The country of Croatia has just so much to offer its visitors. From historic cities and national parks to beautiful islands and crystal-clear waters, Croatia offers all of that and more.
This Croatia itinerary will walk you through how to go about 2 weeks exploring the country from north to south. Along the way you are sure to enjoy all the various unique aspects of the country as you get to experience the best that Croatia has to offer.
Read on to learn more about this Croatia road trip itinerary and how to put together the best trip possible for your vacation.
What's in this article?
- Day by Day Croatia Itinerary
- Croatia Itinerary Map
- Getting Around Croatia
- When to Visit
- A Croatia Road Trip Itinerary
- Day 1: Zagreb
- Day 2: Zagreb | Travel to Plitvice
- Day 3: Plitvice National Park
- Day 4: Plitvice Part II | Travel to Krka
- Day 5: Krka National Park | Travel to Split
- Day 6: Split
- Day 7: Travel to & Explore Hvar
- Day 8: Pakleni Islands
- Day 9: Hvar | Travel to Korcula
- Day 10: Korcula
- Day 11: Korcula | Travel to Dubrovnik
- Day 12: Dubrovnik
- Day 13: Mljet Day Trip
- Day 14: Dubrovnik
Before diving into the itinerary, let’s talk about a few helpful things to know about the country and the itinerary in general:
1) This is going to be a 2 week Croatia itinerary with 14 full days of exploring the country. That means you should plan to get to Croatia early on day 1 (or sometime on day 0), and leave later on day 14 (or on day 15).
2) The road trip will go from north to south as you visit several places all along the way. The first stop here is the capital city of Zagreb, and the final destination will be down south in Dubrovnik.
3) When booking flights, that means you will need to arrive and depart from two different places, or you can opt for a quick flight from Dubrovnik to Zagreb at the end of the trip.
4) There are two main ways to go about the beginning portion of the trip (the days between Zagreb to Split). You can either take the reliable bus system from one city to the next, or you can rent a car. Taking the bus will be cheaper but a bit less convenient, while renting a car is more expensive but you will be on your own schedule.
5) If renting a car, you will not need to do so for the entirety of the trip. Since the majority of the trip is more focused on the islands and beach life, you will also rely on the Croatia ferry system here. If you decide on the car, I would recommend a car rental from days 2-5, picking up in Zagreb and dropping off in Split (a four-day car rental).
6) There will be several ferries to book for the trip as you hop between the mainland and various islands in the Adriatic. These ferries include:
» Split to Hvar (Day 7 morning)
» Hvar to Korcula (Day 9 evening)
» Korcula to Dubrovnik (Day 11 evening)
» Dubrovnik to Mljet (Day 13 round trip)
Day by Day Croatia Itinerary
Below is the day by day Croatia itinerary that this road trip will take you through. At the bottom of each day you can also see the overnight city that you will be staying in. Along the way I will be recommending accommodations options for you as well.
Croatia Itinerary Map
If you want to have a visual view of the trip, here is a map that shows the route starting in Zagreb up north and finishing in Dubrovnik down south. I have pin pointed the various stops along the way.
Getting Around Croatia
As mentioned earlier, there are a few ways to get yourself around Croatia – by bus or by car. Once you make it from Zagreb down to Split though, your main mode of transport between places will be by ferry.
Car Rental: having a car while exploring mainland Croatia is the easiest way to see the country at your own pace without needing to worry about the public transportation schedules.
This would be a one way car rental though, picking up the car in Zagreb on day 1 or 2 and dropping off in Split on day 5.
You can decide to either pick up from the airport on day 1 or from the city on day 2 just prior to leaving to Plitvice Lakes National Park.
↔ If you are renting a car in Croatia, be sure to check out Rentalcars.com, which will have a variety of rental options to choose from for your trip.
Bus: all of the major cities around Croatia are connected by bus routes that are run by different companies. From morning until night, you will have options to choose from going in all directions.
Feel free to take a look at a Croatia bus website, where you can see the various schedules and book your tickets ahead of time.
Ferry: once you have made it to Split, the rest of the transport between cities will be left to the Croatia ferries. Take a look at a Croatia ferries website, where you can see the various schedules and ticket options.
