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Roadtrippin’ Croatia: Suggested Itineraries for your Road Trip

Roadtrippin’ Croatia: Suggested Itineraries for your Road Trip
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A road trip through Croatia is the stuff dreams are made of. When we first planned our road trip, we were a little apprehensive of driving through Croatia. Little did we know that we would end up having one of the best trips of our lives. We’d like to start off by giving a glimpse of the sights that you will come across in this epic drive:

Croatia Road Trip

Road trip through Croatia

 

With 11 days in hand, this is what we finally chalked out for our road trip:

  • Day 1: Fly into Zagreb and spend 1 night in a cosy B&B. Experience the night life in Zagreb
  • Day 2: Drive to Plitvice National Park
  • Day 3: Explore Plitvice National Park
  • Day 4: Drive to Trogir/Split
  • Day 5: Explore Trogir/Split
  • Day 6: Drive from Split to Dubrovnik
  • Day 7 / 8 / 9: Explore Dubrovnik and Cavtat
  • Day 10: Drive to Zadar and explore Zadar
  • Day 11: Drive back to Zagreb and fly back

Zagreb was a great option insofar as flight connections were concerned. We picked up our rental car at the airport from a local Croatian car hire company, Unirent, who were both professional and reasonably priced.

We would spend the next few days driving through fairy-tale villages and exploring the breathtaking lakes at the Plitvice National park. Expect views like this one:

Plitvice National Park

Lakes at Plitvice National Park

 

Once we had had our share of emerald lakes, our Croatian road trip took us to the stunning ruins in Central Dalmatia. Setting up base in the beautiful little town of Trogir, we explored Split and Solin. The palaces in this region transported us to another era:

 

Croatia Road Trip Central Dalmatia

Central Dalmatia – A Historian’s Delight

 

But as they say, the best was yet to come. The drive from Split to Dubrovnik was undoubtedly the best and prettiest stretch of road that we have driven on. You can’t argue with that after looking at this picture:

 

Croatia Road Trip Dubrovnik

Stunning views on the Croatian Road Trip

 

Here’s a fun little fact about the last leg of our road trip through Croatia: The drive from Split to Dubrovnik took us through Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even though we did not need a visa to drive the 25 km stretch before re-entering Croatia, we did have an interesting discussion with the guards at the Bosnian border – Our stamped and bruised passports, English Scones, and Bollywood took the limelight 🙂

 

Croatia Road Trip Route

Our Croatia Road Trip Route

 

There you have it: 11 days and 1,300 Kms of sheer bliss – Waterfalls, beaches, villages, ports and ruins – this eleven-day trip will make you fall in love with Croatia 🙂 If you are looking for shorter itineraries, we have some suggestions:

 

Four-Day Road Trip - Northern Croatia

  • Day 1- Pula
  • Day 2-Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Day 3- Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Day 4- Slunj

Distance Covered: 319 Kms

Highlights: Roman Forum in Pula, Kamenjak beaches, Istrian truffles, Emerald Lakes in Plitvice, country-side walks and waterfalls in Slunj

 

Four-Day Road Trip- Central Dalmatia

  • Day 1- Krka National Park
  • Day 2-Trogir
  • Day 3- Split and Solin
  • Day 4- Day trip to the island of Brač/Hvar

Distance Covered: 120 Kms

Highlights: Beaches in Šibenik, breathtaking waterfalls at Krka National Park , Roman ruins in Solin, Fishing ports and villages

 

Four-Day Road Trip - Southern Dalmatia

  • Day 1- Split and Solin
  • Day 2- Driving from Split to Dubrovnik
  • Day 3- Dubrovnik and Cavtat
  • Day 4- Day trip to Mljet Island

Distance Covered: 250 Kms

Highlights: Roman ruins in Solin, fishing ports, stunning drive along the Dalmatian coast, beaches in Dubrovnik, seafood

Itching to plan your road trip to Croatia? Want to read more about the things you will see? Read all about our Croatian road trip 🙂

Do you love driving in new countries as much as we do? Then you MUST check our favourite trips from around the world .

 

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129 Comments

  1. where did you stay in Pula? Did you stay in a hotel in Pula? we are planning a similar trip.

    • Hi Sindy, we did not stay in Pula. But you could check out http://www.travelsupermarket.com/ for hotels in Pula. They have quite a few options to cater to varying budgets.

      • Would you recommend that we stay in Rovinj or Pula. I think we will spend 3 nights in Istria. We will be there in August. I was worried that Rovinj will be so crowded. But, it sounds so lovely.

        • Sindy we’d suggest Pula- Rovinj is lovely but can get really crowded, especially during summer. You could rent an apartment (as opposed to a traditional hotel room) in Pula, and drive down to Rovinj for a day 🙂

          • My cousin and I are traveling in August and have reserved an apartment in Rovinj in the old town. Are there day tours available to Pula from Rovinj?

          • Hi Carolyn,

            Yes, there are plenty of day trips available to Pula – if you are driving, it’s even easier !

  2. My girlfriend and I are going on a 2 week road trip in Croatia July 2014. We would probably go for your ten day road trip itinerary and put some days in the middle somewhere as she has family there so we can drop in on them as we go. My main question is, is there a way you can pick a hire car up at one airport and drop it at another? For example, if we were to land in Pula, head south and fly home from Dubrovnik. Is there anyway that can be done?

    • Hi Rob,

      Yes, that is possible – just talk to the car rental company when you are booking and tell them that you will collect the car in let’s say Zagreb, and drop it off in Dubrovnik. They do charge a fee for that – say around EUR 100, but that is totally worth it. I’d spend an extra day in Plitvice, a day in Trogir, and a couple of days in Zadar 🙂 Let us know if you have any other questions (drop us an email !)

