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Written by Savi, 158 Comments

* The Final Part of our 3 part series on driving through Croatia. You can read about our breathtaking drive through Plitvice (opens in a new tab) and Central Dalmatia (opens in a new tab)

Finally our favourite part of the road trip in Croatia.

We spent all day driving from Split to Dubrovnik along the Southern Dalmatian coast. It’s supposed to take only four hours to complete this breathtaking journey, but uninterrupted views across the Adriatic seduced us into stopping our car at innumerable viewpoints throughout the drive. Frequently featured in the top ten drives of the world, it surpassed any expectations that we had of it. Glistening turquoise waters on one side and slanting trees of the Dinaric Alps on the other made it truly special. Take a look:


Croatia Road Trip - the driveOne of the best drives in the world: Split to Dubrovnik

Croatia Road Trip - MakarskaLakes on the way on Dubrovnik- can you blame us for stopping every 10 minutes?

Croatia road trip - Makarska HoneyShacks selling gourmet honey along the Makarska Riviera

The best part, however, came at the end. It was the vision of Dubrovnik, ringed in azure water. If there was a moment that defined this epic road trip for us, it was this.

DubrovnikFirst view of Dubrovnik

As we continued to drive towards Dubrovnik, we began to see the distinctive orange rooftops that are a defining characteristic of the town. Since Dubrovnik is a popular tourist resort, it is a lot more crowded than the rest of Croatia. We wanted to escape the madness (and the crazy hotel prices), so we chose a hotel  in the neighbouring fishing village of Cavtat (pronounced Chav-tat). You could also book an AirBnB apartment if you prefer to have a kitchen / more space.

CavtatCavtat, home for a few days

We spent four lazy days days in Dubrovnik – absorbing the Mediterranean climate, sunbathing, and gorging on Mediterranean delicacies. We tore ourselves away from Dalmatian beaches to explore southern Dalmatian towns.

Dubrovnik’s city centre is completely pedestrianized and its peripendicular streets provide a perfect excuse for lazy walks. For meals, there are countless cafés on the Placa Stradun, the central street of the city of Dubrovnik. The cuisine in Southern Croatia is heavily influenced by Italian delicacies and is a far cry from the Slavic food found in Northern Croatia. Menus were laden with pastas, grilled fish, sea-food, and pizzas.

Croatia Road Trip DubrovnikPlaca Stradun, Dubrovnik

Croatia Road Trip DubrovnikPizzerias by the dozen make Vid a happy bunny


Our favourite part was the two-kilometer walk around the celebrated city walls. It provides stunning views of the tiled roofs of Dubrovnik. The proximity of the brightly coloured rooftops also serves as a reminder of Croatia’s politically-fraught past. A number of houses were destroyed during bombings when Yugoslavia broke apart in 1991. Bold orange tiles cover those roofs that had to be replaced. Ironically, this disturbing reminder of Croatia’s troubled past has helped reconfigure Dubrovnik as Croatia’s crown jewel.


Croatia Road Trip DubrovnikView from the city walls, Dubrovnik

Croatia Road Trip DubrovnikDubrovnik by night- the city walls look especially spectacular at night


That is what we loved about Croatia- it was poignant one moment, rewarding the next. It is such a unique oasis of rare natural beauty, and it is surprising it isn’t more popular amongst tourists . As a country, it is multi-faceted, so each day brought a new revelation for us. We can’t wait to go back to explore the islands surrounding Croatia and explore Croatia !


Bruised Passports’ Tips

  • Buy freshly picked oranges or gourmet honey from the numerous shacks lining the Makarska Riviera.
  • If you want to escape the madness (and the crazy hotel prices) in Dubrovnik, choose a hotel in the neighbouring fishing village of Cavtat.
  • It is highly recommended to go atop Mt. Srd to take in a bird’s eye view of the orange city of Dubrovnik. You can drive, or take the cable car; in each case you will be rewarded with some of the most stunning views of the Lower Dalmatian Coast. Sip on a coffee or enjoy a meal at the café atop Mt. Srd as you take in the spectacular view. We will leave you with a picture of  Dubrovnik’s old town from Mt. Srd, which will surely persuade you to put Croatia on your bucket list 🙂

 Croatia Road Trip - Mt. Srd Dubrovnik


Need help planning a road trip to Croatia? Have a look at some sample itineraries 

If you a road trip junkie, have a look at one of the best road trip experience we have ever had: The amazing Icelandic road trip.


158 thoughts on “Roadtrippin’ Croatia: Dubrovnik Love

  1. I just did a roadtrip with a friend between Dubrovnik and the Bay of Kotor (tons of posts on my site). Croatia has become one of my biggest recs in Europe (after Spain, of course!), and I was floored with the generosity and friendliness of the people and the jaw-dropping views. Amazing to think that it was a war zone just two decades ago.

    1. Cat glad to hear you share our views- Croatia is a stunning country and the people are lovely too 🙂

    1. Glad we inspired you guys to visit Croatia- I’m on a personal mission to make more people fall in love with it 😉

  2. Bookmarked! Totally looking at including Durovnik in my plans for next year – this post has convinced me a roadtrip would be the way to go! Thank you!

    That first view you have here is gorgeous!!

    1. Absolutely Tash- a roadtrip is THE way to go in Croatia. One needs a car to discover its sleepy li’l towns, hidden alleys, and meandering roads 🙂

  3. I visited several years ago, but I never considered driving through Croatia, and had no idea it’s one of the best drives in the world. Now I’m dying to go back! Beautiful shots.

