- Learn to cook delicious traditional Croatian food from a local chef
- Discover secret coves and undisturbed beaches via a private boat tour
- Kayak to beautiful Lokrum Island and float in its mini "Dead Sea"
- Walk the historic walls of ancient Dubrovnik
|Day 1||Arrive in Split||Split|
|Day 2||Guided Walking Tour of Split||Split|
|Day 3||Croatian Family Cooking Class||Split|
|Day 4||Private Boat Excursion, Transfer to Hvar||Hvar|
|Day 5||Free Day in Hvar: Beaches, Watersports & Biking||Hvar|
|Day 6||Hike The Lost Villages of Hvar, Croatian Peka Lunch||Hvar|
|Day 7||Ferry to Dubrovnik, Tour Dubrovnik's Old Town||Dubrovnik|
|Day 8||Sea Kayaking Around Lokrum Island||Dubrovnik|
|Day 9||Free Day in Dubrovnik: Fortresses, Beaches & Local Farm Dinner||Dubrovnik|
|Day 10||Depart Dubrovnik|
Day 1: Arrive in Split
Welcome to Split! Your private driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Once you get checked in and have a chance to regroup, head out to explore the city. The second-largest city in Croatia and the largest in the historical region of Dalmatia, Split offers a wealth of history and culture, with charming cobblestone streets, amazing architecture, and endless views of the Adriatic Sea. Like much of Croatia, Split is also a very family-friendly city, so you'll find plenty to do with the kids.
Start with a walk through Pjaca Square ("People's Square") and visit the Iron Gate, part of Diocletian's Palace, an ancient Roman palace that is one of the city's primary landmarks. See the clock tower and its medieval sundial, head to Voćni trg ("Fruit Square"), and see the Venetian-influenced Renaissance architecture. For a bite to eat, head to Marmont Street, a bustling avenue home to Pirja Fountain, a whimsical art piece from which water sprays intermittently from a hand on the wall into the fountain, sometimes spraying passersby—something the little ones will definitely find entertaining!
If you're looking for some beach time, make your way to Žnjan Beach. Located about 3 miles (5 km) from the city center, this pebble beach is one of Split's largest, with amenities centered around families. Relax on the beach while the kids check out the trampolines and bouncy castles, or take a family paddleboat ride. Later, stroll along Split's seafront promenade, stopping for dinner at a local restaurant while you watch the sunset.
Day 2: Guided Walking Tour of Split
Today, explore more of Split with the help of an expert guide. A two-hour tour takes you through the Old Town section, where you'll see sights such as the Cathedral of St. Dominus, built in the fourth century, and a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. Be sure to climb the bell tower for amazing views of the city. Take a closer look at Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world, and visit Peristyle Square, which includes the 3,500-year-old sphinxes Diocletian brought back from Egypt.
This afternoon, take a family hike up Marjan Hill. Nicknamed the "lungs of the city," this beautiful park features lots of green space, benches to rest on, birds and plant life, and a playground for the kids. The highest peak is called Telegrin, sitting at 583 feet (178 m), with a 314-step staircase that takes you to the top and incredible city views. If you aren't sure about hiking the whole way up, you can rent bikes to cruise around the park's many trails.
If you'd like to take the family on a nature excursion, visit Krka National Park. Accessible from the city of Šibenik, which is just 31 miles (51 km) from Split, this green oasis features more than 39 square miles (100 sq km) of terrain, with multiple species of fish, birds, and wildlife such as otters, wolves, and wildcats. You can enjoy the park at your leisure, letting the kids explore the crashing waterfalls and shaded trails, then have lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Day 3: Croatian Family Cooking Class
Learn about Croatia's food culture today with a hands-on cooking class. A professional chef will accompany you and your family to the city's fish and produce markets, where you'll shop for supplies just like a local, sourcing only the freshest ingredients. This is a great way for the kids to understand where foods come from, as they'll see fruits and vegetables straight from the farms and fish caught just that morning.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Private Boat Excursion, Transfer to Hvar
Check out of your hotel this morning and head down to the Split waterfront, where you'll hop on a private boat and spend a relaxing day at sea, exploring the islands that sit just off the mainland. Make your first stop at Zlatni Rat, located on the island of Brač. This gorgeous stretch of pebbled beach forms an unusual "V" shape and is a popular destination for windsurfers. The kids will love the gentle waters and offshore bouncy play area, and there are food vendors and restroom facilities available as well.
Day 5: Free Day in Hvar: Beaches, Watersports & Biking
Take the day to explore Hvar on your own. Head to one of many incredible local beaches, such as Bonj, which is just a 10-minute walk from Hvar Town and features calm, clear waters and several cafés and restaurants. You can also visit Dubovica, one of the most popular beaches on the island, where you'll find a large pebble beach, turquoise waters, and pine trees for shade. Teens in the group (and parents!) might also like to take a stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) lesson, where a private instructor will introduce you to the basics and take all of you on a SUP tour.
For insight into some of the island's history, take a walk up to the 16th-century Španjola Fortress. Perched at the top of a 328-foot (100 m) hill, the fort stood as a guardian of the island and nearby towns for centuries. And if you're looking to see more of Hvar's natural landscapes, head out on a bike or scooter tour that takes you through the island's lavender farms, olive groves, and pine forests.
