Twelve days is enough time to cover multiple regions in Croatia—such as the Dalmatian coast and the Istrian peninsula—at a reasonable pace. You can take in the main highlights and include some adventure activities by flying open-jaw, thanks to the international airports in Zagreb and Dubrovnik. Learn more with these great itineraries, below!

Itinerary #1: Best of Croatia: Zagreb, Rovinj, Šibenik, Hvar, & Dubrovnik

This thorough 12-day self-guided itinerary covers Croatia's best, heading north to south, including cultural stops in former Venetian- cities to the exploration of ancient Roman ruins and fortified walls. 

Waterfront path leading to Poreč
Waterfront path leading to Poreč
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb! Zagreb
Day 2 Walking Tour of Zagreb Zagreb
Day 3 Zagreb to Rovinj, Stopping in Pula Rovinj
Day 4 Explore Istria: Poreč & Motovun (Day Trip from Rovinj) Rovinj
Day 5 Rovinj to Šibenik, Stopping at Zadar Šibenik
Day 6 Šibenik to Split, Stopping in Trogir Split
Day 7 Ferry from Split to Hvar, Cycle through Villages & Vineyards Hvar Town
Day 8 Private Sailing Tour around Vis Island (Day Trip from Hvar) Hvar Town
Day 9 Ferry from Hvar to Korčula Korčula Town
Day 10 Korčula to Ston via Pelješac Peninsula Ston
Day 11 Ston to Dubrovnik, City Walls & Sunset from Srđ Mountain Dubrovnik
Day 12 Depart Dubrovnik  

Begin your self-guided tour of Croatia in the capital, Zagreb. You'll arrive with time to walk areas like St. Mark's Square or the Green Horseshoe. The following day, take a walking tour of the city to experience its coffee culture and see the most notable sights such as Tkalčićeva Street and Grič cannon which fires daily at noon. Depart for Rovinj, a colorful former Venetian city with a stop in Pula to see an incredible Roman amphitheater on day three. Explore the best of Istria's cities such as coastal Poreč and hilltop Motovun where truffles are hunted. Continue south down the coast to Šibenik, known for its fortresses and medieval gardens, with a stop in Zadar on day five. 

Drive to Split via Trogir, an island-city with a waterfront that hosts Romanesque, Renaissance, and baroque architecture and medieval fortress walls. Ferry to Hvar from Split on day seven where you will take to two wheels for a day of cycling the villages and vineyards with tastings along the way. Board a private sailboat for a daylong tour around Vis island with time to swim and snorkel too. Move to the next island, Korčula, on day nine where you can explore the old town and learn about the birthplace of Marco Polo. 

Take Pelješac Peninsula to Ston on day 10. You'll have plenty of time to taste the fresh oysters and mussels of Ston after enjoying some of the robust red wines that the peninsula is known for. Continue driving south to Dubrovnik from Ston where you will have time to walk the city walls and watch a breathtaking Adriatic sunset from Srđ Mountain which overlooks the entire city on your final night. Depart for the airport with a 45-minute transfer on day 12. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Classic Croatia: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, Split, & Zagreb

In the following 12 days, you'll get a great overall feel for Croatia, from cultural stops in baroque and renaissance-infused cities to the exploration of medieval-walled cities, lively markets, ancient ruins, and old fortresses. This experience is similar to the first itinerary in the list, but better suited for those looking to start in Dubrovnik and end in Zagreb.

Observation area overlooking the Ardriatic near Viganj on the Pelješac Peninsula
Observation area overlooking the Adriatic near Viganj on the Pelješac Peninsula
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Dubrovnik! Dubrovnik
Day 2 Historical Walking Tour of Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 3 Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula Korčula Town
Day 4 Cycling & Wine Tasting Tour in Lumbarda Korčula Town
Day 5 Sea Kayaking around Pakleni Islands Hvar Town
Day 6 Sail from Hvar to Vis Island (Day Trip) Hvar Town
Day 7 Ferry from Hvar to Split, Walking Tour of Split Split
Day 8 Day Trip to Krka National Park & Šibenik Split
Day 9 Split to Zadar Zadar
Day 10 Zadar to Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 11 Sunrise at Plitvice Lakes, Drive to Zagreb Zagreb
Day 12 Depart Zagreb  

