Croatia has something for all interests, with historic old towns, sparkling sea for swimming and kayaking, and beautiful hiking trails. See a bit of them all on this 8-day itinerary that takes in some of Croatia's gems: the lovely cities of Split, Dubrovnik, and nearby national parks and islands for wilderness adventures.

Highlights

    • Kayak, swim, snorkel, and relax on the Pakleni Islands
    • Hike to the hidden villages of Hvar
    • Enjoy the lakes, waterfalls, and caves of Plitvice National Park
    • Dine and drink in style in bustling Split and Dubrovnik

Overview

Croatia is full of stunning natural and man-made beauty, and you can explore some of these highlights on this 8-day tour. Start in Split, a 1700 year old city and UNESCO World Heritage site, then make a trip out to the Plitvice National Park, with its numerous lakes, waterfalls, and caves to explore. Travel to Hvar, one of the most beautiful islands off Croatia. Kayak around the Pakleni Archipelago, and stop on a delightful beach for some swimming and snorkeling. Go hiking around Hvar to discover hidden villages with fascinating histories. End the trip in Dubrovnik, Croatia's gorgeous capital, and the icing on the cake of this beautiful country that's so easy to fall in love with.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Welcome to Split
Day 2 Day trip to Plitvice National Park
Day 3 Hvar Island & sea kayaking in the Pakleni Archipelago
Day 4 Exploring the hidden villages of Hvar
Day 5 Day at leisure in Hvar
Day 6 From Hvar to Dubrovnik
Day 7 Free day in Dubrovnik
Day 8 Departure/ End of tour

Day 1: Welcome to Split

Split old town

Split is a 1700-year-old city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is simply stunning in its beauty. Among the fine historical sites that you will visit here are the Diocletian's Palace, Peristyle, St. Doimus's Cathedral, and the Piazza. Whether you like culture, fine arts, music or sports, Split offers something for you. The Marjan Park Forest, which proudly guards the city, is called the lungs of the city. The entire Marjan Peninsula is dotted with tiny churches many centuries old, large black pine trees, Mediterranean plants and herbs and the most beautiful beaches.

Today you will be met by a team member, who will provide you with all you need to know about the upcoming days, including ferry tickets, information about meeting points, vouchers for your adventures, restaurant recommendations, and other tips. 

Day 2: Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice National Park

This morning you will be picked up and taken to the Plitvice National Park. There you will meet a local guide, with whom you will explore the lakes along wooden paths and bridges, in and around the stunning Plitvice Lakes. This is an exquisite collection of 16 emerald green and blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves, which together comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests, and are home to extensive wildlife. Explore by boat and train, and after the guided visit you will have some time to have lunch at your leisure before starting your drive back to Split.

Day 3: Hvar Island & Sea Kayaking at the Pakleni Archipelago

Kayaking around the Pakleni Islands Archipelago

Today you will visit one of the most beautiful islands on the Croatian coast, sunny Hvar. The tour will start in the morning by taking a ferry or catamaran to Stari Grad, or Hvar town. You will meet the team at Krizna Luka beach (just a few minutes walk from the dock in Hvar). After a short kayaking safety introduction, paddle out from Hvar towards the Pakleni Islands. The name Pakleni originates from the days when the islands were the main source of resin for local shipbuilders. 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.

The islands are covered with thick pine trees, which provide shade even on the hottest summer days. The route through narrow straits and around the islands reveals small, hidden pebble beaches. Enjoy having these beaches all to yourself for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing. Tonight you will stay in Hvar, with free time in the evening to explore this amazing little town with a maze of restaurants, taverns, bars, shops, stone houses, alleys, churches, and squares.

Day 4: Explore the Hidden Villages of Hvar

Explore Hvar

Today, embark on a hike from Hvar, passing through two villages. Velo Grablje is the first on your route, founded 500 years ago when Hvar’s patricians and nobles sought refuge in the hills during the epic rise of the disempowered plebeians. Nowadays, only a few people inhabit the village throughout the year, but many people gather for the lavender festival to harvest it and celebrate the village's saints. Next, hike down the canyon to get to Malo Grablje, a little village abandoned in the 1950s due to hardships of life. Have a simple but delicious lunch at perhaps the most authentic of the island's taverns.

If you are avid hiker you can walk all the way back to Hvar; otherwise, transfer by vehicle after lunch.

Day 5: Free Day in Hvar

Hvar
Hvar

Enjoy the town of Hvar at your own pace. Walk up to the fortress, which offers a magnificent view of the town and surrounding islands, or take a swim at some of the beaches on the Pakleni Islands.

Day 6: From Hvar to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

After breakfast, board a fast ferry from Hvar to Dubrovnik, which takes about 4 hours. Dubrovnik is called the "Adriatic Pearl" due to its exceptional beauty. It used to be the seat of the Republic of Dubrovnik, and is a phenomenal city that is easy to fall in love with. Take a guided tour in the afternoon, encompassing the majestic city walls, the Minceta, Lovrijenac and Revelin fortresses, Onofri's Fountain, St. Vlaho's Church and Stradun, the main street. Dubrovnik offers excellent nightlife, restaurants and wine bars, too.

Day 7: Free Day in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

On this free day in Dubrovnik, stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, or walk the city walls; spend the day at one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the islands facing Dubrovnik. It's your choice.

Day 8: Departure

Check out from the hotel and take a private shuttle to Dubrovnik airport for your onward travel.