This 7 day Croatia itinerary guarantees to show you the highlights of one of Europe’s prettiest holiday destinations.
From the historic cities of Split and Dubrovnik, to the beautiful islands of Korcula, Solta and Hvar, to the epic landscapes of Krka and Plitvice National Parks, this post will give you plenty of inspiration for planning your trip to Croatia this year.
I’m a bit of a stuck record when it comes to talking about Croatia. It’s the country I recommend most when people ask where they should go on holiday. I go every single year without fail, and I’ve now explored the country pretty extensively – from the small town of Porec in the north, right down to Dubrovnik in the south.
I’ve spent time in Croatia’s national parks, world heritage sites, beaches and mountains. I even spent a week sailing around the islands from Split, then returned the following summer for a music festival in Pag and a city break in Dubrovnik.
So it’s time to combine my years of research! If someone asked me for a 7 day Croatia itinerary, I know exactly where I’d suggest visiting.
Are you planning to visit for longer? Don’t worry, at the bottom of this post I’ve included a few suggestions for how to extend your trip to a 10 day Croatia itinerary or even longer.
So, are you ready to start planning your dream holiday? Here we go…
7 Day Croatia Itinerary
Day 1: Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is one of my favourite places in Croatia. I’ve been several times now, and while Split is a bit cooler and more fun, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Dubrovnik feels way more sophisticated.
It’s packed full of history, is popular with fans of Game of Thrones (hello Kings Landing and other filming locations!) and is a city that is best explored on foot, without a plan! My favourite thing to do? Buy an ice cream and wander the cobbled streets.
Dubrovnik is a very touristy city, but don’t let that put you off. The combination of warm temperatures and crowds in high season can be hard to enjoy, so I’d recommend trying to visit outside of the main holiday period if you can.
If you’ve only got one day in Dubrovnik, here are a few quick suggestions for things to do:
– Walk the old city walls
– Catch the cable car up for great views of the city
– Kayak through the turquoise waters
– Hop on a boat to the island of Lokrum
– Enjoy sunset cocktails (and watch the diving daredevils) at Buza Bar which is tucked into the edge of the city walls
– Dine al fresco in the main square
Suggested Dubrovnik tours:
Dubrovnik ‘Game of Thrones’ Tour (with city walls ticket) – Get your GOT fix with this guided tour of Dubrovnik’s Game of Thrones filming locations, including plenty of secrets and surprises you’d never have spotted on the show.
3-Hour Sea Kayaking Tour Around Dubrovnik – Explore the stunning coastline around Dubrovnik’s old town, the island of Lokrum, and hidden caves on this guided sea kayak tour. Don’t worry if you’ve never kayaked before – this tour is perfect for beginners.
Guided Walking Tour Of Dubrovnik Old Town – Learn about Dubrovnik’s history on this 90-minute walking tour of the old town.
Dubrovnik Cable Car – Hop on board a cable car and take in the stunning panoramic views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding coastline.
Day 2: Day trip from Dubrovnik
There are plenty of great places within a short drive of Dubrovnik, so for day 2 of your Croatia itinerary I’d recommend spending a day outside of the city.
Recently I put together this post all about day trips from Dubrovnik – including trips nearby islands, Mljet National Park or even Kotor in Montenegro. Definitely have a read to get an idea of the options.
I absolutely adored the tour I went on from Dubrovnik to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mostar is a stunning town, but with a tragic past. Bullet holes are still visible on some of the buildings from the two wars between 1992-1995. The most famous sight is Mostar’s Old Bridge, from which brave divers jump the 24 metres, plunging to depths of up to 6 metres!
READ MORE: Best Day Trips From Dubrovnik
Day 3: Split
I’ve been to Split several times now, and love how many things there are to do there. With its stunning old town and a pretty coastline peppered with picturesque islands, Split is a great destination for those wanting a mix of city and beach. It’s very photogenic too – you’ll be reaching for your camera regularly!
