The "Kroatia Kool" Thousand Island Food & Wine Tour w/Chef Ricky Moore

Zagreb, Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
  • Email address verified
11 reviews
Oct 22 - 29, 2023
Group size: 1 - 24
The "Kroatia Kool" Thousand Island Food & Wine Tour w/Chef Ricky Moore
Zagreb, Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
  • Email address verified
11 reviews

Oct 22 - 29, 2023
Group size: 1 - 24

About this trip

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- https://www.hotelacademia.hr 


Day 1-Sunday, October 22nd


Departure


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. https://konoba-zijavica.com What a way to kick off our tour! 


Overnight Stay- Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa,-5 Star- https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/rjkochi-hilton-rijeka-costabella-beach-resort-and-spa 


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- https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/rjkochi-hilton-rijeka-costabella-beach-resort-and-spa 


Day 3-Tuesday, October 24th 


Departure


Istria Awaits…


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- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03qhsE7Ucl

https://www.frommers.com/destinations/pula/restaurants/batelina 


Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 


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.


Overnight Stay-Hotel Lone-5 Star- https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj 



Day 6-Friday, October 27th 

Old School meets New School…

Departure

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. https://www.staraskola.hr 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- https://princess.hr/en 

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- https://princess.hr/en 

Day 8-Sunday, October 29th 

Till the next time…

Departure

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


What’s included

  • Chef Time
    The chance to eat, drink, explore, experience, interact and learn alongside Chef Ricky personally throughout the trip..
  • All Excursions
    Including food, wine, tastings & classes
  • Private Transportation
    All transportation while on tour is included
  • Meals with Wine
    All Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • Private Guide
    Your guide (Chef Richard Gruica) is Croatian-American and also a chef!

What’s not included

  • Airfare
    Airfare is not included. Guests must be in Zagreb ready to start the trip by 9:30 am on Sunday, October 22nd. We highly recommend getting in at least a day earlier to acclimate and to avoid issues.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport Transfers
  • Tips/Gratuities
    These would be optional additional tips for guides/hosts/drivers.
  • Extra Food/Drink
    Any other food/drink not provided on the tour

Available Packages

Trip Price
$3,795
Deposit: $500

Available options

Itinerary

Day 1-Sunday, October 22
One with History and Off to the Sea

Day 1-Sunday, October 22nd


Departure


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. https://konoba-zijavica.com What a way to kick off our tour! 

Overnight Stay- Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort & Spa,-5 Star- https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/rjkochi-hilton-rijeka-costabella-beach-resort-and-spa 

Your Organizer


CR
Chef Richard Gruica
11 reviews
From an early age, Chef Richard Gruica saw how food and drink could unite people, regardless of their backgrounds, making everyone happy. With his passion for gastronomy, he decided to create the most incredible of edible journeys. Through extensive research, he presents some of the finest examples of tradition, craft and small producers from across the globe to the guests of his tours. More significantly, guests get to meet and enjoy the people that have a true passion for what they do. Forget ordinary, experience extraordinary!

Reviews

FG
Excellent food and wine knowledge. Chef Gruica was a great guide. Chef Ricky Moore is amazing and curated a feeling of togetherness in a tour of what was primarily strangers. Over that week we became friends. Many stepped outside of their comfort zones and tried (and loved) food that they'd never before imagined. Croatia is beautiful! I look forward to the next food & wine (and Pepsi!) tour!!
By Felice G for The "Kroatia Kool" Thousand Island Food & Wine Tour w/Chef Ricky Moore on Nov 07, 2023
This was not just any ordinary trip. It was a culinary adventure in a beautiful country with amazing people unlike anything we have ever experienced. Every day Chef Richard curated unique tasting experiences off the beaten path. His delicious collections blended the freshest local food from small wineries, local eateries, and farms in stunning surroundings. Every day presented unique activities exploring the real people and places that most tourists never see. I would have never imagined eating a spectacular meal in a charming winery that was prepared by the owner and his family or hunting for truffles out in the woods and having an al fresco dinner prepared right there at dusk. Day after day, the combination of food, wine, and activities was unique and different from the previous day. We absolutely will be returning for more tours with Chef Richard and definitely this Croatia tour is one of a kind and not to be missed!
By Joseph M for A 'Taste of Southern Grace' Croatia Tour w/ Chef Steven Greene on Oct 14, 2023
Beyond what we had anticipated! The immersion in the local culture made this a very special trip! We would definitely travel with Richard again!
By Karen F for The Chef Chris Coleman Taste of Croatia Tour on Aug 01, 2023
I will literaly remember these countless experiences for a lifetime. Richard's genuine enthusiasm for food, wine, and culture shined bright. My wife and I truly experienced what it means to be a world traveler. We would do another trip in a heartbeat. Thanks Richard!
By David W for Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour on May 06, 2023
Thank you so much for those super kind words. I love doing what I do and crafting wonderful experiences for my guests. It was a pleasure having both of you guys. Peru in 24!
By Chef Richard Gruica on May 08, 2023
I met 12 Fantastic people who have become friends and Richard was fantastic, well informed and not a "boring tour instructor". The buses that we had were extremely comfortable and classy. We were able to take our time at each spot which was important to me. Excellent time.
By Diane E for Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour on May 04, 2023
Thank you Diane...it was wonderful having you and so appreciate you for coming on the tour. He re is to a great trip, to new friends...loads of memories and to what the future has in store for us.
By Chef Richard Gruica on May 08, 2023
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References

What a trip! Richard created an amazing itinerary that included something for everyone. His connections to local chefs, farmers, tour guides, etc made this an unforgettable trip. Accommodations were first class, beautiful hotels and very comfortable transportation along the way. We look forward to another trip with him!
By Lewis W on 10 May, 2023