AIA Tours: land

Croatia: Prehistory to the Present

Tour Dates: September 11-22, 2022 (12 days)

Tour Leader(s): Andrew M.T. Moore ,

This unique archaeological and cultural tour of Croatia begins in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, with its strong Middle European personality, and ends in the lovely medieval, coastal town of Trogir. Along the way you will experience the varied scenery of this extraordinary country at the heart of southern Europe: rich meadowlands, impressive mountain ranges, and the dramatic Adriatic coast, surely among the most impressive in all of Europe. Throughout, our focus will be on the rich archaeological and historical legacy of Croatia—from Neanderthal caves, Neolithic and Bronze Age sites, imposing Roman ruins, charming medieval towns, 19th-century cities, to the modern day.

Highlights include:

  • The company and insights of AIA study leaders and hosts Andrew and Barbara Moore, with visits to the sites of their recent excavations of Neolithic early farming settlements where their research has yielded vital new insights on the spread of farming to southern Europe.
  • Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
    • Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik, a masterpiece of Christian art;
    • Historic City of Trogir, whose old town has retained many intact and beautiful buildings;
    • Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments embedded in the medieval town.
  • Walking tours of Zagreb’s picturesque Old City, including its impressive Gothic-style Cathedral; and of the fortress port of Zadar, where we will see more Roman, medieval, and Renaissance architecture.
  • Two of the most important prehistoric cave sites in Europe, Krapina and Vindija, from which a vast trove of Neanderthal fossils has been recovered. These have provided the samples for much of the current DNA research on Neanderthal lineages.
  • The Istrian Peninsula, a wonderland of wooded mountains and sparkling seas, where we explore a Bronze Age hillfort and admire Roman ruins in the city of Pula, notably its magnificent amphitheater—one of the best preserved in the entire Roman world.
  • From our base in Šibenik we will explore a national park centered on the Krka Gorge. This wonder, little known outside Croatia, consists of a series of spectacular waterfalls and lakes. Within the park are key prehistoric and Classical remains that we will visit.
  • Opportunities to meet local experts in archaeology and other fields; many are colleagues of your AIA hosts. And, we will enjoy sampling the delights of Croatian cuisine in all its variety on many occasions.
  • A maximum of just 16 guests, plus your AIA lecturers/hosts as well as local guides. And, a professional trip manager handles all of the travel logistics.
  • The option to extend your tour with three nights in Dubrovnik, that most evocative of walled towns, whose Old City, renowned as one of the world’s finest and most perfectly-preserved medieval cities, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To reserve your space using the online form, click here.

For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

Tour Prices per person (10 nights)

Double Occupancy (14-16 participants) $6,945
Double Occupancy (11-13 participants) $7,445
Double Occupancy (8-10 participants) $8,445
Single Supplement $1,145
Single room supplement will be charged when requested or required (limited availability).
With fewer than 8 participants, a small group surcharge may be applied.

The bell tower of the Cathedral St. Duje, Split, Croatia

Zagreb Archaeological Museum

Monkadonja, a Bronze Age hillfort

Krka National Park, Croatia

Rovinj, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia © Edwardwexler

Dubrovnik under the fortress

Itinerary


Sunday, September 11, 2022: Depart home for Zagreb, Croatia
Monday, September 12: Arrive Zagreb | Private transfer to hotel | Welcome dinner
Tuesday, September 13: Zagreb: Old City walking tour, Natural History and Archaeological Museums
Wednesday, September 14: Krapina Neanderthal Museum | Vindija Cave | Zagreb
Thursday, September 15: Rovinj | Monkodonja | Rovinj
Friday, September 16: Pula | Rovinj
Saturday, September 17: Drive to Zadar | Zadar: Walking tour, Archaeological Museum
Sunday, September 18: Zadar: Museum of Ancient Glass | Šibenik: City Museum and Cathedral
Monday, September 19: Krka National Park: Burnum, Puljane Eco Campus, Roški slap, Skradinski buk | Šibenik
Tuesday, September 20: Danilo Gornje | Pokrovnik and Danilo Bitinj | Šibenik
Wednesday, September 21: Trogir walking tour | Split: Diocletian’s Palace, Archaeological Museum | Trogir | Farewell dinner
Thursday, September 22: Fly home OR begin Dubrovnik extension

