The Perfect 7-Day Croatia Itinerary (Updated 2024)

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A gorgeous view overlooking Split, Croatia on a bright and sunny summer day
Posted: 5/13/2024 | May thirteenth, 2024

Croatia has been a bustling vacationer sizzling spot for six or seven years now. Shaped like a boomerang and bordering Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, this small nation of 4 million individuals punches properly above its weight. You can spend time stress-free on the sunny Adriatic Sea, hop between a whole lot of rugged and distant islands, feast on Italian-esque delicacies, or journey inland and go to gorgeous waterfalls and luxurious nationwide parks.

While there may be quite a bit to see and do right here, most vacationers confine their go to to Dubrovnik or Split. And positive, these are cool cities. But Croatia has far more to supply.

But while you solely have every week and also you need the solar, I perceive why you’d need to deal with that a part of Croatia. (Pro tip: Like a number of Southern Europe, it’s finest to keep away from Croatia throughout the warm-weather summer time months. In addition to the excessive temperatures and excessive costs, you’re going to be sharing the nation with a military of vacationers. If you go in winter, the climate is cooler and the costs are a lot gentler, however many vacationer cities, akin to Dubrovnik, virtually shut down from late October till mid-April. Your finest guess is April-May and early September till early November. Crowds can be smaller and costs gained’t be by way of the roof.)

So, that will help you plan your journey, I’ve created this ultimate seven-day itinerary for southern Croatia. It covers the highlights whereas additionally getting you off the crushed path. You’ll see cities, seashores, villages, and have loads of time to absorb the native tempo of life.

 

Days 1 & 2: Dubrovnik

A stunning view over the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Croatia with the Adriatic Sea in the distance
Dubrovnik is a seaside city of simply 40,000 individuals, however based mostly on its recognition, you’d suppose it was a lot larger. It’s the preferred vacation spot within the nation, because of its medieval walled Old Town, or Stari Grad, which might get full of vacationers, particularly throughout the peak summer time season.

While most of Croatia is reasonably priced, Dubrovnik is now not low-cost. Quite a lot of cruises cease right here now and costs have skyrocketed lately. That stated, there are some things right here which are value forking out outrageous charges for:

Walk the Old Town Walls
Walking the medieval partitions is a should if it’s your first time visiting. The entrance charge isn’t low-cost at 35 EUR, however the stroll presents unbelievable views of the Old Town and the glowing Adriatic Sea. It’s 60-90 minutes of awe and completely well worth the price ticket.

Summit Mr. Srd
Take the cable automobile as much as the highest of Mt. Srd. It towers over the Old Town, and whereas it prices 27 EUR, as soon as you’re taking the trip and see the view you’ll understand it was properly value the fee. If you’re on a finances, you can even hike to the highest. There’s a dust path that may take you to peak, but it surely’s a difficult hike. Give your self about an hour every manner. Once on the prime, you possibly can sit on the restaurant and nurse an overpriced beverage whereas taking within the jaw-dropping view.

Visit the War Photo Ltd. Museum
There aren’t a number of nice museums in Dubrovnik, however ensure you go to War Photo Ltd., a gallery began by New Zealand-born Wade Goddard, a former warfare photographer. The everlasting exhibition on the Balkan wars of the Nineteen Nineties will allow you to get a greater understanding of what went on right here 30 years in the past. It’s sobering, however eye-opening. Admission is 10 EUR.

Explore Gruž
If you need to escape the vacationer crowds, particularly when there’s a cruise ship in port, head to Gruž, a once-gritty neighborhood on the marina that now boasts a number of nice eating places and cafés. It’s additionally residence to Dubrovnik Beer Company, town’s first and solely brewery. The cavernous taproom is a beautiful place to sip a neighborhood beer after a day of exploring.

When you get hungry in Gruž, take a look at Kiosk, an out of doors informal spot that serves up Dalmatian Coast fare with some world twists. Or for one thing really memorable and really Dalmatian, e-book a spot at Marija’s House, the place chef Marija Papak opens her residence to guests throughout the warm-weather months and cooks up a nightly feast of peka delicacies — lamb, pork, and/or octopus slow-cooked beneath a bell-like lid on the grill that renders the meat impossibly tender and scrumptious.
 

 

Day 3: Split

The stunning coastline of Split, Croatia on a beautiful sunny day
About 240 kilometers (150 miles) up the coast is Split, Croatia’s second largest metropolis. This stunning metropolis was comparatively ignored by vacationers till lately. But there are a number of good causes to spend a minimum of someday and evening right here.

The chief attraction in Split is inconceivable to overlook. When Roman Emperor Diocletian determined to retire to the realm the place he grew up — the central Dalmatian Coast — he had a large, lavish palace constructed proper on the seaside. He died a number of years after he moved in, and what occurred subsequent is sort of attention-grabbing: over the centuries, because the palace started to crumble and turn out to be a damage, town principally moved in and made it a part of the material of the city.