      • would you recommend a place in Cavtat to stay instead of Dubrovnik?

        • Hi Manju,

          we stayed in Caveat in Hotel Iberostar but I think it has been renamed to Remisens hotel. It was in a good location and we enjoyed the peace in Caveat after a long day in Dubrovnik 🙂

  3. Sindy and Rob,

    I have travelled Croatia on more than 5 occasions in last 15 years and have been from North to South. In Istria I would recommend you stay in Rovinj as it is gorgeous and a must see much like Dubrovnik. If you want to avoid the bustle just stay a little outside the city core. It is busy but only in a nice way from July-August. Do day trips to Porec and Pula and Briuni islands. Also leave a day to go to the hinterland to places like Motovun and Groznjan. A little Tuscanny awaits you.

    Then in the next region you have the beautiful royal town of Opatija and the amazing islands of Krk, Rab and the amazing towns mali and veli Losinj and Rab town.

    In central Dalmatia one should not miss Zadar with a day trip to Kornati islands(hundreds of them- its a national park) ,Biograd is a beautiful village just south of Zadar. Then a little further south you have Krka national park which is stunning whilst staying at the stunning town of Sibenik. Also nearby you have the gorgeous towns of Vodice, Tribunj, the Island of Murter (connected by small bridge) and the town of Promosten- stunning.

    Enough is said about Southern Dalmatia, but Trogir is a must whilst visiting Split. Makarska Riviera towns are also stunning ie Tucepi, Gradac, Brela and the Pirate town of Omis. A week on the islands of the coast of split is a must, At least 3 days in Hvar (base in town hvar), at least a day in neighbouring islands such as Korcula(hone of marco Polo, Vis Island and island of Brac(Pucisca town and the town of Bol are stunning and Golden Horn Beach in Bol is amazing) Each of these island is worthy of at least a week but then you will never leave Croatia- trust me I live in Australia and I met many Aussies during my travels who had come to Croatia for the first time thus were only going to stay three days as had not heard of the places before. Once there they are blown away by the beauty and most if not all had thrown their travel itineraries into disorder as the majority had extended their stay in Croatia to weeks rather than days.

    Then there is Dubrovnik- the perfect finish to the most amazing trip you will have in your life. Day trips to neighbouring Mostar and the Gulf of Kotor also a must. The one thing you notice in Croatia is that the people who experience it just want to keep gouing back. There is just something about it that you cant put into words. Beautiful landscape, beautiful bluest water, beautiful food and beautiful looking people. Everything and everyone here is just beautiful- it really does feel like paradise

  4. Great photos, guys! I absolutely agree with you that the road from Split to Dubrovnik is one of the most scenic roads in Croatia. Once when you pass the second border between Croatia and Bosnia, and the Ston Channel opens before your eyes, it’s just unbelievable. I don’t know if you had a chance to climb up in the village Slano, and take the old Napoleonic road all the way to Trsteno. The views are just stunning. Highly recommended!

    • Absolutely! The bit after the second border is quite spectacular. We didn’t get a chance to go to Trsteno, but that is definitely on the cards for our next road trip 🙂

  5. I’m doing a Croatia sailing tour around the islands Which starts and finishes in split. We then have 2-3 days in which we wanted to drive the coastline from split to Dubrovnik.

    As we will most probably be getting a bus, what do you recommend we stop and see along the way and possibly even have a nights stay somewhere. Or should we just spend the day doing te coast road then spend an extra night in Dubrovnik.

    • Hi Emma,

      Since you don’t have a car, we’d suggest just using up the day doing the coast road and then spend the remaining nights in Dubrovnik. That said, if you take the bus for the coast road, you might not enjoy it as much as you would if you rent a car. If you have a rented car, you can stop whenever you want (trust me you’d want to do that – it’s so gorgeous). Worth considering, we say 🙂

      Let us know if you have any other questions.

      Cheers

  6. I suggest you all to visit Opatija, you won’t regret , that’s why it’s called “the pearl of jadran”

    • Lena I must admit I hadn’t heard of Opatija, but will definitely look it up now. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  7. Hi Savi- we are planning a road trip smiler to yours in June. I was wondering if an Indian driving license would be enough or if we need an international license? Thanks

    • Hey Pooja- sorry for replying late, an Indian driving license works fine 🙂 Have fun on your trip

  8. Hiya, Just wondering where you stayed when you visited Plitvice national park, was it near the park?

    Thanks

    Sarah

    • Hey Sarah- we stayed in a neighbouring village, just 5-10 kms away from Plitvice Park 🙂

  9. I would like to visit dubrovnik and montenegro on july some body have any idea where to go what to do thank you.

  10. Hi Savi & Vid! My husband and planning a trip to Croatia this September. Could you advise on the road trip from Dubrovnik to Split? I believe there are multiple routes (coastal/highway). Also, is crossing the Bosnian border a problem for Indian citizens (we will be having a valid schengen visa)- it seems to be a subjective thing!!
    cheers!

    • Hi Sonali,

      You guys are going to LOVE Croatia. When driving between Dubrovnik and Split, definitely take the coastal road (D8) instead of the highway (A1/E65). The D8 will take longer than the highway, but that is the most scenic drive 🙂 Crossing the Bosnian border was not a problem for us. As long as you have a valid visa for Croatia, it’s fine. The guards will ask you some questions, but there wasn’t any problem per se. That said, you must check whether you are allowed in Croatia with a Schengen visa or you need to get a Croatian visa. we had to get a Croatian visa even though we had a schengen. I know that in 2013 the Croatian government allowed tourists with valid schengens to enter Croatia, but you might want to check if that holds for 2014 as well 🙂

      Have a great time and let us know if you have more questions. Do read up on all our Croatia posts (linked in this post).