Begin in the south by arriving in Dubrovnik where you will have time to unwind over a glass of wine with a view of the Adriatic. Take a historic walking tour of the city the next day to learn the rich history and culture of the "Pearl of the Adriatic," with stops at popular sights such as Rector's Palace and the Pile Gate. Cross Pelješac Peninsula en route to Korčula on day three with a stop for the delicious Dingač red wine. On day four, pick up your bike and get ready to ride through the sprawling Lumbarda region with wine tastings at award-winning vineyards along the way. Ferry to Hvar for a day of sea kayaking around the Pakleni Islands

Enjoy a day trip from Hvar to Vis Island onboard a sailboat with time to swim and snorkel on day six. Return to the mainland by arriving in Split by ferry on day seven for a historical walking tour to the best sights like Diocletian's Palace on day seven. Take another day trip out to Šibenik, known for its fortresses and medieval gardens, as well as Krka National Park too.

Transfer from Split to Zadar with free time to see the Sea Organ and the Monument to the Sun on day nine. From there, drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park where you'll spend the night. Get up early for a sunrise tour of the lakes of which there are 16 emerald lagoons and more than 90 lush waterfalls to see. Depart for Zagreb after enjoying the park. Leave for the airport, a 30-minute transfer, on day 12. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Croatia Multisport: Dubrovnik, Split, Paklenica, Plitvice & Zagreb

From the narrow alleys and fortress walls of Dubrovnik to the leafy green parks and historic buildings of Zagreb, this 12-day itinerary is perfect for the active traveler with the chance to go hiking, biking and canyoning. 

Old city walls and the Adriatic
Old city walls and the Adriatic
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Dubrovnik! Dubrovnik
Day 2 Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island Dubrovnik
Day 3 Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula Korčula Town
Day 4 Hike through the Forests and Vineyards of Korčula Korčula Town
Day 5 Ferry from Korčula to Hvar Hvar Town
Day 6 Cycle Tour around Hvar Island Hvar Town
Day 7 Ferry from Hvar to Split Split
Day 8 Rafting, Zip-lining, & Canyoning on Cetina River Split
Day 9 Split to Zadar, Stopping for a Visit in Šibenik Zadar
Day 10 Zadar to Plitvice Lakes, Stopping at Paklenica National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 11 Sunrise at Plitvice Lakes, Drive to Zagreb Zagreb
Day 12 Depart Zagreb  

Arrive in Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic," with time to stretch your legs and enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the Adriatic. The next day you'll take a walking tour of the city in the morning to learn about the history and see the best sights before hopping in a sea kayak to tour nearby Lokrum Island in the afternoon. Drive through the Pelješac Peninsula where you can sip some of Croatia's best red wines before ferrying to Korčula.

On day four, you'll hike the forested woodlands of the island and sample local wine at vineyards. Spend day five ferrying to Hvar, which provides incredible views. Cycle Hvar the following day to see the island and learn about its history before moving on to Split by ferry on day seven. From Split, you'll venture to the Cetina River Canyon on a day trip of rafting, canyoning, and zip-lining high above the winding river. 

Transfer to Zadar, which is home to the Sea Organ and the Monument to the Sun, with a stop in Šibenik. From Zadar, you'll continue north to Plitvice Lakes National Park with a stop to hike in Paklenica National Park, which is filled with craggy limestone ravines. Enjoy a sunrise tour among the breathtaking lagoons and numerous cascading waterfalls on day 11. Overnight in Zagreb, the capital, and depart for the airport on day 12. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Relaxed Exploration of Croatia: Zagreb to Dubrovnik

During this 12-day itinerary, you'll wind your way from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, to Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic," covering many of the country's best highlights such as Plitvice Lakes National Park and Rector's Palace as well as the local cuisine and famous wines. This itinerary is best suited for those looking to spend more time in fewer locations, lending itself to a more relaxed trip.