Dubrovnik Optional Extension, September 22-25, 2022

Thursday, September 22: Makarska | Mali Ston | Ston | Dubrovnik
Friday, September 23: Dubrovnik: Walking tour and Gornji Ugao Tower Medieval Foundry tour, PM at leisure
Saturday, September 24: Cavtat | Sokol Grad | Dubrovnik | Farewell dinner
Sunday, September 25: Fly home

 

View Detailed Itinerary

(B)= Breakfast, (L)= Lunch, (R)= Reception, (D)= Dinner

Sunday, September 11, 2022: Depart home for Zagreb, Croatia

Monday, September 12: Arrive Zagreb | Private transfer to hotel | Welcome dinner
Upon arrival at Zagreb Airport (ZAG), you will be met for a private transfer to our hotel. After some time to relax, gather for a welcome reception and a short walking tour of sites near the hotel, followed by dinner. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel Dubrovnik for three nights. (R,D)

Tuesday, September 13: Zagreb: Old City walking tour, Natural History and Archaeological Museums
In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of Zagreb’s Old City, including the monumental and impressive Gothic-style Cathedral plus visits (pending permission) to the Natural History Museum, whose displays outline Croatia’s human fossil record; and/or the striking Archaeological Museum, consisting of more than 450,000 varied artifacts and monuments gathered over the years from many different sources. Alternatively, we may visit the City Museum to discover Zagreb’s past, from prehistory to the present day. The balance of the day is at leisure. (B,L)

Wednesday, September 14: Krapina Neanderthal Museum | Vindija Cave | Zagreb
Visit the unique Krapina Neanderthal Museum, located near one of Europe’s most important paleontological sites. The museum features exhibitions about the Neanderthals and about the history of the Earth, from its origins to modern times. With lunch en route, drive to Rijeka Voćanska and visit Vindija Cave, a stratified paleontological and archaeological site associated with both Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH). Return to Zagreb for dinner. (B,L,D)

Thursday, September 15: Rovinj | Monkodonja | Rovinj
In the morning, drive to the Istrian peninsula and reach Rovinj, the “Blue Pearl of the Adriatic Sea.” After an independent lunch, visit Monkodonja, an impressive Bronze Age hillfort. Return to Rovinj and stroll down the streets of this charming fishing village. The balance of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the 5-star Grand Park Hotel Rovinj for two nights. (B)

Friday, September 16: Pula | Rovinj
Drive to Pula and discover one of Croatia’s architectural gems: the Roman amphitheater, the only one in the world with a complete outer wall, dating from the first century A.D. and originally designed for gladiatorial combat. Pula also boasts several of the best-preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy, including the impressive Temple of Romae and Augustus, the Arch of the Sergii, and the city walls. End the day with a visit (pending permission) to the Pula Museum of Archaeology. Return to Rovinj for dinner. (B,L,D)

Saturday, September 17: Drive to Zadar | Zadar: Walking tour, Archaeological Museum
Leaving Rovinj, we drive to Zadar (approx. 4.5 hours), stopping for lunch en route. Upon arrival in Zadar, enjoy a walking tour of the walled city and a visit to the Archaeological Museum, which displays archaeological material from the Paleolithic and Neolithic, the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as from the 7th to the 15th centuries A.D. Gather for dinner this evening. Overnight at the 4-star Falkensteiner Hotel. (B,L,D)

Sunday, September 18: Zadar: Museum of Ancient Glass | Šibenik: City Museum and Cathedral
In the morning we visit the Museum of Ancient Glass, housing an outstanding collection of ancient glass from this part of Europe. After some time to explore and have lunch on your own, we drive to Šibenik. Explore this lovely medieval town, located in the bay of the Krka River, including the City Museum and St. James Cathedral, a masterpiece of Christian art and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gather this evening for dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel Bellevue for three nights. (B,D)