      Cheers

      • Thanks so much Savi. Have read all your posts thoroughly. 🙂
        Need your help with one more thing: how did you book unirent? We have tried writing to them, but no luck and online booking doesn’t seem to be an option. We are now considering oryx through autoeurope.

        • Hi there we contacted unirent thru their website by filling out a reservation request as we are heading to Croatia in late August. They took 2 days to respond but so far their rates seem to be very competitive.

          • Thanks for helping out Caroline – appreciate it 🙂

        • Hey Sonali, thanks a million. I hope you guys have an amazing time in Croatia. Did Unirent get back to you? 🙂

          • Thanks Savi & Caroline! I have not written to them yet, will do after our visa is final.

            There is another painful thing i need help with: Train Booking on db bahn website. Anybody with any experience with booking eurail on bahn.de? I booked Budapest to Munich 3 weeks back, and I have not received the physical tickets. Their customer service is slow, painful and useless- they say that they cannot guarantee if tickets will reach us. (what?). I want to know- since I already have a booking, cant I collect a physical copy from Budapest train station?

          • When we traveled to Germany 2 years ago, we booked a train ticket thru db bahn website. They send you an email confirmation. You have to be sure you print out the email confirmation and take it with you to the train station and be sure to also bring your ID (passport) and the same credit card you used to purchase that train ticket with you to be able to get your ticket at the train station. If you forget or do not bring that specific credit card you may not get your train ticket. Hope this helps.

  11. Hey there,

    Fantastic post, I’m thinking of doing similar this summer. Can i be as rude to ask for a breakdown of how much it cost? It would be a massive help. Also, do you have any tips? Both generally and for those on a budget. Thanks alot 😀

    Michael

    • Hey Michael,

      Thanks – glad the post was helpful 🙂

      You are not being rude at all – but do keep in mind that we went in October which is an off-peak time in Croatia, so adjust the costs according to the month you are flying to Croatia:

      a) Car rental + fuel: roughly £30 per day. rented from a local company called Unirent. The car was in perfect condition and the staff was good.
      b) Hotels / apartments: £50 per night including breakfast for 2
      c) Eating / drinking : this can vary – Dubrovnik is expensive whereas Trogir not so much. Roughly £20 per person per day would be fine on an average
      d) Entry tickets + parking : You’ll have to pay entry fees for Plitvice / Krka / Dubrovnik old town + parking in all these places. We’d factor in roughly £120 for the entire trip for this.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Cheers

      • Hi Savi

        I love your blog! Your blog was such an inspiration for an Iceland trip – it’s my ultimate bucket list destination! But first, Croatia 🙂 We’re planning a Croatian road trip in September and from the looks of it, we’ll be sharing a very similar itinerary. Do you recall what you spent on toll fees? Was it a significant spend? Thanks!

        • Hey Desiree – so good to hear from you. We didn’t spend much on toll fees in Croatia, I’m sorry I don’t remember the exact figure but it definitely wasn’t much. PS I hope you make it to Iceland soon- you’re gonna love it 🙂

  12. Hello there
    Is it true that if we stay outside of Plitvice like you did, do we have to pay each day we enter Plitvice by car? We plan to visit Prague Aug 21 for 4 nights and then fly into (Pula or Zagreb) to start our Croatia trip. We will be in Croatia from Aug 25 to Sept 11.
    Looking to spend 3 nights in Plitvice lake national park or in a town close to Plitvice.
    Thank you
    Caroline

    • Hi Caroline,

      Your plan sounds amazing – We loved Prague and Croatia both, and you are covering them both in the same trip. That’s super 🙂

      We only entered the park once, but yes, if you are staying outside the park and want to visit on 2 separate days, then you’ll have to pay each day. You can get a 2 day ticket, which depending on the month, can range from 180 kr (September) to 280 kr (August). Parking is by the hour (7kr I think).

      I remember that there are a few hotels right at the entrance of the park and if you stay in one of these hotels, you can enter the park the second day using the ticket for the first day (so you don’t pay for 2 days) – parking is also covered. Hotel Plitvice and Bellevue seem to have this arrangement, but that might have changed so please confirm with the hotels 🙂

      Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any more questions.

      Cheers

  13. Hiya, i will be getting a train from budapest to Zagreb then I want to bus to Plitvice, look around then bus to Split, do you know if that would be possible? Cheers.

    • Hi Sarah,

      We feel you’d be better off spending the night in Plitvice. Cramming everything in one day might be difficult.

      From what we remember while doing our research (we rented a car but at one point had looked at buses in Croatia), there are regular buses from Zagreb to Plitvice – usually take around 3 hrs.

      The bus from Plitvice to Split will take around 4 hours since it stops a lot. That’s 7 hours already. You’d ideally want to spend at least a good 5-6 hours in the park (more would be better :)), so as you can see, it’ll be rather rushed.

      There are a few options to stay right next to the park entrance – the rooms are basic but convenient. The bus stop is right outside these hotels. I think hotel Plitvice is one of them.

      Let us know if you have more questions 🙂

  14. Hey. I’m planning a 7-day road trip through the whole of Croatia with my family. Do you have any tips? Did you books apartments in advance or would it also be possible to find a place to stay while travelling, ie. in the spur of the moment? That means we’d only need a place to stay for 1-2 nights.

