Dalmatia & Dubrovnik
Explore the spectacular archaeology of Croatia, from Zagreb to Zadar, Split to Dubrovnik. Against the backdrop of the breathtakingly beautiful Adriatic and its islands, we visit villas, temples, churches and palaces. Part of the Illyrian kingdom, the region succumbed to Roman rule around 32 BC. ‘Dalmatia’ acquired the characteristic trappings of a Roman province: military camps, towns and roads.
The province furnished Rome with emperors, including Diocletian, who famously returned in retirement and built a magnificent palace at Split.
Travel with Roman specialist, Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves. A leisurely tour through 2,000 years of fascinating Croatian history.
- Travel through Croatia, viewing Roman cities, red-roofed walled Medieval towns and the sparkling clear blue waters of the Adriatic
- Enjoy Special Access to Zagreb Archaeological Museum - the curator of the museum will take us on a tour of the museum and deliver a special talk
- Spend two days in Dubrovnik, and discover more about the walled city’s early beginnings, and its place in more recent history
- Historic Churches
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, and in the afternoon have a special tour of Zagreb Archaeological Museum, examining many of the wonderful finds from the sites we shall see later on our travels.
We drive to the Roman settlement of Aquae Iasae in the town of Varaždinske Toplice. The unusual natural thermal spring site, including the shrine around the spring and an adjacent bath house, has been extensively excavated over the past fifty years. We also visit the local museum here before continuing on to Zadar.
We spend the day in Zadar, an ancient Adriatic city, which became a major trading centre under Roman rule. We explore sites along the Kalelarga (main street) and visit Romanesque churches of the Middle Ages. After lunch we visit the Archaeological Museum of Zadar, which houses finds from prehistory onwards including an amazing collection of Roman material.
We enjoy a scenic drive along the Adriatic coastline to Šibenik, unusual in that it has no Greek or Roman antecedents but was founded by the Croats in the 9th century AD. Later, we move on to another medieval city, Trogir, but this was founded by Greek sailors in the 3rd century BC, developed into a Roman town, later sacked and then rebuilt in the Middle Ages. The town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterward, we travel to Split where, on our way to dinner, we will take a leisurely walk around the walls of the extraordinary Diocletian’s Palace.
A day exploring the retirement palace of the Emperor Diocletian. After ruling for 20 years, and saving the Roman world from disintegration at the end of the third century, the emperor, uniquely, retired. This extraordinary residence, now the core of the town of Split, was built in the form of a huge fortified camp, with a temple, and mausoleum for the emperor’s use, porticoes and guardrooms.
After a visit to Split archaeological museum, we travel to Salona to visit the ruins of a remarkable Roman city, and the former capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. This includes the remains of a number of basilican style churches as well as a bath house and amphitheatre, the site of many Christian martyrdoms in the persecutions of the early 4th century.
We depart from Split to Dubrovnik, and upon arrival we begin exploring this marvelous city. The historic medieval walled town is one of the most famous in Europe. We touch on Croatia’s more troubled recent history at the Croatian War of Independence Museum and visit the Lazaretto, built to quarantine sailors in attempts to protect the city from imported disease.
We spend our final morning in Dubrovnik. We walk the city walls, which were built towards the end of the 8th century and were strong enough to defend against a 15 month siege in the 9th century. We also visit the Lovrijenac Fortress before our afternoon flights home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
1 night in a luxury hotel in the centre of Zagreb
2 nights in a centrally located hotel in historic Zadar
3 nights in a 4* seaside hotel in Split
1 night in a historic hotel located near the gates to Old Town Dubrovnik
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