Monday, September 19: Krka National Park: Burnum, Puljane Eco Campus, Roški slap, Skradinski buk | Šibenik
Drive to Krka National Park, a vast and primarily unaltered area of natural value. Enjoy a visit to the Burnum Roman military camp, with its unique military amphitheater and wonderful views of the Krka River gorge. Reach Puljane and visit the Puljane Eco Campus, housing archaeological artifacts (weapons, tools, daily use items) from Burnum. Then visit the amazing Neolithic cave site above Roški slap. After lunch at Roški slap waterfalls, take a boat ride along the Krka River gorge and stop at the island monastery of Visovac. Visit the outstanding Skradinski buk waterfall, the longest one on the Krka River. Also visit the associated museum and mills with craft demonstrations before we return to Šibenik for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Tuesday, September 20: Danilo Gornje | Pokrovnik and Danilo Bitinj | Šibenik
Drive to the village of Danilo Gornje to visit the Roman villa complex. Continue on to AIA lecturer/host Andrew Moore’s excavation sites, the Neolithic settlements of Pokrovnik and Danilo Bitinj. After a coffee break at Café Dvori, we enjoy a celebratory lunch in the countryside with music provided by a klapa (traditional a cappella) ensemble. Return to Šibenik for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Wednesday, September 21: Trogir walking tour | Split: Diocletian’s Palace, Archaeological Museum | Trogir | Farewell dinner
Drive to Trogir along a coastal road and enjoy a walking tour of this lovely town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, set within medieval walls on a tiny island linked by bridges to both the mainland and to the far larger Čiovo Island. The old town has retained many intact and beautiful buildings, such as the Venetian St. Lawrence Cathedral. After lunch we drive to Split, a great place to see Dalmatian life as it is really lived. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments; and explore the Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove of classical sculpture and mosaics from the surrounding ancient Roman settlements. Return to Trogir where we check-in to our hotel and then gather for a farewell dinner. Overnight at the 4-star Heritage Hotel Pasike. (B,L,D)

Thursday, September 22: Fly home OR begin Dubrovnik extension
You are met at the hotel for a private transfer to Split Airport (SPU) for flights homeward, or set out on our three-night extension in Dubrovnik. (B)

 

Optional Post Tour Extension

Dubrovnik

September 22-25, 2022 with archaeologist Andrew Moore

ITINERARY
(B)= Breakfast, (L)= Lunch, (D)= Dinner

Thursday, September 22: Makarska | Mali Ston | Ston | Dubrovnik
Take a scenic drive to Dubrovnik (approx. 4 hours) along the coastal road, enjoying spectacular views. Along the way, stop in the seaside resort town of Makarska for a coffee break. After lunch in the village of Mali Ston, we stop at the little medieval town of Ston to see its famous walls, one of the longest defensive structures in Europe, with three fortresses and a number of towers. Continue on to Dubrovnik, where we check-in to our hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Overnight at the 5-star Grand Villa Argentina for three nights. (B,L)

Friday, September 23: Dubrovnik: Walking tour and Gornji Ugao Tower Medieval Foundry tour, PM at leisure
In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned as one of the world’s finest and most perfectly-preserved medieval cities. The main attraction of Old Town Dubrovnik, apart from its old monasteries and beautiful palaces, is the ancient city walls with their intricate and complex system of forts, bastions, casemates, towers, and detached forts. Visit the Gornji Ugao Tower Medieval Foundry, guided by Dr. Nikolina Topić (schedule permitting). Lunch and the balance of the day are at leisure, perhaps to walk the city wall circuit, visit the Ethnographic and/or Maritime Museums, relax, or go shopping. (B)

Saturday, September 24: Cavtat | Sokol Grad | Dubrovnik | Farewell dinner
Set out this morning on a scenic drive to Cavtat, a fishing port south of Dubrovnik. Walk through the remains of the Greek colony and Roman port of Epidaurum, and visit the charming house museum of one of Croatia’s most famous artists, painter Vlaho Bukovac. Continue on to Sokol Grad, a recently-restored medieval fortress overlooking the Konavle valley. After lunch at a traditional restaurant in Dubravka, beside a mountain stream, we return to Dubrovnik. Gather for a farewell dinner this evening. (B,L,D)

Sunday, September 25: Fly home
You are met at the hotel for a private transfer to Dubrovnik Airport (DBV) for flights homeward. (B)

 

To reserve your space using the online form, click here.

For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

 


For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884). To reserve your space using the online form, click here.

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.