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5 Days Cooking Vacations & Olive Grove Tour in Croatia

  • Hotel Boškinac, Novaljsko polje bb, 53291 Novalja, Pag Island, Croatia

Luxury Culinary Holidays

Creative cuisine is the main motive to visit the rocky, moonlike, island of Pag. Now is your chance to gain valuable skills in preparing the delicious dishes from this Croatian gastronomic mecca! A land that has provided wonderful plants rich in etheric oils and Pramenka lamb that result in fabulous roasts and award winning sheep's cheeses, which you will taste from the producers themselves. We will also explore Lun, which is one of the oldest Mediterranean olive groves to be found in north-wester Pag. Experience top quality olive oils as well as superb wines.

Highlights

  • 3 cooking classes
  • Lun's olive grove tour, olive oil tasting
  • Gligora cheese factory visit, cheese tasting
  • Seasonal herbs picking, night-fishing, lace museum visit
  • Wine and food pairing crash course, wine tasting
  • Haute cuisine Bokinac restaurant
  • 4 nights luxury accommodation
  • Five-course welcome dinner
  • 4 days with instruction
  • English
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Hotel Bokinac 4-star, Pag island, Croatia

Tradition and modern design come together beautifully in this peaceful oasis. The stunning stone building that houses the Bokinac boutique hotel is an oasis of peace just under a pine wood, and next to a vineyard and olive grove. It was built in the field, some 700 meters from the sea and 2 kilometers from Novalja, but it seems as though it has always stood here. The view from the lovely balconies and cascading terrace extend out over the Novalja fields that exude both beauty and peace.

Relaxing next to the outdoor pool, surrounded by lounge chairs, baldachins and Mediterranean vegetation and truly stunning views, awakens the feeling of being connected to nature. The harmony of sophisticated luxury and exceptional comfort, in combination with creative cuisine and an attractive winery, reveals a unique world of fragrances, flavors and fantasies. For those wanting to take a walk or go cycling, the nature surrounding the hotel - olive groves, vineyards and pine woods - are the ideal place to do so.

Each of the eight spacious rooms and three suites tells a story, and together they represent the island in its original environment. Equipped with carefully selected materials and handmade furnishings, their design is reminiscent of the island's ethnographic heritage. However, the premium comfort is contemporary - every room includes an office corner, air-conditioning and central heating, sofa area, mini bar, safe, satellite television, Washroom with two sinks and a bathtub, hair dryer.

Restaurant at Hotel Bokinac

The restaurant of Hotel Bokinac is known far and wide for its interpretation of traditional island cuisine, transformed in a creative, modern way. The restaurant respects the culinary heritage of the island, with a wide selection of fish and lamb dishes, cheeses, prosciutto and other fresh, seasonal ingredients, with olive oil, herbs and honey. However, these ingredients are served in a special way, with a pronounced artistic approach.

Thanks to the creativity of our culinary team, the harmony of flavors and aromas create an unforgettable experience on the plate. Guests can enjoy dishes to order and creative tasting menus. The simplicity that respects the perfection of the ingredients themselves, and the reinterpretation of tradition, though controlled in its creativity and playfulness is the main philosophy of our restaurant, explained Boris ulji, who always aims to depict the wealth of the ingredients of the Pag region in a creative and ambitious context.

Creative cuisine is the reason why guests visit Pag even in the middle of the winter, and the restaurant is remembered as a place of unrepeatable experiences and memories. With such an approach to cuisine, the best wines of the Bokinac cellar are offered, in addition to a large number of the most interesting Croatian and other wines. The restaurant is open to hotel guests, and to all those wishing to try the wealth and originality of Mediterranean island cuisine that is in step with global culinary trends.

Winery at Hotel Bokinac

The wine cellar has always been the backbone of the lives of the ulji and Bokinac families. The varieties of grape have changed over the years, wars have passed through the Novalja field but the vineyards have left an indelible trace of survival, and the production of wine has been nurtured here for centuries. To remain on the rocky terrain, and to continue walking along the trails of our forefathers has been a constant in the life of this family, from granddad Bokinac to his grandsons.