Today, you possibly can stroll across the heart of Split and instantly understand you’re truly inside the palace. What was as soon as a hallway, for instance, is now a slim, limestone-clad lane. What might need been a bed room is now a seafood restaurant.

Much of the palace is free to stroll round in. If you need an in-depth take a look at it, although, there are loads of guided excursions.

And whilst you’re in Split, additionally don’t miss St. Duje’s Cathedral, Klis Fortress (featured in Game of Thrones), and the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments (residence to some 20,000 relics and artifacts).

The different most important motive why Split must be in your itinerary is that it’s the principle transportation hub for ferries to numerous islands in central Dalmatia. After spending a night on the town, hop on a morning ferry to Hvar, one in every of Croatia’s coolest islands, a nice one hour and forty-five minutes. If you need to get there extra rapidly, there’s additionally a catamaran.
 

Day 4: Hvar

The beautiful waters in a bay on Hvar, Croatia on a sunny summer day with old buildings in the background
The island of Hvar, identified for its lavender manufacturing, is a enjoyable place to spend a day. The eponymous Hvar Town is the principle attraction for most individuals. Crammed with centuries-old homes and slim alleyways, it’s an attention-grabbing place to get misplaced for some time.

It additionally has attracted a wild get together scene. All the boat excursions cease right here for his or her passengers to get wasted and go clubbing on the world-famous Carpe Diem so take into account this island has a celebration scene – however there’s much more to the island!

For someplace extra laid-back, take a look at Stari Grad, actually “Old Town,” positioned on the alternative aspect of the island from Hvar Town. Recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage record, it boasts a warren of slim, stone-blanketed lanes. Be positive to additionally take a hike by way of the island’s many olive groves and lavender fields.

If you don’t have your individual car, there’s a wine and olive oil tasting tour to this aspect of the island (you’ll make a cease on the lavender fields too).
 

Days 5 & 6: Sibenik and Krka National Park

The beautiful Krka waterfalls in a national park in Croatia, surrounded by lush greenery
About midway up the coast between Split and Zadar is oft-overlooked Šibenik (pronounced “Shee-ben-eek”), a medieval city of about 35,000 individuals that’s value spending a few days in. For starters, the St. James cathedral is a marvel to take a look at; it’s the world’s largest church made solely of stone. The fortress-topped city additionally boasts of a maze of limestone-topped alleyways. If you are feeling like a splurge, Šibenik is residence to Pelegrini, a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves up inventive takes on Central Dalmatian fare.

Šibenik can be the gateway for exploring close by Krka National Park and its gorgeous waterfalls. Make positive you additionally get there early to beat the vacationer buses to see 14th-century Visovac Monastery in the course of an island on the Krka River. Park admission ranges from 7 EUR within the off-season (January-February) all the best way as much as a staggering 40 EUR throughout peak season (June-September).
 

Day 7: Zadar

The long, stone steps along the Dalmatian Coast of Zadar in Croatia
Just one hour by automobile from Šibenik, Zadar has been getting a number of consideration in the previous couple of years. Its limestone-blanketed historic heart juts out into the Adriatic and is full of medieval church buildings (take a look at the oddly round church of St. Donatus, the most important church on the Dalmatian Coast).

The metropolis additionally has a singular sea organ. Located on a set of steps that descend into the ocean, the organ makes sounds because the waves crash by way of it, creating an odd however harmonious sound that seems like whale calls. The organ consists of 35 tubes and was designed by architect Nikola Basic. Come right here at sundown to soak within the picturesque views and hearken to the charming sounds of the ocean. After all, Alfred Hitchcock stated Zadar has essentially the most stunning sundown on this planet, making this a becoming vacation spot to finish your week-long journey alongside the coast.

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With over a thousand islands, quite a few seashores, and numerous climbing trails, you would simply spend months exploring Croatia and nonetheless solely scratch the floor. But, in the event you solely have every week, this itinerary will present you the highlights whereas whetting your urge for food for future visits. While it’s not fairly as low-cost because it was, the nation presents a lot of worth and is tremendous straightforward to discover.

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Book Your Trip to Croatia: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to discover a low-cost flight. They are my favourite search engine as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation
You can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve the largest stock and finest offers. If you need to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use Booking.com as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost motels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes unsuitable. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. My favourite corporations that supply the very best service and worth are:

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my useful resource web page for the very best corporations to make use of while you journey. I record all those I exploit to save cash once I’m on the street. They will prevent cash while you journey too.

Want More Information on Croatia?
Be positive to go to our strong vacation spot information on Croatia for much more planning ideas!



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