With eight days in Croatia, you can see many of the country's highlights or focus your energy on getting to know a particular region like Istria or Dalmatia. Relatively compact in size, its historic cities and islands are well-connected by car or ferry. In these 5 unique itineraries, you can cycle through the wineries of Istria, sail between quiet islands, see lesser-known destinations like Krka National Park, or hop around the country on a tour of Croatia's highlights.

Itinerary #1: Highlights of Croatia - Zagreb to Dubrovnik

Get around Croatia by car, ferry, bicycle, and sailboat on this adventurous tour of the country's highlights. The itinerary includes stops in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes National Park, the island of Hvar, Zadar, and Split. 

Outside the ancient Golden Gate of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia
Sightseers outside Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive and explore Zagreb Zagreb
Day 2 Zagreb to Plitvice Plitvice
Day 3 Plitvice National Park Plitvice
Day 4 Zadar, Split, Hvar Hvar
Day 5 Sightseeing around Hvar Hvar
Day 6 Half-day sailing trip to Pakleni Islands Hvar
Day 7 Explore the medieval city of Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 8 Depart Dubrovnik  

The journey begins in Zagreb, where you'll spend your first day sightseeing on a self-guided tour to the city's key monuments and attractions, including the iconic Croatian National Theater. You'll pick up your rental car on the first day, too: you'll be driving yourself around for the first half of this itinerary. Enjoy the scenic ride to Plitvice National Park the following day, stopping for a refreshing dip in the Mrežnica River. After a full day in the national park, you'll drive the next day to Zadar for a lunch break and then onto Split, where you'll catch the ferry to the island of Hvar.

On day five, rent a scooter and explore the island's coastline and vineyards. The following day, you'll take a half-day sailing and snorkeling trip to the Pakleni Islands off the coast of Hvar. Finish the trip with a three-hour ferry ride to Dubrovnik, enjoying a self-guided tour of the Old Town and a cable car ride up to the top of Srdj Hill for sweeping views over the city. Learn more 

Itinerary #2: Best of the Dalmatian Coast

Start in the "Pearl of the Adriatic" and end in the charming Old Town of Split on this eight-day itinerary, which features three nights in Dubrovnik, boat rides to the islands of Korčula and Hvar, time in Croatia's wine regions, and two nights in Split.

The colorful harbor of Korčula, Croatia
The colorful harbor of Korčula, Croatia
Day Activity Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 2 Explore Old Town Dubrovnik
Day 3 Guided kayaking tour Dubrovnik
Day 4 Cycling and wine-tasting tour Korcula
Day 5 Explore Hvar Korcula
Day 6 Day trip to the Pakleni Islands Hvar
Day 7 Explore Split Split
Day 8 Depart Split  

The trip begins in Dubrovnik, where you'll be based for the first three days of the itinerary. Highlights include a guided tour of Old Town, a sunset dinner cruise on a traditional boat, a guided kayaking tour around Lokrum Island, a tour of the Elafiti islands, and time to relax on Banje Beach. On day four, catch the morning ferry to Korčula and rent a bicycle to explore the island's coastal scenery. The following day, you'll take another ferry to Hvar Island, where you'll zip past vineyards and olive groves on a scooter and take in sunset from the 16th-century Spanjola Fortress.

Wrap up the trip with a day trip to the Pakleni Islands, known for their hidden beaches and lagoons. You'll finish the itinerary in Split, exploring the narrow streets of Old Town and visiting key sights like Diocletian’s Palace. Learn more

Discover more unique ways to experience the island of Hvar here.

Itinerary #3: Cycle the Wine Roads of Istria

Croatia's largest peninsula, Istria, is a wonderful place to explore on two wheels. Bike through hilltop towns, vineyards, and olive groves on this eight-day trip plan through the region.

Motovun, one of Istria's many hill towns
Motovun, one of Istria's many hill towns
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Poreč Rural house in Buje
Day 2 Buje - Umag - Buje Buje area
Day 3 Buje - Brtonigla - Novigrad - Buje Buje area
Day 4 Buje - Motovun Motovun
Day 5 Motovun - Poreč Poreč
Day 6 Poreč - Vrsar - Poreč Poreč
Day 7 Poreč - Kanfanar - Rovinj Rovinj
Day 8 Depart  

The cycling trip begins in Buje, where you'll get into the swing of things with an overnight in a country house. You'll pedal along the northeastern edge of the Istrian Peninsula on day two, stopping to see the Venetian houses in the fortified city of Umag and to taste Muscat in a local winery. You'll try more wine the following day as you cycle through the village of Kršete to the vineyards and olive groves of Brtonigla and Novigrad. The journey continues through the traditional villages of Škrinjari, Babići, and Buroli.