Depending on time of year, the ferries schedules will change (more frequent in the summer seasons vs. other times of year). Please be sure to check schedules and plan accordingly.
When to Visit
Croatia is a place that you definitely will want to visit during the warmer months of the year. Since so much of the itinerary is based around water, it would be a shame to visit when you can’t take advantage of the beautiful Adriatic Sea.
While July and August will be your prime weather season, it is also when the country sees the biggest influx of tourists. If you want to avoid the high season, heading there in May/June or in September would be my recommendation.
Not only will you have the sunny and warm weather, but rainfall is also at its lowest during the May to September time period.
I completed my trip to Croatia in mid-September, and had a great experience overall when it came to both number of tourists and the weather.
Below is a screenshot of the weather by month for Dubrovnik to give you a better idea of the temperatures/rainfall during different parts of year (note that the y axis is mistakenly showing the Celsius symbol):
A Croatia Road Trip Itinerary
Now that you have some background on the road trip, let’s dive deeper into the day by day itinerary and what it entails.
After arriving in Zagreb, either in the evening of day 0 or the morning of day 1, it is time to enjoy some time exploring the capital city itself.
Remember, if you are opting for a car rental, you can pick up right when you arrive or wait until day 2. Besides getting from the airport to the city center, you will not need a car to explore the city itself.
Day 1: Zagreb
The city of Zagreb is made up of a Lower Town and an Upper Town. To get between the two you can opt to walk or take the quick funicular ride that constantly makes its way up and down throughout the day.
On day one though, you can focus on all the things that the Lower Town has to offer, while on the following morning, you can wander the Upper Town. You can learn more about the city in the Zagreb city guide up on the site.
Some highlights for day 1 around the Lower Town include:
1) Jelacic Square
Jelacic Square is the main square of Zagreb and is named after Josip Jelacic, a lieutenant and ban (title of nobility) of Croatia in the 1800’s. The pedestrian square offers the chance to roam freely with outdoor seating, architecture, a statue and a fountain throughout the area.
2) Dolac Market
Just on the other side of the square you will find Dolac Market. This indoor/outdoor market is packed with all types of fruits, vegetables, meats, and a whole variety of fresh produce.
3) Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral or Cathedral of the Assumption is another important piece of architecture in Zagreb. Not only is it a historic and recognized symbol of the city but it also happens to be the tallest building in all of Croatia!
4) Gric Tunnel
Underneath the Upper Town of Zagreb are a network of tunnels that run underground. One of those is the Gric Tunnel that was built during World War II. The main purpose of the tunnel was to act as a bomb shelter during the Croatian War of Independence.
You can enter/exit the tunnel from two points – one located at Radiceva 19 and the other at Mesnicka 19. If you are around the square/cathedral/market area, head through the 350 meter / 1,150 foot tunnel from the Radiceva entrance and exit from the other side.
5) Ilica Street & Tkalciceva Street
At one point or another you are sure to walk down two of Zagreb’s most popular streets – Ilica & Tkalciceva. Restaurants and shops line the streets and are great places to have some lunch or dinner as you explore the rest of Zagreb.
6) Zagreb 360
You can end day 1 for sunset on top of the Zagreb 360 observation deck. From up above you can get some of the best 360 degree views of Zagreb. The deck sits all the way up on the top of the 16 floor building, making it the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy your surroundings while having a drink or two.
Night 1 of your trip will be spent in Zagreb. If arriving on day 0 then you will want to book a hotel for 2 nights instead of 1. My recommended hotel option here is called Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, which is located just 10 minutes away by foot from the town center.
Recommended Zagreb Hotel (Night 1) | Esplanade Zagreb Hotel -> Book Today!
Opened in 1925, Esplanade Hotel features one of the most prominent buildings in city. Its art-noveau style rooms offer satellite TV and a mini-bar, while the marble bathrooms include a bathtub and shower and complimentary L’Occitane cosmetics.
Located in Zagreb city center, right next to the Zagreb Main Railway Station, 5-star Esplanade Zagreb Hotel offers a fitness center and sauna. Free WiFi access is featured throughout the hotel. Guests can enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant’s terrace or have a drink served by the award-winning cocktail bartenders.
Day 2: Zagreb | Travel to Plitvice
It is now time to take a walk around the Upper Town before heading off to Plitvice National Park later on in the day.