Prepare a traditional Croatian meal
Prepare a traditional Croatian meal
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb! Zagreb
Day 2 Free Day to Relax in Grabovac Resort (Plitvice Lakes) Grabovac
Day 3 Plitvice Lakes National Park Split
Day 4 Plitvice Lakes to Split, Stopping at Krka National Park Split
Day 5 Cooking Class in Trogir (Day Trip from Split) Split
Day 6 Rafting, Zip-lining, & Canyoning on the Cetina River Split
Day 7 Ferry from Split to Hvar Hvar Town
Day 8 Hvar Offroad Tour Hvar Town
Day 9 Hvar Wine Tasting Hvar Town
Day 10 Ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 11 Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island Dubrovnik
Day 12 Depart Dubrovnik  

Begin your Croatian vacation in Zagreb, the capital, where you can see St. Mark's Cathedral or explore the main square after arriving and checking into your hotel. Transfer to Grabovac the next day where you will have free time to relax at the resort near the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. On day three, tour the park and walk among the 16 emerald lagoons and more than 90 lush waterfalls. You'll drive on south to Split with a stop in Krka National Park which is home to Skradinski Buk, another breathtaking waterfall. 

Spend day five taking a day trip to the island-city of Trogir where you will learn to cook a traditional Dalmatian meal. The action amps up the next day with rafting, canyoning, and zip-lining over the Cetina River Canyon. Venture off from the mainland on day seven by ferry to Hvar, home to great nightlife. Enjoy a full day of guided offroading over the undulating terrain, covered with vineyard-covered hills, thick olive groves, and fragrant fields full of rosemary and lavender. 

One day nine, you'll visit award-winning vineyards for a day of wine tastings. Make your way back to the mainland by ferry on day 10 to Dubrovnik. Spend your last full day learning about the history and culture of this walled city on a walking tour in the morning and exploring nearby Lokrum Island by sea kayak in the afternoon. Leave for the airport, a 45-minute transfer, on day 12. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Istria to Dubrovnik: Land & Sea

Feel the spirit of the Mediterranean on this 12-day adventure that explores Croatia's Istrian Peninsula and Dalmatian coast, bookending a private sailboat journey. 

Colorful streets of Rovinj
Colorful streets of Rovinj
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Rovinj Rovinj
Day 2 Into the Heart of Istria: Grožnjan, Oprtalj, & Motovun Rovinj
Day 3 Rovinj to Plitvice Lakes National Park via Opatija Plitvice Lakes
Day 4 Plitvice Lakes to Split, Stopping at Krka National Park Split
Day 5 Walking Tour of Split Split
Day 6 Sail from Split to Hvar, Stopping at Brač Island Hvar Town
Day 7 Sail from Hvar to Korčula Korčula Town
Day 8 Sail around Korčula Island Korčula Town
Day 9 Sail from Korčula to Mljet National Park Mljet Island
Day 10 Sail from Mljet National Park to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 11 Explore Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik
Day 12 Depart Dubrovnik  

Begin your trip in the colorful former Venetian city of Rovinj in Istria with time to explore the baroque St. Euphemia Church or wander the cobblestone streets after checking into your hotel. The following day, you'll turn inland and explore the hilltop villages of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, and Motovun where truffle-hunting is a popular and tasty pastime. Head east on day three to Plitvice Lakes National Park with a stop in Opatija, once a favorite coastal resort town in the 19th century.

Walk the many lagoons and cascading waterfalls of the park before heading to Split with a stop in Krka National Park, which is home to another impressive waterfall. Learn all about the history and culture of Split on a walking tour on day five before enjoying a glass of wine along the waterfront. Board your private sailboat and chart a course for Hvar with a stop at Brač Island. Explore the old towns and take time to swim secluded coves before sail on to Korčula. All of day eight will be spent exploring the coastline of Korčula too, so get ready to swim and snorkel. Continue on to Mljet National Park, the greenest of Croatia's islands for a quiet and relaxing retreat. 

On day 10, you'll return to the mainland by sailing to Dubrovnik where you can explore the city on your own or catch a sunset overlooking the city from the Srđ Mountain. On the last full day in Croatia, spend the day as you like by walking the walls, wandering the market or lounging on Banje Beach. Depart for the airport on day 12. Learn more

Map

Map of 12 Days in Croatia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 12 Days in Croatia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas