Five days might be a quick trip to Croatia, but it is plenty of time to explore the country, especially if you focus on a single region like coastal Dalmatia or Istria in the north. You can cover country-wide highlights if you don't mind a fast pace and flying open-jaw—thanks to the frequency of international flights to both Zagreb and Dubrovnik, you can start your trip in the north and work your way to the southern coast. Learn more with these fun itineraries.

Itinerary #1: Dalmatia Adventure - Split, Hvar & Dubrovnik

Explore one of Croatia's most beautiful regions from the historic port city, Split, to the famous island of Hvar, and finally to Dubrovnik or "The Pearl of the Adriatic" during this active adventure five-day itinerary

Galesnik Island, first of the Pakleni Islands. From here, you'll have great views of Hvar town
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Split! Split
Day 2 Ferry from Split to Hvar, Sunset Sea Kayaking Hvar Town
Day 3 Cycle Tour around Hvar Island Hvar Town
Day 4 Ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 5 Depart Dubrovnik  


The week begins after a 45-minute transfer to the Old Town and hotel check-in. Explore the major sights built some 1,700 years ago by Roman emperor Diocletian such as Peristyle, Cathedral of St. Dominus, the Piazza, and of course Diocletian's Palace, one of the world's best-preserved Roman buildings. Stroll along the seafront Riva before grabbing a bite near the Bronze Gate.

Day two will begin with a ferry ride to Hvar, a popular Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, where the mild climate, nature and historic city await. After discovering Old Town in the morning, change into your swimsuit for an afternoon on the water for a sunset kayak trip to the nearby Pakleni Islands.

On day three, spend the morning getting a closer look at the city center before transferring in the afternoon for a day of cycling through the island's beautiful nature. The ride is flat and easy and ventures through stunning lavender fields, olive groves, vineyards and more before passing the villages of Jelsa and Vrboska.

Day four connects travelers by ferry back to the mainland to Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic." Wander the charming city's 16th-century stone walls, and visit the major sights such as Onofrio's Fountain and the Church of Saint Blaise. The day is at your leisure, so take advantage of the great restaurants and wine bars or take the cable car to the top of Srđ Mountain for stunning views of the city and the nearby Elafiti Islands.

Enjoy the time you have in Dubrovnik before departing for the airport on day five, which is about a 45-minute transfer with normal traffic conditions. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Scenic Southern Dalmatia - Dubrovnik, Plješnac & Korčula

Spend five days exploring the best sites around Dubrovnik and its surroundings. Then, sail away to explore the quiet beauty of the Elafiti Islands, Koločep, Šipan, and Lopud, and see the wild terrain of the Pelješac peninsula. 

Dubrovnik 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 Sail the Elafiti Islands: Koločep, Šipan, & Lopud Dubrovnik
Day 4 Pelješac Wine & Oyster Tour from Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 5 Depart Dubrovnik  


After arriving and checking-in at the hotel, you'll likely want to explore the stunning "Pearl of the Adriatic" that afternoon. Take the cable car up to  Srđ Mountain for the sunset over the nearby Elafiti Islands or walk along the limestone-paved streets within the walls of Old Town.

The pace will pick up on day two with a morning walking tour of the major sights in the 16th-century historic Old Town such as Onofrio's  Fountain, Rector's Palace, the Church of St. Blaise, and the café-lined Brsalje Street. In the afternoon, change into your swimsuit and take to the water as we kayak to and around Lokrum Island which is very close. We'll see Banje Beach, take a dip in a saltwater lake, and see the 15th-century monastery.

Day three brings a slower and less active day as we sail to the Elafiti Islands of Koločep, Šipan, and Lopud. Discover the quiet, tiny islands and their beautiful nature as well as visit a walled villa of a 16th-century shipowner. A stop at Lopud is in store on the return journey to Dubrovnik which is home to the merchant fleet of the city's former nobility.

You'll leave Dubrovnik for the Pelješac peninsula is famous for: mussels and oysters, Dingač red wine, and stunning rugged landscapes. Spend the day drinking wine at two popular wineries before visiting Mali Ston to learn about oyster farming where a tasting is also in store. 

Depending on your departure time, enjoy your remaining time on the morning of day five by visiting a museum or wandering the walled streets one last time. Transfer to the airport requires about 45 minutes with normal traffic. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Magical Istria - Rovinj, Grožnjan, Motovun & Pula

See the best of the Istrian peninsula during this five-day tour. Enjoy the scenic drive from Zagreb, to Rovinj, one of Croatia's most charming coastal cities. Explore the heart of the peninsula with a visit to the inland, medieval hilltop towns of Grožnjan, Oprtalj, and Motovun.

Zagreb is Croatia's capital and largest city
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb! Zagreb
Day 2 Zagreb to Rovinj, Lunch in Opatija Rovinj
Day 3 Into the Heart of Istria: Grožnjan, Oprtalj, & Motovun Rovinj
Day 4 Walking Tour of Pula, Return to Zagreb Zagreb
Day 5 Depart Zagreb  


Upon arriving in Zagreb, you'll be transferred to your hotel and have the day at leisure after check-in. Filled with leafy green parks and gothic/neo-renaissance buildings, there are also modern shopping complexes, outdoor malls, and endless dining and drinking options in the city. Consider heading out on a walking tour of the historic heart of the city which includes Zagreb's main square, Upper Town, and passing through the local outdoor market before reaching St. Mark's Square.

