As we eagerly wait for leisure global travel to safely resume, we continue to reflect on incredible destinations we love. Allison Gillis, Manager of Travel Incentives, shares stories of a successful incentive travel program in Croatia to pique your wanderlust below.
Croatia, Full of Life
For those accustomed to exploring the many hidden gems and local hot spots of the world, the shutdown of global travel has been hard to bear. We long for the time when we can safely visit amazing destinations around the world to immerse ourselves in different cultures.
I want to flash back to one of my favorite incentive travel program destinations and one I hope to vacation to on my own time once we are able!
Our travel program was a bit unique as we had a top tier of winners who had the privilege to arrive early on the Croatian island of Hvar, then meet up with the balance of the group in the mainland city of Dubrovnik for the balance of the week.
First stop – Hvar! This island in the Adriatic Sea and located off the Dalmatian Coast features olive groves, fruit orchards and lavender fields – but is more widely known as a hot spot for day and beach clubs, expensive yachts, and an extravagant lifestyle coming alive in the tourist season.
We flew into the city of Split and chartered a private yacht to sail the group to Hvar. Once in Hvar we stayed at a local hotel set directly on the waters edge with a great view of the Adriatic Sea and yacht club.
Once in Hvar, we took advantage of seeing the island in vintage VW bugs! In Stari Grad we stopped at Hora Ranch and enjoyed a wine tasting with local olive oils, smoked ham and cheeses. This was followed by a traditional lunch of lamb and potatoes cooked under a “bell” over an open fire. This cooking method allows the food to actually half-bake, half-cook in its own juices.
Next- onto the famous Green Caves for a refreshing swim and in the evening, dinner at a local waterfront restaurant followed by after drinks on a rooftop overlooking the Marina.
The next morning, as the balance of the group was flying into Dubrovnik, our Hvar group was getting ready to depart by Ferry to Dubrovnik with everyone meeting up later in the day. Everyone was welcomed with a gift basket of candied nuts, sugared lemon and orange peel and local figs. YUM!
Dubrovnik is the most prominent tourist destination in the Mediterranean Sea and in 1979 added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in recognition of its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town. Any true Game of Thrones fan will know that the beautiful city of Dubrovnik was the filming location for the King’s Landing in the popular TV series. Many famous scenes such as Cersei’s walk of shame, King Joffery’s tournament and Daenerys Targaryen visit to Qarth were all filmed in this sunny city.
During the stay in Dubrovnik, we were fortunate that our hotel was directly on the water with a marina for larger boats, so all water-based activities could depart directly from the hotel. It also made things so easy for our dine around on the Old City- we charted a traditional Galleon boat for the group to sail from the hotel to the Old City- complete with a corporate branded flag on the boat for all to see as we arrived!
There is no end to the activities you can partake in around this area for your group, our highlights in Dubrovnik included:
- A fabulous welcome event on the water,
- Incredible dine-around locations in the Old City
- City Walls Tour
- Elaphiti Islands tour
- Sea Kayaking around the Old City Walls and lunch on Lokrum Island and, finally
- A Costal Region tour complete with Peljesac Wines and Oyster tasting- fresh from the sea!
The week flew by much to quick and our Farewell night was spectacular! The group arrived to the Rooftop of the Revelin Fortress which over looks the Old City and were greeted by Trumpeters, guards and torches. After dinner, everyone danced the night away in the private disco on the second floor of this famous Fortress!
Interested in Croatia for your next incentive travel program? Reach out to chat with us on how we can create your own unique experience!