Croatia Guide: A Road Trip Up the Coast

Hello fellow wanderlusters! I just got back from a three week adventure in Europe and part of that included a week long road trip up the Croatian coast. There was so much to do and see that if you can have more time there I highly recommend it. But if not – fear not, you CAN see a lot if not most of Croatia in 5-6 days!

Day 1-2: Dubrovnik, Croatia

dubrovnik croatia

We kicked off our road trip by flying into Dubrovnik (DUB) airport. It is about a 15-20 minute drive from Old Town, and if you don’t have a rental car don’t worry there is Uber in Croatia. Kevin and I stayed at this Airbnb which had amazing views of the city, however be warned getting back up will be a booty workout for sure! (or you can take an Uber as well) Once you get settled in, head into town and get a sampler platter from Barba Dubrovnik which is MORE than enough for two people.

After you eat your fill, head to Banje Beach Club for an afternoon dip and ledge jumping. Some other options include: Danče Beach and Sulici Beach. If you’re like me, you’ll probably be hungry again after so head back into town and grab a seat at Bar Buza for sunset and to watch people ledge jump!

Day 2:

Wake up early for an amazing sunset and head into town again if you like taking photos without people in it – you’ll need to get to town by 7-7:30AM and even then the streets will be bustling! Walk through Luza square and experience Cersei’s walk of shame on the steps by the Church of St. Ignatius. Then head to the Walls of Dubrovnik BEFORE 8AM (or buy them the day before) to get in line to get up the walls. We arrived right at 8AM when they open and the line was already pretty long. Definitely try to get there early because then you’ll beat the heavier crowds AND the heat. (Pro tip: check the cruises that arrive in Dubrovnik here to avoid more crowds as well). 

At night, head up to Mt. Srd either by cable car, hike or drive. If you choose to take the cable car get in line by 5:30 or 6PM since there will be a line but trust me – it’ll all be worth it for views like these.

Day 3-4: Split and Hvar, Croatia

Day 3: Drive to Split and walk around.

On day three we drove to Split, and here is where you can squeeze in a quick stop in Bosnia at Stari Most if you would like! We did that as well and arrived in Split just in time for dinner and ate at Konoba Varos. I highly recommend it! After we walked around the Old Town of Split as well and it was super lively with lots of bars, live music and shops. Suggestions where to stay: Bonum Rooms its a short walk into Old Town and the lady manager is super nice! (For $20 off Booking click here)

Day 4: Day trip to Hvar

On this day we woke up early and visited the Diocletian Palace (pictured above) without the crowds. It really seems like a whole different place during the day before the shops and cafes open and you really appreciate and envision what these ruins must have looked like back in the day. Pretty freaking amazing.

Then we hopped on a ferry to Hvar at 9:45 and arrived in the Port of Hvar by 11, easy peasy! We grabbed brunch at The Fig Cafe and grabbed couple cookies from Nonica Caffe Bar as a treat since the walk up the Spanjola Fort is another booty workout. I’ll just tell you right now that you will be doing a lot of stairs and walking around Croatia which is good because you will leave with a toned peachy bottom!

Head to Mustaço Beach to cool off and relax. It’s a bit further from the main city area so it’ll be a bit quieter. If you would like a louder party scene head to Hula Hula Beach Bar! Once you get hungry again head into town and grab dinner at Dalmatino. They have delicious pasta and also gave us some complimentary drinks to start and finish off our meal! Tips: buy some lavender as souvenirs, make sure you haggle the prices! We hopped on a 7:30PM ferry back to Split, grabbed some ice cream from Luka Ice Cream on our way home and called it a very good day.

Day 5-6: National Parks of Croatia

Day 5: Krka National Park and Sibenik

It’s already Day 5 of your trip, so now you’ll be leaving the city life and heading into nature. Your first stop will be Krka National Park and the famous falls in the park is called the Skradinski waterfall. To get there you have three options, to hike (~45 mins one way), park and take a shuttle or a ferry ride. We went with the ferry route and it was really chill and pretty well organized. Once you get to falls it will probably be extremely crowded but if you go all the way to the left side of the falls you may be able to experience a more secluded view.

After the falls the most convenient place to stay would be in Sibenik/ Zaton. We stayed at The Admiral Zaton which is a really cute boutique hotel right on the water in Zaton. Get a balcony room and enjoy the amazing Croatian sunrises and sunsets. For an amazing dinner experience, book Pelegrini in Sibenik! It has a Michelin star and the outdoor seating is super romantic. They also have an option for you to choose how many courses you’d like and which dishes you’d like as the courses. For instance, if you want all main courses – you can choose to do it that way. SUPER WORTH!

Day 6: Plitvice and Zagreb

It’s the LAST DAY of an amazing week of adventure, but not to fear there’s still one more amazing destination on the agenda. Today you will head to Plitvice National Park on your way from Sibenik to Zagreb where we caught our flight back home. For Plitvice route your GPS to Entrance 1 of the park (parking will cost you 7 Krona/ hour), aim to get there before 9AM as that’s when all the tour buses come and the platform roads through the park can get crowded or you might get stuck behind a big group. If you have the time I suggest route C, but if you’re short on time – do route A and half of an upper route (K) like we did. I liked walking through the park and by the falls on the lower routes, but its also amazing to see the view from above!

Unlike at Krka, you can’t swim in Plitvice Lakes as they are a UNESCO protected site. But trust me, it’s worth the visit. The water was surprisingly turquoise I couldn’t stop staring!

Once you’ve had your fill of beautiful views head to Zagreb for some late lunch before your flight. Some suggestions: Heritage Restaurant, Lari & Penati and Mundoaka Street Food.

And that wraps up an amazing week in Croatia!

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to answer or share my google sheet with you as well 🙂

As always – safe travels!


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  1. Elisa Szeto
    January 1, 2020 / 10:30 pm

    Hi! I came across your Croatia post and am planning to travel there in mid July. I would love your google spreadsheet or any other recommendations as my boyfriend and I will heading there soon. Thank you 🙂

    • raych0w7
      January 15, 2020 / 6:39 am

      Hi Elisa! Shared with you via Google 🙂 The final itinerary of what we did is a bit different since some of our plans changed slightly while we were there. Definitely try to eat at Pelegrini if you get the chance.

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