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5 nights
from £1995

Winter in Zagreb

A five night escorted visit to the Croatian capital staying at the iconic Esplanade Zagreb Hotel

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  • History and Culture
  • Varazdin Castle
  • Historic Zagreb street and the Stone Gate

The delights of Croatia have been enjoyed by travellers for many a year now but, away from the sun-soaked islands of the Adriatic, the capital of Zagreb has a charm all of its own that remains relatively undiscovered. For our visit we have chosen the winter month of December, a time when the main Ban Jelacic Square and surrounds become alive with Advent festivities allowing us to fully enjoy the Christmas markets, craft stalls and concerts and sample the traditional winter delicacies on offer.

Despite being one of Europe’s youngest capitals, Zagreb is one of the most fascinating and, as the city shakes off the cobwebs of communism and its history of nearly a millennium of foreign domination, it is rapidly emerging as one of the most underrated capitals of Europe. Loved by Orson Welles and often described as a “pocket-sized Vienna” or as a “fairytale capital”, the city features a unique blend of old and new. Whilst perhaps not as breathtaking or glamourous as some of its European counterparts, there is a wealth of cultural and historical riches to be discovered from quirky museums, opera and music venues, galleries, a vibrant restaurant and cafe scene and, with its compact size, there is the added advantage that many sights can be explored by foot.

Although little over two hours flying time from the UK, rather than a rushed city break, we have allowed for a five night stay thereby allowing time for some excursions out of the city to the surrounding areas as well as for some independent exploration and to enjoy the attentive service and luxury of the wonderful Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.

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Winter in Zagreb

Winter in Zagreb

For our five night stay we have chosen the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel which is located in heart of this historic city and is one of its most prominent buildings. Within easy reach of the main sights, this six-story hotel was built next to the train station in 1925 to welcome the Orient Express passengers and, with such a long history of offering top end service and attention to detail, it has long been at the heart of Zagreb’s social scene. Entered through a splendid marble lobby with Art Deco details, it provides 208 spacious and elegantly furnished rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, a bar and lounge, health club and more. Today the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is considered an architectural gem, combining Art Deco glamour with contemporary convenience.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Zagreb, Croatia.

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the luxurious Esplanade Zagreb Hotel for our five night stay. After settling into our accommodation, we will take a short orientation walk through Zrinjevac Park to see the magical displays of lights and the enticing Christmas market stalls. This evening we will enjoy a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2 - Zagreb.

This morning we will discover the highlights of Zagreb on a guided walking tour including Zagreb Upper Town, the Lotrscak Tower, St Mark’s Square, Parliament Building, Stone Gate and Strossmayer Promenade. In the afternoon we will travel to the village of Grabovinca, near the town of Cazma, where every year the Salaj family mark Christmas by decorating their 17 acre property with 1.8 million Christmas lights, making it appear like a fairytale scene. Enjoy an evening at leisure and dine at the hotel or in one of the city’s wonderful restaurants.

Day 3 - Krapina and Kumrovec.

After breakfast we will drive to the Zagorje region to visit Krapina and its Neanderthal Museum. The interesting displays depict life during the Stone Age and we learn of the people who lived in this area 125,000 years ago. We then continue to Kumrovec Village and spend time at the Old Village Ethnographic Museum. This unique museum shows life in a Zagorje village in the early 20th century, including the customs and crafts that were part of everyday life. It also houses the famous Yugoslavian president, Josip Broz Tito’s, birth home. For lunch we will stop at a local family estate before continuing on to see the impressive 12th century fortress, Veliki Tabor. Enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure.

Day 4 - Varazdin.

Today we explore one of the most beautiful Croatian towns, Varazdin. During the walking tour we will visit the Entomological Museum, located in classicist Herzer Palace, which shows over 4,500 exhibits of butterflies and other species. Afterwards proceed to the Old Town (Stari Grad), to view the most important cultural monument in Varazdin. This Gothic-Renaissance fortress, which was built and rebuilt several times from the 14th to the 19th century, sits impressively near the centre of town. After lunch at a local restaurant we will return to Zagreb to enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to revisit Zrinjevac Park; admire the unique Christmas ornaments sold by selected artisans and take in the sweet smells of Zagreb specialties like fried apple or baked strukli whilst enjoying the live music from the pavilion.

Day 5 - Zagreb.

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the city independently. We will meet this evening for our Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Day 6 - Zagreb to London.

Transfer to the airport for our return scheduled flight to London.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
14 to 19 December 2017
Category Price
Twin £1995
Single £2395

Tour Reference Code: LAEZ141217

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, five nights accommodation at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel on bed and breakfast basis in a Superior Room, lunch during excursions on Days 3 and 4, Welcome and Farewell Dinner on Days 1 and 5, Tour Manager, excursions with local guide, entrance fees, gratuities, transfers, airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance.

Winter in Zagreb

For our five night stay we have chosen the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel which is located in heart of this historic city and is one of its most prominent buildings. Within easy reach of the main sights, this six-story hotel was built next to the train station in 1925 to welcome the Orient Express passengers and, with such a long history of offering top end service and attention to detail, it has long been at the heart of Zagreb’s social scene. Entered through a splendid marble lobby with Art Deco details, it provides 208 spacious and elegantly furnished rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, a bar and lounge, health club and more. Today the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is considered an architectural gem, combining Art Deco glamour with contemporary convenience.

 
  • Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
    Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
  • Superior room
    Superior Room
  • Lounge and Bar
    Lounge and Bar
  • Zinfandel’s Restaurant
    Zinfandel’s Restaurant
  • Your Accommodation

    All rooms are superbly furnished in a traditional Art Deco glamour design. We will be accommodated in the beautifully-designed and spacious Superior Rooms, which measure 28 square metres and offer climate control, free Wi-Fi, in-room safe and satellite TV. In addition, the large marble bathrooms feature heated floors, walk-in showers, fluffy bathrobes and slippers and a range of L’Occitane toiletries. There is also a complimentary turndown service in the evening.

  • Your Dining

    The hotel features a collection of award-wining restaurants, from fine dining to modern Mediterranean chic. Zinfandel’s Restaurant led by the talented Chef de cuisine Ana Grgic is widely regarded as Croatia’s best. Winning numerous awards, it promises a contemporary take on traditional Croatian cuisine. Le Bistro blends Croatian cuisine with Parisian traditions; its relaxed atmosphere is inviting and it celebrates seasonal local produce and traditional favourites such as its famous Strukli. The Esplanade 1925 Lounge & Cocktail Bar is run by Croatia’s number 1 mixologist, Srecko Soh, who offers a range of services, including an elegant afternoon tea and an extensive cocktail menu.

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