautiful and enjoyed the wine and lunch there. Stay in the Apls was something else! I could have stay here for a while (given I could get some groceries for the kitchen). The lodging highlight of our trip. The facility and the views were spectacular. The hosts were outstanding.

We really enjoyed having a day in Italy, still one of my favorite countries. Helene was an excellent guide there. Very much enjoyed being with her. The monastery was well worth the visit. The town was gorgeous – particularly the frescos. Well worth the trip. The farewell dinner experience at Hisa Franko – A great experience. Definitely not something I would want to do everyday but we don’t eat at a lot of Michelin starred restaurants. It was different from the other Michelin restaurants we have been to. We are glad we went. The courses were certainly not something I would attempt at home which is often the case at many expensive restaurants we go to. Certainly a great way to end our trip.

I could not recommend you highly enough. Our bar has been raised for future companies we will work with. It was a seamless trip. Everything went off as planned. That does not always happen as we have experienced in several of our past travels. I felt like it anything needed to be addressed it would be in short order. The follow up including this survey is outstanding. We would love to return. Compared to other countries in western Europe we have visited – the destinations were extremely clean (not something we always find), people we encountered were very friendly and kind and wanted us to have a great experience. We appreciated that English was widely spoken as our ability to even attempt the local language except for pleasantries was not going to happen.We will certainly recommend Ventula our friends and family that travel to make this a destination.

Kim Griffith – St. Petersburg, (USA)

Croatia, Slovenia & Italy – tailor made

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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

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

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

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

The memories, experiences, tours, knowledge, and the digs I participated in are definitely worth it. Everything included with this experience (our tour guide Robert, food, hotel, etc.) was also very top-notch and high quality, with no downsides whatsoever. I’ll definitely be coming back, as this trip was a life-changing experience in terms of both leisure and work. My highest thanks goes to Robert, Dino, and everyone else who makes this wonderful trip work smoothly!

Peter Eger, Colorado (USA)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

The excavation was fantastic! I was able to learn so much about ancient Roman archaeology and enhance my education in archaeology and environmental studies. Croatia is now my favorite country that I have traveled to within Europe, and I will definitely be returning. All of the excursions that I was able to attend were absolutely fantastic! There is so much history and culture – truly such an amazing program and destination.

Katya Perez, San Diego (USA)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve been wanting to come Croatia for about 25 years and when the opportunity to visit and experience my first archaeological dig came up I just had to sign up. I spent 6 weeks altogether in Croatia, but it was the last 2 and a half weeks on the Ventula tour that I really enjoyed the true Croatia. Robbie is highly organised with a range of engaging add ons (included in the price except for the scuba diving). The second scuba dive at a shipwreck in 25m of water was incredible, I’d highly recommend the experience. Clis Castle with the guys letting you get ‘hands on’ with the swords and long bows was also lots of fun. But for me the reason I came to Croatia was also the highlight of my trip. I came to give a proper archaeological experience a go and it was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life. Building the relationships with the students, PHD students, Tomislav and Santa, was life changing. And to be led by someone with the knowledge and experience of associate professor Dino from Zagreb university and his wife Anna, was truly awesome. For anybody contemplating a career change to archaeology or just wanting to ‘dip your toe in’ to see what it’s like I strongly recommend the Ventula Travel experience at old Salona! Value for money and great people.

Adam Poulus, Brisbane (AUS)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The excavation was fantastic! I was able to learn so much about ancient Roman archaeology and enhance my education in archaeology and environmental studies. Croatia is now my favorite country that I have traveled to within Europe, and I will definitely be returning. All of the excursions that I was able to attend were absolutely fantastic! There is so much history and culture – truly such an amazing program and destination.

Katya Perez, San Diego (USA)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

The memories, experiences, tours, knowledge, and the digs I participated in are definitely worth it. Everything included with this experience (our tour guide Robert, food, hotel, etc.) was also very top-notch and high quality, with no downsides whatsoever. I’ll definitely be coming back, as this trip was a life-changing experience in terms of both leisure and work. My highest thanks goes to Robert, Dino, and everyone else who makes this wonderful trip work smoothly!

