- Paddle the open sea from Dubrovnik's Banje Beach to Lokrum Island
- Discover wine country and sample local brandies on a biking tour of the Konavle
- Cycle through olive groves and vineyards and past coastal villages on Hvar
- Walk Split's 1,700-year old stone paved streets, left over from Roman times
- Hike, climb, swim, and jump your way down the Cetina River
|Day 1||Welcome to Dubrovnik!||Dubrovnik|
|Day 2||Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island||Dubrovnik|
|Day 3||Cycle through Konavle Wine Country||Dubrovnik|
|Day 4||Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula||Korčula Town|
|Day 5||Hike through the Forests and Vineyards of Korčula||Korčula Town|
|Day 6||Ferry from Korčula to Hvar||Hvar Town|
|Day 7||Cycle Tour around Hvar Island||Hvar Town|
|Day 8||Ferry from Hvar to Split||Split|
|Day 9||Rafting, Zip-lining, & Canyoning on Cetina River||Split|
|Day 10||Depart Split|
Day 1: Welcome to Dubrovnik!
This is a treat because you'll be arriving in one of the most ancient fortress cities in Europe. Known as the "Adriatic Pearl," Dubrovnik is a piece of history. While there's evidence of settlements as far back as the Byzantine era, this area only came into its own in the 12th and 13th centuries when it was under the rule of the Venetians. Throughout the middle ages, it was a fortress port encircled by stone walls and filled with baroque churches and renaissance/gothic palaces that still stand today.
Upon arrival at the airport, you'll transfer to your hotel for check-in. Despite being tired from the journey, you'll likely want to get out and explore. Can't-miss activities include strolling Dubrovnik's historic 75-foot walls, visiting Lovrijenac and Bokar fortresses, and walking along the smooth, limestone-paved streets of historic Old Town.
After spending some time getting to know the city, duck into one of Dubrovnik's many wine bars to relax. It's a good plan, as there's no better manner in which to celebrate your first day in Croatia than by enjoying a glass of white or red wine as the sun goes down over Dubrovnik's Old Town. For dinner, there are a number of great restaurants you can choose from.
Day 2: Walking Tour of Dubrovnik, Sea Kayaking around Lokrum Island
Start your day early (around 8 am) to avoid the crowds and to embark on a tour of Dubrovnik where you'll meet your expert guide outside the entrance to the medieval city at the 16th-century Pile Gate. Entering Old Town, you'll uncover centuries of the city's rich history as you listen to stories of local life and legends and of the importance Dubrovnik once held in the era of the Republic. Highlights include Onofrio's Fountain, the 15th century Rector's Palace, Luza Square, the Church of St. Blaise (St. Vlaho), and the café-lined streets of Brsalje Street.
After touring the streets and alleys, you'll head for Lovrijenac Fortress as well as the city's impressive defensive walls, the second-largest set of city walls in the world. At certain places the wall rises 75 feet high, offering excellent vantage points for photos of the coastline.
In the afternoon, head to the water for a guided kayaking adventure 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: Cycle through Konavle Wine Country
This morning you'll meet your driver to transfer to a starting point in Konavle, a famous wine region south of Dubrovnik. Here, you'll switch gears and hop on your bike to spend the day cycling through small villages and valleys. For lunch, your guide will lead you to a restaurant on the Ljuta river where you'll have the opportunity to participate in sampling local brandies. Afterward, continue biking past orchards, vineyards, and farms and get a real sense of Konavle country before returning to Dubrovnik in the late afternoon.
Driving time (Dubrovnik to Konavle): 30 minutes
Day 4: Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula
Today you'll leave Dubrovnik behind and transfer about an hour northwest to the Pelješac Peninsula as you make your way to Korčula. En route, stop in the medieval city of Ston to explore one of the longest defensive stone walls in Europe (originally built to keep predators away from the town's saltpans) and discover the importance this area held in the 14th century. Enjoy beautiful views over Ston and its glittering saltpans from a parapet walkway on Ston's 3,937-foot (1,200 m) wall.
Reward your efforts with a light meal of Ston's famous fresh oysters or mussels accompanied by a glass of local Dingač red wine. Should you choose, you can take a tour of one of the area's family-run wineries for a further sampling of Dingač's famous reds.
When you're ready, continue your journey to Orebić to catch the ferry to Korčula. Once on the island, the afternoon is yours to discover Korčula's numerous restaurants, taverns, shops, and bars as you roam the maze of gray stone houses, alleys, churches, and squares. Check into your hotel in Old Town before heading out to explore, either on foot or perhaps on a rented bicycle, traveling from the town center to one of the secluded beaches on the island.
Driving time (Ston to Orebić): 1 hour
Ferry time (Orebić to Korčula): 20 minutes
Day 5: Hike through the Forests and Vineyards of Korčula
Today, you'll explore Korčula by foot and hike through a nature park full of amazing karst rock formations, dense forest, and wildlife. The walk is peaceful and leisurely and will take you to the ancient Napoleon path along olive groves, small vineyards, and beautiful fields of sage, oregano, and other local herbs. End your hike in the village of Pupnat where a traditional local lunch has been prepared with ingredients from the fields you've just walked through.
After lunch, make your way back to medieval Korčula Town to explore the cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and Gothic and Renaissance architectural masterpieces. Or spend the rest of the day enjoying the beach and water, paddleboarding, swimming, or relaxing on the sand.
Hiking distance: 7-14 miles (11-23 km)
Day 6: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar
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 to drive 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 7: Cycle Tour around Hvar Island
Take the morning to walk along the Riva to Trg svetog Stjepana, the long, rectangular square that meets the sea. Here you can visit the Venetian arsenal and the town theater—one of the oldest Baroque playhouses in Europe. From the square, head into the Groda to explore the Hektorović Palace, Leporini Palace, and the Benedictine Convent.
In the afternoon, transfer from Hvar Town to Stari Grad. Gear up and ready yourself for the cycling tour around the island—the best way to see the whole of the island. You'll bike through the center of well-preserved ancient Greek ruins—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and explore small villages in the inner part of the island.
There are a number of options to choose, routes ranging from 6 to 9 miles (10 -15 km). It'll be an easy ride on mostly flat roads through lavender fields, olive groves, and vineyards, palm trees, and pine woods and past coastal villages like Jelsa and Vrboska.
Day 8: Ferry from Hvar to Split
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. 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.
Ferry duration (Hvar to Split): 1 hour
Day 9: Rafting, Zip-lining, & Canyoning on Cetina River
You'll get an early start this morning to drive south along the coast to Zadvarje for a day of rafting and canyoning the Cetina River, ending with the option to zip-line in Omiš.
You'll begin with rafting in a protected area of the river canyon popular with tourists every summer. The quiet parts of the river, as well as the second and third-grade rapids, create the perfect combination of relaxation with high-adrenaline adventure over the course of three hours. Next, you'll meet your guide and change into your gear (wetsuit, life vest, and helmet) to hike, climb, slide, swim, and cliff jump (optional) your way down the river until you reach Omiš. Celebrate the fun with a break for lunch, before taking the early afternoon to zip-line over the Cetina.
After lunch, you'll experience a true adrenaline rush. You'll have the chance to zip your way across the magnificent Cetina River Canyon suspended by a harness and wire. There are eight wires in total running a length of 6,890 feet (2,100 m), the highest wire reaching 492 feet (150 m) above the river canyon. Enjoy incredible bird’s eye views of the surrounding scenery on this three-hour excursion.
After the tour is complete, you'll transfer back to Split.
Driving time (Split to Zadvarje): 1 hour
Driving time (Omiš to Split): 45 minutes
Day 10: 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).