Tours in Croatia by Secret Dalmatia

Duration: half day

Difficulty: easy

Location: Dubrovnik

Available May to October

Trsteno Cooking Class

Traditional cooking by Croatia's most beautiful garden!

The small coastal village of Trsteno was once the summer retreat for the aristocracy of Dubrovnik where they built their gorgeous summer residences and villas. Only a 30-minute-drive from Dubrovnik, it feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle. Also known for the oldest Arboretum in this part of the world, a place where plants from all over the world celebrate unity in remarkable displays of shapes and colors, a visit to Trsteno recalls the oasis it once was. A glimpse into the past and the traditions of Dalmatian village life that still exist is made all the more special by learning and enjoying the secrets of traditional Dalmatian cooking in the beautiful ancestral villa, home and gardens of Katija!

  • This tour is fully private and on request only.
  • Tour includes collection from your hotel, villa or private accommodation in Dubrovnik region by our professional English speaking chauffeur in a comfortable luxury sedan car or passenger van, hands on cooking class and lunch with drinks and wine.
  • Bring your camera, comfortable shoes, hats and sunscreen in the summer months.
  • Choose between preparing a traditional meat or fish meal and please advise on any dietary restrictions you might have.

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Tour description

What you'll see on this tour

Depart Dubrovnik in the morning and head to the small picturesque seaside village of Trsteno and its historic Arboretum – a Renaissance estate with a botanical garden and two 500-year old gigantic monuments – Asian plane trees. This was the summer residence of the Gučetić-Gozze noble family and its garden has been continually cultivated from the 15th century to present day!

The estate comprises lush gardens surrounding a simple but elegant summer residence, a stone aqueduct which powered the lush blossoms, olive oil mill, private chapel, Neptune’s fountain and the pavilion overlooking the sea and the island, and is considered one of the finest samples of Dubrovnik summer residence and landscaping architecture. The Arboretum has long been a place of admiration and recently a Game of Thrones filming location as well!

Strolling through the Arboretum you will reach the traditional family residence of your host Katija. Katija grows an organic garden by her house, which is where you will pick vegetables and herbs for your dinner. It’s a seasonal selection so your menu will very much depend on the time of the year you are visiting. But, everything fresh and homegrown! Katija’s father loves to fish and knows many local fishermen to get the catch of the day from.

Together with Katija, in her family home, you will prepare a traditional Dalmatian meal in the way families have been doing for centuries here, including baking your own bread under the iron bell, locally known as peka.

This is an experiential tour which will require you to work in order to get the best out of it. But, it will be worth the effort in the end!

Dobar tek!

Quick Info





Distance to attraction


Dubrovnik: 19 Km




Trsteno Arboretum

Founded by the local noble family Gučetić Gozze in the late 15th century, the Arboretum was started from the seeds and plants that ship captains brought back from their travels. It must have been in existence already by 1492, as this is when the aqueduct was constructed to irrigate it. The Arboretum reserves a very special place among the old Dalmatian and Mediterranean parks due to its five century long continuous development from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic forms to the present. Heavily struck in the conflict of 1991 and then by a forest fire following a drought, today the Arboretum is well-recuperated and open to visitors daily.


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Immerse yourself in the traditional Dalmatian way of life by engaging in a private cooking class in Dubrovnik, specifically in the quaint coastal village of Trsteno. This unique culinary journey in Trsteno takes you away from the bustling city and into the heart of the beautiful ancestral villa and gardens of your host, Katija. A Trsteno cooking class offers a hands-on learning experience, allowing you to prepare a traditional Dalmatian meal using fresh, organic ingredients picked straight from Katija’s garden.

Your host, Katija, is a resident expert whose family has been deeply rooted in the traditions of the Dalmatian village for generations. She is keen on sharing her local knowledge and showing you the secrets of Dalmatian cooking. Your experience will also include a walk in the oldest Arboretum in this part of the world, a unique opportunity to enjoy the shapes and colors of plants from all around the globe. This private cooking class in Dubrovnik is not just about cooking and eating; it’s a journey into the history and lifestyle of this remarkable region.

When you sign up for a private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik, the most crucial thing to bring is your curiosity and eagerness to learn. Your day will start with a tour of the historic Trsteno Arboretum, where you’ll immerse yourself in the centuries-old garden that boasts a diverse collection of plants and trees from around the world. Comfortable shoes are recommended as you’ll be walking through the garden and working in the kitchen. A hat and sunscreen are necessary during the summer months.

Once at Katija’s ancestral home, you’ll be participating in the cooking process. So, whether you’re an experienced cook or a newbie in the kitchen, don’t worry. Katija will guide you every step of the way.

