- 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
|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|
Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik
Welcome to Dubrovnik! Transfer from the airport to your hotel to check in (40 minutes). 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. You may wish to take the time to explore its 16th-century stone walls, including the Minceta, Lovrijenac and Revelin fortresses, visit Onofrio's Fountain and St. Vlaho's Church, 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. Stretch your legs and enjoy unobstructed views of the city as you walk back down the hill. Be sure to take the path going down for the best views and the most direct route home. Try Restaurant 360 for dinner, and Buza Bar for a drink with sunset views.
Day 2: Ferry from Dubrovnik to 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. Konoba Aterina is a good choice, with Dalmatian tapas and a terrace overlooking the sea.
Day 3: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar, Sea Kayaking & Snorkeling Tour
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. For dinner, check out Macondo, which serves authentic Hvar cuisine.
Day 4: Ferry from Hvar to Split
In the morning, you'll catch a one-hour ferry from Hvar to Split. Settle into your accommodation before taking the rest of the day to explore the historic city as you choose. An ancient coastal city founded 1,700 years ago by Roman Emperor Diocletian, its Old Town includes a number of impressive sites, including Peristyle, Cathedral of St. Dominus, the Piazza, and Diocletian's Palace, one of the best preserved Roman buildings in the world. Start in Peristyle Square, taking in the 3,500-year old sphinxes Diocletian brought back from Egypt before exploring the 4th-century Diocletian's Palace.
For stunning views over the city and Adriatic be sure to climb the Romanesque bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus (St. Duje)—considered the oldest Catholic cathedral still in use. Another option for great views is to hike or bike amid pine and cypress trees to the top of Marjan Hill. Along the way, you will appreciate attractions less visited: the Jewish cemetery and 13th and 15th-century churches, St. Nicholas and St. Jerome, respectively.
Head to Bačvice Beach and relax on the sand warmed by the day's sun before choosing a nearby restaurant for dinner. Great choices include Konoba Marjan, where you'll find traditional Dalmatian cuisine and local wines, and Zoi, and elegant Mediterranean spot.
Day 5: Depart Split
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).