Peter Eger, Colorado (USA)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

We worked with Ventula Travel on a couple of shows over the past years, and they are our favorite. The creativity, passion for the project and attention to detail is hard to match in another partner. We recently brought a large group to Dubrovnik this past September. Robert and the team helped us walk through options, explore creative solutions and worked with suppliers as our needs and numbers grew. In all seriousness I can say that we would not have been able to accomplish the event without Ventula. The whole team worked around the challenges and gave the event the attention I couldn’t only have hoped for.
Anything in the area, Robbie is the only option I would ever look at.

Will Davies – Muse Events Management

LifeVantage Incentive trip – Croatia 2022

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

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

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

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

We never experienced Croatia before and we are a high-expectation travelers as we like to dwell into the possibilities before even planning the trip. Zagreb was great to start with; although we had to go with it because of our flight. Great room overlooking the central square. Great location. Good buffet breakfasts. A lot of food! The tour of the city in thet special little vehicle was a great way, especially once he was able to put the top down. Very informative and enthusiastic. We talked a lot about history and other topics.

Great car on the way to Plitvice, I wanted to drive. Ivan was also informative and enthusiastic. And, he helped with luggage from hotel to car. Amazing stop at the Mills. I want to return and stay there! He helped us again with luggage from car to hotel, which was not an easy task with roll-around luggage on slate stones. The “buggy” normally used for transfer was not available.. The park! What to say? Absolutely amazing walk through one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited. Our guide was a ranger there, so he knew how to avoid crowds. The hotel room was outstanding, nonetheless their food as well – a lot of food.

The Velebit Pass was awesome. The views were spectacular. Another unexpected trip highlight. And, we saw a bear!!! That was a highlight for all 3 of us… go figure! Dragan’s driving through the pass was safe and informative. While all the drivers we had on our trip drove safely, this stretch of road required an extra level of caution. I also appreciate the stops he made along the way for photos. He was also very friendly and talkative. We’ve had lots of good conversations!

Zadar vineyard was a nice addition to a perfect day. We enjoyed the wine pairing. Again, it was a lot of food! The accommodation stunning. Location, location, location – beautiful! The apartment was very comfortable and well maintained. Views of the sunset were fantastic, simply unforgettable. Zadar felt like a mini Venice. Ivana took us on a great tour of the city. I must admit I was hesitant about the glass museum but Ivana made the visit enjoyable – and short. She was very informative and knows lots of interesting historical facts. Sibenik – never heard of it until this trip, but another extraordinary surprise on the way to Split. Again, after living in Turkey, wine tasting and servings of pork are much appreciated. Bibich was a good stop.

The trip just continued thrilling us more and more. Split architecture tour was the best of all. It was more a tour of Diocletian Palace, which I found fascinating – the way the palace has been repurposed over the centuries as a village, and now a gathering place for the entire city. Goran was obviously very respectable and knowledgeable person because everyone seemed to know him and he knew all the littlest details about the history of the palace and seemed energized by my interest in what he knew. I think we turned our 2 hour tour into 4 hours. Lots of walking around the Palace. Largely my fault for taking such an interest in the tour. Velora is a Game of Thrones fan, as was our guide Andrea on the day after. She kept pointing out scenes of the series that were filmed at sites between Zadar, Split, Diocletian’s Palace and including Klis fortress and she also was very knowledgeable about the real history of the surroundings. Lamb from spit was a fantastic meal. We tried to eat it all, but just couldn’t.
The winery in Kastele is not quite ready for prime time, but after visiting all the professional slick presentations at the more well established wineries, it was quite refreshing to be in a more informal family run environment. I enjoyed it, and besides, there was wine and pork!

What to say about Dubrovnik? After the “you know which” situation, it wasn’t a ball. However, you guys made things happen. Firstly, the ambulance drive, well… being an ambulance, the driver was remarkably nice, helped us with our luggage. We didn’t lift a thing. We actually tipped him good. Cannot say much good though about Argentina although everyone was very nice and we have been given a complimentary drink on arrival. The one person ‘assigned’ to help us was very cordial, helpful and patient. He seemed genuinely sympathetic, but he couldn’t really do anything to help. The poor rating from us is only because we didn’t really get to know any of the staff because we didn’t stay there due to their room alternative, which was simply unacceptable for us. But that was faith! What a find Ventula! Of everything Ventula travel did for us on our trip through Croatia, finding the alternative apartment in light of the Argentine Hotel fiasco was the best! We loved this place. We wanted to buy it! We had a beautiful four nights here! We enjoyed Petra’s company walking the walls. She was great, while we felt terrible because we were so tired.