Some ten years ago, a new period began on the foundations of tradition. The Bokinac Winery was built in 2000, and that same year, a new vineyard was planted near the winery on 5 hectares of land. Considering that for millennia, people have used wine to feed, refresh and heal themselves, the wall of the attractive winery bears the famous quote of Hippocrates Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food. At Bokinac, we apply what people have known since time immemorial that in moderate quantities, wine, especially red, truly benefits the health and the spirit.

Amenities

  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • Fax and photocopy services
  • Free wireless internet
  • House pets welcome
  • Luggage storage
  • Private parking
  • Telephone

Day 1: Arrival, welcome dinner, wine tasting

  • Welcome drinks at Bokinac Hotel, Restaurant, & Winery.
  • Settle into your rooms and get ready for the first gourmet experience of your stay: a chef's five-course dinner.
  • Crash course on wine and food pairing is held along as you enjoy the meal.
  • Wine tasting is included.

Day 2: Olive grove tour, olive oil tasting, cooking class, night-fishing

  • Visit Lun, one of the oldest Mediterranean olive groves. Learn about a millennia old local tradition of olive farming and oil production.
  • Taste the world class olive oil produced in this grove and take some for the cooking class later.
  • First cooking class: a three-course lamb dish preparation. Wine is included during the class.
  • In the evening, join local fishermen on their ship for an authentic night-fishing experience, getting the provisions for the next day's cooking class.

Day 3: Cheese factory visit, salt pan visit, cooking class

  • Tour the island, visit local cheese producer and try his world prize awarded sheep cheese.
  • Being famous for salt production for over a thousand years, you will visit a traditional salt pan, learn how salt is farmed and get some fresh salt flakes.
  • You'll stop on your way to Bokinac Hotel, Restaurant, & Winery to pick aromatic herbs for the meal.
  • Second cooking class: a three-course fish and sea food dish preparation.

Day 4: Excursion, cooking class

  • Diligent hands of local women developed a traditional skill of lace knitting.
  • Visit the lace museum and see how young girls take over the tradition from their mothers and grandmothers.
  • You'll get fresh, but hard cake from the Benedictine nuns who bake in the nearby convent of St. Margareta.
  • Return to Bokinac Hotel, Restaurant, & Winery.
  • Third cooking class: a three-course pasta dish preparation.

Day 5: Departure

  • Departure from the Island of Pag.

Dalmatia

There are few places in Europe where climate and terrain had greater impact on life than here in Dalmatia. But with determination and persistence, removing stone after stone to reach arable land, people tended gardens, plowed fields, built settlements, towns, palaces and churches. The name Dalmatia was given by its first known settlers, the Illyrs from the word, "delme," meaning sheep. This region is a narrow stretch off the Croatian coast.

As you walk in the shade of the narrow, windy, streets of Dalmatian towns in the heat of the summer, you will hear the buzz of cicadas and feel the fragrant scent of rosemary and pine which make the patchwork of Dalmatian atmosphere. One should take it easy, just as the locals say and do. Cool and shady konobas are ideal for rest and a quick lunch. There, you should try fresh fish, prut, cheese kept in olive oil with freshly baked bread.

Later in the day, when the sun is already behind the horizon, you can try something more substantial lamb or octopus under the peka, grilled specialties. And when you get thirsty, there is a wide variety of local wines, many of which have reached international esteem. If you fancy culture, you will not miss out either. Quite the contrary - architecture, history, and tradition of Dalmatia offer inexaustible choices: historic towns and islands of an untamed beauty.

Island of Pag

Pag has some fantastic food to offer - that is a fact. Cheese from Pag, to begin with, is a sheep's cheese with a special taste and saltiness, owing it to a special blend of herbs growing on the island. It is usually served with prut (prosciutto) and olives. Then there is lamb, of a special taste, out of the same reason - herbs used as graze to lambs. Shortbreads called bakotini are baked only on the island of Pag dry, simple, shortbreads with some spices added. Honey made of sage, as dessert or as traditional medicine, should be mentioned as well.

White wine called utica, specific yellow colored, is another typical product from the island of Pag. There is also lace, an authentic product whose production can sometimes be seen on the streets of the town. In the last few years Pag is a popular party destination - Zre beach in the town of Novalja reminds much of the beaches in Ibiza and similar places. A definitive recommendation for those who love that kind of entertainment and partying. Caska area has some remnants of a town, but underwater.