Tonight, enjoy dinner and drinks in Hvar's ancient piazza as you take in views of the Venetian loggia, an excellent example of Renaissance architecture, and the Hvar Public Theater, the oldest municipal theater in Europe. Parents can sample some of the island's local wines, while kids will love some famous Dalmatian orange soda or sweet sok od bazge (elderflower cordial).
Day 6: Hike The Lost Villages of Hvar, Croatian Peka Lunch
Give lively Hvar Town, the "town that never sleeps," a wide berth today as you head for Hvar's stunning hills and some of its sleepiest, most hidden villages on this private guided tour of off-the-radar island locales. Parts of Hvar's interior are exquisitely beautiful, with tracts carpeted in spruce forest and lavender, and this adventure represents one of the best opportunities to discover the way islanders in the countryside really live.
The little ones can burn off some energy as you hike through the splendid hill country and follow an ancient trail which, in medieval times, used to be the main road connecting Hvar Town with Stari Grad on the north side of the island. Pass through several secluded villages, taking in the island's traditional architecture and way of life, and see Malo Grablje, a charming if slightly eerie village that was abandoned during the 1960s—its empty streets and ghostly buildings will be sure to intrigue older kids.
As you walk, your guide will share colorful tales about the history of the island. You'll also get to stop for lunch at a nearby restaurant, where you'll enjoy a traditional Croatian meal cooked in typical local fashion using a peka: an iron bell covered in hot embers.
Day 7: Ferry to Dubrovnik, Tour Dubrovnik's Old Town
Say your goodbyes to Hvar this morning as you catch a ferry to Dubrovnik, a ride of approximately 3.5 hours. After you settle in at your accommodations, it's time to see more of this ancient fortress city. Dubrovnik, which dates back to the seventh century, was originally founded under the name Ragusa and eventually became a major trading port. Its imposing walls, built in the 11th and 13th centuries, stretch for 1.3 miles (2 km), with forts, walkways, and bastions.
Start your visit with a privately guided walking tour of the Old Town district. Walk through the narrow, winding streets while learning about the history and culture of the city. The tour takes you along Stradun, the main street that was formally a canal, and historic Onofrio's Fountain. See the quarantine buildings, where the city made those coming from far away lands stay until they were cleared of any potential illnesses, and the clock tower, a 100-foot (30 m) landmark that dates back to the 15th century.
Later today, you can take a cable car ride up to Srđ, a 1,300-foot (412 m) mountain just outside the city walls. The cable cars have floor-to-ceiling windows that offer even the littlest travelers in your party the same great views as the adults. Older teens might also like to tour some of the sites where HBO's "Game of Thrones" series was filmed, such as Mineeta Tower and the gardens of Trsteno Arboretum. Relax at your hotel tonight before you continue your adventures tomorrow.
Day 8: Sea Kayaking Around Lokrum Island
Head to the water for a guided kayaking adventure around the city and Lokrum—a small island that sits just offshore from Dubrovnik. You'll start from Banje Beach or West Harbor and paddle to the island, a distance of about 4.3 miles (7 km) round-trip. Expect the tour to take about 4.5 hours, which includes kayaking up and back, and time on the island. The waters here are calm, making it accessible to all ages, and the family will likely see marine life and sea birds along the way.
Once you land on shore, your first stop will be a saltwater lake called Mrtvo More ("Dead Sea"). Like its saline namesake in the Middle East, this lake also has a large salt content created by an erosional depression that was eventually engulfed by encroaching seawater. This makes for an incredibly buoyant swimming experience, and the kids will be able to float without effort as you all enjoy the clear, calm water.
Day 9: Free Day in Dubrovnik: Fortresses, Beaches & Local Farm Dinner
It's your last full day in Croatia, and you'll want to make sure you get out and see any of the sights of Dubrovnik you might have previously missed. For great views of the city and countryside, walk the fortress walls. The walls, which run more than 6,300 feet (1,920 m) in length and sit at a height of just over 80 feet (25 m), can be accessed from three different starting points, and it takes about two to three hours to walk them. The walk must be conducted in a counter-clockwise direction, and parents should keep in mind that they aren't very stroller-friendly, so make sure the kids are okay with the long walk!
Visit Minčeta Fortress, located at Pile Gate, the highest vantage point of the city. After taking in the views, the kids can enjoy the small playground nestled beside the tower. And if you'd like a bit more beach time, head to Lapad Bay Beach, located just under 2.5 miles (3.8 km) from the Old Town—a pleasant walk if the weather isn't too hot, or an easy taxi ride. You'll find a nice stretch of pebbled sand with public facilities, changing rooms, and loungers for rent. There are also plenty of restaurants here, so it's a great place to end the day with dinner and one last Croatian sunset.
If you want to spend your last day really immersing yourself in Croatian culture, join a local family at their farm and cook a traditional meal. You'll visit the village of Čilipi, where you'll meet the family and take a farm tour. Learn about their agriculture process and the foods they grow, meet the livestock and let the kids run in the fresh air before preparing a Croatian peka meal. Enjoy homemade cheese, lots of fresh vegetables cultivated around the house, wine, and olive oil, all while learning about Croatia directly from the locals.
Day 10: Depart Dubrovnik
Your Croatia travels come to a close today. Your driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to the airport in Dubrovnik for your flight home. Safe travels!
More Great Croatia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Croatia? Check out these other Croatia itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in Croatia with your family, or discover the best time to visit Croatia.