    • Hey Lisa- please do read our three part series on A Road Trip Through Croatia (linked in the article above) for all our tips on travelling in the country. We booked apartments in advance and think that’s the best option because accommodation is hard to come by at the last minute, especially during summer months

  15. Thank you so much for your informative posts! We have 18 days planned to visit Croatia and Slovenis and have planned to rent a car for parts. Your photos help too as I am into photography and I can see that the countryside and villages offer a lot of opportunities. We are undecided on whether to visit the islands. It sounds like renting a car from a local place was not a problem? We are also going in October. Were a lot of places closed up? Did you have any problems with ferry or catamaran availability to go the islands? Also is it reasonable to drive from Plitvice to Rovinj in the afternoon after hiking the lakes? Thanks!

    • Hey Patty most places were open in October, don’t think you’ll have any trouble visiting the islands. We’d suggest driving to Rovinj the next day if you have the leisure of time. Hiking the lakes is bound to leave you tired. Besides, the drive from Plitvice to Rovinj, though not too long, is gorgeous and you might be tempted to stop to take photos every few miles 🙂

      • Thanks mucho! I won’t worry about our late fall dates, then. And I didn’t realize the drive between Plitvice and Rovinj would be that scenic.

        • It’s not as scenic as some of the other drives in the country, but pretty nevertheless 🙂

  16. Hello,
    We will be in Croatia in early September and will be renting a car. We plan to stay a few nights in Dubrovnik and then drive up just south of Split for a few more nights. Any tips you can provide as far as parking advice or tolls? Is it easier to get around by bus once up in Split area, like park outside the city and bus or train in? Or is parking pretty easy to find? Thanks for any help! We will have a 10 month old baby with us and are really excited to swim in that beautiful water.

    • Hey guys – it’s best to park just outside the city of Split and walk to the centre. Parking is quite easy to find in that area and you shouldn’t have trouble finding it 🙂 Hope you have an amazing time in Croatia

  17. I am plannning a trip with my folks to Croatia in 2015. We are deciding between driving or taking buses and trains. I have read that the driving can be dangerous, especially along the coast. Also that Croatian drivers will hit or scrape a tourists car to get money. Any input or suggestions?

    • We found driving in Croatia quite safe – we drove from Zagreb all the way to Dubrovnik and back, but had no problem whatsoever. All the best 🙂

  18. We are currently in Croatia and we have already driven from Zagreb to Motovun to Rovinj and to Plitvice. We leave for Split tomorrow by car then last stop is Dubrovnik where we will drop off car at Dubrovnik airport.
    We rented from Uni-rent as they had best prices.
    No problems on the road and driving is easy. We used NavFree GPS app and downloaded free Croatia maps for Navfree. When using the app in your car it doesn’t use up your iPhone data as all info is in your phone. Just make sure you have a car charger for the phone plugged into car lighter. When you rent the car, make sure lighter works, or bring a spare battery charger for your iPhone. Not sure if the App is available for other kinds of smartphones.
    Bruised Passports gave us many tips from their blog especially what cities we should stop at or make day trips from. Also got tips from Rick Steve’s guidebooks as well as Lonely Planet Croatia and Rough Guide to Croatia.
    Follow speed limits in Croatia and drive always with headlights on for both daytime & night in Croatia, also wear seat belts.
    Some towns won’t let you bring in the car unless you stay in hotel within the ancient towns, so do your homework or be surprised when you get there..you park car elsewhere and walk with your suitcase or the accommodation may have vehicle to pick you up.
    Places here are good about corresponding via email before booking with them.
    Have a fun trip in 2015

    • Would love to hear how your drive along the coast from split to dubrovnik goes. Also how is parking in dubrovnik? Happy traveling!

    • Thanks for the detailed update Caroline, it’s invaluable. Happy travels 🙂 Send us your photographs from Croatia

  19. Hi, A friend & I are taking an OAT trip from Dubrovik inland ending in Slovenia. We would not need a car if we could fly into Split for a day ot two and then take a bus, train, or ferry to Dubrovnik. Which would you reci=ommend? Are there places to stay in Split you know of. Thanks. Anne

  20. Hi!
    My wife,13 year old son and me are planning for a road trip to croatia in June 2015 for about 10/12 days.
    Would not like to stay in a new place every night,probably 4 or max 5 stops to make/stay.
    Can you suggest an ideal itenery to see the best of croatia?

    Thanks
    Manmeet

    • Hi Manmeet – we have included some sample itineraries in this post – if you just go through the details you’ll see the itinerary we followed (you have to expand the boxes in the article above) Hope you have an amazing trip 🙂 Let us know if you have more questions.

  21. My suggestion for a road trip in Croatia with a side trip to Slovenia and Montenegro and Bosnia.

    In my opinion three weeks is the minimum anyone should spend in Croatia. It is one of the worlds Jewels.

    Start in Zagreb three days. Day trip to Varazdin and Plitvice Lakes. From Zagreb drive to Ljubljana(Slovenia) and then to lake Bled and Postojna Caves on the way back into Croatia Rovinj. Day trip to Porec. From Rovinj drive to Pula on way to Opatija. Spend few days visiting three amazing islands in Losinj, Rab and or Krk.

    From here drive to Zadar and then to Sibenik. Two days in zadar and three in Sibenik purl;y as lots of day trips from Sibenik. When in Sibenik visit Skradin and the Krka falls and Murter island with a day trip to Kornati archipelago. Also visit the night life in Vodice. From here drive to Split stopping at Primosten and Trogir. Spend a day in Split before moving by ferry to Brac Hvar and Korcula(day trip to Vis a must). Then from here ferry back to Split and continue you drive from Split to Dubrovnik along the Makarska riviera. When in Dubrovnik , spend four days if you are going to do day trips to Kotor in Montenegro and Mostar in Bosnia(Definitely must sees. Otherwise three days in Dubrovnik will top it off nicely with boat rips to nearby island and visit to cavtat.

    Easily my favourite part of Europe hands down. I guarantee anyone who does this trip will love it
    My recommendation is to travel from 25 June to 15the September as this is when you can really soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the warm waters. 15th July to 15th August is the busiest but its not crazy busy so don’t let anyone put you off.