    1. The Split-Dubrovnik drive is quite something Jessica- we’re sure you’ll love it 🙂 Which part of the country did you visit?

  4. I was on that road recently in a minibus on a daytrip from Dubrovnik to Mostar, and it was just as good going the other way. My favourite stretch was the bit where you could see the walled town of Stron – I’d definitely have taken a detour there if it was up to me!

    1. Richard we did take a detour at Stron on our way back to Zagreb 🙂 It’s such a quaint town- we hiked the walls and had lunch at a tiny cafetaria. How was Mostar?

      1. Mostar’s old town was a lovely little place but we only had 2 hours there, wish we had have stayed the night. It was an eight hour round trip to spend two hours there!

        1. Don’t you hate it when that happens Richard? Though I’m sure Mostar more than made up for the long journey – we’ve heard such good things about it 🙂

  5. Such stunning pictures guys! Dubrovnik has been calling out to me for the last three years…gotta pay a visit at some point :)….will try driving up from Split to Dubrovnik, since it seems splendid..:) 🙂

  6. Fell in love with Dubrovnik and Croatia last summer. Agree with you that it is such an amazing place. While I had no trouble getting around by bus, it looks like I will have to go back and experience the wonders of Croatia with a car. Did the same think in NZ when I turned a 4 hour car drive into an 8 hour jaunt, exploring so much more than just the route.

    1. Anita you must go back to Croatia for a road-trip – rest assured, you’ll fall a bit more in love with it 🙂 Did you visit the islands when you were there?

      1. Was there any problem when entering bosnia and herzegovina on your roadtrip? Is there strict border control? Will avschengen visa be ok?


        1. Hi Sarath,

          We had a Croatian visa and didn’t face any problems passing through Bosnia. The border control was not strict at all – in fact we had a discussion about Bollywood 😉

          Not sure if a Schengen visa will work now (these rules keep changing) so you’re better off confirming this with the Croatian consulate

  7. Lovely photos. I flew into Dubrovnik on the way to Montenegro last month but didn’t have time to check out Croatia on the same trip so am saving it for another time. Like the idea of your road trip so might look into that.

    1. Lucy do drive to Plitvice and explore Northern Croatia if you make it there – it’s right out of a fairy-tale

  8. Gorgeous photos! I had a road trip planned for coastal Croatia, but had to cancel it last minute. Looking at all these photos makes me regret it, but hopefully one day!

    1. Adelina we hope you get to Croatia soon- the scenery is stunning, and never gets monotonous 🙂

    1. Sher you MUST go. It’s an absolutely stunning country. Let us know if you need any help with an itinerary 🙂

    1. Isn’t the view from Mt. Srd absolutely gorgeous Andrew? Did you guys take the road or cable car to the top? 🙂

  9. Hi!
    Love your Croatia pictures. Hubby and I are planning a Croatia road trip for next week, but we haven’t booked anything! I kinda don’t know where to start or what to do, we have about 5 or so days and will be driving from Munich.

    My question was – if you stayed is the fishing village, did you drive to Dubrovnik everyday? And if so, how was parking and did you have to pay for it everyday?

    1. Hi Naima,

      Yes, we did drive to Dubrovnik everyday (actually 2 out of 3 days, we stayed in Cavtat the 3rd day). We parked in the centre, it was quite expensive, but you can definitely find parking slightly away from the centre and pay less !! To be honest, you can see the Dubrovnik old town in half a day, and then pick up your car from the centre and drive up Mt. Srd (instead of taking the cable car). Parking there is free and you get one of the best views in the world 🙂

      Let us know if you have any more questions !!

      Have a great trip

  10. Casually stumbled across your blob, and boy looking at snaps of Dubrovnik, made me glade i did ! Absolutely Stunning. Looking out of the window here from my office in Bangalore makes me want to cry 🙁

    1. Nakul,

      Thanks a lot ! Looks like it’s time for you to take a trip 🙂 Views out of office windows are hazardous and once should take regular breaks 😉 Head to Croatia

  11. 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 going back. There is just something about it that you cant put into words. Beautiful landscape, beautiful bluest water you will ever see, beautiful food and beautiful looking people. Everything and everyone here is just beautiful- it really does feel like paradise

    1. Hi,
      We are traveling to Croatia in August (8/16-8/22). Flying in and out of Split. We were thinking of staying in a resort on Hvar the whole time but I worry we will miss so much. Any suggestions?? The more detailed the better (nice hotels, beaches, towns, restaurants, etc…) Thank you!!!

      1. You should definitely do the drive from Split to Dubrovnik before or after your time in Hvar 🙂

  12. Hello, Just found your blog as Im researching for my travels. I am trying to figure out the best way to get from Split to Dubrovnik, cheaply and being able to take in all the sites. Driving sounds like a great idea as I could stop whenever i wanted! So I am wondering did you guys hire a car? Is this easy to do? I am from New Zealand and I have no idea what its like to get a rental car in Europe with a foreign drivers licence! Any advice would be great!


    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for writing to us 🙂

      You will definitely have a much better time should you rent a car. We rented a car in Zagreb and drove all the way to Dubrovnik. It was a local rental company called Unirent. We did drive all the way back to Zagreb from Dubrovnik in order to drop the car, but if we had to do the trip again, we’d pay a one-way drop-off fee and fly out from Dubrovnik instead of driving back to Zagreb. New Zealand licenses should be fine (we drove on Indian licenses ;)) but still worth confirming that – maybe drop a line to any of the rental companies. That way you’d be 100% sure.

