The "Kroatia Kool" Thousand Island Food & Wine Tour w/Chef Ricky Moore in Zagreb, Croatia (2023)

The "Kroatia Kool"...Thousand Island Food and Wine Tour featuring Chef
Ricky Moore in Northern Croatia Oct 22nd to 29th, 2023

Lovingly Curated by Chef Richard Gruica and Captivating Croatia

Captivating Croatia Tours and Chef Richard Gruica cordially invite you to join us and our Chef-Host, Ricky Moore, the beloved owner of the lauded Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, North Carolina, and most recent winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast as we escape to exotic Northern Croatia for a week-long, food-centric vacation of a lifetime. Come, and experience the ultimate culinary adventure which will take place from Sunday, October 22nd to Sunday, October 29th, 2023. Get ready to explore Zagreb, the buzzing pocket-sized capital of Croatia, perfect for strolling and experiencing the rich Austro-Hungarian heritage featured there. Afterward, the tour heads to the Adriatic coast and the area known as the Croatian Riviera, where we will explore the coastal region that has the longest tradition of Croatian tourism, with nobility and the wealthy traveling here for over 170 years to take in the splendor of the region. We will experience all sorts of adventures here before setting off to the peninsula of Istria, jutting out into the Adriatic which is home to some of the VERY best that Croatia offers…vineyard-draped hills featuring award-winning wines, truffles, the cutest villages, Roman history and so much more. So, get ready to enjoy the very best food, drink, and sights alongside Chef Ricky and Chef Richard. Experience a holiday unlike any other in the style you deserve. Get ready to Eat-Drink-Explore!

Saturday, October 21st

Meet and Greet at Fuego Fresh Latin, Zelinska 7 at 7 pm.

Join us at Fuego Fresh Latin, Chef Richard's restaurant, which is Croatia's first Latin American restaurant, and get a chance to meet and interact with your fellow tour guests before the tour.

Overnight Stay-Hotel Academia-4 Star-

Day 1-Sunday, October 22nd


(Video) 10 Best Places to Visit in Croatia - Travel Video

One with History and Off to the Sea

Welcome to the start of the "Kroatia Kool"...Thousand Island Food and Wine Tour featuring Chef Ricky Moore. Our trip and day will begin at the Hotel Academia in Zagreb, a 4-star hotel, located just steps away from Zagreb's most famous street full of cafes and restaurants as we experience a guided walking tour of the heart of Zagreb, including the Upper and Lower town areas of Zagreb, the main square of the city and the Dolac Farmer's Market, Croatia's largest and most famous market where guests will get a perspective of all the variety being offered seasonally. After leaving Zagreb, we will drive to the Croatian coastline until we reach the Croatian Riviera, which will be our home for the next two nights. The area enjoys the most breathtaking vistas in all of Croatia. We will check into the new 5-star Hilton property before heading out to catch the sunset along the beach in one of the most picturesque spots in Croatia before enjoying a private welcome dinner at one of the top seafood restaurants in the country. What a way to kick off our tour!

Overnight Stay- Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa,-5 Star-

Day 2-Monday, October 23rd

An Island Adventure Awaits…Food, Wood & Wine

After enjoying the wonderful breakfast spread from the Costabella Resort, with views to die for, we head out via the ancient coastal road to catch the ferry to the island of Cres, the second largest in the Adriatic and known to be one of Croatia's wildest and most beautiful islands to encounter a unique character who is the owner of an Art Farm, a place he created for artists, hedonists, and foodies. The long winding path to the Art Farm is lined with Macmalici, mythical forest creatures from local legends that lead to a practically abandoned tiny village where Igor and his family are the sole residents. We will enjoy our time with him, his amazing wood crafts, and enjoy a completely organic meal featuring products from his garden and larder. We have a special seafood treat in store for everyone paired with Igor's wines. We will head back to the mainland where guests will have the evening free to explore the area and maybe enjoy a walk along the famed coastal promenade.

