This Wine Tour Takes Travelers to an Underground Cave That's Only Accessible by Boat
Located off the coast of mainland Croatia is the island of Hvar — and if its idyllic location in the Adriatic Sea isn't enticing enough, the island also boasts a wine scene that pre-dates the arrival of the Ancient Greeks.
You can find wineries throughout the island, but if you're seeking a unique adventure, you'll have to hop on a boat. Through their Waves and Wines tour, local company Hvar Wine Tours delivers half-day excursions that combine a mix of wine tasting and swimming in the Adriatic Sea.
The tour is customizable — so depending on how much time you want to spend swimming versus wine tasting, you have three experiences to choose from.
One option is to be picked up by boat and brought to a cliffside vineyard that's only accessible by water. Guests will have the chance to speak with Hvar winemaker Toni Bojanić, who comes from a family of winemakers that dates back more than 500 years. Guests can tour the vineyard and taste Bojanić's wine before jumping into the Adriatic's crystal clear waters.
Hvar Wine Tours also has access to an underground cave on the southern shores of Hvar that houses a subterranean wine cellar. Upon entering the cave, guests will enjoy a tasting and meet with Miro, a man who's so passionate about the Plavac Mali — a red wine grape grown in Croatia — that he goes by Miro Plavac.
If you want to experience the creations of Croatia's famous winemaking pioneer, Zlatan Plenković, Hvar Wine Tours docks at Plenkovic Bilo Idro for four courses of wine paired with local food — think marinated prunes, smoked ham, and Croatian cheeses.
The tour starts at 125 Euros ($140) per person. Those looking for a luxurious wine holiday can stay on the island's first five-star hotel, Palace Elisabeth, which has its soft opening this September and opens for the full summer season in 2020. This summer, travelers can fly direct from the U.S. to Dubrovnik, Croatia on American Airlines.