From North to South: Highlights of Croatia

This 8 day, 7 night itinerary gives an overview of the many sites and activities Croatia has to offer. For this trip, we are including the cities of Zagreb, Split, Hvar, and Dubrovnik. As with all of our trips, we can tailor it to your needs.

Day 1: Arrival in Zagreb

Private transfers on arrival. Overnight in Zagreb.

Zagreb is both Croatia’s capital and its largest city. It sits between the Pannonian plain, the edge of the Alps, and the Dinaric range. Zagreb’s humble beginnings can be traced back to two medieval settlements on the hills of Kaptol and Gradec.

Zagreb City Tour

Private, half-day guided tour of Croatia’s capital.

This guided tour will introduce you to Zagreb’s Old Town. Sites include St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Dolac market, and the Stone Gate with its icon of the Virgin Mary. You’ll also see the House of Parliament, the Funicular, and Lotrscak Tower.

Service Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours in length.

Day 2: Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Split

Private transfer to Split. Stop in UNESCO Plitvice Lakes with Guided Walking Tour of the park. Overnight in Split.

Your second day in Croatia offers one of Europe’s most exotic walking routes, Plitvice Lakes National Park. “Croatia’s Eden” and “the most beautiful place on the planet” are just a few ways to describe it. Combine that with over 1 million yearly visitors, and it’s easy to see why this nature preserve is a must.

During the tour you’ll hike through the most gorgeous parts of the Upper Lakes. Next, you’ll enjoy a boat ride to the Lower Lakes accompanied by the sound of the waterfalls. The tour also includes two of the most photographed sites in Plitvice. The 230-foot tall Great Waterfall (Croatia’s largest), and the park’s deepest lake, Lake Kozjak.

Afterwards, your guide will suggest a nearby restaurant for lunch. Be sure to try the local specialties like “lamb on a stick,” the traditional Croatian way of preparing lamb.

Day 3: Split

Overnight in Split. Free day for optional activities.

Split is Croatia’s second largest city and has a rich cultural history. This is a free day to get acquainted with the city at your leisure. We’ve listed some sites and activities you can choose to fill your day with.

Recommended Sites

  • Diocletian’s Palace. The palace isn’t just a historic ruin, but a crucial part of the city. Many local businesses reside within its walls.
  • The Mestrovic Gallery. A short drive from the city center you’ll find the Mestrovic Gallery. The gallery is named after Ivan Mestrovic, a famous Croatian sculptor and political activist. The grand estate served as both his home and studio. It overlooks the sea and sports amazing views.
  • The Archaeological Museum. Croatia’s oldest museum houses displays of glassware, jewelry, coins, and everyday artifacts. You’ll also find collections of tombstones, sarcophagi, mosaic floors, and early Christian monuments. Be sure to check out the mosaic of Orpheus as well as the sarcophagus that depicts the legend of Hippolytus and Phaedra.

Must-See Split: Walking Tour

Half-day Private Guided Walking Tour of Split.

The 1,700 year old Diocletian’s Palace is the focal point of this tour. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the palace occupies most of Split’s Old Town. The Cathedral of St. Domnius, once Diocletian’s mauseleom, is believed to be the oldest in the world. According to legend, the patron saint of Split was guided here by Saint Peter to redeem Dalmatia.

A little further along, at the heart of the palace is the Peristil, the largest square in Split. Today, it serves as a backdrop for plays and musical performances.

As you explore each quarter of the palace, you’ll find many different monuments. For example, the sphinxes that the Romans brought from ancient Egypt. You can also find well-preserved Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque palaces.

Service Duration: Approximately 2 hours in length.

Zinfandel Odyssey in Split

Half-day Wine Tasting in Diocletian’s Palace (Private Tour).

This wine tasting is held in one of Split’s very first wine bars. The tasting consists of five different wines along with a platter of local treats. Your sommelier will guide you through each wine, the winery it comes from, and its place in the Croatian Zinfandel story.

Service Duration: Approximately 2 hours in length.

Discover Croatia’s Most Beautiful Beaches

Full-day Guided Speed Boat Excursion (Private Tour).

This full day excursion from Split features breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea. First, the island of Brac, where you’ll sail south to discover one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: the Golden Horn. At this point, you can choose to have lunch here or continue to Hvar Island and the Pakleni Islands archipelago. The Pakleni are a group of twenty islands and reefs that dot the coast of Hvar. They boast untouched nature and are also an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves to sail. The tour concludes with a return boat trip to Split.

Service Duration: Approximately 8 hours in length.

Day 4: Hvar

Morning Transfer by Ferry to Hvar Island – without car. Private Walking Tour in the afternoon. Overnight in Hvar.

Hvar is one of the best known islands in Dalmatia. Its art, mild climate, beaches, and fields of lavender make this UNESCO World Heritage site a treasure.

Hvar is fantastic for art history enthusiasts. It’s home to The Fortica Hydro archeological Collection. This is one of the best collections of ancient Greek amphorae in Croatia. The Hanibal Lucic Benedictine Art Collection includes paintings, icons, and other artifacts from the convent treasury. You can also find a Franciscan Art Collection housed at the Franciscan Monastery.