      Definitely rent a car – you won’t regret it. Do have a look at the other “Croatia road trip” posts on our site: Just search for Croatia in the search bar on the top right of the site 🙂

      If you have any more questions, let us know. You can also drop us an email at info [at] bruisedpassports dot com if you prefer !


      1. Hi there, My husband and are I travelling to Croatia in Sept and I came across your great blog while researching cities to visit. We are renting a car from Dubrovnik all the way to Italy. I had not realise the drive from Dubrovnik to Split would be so spectacular. I just had one question. On google maps, I can see there is a highway along the coast through Makarska and then there is also a more major highway inland (showing up as A1 and 62). Which road did you take? Did you take the coastal highway for the views? Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Melinda,

          Absolutely, you HAVE to take the coast road – I think it’s E8 or just road number 8.

          Enjoy 🙂

  13. I am traveling at the end of August with my soon-to-be husband to Croatia for our honeymoon and we are very excited! We purchased tickets flying into Dubrovnik and flying out of Venice, as we plan to drive north up the coast instead of down (start in Dubrovnik, quick trip inland to Plitvice Lakes, finish in Istria and then take a ferry to Venice). This may be a really silly question, but is there any reason that driving south is better than north? Thanks!

    1. Hey Carolyn – think you guys will be good driving north. It’s not a silly question at all because the Split-Dubrovnik drive is spectacular while driving south but there are quite a few places to stop and drink in the views if you’re driving north too 🙂

  14. Hi there,

    Stumbled across your blog, and loved your photos and story.

    My husband and I will be in Croatia next month and are keen to do that same drive (Split to Dubrovnik) via the beautiful coastal roads. Curious to know Savi, did you have a problem when having to drive through Bosnia/Herzegovina? It looks like from the map you have to drive through those areas (which are not Croatian land). Did you need a visa, special clearance or something similar, or was the process when driving through this area smooth?

    Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Hi Jill,

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      We did not have any problems driving through the Bosnian stretch and did not need a special visa for that. The Croatian visa was just fine. The guards just stop you and check your passport, that’s about it. For peace of mind, you can call the Croatian and Bosnian consulates in your country of residence and just confirm this with them 🙂

      In any case, enjoy the drive and make sure you keep aside a day for the drive. You’ll want to stop quite a lot. Make sure you drive on D8 which is the coastal road.

      Drop us an email if you have more questions – happy to help.


  15. Thank you for this post!! You have given us the confidence to hire a car to do the drive up the coast vs. taking the bus. We leave in a month to send 10 days exploring Croatia for our first time, and from what I am reading it will probably not be our only visit there. I am so excited!!

    1. Hey Lisa – your comment just brought a big smile to my face. I’m so happy to hear our post on a Road Trip through Croatia inspired you to drive. You’ll love the country – have fun 🙂

  16. Hi there,

    Just checking back in to say a big thank you for this blog post and your great advice.

    My husband and I just have returned home after our trip to Europe and hands down, the drive to Dubrovnik was the absolute highlight. It was simply breathtaking. So glad I stumbled across your blog and so grateful for your advice.

    Thanks again guys. Much appreciated and all the best with your future travels.

    Jill x

    1. Jill you’ve put huge smiles on our faces. Thanks a million for writing back – that’s so thoughtful of you. Glad to hear you loved Croatia as much as we did. Don’t hesitate to write to us if you need help planning a trip in the future 🙂

      1. Hi,

        I’m planning to visit Croatia next July for about 10 days. What places do you absolutely recommend. We might rent a car. I’ve read some of the comments and I’m excited to prepare for this trip. Also how long is the drive from Zagreb. My husband and I will be flying into Zagreb.

        Thanks for your help.

        1. Hey Michelle,

          We’d recommend Split/Trogir, Plitvice National Parks, and Dubrovnik/Cavtat from our experience. The drive from Zagreb to Plitvice is around 5-6 hours but you might end up stopping a lot to take pictures. The drive from Split to Dubrovnik is one of the best and I’d say factor in the whole day for the drive – plenty of amazing stops on the way 🙂

  17. Savi, great info you have here. We’re going to be in Dubrovnik and then have one open day/night where we will either ferry to Hvar, or take a drive from Dubrovnik to Split. We’re considering the drive because we would have so little time in Hvar as we have to leave the next morning for Vis. If we take our time and drive to Split we can have a full day of seeing more of the country. Which would you recommend? Are there any places we should stop at if we do the drive?

    1. Hi Vince,

      We would definitely recommend the drive from Dubrovnik to Split 🙂 Make sure you take the coastal road and not the expressway. The coastal road is called E8 I think (or just number 8). You could stop at Tucepi or Makarska for a breather, but to be honest, all picnic spots / villages on the way from Dubrovnik to Split are amazing 🙂

      Hope this helps – let us know if you have any other questions.


  18. Hi There,

    As is the case with many people on here, I also stumbled across your blog while planning our trip to Croatia. Our original plan was to fly from Prague to Dubrovnik, but since that flight is not running in early October when we will be making the trip, we had to fly to Split. At first I was upset that we would have to waste time driving, but after seeing your blog, I am extremely excited for the drive and hope it will be a highlight of the trip!

    My main question was what the drive through Bosnia was like and if you had any problems, but after reading a comment above it seems to be fine (we are from the US). My only other question would be – what towns or places would you suggest for stops/views? I’m sure we will spot some great places to pull off the road, but it always helps to have a few targets in mind. Thanks so much!