The diving licence can be attained at the Captain's office in the town of Pag. Cycling tours are attractive in spring, when lavendel and other herbs are growing and blossoming. Cultural monuments in the town of Pag are Kneev dvor (Duke's palace) and benedictine monastery, where the bakotini shortbreads are being baked. It is interesting to visit Lun, the most northern town, with remnants of the ancient town nearby.

  • 3 cooking classes
  • 3 gourmet meals
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • 5-course meal with wine pairing
  • 27 / 7 Tureta Travel support
  • All provisions and wine during the classes
  • Daily breakfast buffet
  • Fishing boat excursion, rain boots, and coats
  • Gligora cheese factory visit and tasting
  • Local transfers
  • Seasonal herbs picking
  • Surprize gift
  • Visiting Lun's olive groves
  • Welcome drink
  • Wine tasting
  • International or national airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Transfers to and from the airports

Testimonials

  • Review by Tamra Hull Fromm
    10 out of 10

    "My husband and I, together with our friends, were very impressed with Igor's level of detail, flexibility, and customer service during our recent self-drive trip through Croatia and Slovenia. Igor organized an eight-day itinerary combining local bed and breakfasts, spending a day with a Croatian family in an ethno-village, with visits to all the major sites. We would heartily recommend him!"

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  • Review by Beeni A. Jacob
    10 out of 10

    "Igor was great at getting my husband and I for a personalized fun-filled travel package with wonderful vendors and tours. He was available throughout the course of our trip for any questions, definitely recommend for any travelers to Croatia!"

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  • Review by Stephen Go
    10 out of 10

    "Excellent, five-star, perfect! Customized tours with a personal touch. Igor took very good care of us. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Croatia. Tureta Travel comes highly recommended!"

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  • Review by Ubiraci Manoel S from Brazil
    10 out of 10

    "Dear Dubravka, I would like to congratulate Tureta Travel for a great organization of our trip, all the planning and communication made easy. Our group enjoyed the entire trip through Croatia, we are recommending Tureta Travel to our friends who want to know more about this beautiful country."

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  • Review by Elizabeth del Carmen from United States
    10 out of 10

    "Everything was wonderful, and I felt a bit like a celebrity because people kept asking who Elizabeth was, and where Elizabeth was, and whether Elizabeth had had a good time! Everyone has been particularly sweet and patient with me! Overall it was way more than I expected. Thank you!"

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  • Review by Terezinha Freitas
    10 out of 10

    "Slovenia, Bosnia, and Croatia are great places I recommend! Croatia is a paradise."

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  • Review by Helena S Araujo
    10 out of 10

    "It was lovely to meet Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Slovenia through Tureta. Very organized."

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  • Review by Olive Taguines from Philippines
    10 out of 10

    "It was worth using the services of Tureta Travel for my VIP clients. They are a service oriented professional travel agency. They find creative and cost-effective solutions after having well read and understood the client's requirements. I would personally recommend Tureta Travel for anyone looking to work with an excellent travel agency."

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  • Review by Piero Sedo from Brazil
    10 out of 10

    "Our trip to Croatia was excellent thanks to the assistance of Tureta travel agency. They provided everything, from the airport transfer to Zagreb to the hotels reservation, tour guides, best places to visit, and transport. They have a deep knowledge of all places and local culture. The gastronomic advices were also a must. Once again, thanks a lot for your assistance."

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  • Review by Stephen Go from Philippines
    10 out of 10

    "It was our first time to travel to Croatia, although we have been to Europe a number of times already. We wanted to use a travel agency or tour operator that was local to the country so that we would get a customized tour package that is flexible and would be enjoyable by all the members of the family. We were very happy that we found Tureta Travel. They were able to offer us various tour packages that are custom-tailored to our likes."

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  • Review by Carlos Rocha from Brazil
    10 out of 10

    "We want to thank Tureta Travel so much for being very helpful, sympathetic, and enlightening in conducting our tour through Dalmatia last April. Thanks to their services, we could have a most agreeable, interesting, and joyful experience in Croatia."

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Zagreb, Croatia

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