This tour of the Dalmatian Coast explores the historic Old Towns of Dubrovnik, Split, and Trogir, with their cobbled streets and medieval sites. You'll enjoy a day trip to the Pelješac Peninsula and Korčula Island for wine and oyster tastings, and to explore the old walls of Ston. Escape the city with a swim in the waterfalls of Krka National Park, and discover the old Roman city of Salona with its large amphitheater and impressive Klis Fortress.

Highlights

  • Explore the medieval centers of Dubrovnik, Split, and Trogir
  • Drink wine and discover the old stone walls on the Pelješac Peninsula
  • Enjoy the waterfront Old Town of Korčula Island
  • Swim in the waterfalls of Krka National Park
  • Visit the Roman ruins of Salona and Klis Fortress

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dubrovnik - Explore Dubrovnik
Day 2 Discover Dubrovnik's Old Town, beaches, and islands Dubrovnik
Day 3 Explore Korčula Island via the vineyards of Pelješac Peninsula Korčula Town
Day 4 Transfer to Split - Enjoy Diocletian's Palace and Marjan Park Split
Day 5 Swim in the waterfalls of Krka National Park Split
Day 6 Visit the medieval city of Trogir and the Roman Klis Fortress Split
Day 7 Depart Split  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dubrovnik - Explore

The Beach and Harbor of Dubrovnik
The Beach and Harbor of Dubrovnik

Welcome to Croatia!

Upon arriving at the airport in Dubrovnik, you'll transfer to your hotel in the city center. After taking some time to settle into your accommodation and freshen up, familiarize yourself with Dubrovnik by walking around its historic core, one of the most ancient fortress cities in Europe.

Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is a place of history. While there's evidence of settlements as far back as the Byzantine era, this region 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.

After checking into your hotel, head out into the Old Town, walking along its walls and visiting the Lovrijenac and Bokar fortresses. There are almost too many sights to see, but you can't miss the Saint Ignatius Church or the Dubrovnik Cathedral. Other interesting monuments include Sponza Palace, the Dominican Monastery, and the Dubrovnik Synagogue. Outside the walls, you can visit the Porat and West Harbour.

As the sun starts to set, you can't miss riding the cable car up to Srđ Mountain to take in the views over the nearby Elafiti Islands. Afterward, stroll down Dubrovnik's streets to find a hip bistro for dinner and a wine bar for a nightcap.

Day 2: Discover Dubrovnik's Old Town, beaches, and islands

The Walls of Dubrovnik
The Walls of Dubrovnik

Today is all about Dubrovnik. One of the best ways to truly understand this city's vast and complex history is with a walking tour. You'll meet your guide at the entrance of the Old Town at Pile Gate and make your way down Stradun, the city's main street.

As you walk, your guide will divulge interesting stories, legends, and facts all about Dubrovnik and the local life of the region. You'll escape down side streets and learn about the importance of once the great Dubrovnik Republic. You'll make stops at some of the city's highlights, including Onorfious Fountain, Rector's Palace, the Dubrovnik Cathedral, and more. End your tour at the open-air Gundulić Square Market for authentic Dubrovnik products, like dried lavender, local brandies, and dried fruits.

By the afternoon, you'll say goodbye to your guide and enjoy lunch on your own. Afterward, start your walk along the famous walls, which are the second biggest in the world. At some points, the wall is nearly 75 feet (23 m) high, giving you incredible views over the Old Town and out into the sea.

In the afternoon, head to Banje Beach for a swim and some relaxation. You can also opt to join a kayak excursion around the harbor and out to the small island of Otok Lokrum.

In the evening, catch the sunset from the water on a sunset dinner cruise aboard a traditional karaka ship, or from your own private boat.

Day 3: Explore Korčula Island via the vineyards of Pelješac Peninsula

The Old Town of Korčula
The Old Town of Korčula

After an early breakfast, you'll enjoy a day trip to Korčula Island. Along the way, you'll stop in Mali Ston, where you can enjoy a walk along the historic walls that connect the town to its larger neighbor, Ston. Once in Ston, you'll refuel with lunch at a local restaurant, including an appetizer of the world-class oysters grown in the area.

After lunch, you'll continue along the Pelješac Peninsula to one of the area's most popular vineyards. Here, you'll enjoy a tour of the winery and a wine tasting featuring Plavac Mali red wine, the region's most famous variety. 

Next, you'll take a short ferry to Korčula Island and explore its main town. For views of the village and coastline, you can climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of Saint Mark. Then walk the cobbled streets with stops at the Korcčula Town Gate and the House of Marco Polo. Afterward, relax at one of the wine bars, such as Lole or Bokar and enjoy tapas-style snacks. You can also stroll along the town's waterfront or swim at the public beach.

