Captivating Croatia: A 2-Week Journey Through Rich History and Coastal Bliss

Advisor - Rachel Havens
Curated By

Rachel Havens

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  • Croatia

  • Dubrovnik

  • City Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Food & Wine

  • Multi-City

ancient city street and blue skye
Curator’s statement

Embark on a captivating two-week journey through Croatia, where rich history and coastal bliss await. Begin your adventure in the enchanting city of Dubrovnik, exploring its ancient walls and savoring exquisite local cuisine. Immerse yourself in the idyllic island life as you venture to Korcula and Hvar, discovering charming towns, indulging in wine tasting experiences, and basking in the sun-kissed beaches. In Split, delve into the fascinating world of Diocletian's Palace and wander through the narrow streets of the old town. From the majestic Krka Waterfalls to the panoramic views of Klis Fortress, nature's beauty will leave you in awe. Unwind by the pool or on the sandy shores, savoring the tranquility and sipping on a glass of fine Croatian wine. This two-week itinerary promises an unforgettable experience, blending history, relaxation, and the allure of Croatia's stunning coastal landscapes.

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Where to stay

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Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

Upscale seafront hotel with chic rooms in the heart of Dubrovnik.

Fora Perks
  • $25 spa credit.

  • Welcome treat in room on arrival.

  • Upgrade & guaranteed late check-out.

Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort

Contemporary seasonal resort set along the Adriatic Sea with upscale rooms and multi-bedroom suites.

Aminess Port 9 Hotel

Family friendly resort amidst natural wonders of Croatia with large swimming pools, various activities and entertainment, plus Korčula-inspired restaurants and bars.

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Advisor - Rachel Havens

Unlock perks by contacting Rachel to book your trip.

Day 1: Dubrovnik

Captivating Croatia: A 2-Week Journey Through Rich History and Coastal Bliss - Day 1: Dubrovnik

Welcome to Dubrovnik, a stunning city on the Adriatic coast! Today is your arrival day, so take some time to settle into your hotel and get oriented. Upon arrival at Dubrovnik Airport, take a private transfer to your hotel. Check-in and freshen up.

Once you're ready, head out to explore the charming streets of Dubrovnik's Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and impressive city walls. Take a leisurely stroll along the Stradun, the main street of the Old Town, lined with shops, cafes, and historic buildings. Visit some of the iconic landmarks such as the Sponza Palace, the Rector's Palace, and the Cathedral of the Assumption.

For dinner, choose from one of the fantastic restaurants in Dubrovnik. Some popular options include Proto, Nautika, or Pantarul. These establishments offer a combination of traditional Croatian dishes and international cuisine, all served in a delightful atmosphere.

After dinner, you may wish to relax and unwind at a local bar or take an evening stroll along the waterfront promenade. Take in the beauty of the city at night before heading back to your hotel for a good night's rest. Note: It's always a good idea to make dinner reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability at your preferred restaurant.

Hotel Recs: Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

Day 2: Dubrovnik Old Town & beaches

historical seaside town

Get ready for an exciting day exploring Dubrovnik's famous city walls and enjoying the city's unique spots.

Start your day early to beat the crowds and make the most of your visit to the Dubrovnik City Walls. The walls open at 8:00 AM, so aim to arrive as soon as possible to enjoy a peaceful walk along the historic fortifications that offer panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. Don't forget to bring water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes.

After your walk along the walls, take a break and head to Buza Bar. This hidden gem is perched on the cliffs just outside the city walls, offering spectacular views of the sea. Enjoy a refreshing drink and soak in the atmosphere of this unique spot.

For lunch, venture into one of the local restaurants in the Old Town or near the city walls. Some popular options include Taj Mahal (Bosnian cuisine), Lady Pi-Pi (grilled dishes), or Dalmatino (Croatian cuisine). Indulge in delicious local specialties and take in the charming ambiance.

