Archive for Croatia Tours

August 6

For tours in Germany or in Europe in 2015 –

New and return clients are making their reservations now for tours in Europe in 2015 and yes, even as far ahead as 2016. Remember, all of the tours arranged and led by European Focus are custom-designed and built one at a time for each client or set of clients. No mix and match, no big bus, no incompatible strangers and best of all, no ‘take it or leave it’ itinerary! We work with you to create the perfect trip for you, and just you. (Even if your ‘group’ is just two people, this is our normal tour size!) Contact us today to start planning your trip of a lifetime.

Our 2012 Volkswagen 'Multivan' Highline edition has all of the bells and whistles for your ultimate comfort on the highways and byways of Europe.

Our 2012 Volkswagen ‘Multivan’ Highline edition has all of the bells and whistles for your ultimate comfort on the highways and byways of Europe.

Plan Your Perfect Trip to Europe

Friday, December 13th, 2013

With expert help from the seasoned guides of European Focus Private Tours. We work with singles, couples, families and groups of friends who have common interests. Best of all, your tour is led by the designer! No fumbling around, no getting lost, no wondering what hotel to use or where to eat or what to do with your precious vacation time. We take all of the unknowns out of travel and eliminate the thousands of details which go into a fun, stress-free vacation. All you have to do is get onto the airplane and let us take care of the rest. Booking now for 2014 and beyond.

A busy father and his two sons enjoyed a stress-free vacation in Germany and France in July, leaving the planning to us while they carried on busy lives and careers back home in Oklahoma.

A busy father and his two sons enjoyed a stress-free vacation in Germany and France in July, leaving the planning to us while they carried on busy lives and careers back home in Oklahoma.

2014 calendar update

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Updated January 15, 2014

Thinking of a dream trip to Europe?

So are these people. And, they have made their reservations already for travel in 2014. Don’t wait to fulfill your dreams of easy and relaxed travel in Europe.

April 11 to 25: Tour for two, renewal of vows in Italy, first time clients Steve and Debbie with James
April 20 to May 3: Tour for two, second time for our clients Dan and Amanda, who traveled in Germany with us in 2012. This time it is Italy. (Jenean’s tour)
May 1 to 19: Second tour for Peter and Gayle, who toured in Germany with us in 2013. This time it is parts of France and Spain with both James and Jenean leading the way from Paris to Santiago de Compostela

Carol, left and Art, right will join us again this year for a trip, this time, to southern Portugal and southern Spain.

Carol, left and Art, right will join us again this year for a trip, this time, to southern Portugal and southern Spain.


May 22 to June 6: Seventh trip for Art and Carol who toured with us most recently in Spain and Portugal in 2013. This time it will be other areas in Portugal and southern Spain with James and Jenean.
June 17 to 29: Dennis comes back for more family history research, this time in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. His first trip with European Focus was in 2013 and it was concentrated on Germany. Dennis first took our business card in 1998. (James’ tour)
June 18 to 26: Family of four starting in Paris where they will meet Jenean, continuing on to Strasbourg, Lucerne and Munich.
June 28 to July 12: Tour with a family of four starting in London and continuing on to Normandy, Reims and on to Germany where we will retrace some of the steps taken by the parents of two of the members of this group during their time in Germany decades ago. The trip ends in Munich. This will be the first European Focus Private Tour for these Texans. Jenean starts the tour and James meets the group in Normandy.
July 16 to 28: Tour with a family of four from Tucson to Germany and Austria, the Czech Republic. This will be Tim’s third tour with European Focus. James will lead this tour.
August 5-13: A couple come for their first trip with European Focus in Germany, mainly visiting ancestral villages.
August 25 to September 5: John comes on his second tour with us, this time in England on a combination ancestral discovery tour and honeymoon. (James and Jenean)
October 4 to 19: Pat and his wife come from Australia for their first tour with European Focus in Germany. Part of the tour will concentrate on family history and part will be slow travel tourism. Pat will meet with relatives in Berlin, who will travel there from Poland.
(James will lead this tour)
October 20: Mariane C. fulfills a lifelong dream of visiting the village of Appenzell, Switzerland. James will pick her up at her hotel in Lucerne and take her to nearby Appenzell for the day. The timing just works perfectly for this long-awaited journey. She will be ending a river cruise a few days before in Basel.
November 23 to December 3: A family of nine comes over to visit some Christmas Markets (starting on Nov 28) and other places of interest which the patriarch of the family enjoyed during his time in the service in the 1960s. This tour will be led by Jenean and James.

Available dates are in July, August and September plus the last part of October and first part of November for trips led by James or Jenean. For trips in Germany, Austria and Switzerland we can accommodate you through our partners, ask for available dates.