    • Thanks for your recommendations Dan – they’ll definitely help anyone who needs information about a road trip in Croatia 🙂

      • Hi Savi & Vid,

        Thanks for a great blog – I am so pleased to have found it, and would really appreciate your help with a few questions. Dan, your help would also be very relevant given your suggestions above.

        I travelled alone to Croatia in Sept/Oct 2014 and had a wonderful experience. I rented a car with no problems and drove from Opatija to Dubrovnik – that coastal road is heavenly!

        This year (June 2016) I have an opportunity to go back to Croatia with a friend. We will be travelling from Venice and have 4 days to get to Split, where we are booked on a week long city tour. After that we would really like to do a road trip, but I need advice about car rentals and crossing borders.
        Ideally, we would like to use the 4 days before Spilt to get to see some of Slovenia and Plitvice.
        After Split, we would like to drive to Mostar and Sarajevo, then work our way through Macedonia into Albania to Tirana and back through Montenegro to Dubrovnik.
        However, AVIS car hire (our preferred provider) does not allow some of those border crossings. I am going to contact Uni Rent to see if they do allow cross border travel with one of their cars.

        Please let me know what you think and if you have any tips for us?

        Much appreciated. Happy travelling in 2016!
        Kevin
        (from South Africa)

        • Hey Kevin,

          We did cross into Bosnia from Croatia and then back into Croatia without any issues (we rented with Unirent). It’d be best for you to contact Unirent directly and see what they say.

          As for your plan, it sounds great, however, will you drop your car at Dubrovnik or drive back to Split? We highly recommend the drive between Split and Dubrovnik – it’s one of the most scenic stretches of road we have driven on 🙂

          Cheers

    • Dan,

      We are looking to fly into Venice – most direct and cheapest from Toronto – rent a car and drive through Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro in two weeks… Is this crazy? Can you suggest a route with minimal overlap?

      Thanks,

      Bryan

      • Hey Bryan – that’s a great route. Try renting a car after you’re done exploring Venice. Venice-Trieste-Bled-Zagreb-Zadar-Dubrovnik-Podgorica should be the route you take. Have fun 🙂

    • Hi Dan,
      Thanks for your suggestions – I am wanting to do a road trip and would appreciate your comments – please see my post to Savi & Vid below, and let me know if you have any advice.

      Thanks very much,
      Kevin

  22. Hi your post inspired us to make a road trip ourselves this summer. Unfortunately, we only have 4 days to travel from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Can you take a look at my sample itinery and give us some comments?

    Day 1
    1300 Collect car/drive to PLitvice
    1600 Explore Plitvice + Overnight

    Day 2
    0700 Drive to Zadar
    1000 Day at Zadar
    1600 Drive to Split

    Day 3
    Split

    Day 4
    0600 Drive to Dub
    1300 Return car

    I am a little concerned about the last drive from Split to Dubrovnik. If we took the coastal road do you think we have enough time?

    Any comments will be helpful and thanks alot in advance!

    -Wes

    • Hey Wes,

      From what we can remember, Plitvice National Park closes at 4 p.m. (or 5 p.m. – please check their website) so you won’t be able to explore anything in your current plan. We’d say Spend Day 2 in Plitvice and skip Zadar. As for Split, spend the night in Trogir (20kms from Split) and drive to Split to explore. We liked Trogir much better than Split.

      As for the drive, you might struggle on the coastal road if there are some road works or some such. If not, you should be fine.

      Hope that helps.

  23. Hi Savi Vid,

    We are hoping to travel to Croatia in October and I have enjoyed reading your blog, I was wondering if the roads are well signposted and if they are in english?

    April

    • Hey April – most roads in Croatia are well-signposted in English. You won’t have a tough time driving in Croatia 🙂

      • I understand that you can not drive you cars into some of the city, how do you know which city allow cars and how do you get to your hotel?

        • We are flying into Zagreb in Oct late at night and will spend 2 nights there and then rent a car to travel, do you recommend we stay in the old town or city centre? we will drive from Zagreb to Split and hope to spend 4 nights there and maybe take a ferry to Hvar and Brac for day trips, then drive to Dubrovnik and stay 4 nights and drive back to Zagreb via the National park. DO you think this is too much for 12 days?
          April

  24. Hello Savi and Vid. We have a trip planned to Croatia in the summer. We will arrive in Zagreb by train (from Vienna) at around 1 pm on July 25. We are planning to take a fairy to Venice from Rovinj on Aug 2 (early) since our plane leaves from Venice to Los Angeles on Aug. 3..We have about 7 1/2 days to play with. Can you suggest an itinerary for us. Thank you!!

  25. Hi Savi and Vid.
    We are travelling to Coratia for 9 days. We are flying to Dubrovnik where we have 4 nights booked. We will then hire a car and make our way to Zadar where we fly home from, hoping to stop off in Split along the way. We want to go to Plitvice too. Can you suggest how much time we should spend in Split, should we try to fit in some of the islands as well and how much time should we spend in Zadar itself?
    Thanks

    • Hi Caroline,

      You should spend the whole day driving from Dubrovnik to Split / Trogir. It’s only a 5-6 hour drive but we’d recommend making a day out of it. Base yourself in Trogir instead of Split (just 20 minutes apart) for 3 nights. You should do a day trip to Plitvice (leave super early from Trogir) one day. Spend 1 day in Split. Another half or 1 day in Trogir before leaving for Zadar. You can easily spend 1-2 days in Zadar – we loved the quaint alleys of this beautiful seaside town.

      I’d recommend not to fit in any islands this time around – it’ll become too hectic.