  19. Hi guys,

    Your photos look amazing!!! I’m am just wondering what time of year did you go?? We are looking into at going September early October. Will the weather be ok??

    1. Hey Danielle – that’s a great time of the year to visit Croatia. The tourist season is almost over, so everything is cheaper and a lot less crowded. There’s definitely a nip in the air, so it might not be the best time for evening swims or sun bathing 🙂 Have fun in Croatia

  20. Hey – wow, beautiful pictures. Stumbled across your blog while researching my trip to Croatia in June.

    Bit of a specific question – but wondered where abouts you stopped for that “first view of Dubrovnik” picture – was it between Dubrovnik and Cavtat? Love birds eye views and would love to see that for real.

    1. Hey Sarah,

      That picture was taken from the mid point of Mt. Srd – when you are driving from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, you will see a sign on your left pointing to Mt. Srd. You can take your car there but remember that it’s a single lane 🙂

    1. Glad you found our posts on a road trip through Croatia useful Tony. Hope you have a great holiday 🙂

  21. So happy to have stumbled upon your site as I am searching for itinerary ideas for a trip my husband, adult daughter and I are taking June 18 through July 7. We are beginning with 5 nights in Italy, then from Venice on to Slovenia (basing in Ljubljana) for 4 nights. From Ljubljana, we hope to find a public transport option to Rovinji where we can pick up a rental car and begin our adventures in Croatia on June 28. ( Our daughter flies out of Dubrovnik on July 5, my husband and I will follow on July 7.)

    I have thought to make Plitvice National Park our first stop and had considered arriving in Dubrovnik on July 3 to allow daughter ample time to see the old city prior to her departure on the 5th. (However, after reading that you feel the old city can be accomplished in half a day, perhaps we could actually arrive there on July 4 – which would give us a bit more time to journey down the coastline.

    Would you be so kind as to: 1) advise those parts that you consider MUSTS as we make our way south (such as Hvar…day trip or extended stay?) and 2) with the extra couple of days that husband and I have in Dubrovnik, are there day trips/ excursions that you could recommend based upon your personal experiences or what you heard/learned while in Croatia?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to post your photos and blog. I am even more excited than before!

  22. Hi Marva,

    Sounds like you will have fun.I live in Australia and have traveled Italy Slovenia and Croatia extensively on 3 occasions. I don’t know if you’re spending 5 days in Venice or whether your just using it as a base to other parts of Italy however 5 days in Venice is too long given you plan to drive down the Craotian Coast which you definitely need more than 7 days to get the most out of.

    Venice is relatively small and you can get the feel of the place in three days without a problem. Ljubljana is the same , can be seen in a day and has some good day trips where you could kill two birds with one stone ie Lake Bled and Postojna Caves – the two absolute highlights. 4 nights in Ljubljana without day trips however is too long . I would say base yourself there for three nights and do day trips for two of the other days returning in the evening.

    As for Croatia- Rovinj is a great starting town, but to get the best out of the Istrian region you would want at least three days here to do a couple of day trips to the hillside villages of Istria ie Motovun or Groznjan & Buje or neighboring coastal town of Porec or Pula. However given you have little time you will need to start making your move from Rovinj after one day and head to Plitvice Lakes early in the morning so that you are there by 10am (two hour drive) You will need the whole day to see this spectacular park. If you leave by 6 pm which should give you plenty of time to get to Zadar the next must see city along the coast. Spend the night here before leaving the following evening, taking the coastal road down to Sibenik (UNESCO Site)(Do not take the A1 Highway or you wont see anything), a beautiful old town that also has great access to the Kornati Islands by day trip or another waterfall Park in Krka National Park. From here you would drive further down the Coast getting a glimpse of Primosten town and Trogir town(UNESCO Heritage Site)on the way to city of Split. I would have a look a Diocletan Palace (city core) and get straight on a ferry to Hvar where I would spend a few days at the least as the place is stunning and maybe do a day trip to Bol beach on Brac Island. This way you will cover off two islands.

    Korcula and Vis are stunning but unfortunately time will be your enemy. After returning to Split drive down the Makarska Riviera- plenty of beautiful towns along the way until you get to Dubrovnik. My recommendation is that two days in Dubrovnik is fine and possibly throw in a trip to Kotor in the neighboring country of Montenegro which is a few hours away.

    Please google all these places I have mentioned- you will be blown away by their beauty and have the best trip ever. I do however recommend you try and free a few more days up for Croatia.

    1. Dani,

      Thanks for such a great reply. Absolutely agree with all your suggestions 🙂

      Marva, just to add to Dani’s reply, when you are in Dubrovnik, try spending your nights in Cavtat, a tiny fishing village 30 minutes from Dubrovnik.

      Wherever you go in this beautiful country, you will have an amazing time.

      Cheers to you both

      1. Dani, thanks a million for your invaluable insights! Only reason we are staying 5 nights in Venice is because we have a voucher for 5 nights lodging there through Marriott! We thought we could use that time for time adjusting (jet lag sucks even more as you age, believe me!) and day tripping. If you have any special day trip advice from Venice, please share!

        Will definitely take to heart your words about Ljubljana and reduce our stay from 4 nights to 3 which will have us leaving Ljubljana for Rovinji on a Saturday and allow us at least 1 extra night in croatia.

        We are thinking to take either goopti or transfers si to get us from Venice to Ljubljana as quickly as possible, and possibly the same from Ljubljana to Rovinji. If you have a different/better idea, I would LOVE to know it. (Ideally we would have a rental car for the entire trip, but crossing borders makes it prohibitively expensive!)