We get this question often at our retail store “European Focus Village” in the heart of Sarasota, Florida. The answer is, “Yes, all of the time!” In fact, more than half of the 10-15 trips we design and lead each season (March through October) are with repeat clients, couples, who have been completely spoiled by our easy-going style of travel. They may have been cruisers or bus tour fans in the past, but no more. Now they’re completely addicted to the European Focus method of authentic travel and adventure, the comfortable road, and not the “Europe Through the Back Door” experience of some of the hapless people we see being led around by a non-stop talking guide at a racetrack pace through Europe. Ever wonder where the “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium” saying comes from? Bus tours! We have turned the entire concept of escorted travel on its head, and we’ve been doing this successfully since 1995. Is this a cheap way to travel around Europe? Absolutely not. As with any custom-designed service or product, our trips are priced at a level which takes into account the personal service, the planning, the easy pace and the excellent accommodations and food that our clients love.

Rovinj, Istria, Croatia Captures Your Heart (and stomach)

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

(September, 2012)

A fun way to get out and see Rovinj from the water and to enjoy the numerous islands and bays around Rovinj is to take the boat excursion leaving from the city pier.

A few days and nights in Rovinj, Istria will teach you to pack a belt with a few extra holes. We certainly gave the chef at our favorite hole in the wall restaurant a workout, eating there twice for dinner and again for lunch when we fled the less than charming inner town of Pula and drove back to Rovinj where we knew we could count on an excellent meal. Food is an important part of a European Focus experience, and we take a lot of pride in finding just the right place. At Balbi, tucked away on a little square in the medieval core of Rovinj we found excellent seafood, pastas and meat dishes and best of all, warm and authentically friendly service that kept us coming back.

Calamari for lunch. With a local beer or a glass of the local white wine, perfect.

Our favorite restaurant, “Balbi,” in a quiet square tucked away in the medieval quarter.

Rovinj is full of corners, squares and narrow lanes that one wants to explore.

Rovinj was already a settlement of Illyrian tribes before being captured by the Romans, who called it Arupinium or Mons Rubineus, and later Ruginium and Ruvinium. Built on an island close to the coast, it was connected with the mainland in 1763 by filling in the channel. It became part of the Byzantine empire, then in the sixth century part of the Exarchate of Ravenna and in 788 part of the Frankish empire. Then it came under the rule of different feudal lords for several centuries. From 1209 it was ruled by the Aquileian patriarch.

In what the locals call “The Labrinth”

From 1283 to 1797 Rovinj was one of the most important towns of Istria under the Republic of Venice. The city was fortified by two rows of walls with three town gates. The remaining town walls date from this period. Close to the pier one can find the old town gate Balbi’s Arch, dating from 1680, and a late-Renaissance clock tower. The city got its statutes in 1531.

The Balbi Arch

After the fall of Venice and the Napoleonic interlude, Rovinj was part of the Austrian Empire until World War I. According to the last Austrian census in 1911, 97.8% of the population was Italian-speaking. Then it belonged to Italy from 1918 to 1947, when it was ceded to SR Croatia within SFR Yugoslavia. During that period many of the Italian inhabitants left the city.

According to the data of the Tourist Association of the Istrian County, Rovinj is the second leading destination in terms of the number of realized overnights. The most numerous visitors to the city of Rovinj are Italians, Germans, Austrians, Dutch and British. (And Americans who choose the right tour guide!)

A tall ship in the harbor, and the crystal-clear waters around Rovinj.

The best times to visit Rovinj are during the shoulder periods of early May and late September. Summer crowds from the cruise ships can be very intense, and the heat can make al fresco dining uncomfortable or even impossible.

Misty Morning in Istria, Croatia

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012


We love Istria. The countryside, the people, the food! We hope to bring more guests to this historically significant and gorgeous part of Europe in the near future.

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Categories : Croatia Tours

Tour Opportunities for October

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Walk along the Italian coastline in the mild month of October


March 5, 2012

European Focus founder and guide James Derheim is available during the beautiful month of October, a perfect time to explore most of central and southern Europe. October is prime season and is usually booked far in advance. The days are mild and the kids are all back in school with no major holidays, therefore, roads are much less crowded and the major sights (especially Germany after Oktoberfest) Contact European Focus today to get started on the planning for your exclusive holiday led by James Derheim.

Building Future Adventures – Rovinj, Croatia

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Peppers and garlic in the farmer's market


This is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities for any adventurer who loves to tote around a camera to record impressions. Whether from across the bay where one can capture a skyline which is reproduced on dozens of postcards, paintings and drawings sold around the town or from within the narrow confines of the medieval old town, it seems as if Rovinj was built with the artist in mind. And speaking of artists, there are no lack of them in Rovinj, selling their creations whether in mosaic tile, watercolors or oil, all with the aim of capturing the essence of Rovinj.

Keeping things tidy


As we tell our clients who visit Venice (and there are reminders everywhere that Venice was the Grandpappy of Rovinj. The Venetian lion is omnipresent) the best way to experience this town is to “get lost.” Forget about a map or trying to find something specific. Turn left, turn right, turn in a circle, and you will be surprised at every turn by another beautiful scene. We can’t wait to return when the heavy crowds have thinned out in the fall.

Getting lost reveals the quieter side of Rovinj


Fishing boats in the harbor

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Guiding tours in European for over 20 years