And, remember to bring your camera to capture every unique moment of this one-of-a-kind culinary adventure in Dubrovnik.

The Trsteno Arboretum in Croatia is a historical gem and an integral part of your private cooking class experience in Dubrovnik. Established by the Gučetić-Gozze noble family in the 15th century, the Arboretum is the oldest of its kind in this part of the world. With a history that spans over five centuries, the garden’s lush vegetation, age-old Asian plane trees, and charming Renaissance architecture provide a serene backdrop for your culinary journey.

Before starting your cooking class, you’ll have a chance to explore this botanical marvel, walk through the lush gardens surrounding the summer residence, and admire the stone aqueduct and Neptune’s fountain. The exploration of Trsteno Arboretum is a visual appetizer that prepares you for the hearty meal you’re about to cook and enjoy.

Absolutely! We understand that our guests may have various dietary needs and preferences. Whether you prefer a meat or fish meal, or have specific dietary restrictions, we can adapt to your needs.

When booking your private cooking class in Dubrovnik, please inform us of your dietary requirements. Katija, your host, uses seasonal ingredients from her garden and fresh fish from local fishermen. Therefore, we can ensure that your traditional Dalmatian meal caters to your dietary needs while still offering an authentic culinary experience.

In your private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik, you’ll delve into the heart of Dalmatian culture through its cuisine. Traditional Dalmatian cooking methods, like baking bread under an iron bell or ‘peka,’ are not just cooking techniques; they represent a lifestyle and a connection to the land and sea.

These methods have been passed down through generations and provide insight into a way of life deeply rooted in nature and seasonality. Learning these traditional cooking methods offers you a chance to connect with the past and understand the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Yes, the Trsteno cooking class is perfect for both experienced cooks and beginners. Your host, Katija, is well-versed in guiding participants of all skill levels. She will walk you through every step of the process, ensuring you are comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

The class is designed to be a hands-on learning experience where you can work at your own pace. You’ll be preparing a traditional Dalmatian meal from scratch, offering a rewarding experience regardless of your cooking skills. The goal is to have fun, learn something new, and enjoy a delicious meal that you’ve helped prepare.

Our private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik, is a comprehensive package that includes not only a unique culinary experience but also a cultural immersion. The tour includes collection from your hotel, villa, or private accommodation in the Dubrovnik region by our professional English-speaking chauffeur in a luxury sedan car or passenger van.

The cooking class is hands-on, under the guidance of your host Katija. You will prepare and enjoy a traditional Dalmatian lunch with drinks and wine, all included in the package. The experience also involves a visit to the historic Trsteno Arboretum, allowing you to appreciate the natural beauty and rich history of the region.

In true Dalmatian fashion, we believe in utilizing fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients in our cooking. This means that the menu for your private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik, will depend on the time of the year you are visiting.

Katija grows an organic garden by her house, and this is where you will pick vegetables and herbs for your dinner. The freshness and seasonality of the ingredients ensure that each meal is as vibrant and flavorful as possible, offering you a true taste of Dalmatian cuisine at its finest.

‘Peka’ is a traditional Balkan cooking method that involves baking food under an iron dome or bell. It is an integral part of Dalmatian cuisine, commonly used to prepare bread and a variety of meat and fish dishes. The process of cooking under ‘peka’ results in incredibly tender and flavorful food, with the ingredients slow-cooked to perfection over an open fire.

During your private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik, you’ll indeed get the opportunity to learn and practice this traditional cooking method. Baking your own bread under the ‘peka’ is a truly authentic and unforgettable experience that allows you to engage with Dalmatian culinary traditions at a deeper level.

Yes, our private cooking class in Dubrovnik is a wonderful experience for families. It’s an

educational and fun activity that can engage children of all ages. Kids usually enjoy the hands-on aspect of the cooking class, and it’s a great way for them to learn about different foods, traditional cooking methods, and another culture.

The tour also includes a visit to the Trsteno Arboretum, a beautiful garden filled with diverse plant species from around the world. This can be a delightful experience for children, as they can explore the garden, learn about different plants, and enjoy the beautiful natural environment.

Moreover, children will have the opportunity to meet Katija, our local host, who is very patient and enjoys teaching kids about Dalmatian cooking. Together with Katija, they can participate in all stages of meal preparation – from picking fresh vegetables and herbs in Katija’s organic garden, through preparing the food, to finally enjoying the meal they helped create.

However, please let us know the ages of the children when booking so that we can make necessary preparations to ensure their safety, especially in the kitchen area. After all, we want this private cooking class in Trsteno, Dubrovnik to be a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family.