Richard Thomas Gelarden and Irina Lysenko, USA
Perfect stay in Croatia & Montenegro
September 2022.

Dear Dubravka,

Thank you very much. We had a great trip! All of our guides and drivers were excellent. Sometimes I felt like I was back in college listening to a lecture on the history of Croatia. You can sense the love of country by these people. It was very refreshing. Of course, like in the US, there were a lot of comments about the government..or perhaps the lack of government. We heard the saying, “There is no crime in Croatia because all the criminals are in Parliament.” Much like in the US. Except we still have a lot of crime on the streets. .We felt very safe everywhere we went. The people were exceptional. All of the restaurants we dined at were great.. We had seafood every night. Breakfast at all the hotels was also very good. We enjoyed all the hotels/resorts we stayed at. Our least favorite was perhaps The Grand Hotel in Rovinj. The long corridors that made you feel like you were on a cruise ship didn’t give you a comfortable feeling. At the same time, the restaurant (Cap Aureo) was one of the best. We were able to have all of their seafood dishes….very tasty.

I would recommend all the restaurants we dined at: (asterisks denote the best)

  • Gallo
  • Zinfandel*
  • La Puntalina
  • Monte
  • Cap Aureo*
  • Fantazija Kitchen and Wine
  • Chef Tatyana
  • Pelegrini*
  • Gariful
  • San Marco*
  • Restaurant 360
  • light seafood dinner at Mali Stron*
  • Conte*
  • Tapasake

In Zagreb, we were impressed most by the Museum of Naive Art. and just walking around the City. The guide’s stories were very interesting. On the drive to Rovinj, the truffle lunch was amazing. Even though Irina doesn’t like to eat lunch, she enjoyed this lunch immensely. We were happy with the 1st course of a few truffle spreads on crackers and thought that would be it. But then came truffles on scrambled eggs, truffles on pasta, and finally truffles on chocolate. I would come back to Croatia just to have lunch there again. In Vodnjan, we really enjoyed the olive oil tasting and lunch at Chiavalon. That was a very good tour and tasting. We bought some olive oil there and bought some more later at the airport. The tour of Plitvice was great and the guide was exceptional. Another highlight. The Hotel Santa Lucia location in Split was perfect. Had a very tasty meal at the Fantazija Kitchen. Enjoyed just walking around Split. We had a great dinner with Tatjana (and Dino). Great food and interesting conversation. Another highlight. Enjoyed Krka national park (although Plitvice was the highlight). Pelegrini was the best meal of the trip. Had a good time in Hvar. Didn’t like the wine tasting that much. Would have liked to have spent more time in Korcula. Really enjoyed the winery tour and tasting at Milos. Enjoyed staying at the Villa Orsula. Irina and the concierge, Adila Hebib, got along very well. Our guide in Dubrovnik, the arboretum, Cavtat, and Konavle was exceptional. Even though we canceled the dinner with Katija, we were still able to meet her and she still fed us well with tasty appetizers. The visit with Mrs. Ruskovic was very interesting. definitely a highlight. Thank you very much for the embroidery gift! The oyster harvesting and mussel dinner was very good. We finished all the mussels…very tasty. Spent the evening listening to music in Dubrovnik. In Montenegro, we had a nice walk in Perast and decided to go back for dinner at Conte. The leisurely day at the One and Only was perfect.

So, in conclusion, it was a great trip. Thank you very much for all your help! Everything went very smoothly. I think I should have scheduled an extra day with no plans in several of our stops…just to enjoy the resort or walk around the towns. I’ll try to incorporate that into my next trip. We’re thinking about Iceland, Portugal, or Australia. Would you happen to know of any Agencies you could recommend in those countries?

Again, thank you so much for putting all this together. I believe I read that you also work in Austria and that will be one of our future trips. I definitely have a new appreciation and respect for the country of Croatia. Well done!

Best wishes,
Tom and Irina