Overnight Stay- Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa,-5 Star-

Day 3-Tuesday, October 24th


Istria Awaits…

(Video) Croatia - Our beautiful homeland

Today we head to the Istrian Peninsula, which is one of Croatia's most revered spots, with some saying it is Croatia's most amazing region, brimming in history rich with the bounties of earth and sea and the remnants of the many cultures that have controlled the area over time. It is the PERFECT setting for our gourmet food and wine adventures over the next few days. Along the way from the Croatian Riviera, we will have the incredibly cool opportunity to embark on a truffle hunt led by a local expert guide and their incredible dogs – who knows what we will find! After our trek through the trees, our reward will be a truffle tasting to enjoy the rich treasures found in the area. We will then visit one of the cutest distilleries ever and enjoy a tour and tasting of their liquid libations. We will stop for a photo op of Motovun, Croatia's most scenic hilltop town. We will then venture through the countryside dotted with hilltop villages and make our way to Rovinj, one of Croatia's most picturesque towns. We will check in to our amazing 5-star hotel and re-group to catch the sunset and grab a dinner featuring regional specialties, the rest of the night is yours to enjoy as you see fit. This town is truly one worthy of getting lost in.

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star-

Day 4-Wednesday, October 25th

Oil and Water…do mix!

Today begins with a visit to Vodnjan, a town known mostly for two things, one as the home of the top Croatian olive oil producers (FYI, Istria has won best olive oil region in the world the past five years) and for its street art, with the city hosting a festival yearly to highlight the artwork. We will visit Croatia's number one oil producer, hear their amazing story, and try their wares. Then, the real adventure begins as we will join up with Croatia's top chef, David Skoko, as we spend part of the day with him on a SUPER SURPRISE activity until we dine at Chef David's Michelin restaurant Batelina for a seafood meal unlike any other. (Check out Bourdain's Croatian episode to find out more about Chef David

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star-

Day 5-Thursday, October 26th

SURF AND TURF…The Croatian Way

Today we head back to the water to experience a true Croatian seafood delicacy, the flat oyster from the nearby Limski Kanal, which is Croatia's longest bay and home to lush flora and fauna, as well as some of the best oysters and mussels you have ever tried. Then we will have a short ride to Pula, a seaside town that is over 3000 years old and is famed for its Arena; one of the world's best-preserved Roman Amphitheaters. Once in town, guests will have free time in the city to eat, explore and shop before we will take part in a private tour of the arena and the antiquities as we stroll the city streets. We cap off the day in fine style as we head to our favorite goat cheese farmers, whose farm dates back to the 14th century and whose goats graze on close to 200 types of plants and herbs, which produce some of the most astounding cheeses. We will visit the production area and see how they are made before sitting down for a dinner on the farm.

(Video) Croatia: Adriatic Delights

Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star-

Day 6-Friday, October 27th

Old School meets New School…


Today we check out from our amazing hotel and pay a visit to Groznjan, a hilltop village most known for its art galleries and artists before we head out to a wine tasting and lunch at a new joint project by one of the top winemakers in Croatia and one of the top chefs in Croatia. After lunch, we will travel back inland to the wine country of Jastrebarsko, just outside of Zagreb, and check into Hotel Princess our home for the rest of the trip. You will have the rest of the night to enjoy as you wish. Feel free to enjoy the heated indoor pool, sauna, spa, and wellness area.

Overnight Stay-Hotel Princess-4 Star-

Day 7-Saturday, October 28th

One with the Wood and Wine

Enjoy a leisurely morning as we have a slightly later start to the day, as we begin with a visit to the areas last cooper (barrel maker) and to see firsthand how he crafts his wood creations for the storing of wine and spirits. We will see the entire process up close. Afterward, we will take a short journey to one of the top winemakers in the area of Plešivica, which is a true hidden gem, even to the Croatians. It is Croatia's smallest, but most premium wine region. It is rich in wineries making excellent sparkling wines, wonderful Pinot Noirs, and wines aged in amphorae (orange wines). We will indulge in a wonderfully diverse tasting there. We will end our day will a meal with a view at one of our favorite restaurants that features exclusively local and organic products as our farewell dinner.

Overnight Stay-Hotel Princess-4 Star-

(Video) The Croatia Question

Day 8-Sunday, October 29th

Till the next time…


Guests will gather for breakfast at their leisure, before departing for the Zagreb Airport (ZAG) via private transfer to the airport.


-As with any trip of this nature, we are at the discretion of Mother Nature and the schedule might change based on weather or other variables outside of our control. Captivating Croatia strives to give all guests the best possible experience, so rest assured that even if things happen you are in very capable hands.

We look forward to hosting you alongside Chef Ricky…

Culinarily yours,

The Captivating Croatia Team and

Chef Richard Gruica

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