This quick 5-day itinerary covers the highlights of Southern Dalmatian, starting and ending in the medieval cities of Dubrovnik and Split. You'll explore ancient Roman ruins, enjoy the local wine and cuisine, and take some time to relax and get out into nature on the islands of Korčula and Hvar.

Highlights

  • Admire the marble streets and baroque buildings of Dubrovnik
  • Enjoy Dalmatian cuisine in Marco Polo's hometown of Korčula
  • Discover the wooded and rocky Pakleni Islands by kayak
  • Marvel at Split's 3,500-year-old Egyptian stone sphinxes 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 2 Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula Korčula
Day 3 Ferry from Korčula to Hvar; Sea Kayaking & Snorkeling Tour Hvar
Day 4 Ferry from Hvar to Split Split
Day 5 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik

Croatia - Dubrovnik - Local scene of Old Town and the Assumption Cathedral
Take in the local scene of Old Town and the Assumption Cathedral

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: Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula

Stop for a swim along Korčula's coastline
Stop for a swim along Korčula's coastline

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 3: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar - Sea Kayaking & Snorkeling Tour

Pakleni Islands
Kayak amid the Pakleni Islands

Catch the morning ferry from Korčula to Hvar (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.

In the afternoon, pack your swimwear and towel and stroll to the beachfront for your guided kayak and snorkel trip to the Pakleni Islands. The islands are the most beautiful part of the Hvar Riviera and are a favorite retreat for locals seeking to escape the summer heat. Altogether, there are 14 wooded and rocky islets, which you will get a chance to explore by kayak. 

Day 4: Ferry from Hvar to Split

Croatia - Split -  Early morning at the Peristyle inside Diocletian's Palace in Old Town
Enjoy a quiet morning at Peristyle Square and visit Diocletian's Palace

In the morning, you'll catch a one-hour ferry from Hvar to Split. Upon arriving in Split, check into your hotel and settle into your accommodation before taking the rest of the day to wander Split's historic center. 

Start at Pjaca Square for pretty views of white marble tiles, the Iron Gate (the western entrance to Diocletian's Palace), a Romanesque clock tower with the remains of a medieval sundial, and the 15th-century Town Hall. Stop for lunch at Trattoria Bajamont, just north of the Iron Gate. From there, visit the popular Voćnitrg or Fruit Square—a square that got its name from centuries of selling fruit. Here you can enjoy renaissance architecture, influenced during Split's Venetian era. For a bit of shopping and a bite to eat head to Marmont Street, though you'll want to head to the waterfront to catch the sunset.

In the evening, take a stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the waterfront views before finding the off-beat Konoba Dioklecijan restaurant, just to the left of the Bronze Gate for a bite to eat, its outdoor terrace built into the walls of Diocletian's Palace.

Day 5: Depart Split

Wander Split and discover its ancient buildings
Wander Split and discover its ancient buildings

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 - 5 Days
Map of Best of Dalmatia: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, & Split - 5 Days