As mentioned, you can decide between a quick funicular ride up top or you can make your way there by foot. Some highlights of the Upper Town include:
1) Lotrscak Tower
One of the main structures that can be seen from all around the city is the Lotrscak Tower, situated right near the top of the funicular. The tower has origins back to the 13th century and was one of the main methods of defense to protect the town back in the day.
2) Strossmayer Promenade
Right outside the tower, you will find the Strossmayer Promenade that makes its way along the top of the Upper Town. It is nice little path to follow with some local vendors selling all kinds of goods.
3) St. Mark’s Church
Not too far away you will find the 13th century St Mark’s Church, one of the most well known buildings in Europe. The church is famous for its intricate tiled roof with the coat of arms of both Croatia and Zagreb designed into it.
4) Stone Gate
Inside the gate is a painting of the Virgin and Child, which happens to be the only aspect of the gate that did not burn down in an 18th century fire. People now visit the gate and painting to pray and light candles.
5) Museum of Broken Relationships
A bit of a different attraction to visit in the Upper Town is the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum has less so to do with any of the medieval history of Zagreb. It is a museum filled with personal items donated by people all over the world who have been in failed relationships.
Each item has a different story and you can spend some time going through the various rooms reading about some of these objects.
Once you are all wrapped up with the Upper Town, it is time to head back to the hotel, pack up and head off to Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you have your own car, it will be a two hour ride south towards the national park area. If taking the bus, you will first need to make your way to the main Zagreb bus terminal just outside the city. From there it is off to Plitvice.
Note: if taking the bus, you will have the option of getting off near entrance 1 or 2. If you are staying at one of the hotels right near entrance 2 of the national park, then you will get off at entrance 2. If staying in the nearby town of Rastovaca, where many guesthouses are, then you will need to get off at entrance 1 and walk about 15-20 minutes to your guesthouse.
The second night of your Croatia itinerary will be spent right near the entrance of Plitvice National Park. During my stay I decided to spent the night in a Rastovaca guesthouse, closer to entrance 1. However, if you would like to be right outside the park, then Hotel Jezero is one of your top options directly next to entrance 2.
Recommended Plitvice Hotel (Night 2 & 3) | Hotel Jezero -> Book Today!
Hotel Jezero is located in the very heart of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, only 1,000 feet from the largest lake, Kozjak. The hotel offers rooms and suites, 2 restaurants and spa and wellness center. Free WiFi is provided as well as the private parking.
Day 3: Plitvice National Park
While most people who visit Plitvice do it as a day trip from Zagreb, and spend just a couple hours in the national park before heading back to the city, that is just not how I believe it should be experienced.
Instead I would recommend spending at least one full day in the park to truly take in the beauty of the region. Not only will you get more time to explore the ins and outs of the park, but you also can do so without the hordes of tourists packing the boardwalks.
On your first day in Plitvice, I would recommend waking up very early and exploring the Lower Lakes of Plitvice National Park. You can spend a few hours on the Lower Lakes boardwalks, enjoying the waterfalls, lakes, and surrounding landscape.
The two main routes around the Lower Lakes starting at Entrance 1 would be Route A and Route B. Route A is just a walking route, while Route B will also add on the boat ride across one of the lakes. Route F is the same as Route B, just in the opposite direction starting at Entrance 2.
» Feel free to learn more about all of these routes in more detail by reading the Plitvice Lakes National Park Routes guide up on the site
After spending a nice morning enjoying the Lower Lakes boardwalks, you will soon start to see more and more people arriving. That is when I would recommend heading back to your hotel/guesthouse to have some lunch and relax for a couple hours.
Then later in the afternoon, say 2-3 hours prior to closing, you should start to explore the Upper Lakes section of Plitvice. While it will probably be a bit more crowded than the early morning hours, it still will be pretty calm compared to the mid day hours.
Once you are back at the park (don’t worry -> your ticket can be used for multiple entries in a day), head on Route E, which will get you all around the Upper Lakes boardwalks.
After finishing up at Plitvice, head back to your hotel or guesthouse for the night and get ready for day 2 at the national park. Note that having a second day can also be a backup in case of poor day 1 weather.