      Have a great trip.

  26. Hello! Thank you so much for your blog. It has been really helpful so far. My friends and I have 14 days to explore Croatia. We will likely fly into either Zagreb or Dubrovnik, rent a car, and drop it off at the other airport. I read in a reply for another person looking for a 14-day itinerary that you would take one more day at exploring Plitvice, one more day in Trogir, and one more day in Zadar. I was wondering, what if we want to take some time to explore an island. What would you recommend?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Adria

      You should definitely try and explore an island – it’s easy to explore Trogir and Zadar in a day or two, so spend the extra time you have in Plivice or island hopping 🙂

  27. Islands hopping along the dalmatia coasts is via ferries, right?
    Can you let me know the typical costs of bringing a car across from say Split to Hvar?
    Thanks!

    • Hey Theo,

      We didn’t do this so won’t be able to help unfortunately 🙁 Sorry !!!

  28. We arrive in Dubrovnik on the 3rd of August. Thought to spend a day there before setting off. Our flight leaves Dubrovnik on August 8th at night. What can we do?

  29. Hi! The itinerary looks great thanks, me and my girlfriend are planning to do it in August. Just wondering about the crossing through Bosnia and Hercegovina, do you know how to get the Green Card insurance on a hire car for the crossing? Cheers!

    • what a great site, thanks so much for the road trip itineraries. We are heading 2nd sept zagreb to dubrovnik for 10 day and im hiring a car, first time driving on other side, cant wait so excited, your phtos ect just fab…is driving there ok ? Im not worried about windy roads, ect i drive in remote scotland so im used to that , its more the cities and directions …how about in likes of zagreb and Dub, is it very confusing ? thanks again 🙂

      • Hi Sharon,

        You’ll be fine 🙂 driving in Croatia was very easy and scenic (even in Dubrovnik :))

        Have a great time !

    • Hey Matt,

      Not sure what you mean by Green Card insurance on a hire car – are you hiring the car in Crotia ? If yes, you don’t need to worry about insurance as you are allowed to pass through Bosnia under the same contract agreement as for Croatia – at least we were under that impression and didn’t have any issues crossing that stretch 🙂

      Have fun !

  30. Hello,

    This is so interesting and exciting, cannot wait to get to Croatia.

    Myself and my boyfriend are travelling from Ireland to Dubrovnik on Sep 14th, we fly back to Ireland from Zadar on Sep 25th. From reading all of the above I definitely think we will rent a car and travel up ourselves during the 11 days. I am looking for advice on the best way to do this, what Islands, if any to incorporate and how many days to spend where? I will also book accommodation beforehand from reading the above. Any help very much appreciated 🙂 Thanks

    • Hi Jen,

      You should spend 3 days in Dubrovnik, 2-3 days in Hvar (island), 2 days in Trogir or Split, 2 days in Plitvice and 1-2 days in Zadar 🙂

      Make sure you drive from Dubrovnik to Split/Trogir via the coastal route 🙂

      Have a great time in Croatia

      • Thanks so much

  31. We are flying into Zadar with 11 nights to travel. Should we go south or north first?

    • Diemer we’d suggest going North and then heading South, thereby saving best for last. But it all boils down to personal preference 🙂

  32. Hi Savi!!

    I love the blog thank you for all the amazing recommendations! Me and a group of 4 Mexican friends (22 year old girls) are planning to travel to Croatia for 7-8 days. We will be flying to Split from August 7th to the 15th more or less. We love to party and have fun but also like the cultural and touristy stuff. We definitely want to go to Split, Krka National Park, Havar and Dubrovnik, not sure where else or if those are enough places. How do you recommend we distribute the dates (itinerary)? Would you add another destination (Korkula, Mljet)? We will be staying in hostels and traveling by bus probably, what do you think about this, are there buses and ferries that we could easily take from one place to the other?

    Whatever tips you can give us will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you so very very much!!

    • Hey Ines- You definitely have enough on your plate for 8 days. But do consider going to Plitvice National Park even if it’s a detour – it’s STUNNING 🙂

  33. Hi there

    I am travelling to Croatia with my boyfriend for 10 days in August/September. We fly into Zadar and out of Split. What do you think of this: Two nights Zadar, one night Plitvice Lakes, Sibnik, one dnight Markasa, two days Hvar, two days Dubrovnik, 1.5 days Split. Is that a good mix, or not enough time in places like Split? It is hard to plan! Any tips greatly appreciated. Rebecca

    • Hey Rebecca – that’s a great itinerary but I would advise you to skip one of the places and spend a longer time in Dubrovnik or Split. 2 days and 1.5 days is just too little for such gorgeous cities 🙂

      • Hi

        Thanks so much for this, really appreciate it! Am trying to work out with island to go to. Everyone seems to go to Hvar but have you been to Korcula or Brac? If so, would you recommend? Thank you! 🙂

        • Hey Rebecca,

          We haven’t been to the islands but have heard great things about Korcula 🙂

  34. Hey! So happy to have found your site today!! I’m planning (last minute) a trip from Los Angeles to Croatia. We will leave on 8/21 and return 8/31. I think that means we get into Croatia on 8/22…so we’d have about 8 full days. I was thinking to fly into Zagreb and rent a car and fly home out of Dubrovnik. Ideally we don’t want to pack up every morning to go somewhere else. Maybe 3 different hotels/places to sleep. I’m so excited about this. Does this sound doable to you?? Thank you so much in advance for your advice:)
    Sincerely grateful,
    Steve Lipinsky, San Diego, CA

    • Hey Steve,

      Really sorry for the late response – currently travelling with very limited internet.