In addition to art, the walking tour is also a visual treat for lovers of architecture. It features the Treasury of the Hvar Cathedral, The Bishop’s Museum, Oldest Community Theatre, Renaissance Cathedral, the palace of poet Petar Hektorovic, and an early Christian baptistery.

Day 5: Hvar

Overnight in Hvar. Free day for optional activities.

Discover Hvar: Off-Road Tour

Full-day Guided Car Excursion (Shared or Private Tour)

If you have just one day to see Hvar, this tour will help you get the most out of your visit. For those planning a longer stay, the tour also provides the perfect introduction to the sunniest island in Croatia.

Service Duration: Approximately 8 hours in length.

Sailing Around the Magical Island of Vis

Full-day Guided Sailing Boat Excursion (Shared or Private Tour)

This full-day sailboat excursion departs from Hvar, and shows off the most scenic parts of the Adriatic coast. You’ll pass by a few charming fishing villages on the way before reaching the island of Vis

There is no set itinerary for this trip because your skipper leaves the choice to Mother Nature. Weather-permitting, you can enjoy a swim in the Green Cave. Snorkeling gear is provided so you can explore, and you just might spot some dolphins!

Service Duration: Approximately 8 hours in length.

Paklinski Archipelago by Kayak from Hvar

Half-day Guided Kayak Tour (Shared or Private Tour)

This half-day kayaking experience begins in Hvar and moves through the archipelago of 21 islands known as the Pakleni. Weather and physical ability permitting, you might kayak to Palmizana beach. Palmizana is known for its celebrity status and the hot-spot, Laganini Bar.

From there, you can enjoy having a beach of your own, as you pass through deserted lagoons. After which, you’ll head back to Hvar for a light lunch served in a restaurant on the beach.

Service Duration: Approximately 4 hours in length.

Evening Wine Tasting in Hvar

Full-day Guided Car Excursion (Shared or Private Tour)

This guided tour will take you through the countryside with stops at two renowned wineries. An expert sommelier will show you around the facilities and cellars. You’ll be able to taste wines made from plavac, as well as other varieties of purple grapes. 

Service Duration: Approximately 4 hours in length.

Day 6: Dubrovnik

Overhead view of the city of Dubrovnik from the sea

Morning Transfer to Dubrovnik by Ferry Without Car. Private Walking Tour in the afternoon. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Half-Day Dubrovnik: Introduction to “The Pearl of the Adriatic”

Half-day Guided Walking Tour (Private Tour)

You begin on Srdj Hill, the large mountain that looms over Old Town. From here, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the layout of the walled city, as well as an understanding of how close the neighboring borders are. With a drive back down to Dubrovnik, your next stop will be the “Old Town.” Walk the famous marble-paved street Stradun, and visit the monuments. Features the Franciscan Monastery, Rector’s Palace, Onofrio’s Fountain, and many more.

Service Duration: Approximately 4 hours in length.

Day 7: Dubrovnik

Overnight in Dubrovnik. Free day for optional activities.

Dubrovnik’s City Walls by Kayak

Half-day Guided Kayak Tour (Shared or Private Tour)

In ancient times, when approaching the Republic of Dubrovnik from the sea, its city walls were an enormous obstacle that needed to be crossed. Even today, you can feel how small and powerless you are when confronted with this impregnable structure. Active travelers who want to come face to face with Dubrovnik’s past will love this kayak tour that combines history and exercise in an entertaining way! 

Service Duration: Approximately 4 hours in length.

Wonders of Montenegro

Full-day Guided Car Excursion (Private Tour)

When in Croatia, why not visit its neighbors? Montenegro is one of the smallest countries in Europe and offers many diverse attractions. The coastline alone dazzles with the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. Moving inland, the mountains are perfect for a vacation in a wild, untamed setting. Your private driver is also your guide for this full-day tour of Kotor and Budva.

Service Duration: Approximately 8-9 hours in length.

Sailing the Elaphiti Islands

Full-day Speedboat Tour (Private Tour)

In the Adriatic sea northwest of Dubrovnik, there is a small archipelago called the Elaphiti Islands. Even with a total land area of around 30 square kilometers and a population of 850, they have managed to preserve their natural beauty and charm. As a result of their ban on private vehicles, the Elaphites remain relatively uncrowded even with the daily influx of tourists from Dubrovnik. There is one island that is exempt from this policy however, and that is Sipan, the largest of the three inhabited islands.

Another inhabited island is Kolocep, which features pine forests and gardens of lemons and oranges. You’ll have enough free time to either relax on the beach or explore the beachfront. We also recommend visiting the 15th-century Chapel of St. Anton, especially for its collection of paintings from various ages.

The third inhabited island is Lopud. In addition to its famous beaches, it also has a well-developed tourism infrastructure. Lopud is the second largest of the Elaphites. We recommend taking some beach time with refreshments in one of the local bars.

After a beautiful sailboat ride, soaking up some sun, you’ll return to your hotel, tanned and relaxed.

Service Duration: Approximately 8 hours in length.

Day 8: Departure Day

Private Transfers to the airport for scheduled departures.

Please note this is a sample itinerary and we can modify it to your preferences. Services related with ferries must be checked and scheduled according to the ferry’s timetable on the specific day of travel. All shared tour options must be checked for availability.

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