CULTURAL Inspirations

Rich and rewarding cultural experiences

Look for inspiration on these pages of exceptional experiences created by our ExperienceMakers and selected by our guests as some of their favorites . . .

Each experience has something unique and memorable to add to your itinerary.

Our Experience Architects get to know your interests, preferences and style then work with you to create your totally personalized trip-of-a-lifetime.  If you find inspiring experiences on these pages, let us know and we will customize it especially for you.

History & Architecture

AE looks for the unusual in the well-known, the hidden in the obvious and the cultural, historical and architectural nuances that define what is unique and iconic.

A Step Aside

Journey to Kotor, meander the coastal road, take a boat ride around Kotor Bay, climb to the top of the fortress for a breathtaking view.  The best part – wander down the cool back side switchbacks, stopping along the way at homes, where they offer passersby refreshment.  Spend a couple days and go by sailing or motor yacht.

Dalmatian Fortresses - a Visual History

Visit Dalmatian fortresses as a thread for understanding the complicated history of trade and political ping-pong that has defined Croatian history, culture and people – Trogir, Sibinik, Hvar, Korcula, Dubronvik.  Your guide is a Dalmatian historian.

Yugoslavia through the Eyes of Tito

Journey through Yugoslavia through the eyes of Tito with his statues, Spomeniks, villas and hideouts as the thread. You’ll get to understand the unique structure of Yugoslavia as the fulcrum of Russia, Western Europe and the Balkans.

The Other Side of UNESCO Sites

Journey through Croatia while you explore the hidden nooks and crannies of famous sites to learn the back stories and see what others pass by at the many UNESCO sites across Croatia.  You’ll have a local guide at each stop, who knows the local legends and deep history.

The Roman Empire in Croatia

Explore the deep history & architecture of Diocletian as you wander through the catacombs of Split into the dark recesses, narrow streets, Roman palaces, Diocletian’s mausoleum, Jupiter Temple and memorials.   with local journalist and professor of history, Roman architecture and medieval Dalmatia.

Your guide is an art historian, specializing in the history and architecture of Rome and medieval Dalmatia. He is also a professor of Dalmatian Heritage at the University in Split. He was also an journalist in Yugoslavian times.  He brings you a well-rounded perspective on the history, politics, culture and artistic community in Dalmatia. He also has thoughtful insights about life and politics in Croatia.

Croatian Architecture - 2000 years of history

Take a journey through the tumultuous history of Croatia through its architecture.  Witness its tug-of-war history and the rich culture influenced by a host of foreign travelers, conquerors, rulers and traders throughout the centuries traipsing between the East, Dubrovnik, Continental Europe and Istria.  Even Ghengis Khan left his footprints in Croatia.

Seeking access to the sea and trade routes between east and west, Croatia became a safe passage for trade and a pathway for armies – each visitor leaving their mark on the landscape, architecture and culture.  The Illyrians date back to 1000 BC, the Greeks to the 4th century BC, followed by the Romans, the Venetians, the Ottomans, the Austro Hungarians, the Italians and Napolean.  Today you can even visit sites of 13th century battles between the Croatians and the Mongols.

The lingering effect is visible everywhere, from the Viennese flavor of the cafes in Opatia on the Istrian coast to the Roman ruins in Cavtat, a waystop south of Dubrovnik, which was actually founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC.

Local Art & Artists

AE introduces you to the prominent, the esoteric & the tratidional among Croatian artists & craftspeople to give you insight and new perspectives.

Klapa A Cappella - a Dalmatian Tradition

Attend the annual Klapa (a cappella) sing-off in the hill villages above Split with local Klapa group from Brac island.   Meet the singers and learn about the preserved traditions and history of Dalmatian song.  Traditionally Klapa was engaged to lure girls to their windows. These days is not unusual to hear Klapa groups spontaneously burst into song on the ferry, in the street or at a restaurant, especially in Dalmatia.   The singing pulls you into the pathos of never-changing village life.

Dubrovnik Summer Festival Back Stage

Go back-stage with the festival director at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival to meet the musicians, composers and players.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival started in 1950 as a living cultural festival taking place throughout the city. The idea was to harmonize the renaissance and baroque atmosphere of Dubrovnik and the living spirit of drama, music (classical, local and rock), theatre and literature.

Today it is an institution lasting through July & August. With performances every night it is fun and authentic. With the old town as its backdrop, performances are held in open-air stages and squares within the Old Town.

Private Curator's Tour

Explore the work of Ivan Maestrovic, a renowned sculptor and architect and arguably Croatia’s most famous artist. His works are on exhibit worldwide, including the Vatican Museum.  The gallery in Split was the original residence of the artist.

The gallery houses the most significant works of Meštrović including works of sculpture, drawings, design, furniture and architecture. Holdings include original plaster models by the artist, as well as finished works in bronze, marble and wood. The gallery building and grounds were based on original plans by Meštrović himself, and included living and working areas, as well as exhibition spaces.

This private tour is a chance to delve into the man and the works of the sculptor within the context of the life and times of Yugoslavia.

Traditions of the Folk Dance

Meet local folk dancing troupe in Zagreb, who travel internationally for folk dancing performances and festivals. Follow up with a visit and lunch with the famous Lindo Troupe in Dubrovnik.  Finally meet the Sword Dancing performers on Korcula island.  Your guide is a member of the Zagreb troupe, who opens his world to you.

The Stone Island

Try your hand at stone carving at the Brac Stone Mason and Sculpting Academy in stone-famous Pucisca on Brac island.  Visit the school and local stone masons with your guide, who went to the school and is himself a stone mason and local character. From the stone quarries to the stone shepard huts, dry stone walls, famous bell towers and intricate carvings of miniaturist Josip Radic, stone permeates Brac island.  Following the path of the stone takes you across the entire island, through the villages and olive orchards, ancient ruins and vineyards.