Montenegro was a fantastic addition to our trip as we never heard of Kotor before. Now, we’ll never forget it and will recommend to others. Great tour with the boat and the island with the small church, remarkable meal in the mills restaurant. Farewell experience was another unforgettable meal – high quality food, extraordinary view. We will definitely recommend Ventula to anyone we know who will visit Croatia. Our tour was a proper below the radar travel experience. Shows that Ventula does make sure to choose the best services. We would love to visit again!

Stephen & Velora Brown – Istanbul, (TUR)

Croatia & Montenegro – tailor made trip

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

We really enjoyed working with Ventula and especially found working with Robert a rewarding experience. The time that was spent working with us on our itinerary far exceeded our exceptions. Robert made sure our priorities were met and made fabulous recommendations on what we should experience in our 3+ week trip. Logistically the trip was seamless, the guides and drivers were all excellent. Julija was a lot of fun. Very much enjoyed our tine with her and the knowledge she provided. enjoyed spending time in a small family winery. Very nice wines. Ivana in Zadar was very knowledgeable and personable as well. She provided some great recommendations. On the was to Plitvice Iva was fabulous. A wealth of knowledge. She had the day well planned logistically as there was a lot of ground to cover, with wonderful stops and picnic lunch crossing over Velbitt mountain. Istria far exceeded our expectations, staying in Motovun was highly appreciated when we saw crowds in Rovinj. Adriano was amazing.

Slovenia started great with the private cave tour. What a surprise! We also loved Ljubljana. Would loved to have some extra days here. The winery in Vipava had great wine (we still need to check on getting some shipped back to US) and having our wine guide play the guitar for us was awesome. What a talented family!! The views from winery in Dobrvo was beautiful and enjoyed the wine and lunch there. Stay in the Apls was something else! I could have stay here for a while (given I could get some groceries for the kitchen). The lodging highlight of our trip. The facility and the views were spectacular. The hosts were outstanding.

We really enjoyed having a day in Italy, still one of my favorite countries. Helene was an excellent guide there. Very much enjoyed being with her. The monastery was well worth the visit. The town was gorgeous – particularly the frescos. Well worth the trip. The farewell dinner experience at Hisa Franko – A great experience. Definitely not something I would want to do everyday but we don’t eat at a lot of Michelin starred restaurants. It was different from the other Michelin restaurants we have been to. We are glad we went. The courses were certainly not something I would attempt at home which is often the case at many expensive restaurants we go to. Certainly a great way to end our trip.

I could not recommend you highly enough. Our bar has been raised for future companies we will work with. It was a seamless trip. Everything went off as planned. That does not always happen as we have experienced in several of our past travels. I felt like it anything needed to be addressed it would be in short order. The follow up including this survey is outstanding. We would love to return. Compared to other countries in western Europe we have visited – the destinations were extremely clean (not something we always find), people we encountered were very friendly and kind and wanted us to have a great experience. We appreciated that English was widely spoken as our ability to even attempt the local language except for pleasantries was not going to happen.We will certainly recommend Ventula our friends and family that travel to make this a destination.

Kim Griffith – St. Petersburg, (USA)

Croatia, Slovenia & Italy – tailor made

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

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 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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

I’ve been wanting to come Croatia for about 25 years and when the opportunity to visit and experience my first archaeological dig came up I just had to sign up. I spent 6 weeks altogether in Croatia, but it was the last 2 and a half weeks on the Ventula tour that I really enjoyed the true Croatia. Robbie is highly organised with a range of engaging add ons (included in the price except for the scuba diving). The second scuba dive at a shipwreck in 25m of water was incredible, I’d highly recommend the experience. Clis Castle with the guys letting you get ‘hands on’ with the swords and long bows was also lots of fun. But for me the reason I came to Croatia was also the highlight of my trip. I came to give a proper archaeological experience a go and it was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life. Building the relationships with the students, PHD students, Tomislav and Santa, was life changing. And to be led by someone with the knowledge and experience of associate professor Dino from Zagreb university and his wife Anna, was truly awesome. For anybody contemplating a career change to archaeology or just wanting to ‘dip your toe in’ to see what it’s like I strongly recommend the Ventula Travel experience at old Salona! Value for money and great people.

Adam Poulus, Brisbane (AUS)

Excavations of the Ancient Salona 2022

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