CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 21, 2016 – According to popular television personality, chef and author Anthony Bourdain, “Croatia is the next big thing” in travel.
Combine the Adriatic wonders of the country with superb cuisine, undiscovered wines and centuries old locales that television viewers may recognize as Land’s End in “Game of Thrones,” and it’s easy to see what inspired Bourdain.
In true entrepreneurial style, a trio of enterprising visionaries with bloodlines in Croatia have pooled their talents to create Captivating Croatia, a tour company specializing in the culinary delights and cultural treasures of the country.
Each of the founders brings a different area of expertise to the business, which results in discovering Europe’s “New Frontier” in ways that modern travelers dream about but rarely experience.
Cap Croatia is designed as a delight for the senses with an emphasis on food and wine in those hidden places you know exist but frequently miss.
Founder and chef Richard Gruica refers to himself as an “adventure diner” whose background in all things culinary has allowed him to partner with some of the best and most creative food experts in Croatia.
Among the experiences in Cap Croatia’s “Paradise Found” itineraries are cooking classes where you learn how to prepare native Croatian food.
For the “un-gourmand,” history buffs can trace some of the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Marco Polo and Napoleon.
And, if that doesn’t appeal, then sit back with a glass of wine and watch the panoramic pageant of life as it was centuries ago.
“Game of Thrones” addicts will discover the inside track to some of the locations where the popular television series is shot in Dubrovnik.
Maro Kockovic of Adriatic Productions, one of Croatia’s premier film production companies, knows not only the sights and sounds of Game of Thrones but also the best places for wining and dining with views of places where Land’s End becomes a weekly reality to GOT junkies around the world.
The third member of the team, Pero Bule, has been living in the U.S. for 30 years.
Bule represents the “other side” of immigration, which is never reported in the media, by sharing his love of his native country through a passion for travel and incorporating those dreams into a viable business.
Captivating Croatia bases its tours in upscale yet rustic accommodations in Dubrovnik that allow participants the comfort of settling in without the hassle of constantly packing and unpacking.
Day trips begin at about 10 in the morning, allowing ample time to enjoy the included breakfasts with the backdrop of Dubrovnik’s ancient city and stunning turquoise waters.
Gruica refers to his travel programs as “un-tours” because they are specifically designed to take advantage of the best aspects of group travel without making travelers feel as if they are being herded like cattle from one checklist sight to the next.
Groups are limited to 14 participants.
Cap Croatia has several tour options, which include accommodations, all breakfasts, four lunches, four dinners (including wine), private transfers to and from the airport and “surprises” that are built into each package.
With the popularity of frequent flier programs these days, Captivating Croatia does not include air in its packages.
Tours can also be customized for travelers who prefer more independent itineraries, including corporate retreats, yoga and wellness, sailing adventures, photo programs, weddings and honeymoons, religious pilgrimages and cultural and heritage tours.
For affinity groups, standard itineraries can be modified to adapt to the individual preferences of the group.
One of the aspects of travel to Croatia that kept visitors away was its War for Independence between 1991 and 1995. Travelers seeking safer destinations went elsewhere, and Croatia fell victim to the instability.
Today, the turmoil is a thing of the past, and Croatia is undergoing a renaissance that appeals to contemporary travelers seeking something new and different that captures the imagination through history, culture, wine and culinary delights.
Thus a whole new generation of travelers is “discovering” the sleeping giant that is Croatia while visitors who experienced its treasures before the war are now returning to relive those unique memories of previous travel adventures.
Captivating Croatia is a unique concept that shares a marvelous “new” old destination.
Anthony Bourdain was right; Croatia is, indeed, “the next big thing.”
In fact, it’s…well…“Captivating.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award-winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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