        Again, thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

  23. Your posts are very helpful, thank you! We are driving from Dubrovnik to Zadar and hope to stay on Hvar. Any thoughts on the best town in the island, Hvar Town or Stari Grad? Thank you!

    1. Hi Amy,

      We haven’t been to the islands yet, so not sure which one is the better option 🙂 I’m sure you can’t go wrong with either since both the country and the Adriatic sea are gorgeous !! 😉

    2. Amy,

      Hvar is more famous and this is where Beyonce, Prince Harry, Bono from U2 Holiday. Stari Grad on the other hand is more a quiter family destination without the Glitz of Hvar but still beautiful. I say do Hvar with a day trip to Stari grad for dinner.

  24. Hi, great pics, and I am thoroughly looking forward to driving through Croatia in August. We will be driving from Zagreb to the Plitvice Lakes and then down along the coast to Dubrovnik. Is a SatNav a must have or are the sign posts good enough. Any suggestions on how we should split our journey from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. Also, should we keep our hire car whilst we are in Dubrovnik for 4 days or is it better to use local transport.


    1. Hi Saleem,

      You’ll love Croatia 🙂 It’s better to have a Sat Nav in our opinion. We drove from Zagreb to Plitvice, then Plitvice to Trogir, and then on to Dubrovnik. I would suggest you keep you car while in Dubrovnik – that way you can go to Cavtat for a day trip 🙂


  25. Would a drive from Plitvice Lakes NP to Dubrovnik be too much to handle in a day? We are starting our driving in Bled, Slovenia……will border crossings be a problem? Will we get gouged if we rent in Slovenia and return in Dubrovnik? Did you have that problem?

    Thanks for all of the great info!

    1. Linda, I think it would make for a longer day than you might enjoy.

      Just returned last week and thanks to some great advice found here, had a wonderful trip. Picked up a car in Ljubljana and dropped in Dubrovnik for a $300 (US) drop fee through Sixt. We did Lakes Bled and Bohinji as a day trip while based in Ljubljana. (The drive was only 45-55 minutes, so very manageable. ) our plan called for 4 nights in Slovenia but we stretched it to 5 because we fell in love with the place!

      Leaving Ljubljana, we drove to Plitvice, stayed for one night and then on to Trogir where we chose to park ourselves for 4 nights vs. Split. Can’t begin to tell you how happy we were to have made that call! Having the car gave us the flexibility to drive over to Split quite easily for a day trip to Hvar – which is beautiful but a little too rowdy for good sleep in Hvartown, so again, were pleased with our choice of Trogir as a base. From Trogir we drove to Dubrovnik, but on to Cavtat for our lodging, thanks to the wonderful suggestion found here! We’d have been miserable had we based in Dubrovik proper due to the crowds!

    2. Hi Linda,

      Sorry for the late reply – we have been travelling and internet has been quite patchy. As Marva said, Plitvice to dubrovnik might be too long for a day. I’d suggest Plitvice – Split, and then Split – Dubrovnik.

      We actually picked up our car from Zagreb and returned it in Zagreb, so one-way drop off fee was not an issue for us. I would imagine that dropping a car in a different country might incur heavy prices. Best to check with the car rental company 🙂

      Hope you have a great trip.

      1. Thanks for confirming my decision to drive from Plitvice to Split! We’ll only be there one night so we can catamaran to Dubrovnik and meet friends and staying in Cavtat. We are picking up car in Bled (flying in to Ljubljana), driving alps, Plitvice, Rovinj, then on down to Split. Waiting to hear from a car rental place in Bled that gets rave reviews!

  26. totally going to do it this summer….love the place and the scene….Just hope that my Schengen visa works there….:)

  27. Hi guys. Great blog,,,,,just stumbled across it 🙂 Hubby and I are starting to plan our trip in Sept or Oct…I am just wondering why you don’t name or link any of the hotels/places you stayed in? It would be a great help if you did link them or mention them, and your opinions on the experience. With so many different accommodations having to be booked, it would be a great help x

    1. Croatia is the home of B&Bs. People stand outside Bus stations or Ports and hold up sign. All of Croatia does this and you can get accommodation for twice as cheap as hotels and just as good. They are normally three to four storey homes etc where the family lives on bottom floor with other floors used as holiday home with privacy and your own access

    2. Hey Rio,

      That’s a good idea – we’ll do that soon 🙂

      In the meantime you can drop us an email if you need more details about the trip.


  28. Beautiful photos! Glad to find your website! Flying in to Dubrovnik from Budapest for 6 days. Won’t be driving but will get short private tours out of Dubrovnik. Do you know of any good B*B’s in Dubrovnik? Most of the online bookings are for big hotels! Would you suggest 1 or 2 nights stay at Split? Or elsewhere? Thanks!

    1. Hi Frances,

      We didn’t stay in Dubrovnik but in a small fishing village 30 kms away. The village is called Cavtat. However, if you don’t have a car, staying there might not be a great idea. We don’t know of any B&Bs there – try AirBnB perhaps?

      As for Split, you could either spend a couple of nights in Split or in Trogir (not far from Split). Definitely visit the Plitvice National Parks when you are in Croatia!

  29. Hi Guys !

    Just landed on your blog when I was searching for things to do in Dubronvik on our last night of Croatian self drive holiday.

    We had skipped Mnt. Strd, will do this tonight before we fly out tomorrow.

    I can’t agree more about the “Drive from Zagreb to Dubronvik”, we did exactly the same, wihtout knowing that few fellow Indian travellers have already done it ;).