Day 4: Plitvice Part II | Travel to Krka
On day two of exploring Plitvice National Park, I would recommend checking out some parts of the park that are less frequented but just as beautiful.
Around the Lower Lakes section, there are a few viewpoint areas that you can make your way up to that will give you a birds eye view of the lakes and waterfalls. You can find out more about these viewpoints in the guide linked above.
Another thing I would recommend is to walk around Route K of the park, which connects the Lower Lakes section with the Upper Lakes section. Most people opt for the boat ride across, but taking the walk here is one of the more peaceful sections of trail.
Near the Upper Lakes section, you can also decide to head further up Route K, which will take you to some birds eye viewpoints of the Upper Lakes and waterfalls.
Getting to experience some of these lesser visited sections of Plitvice, were some of my favorite parts of my time there.
After finishing up with day 2 at Plitvice, it is then off to Krka National Park sometime in the afternoon of day 4. Once again, you can either opt for the bus ride down or you can head off in your own car. One of the main towns to stay near Krka is Skradin, where I would recommend staying for the night.
A quick stop to visit Krka National Park will have you staying in the town of Skradin for night 3 of your trip. It can’t get much easier than deciding to stay at Hotel Bonaca, located right on the waterfront near the ferry entrance.
Recommended Skradin Hotel (Night 4) | Hotel Bonaca -> Book Today!
Featuring an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers, Hotel Bonaca is located in Skradin. The 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property has a garden, as well as a restaurant that serves Croatian cuisine. The rooms at the hotel are fitted with a seating area. Each room includes a flat-screen TV while some rooms come with a balcony.
Day 5: Krka National Park | Travel to Split
Day five of this Croatia itinerary will take you around Krka National Park, near the town of Skradin.
Note that of January 2021, swimming is no longer allowed at the main waterfall of Krka National Park in order to protect the biodiversity. There are some other spots in the park, where swimming is allowed but unfortunately this main waterfall location is no longer open for swimming.
While Krka National Park is quite large with several different parts to explore, I will focus more on the main Skradinski Buk waterfall and its surroundings.
To get to Skradinski Buk, you can either make the walk from town or you can opt for the ferry ride. During my visit, I decided to take the first ferry out and I then walked back to town once done with my time there.
If you want to explore more of the national park by boat, you have the option of getting onto a second ferry near the Lozovac entrance (see the Krka National Park map for more info)
The first ferry leaves right from the Skradin port and makes its way through the waters surrounded by greenery in all directions. It is just a 25 minute ride until you reach the ferry pier near the main waterfall.
Once there you will get to enjoy the view of the waterfall from several different angles as you make your way along the boardwalk. After enjoying the main waterfall area, you can continue the pathways that wind their way behind the waterfall.
Here you will find several smaller waterfalls, rapids, and scenic pools as you get some beautiful views of the this natural wonder.
After completing the walk around the waterfall and surrounding area, you can then decide to ferry or walk your way back to Skradin. I would definitely recommend the walk here as you get some stunning views of the water from up above.
Once back in Skradin, it is then back to your car or the bus station, where you can head on the hour drive down to Split.
» Remember, if driving a car, you can return your car rental in Split before making your way to your hotel.
Next up is the town of Split, where you will stay for two nights before hopping on a ferry to Hvar. During your time in the city, I would recommend staying right near the main old town area so you can be in the center of the action. One great option here is Central Square Heritage Hotel, which couldn’t be closer to all the must visit spots.
Recommended Split Hotel (Night 5 & 6) | Central Square Heritage Hotel -> Book Today!
Attractively located in the very heart of Split, the 4-star Central Square Heritage Hotel offers elegant accommodations just steps away from the city’s most popular sights. Free WiFi is provided. Each room comes with a private private bathroom.
Standard amenities include a flat-screen TV, in-room safe and tea and coffee making facilities. A continental breakfast is available each morning at the Central Square Heritage Hotel. The popular Riva Promenade with numerous bars and restaurants can be found in the vicinity.
Day 6: Split
One day in Split is just enough time to explore the city itself and get a better feel for what it is all about. While it won’t leave time for boat excursions, you will have plenty of those opportunities the following days as you explore some islands.