On day two you'll set out for Rovinj with a stop for lunch in Opatija, which is known for its Mediterranean climate and historic Habsburg-era buildings. Stroll along the famous Lungomare, a promenade that follows the Adriatic coastline, to find a restaurant that overlooks the Kvarner Gulf. In the afternoon, explore Old Town after arriving in Rovinj. You'll see centuries-old Venetian influenced architecture as you pass under archways, but find your way to Balbi's Arch and the baroque St. Euphemia Church.

Day three is all about discovering charming villages and tasting the best of the local olive oil and wine varietals with your guide. The first stop is Grožnjan, a medieval hilltop town surrounded by terraced olive groves and vineyards that is now a city of artists. Next is Oprtalj which lies on the north side of the Mirna river valley and home to wonderful examples of Istrian and Venetian architecture. Finally, venture to Motovun, which rests high above the Mirna river on the south side, where you can taste local wines and enjoy a truffle-laced meal sourced from nearby forests.

Get an early start on day four with a transfer to the tip of the peninsula to the city of Pula. While the city is known for its beaches and harbor, it's most famous for its Roman amphitheater, the Pula Arena, which dates back to the first century. 

Take your time to explore the city, but don't miss the arena, which is one of the 10 largest colosseums the Romans ever built. When you're ready, begin the trip back to Zagreb. Consider one final walk through Kaptol before selecting a restaurant for dinner. Day five brings departure from Zagreb with a half-hour transfer to the airport with normal traffic. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Sailing Dalmatia - Brač, Hvar and Vis

Savor five days of sailing on a private boat between three of Croatia's most popular Adriatic islands: Brač, Hvar, and Vis. Soak in the sun on deck, and take in the island setting as you leave historic Split and the mainland behind for the islands. 

Hvar rooftops, harbor, and Pakleni Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Split! Split
Day 2 Sail from Split to Hvar via Brač Island Hvar Town
Day 3 Sail from Hvar to Vis, Stopping at Pakleni Islands & Blue Cave Vis Island
Day 4 Sail from Vis to Split Split
Day 5 Depart Split  


Arrive to Split on day one with time to explore the historic city at your leisure after hotel check-in. Perhaps walk the city's streets to see the best sights such as Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world, the Iron Gateor the 15th-century Town Hall. On day two, you'll set off for Brač. It's the largest of the central Dalmatian islands with historic sites dating back to Ancient Greece and the Middle Ages. Swim and snorkel in secluded bays before continuing on to Hvar where you'll spend the night on board the boat, though it is possible to see Hvar Town and its sites such as the 16th-century Španjola Fortress.

On day three, you'll set off again for the Pakleni Islands archipelago just off the coast of Hvar. From here, you'll move up the east coast of Biševo Island to drink in the incredibly blue waters of Modra Špilja (Blue Cave). After visiting the cave, sail on to the picturesque village of Komiža on Vis Island where you'll overnight. Return to Split on day four with the option for stops to swim and snorkel on the way. Stop for lunch at a konoba in Stomorska on the island of Šolta near Brač. Once back in Split, enjoy Bačvice Beach before settling in for your final night.

Depart from Split on day five with a 45-minute transfer to the airport with normal traffic. If there's time, explore the Green Market or take one last walk through Old Town in the morning before leaving. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Croatia Multisport - Zagreb, Plitvice, Paklenica & Split

This five-day adventure mixes history and culture with dramatic natural landscapes from an active view to give you a well-rounded taste of Croatia. You'll venture south from Zagreb, the capital, to walk through the storybook Plitvice Lakes National Park before setting off to experience Zadar, an ancient coastal city. From there, you'll hike karst rock formations in Paklenica National Park and end your stay with a self-guided tour of Split's Roman ruins. 

Mountaineering in Paklenica National Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Zagreb! Zagreb
Day 2 Explore the Wonders of Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 3 Hike the Rugged Mountains of Paklenica National Park Zadar
Day 4 Zadar to Split, Stopping for Lunch in Šibenik Split
Day 5 Depart Split  


Upon arriving in Zagreb, you'll be transferred to your hotel and can explore the capital after check-in. The city is both Old World and modern at every turn. A walk from Lower Town through the main square to Upper Town is a great way to discover the city. You can also visit one of the many museums, such as the Museum of Naive Art or the popular Museum of Broken Relationships. Don't miss the 17th-century neo-baroque architecture found at Zrinjevac park and the Croatian National Theater.

For time outdoors, visit the Botanical Garden park which is among the oldest botanical gardens in Europe. Transfer from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes on day two with a stop in Rastoke, a small, charming village known for its old watermills and beautiful waterfalls at the confluence of two rivers. You'll explore the lakes at your own pace and can choose one of eight different hiking trails, though the upper lakes tend to be less crowded during the peak season. Don't forget to bring water.

On day three, continue on to Paklenica National Park, the most accessible hiking area in the southern Velebit mountains. The park's two popular limestone gorges, Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica provide plenty of hiking and rock-climbing options for a mid-morning hike through black-pine and beech forests and under the karst cliffs above.

After the hike, you'll continue on to Zadar to check into your hotel. Make your way to the Sea Organ for a breathtaking sunset. Continue on to Split with a stop in Šibenik for lunch on day four. In Split, wander the historic city center with popular stops at the Iron Gate, the 15th-century Town Hall, and Diocletian's Palace

Depart from Split on day five with a 45-minute transfer to the airport with normal traffic. Learn more

Map

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