A combination of diverse cultural exploration and active adventure, this 10-day itinerary highlights the southern Dalmatian coast. You'll explore historic Dubrovnik, ancient Split, and idyllic Hvar, as well as venture to nearby islands, Krka National Park, and Šibenik. You'll bike Korčula Island, kayak off of Dubrovnik and Hvar, sail amid the Pakleni Islands, and discover the island of Brač.

Highlights

  • Explore medieval Dubrovnik from the vantage of a kayak
  • Sample local wines on a bike tour around the island of Korčula
  • Visit Krka National Park and take a dip amid waterfalls
  • Walk Split's 1,700-year-old stone-paved streets, leftover from Roman times
  • Hike Vidova Gora, the highest peak in the Adriatic, on Brač Island

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 2 Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island & City Walls Dubrovnik
Day 3 Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula Korčula
Day 4 Wine Tasting & Cycling Tour in Lumbarda Korčula
Day 5 Ferry from Korčula to Hvar Hvar
Day 6 Sail the Pakleni Islands Archipelago Hvar
Day 7 Ferry from Hvar to Split; Stopping at Brač Island Split
Day 8 Day Trip to Krka National Park & Šibenik Split
Day 9 Historical Walking Tour of Split Split
Day 10 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik

Croatia - Dubrovnik - Old city walls and the Adriatic
Explore Dubrovnik's impressive city walls

Welcome to Dubrovnik! Upon arrival at the airport, you'll drive to your hotel to check in. Depending on your arrival time, the rest of the day will be yours to settle in and explore the historic city on your own. 

Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is a world-renowned city of exceptional charm. Take some time to explore its 16th-century stone walls, including the Minceta, Lovrijenac and Revelin fortresses, visit Onofrio's Fountain and the Church of Saint Blaise (St. Vlaho), and stroll along the limestone-paved Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street to get your bearings. Dubrovnik also offers excellent nightlife and some of Croatia's best restaurants and wine bars. 

In the late afternoon, hop aboard a cable car and ride to the top of Srđ Mountain for stunning views of Dubrovnik and the nearby Elafiti Islands. For some exercise, you can walk back down the hill while enjoying views of the city below.

Day 2: Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island & City Walls

Sea kayaks explore the fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar
Sea kayaks explore the fortresses of Lovrijenac and Bokar

Explore Dubrovnik from the water and go on a half-day guided kayaking tour around the city and Lokrum Island—the closest island to Dubrovnik.

Starting from Banje Beach, you will paddle to Lokrum Island where you can enjoy a swim in the saltwater lake named the Dead Sea, explore the 15th-century Benedictine monastery, and trek along the car-less trails through overgrown gardens. This is a great way to experience the cultural and historical sites of Dubrovnik from a unique perspective.

Day 3: Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula

Croatia - Korčula - Korčula's Coastline - Stop for a swim along Korčula's coastline
Relax on a beach on Korčula

Catch a two-hour ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula in the morning. The afternoon and evening are yours to discover this little island's numerous restaurants, taverns, shops, and bars as you roam the maze of gray stone houses, alleys, churches, and squares. 

Enjoy a traditional lunch of lamb and goat in Korčula's Old Town, one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture on the Dalmatian coast. Next, visit the 14th-century Land Gate on top of an elegant staircase, before heading to the St. Mark's Cathedral to admire its strange sculptures of beasts and people. Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Bishop's Treasury next door for a small but impressive art collection, including works from Carpaccio, Bassano, and Tiepolo. From there, you may wish to visit the unremarkable house thought to be the birthplace of Marco Polo.

If beaches are what you're after, rent a bike or ride the bus the 5 miles (8 km) to the sandy beaches of Lumbarda. Afterward, grab a bite to eat and pair it with the local dry white, Grk, indigenous to Lumbarda and nowhere else.

Day 4: Wine Tasting & Cycling Tour in Lumbarda

Croatia - Korčula - Grk grapes grow in the Lumbarda region
Ride through Lumbarda wine country on Korčula

Today, you'll take a cycling tour (private or with a group) across the island from Korčula Town to Lumbarda with stops along the way to visit beaches and local wineries. The tour typically takes 3-5 hours. 

Pick up your bike and meet your guide in Korčula and ride out of the town south toward Lumbarda. You'll cycle through fields, villages, and wineries, covering asphalt, gravel, and dirt roads with vistas opening up to the Adriatic Sea. This gentle route explores the historical sites of the eastern side of the island as you work your way to the spread-out village of Lumbarda. Boasting beautiful beaches and centuries-old winemaking traditions, Lumbarda is home to Grk, a white grape variety that will pair well with your lunch. Some of Croatia's best white wines are produced on Korčula and you won't be left wanting.

Spend some time relaxing on one of Lumbarda's beaches before returning to Korčula Town for the evening.

Day 5: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar

Croatia - Hvar - Hvar and the Pakleni Islands in the distance
Hvar and the Pakleni Islands 

Catch the ferry from Korčula to Hvar in the morning (1.5 hours) and check into your hotel. Another Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is a popular destination with tourists due to its natural setting, mild climate, and its historic town of the same name. You'll have the late morning to explore Hvar Town. Visit St. Stephen's Cathedral and climb the steps to the terrace outside of the historic Arsenal to enjoy views over the harbor and the surrounding area. 

Depending on interests, you may like to consider renting a scooter and driving through olive groves, lavender fields, and vineyards along the coastline. Bring a bottle of wine and watch the sunset from Španjola Fortress. The short walk up to this old 16th-century fortress is worth the hike for the stunning views of Hvar town and the Pakleni islands. Alternatively, embark on a hike from Hvar Town to Velo Grablje and Malo Grablje or go on an idyllic sunset kayaking tour of the nearby Pakleni archipelago.