Following a busy morning and a satisfying meal, it's time to relax and unwind at one of Dubrovnik's beautiful beaches. Banje Beach, located just outside the city walls, offers stunning views of the Old Town. You can rent a sunbed or find a cozy spot on the pebbly shores to soak up the sun and take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters. If you're in the mood for some more adventure, consider taking a short boat trip to the nearby Lokrum Island. This nature reserve offers secluded coves, walking trails, and even a small lake known as the Dead Sea, perfect for a relaxing swim.

After a day filled with exploration, relaxation, and delicious food, head back to your hotel or continue to explore the vibrant nightlife of Dubrovnik. The city offers a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to suit every taste. Note: It's advisable to carry some cash as some establishments may not accept card payments.

Day 3: Blue Cave excursion and dinner in the Old Town

rocky island beach

Today, embark on an exciting adventure to explore the Blue Cave and enjoy a delightful dinner in Dubrovnik's Old Town.

Join a guided tour or a private excursion to visit the Blue Cave. The Blue Cave is located on the island of Biševo, near the island of Vis. It is famous for its mesmerizing blue glow caused by sunlight passing through an underwater opening. Marvel at the enchanting beauty of the cave and take memorable photos. Please note that weather conditions may affect access to the cave, so it's a good idea to check in advance.

After the Blue Cave excursion, return to Dubrovnik and take some time to relax and freshen up. In the afternoon, explore more of Dubrovnik's Old Town. Lose yourself in the narrow alleys, discover hidden squares, and admire the architectural wonders. Don't miss the chance to visit the Dubrovnik Cathedral, Franciscan Monastery, or the Maritime Museum.

As the sun sets, the Old Town becomes even more magical. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the ancient city walls, taking in the breathtaking views of the shimmering sea and terracotta rooftops.

For dinner, head to one of the charming restaurants in the Old Town. Try local delicacies such as seafood risotto, black cuttlefish risotto, or traditional Croatian grilled meats/

Day 4: Adventure morning & ferry to Korcula

ancient island village

Get ready for an adventurous morning filled with snorkeling and kayaking before heading to the beautiful island of Korcula.

Start your day with an exciting morning. Join a guided snorkeling and kayaking tour along the coastline of Dubrovnik. Explore hidden coves, paddle through crystal-clear waters, and discover the underwater beauty of the Adriatic Sea. Immerse yourself in the stunning marine life and enjoy the thrill of water activities.

After your adventure morning, return to your hotel and gather your belongings. Take a ferry from Dubrovnik to the island of Korcula. Ferries depart regularly from the Dubrovnik Port, and the journey typically takes around two to three hours, depending on the ferry schedule. Enjoy the scenic views as you sail across the Adriatic Sea.

Upon arrival on the island of Korcula, check in to your hotel and take some time to relax and settle in. In the evening, explore the charming town of Korcula, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and rich history. Stroll through the narrow streets and visit attractions such as the St. Mark's Cathedral and the Marco Polo House.

Treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants on the island. Sample traditional Croatian cuisine, including fresh seafood, local wines, and flavorsome Mediterranean dishes. Some recommended restaurants in Korcula town include Konoba Mate and Konoba Nonno.

Enjoy a relaxing evening and soak up the island's serene atmosphere. After dinner, you can take a leisurely walk along the promenade or find a cozy spot to enjoy a drink and soak in the island vibes.

Note: Check the ferry schedule ahead of time and arrive at the Dubrovnik Port early to secure your tickets unless booked prior.

Hotel Recs: Port 9 Hotel

Day 5: Exploring Korcula Town, wine tour and dinner

winery views on an island into ocean

Today, immerse yourself in the beauty of Korcula Town, indulge in a wine tour, and enjoy a delightful dinner on the island.

Start your day early to enjoy the tranquility of Korcula Town before most tourists arrive. Take a leisurely stroll through the winding streets, lined with charming stone buildings, boutique shops, and local stores. Explore the town's historic landmarks, such as the St. Mark's Cathedral and the Bishop's Treasury, or simply get lost in the enchanting atmosphere.