    We did Zagreb-Pula-Rovinj-Plitvice-Vodice(krka)-Split-Hvar-Dubronvik, by car with ferry to and from Hvar.

    Croatia is beautiful with some amazing landscapes. 2nd Best in Europe after Spain imo.

    Posting this from Dubronvik (Rixis Libertas).

    Cheers !

    1. Hey Niranjan,

      You are right, Croatia is beautiful. In fact, in terms of natural beauty, we’d rate it even higher than Spain 🙂

      Hope you got the chance to drive up to Mt. Sr. – the view of Dubrovnik old town from up there is amazing.


  30. Hi.. I just love your blog. I too am planning Croatia with my family. Planning to follow your itinerary but I have lots of questions to ask you.
    Hope you guys can help me.


    Happy Travelling

    1. Hey Neha – we have a 5 part series on planning a roadtrip in Croatia – hopefully the articles and comments below will help you. If you still have any questions, feel free to email us or leave us a comment 🙂

  31. Hi there – apologies if you’ve already answered this question, but what car rental company did you use in Croatia? Did you have a positive experience with their customer service/no scams? Thanks for helping me so much with our travel plans already! Keep up the wonderful blog!

  32. Hi I somehow find your page and am off to Croatia this month with my spouse and friends, we are going to Zagreb, split and Dubrovnik. Do let me know if Five days in Split is too long for one city. It’s a holiday / Cricket holiday.


    1. Hey Tanya,

      You’ll have a great time in Croatia. We feel 5 days is a bit too much in Split. What you could do is spend 2-3 days in Split and 2 days in Plitvice National Park.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  33. Hey

    Myself along with 2 of my friends are travelling to Croatia in July. We plan to reach split around 16th July and spend 3 nights there and do a road trip to dubrovnik from split. i am not quite sure if there is a route where we can drive from split to dubrovnik ?
    We Then head to hvar for 4 nights. Is there anything we can add in this trip as well. Like day trips near split and then day trips near Hvar.

    Thank You

    1. Hey Uday that sounds great – the road trip mentioned above is from Split to Dubrovnik. Please find all details included in the article above. Hope you have fun in Croatia 😀

  34. my wife and i are travelling in croatia in august/sept and are wondering about car hire, can you hire from busapest and return to dubrovnik, the costs seem excessive or is it best to hire in zagreb, also what company would you recommend

    1. Hey Ross,

      Taking a rental car across borders in Europe will definitely cost a lot. It’s best to rent from Zagreb. We rented from a local company called Unirent and the experience was seamless 🙂


  35. I’m so happy I found your blog! I am overwhelmed with passion to see as much of Croatia as possible! We start are trip first week of August and don’t know where to begin? We will be in Glasgow Scotland the 9th thru the 15th we have a open schedule from August 4-25th and would love to know the smartest way to see Croatia. I’m first generation American-Croatian and my parents were from Brac and HVAr both are deceased and I have little info on travel to there home land? I do know I want to start in Split and drive to Dubrovnik and see Brac and HVAr. Our schedule is open and I want to use our time well! I have never been to Europe so thought Paris might be a good 2-3 day stop London? Then straight to Split but is 10 days enough to make it a reasonable Spilt to Dubrovnik drive? Would it be wiser to stay in Split and enjoy more of the islands? I know lots of ???? But very excited for a trip have waited 52years for! My husband and I would appreciate any and all feed back! Thank you!

    1. Hey Rochelle – you’re going to love Croatia. It will be quite the journey (both literally and metaphorically) for you 🙂 Paris is a great stop over. 10 days is definitely enough for the Split-Dubrovnik region. If it’s your first time in Europe, I’d definitely suggest splitting your time between 2 countries. Do send us photos from your time in Croatia – we’d love to share them with our readers.

  36. hi savi,

    i am heading to dubrovnik and split over the next few days and your blog is making me wanna be there asap!

    i wanted to ask you about car rental – do you have any recommendations on where to rent a car in dubrovnik for the drive to split?

    looking forward to your thoughts!

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      We had rented the car in Zagreb from a company called Unirent. I’m sure they have offices in Dubrovnik too 🙂

  37. Hi Savi,

    Your blog and beautiful description is more than anything one requires to confirm on the Do’s once in Croatia, we were working on the options to get to Split and Dubrovnik……and now it’s confirmed we gonna drive.

    It’s been 3 years and you have been so prompt on your answers to all possible queries further confirm that Croatia that this gonna be one trip to treasure.

    Any recommendations on bnb in Split and Dubronvik / Cavtat.

    Cheers and good luck with your travel escapades.


    1. Hey Bhanu,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      We didn’t stay in Split. Instead, we chose to stay in Trogir. The place was called Apartments Kasalo. In cavtat, we stayed in a hotel which has been rebranded and is now called Hotel Cavtat. It’s a great property overlooking the bay 🙂

      Have a great trip

  38. Hi Savi,

    Your post inspired me and my hubby so much that we are planning a road trip to Croatia soon 🙂 :-).
    Just one confusion that we have – everyone seems to mention that the drive from Split to Dubrovnik is great. Problem is we are getting a great airfare if we land in Dubrovnik and fly back from Zagreb – so the entire opposite of your trip! So wanted to know – how is the drive from Dubrovnik to Split – is it as good or would we be missing out on a lot?


    1. Dear Rachita,

      It doesn’t really make much of a difference which direction you’re driving in ? Just make sure you take the coastal route and not the expressway!