Some highlights to make your way to as you explore the city include:
1) Diocletian’s Palace
2) Saint Domnius Bell Tower
3) Saint Domnius Cathedral
4) Cathedral Crypt
5) Cathedral Treasury
6) Temple of Jupiter Baptistery
7) The Peristyle
8) Vestibul Terrace
9) 4 Gates
10) Riva Promenade
11) Old Town
12) Marjan Hill
» You can learn about all of these places in the One Day in Split guide up on the site
Day 7: Travel to & Explore Hvar
It is now time to enjoy some of the island life that Croatia has to offer as you head off from Split to the island of Hvar. While the island is pretty big, most people decide to head to Hvar Town, where most of the action is happening.
Try to grab an early morning ferry so you will have plenty of time to have a day in Hvar for yourself.
The ferry from Split to Hvar takes anywhere from 1-2 hours as you get your first ferry experience of the trip. Once you arrive in Hvar and check into your hotel, there are a couple things I would recommend to do on your first day on the island.
The first thing you can do is head up to the Hvar Fortress (Tvrdava Fortica), which hovers over the town down below. From up top you will get vast views of the city, the water, and all of the surroundings.
The fortress itself is also a pretty unique place to explore as you make your way from one room to the next in this 700+ year old building.
Pokonji Dol Beach
It is then onto part two of the day as you get to spend some time relaxing by the beach and in the water. I would recommend heading to the nearby Pokonji Dol Beach, which can be reached by a 30 minute walk or 10 minute taxi ride
For the remainder of the afternoon, you can swim in the crystal clear waters of Adriatic Sea and find a spot on the beach to hang out on.
Hvar Town is packed with places to stay that are walking distance to restaurants, the harbor area, and main square. One great option to choose from here is Pharos Hvar Hotel, located less than a 10 minute walk from the center.
Recommended Hvar Hotel (Night 7 & 8) | Pharos Hvar Hotel -> Book Today!
“Located in a secluded pine grove and completely renovated in 2016, the modern Pharos Hvar Bayhill Hotel offers brightly furnished rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and bar area, as well as a modern restaurant serving international and local delicacies. Free high-speed WiFi is provided through the property
The outdoor pool is surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation and features a terrace with sunbeds where guests can enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the nearby pool bar. Guests are invited to explore the specially designed lobby area that features a media wall and a vibrant bar.”
Day 8: Pakleni Islands
Just off the coast of Hvar is a group of 16 islands that make up the Pakleni Island chain. While there are a few ways to go about a visit here including a water taxi/ferry or organized day trip, you can also rent your own small boat and head out on your own.
If you are up for the later option, I would highly recommend it. You will be able to explore the islands at your own pace and get to see what you want throughout the day.
You can spend your time just jumping off the boat and swimming in the water, checking out some peaceful beaches, or heading to one of the island’s restaurants and bars.
It is hard to go wrong here as the whole area is just so beautiful to see.
» Learn more about a day out at sea in the Pakleni Islands guide up on the site
Day 9: Hvar | Travel to Korcula
Before leaving to Korcula later in the day, it is time to head to a couple more beaches a bit farther away from the town center.
Two beaches that I would highly recommend visiting are Malo Zarace Beach and Dubovica Beach. To get to these beaches you will either need to rent a bicycle, scooter, or car, or grab a few taxis throughout the day.
Since they are a bit farther outside of the town center, they are also a bit less frequented by tourists.
Below are some photos from each one of these beaches to give you a better sense of what to expect as you go about your day.
Be sure to keep track of time because later in the afternoon, you will need to catch the ferry to Korcula, the next stop on your Croatia itinerary.
The next island up is Korcula, a town small enough that you can see it all within a couple hours. I would recommend staying right near the Korcula Old Town here, with many of the top options being guesthouses. Guest House Korunić is a fantastic choice located just outside the main gate
Recommended Korcula Hotel (Night 9 & 10) | Guest House Korunic-> Book Today!
Located in the very center of the town of Korčula, Guest House Korunić offers a terrace with sea and city views. It offers free WiFi and air-conditioned rooms that overlook either the town or the garden. All rooms come with a satellite TV, a small fridge and an electric kettle. Private bathroom provides a shower, while the room overlooks the town’s rooftops.
Day 10: Korcula
During your one full day in Korcula, you can choose from a couple different options. You can either rent a boat for the day (similar to the day around the Pakleni Islands) or you can head to some beaches.
Renting a Boat
If you head to the port area, you will see several stands renting small boats for you to take out on the water. Similar to Hvar, there are several smaller islands just off the coast of Korcula that can be explored in a day.
Even if you are not comfortable heading out on your own, you can opt to include an experienced local driver, who will take care of the driving for you.
Some of the highlights include Stupa Vela, Otok Badija, and Lumbarda Beach (on the mainland). All along the way your will see several other small islands that you can stop at and enjoy.
We spent some time exploring these islands and jumping into the water all throughout the day. Some of these places are just swimming spots, others had small restaurants to stop at, and one had a monastery on it!
Also be on the lookout for some dolphins out in the water. We also got a glimpse of some nearby dolphins swimming right alongside of us during a portion of the day out at sea.
→ Learn more about renting a boat in Korcula and where to explore off the coast
Lombarda Beach and Vela Przina Plaza Beach
On the other hand, you can also visit a couple mainland beaches if you want to stay away from the boat rental.
At the entrance of Korcula Town you will find a bicycle rental shop, where you can rent a bike for the day to check out the beaches. You can also opt for a taxi ride if bicycling isn’t for you.
It is about 8 km / 5 miles between Korcula Town and the beach area (the beaches are just across the street from one another). The ride between Korcula and Lombarda Beach / Vela Przina Plaza Beach is mostly flat, making it a comfortable ride to take part of.
As you get further from Korcula Town, you will come across the Lumbarda vineyards. During my bicycle ride towards the beaches, I stopped a few times to walk through the vineyards and get to experience this unique part of Croatia.
The day is a perfect combination of sightseeing, relaxing, and even some exercise!
Day 11: Korcula | Travel to Dubrovnik
On day 2 in Korcula, it is time to explore a bit of the town itself before making your way to Dubrovnik later in the afternoon. The Korcula Old Town is pretty small and you should be able to walk all of its streets within a couple hours time.
Some of the highlights to explore include the House of Marco Polo, Korcula Town Gate, the Saint Mark Cathedral, and just walking the streets and outer pathways of the city.
> When visiting the cathedral, be sure to head to the top of the bell tower, where you will get views of the surrounding peninsula and the Adriatic Sea surrounding it in all directions.
After taking in the town, I would also recommend going to the less known Korcula viewpoint. On Google Maps you should see this pinned as “Panorama Korcula”.
From up top you will get to see the entirety of the Old Town down below. It is a great last attraction to visit before heading off to Dubrovnik later in the afternoon by ferry.
When deciding on where to stay in Dubrovnik you can choose to be directly within the walls of the historic Old City or you can stay outside of the walls in the more formal city.
Since I knew most of my time would be spent during the day within the Old City itself (plus it would be easier to explore the city at night and the early mornings), I decided to stay within the walls. Staying within the walls, you will find more apartments and guest house options. One of the top ones to choose from is called Apartments Festa.
Recommended Dubrovnik Hotel (Night 11,12 & 13) | Apartments Festa -> Book Today!
Located in the very heart of the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Apartments Festa offers stylish accommodations decorated with stone wall elements. Each unit is equipped with air conditioning, and LCD satellite TV and a kitchenette. Free Wi-Fi is provided.
Just a couple of steps from the apartment, guests have access to various restaurants, pizzerias, bars, galleries and shops. Historic sights, such as Orlando’s Column or Onofrio’s Fountain, can be reached within a 5-minute walk.
Day 12: Dubrovnik
There is no doubt about it that Dubrovnik is the most popular and touristy place there is in Croatia. Although it can get crowded, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit it.
There is so much history and beauty to the city, and spending a couple days visiting these various corners will be an unforgettable experience.
I will give you some tips and insights along the way on how I spent my time in Dubrovnik away from the crowds.
Walking the Walls
On your first day in the city, I would wake up early! You can spend a bit of time just walking the empty streets and taking in the city without the tourists.
But be sure to head to the entrance of the Dubrovnik City Walls prior to opening so you can be one of the first people on the walls themselves. This is probably the most popular activity to do in Dubrovnik.
By taking part of it as early as possible, you will get to experience the famous walls without the craziness of the crowds.