Find a cozy café with a picturesque view and savor a cup of coffee while admiring the serene surroundings. Watch as the town awakens, and soak in the captivating views of the Adriatic Sea.

In the afternoon, embark on a wine tour to discover the renowned wine country of Korcula. The island is famous for its vineyards and traditional winemaking techniques. Visit local wineries and vineyards, where you can learn about the production process, sample different wines, and gain insights into the island's viticulture. Enjoy the scenic countryside as you explore the vineyards, surrounded by lush green landscapes and stunning vistas. Taste a variety of indigenous wines, including the popular white wine, Grk, which is exclusive to the island of Korcula.

After your wine tour, return to Korcula Town and prepare for a delightful dinner. Indulge in a memorable dining experience at one of the island's exquisite restaurants. Korcula boasts numerous eateries offering a combination of traditional Croatian dishes and international cuisine. Enjoy fresh seafood caught from the Adriatic Sea, accompanied by locally sourced ingredients and aromatic flavors. Some recommended restaurants in Korcula Town include Konoba Belin and Konoba Adio Mare.

Day 6: Exploring Vela Luka

clear water on a beach with palm trees from above

Today, venture out to the charming town of Vela Luka and enjoy a day filled with exploration, activities, and a delicious dinner.

Start your day by traveling to Vela Luka from Korcula Town. You can take a local bus or arrange private transportation, depending on your preference and convenience. Once in Vela Luka, consider joining a guided walking tour to learn about the town's history, culture, and local landmarks.

Explore the picturesque streets, visit notable sites like the Church of St. Joseph, and gain insights into the local way of life. Alternatively, you can choose to explore Vela Luka at your own pace, wandering through its charming alleys and discovering hidden gems. In the afternoon, take advantage of the beautiful coastal setting of Vela Luka.

If you're up for some adventure, rent a kayak and paddle along the crystal-clear waters, exploring the nearby coves and hidden beaches. Enjoy the tranquility and natural beauty that surrounds you. If you prefer a more relaxed afternoon, head to one of the local beaches in Vela Luka. Prapratno Bay and Vranac Beach are popular options where you can sunbathe, swim, or simply unwind while soaking up the sun.

Before returning to your hotel, treat yourself to a delicious dinner in Vela Luka. The town offers a variety of dining options, ranging from seaside taverns to cozy restaurants. Indulge in Mediterranean cuisine, seafood specialties, and local delicacies while enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of this charming town. Some recommended restaurants in Vela Luka include Konoba Bata and Konoba Skalinada.

After dinner, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade, savoring the beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. Absorb the peaceful ambiance of Vela Luka before heading back to your hotel in Korcula.

Day 7: Relaxing morning and Ferry to Hvar

busy harbor of a island village lit up at night

Begin your day with a relaxing morning at your hotel's pool. Take a refreshing swim, bask in the sun, and indulge in a leisurely breakfast. Enjoy the amenities and tranquility of your accommodation, allowing yourself to recharge and rejuvenate.

In the afternoon, make your way to the ferry terminal to catch a ferry to Hvar. Purchase your ticket in advance to ensure a smooth travel. Enjoy the scenic boat ride as you sail across the Adriatic Sea to the vibrant island of Hvar. Admire the crystal-clear waters, picturesque landscapes, and the approaching beauty of Hvar's coastline.

Upon arrival on the island of Hvar, check into your hotel and settle in. For the evening, take it easy and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Hvar. Stroll along the water, lined with charming cafes, bars, and boutiques. Admire the beautiful yachts moored in the harbor and take in the vibrant energy of the island. You can choose to have a casual dinner at one of the seaside restaurants or explore the town's lively dining scene. Sample local delicacies, fresh seafood, and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine while savoring the island's unique charm.

After dinner, you might want to enjoy a peaceful evening walk, savor a refreshing cocktail, or simply relax and unwind at your hotel, preparing for more exciting adventures on the following days.