The city itself is one of the most historic in all of Croatia, with Diocletian’s Palace dating back to the 4th Century. Plus, the food scene is great too, with fresh Mediterranean produce, and delicacies including Istrian truffles on menus across the city.
If you’ve only got one day in Split, here are a few quick suggestions for things to do:
– Take a walking tour of the city
– Climb Marjan Hill for the best views of Split
– Enjoy Split’s food scene
– Enjoy drinks on Riva Promenade
– Climb Split’s bell tower for stunning views of the city
– Enjoy sunset cocktails by the water
READ MORE: Top Things To Do In Split
Suggested Split tours:
Split Game Of Thrones Filming Locations Tour – From Diocletian’s Palace to the skinny streets of the city centre, this tour will take you to some of the best Game of Thrones filming locations in the city.
Split Sunset Cruise – Hop on board Polaris yacht and enjoy views of Split and the Adriatic coastline in magic hour. Plus, as day turns to night, take advantage of the open bar and listen to some great live music.
Split Food And Wine Tasting – Sample authentic Dalmatian wines and cuisine in the magical ambiance of Diocletian’s Palace.
Split Stand Up Paddleboarding (Night glow) – Once it gets dark, head out on a guided SUP tour. With an illuminated paddleboard, you’ll be able to see what’s in the water below you!
Day 4: Day trip from Split to nearby islands
While there are plenty of great day trips from Dubrovnik, there are even more options once you reach Split. Due to its location further north, you could spend a day island hopping or head inland to explore Croatia’s stunning waterfalls. To help you plan, I’d recommend reading my guide to the best day trips from Split.
On day 4 of your Croatia itinerary I’d recommend opting for a boat trip to visit the pretty islands in the Adriatic. They’re all quite different from one another, so have a read about Hvar, Vis, Solta, Korcula and Brac before you go. Korcula is a personal favourite of mine. I also love the mix of things to do in Hvar (and Hvar Town has a great party scene too!)
Whether you fancy a tour, with snorkel and swim stops, or would rather be a free agent and just hop on a local ferry, there are various ways of exploring the islands (suited to all budgets!)
READ MORE: Best Day Trips From Split
Day 5: Day Trip from Split to Krka National Park or Plitvice National Park
Croatia is also famous for its incredible waterfalls. To see them I’d recommend visiting one of two national parks. The closest to Split is Krka National Park, which is home to a series of beautiful cascading waterfalls. The water is a bright greeny, blue, and it’s the only Croatian National Park that allows swimming in the water. Pack your bikini and if the weather is nice, there’s no better place to cool off! You can read more about the Split to Krka day trip here.
If you thought Krka looked magical, wait until you see Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s a little further away, but perhaps considered even prettier, with 16 terraced lakes, interconnected with waterfalls (including the Great Waterfall, Croatia’s tallest waterfall), wooden trails and bridges.
Whichever day trip you pick, you’re guaranteed to be impressed by Croatia’s natural beauty!
Day 6: Zadar
After spending time in Dubrovnik and Split, you’ll find the city of Zadar feels very cosmopolitan and modern. While it still oozes history, I loved exploring the arty side at the end of the Riva.
Be sure to check out The Greeting To The Sun – a unique artwork that you can walk over. Made from over 300 photosensitive glass plates arranged in a 22m circle, it’s embedded in the ground close to the sea. After absorbing daylight, the artwork comes alive at night with a magical light show. Meanwhile, close by is the Sea Organ – another unique creation which reinterprets the movement of the waves into musical sounds.
If you’ve only got one day in Zadar, here are a few quick suggestions for things to do:
– Enjoy dining al fresco
– Visit the ancient St. Donatus’ Church
– Wander the city walls and venture through the Land Gate and Sea Gate
– Walk over The Greeting To The Sun at night
– Listen to the sounds of the Sea Organ
Suggested Zadar tours:
Zadar Walking Tour – Learn about historic Zadar on this guided tour, which includes a few tasty samples too!
