Immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the Dalmatian coast on this week-long adventure, beginning in Dubrovnik. You'll venture through the rugged Pelješac Peninsula to Korčula before finding your way to Hvar where you'll explore the Pakleni Islands by kayak and hike the island terrain to seek out hidden beaches. Your trip concludes with a self-guided discovery tour of Split's famed Roman ruins set amid Romanesque and Baroque buildings.

Highlights

  • Wander the marble streets and baroque buildings of Dubrovnik's Old Town
  • Bike the Konavle wine region on a guided tour and sample local wines
  • Find your way to Marco Polo's former home on Korčula
  • Hike through the olive groves and vineyards of Hvar
  • Explore the famous Diocletian's Palace in Split, dating back to the 4th century

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Dubrovnik! Dubrovnik
Day 2 Cycle through Konavle Wine Country Dubrovnik
Day 3 Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula Korčula Town
Day 4 Ferry from Korčula to Hvar, Sea Kayaking around Pakleni Islands Hvar Town
Day 5 Hike to the Hidden Villages of Hvar Hvar Town
Day 6 Ferry from Hvar to Split Split
Day 7 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Dubrovnik!

Old city walls and the Adriatic
Old city walls and the Adriatic

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: Cycle through Konavle Wine Country

Waterfront town of Cavtat, Konavle
Waterfront town of Cavtat, Konavle

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 3: Dubrovnik to Korčula via Pelješac Peninsula

Mali Ston, Croatia
Mali Ston, Croatia

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 4: Ferry from Korčula to Hvar, Sea Kayaking around Pakleni Islands

Hvar rooftops, the harbor, and Pakleni Islands
Hvar rooftops, the harbor, and Pakleni Islands

Catch a morning ferry from Korčula to Hvar and get settled into your hotel. The most popular island in Dalmatia, 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 St. Stephen's Cathedral or 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 head 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.

Ferry time (Korčula to Hvar): 1.5 hours

Day 5: Hike to the Hidden Villages of Hvar

Hike through island vegetation and see more of Hvar
Hike through island vegetation and see more of Hvar

Lace up your hiking boots for a day hike along rocky paths amid vineyards and olive groves to discover abandoned villages and hidden bays.

You'll meet your guide in Hvar town's port and transfer to Velo Grablje, the starting point of the hike (about 8.5 miles or 14 km away). Velo Grablje was founded 500 years ago when Hvar’s patricians and nobles sought refuge in the hills during a revolutionary period. Today, only a few people inhabit the village throughout the year, but many gather for the lavender festival to harvest and to celebrate the village's saints.

From here you will hike down a canyon, following an old trail—the main thoroughfare in medieval times connecting the north and the south of the island—to the village of Malo Grablje. Enjoy a delicious lunch at perhaps the most authentic of the island's taverns before carrying on the gravel road to the beachside town of Milna.

Depending on your energy level, you will have the option to continue your trek to Hvar Town from Milna (1.5 hours) or transfer back to town (20 minutes).

Hiking distance: 3.4 miles (5.4 km)
Hiking time (including stops): 5-6 hours

Day 6: Ferry from Hvar to Split

Split
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 7: 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).