Hotel Recs: Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Resort

Day 8: Fortica Fortress, relaxation and dinner at Dalmatino

narrow stone street

Begin your day by heading to Fortica Fortress, also known as Hvar Fortress, to enjoy an awe-inspiring view. The fortress is located on a hilltop overlooking Hvar Town, offering panoramic vistas of the town, the sparkling Adriatic Sea, and the surrounding islands. Start early to avoid crowds and make the most of this enchanting experience.

After exploring the fortress, treat yourself to a well-deserved relaxation session. You can choose to unwind by the pool at your hotel, savoring the tranquil ambiance and soaking up the sun or enjoy the crystal-clear waters and soft sandy shores on the beach. Take refreshing dips, sunbathe, or simply lounge under the shade of an umbrella, embracing the serene coastal atmosphere.

For a memorable dining experience, make your way to Dalmatino, a renowned restaurant in Hvar. Dalmatino offers a delightful blend of traditional Croatian cuisine and Mediterranean flavors. Indulge in delicious seafood dishes, grilled specialties, and local delicacies prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant's cozy ambiance and attentive service will enhance your dining experience, making it a memorable evening in Hvar.

Note: It's necessary to make a reservation at Dalmatino in advance, as it can be popular among visitors and locals alike.

Day 9: Beach club experience and dinner in Hvar Town

people lounge on rocky beach shore

Spend the day at one of Hvar's renowned beach clubs, where you can relax, socialize, and soak up the lively atmosphere. Some popular options include Hvar Beach Club, Hula Hula Bar Hvar, and Carpe Diem Hvar. These beach clubs offer comfortable sun loungers, refreshing cocktails, DJ music, and a vibrant beach party ambiance. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters, dance to the beats, and indulge in a mix of relaxation and excitement. Each beach club has its own unique vibe, so choose the one that aligns with your preferences and immerse yourself in the beach club experience.

After a day of beach club fun, head back to Hvar Town for a delicious dinner. The town boasts a wide range of dining options to suit every taste. Wander through the charming streets and explore the various restaurants to find the perfect spot for your evening meal. Choose from an array of culinary delights, including fresh seafood, Croatian specialties, international cuisine, and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Some recommended restaurants in Hvar Town include Gariful, Passarola, and Giaxa.

Enjoy a leisurely dinner, savoring the flavors and relishing the delightful ambiance of Hvar. After dinner, you can take a leisurely stroll, mingle with fellow travelers, or find a cozy bar to enjoy a drink and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Hvar Town at night.

Day 10: Ferry to Split, check in and relaxation

rooftop view on coastal island

Start your day by taking a ferry from Hvar to Split. Check the ferry schedules in advance and plan your departure accordingly. Ferries between Hvar and Split operate regularly, offering a convenient and scenic journey along the Adriatic Sea. Enjoy the coastal views as you approach the bustling city of Split.

Upon arrival in Split, make your way to the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Split, where you'll be checking in. Located in a prime location, this hotel offers a comfortable and luxurious stay with a range of amenities and services. Once you've settled into your hotel, take the afternoon to relax and unwind. Make use of the hotel's spa facilities, such as the pool, sauna, or jacuzzi, to rejuvenate your body and mind. Alternatively, you can lounge by the pool or find a cozy spot to read a book and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of the hotel.

In the evening, you have the option to dine at one of the restaurants within the Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Split, or venture out to explore the culinary scene in the city. Split offers a wide range of dining options, from local Croatian cuisine to international flavors. You can choose to enjoy a meal at a waterfront restaurant, savoring fresh seafood and Mediterranean dishes.

Note: Ensure that you have arranged your ferry tickets in advance and check the ferry schedules for a smooth transfer from Hvar to Split.

Hotel Recs: Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Split

Day 11: Krka Waterfalls excursion, evening massage, and hotel dinner

waterfall surrounded by lush greenery

On Day 11, embark on an exciting excursion to Krka Waterfalls, followed by a relaxing evening at the hotel, including a massage and dinner.

