From Dubrovnik's city walls and limestone-paved streets to the ancient Roman city of Split, this 7-day itinerary features the highlights of Croatia's stunning Dalmatian coast. Enjoy three nights in the "Adriatic Pearl" discovering baroque buildings and medieval fortresses, enjoy Dalmatian cuisine in Marco Polo's hometown of Korčula, and explore the 14 wooded and rocky islets of the Pakleni archipelago on a guided kayak tour.

Highlights

  • Take in a sunset over the Elafiti Islands from Dubrovnik’s Srđ Mountain
  • Rent a scooter in Hvar and tour the coastal olive groves and vineyards
  • Cycle through Lumbarda wine country and taste native Grk wine on Korčula
  • Kayak the Adriatic to the Pakleni islands for a day of sun, swimming, and snorkeling
  • Walk Split's 1,700-year-old stone-paved streets, leftover from Roman times

Brief itinerary

Day Activity Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 2 Explore Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik
Day 3 Sea Kayaking Tour Around Lokrum Island & City Walls Dubrovnik
Day 4 Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula Korčula
Day 5 Ferry from Korčula to Hvar Hvar
Day 6 Sea Kayaking the Pakleni Islands Archipelago Hvar
Day 7 Ferry from Hvar to Split Split
Day 8 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik

Adriatic Bay in Dubrovnik
Hike and swim Dubrovnik's stunning Adriatic Bay

Often referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik may come as no surprise that the producers of Game of Thrones chose this UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of their filming locations. The city walls offer incredible views of countless red rooftops of old stone houses, towers, turrets, churches, and palaces. Spend the afternoon settling in and wandering the streets outside of your hotel.

Take the time to explore its 16th-century stone walls, including the Minčeta, Lovrijenac, and Revelin fortresses, visit Onofrio's Fountain and the Church of St. Blaise (St. Vlaho), and stroll along the limestone-paved Stradun, Dubrovnik's main street to get your bearings.

Just before sunset is a great time to take the 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. As Dubrovnik offers excellent nightlife and some of Croatia's best restaurants and wine bars, you won't be at a loss for choice.

Day 2: Explore Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic"

Dubrovnik, Croatia
The walled city of Dubrovnik

Today is yours to explore this ancient medieval city. Get up early to take advantage of all that Dubrovnik has to offer, starting with a visit to the open-air Gundulić Square Market for authentic Dubrovnik wares, like dried lavender, local brandies, and dried fruits. From there, enjoy a stroll wandering the narrow streets of Old Town, the encircling city walls, Lovrijenac fortress, and Orlando Column. In the afternoon, head to Banje Beach for a swim and a bout of relaxation on the sandy stretch of beach close to Old Town. 

A great way to end the day is to catch the sunset from the water on a sunset dinner cruise (2.5 hours) on a replica of a traditional karaka ship or from your own private boat. Enjoy the view of Old Town from this vantage point.

Day 3: Sea Kayaking Tour Around Lokrum Island & City Walls

Fort Lovrijenac
Paddle the sparkling Adriatic for a unique perspective of Dubrovnik

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 pool, explore the 15th-century Benedictine monastery, and trek along the car-less trails. You'll have the opportunity to explore caves and hidden beaches. This is a great way to experience the cultural and historical sites of Dubrovnik from a unique perspective.

Day 4: Ferry from Dubrovnik to Korčula

Cycle through the vineyard-covered landscape in Lumbarda

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 Cathedral of St. Mark 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 5: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar

Laze on the pebble beaches of sunny Hvar

This morning you'll board another ferry, this time bound for Hvar. A Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar draws visitors for its natural setting, mild climate, and its historic town of the same name. You'll have the rest of the morning to explore Hvar Town, where you can visit the Renaissance-era Cathedral of St. Stephen or climb the steps to the terrace outside of the historic Arsenal to enjoy views over the harbor and the surrounding area. 

For some of the best views of the island, Hvar Town, and the nearby Pakleni Islands take a short walk up to the 16th-century Španjola Fortress. Or, join a kayaking tour and head out on the Adriatic to discover the many secluded coves that outline the islands. To cover some ground and appreciate the variation in island landscape: from lavender plantations and olive groves to vineyards and pine woods, you may like to join a (wine tasting) cycling or hiking tour. The less active might opt to rent a scooter for faster coverage of the local scenery.

After the day's adventures, treat yourself to a drink in the ancient piazza of Hvar overlooking the Venetian loggia, 7th-century fortification walls, and the oldest municipal theater in Europe.

Day 6: Sea Kayaking the Pakleni Islands Archipelago

View of the Pakleni islands
View of the Pakleni islands from Hvar

In the morning, head out on a sea kayaking adventure to the Pakleni Islands, just off the coast of Hvar, and explore their many hidden beaches and lagoons. 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.

You'll meet your guide at Križna Luka beach, just a short walk from Hvar's city center, to choose your kayak (single or double) and grab your gear. Here you will listen to a short safety talk and be introduced to the sea kayaking basics. From Križna Luka, you'll paddle southeast along the coast to a secluded beach before continuing on through the channel to the south side of the Islands. You will get to experience the open sea and unending views of the horizon, as well as admire views of Hvar Town from this vantage point.

If there are southerly winds, the alternative is to stick to the north side of the islands to be protected from the winds. This route takes you through narrow straits and around the islands to reveal small, pebbled beaches—beaches you will have all to yourself for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing.

Day 7: Ferry from Hvar to Split

 Split's Old Town

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 Voćni trg or Fruit Square. 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 make your way to the waterfront to catch the sunset.

In the evening, take a stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the views over the Adriatic 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 the famed Diocletian's Palace.

Day 8: Depart Split

Croatia - Split -
Split's ancient Golden Gate leads to Diocletian's Palace

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. 

Map

Map of Dalmatia Adventure: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, & Split - 8 Days
Map of Dalmatia Adventure: Dubrovnik, Korčula, Hvar, & Split - 8 Days