Day 7 and beyond
For those of you visiting Croatia for 7 days, the final day will probably be taken up with getting to the airport. However, if you’re spending longer in the country, I wanted to continue this post with a few ideas to create a 10-day Croatia itinerary.
Or, if you fancy taking things at a slower pace, this route could easily work as a 12 – 14 day Croatia itinerary.
Additional Croatia Itinerary Suggestions
Croatia’s landscapes don’t get more dramatic than in the Makarska Riviera. On one side are spectacular beaches, and on the other is the Biokovo mountain range. Mount Biokovo is the second tallest mountain in Croatia, standing at a height of 1,762m. The port town of Makarska is a proper holiday town, with beaches, water sports and plenty of restaurants to choose from. If you have a car then there are even nicer beaches, just a short drive a way.
When I was there, we accidentally took on quite a challenge! I’d seen photos of an incredible viewpoint overlooking the region. Known as Sveti Jure, the route up the mountain involves several extreme hairpin bends, with sheer drops to one side. We made it, and the views were as spectacular as I’d hoped, but I wasn’t surprised to read afterwards that it’s rated as one of the most dangerous roads in the world!
The island of Pag is world’s away from the Croatian islands of Hvar and Korcula. With it’s pale beige and grey rocks, and barren landscapes, it looks more like the moon than the earth! There are plenty of picturesque towns and fishing villages, perfect for a relaxing break.
One of my favourite activities was the boat trip which took us around the coastline. Oh and if you’re looking for somewhere a little livelier, check out Novalja. Festival hotspot Zrce Beach is close by, so the town attracts 18-25 year olds looking for a fun-filled week of partying in the sun.
If you’re visiting Croatia as a big group or would like the option to self-cater some of your trip, I’d also recommend taking a look at Airbnb. Usually the properties are owned by locals so you can enjoy an authentic experience and ask for lots of expert tips for the area.
History lovers will adore the beautiful city of Pula. The main attraction is its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, which you can see from pretty much wherever you are in the city.
Foodies will also love Pula, as the city sits within Istria – a region of Croatia which was part of Italy until 1947. That means you can feast on great pizza, pasta and Mediterranean flavours, all washed down with the local Istrian wine.
One of my favourite places in Croatia, Rovinj is historic, romantic and overwhelmingly photogenic. We stayed there a few nights and loved our morning walks to the bakery to grab a pastry and a coffee, which we then ate sat on the promenade overlooking the glittering turquoise water.
My favourite thing to do was to wander the skinny streets of the old town, stopping to look in boutiques, enjoy a cocktail or indulge in some Croatian ice cream. Definitely add Rovinj to your Croatia itinerary if you have time! I mean – look at it…
Croatia’s capital, Zagreb is one of the least touristy spots in the country! The majority of international tourists head to Split and Dubrovnik, so Zagreb has a more ‘lived in’ feeling. There’s no shortage of things to do though. There are plenty of museums, shops and restaurants. Plus it’s a very green city with several pretty parks and gardens.
To the south of the city is Lake Jarun – a 2km lake known for its water activities (swimming, boating etc) and its plentiful nightlife options! There are several clubs and bars close by, which stay open until the early hours. Sunrise by the lake anyone?!
Still feel like your Croatia itinerary isn’t quite complete? Add 3 days to your time in Split, and stay a few nights on one of the nearby islands – Korcula, Hvar (definitely check out the town of Stari Grad) or Vis.
I hope this 7 day Croatia itinerary helps you to plan your perfect trip! Have an amazing time and let me know if you have any questions!
Looking for more Croatia travel tips, check out these posts:
Top Things To Do In Split
Day Trips From Split – Island hopping, tours, boat trips and more
Sailing In Croatia – The Best Croatian Islands To Visit
Day Trips From Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik To Mostar Day Trip
Split To Krka National Park Day Trip
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