      Have a great trip


  39. hey SaviVid,

    We are heading to Croatia and Slovenia next week and it is really great to come across this blog and read about your amazing road trip. Bookmarking this for tips and ideas. Following is our itinerary for your reading pleasure:

    Day 1 – Fly into Zagreb, Pick up rental and drive to Ljubljana, explore and spend the night at Ljubljana
    Day 2 – Day trip to Lake Bled reach Ljubljana by 5pm, sleep in Ljubljana
    Day 3 – Drive to Rovinj, Sleep in Rovinj
    Day 4 – Rovinj, sleep in Rovinj
    Day 5 – Drive to Plitvice, sleep in Plitvice
    Day 6 – Plitvice, drive to Split and reach by 7pm, sleep in Split
    Day 7 – Split, sleep in Split
    Day 8 – To Hvar, sleep in Hvar
    Day 9 – Hvar, sleep in Hvar
    Day 10 – Hvar, Sleep in Hvar
    Day 11 – Drive to Mostar, Sleep in Mostar.
    Day 12 – Drive to Dubrovnik
    Day 13 – Dubrovnik
    Day 14 – Dubrovnik
    Day 15 – Leave early morning from Dubrovnik back to Mumbai

    It’s a busy schedule but we are looking forward to it.

    I have one question please. We have Indian drivers licenses in English. I believe you guys did too. Did anyone ask for an IDP while there?

    Thanks Gautam

    1. Nope any driving license in English works well from what we know 🙂 Have fun in Croatia and send us photos – that sounds like a great itinerary.

  40. Hi Guys ,

    Congratulations on maintaining this wonderful treasure of information.
    We (self, wifey and a toddler) are headed to Croatia for our eight day trip this Sunday.
    Though we were already excited about the place, your posts have incremented that excitement by leaps and bounds. We are driving the opposite direction to what you guys did, Dubrovnik–Split–Plitsvice–Zagreb–Budapest. Cheers guys ! Keep travelling and keep writing to inspire us, the lesser mortals!!

  41. We are flying in and out of Zagreb. We are driving down the coast and once we get to Dubrovnik, does anyone know the best route to drive back to Zagreb? We will have already made to drive to there from via the coastline, so wonder about a possible quick route. Thanks!

    1. Hey Terry – there is a quicker route indeed. We flew in and out of Zagreb too. You’ll have to start driving back along the coast from Dubrovnik – soon you’ll see an exit to the E65 expressway. This will take you to Zagreb 🙂

  42. Hi,
    Can you suggest, which car rental company to take a car from. WHile checking online the price range is too varied, with each company charging different headers under the cost.


  43. Hi! Just wondering, did you drive inside Dubrovnik or mostly took public transport or walked around? I’m renting a car to drive from split to dubrovnik too, but I’m just wondering if driving around inside the city is a good idea or is parking expensive and difficult to get?

    Thanks (:

    1. Hey Shauna,

      We parked our car in a parking house and walked in Dubrovnik – no point driving the car there 🙂

  44. Hi
    Me and my hisband are planning a drive from split to dubrovnik in our eastern europe itinerary. You mention driving to Mt Srd, is it doable for an Indian driver? I read in a forum that the road is difficult and should only be taken up by local drivers.

    1. Hi Amravi,

      It’s definitely doable. It’s just a single lane so it can be a bit tricky if there is oncoming traffic but nothing that someone who has driven in India can’t manage easily 😉

      You’ll be just fine

  45. Hi

    Any recommendations for a 7 day road trip ? or even short road trips for 2-3 days ?

    we are going in September, probably fly in to Dubrovnik.

    want a mixture of relaxation and adventure

    Emma 🙂

  46. Hi! Thanks for all of your info! My sister and I are planning a trip and were originally planning on flying to Zagreb, driving to croatia where we would spend some time before taking a ferry to Italy and doing the Amalfi coast. Due to some logistics we are now having to do the trip in reverse. Do you think it makes a big difference to drive south vs. north? we could theoretically fly from naples to split as opposed to doing the ferry ride. Additionally have you visited the amalfi coast ever and do you have tips for that part of the trip?


    1. Hey Lila – shouldn’t make a massive difference. The Split-Dubrovnik drive is definitely better but Dubrovnik-Split is gorgeous too 🙂

  47. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Your blog is so much useful and pictures are extremely beautiful. Big thank you!

    We are planning a trip to Croatia mid next year and would like to drive from Split to Dubrovnik. When we search for direction through google maps, it shows the route via E65 via D8 to Dubrovnik. But, only during the end of the journey it is along the sea and not from the beginning.
    You took the way which is split – Duce – Pisak – Makarska – podgora – brisk –so on (yellow line which is showed in google maps along the coast), correct?
    We were wondering why this route is not even shown as alternative route..,+Croatia/Dubrovnik,+Croatia/@43.3282086,15.8334739,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x13355dfc6bbcf517:0xa1798ff631b49f98!2m2!1d16.4401935!2d43.5081323!1m5!1m1!1s0x134b8ba20835e87d:0x400ad50862bd500!2m2!1d18.0944238!2d42.6506606

    1. Hey Kavya – yep you’re right. That’s the route we followed. Just follow Road no. 8 and you’ll be good to go 🙂

  48. Hi, how safe would you say Croatia is?
    I may be looking to travel solo – and there was a lot mentioned about landmines and pickpocketing?

    1. Hey Dee- Croatia is a safe country to travel in. Of course you need to be wary of your surroundings, but other than that all good 🙂

  49. Hi! Very nicely written blog which has inspired me to plan a trip to Croatia in May. I have a valid Schengen Visa, do I need to apply for a Croatian Visa.