      What you have in mind is certainly doable. We rented from Zagreb, drove all the way to Dubrovnik and then back to Zagreb to return the car – in hindsight, that was not a good idea, so what you are doing is a good idea – pick up the car from Zagreb and drop off in Dubrovnik.

      I would say spend 2 days in Plitvice, 2-3 days in Trogir or Split (we prefer Trogir) and then the remainder in Dubrovnik (or a tiny village called Cavtat – which is closer to the airport too). Please read our post on Plitvice, Split/Trogir, and Dubrovnik for more tempting pics 🙂

      I hope this helps and have a great trip in Croatia!

  35. hi guys,i am planing a holiday with my elderly in laws to Croatia for the last week of this September.Ifound a hotel in Sibenik and i would like to have day trips(i,m picking a car at Split airport for 7 days )from Sibenik to interesting places i would also like to have a day crusing the islands.My in laws are in their 80s so no too much walking.Could u suggest an itineray if its not too much to ask,also we have British passports,do we need visas and one more,will my.sat nav(Europe cover)work in Croatia?Thanking u in advance,yours sincerely.G.Howard.

    • Hi Gabriel,

      Sorry for the late reply – we are travelling at the moment and the internet is quite bad.

      In terms of day trips from Sibenik, you could easily go to the following:

      a) Krka National park – even if you don’t want to walk around too much, it’s an amazing day out

      b) Zadar

      c) Split

      d) Trogir (if you don’t want to spend the whole day here you could easily combine it with Split)

      e) On one day, you MUST go on a drive towards Dubrovnik till wherever you guys feel like – it’s an amazing drive and you will not regret it. However, make sure you take the coastal road and NOT the expressway 🙂

      You don’t need visas if you are British citizens and if your Sat Nav lists Croatia as a country in it’s map list, then it should work.

      Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  36. We will be travelling through Croatia for 2 weeks during September and have not booked. Can we take the chance or should we book

    • Hi Annemariie,

      We would recommend you book at least the car rental and accommodation in the main places 🙂

  37. Hi! Would you be able to recommend an itinerary from 24 – 28 October either from Zagreb to Dubrovnik or from Dubrovnik to Zagreb for parents with 1 kid (5 yrs)?

  38. You guys are awesome. I think it’s become a weekend routine now to go through your blogs and get inspired.

    Can you please guide me on what would be an approximate cost per person for a 11 day Croatian tour?

  39. Hi, I am planning a surprise trip for my husband’s 50th, to Croatia from 25th May. We fly into Zagreb where we’ll stay for 1 night. We’ll then hire a car and will have 5 nights/ 6 days and would like to know your recommendations please. I was thinking of maybe 1 night in or near each of these places: Plitvice, Trogir, Zadar and Dubrovnik – we could stay in one place for 2 nights – is this feasible?
    Am really looking forward to it as we’ve never been before!
    Many thanks
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,

      It’s feasible, but you might end up driving a lot. Perhaps you could fly into Zadar or Split (close to Trogir)? If you can’t, then we’d recommend spending one night in Plitvice National Parks on your way from Zagreb to Trogir and skipping Zadar this time. Definitely spend 2 nights in Dubrovnik.

      You’ll have a great time in Croatia. A very happy birthday to your husband in advance 🙂

      Cheers

  40. Hi,

    I’m just trying to finalise our first trip to Croatia in late May and have a couple of questions please – We are flying into Pula and staying overnight,then hiring a car for 6 days – we have booked Plitvice for one night and have one night spare before staying in Dubrovnik for 2 nights. We are then flying back from Split so are staying there for our final night. Do you have any suggestions where we stay on our spare night please? Also which car rental company do you recommend?

    Thanks

    • Hey Sarah – we searched for the best car rental deal with Unirent on Auto Europe. We’d suggest spending that extra night in Plitvice itself. Seeing the park at different times of the day is special. If you don’t want to do that, then just go for a hike in the area 😀

  41. Hi,

    Your blog gives me travel goals! Long time reader but leaving a comment for the first time.

    My friend and I are travelling to Croatia in July and, after looking up a lot of bus schedules, have decided to rent a car and drive around. We’re going to be following a similar itinerary to yours except for two or three days added in Rovinj or Mostar. As a first time driver in Europe I’m a bit apprehensive about right-hand driving there. How easy or difficult is it to get used to it? Are there any particular places where you wouldn’t recommend taking a car — perhaps the roads are too narrow or parking isn’t easily available? We’re going to be booking BnBs which have parking but more concerned about finding parking and negotiating the more busy roads inside major cities (Zagreb, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik). Any insight would be welcome and greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    • Hello Ayushi,

      You should be fine driving around Croatia. Parking can be a problem in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik but you can always park slightly further off from the centre and walk 🙂 In fact, in Dubrovnik, there are parking places right next to the old town, so there shouldn’t be a problem.

      Have a great trip and share your pictures with us once you are back 🙂

  42. Hey Guys!
    My friends and I are travelling to Croatia this July. We are taking a roadtrip too and have booked the flight tickets and hostels by now. I am confused about the Visa proceedings. Since we are going to only Croatia, do we opt to apply for Croatian Visas or Schengen Multiple entry Visas?

    Thanks!

    • Hi,

      If you’re going only to Croatia, it’d be better to just apply for the Croatian visa 🙂

  43. Got a lot of insights into driving around in Croatia from your website. Tks for that.

    Is there any suggested road trips one could do in the south-east part of Croatia ie towards Serbia? Most websites mention west and south-west Croatia only. Hardly any reference to places east and southeast of Zagreb. Is there anything worthy to see there?