In the late afternoon, you'll return to Dubrovnik for your final night in the city. Head out for dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants near the port, or grab a table at a cozy bistro in the Old Town.

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Day 4: Transfer to Split - Enjoy Diocletian's Palace and Marjan Park

Streets of Diocletian's Palace
Streets of Diocletian's Palace

In the morning, you'll head north and make your way to Croatia's second-largest city, Split. Upon arrival, you'll start your day with a walking tour of the city's Old Town and Diocletian's Palace. Start in Peristyle Square, taking in the 3,500-year-old sphinxes that Diocletian brought back from Egypt, then head into the 4th-century Diocletian's Palace. As you start exploring, take part in a much-loved ritual among Dalmatian people: drinking coffee. Grab a seat at one of the Palace's terraced cafe and sip your coffee amongst ancient ruins.

After your coffee, stroll through the slick cobbled streets to the People's Square and admire the Mediterranean architecture. Stroll by the old clock tower on your way to Saint Domnius Bell Tower, where you can admire the ancient colonnades and pass through the open Mozaik Podrum. Then wrap around to the Palace's old cellars. If you're a Game of Thrones fan, you'll certainly recognize this filming location.

For stunning views over the city and Adriatic be sure to climb the Romanesque bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Dominus (St. Duje), which is considered the oldest Catholic cathedral still in use. Another option for great views is to hike or bike to the top of Marjan Hill. As the "lungs of the city," the entire Marjan Peninsula is dotted with centuries-old churches, large cypress and black pine trees, and Mediterranean plants and herbs. 

After settling into your accommodation, spend your afternoon relaxing on the beach with a visit to either Firule Beach or Bacvice Beach, both with perfectly swimmable, narrow waters. The beaches are also lined with restaurants if you'd to enjoy dinner outside of the Old Town. Otherwise, if you don't mind a long (but worth it) wait, check out the popular restaurant Villa Spiza or enjoy wine and cheese at Paradox. Afterward, bear the long line at Hajduk for exceptional ice cream. Your cone will pair perfectly with an evening stroll along the promenade.

Day 5: Swim in the waterfalls of Krka National Park

Krka National Park
Krka National Park

Today you'll have the opportunity to visit one of Croatia's most beautiful parks, Krka National Park. The protected area features incredible scenery filled with dense forests, lakes, and rivers, as well as waterfalls where you can swim.

Enjoy walking its trails and taking a dip in its pools, then learn about the history of the communities along the banks of the Krka River with a visit to the restored ethnic-village near Skradinski Buk Waterfall. After exploring the museum and waterfall, you'll drive to the less-crowded area of the park known as Roški Slap. Here you can enjoy quiet walks and hikes, as well as visit a small, prehistoric cave. You'll end your day by exploring the islet Visovac, which is home to an active Franciscan monastery. 

As you enjoy the park, keep an eye out for its endemic species of birds, fish, and amphibians. If you have time, you can visit an area that once hosted the oldest power plant in Europe, established in 1895. Communities in the neighboring town of Šibenik were amongst the first populations to receive electricity in Europe.

In the evening, you'll return to Split in time to find dinner along its bustling waterfront.

Day 6: Visit the medieval city of Trogir and the Roman Klis Fortress

Aerial View of Trogir
Aerial View of Trogir

Today's excursion starts with a visit to the historic Old Town of Trogir, a beautiful coastal city with roots dating back over 2,000 years. Along with Dubrovnik and Split, it's included in Croatia's numerous UNESCO sites.

Rich in medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and Romanesque architecture, you'll enjoy navigating the narrow stone streets that give constant glimpses of the turquoise sea. Explore the historic core, starting with the Garagnin-Fanfogna Palace, working your way to the Cathedral of St. Lawrence to admire Radovan's 13th-century Romanesque portal and the bizarre creatures around the doorposts.

Stroll along the Riva, finding your way to the 15th-century Kamerlengo Fortress for a great panoramic view over the island. If you're lucky, you'll be serenaded by traditional acapella groups called klapa along the way.

On your return back to Split, consider a short detour to visit the impressive medieval Klis Fortress. Perched on top of an isolated rocky eminence, this 2,000-year-old castle overlooks Split and the ancient Roman settlement of Salona (now Solin). This was the original capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia and one of the five largest cities in the entire Roman empire with about 60,000 residents at its peak. It features a large Roman amphitheater where early Christians were fed to lions. Salona surprisingly receives little tourism, making it an unsung gem for those wanting a more personal yet fascinating Roman experience.

Day 7: Depart Split

Split Promenade at Dusk
Split Promenade at Dusk

After breakfast, you'll say your farewell to Croatia. When you're ready, you'll transfer to the airport or train station in Split to return home or continue your trip.