If you are considering Croatia as your next vacation destination then we must say its a great choice. If you are looking for unique experience be it – history, quaint fishing villages, old towns, luscious vineyards, brimming new town centers Croatia has it all. Here is the 14 days itinerary perfect for exploring Croatia. Read on and customize your itinerary.
If you need more inspiration on why you should consider Croatia as your next travel destination, read about our top reasons for visiting Croatia.
What is the best time to visit Croatia ?
This best time of the year to visit Croatia is during the summer months starting with June to September. If there are no constraints on the time you can travel, then we recommend visiting Croatia during June or September. This is the ‘shoulder season’ in Croatia when crowds are manageable, little or no rain is expected and the water is warm enough for swimming. The months of July and August are very busy in Croatia due to vacations across Europe, when typically the accommodation and excursions can cost much higher.
14 days itinerary for Croatia
While planning your itinerary for Croatia you must the cities that you want to visit in Croatia. Although Croatia is not a big country but most cities are along the coast line making for a considerable transfer time. The best way to travel between these is by road driving yourself, which is the most preferred option or by bus. The train connections in Croatia are not very well developed so you will need to account for the time for transfers.
Where to start your Croatia itinerary?
It is possible to plan your trip either starting at the southern tip in Dubrovnik and travel northwards. Another alternative is to start your trip in Croatian capital of Zagreb and then travel southwards. Both are equally good options and depends on the destinations you are planning to visit.
How to plan your perfect Croatia itinerary?
Here is the 14 days itinerary that we recommend if you want to cover the most important places to see in Croatia. Read on to find more locations in Croatia to customize your trip.
Day 1 – Zagreb
Transit from the airport and spend the day exploring the capital city and enjoy local cuisine. Zagreb is a vibrant city with great night life and is sure to take off the weariness of your travel.
Day 2 – Zagreb (optional)
If you are looking for a relaxed time, then plan to stay a day exploring the city center, historic architecture, cathedral and museums in Zagreb. Look out for the numerous events organized in the city during peak season.
If you plan to visit Istria, then begin your adventure by driving to Rovinj.
Spend the day exploring old town. Head over to the Riva for a breathtaking sunset. Spend the evening enjoying sumptuous sea food and local wines.
Travel tip: Istria is to the northern tip of Croatia and is a considerable distance from most other cities. If you are visiting the area, then the best way is you stay over a day or two in the main cities like Pula or Rovinj.
Read our post to know about the Top things to do in Istria and Rovinj.
Go on day trip from Rovinj to artist city Grožnjan. Wander about the old town exploring art galleries and crafts. Head to Motuvun, a hill top perched village to savor the best truffle delicacies of the area in the restaurants in old town.
Savor the local wines with a view of the beautiful valley laden with olive farms and vineyards. You can also book a tour of famous wineries in the region or end your day watching the sunset with a ride in Vrsar bay.
Day 5 – Pula
Head your way to the southern tip to Istria to visit the capital city Pula. Marvel at the architecture of the Roman arena and the ruins in around old town.
Enjoy a sumptuous lunch of fresh seafood or hop on to a ferry to explore any of the national parks or islands off the coast. Read the top things to do in Pula here.
Day 6 – Plitvice National Park
If you are going from Istria, then the best way is to drive to Plitvice national park. head to the park entrance and purchase your tickets in advance. Enjoy the rest of the evening in the serenity of the surroundings savoring a cosy meal.
Day 7 – Plitvice National Park
Spend the day soaking in the breathless views of Plitivice waterfalls and jezzera (lakes). The route opted by most tourists is a walking tour from the upper to the lower part of the park and lasts about 4-5 hours. If you are opting for a guided tour of the entire park then this can take over 8 hours. Depending on time in hand, plan to spend the night either in Plitvice or other cities like Zadar or Split.
Most tourists directly head to Split after visiting Plitvice but we would recommend spending some time in the old town of Zadar. A commercial hub, Zadar will surprise you with its old town charm and a splendid night life. Spend your evening at the sea organ (a unique sound art object that generates musical sounds from sea waves). Walk along to get the restaurants behind old town for some great music and drinks.
Day 8 – Zadar, Trogir / Krka National Park
If you are looking to spend a lazy day, spend the morning exploring the architectural ruins of Zadar. The monuments bring forth the cultural amalgamation that Zadar has seen with influences of Byzantine and Roman empires. If you are driving, then we recommend making a pit stop at Trogir on your way to Split. Trogir is a UNESCO world heritage site with a mix of Renaissance, baroque and Romanesque buildings.
In case you are too mesmerized with Plitvice national park and looking for a similar experience, head directly to Krka national park. Krka also boasts of scenic waterfalls and opportunity to swim in the biggest lakes (somthing you cant do in Plitvice). Krka is easily accessible from both Zadar & Split and makes for a great day trip.
Day 9 – Split
Plan your stay preferably in the old town. Immerse in the grandeur of the Roman architecture of Diocletion palace. Head over to the Riva for a sumptuous lunch and savor home made gelato. Spend the rest of the exploring Split art galleries and museums. Make your way up to the Marjan hill to get a panoramic view of the city and enjoy the sunset.
Day 10 – Hvar
A lot of tourists prefer to base themselves in Split and take day trips to the islands. But we highly recommend staying over on these islands away from the hustle bustle of the main cities. Hvar has a huge coast line and a number of scenic beaches. Spend the day driving or biking through the island and exploring the main beaches. Opt for a sunset cruise tour or a private boat tour for a memorable evening.
Day 11 – Hvar
Start the day by taking the 5 island tour from Hvar. This is a highly recommended tour to the famous green cave, blue cave and offers great swimming opportunities. You can also spend the day at Brač exploring the famous Zlatni Rat beach.
Day 12 – Dubrovnik
Take a ferry to Dubrovnik via Korčula and spend the day exploring this pretty island. Alternatively, you can head back to Split and take a road trip to Dubrovnik. This is surely a longer route but probably the most scenic along the Adriatic coast and this is the one we tool. It passes through Mostar (Bosnia) can be a good pitstop if you have the time in hand.
There is an immigration counter at Mostar where you are required to produce visa and other travel documents. The transit does not require any visa but in case you want to explore Mostar ensure you have the requisite visa to gain entry.
Day 13 – Dubrovnik
You are in the most frequented city in Croatia so gear up for the crowds. Take a walking tour of the old town, explore the city walls and head to Lokrum castle (the famous filming location for GoT).
Go for a sunset seas kayaking tour along the city walls to enjoy beautiful views of the city. Enjoy drinks at one of the many cliff bars along the city walls.
Day 14 – Dubrovnik / Mjlet National Park
You can either spend a lazy day on Banje beach and Dubrovnik neighborhood. You can opt for a Game of Thrones walking tour to explore the filming locations. This is best done in the morning as the crowds are less. If you want to explore beyond Dubrovnik, then we recommend taking a day trip to Mjlet national park. You can spend the day exploring various lakes and relax on one of the many beaches.
This brings an end to the exciting two weeks in Croatia and its time to head home with some wonderful memories.
If you would like any suggestions on your itinerary, drop us a note in the comments section and we will be more than happy to help you customize your trip.