Highlights of the second half of the trip include cycling through Livade, the truffle capital of Istria, seeing the medieval hill towns of Grožnjan and Motovun, and tasting wines made at coastal wineries near Višnjan. You'll pass through the fortified city of Vrsar and Kanfanar, a small town above the Lim Valley, before reaching Rovinj, nicknamed "the Istrian Venice," as the old town was once an island. Finish the tour with a feast of fresh seafood and locally produced wines. Learn more 

Read on about the secrets of Croatia's wine country here

Itinerary #4: Hidden Gems of Dalmatia

This eight-day itinerary mixes Croatia's most popular attractions, like the Dalmatian coast from Split to Dubrovnik, with lesser-known destinations like Krka National Park and the Elafiti Islands. 

A view of Dubrovnik from the water
A view of Dubrovnik from the water
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Split Split
Day 2 Explore Split and the Roman ruins of Old Town Split
Day 3 Day trip to medieval Trogir, Klis and Salona Split
Day 4 Day trip to Krka National Park Split
Day 5 Drive to Ston; Explore Pelješac Peninsula and Korčula Ston
Day 6 Drive to Dubrovnik; Explore the historic Old Town Dubrovnik
Day 7 Day trip to Cavtat or to Koločep Dubrovnik
Day 8 Depart  

Though you'll spend most nights of this itinerary in either Split or Dubrovnik—and spend time sightseeing in both—this trip plan features a great number of detours and side trips. The adventure begins with an overview of the historic landmarks of Split; by day three, you'll be off the small island of Trogir, wandering cobblestoned alleyways and visiting the Garagnin-Fanfogna Palace. Later in the day, visit the 2000-year-old medieval Klis Fortress and the ancient Roman settlement of Salona, both overlooking Split.

Day-trip to Krka National Park on day four, hiking to the Skradinski Buk waterfall and taking a quick boat ride to tour the Visovac Monastery. Continue onto the island of Korčula, where you'll spend the night in Ston and discover one of the longest defensive stone walls in Europe. You'll spend the last few days of the trip in Dubrovnik, enjoying side trips to the charming town of Cavtat, the famous fortress at Donave, and Croatia's southernmost inhabited island, Koločep. Don't miss a chance to have a leisurely meal at a family-run restaurant here: grilled calamari is the island specialty. Learn more

For more ideas on how to go off the beaten path in Croatia, check out this article. 

Itinerary #5: Bike & Sail Split to Dubrovnik 

On this guided cycling and sailing tour of the Dalmatian coast, you'll pedal through charming villages, taste unique wines, and explore the coastline on a private boat. The trip starts in Split and ends in Dubrovnik, stopping in five islands along the way.

The island of Brac, Croatia
The island of Brac, Croatia
Day Destination Overnight
Day 1 Split Brac
Day 2 Golden Cape and Hvar Hvar
Day 3 Hvar Island Hvar
Day 4 Vis Island Vis
Day 5 Korčula Island Korčula
Day 6 Cycling Korčula Korčula
Day 7 Mljet Island Elaphiti Islands
Day 8 Dubrovnik  

You'll sleep in five different places on this eight-day itinerary, which tells you a lot about the active nature of the trip. Sail from Split to Brac to begin the journey. Cycling to the south side of the island, go for a dip or relax in the sun on the famous Golden Horn Beach. In the evening, catch the ferry across the channel to your next stop, the island of Hvar, where you'll spend the following day pedaling through lavender fields. Cruise to Vis Island on day four, stopping for a traditional meal in the fishing village of Komiza.

In the second part of the trip, you'll sail to Korčula and bike around the island's wineries and beaches, taking a break to sample Grk, an ancient wine varietal that only grows here. Island-hop once more, this time to pristine Mljet, known for its quiet pine forests. Cycle through the shaded paths of National Park Mljet before catching a boat to Dubrovnik, where the tour ends. Learn more 

More Croatia Itineraries & Travel Advice

Looking for more travel inspiration? Browse through this comprehensive list of kimkim trips in Croatia, ranging from five to twelve days in duration. For more travel planning advice, check out the Croatia FAQ, Best Time to Visit Croatia, Croatia's Top Regions, How kimkim Trips Work in Croatia.