10 Romantic Days in Croatia

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Advisor - Hannah Giles
Curated By

Hannah Giles

  • Arts & Culture

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Honeymoons

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Croatia

  • Local Culture

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

  • Romance

A view of a white tower from a stone window with blue water and mountains in the background.
Curator’s statement

Croatia is an under-rated destination. Yes, it's becoming more popular, but I promise it's still not as popular as it deserves. Croatia will be the place that surprises you. It's that unexpected destination you will rave to your friends and family about. If you're looking for a romantic getaway (perhaps a honeymoon?), this is the perfect destination! Have you dreamt of sea-view balconies, UNESCO World Heritage sites, uninterrupted drives along the coast or sipping local wines in a fascinating destination with your new spouse? Then look no further. Croatia is IT!

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Where to stay

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Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb and head to Plitvice Lakes National Park

A photo of boats docked in a harbor near stone buildings with arches, red roofs and trees in the distance.

When you arrive in Zagreb, pick up your rental car and drive a few hours south to Plitvice Lakes National Park. You might be tired from your long journey, but it's well worth it to get a couple of hours into your road trip before catching some zzz's alongside beautiful scenery.

Day 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park to Dubrovnik

An aerial view of the city in Croatia near the turquoise blue water at daytime.

Begin exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park in the morning at your own pace.

By mid-day, start your drive south to Dubrovnik. The drive from Plitvice Lakes will take around four and a half hours, BUT leave time to stop at the rest stops along the way. You will also have to go through a small piece of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which means a few border crossings, too. Don't let this scare you! It's easy, but you may need to allow for a bit of time depending on the traffic.

Once you arrive in Dubrovnik, check into your hotel. Consider the Villa Orabelle for a boutique feel in a great location, seaside views, balconies and an on-site restaurant.

If you're able to catch a dinner reservation at Panorama Restaurant, you might want to snag it! The views are phenomenal. And make sure you time it so that you can take the cable car up and down from the restaurant. Alternatively, consider heading there for a drink before dinner.

Day 3: Dubrovnik and Game of Thrones

A blue train filled with passengers near the buildings during the evening time.

Have a leisurely morning. Soak in your balcony views or head to the old town and find a local café (which might also be a bar) in a narrow alley. Sip some espresso before your afternoon excursion.

Meet up with your guide and group for a Game of Thrones Walking Tour. Whether you are a GOT fan or not, a walking tour like this is a great way to see the old town. If you are a GOT fan, you will be fascinated by how much impact the show had on the city of Dubrovnik (and the country of Croatia).

Grab some lunch and then head to the iconic Buza Bar. The bar is right on the cliffside on the edge of the city wall. If you have your bathing suit, you can even jump off into the water for a quick swim.

Continue soaking in the old town feel by catching your dinner reservation at Gradska Kavana Arsenal. Croatia is romantic!

Day 4: Take a Cooking Class in Dubrovnik

A person kneading dough on a table.

For your second full day in Dubrovnik, I recommend a cooking class. You can head to a town outside of the city to learn how to cook a very traditional Peka dish. Let me help you book this (or another cooking class that sparks your interest)!

In the afternoon, explore Port Gruz, or the newer part of the city. There's a nice board walk with a different view of the city.

You might also want to consider dinner at Tramuntana to experience a different neighborhood of the city AND seaside eating.

Day 5: Hvar Island

An aerial view of the Hvar Island with boats anchored to the dock.

Get an early start to your day! You should plan for three hours plus time to cross the border to drive from Dubrovnik to Split. Once in Split, head to the port to catch your ferry to Hvar. The ferry ride is between one to two hours (depending on the type of ferry).

Once in Hvar, drive to Stari Grad for the afternoon. Explore the oldest town in Croatia. Grab some lunch and get lost walking around buildings with doors that are shorter than you!

Head to Hvar town, where you will stay for the next two nights. Grab dinner at numerous places in the bustling seaside town.

Day 6: Hvar

A low angled shot of the Fortress during the daytime.

Have a relaxing day in Hvar! There are numerous beaches to choose from. Find a beach or café. Swim or people-watch. Maybe even enjoy a massage at your hotel!

If you want to move and explore, consider visiting the Fortica Fortress.

Finish your day with a romantic dinner followed by ice cream and gelato while walking around the boardwalk.

Day 7: Head to Split

A person wearing black jacket walking on dock near white and blue boats during daytime.

Have a leisurely morning before heading back to the ferry for Split.

Once you're in Split, check in to your hotel and drop off your luggage. You might want to consider Le Meridien Split for a bit of a luxury experience, yet affordable price!

If you want to see all of Split, the best way to do that is by bicycle. There's so much to see in this city, but it's tough to do it all on foot. Meet up for an evening on a city bike tour. It might be tough, but it'll be well worth it. You will see so much!

Day 8: Krka National Park

An aerial view of the green trees beside the river under a white sky.

Spend the next day exploring Krka National Park. It's an hour's drive from Split. You can decide if you want to do a self-guided tour or join a group tour.

Later that night, relax with dinner at your hotel restaurant for some ocean-side views while eating.

Day 9: Split

A low angled shot of the street with a building in the middle, joining two roads.

For your last full day in Split, check out all of the things you haven't seen yet. You might even want to take advantage of a spa day at the hotel.

Later in the afternoon, head into town. Get lost walking in the pedestrian-only part of the old town. When you come across a restaurant that looks quaint and enjoyable, make reservations for a couple of hours later. That way you can enjoy walking around and a pre-dinner drink somewhere.

Day 10: Zagreb

A brown concrete building with a beautiful garden under the blue sky during daytime.

For your last full day, aim to leave early in the morning. Your drive to Zagreb from Split will be about four hours. Drop your rental car back off at the airport mid-day.

If you are up for some activities, there is so much worth seeing. You will notice a dichotomy between the Dalmatian Coast and Northern Croatia.

Consider checking out the Dolac Market if you arrive before two or three o'clock in the afternoon. Here you can also attend a cooking class.

Finish your last dinner of the trip with your favorite person on Tkalčićeva Street.

Advisor - Hannah Giles

Travel Advisor

Hannah Giles

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This itinerary is part of our ongoing series on travel to Croatia. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Two-Week Northern Italy Honeymoon.