This exciting itinerary combines self-driving to explore Croatia's breathtaking scenery alongside guided tours to discover the country's ancient history. After arriving, you can stroll past Dubrovnik's spectacular architecture along cobblestone pathways and self-drive through the Pelješac peninsula to the charming island Korčula. From Korčula, you will drive to Split where you can take a day trip to the picturesque Plitvice Lakes National Park before catching a ferry to the beautiful Mediterranean island Hvar and finally, departing back to Dubrovnik.

Highlights

  • Visit Srđ Hill by cable car to view Dubrovnik's ancient architecture
  • Taste Croatia's famous red wine in Pelješac
  • Discover the breathtaking historical monuments in Diocletian's Palace
  • Go hiking in Plitvice Lakes National Park to discover their 16 spectacular lakes
  • Travel by boat or ferry from Hvar to the caves in Paklinski Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival and Dubrovnik Historical Tour Dubrovnik
Day 2 Drive to Pelješac Peninsula & Korčula Island Korčula Town
Day 3 Explore Korčula Korčula Town
Day 4 Drive from Korčula to Split Split
Day 5 Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park Split
Day 6 Ferry from Split to Hvar Hvar Town
Day 7 Explore Hvar and Return to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 8 Departure from Dubrovnik  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Dubrovnik Historical Tour

Beautiful Banje Beach in Dubrovnik
Beautiful Banje Beach in Dubrovnik

Welcome to Dubrovnik, famously known as the Pearl of the Adriatic Sea, which surrounds Southern Croatia. The city's historic charm presents itself through medieval buildings dating back to the 16th century, cobblestoned pathways, and world-class restaurants. Many travelers will enjoy exploring this town by foot or public transport such as the bus and taxi.

Suggested activities include:

  • A two-hour guided tour is the best way to discover Old Town's history, legends and the local lives of Dubrovnik's residents.  You will meet your guide at the entrance of Old Town. Highlights of the tour inside the walled city include seeing Onofrio's Fountain, Rector's Place, Old Port, and more.
  • Walk the city walls. The 75-foot high city walls, which are the second biggest in the world, offer spectacular scenery of Dubrovnik's intersecting streets and medieval buildings. 
  • Visit Srđ Hill by cable car. At the top of the hill, you will be greeted with magnificent views and the Fortress Imperial which is home to an eye-opening exhibition about the war in 1991. 

For dinner, feel free to wander the cobble-stoned streets that are home to numerous restaurants and cafés.

Day 2: Drive to Pelješac Peninsula - Korčula Island

A close up of the defense walls of Ston
A close up of the defense walls of Ston

Before departing Dubrovnik for Pelješac, you can spend the morning doing some last-minute sightseeing. Pelješac, the second biggest peninsula in Croatia, offers a perfect blend of natural green scenery along with impressive architecture including medieval villages, villas, and stone walls. Places to visit include:

  • Exploring the village Ston. You can spend some time visiting the stone city walls, their active salt plant that dates back to the 14th century or the oyster beds in Mali Ston Bay that produce some of the world's best oysters and mussels.
  • Spend an afternoon wine tasting in Pelješac. This peninsula is a famous wine region that is particularly well-known for its red wine Dingač, named after the position and place the grapes are grown.
  • Go cycling or kayaking along the peninsula. You can rent a kayak or bicycle to explore the peninsula on your own or join a group tour.
  • Visit the island Korčula. This ancient Greek island is famous for its hidden beaches, Venetian architecture, spectacular cycling routes as well as their world-class indigenous white wines Grk and Pošip. The best way to explore the island is by foot.

Day 3: Explore Korčula

Lumbarda Beach in Korcula
Lumbarda Beach in Korcula

We suggest spending the day exploring the town in Korčula and surrounding areas. Some activity ideas:

  • Visit a local winery or wine bar to taste the island's famous indigenous wine.
  • Hire a bicycle and cycle along the island's roads to explore its spectacular scenery and beaches.
  • Visit Lumbarda, one of Korčula's oldest settlements, which is famous for its crystal blue water and sandy beach (most Croatian beaches are pebbled).
  • Visit a local beach bar for a drink or meal.

Day 4: Drive to Split

Peristil- Diocletian palace
Peristil- Diocletian palace

 

You will leave the south of Croatia and travel northwest to Split, the biggest city in Dalmatia which offers a perfect blend of modern life and ancient Croatian history.

Suggested activities for the day include:

  • Visit Diocletian's Palace. This ancient palace was built in the 4th century and was listed on UNESCO's heritage list in 1979. You can walk along the streets and visit the magnificent historical monuments and other beautiful architecture which dates back to Roman times.
  • Get a tour of the city with a local guide. Marjan Hill, which has beautiful vistas, is a great place to go walking to enjoy lush green scenery and astounding city views.

Day 5: Drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes in autumn
Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes in autumn

 

In Split, you can rent a car for the day to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park, famous for its unique layout with 16 lakes as well as numerous waterfalls. This astounding park has been on UNESCO's World Heritage list since 1979. 

There are numerous hiking and walking routes in the park. It will take you between four and five hours to do the full loop from the lower lakes and back. This is a well-recommended route with breathtaking views of the turquoise-colored lakes that are separated by tufa, travertine or barriers. This park also has stunning waterfalls and incredible biological diversity including approximately one-third of all known orchids in Croatia.

Day 6: Boat ride to Hvar

Yachts on the crystal blue water in Hvar
Yachts on the crystal blue water in Hvar

From Split, you will travel to Hvar, your next destination, by boat. This exquisite island, which is sunny almost all year round, offers the best of the Mediterranean climate. Suggested activities include:

  • Exploring the intact architecture dating back over 2000 years ago in Stari Grad (Old Town).
  • Walking the fortress, Fortica (Španjola) which dates back to the 13th century and has breathtaking views over the town in Hvar.
  • Visiting Stari Grad Plain, a fascinating agricultural landscape set up by the Greeks in the fourth century, which remains virtually intact.
  • Go out at night to experience the island's busy nightlife.

Day 7: Explore Hvar and Return to Dubrovnik

Coastal views

You will have the chance to spend the day exploring the island before returning to Dubrovnik. Recommended activities include:

  • If you choose to stay inland, you can rent a scooter for the day or explore on foot. The charming roads, cafés, restaurants, and lavender fields in Hvar are worth exploring.
  • You can also spend the day at one of the island's charming, turquoise blue beaches with the option of going kayaking.
  • You can visit the local Paklinski Islands. To get to the islands, you can rent a boat or book a ferry to visit the fascinating caves at the islands Biševo and Vis.

Day 8: Departure from Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

 

You will be transferred to the airport from your accommodation in accordance with your schedule. The travel time to the airport is approximately 30 minutes. This marks the end of your time in Croatia.