The wall walk will take you around the perimeter of the old city as you get to see the historic buildings from above and at all different angles.
It is just such an enjoyable experience to take part of when you are one of the few people up there in the peace and quiet of the early morning.
Once all done with the city walls, head on over to the nearby Lovrijenac fortress. What I love about the fortress is that it is located just outside the main gated city, so you are able to get some great views from a far.
The fortress itself is something to explore as you head up and down staircases to various rooms and lookout points of the Adriatic Sea with the walled city in view.
Note that if you purchase the City Walls Walk ticket, then a visit to Lovrijenac is included for free.
The Dubrovnik City Beach
By now I am sure the crowds will start to arrive and they will turn the city into the craziness it can be known for.
Now is the time to escape the tourists and head to one of the hidden gems that Dubrovnik has to offer. If you head to the part of the city closest to the water (west), you will find some less frequented walked streets.
There is bar/restaurant called Bar Mala Buza here, where you will also find a great swimming area to enjoy.
I just loved the experience to be swimming right alongside the towering Dubrovnik city walls above me, as I got to relax and enjoy an afternoon in the city, while everyone else was just cramming the streets.
The day will then appropriately end with taking in a Dubrovnik sunset from way up above the city on Mount Srd. There are two ways to get up top – you can take the cable car or you opt for a bit of a zig zag hike.
Either way though, once up there, I recommend to walk south away from the top of the cable car station.
While most people will be hovering around here and the restaurant area, there is actually a much more scenic viewpoint just a few minutes away by foot.
Not only will you be without the crowds here but you also will have a better view altogether. As you walk more south, you will begin to get both the city and the sunset in the same viewpoint. Note that this may also depend on time of year to get the angle of sunset (the linked guide above has more info!).
Check out these views from sunset that I was able to enjoy during my time up top over the city.
Day 13: Mljet Day Trip
Now that you got to have one full day in the city, it is time to get out to the nearby island of Mljet for a bit of a different experience.
The western part of Mljet is made up of the Mljet National Park. Here you will find never ending greenery with two pristine lakes, and plenty of walking trails taking you all around.
A day trip here doesn’t give you the most time to enjoy the national park but it will still give you enough hours to experience this beautiful nearby island.
I would recommend taking the first ferry from Dubrovnik that will get you to Mljet in the mid morning. From the port, you will just want to hop into the waiting vans that will take you to the Mljet National Park entrance.
From there you can begin walking around the lakes’ trails and spend some time in the water itself. Since it will be tough to walk the entirety of the two lakes, you may want to focus more on the western side of the larger lake Veliko Jezero and the smaller lake of Malo Jezero.
Throughout the walk you will come across small beaches, viewpoints, and spots to hop into the water. If interested you can also visit the island located in the middle of the lake called Sveta Marija.
Be sure to leave time at the end to head up to the Veliki Gradac viewpoint, where you will get to see the national park from above and take in some beautiful views.
It is then back to the entrance, where you will hop back into the van to the port area and catch the ferry to Dubrovnik.
→ Learn more in the Mljet National Park guide up on the site
Day 14: Dubrovnik
Your Croatia road trip is now slowly coming to an end as you explore Dubrovnik one last time before heading out either later on day 14 or sometime on day 15.
Once again here, I would recommend waking up early to walk the city streets without the crowds. While the first day was more focused on the two big attractions of the city walls walk and Lovrijenac (and some relaxing water time), your last day will be focused on the city itself.
In addition to just wandering the city streets, there are a few highlights that you should visit or at least walk by during your morning stroll:
1) Pile Gate
2) Fransician Church and Monastery
3) Dubrovnik Maskeron
4) Onofrio’s Fountain
6) Sponza Palace
7) Dominican Monastery
8) Rector’s Palace
9) Saint Ignatius Church
→ Since you will have a few nights in the city as well, I would definitely recommend taking a walk through Dubrovnik in the evening. The atmosphere is definitely a bit different at night and getting to walk the city streets at that time is a fun experience to take part of.
After 14 days of wandering the country of Croatia, it is time to head back home or onto your next destination.
I hope this Croatia road trip itinerary has given you a better sense of how to plan a trip to this amazing place. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write them in below. Also, don’t forget to check out the other Croatia itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!