Day 6: Sail the Pakleni Islands Archipelago

Croatia - Pakleni Islands - Sail around the Pakleni archipelago
Board a boat to set sail for the Pakleni Islands

Today you will spend a full day enjoying the sun and sea on a sailing boat. In the morning, join your group sailing adventure and depart the port in Hvar Town to venture out to the Pakleni Islands, just off the coast of Hvar. The trip will include two stops, one for a swim and snorkel and the other for a picnic lunch on board before returning to Hvar Town in the afternoon. This is the perfect opportunity to admire one of the best views of the town, its café and yacht-filled harbor the nearest thing Croatia has to the Côte D'Azur riviera. 

The name Pakleni originates from the days when the islands were the main source of resin for local shipbuilders (from paklinski to mean 'resin'). The islands are the most beautiful part of the Hvar Riviera offering the best beaches and are a favorite retreat for locals seeking to escape the summer heat.

Day 7: Ferry from Hvar to Split - Visit Brač Island

Zlatni Rat Beach, Brač, Croatia
Enjoy a tour of stony Brač and head to Zlatni Rat beach

Board a ferry this morning to Supetar on the north side of Brač where you'll meet your local guide to tour the island. The largest of the central Dalmatian islands, Brač is bursting with historic sites dating back to ancient Greece and the Middle Ages. Brač is also famous for its stone sculptures and quarries, where its stone was used in the construction of Split's Diocletian's Palace and the White House in Washington, D.C. 

Begin your tour with a short drive to Brač's oldest, continually inhabited settlement, Škrip. Founded 3,000 years ago, you'll visit the eastern end of this sleepy stone village for some of Brač's most important cultural and historic monuments, including the Museum of Brač in the Radojković Tower. Here you'll visit the Roman mausoleum, said to be the final resting place of Diocletian's wife and daughter. Next, visit the family-run Museum of Olive Oil and learn the secrets of how it's made as well as sample local olive oils and other products typical for this area: olive paté, salted anchovies, and island cheese.

Continue south to hike Vidova Gora. At 2,553 feet (778 m), Vidova Gora is the highest mountain of all the Adriatic islands and provides a stunning panoramic view over them, including Hvar and Vis, and weather depending, even Italy. Spend some time taking in the view, before driving further south to the coast and to Bol for a dip in the sea off of the Golden Horn of Zlatni Rat beach. After spending a little time relaxing, head back to Supetar for your return ferry to Split where you'll check into your hotel and settle in before taking the evening to explore your surroundings.

Ferry time: 1.5 hours

Day 8: Day Trip to Krka National Park & Šibenik

Krka National Park
Find your way to Skradinski Buk in Krka National Park

Krka National Park is just over an hour's drive away from Split and is a nice place to visit in the morning before the crowds arrive. You can explore Krka on your own by foot or by rental bike, choosing from a number of trails (the shortest being a mile-long or 2 km boardwalk through the falls and small lakes).

Try to visit a couple of sections of the park, including Skradinski Buk, the largest waterfall in the park. After Skradinski Buk, head to Roški Slap, where you can take a short walk across the river to a small set of rapids said to resemble a pearl neckless from above. At Roški Slap, there's a restaurant that serves locally produced prosciutto, cheese, and seasonal salads. Besides waterfalls, the park is also well known for its multiple endemic species of birds, fish, and amphibians. 

After spending the morning in Krka, head to the coastal town of Šibenik for the afternoon. A true Croatian town founded by the Croat king Petar Krešimir IV in the 11th century, Šibenik's is home to impressive fortresses, music festivals, and medieval gardens. Start with a visit to the famous St. James' Cathedral, a UNESCO protected site for good reason, before selecting a restaurant for your dinner— perhaps Pelegrini, a restaurant and wine bar just above the cathedral. Return to Split in the evening.

Transport: Rental car or as part of an organized tour from Split

Day 9: Historical Walking Tour of Split

Diocletian's Palace in Split
Marvel at Split's expansive Diocletian's Palace 

An ancient coastal city founded 1,700 years ago by Roman Emperor Diocletian, Split's Old Town includes a number of impressive sites, including Peristyle, the Cathedral of St. Dominus, the Piazza, and Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world. Meet your expert guide in Peristyle Square for a walking tour, taking in the 3,500-year-old sphinxes Diocletian brought back from Egypt before exploring the 4th-century Diocletian's Palace and other noteworthy sites.

If there's time following your tour, climb the Romanesque bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus (St. Duje) for stunning views over the city and Adriatic. Another option for great views is to hike or bike to the top of Marjan Hill. The entire Marjan peninsula is dotted with tiny centuries-old churches, large cypress and black pine trees, and Mediterranean plants and herbs and is commonly referred to as the "lungs of the city". In addition to the stunning vistas, you'll be rewarded with attractions less visited: the Jewish cemetery and 13th and 15th-century churches, St. Nicholas and St. Jerome, respectively.  

Afterward, head to Bačvice Beach and relax on the sand warmed by the day's sun before choosing a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Day 10: Depart Split

Croatia - Split - Aerial view of Diocletian's palace walls looking onto the Riva
Aerial view of Diocletian's palace walls looking onto the Riva

If you have a free morning before departing, check out the Green Market (Pazar Market). A lively fruit and vegetable outdoor market just east of the Diocletian Palace, this is a great place to see how the locals shop and to pick up some fruit for your flight home. Farmers from the surrounding areas of Split come into town every day to sell their seasonal local produce from sunrise to 2 pm. 

Depending on traffic, it usually takes 45 minutes to travel from Old Town to the airport. Best to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to your international departure (and with some extra time to drop off your rental car, if you have one).

Map

Map of Best of Dalmatia: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, & Split - 10 Days
Map of Best of Dalmatia: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, & Split - 10 Days