    • Hey there – to be honest even we don’t know of many places to see in that area. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help 🙁

  44. Hello Savi and Vid,

    I know u must have heard this a lot.. But its a pure treat following u both on this Blog and Facebook. The pictures speak more than just a 1000 words. Its come to a point where weekly i look forward seeing one of your pics from your adventures.
    So.. After getting inspired by your trips, we are doing a week in Croatia in August Independence Day Week. Just needed on a little extra info after going through the comments and the blog.
    Shud we make a stop at Hvar..?? Also.. Planning 1 night in Zagreb, 1 night in Plitvice, 2 nights in Split (to cover Trogir too), 2 nights in Dubrovnik. We have 2 extra nights. So Do u recommend HVAR or any other place. Also, we are traveling with a 3 year old kid.

    • Hey Dev,

      Happy to hear that you’ll be going to Croatia – it’s a gorgeous country 🙂

      You could add 2 nights in Hvar, but I feel that might end up being too rushed, especially with a 3 year old. Instead, you could add 1 night in Plitvice (so that you have the whole day to enjoy the park) and another night in Dubrovnik.

      Cheers

  45. Great piece of content! 😀 We’re planning on doing slovenia and croatia in 2 weeks. Was it long enough, or did you had to hurry? And what would you do different if you could do it again?

    • Hey,

      We never felt hurried and if we wanted to do this again, we’d add the islands off Croatia in our itinerary 🙂

      Cheers

  46. Hello !

    I am planning a 20 day trip from Prague to Dubrovnik .
    As of now my must see places include – prague , chesky krumlov, – 5 days bratislava, budapest, -1 week dubrovnik and plitvice -5 days

    Any suggestion on some more destinations?

    • Hi Ananya,

      Sounds like an amazing trip 🙂

      You can consider adding Vienna in Austria and Mostar in Bosnia. Also, Trogir in Croatia is a nice place to spend a couple of days when driving from Plitvice to Dubronvik!

  47. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Firstly would like to say both you guys are doing an amazing job.
    We are planning a trip to Croatia and Munich in september 2016. need some suggestions for best places to stay in
    Dubronik
    Munich
    Zagreb

    Thanks
    PS_ we are two couples each with a 3 year old kid

  48. Hi,

    To begin with.. you guys rock and are really amazing.. need your suggestion on the below itinerary we ve planned
    (2 couples each with a 3 year old)
    (3 nights) – Munich
    (3 nights) –Dubronik.
    Drive from Dubronik to Split
    2 nights split
    1 night hvar
    1 night zadar
    1night- Zagreb
    Thanks

    • Hey Nidhi – the itinerary sounds great – you might want to cut your time short in Munich 🙂

  49. To add to the above.. also need suggestions on where to stay in Munich and dubronik

    • Hey Nidhi – we didn’t stay in Munich, so wouldn’t know a place to recommend. As for Dubrovnik, we stayed in Cavtat, a small fishing village outside of Dubrovnik 😀

  50. Hi Savi/Vid

    Your pictures from Croatia look absolutely stunning . Thank you for providing the details and making lives easier for amateur travellers like us 🙂 I am travelling to Croatia with my husband in Sep 1st week for 12 days. We have Zagreb,Plitvice, Zadar, Trogir, Solin, Split ,Brac, Cavtat and Dubronvik on our list. Can you suggest which Island we should visit apart from Brac. I have heard Hvar is very touristy in Sep. We want to escape the crowd and have some quite, peaceful time at a beautiful beach. Any suggestions?

    Shivangi

    • Hey Shivangi – thanks a ton 🙂 You could look into visiting Mljet or Vis – Croatia’s islands are stunning. Send us photos from your trip to Croatia – would love to share them with our readers

  51. From all I’ve read online, most itineraries start in Zagreb and end in Dubrovnik. We fly into Dubrovnik, can we start in Dubrovnik and follow your itinerary backwards?

    • Sure – you can definitely do that 🙂

  52. Hi Savi/Vid,
    Your travel blogs are always fantastically inspiring and informative. Croatia looks absolutely stunning, from the natural beauty to the medieval architecture to the gorgeous beaches. My family and I are actually torn between visiting Croatia next summer, or Bavaria. In any case, as far as Croatia is concerned, the US State Dept website says that all foreign citizens are required to register at a local police station within 24 hrs of arrival in Croatia. Are you aware of this requirement/did you do the same?

    Also, I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but if you had to pick between Bavaria and Croatia, which one would be your preference :)?

    • Hey Sameer – we aren’t aware of any such requirement and we didn’t do that. However these rules keep changing, so it’s definitely a good idea to check and err on the side of caution. Bavaria is gorgeous if you enjoy the countryside and long drives while Croatia is stunning if you enjoy history, architecture, and beaches 🙂

      • Thanks! We’ve decided on Bavaria, and are going to use your Bavarian roadtrip blog as a reference for our 10 day trip next summer. Can’t wait – will fill you in on our experience!!

        • Looking forward to seeing your photos from Bavaria Sameer 🙂

          • Hi Savi/Vid
            I love reading all your great advice about Croatia. We are going in August 2017 and so are planning now. We have been told to go to Opatija, did you go there and what did you think? Also we are thinking of going to Kotor in Montenegro as a day trip from Dubrovnik, we have been told it is worth the trip but I would value your imput. Lastly we are looking at staying in Nova Mokosica near Dubrovnik. It is 12km from Dubrovnik and 20 mins by bus. What do you think.I appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks.

          • Hi Robbie,

            Opatija is nice but is close to Rijeka which can be a detour depending on where all you’re planning to go. We did not go to Opatija.

            You should definitely go to Kotor, it’s absolutely stunning 🙂

            Nova Mokosica should be a nice place to stay at since it’s away from the hustle bustle of the city – we stayed in a fishing village called Cavtat which is around 30 min drive from Dubrovnik.

            Have a great trip 🙂

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