    1. Hey Amit

      Thanks a lot. These rules keep changing so it’d be better if you check with the Croatian consulate in your home town / country. To give you an example, when we visited years ago, we were required to have a Croatia visa despite having Schengen. I remember in 2015 this was changed so that anyone with Schengen could visit Croatia without a dedicated Croatian visa. Not sure what the current situation is 🙂

  50. Hie,
    I have been reading your blog since quite a time and follow you over Instagram too. I am planning to visit Croatia for my honeymoon next month and would like to get few suggestions from you. Besides taking self drive from split to Dubrovnik what else’s can be done ? Also, Is train transportation suggested for internal travel ? Any special or romantic place / cafe we should visit?

    1. Hey not sure about train travel in Croatia. However, you can visit a few islands to make your road trip even more special. The entire drive from Split to Dubrovnik (and further to Cavtat) is romantic. Do spend an afternoon/evening in Cavtat 🙂

  51. Hi Savi and Vid…. Going to Croatia this July. And your posts have made it so much easier for us to plan. Thanks a lot and much love to you two!!!

    1. Thank you so much Sudeshna – glad we could help with your Croatia road trip. Do share photos from Croatia if you can 🙂

  52. Hi Savi and Vid ,
    My husband and I are looking at going to Croatia in the second week of August for a road trip. We have definitely taken inspiration for the trip from your blog.
    1.We are Indians who live outside(no experience driving in India) and have experience driving in Canada and middle east. We were wondering how easy did you find driving in Croatia . Were the roads tricky while getting into the cities from the highway ?Was it hard to get around once you are in cities like Zadar and Split ?
    2.We are vary of driving within the city limits since we wouldnt be too familiar of the rules and we are trying to choose accomodations a little further out. To visit Split, would you say Znjan is a good option to stay seeing as it isnt exactly city centre and may not be too crowded to get our car around?
    3. While in Croatia , especially when visiting Plitvice National Park , did you have to wear DEET based insect repellant creams, I was reading about tick borne diseases and mosquitos being prevalent in Croatia? I am pregnant and just a little worried about contracting something while on vacation.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey it is pretty easy to drive in Croatia but driving on the other side of the road of course takes some getting used too. You can park and walk on foot in cities like Zadar and Split. We used a regular insect repellant at Plivice and didn’t face any trouble!

  53. Hi Guys! You have inspired us to go to this wonderful place but we are confused as to how do we go from Cappadocia. We are flying to Istanbul from Delhi in September and then Istanbul to Cappadocia, do you think it will be a good idea to take a flight from Cappadocia to Dubrovnik or you suggest some other mode of transport?Eagerly waiting for your reply, Shalki

  54. Hi Savi and Vid,

    How are you? I’m following you guys for years now and finally going on a trip following your blog. 🙂

    However, we don’t have many days in hand and planning to cover only two places in Croatia out of Split, Plitvice and Dubrovnik. Could you please help me to choose out of these 3 and what number of minimum days are enough for each city.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Surabhi,

      We’d suggest Plitvice and Dubrovnik if you have to pick 2 out of 3 (although I believe you can do all 3 with just an extra day) – you could spend 2 days in Split, 1 in Plitvice, and 3 in Dubrovnik 🙂

  55. Hi Savi & Vid,

    My husband and me are visiting Croatia in August end this year, and I just had few questions.
    1) We are hiring a car in Zagreb and driving all the way to Dubrovnik while stopping at Plitvice, Split and Hvar.
    How is the drive back from Dubrovnik to Zagreb because our flight is from Zagreb so we have a day to drive back. Do you think it is worth the drive ? What are the other options if we decide to drop off car at Dubrovnik.

    2) Also did you take the car with you on the catamarn to Hvar from split ? What was the cost ? We don’t want to leave the car in Split.

    1. Hi Akshaya,

      1) On our way back to Zagreb we took the expressway through and through (we drove the coastal road on our way down to Dubrovnik)
      2) No we didn’t

      Hope this helps.

  56. Hi Savi and Vid,

    Great work with the blog – it was actually recommended by a colleague of mine, Swati, who I believe is a friend of yours – she recommended I check it out when I mentioned my wife was also in the process of starting a travel blog!

    Specifically on Croatia, we’re doing a road trip later this month starting from Zagreb and ending in Dubrovnik. I suppose you drove a rental car and would have crossed the Bosnian border at Neum between Split & Dubrovnik? If so, did you tell your rental agency in advance that you would be crossing that border and did they charge anything? Did the authorities at border control check anything apart from passports/visas? I wouldn’t want my rental agency to charge cross-border fees for 10 days just for a 10 min border crossing. I know there is the alternate ferry route, but would like to keep that as the last option.

    1. Hey Arvind,

      Yes we informed them – in fact there is no way around it if you’re driving down to Dubrovnik. The guards there just checked the car papers and our Croatian visas

      That said, different rental agencies might have different routes so best to just email yours and ask them specifically about this border crossing. Always better to have something in writing.

      Have a great trip

  57. Hi, we will be travelling to Croatia in early October and we are thinking of whether to take a road trip or a ferry from Dubrovnik to Split? – what is your advice? Ferry will take a little more than 4 hours.

  58. I visited Dubrovnik last year and all I remember is the road trip with my friends. There weren’t any issues that I faced and services provided by road travel agencies was just awesome. I also spent my 3 days in Mljet for island exploration and hopping.

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