Interview with Ante, a Croatia & Bosnia Expert

We talk to Ante, a professional tour guide who lives in Croatia with his family. He tells us about his background and also about must-see sights in Croatia, as well as private tours that are off the beaten track.

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Tourguide in Croatia
Split, Croatia

HK: Hi Ante. Lovely to talk to you.

AB: Likewise.

HK: Please could you let me know a bit about your background and what got you into guiding…

AB: Sure, I’m what you would call an “Australian of Croatian heritage” so my parents are from here. They emigrated in the 1960s from what was then Yugoslavia to Australia where I was born and raised. Growing up in Australia, my parents talked about Croatia but it was never an option to leave Australia, not long term anyway.

I finished high school and went to Sydney University where there was a student exchange program between Australia and Croatia. Me and a friend decided we would like to see where our parents are from. The long story short is that what I thought was going to be a one year student exchange program, turned into 30 years with a wife and five kids.

I ended up graduating university in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, as an English and History major. I’ve done tonnes of different jobs since, mainly around teaching. For many years I was a full-time lecturer at the university in Split. It’s a university town where you’ve got 24,000 students. Afterwards, I tried tour-guiding which is a profession in Croatia that we have seen growing and growing.

Some of the reasons why I love tour-guiding are that I get to go to nice places and of course, you have to know a lot about them in order to tell people and answer their questions. I like working with people who are relaxed and on holiday-mode.

HK: So what is your favorite part of Croatia that you get to visit and why?

AB: It’s got to be Dalmatia. Dalmatia is a Croatian province that takes up about two thirds of the coastline. It starts in Zadar and goes all the way down to Dubrovnik. Specifically I would say my favorite is central southern Dalmatia so around the Split area and down towards Dubrovnik.

One of the reasons is the natural landscape, you’ve got trees, you’ve got mountains, you’ve got waterfalls and tonnes of history.


Local bistro in Croatia
Private Tour in Croatia

HK: What unique experiences do your clients love doing and why?

AB: Clients love seeing the highlights like Diocletian’s Palace in Split. They love to see Dubrovnik – that’s another must-see.

I do think the best tours are the ones where we head off the beaten track, where you meet the locals. One that I love doing and that we get great guest feedback from is one in the Dalmatian Hinterland which is a little away from the coast, behind the mountains. There’s a great little town which is the prosciutto capital of Croatia.

We base the itinerary around what the guests would like to do. We tend to go for lunch at a family home or we go to a local bistro which is run by a local couple. Both places are really off the beaten track and definitely not on any of the tourist maps. We also visit a prosciutto plant, where there are over 15,000 prosciuttos. It’s really something and a fascinating insight into the local economy.

During the tour, we take the country roads and people get to see how the locals live, which I think is really important. We’re taking them for a great meal grown from the land they’ve just seen, which definitely makes a big impact.


Kravice Falls, Bosnia
Mostar, Bosnia

One other of my favorite tours is to the neighboring country of Bosnia, which is really close. To get to the Bosnian border from Split is less than an hour’s drive. We go to this great little city called Mostar. It’s claim to fame is its 16th century Ottoman bridge which goes over the Neretva River. It’s beautiful. One way to describe it is like a mini Istanbul. They actually call the ‘Orient in Europe’. It’s a fantastic town that is set in this magnificent canyon.

From there we drive for a short 40 minutes to the Kravice Falls. They’re these beautiful natural waterfalls which come straight out of the rocks. Visitors are allowed to swim here – it’s a great spot for a cool-down in the heat of summer. There are a couple of really great places for a local lunch as well which are completely farm-to-table service. Literally from the field to the table.

HK: Yes, we did something similar when you showed me and my colleagues around the area about this time last year. It was stunning. Do you remember it was raining so hard when went to Mostar?

AB: That’s right, I remember, yes.

HK: The bridge in Mostar was so beautiful over the river. And that contrast of the city followed by the nature and greenery of Kravice Falls, it was an amazing day out.

AB: Yes, it’s something special that people really tend to remember.

HK: So last question, what are you working on for 2020 & 2021?

AB: More of the custom tours. As I said earlier, people love to see the highlights, and you need to see them, but people also want to see off-the-beaten-path Croatia. And I suppose when I look at it from my own perspective, that’s what I want to see when I go to a different country. It’s more of the local history, so you get a grasp of where you are. Combine that with the natural landscape and the interesting customs that go with it, it makes a great tour. Especially when you top it off with a fantastic local meal.

HK: Thanks very much for your time, Ante!

If you would like to find out more about these tours with Ante or more Private Tours in Croatia, please call our team or take a look at our dedicated private tours page here >>