The Best of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast in 7 Days
The Dalmatian Coast of Croatia is a true gem on the Adriatic Sea and encompasses all of the trappings that people desire of a European summer getaway, but is surprisingly often overlooked. The Dalmatian Coast is a perfect destination for trips with your friends, romantic getaways and family excursions as well — it really has it all! The atmosphere is electric, the seafood is fresh and the affordability factor is definitely a plus as well.
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Where to stay
Palace Elisabeth, hvar heritage hotel
Palatial hotel in the heart of Hvar with over-the-top interiors, an expansive pool and San Marco restaurant overlooking the main town square — perfect for dinner at sunset!
Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik
Newly-refurbished hotel carved into a cliffside, with floor-to-ceiling windows revealing the vast Adriatic — perfect for exploring the Croatian capital.
€30 credit each to spend at the wine bar.
Hotel Vestibul Palace
Set in Split's historic Old Town, this small boutique hotel features classic rooms and suites and an airy restaurant.
$50 hotel / resort credit.
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Days 1 – 3: 2 nights in Split
Begin your tour of the Dalmatian Coast in Split. Check in to your hotel — great options include Villa Split Heritage Hotel and Vestibul Palace.
On your first day in Split, take a private tour of Diocletian’s Palace to get the lay of the land within the Old Town walls. What really makes Split so fascinating is how the city lives and thrives among its’ history so this is a must-do while in Split.
After the tour, take a stroll along the Riva (or promenade) and head to Bokamorra for lunch. You don’t tend to think of pizza when you think of Split, but this is some of the best pizza out there4 and it’s a great atmosphere as well. From here, head over to Plaža Ježinac beach and enjoy the rest of the afternoon on the beach.
For dinner, indulge in the fresh seafood at Leonis – they bring the fresh catch to your table and you choose which fish you want cooked for dinner, it’s amazing.
For your second day, venture to Krka National Park, which is an hour drive from Split. It’s truly beautiful and worth the visit. If you’re going in the summer month though, go early! On your way back to Split, consider a detour to Trogir, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a gorgeous old town to spend a few hours exploring in.
For dinner, you must go to Bokeria – it is phenomenal. Order a bottle of the Puhelek Sauvignon Blanc and get the Swordfish Carpaccio if it’s on the menu. You will not regret it.
Days 3 – 5: 2 nights in Hvar
Take the 50 minute ferry to Hvar on your third morning in Croatia. Check in to your hotel and head to one of the beach clubs for the afternoon — like Beach Club Hvar. I recommend Palace Elisabeth or Maslina Resort.
After you’ve soaked up all the sun you can handle, head towards Stari Grad for dinner at Antika. Take a peek at the Stari Grad Plains on the way — these are also UNESCO World Heritage and they are some of the oldest agricultural plains that shows the land division system of the ancient Ionian Greeks, who colonized the island in 4th century BC. You could also stop for a local wine tasting on your way in — there are tons of wine makers on Hvar Island.
Hvar is one of the most well-known islands in Croatia due to nightlife. If you’re up for it, hit the bars on the Riva after returning from dinner. Carpe Diem is a nightclub like no other — when the clock strikes midnight, you hop on a boat and they take you to an island to keep partying.
On your second day in Hvar, take a boat cruise to the Pakleni Islands or one of the neighboring islands of Vis, Brac or Korcula. There are so many options! The Pakleni Islands are very close to Hvar, so if you’re feeling more adventurous, you could also rent kayaks and head to the Pakleni Islands on your own. There are lots of great restaurants for lunch.
For dinner, go to Restaurant Stajun — it’s delightful and inventive and the perfect way to cap off your time in Hvar.
Days 5-7: 2 nights in Dubrovnik
Take the 3 hour ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik on day 5 and check in to your hotel upon arrival. I recommend Hotel Bellevue!
Grab a late lunch and head to Banje Beach to relax for the afternoon. Once the crowds and the heat have cooled off, head to the Old Town and walk the famed Old Town Walls. Take your time and make sure to take advantage of the many gorgeous photo ops. Afterward, head to Buza Bar for drinks and a primetime spot for watching the sunset. For dinner, go to Gradska Kavana Arsenal for more stunning views and delicious food in Old Town.
On your second day in Dubrovnik, there are several great options – you can continue to explore Old Town Dubrovnik or take the cable car up the mountain for more breathtaking views of the city, or you can take the water and go on a boat tour to the Elaphiti Islands. Another great option is a tour to Ston for some of the best oysters you’ll have in your life. And if you’re wanting to see something completely different, take a day tour to Montenegro or Mostar.
Whichever adventure you choose, make sure to cap off your night at Vapor, a Michelin-recommended restaurant in the Hotel Bellevue. The food is superb and the views and great as well. After dinner, grab a night cap and reflect on the wonderful trip you’ve just had — and start planning your next!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Emily Brown's guide, A Guide to Southern Croatia: Island Hopping and More.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Croatia.