Begin your day by joining an excursion to Krka Waterfalls. Located near Split, Krka National Park is renowned for its stunning waterfalls and natural beauty. You can either join a guided tour or arrange transportation to the park on your own. Explore the park's well-maintained trails, allowing you to witness the enchanting cascades, lush greenery, and vibrant flora and fauna. Marvel at the Skradinski Buk waterfall, the park's most famous and picturesque waterfall. Take your time to admire the serene surroundings and take photographs.

After exploring Krka Waterfalls, return to your hotel in Split. Take some time to relax and rejuvenate before the evening activities. Enjoy the hotel's facilities, such as the spa or wellness center, to unwind and recharge. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage at the hotel's spa. Indulge in a well-deserved pampering session, allowing the skilled therapists to soothe your muscles and release any tension or fatigue accumulated from the day's activities.

Following your massage, enjoy a leisurely dinner on the hotel property. Delight in a selection of delectable dishes, complemented by fine wines or refreshing beverages, in a serene and elegant atmosphere. After dinner, you can unwind further by taking a leisurely stroll around the hotel's grounds or enjoying a nightcap at the hotel's bar before retiring for a restful night's sleep.

Day 12: Diocletian's Palace, Old Town exploration, Riva Promenade, and wine tasting

historical palace

Start your day by visiting Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Split's main attractions. This ancient Roman palace is an architectural marvel, combining historical significance with vibrant city life. Explore the narrow alleys, hidden squares, and the impressive Peristyle, the central square of the palace. Marvel at the intricate details and historical remnants that make this place so special.

After exploring Diocletian's Palace, continue your exploration of the old town. Wander through the charming streets, browse local shops, and discover hidden gems tucked away in the ancient walls. Admire the architecture, visit art galleries, or stop for a coffee at one of the cozy cafés, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere.

Take a leisurely stroll along the Riva Promenade, a vibrant waterfront promenade lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants. Enjoy the sea breeze, people-watch, and soak in the beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. Pause to take photos, sit on a bench, or simply enjoy the ambiance of this popular gathering spot.

For a delightful afternoon experience, head to Zinfandel Wine Bar. Located in Split's old town, this wine bar offers a wide selection of wines, including local Croatian varieties. Enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by a selection of delicious food, such as cheese and charcuterie platters or local delicacies. Savor the flavors, learn about the wines from knowledgeable staff, and appreciate the wine culture of the region.

Return to your hotel and take advantage of the facilities. Relax by the pool, enjoy a swim, or find a spot on the beach to soak up the sun and unwind. Take some time to rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration and indulgence.

Day 13: Klis Fortress and leisure time by the pool/beach

ancient fortress with blue sky

Begin your day by visiting Klis Fortress, located just outside of Split. This medieval fortress offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the city of Split. Explore the fortress walls, towers, and interior chambers, and learn about its historical significance. As you wander through the fortress, you'll get a sense of its storied past and the strategic role it played throughout history.

After your visit to Klis Fortress, return to your hotel and take advantage of the leisure facilities. Whether it's the pool overlooking the Adriatic Sea or a private beach, indulge in a relaxing afternoon of sunbathing, swimming, or simply unwinding with a good book. Treat yourself to refreshing drinks or snacks available at the hotel's bar or beachside service. As the day winds down, consider enjoying a pleasant dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants or exploring nearby dining options.

Take this evening to reflect on your experiences in Croatia, savor the last moments of your trip, and prepare for your departure the following day.

Day 14: Final morning dip and departure

blue sea through stone columns

Start your morning by making your way to the beach or coastal area near your hotel. Take a refreshing swim in the Adriatic Sea, soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the coastline. Enjoy the soothing sound of the waves, feel the sun on your skin, and create one last memorable moment in the stunning Croatian waters.

After your swim, return to your hotel to freshen up and check out. Make your way to Split Airport and board your return flight, bidding farewell to Croatia and cherishing memories of your 2-week journey along the coast of this beautiful country.

Advisor - Rachel Havens

Travel Advisor

Rachel Havens

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Croatia.