- Walk Lenuci’s Horseshoe, a ring of landscaped urban parks in Zagreb
- Beat the crowds with an early-morning exploration of Plitvice National Park
- Explore historic Zadar, an ancient Mediterranean walled port city
- Sail and snorkel the Pakleni Islands, just off the coast of Hvar
|Day 1||Arrive and explore Zagreb||Zagreb||Rental car|
|Day 2||Zagreb to Plitvice||Plitvice||Rental car|
|Day 3||Plitvice National Park||Plitvice||Rental car|
|Day 4||Zadar, Split, Hvar||Hvar||Rental car, ferry|
|Day 5||Sightseeing around Hvar||Hvar||Scooter or bicycle|
|Day 6||Half-day sailing trip to Pakleni Islands||Hvar||Sailboat|
|Day 7||Explore the medieval city of Dubrovnik||Dubrovnik||Ferry|
|Day 8||Depart Dubrovnik|
Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb
Explore the city of Zagreb. During the summer, it is crowd-free and home to non-stop festivals, museums, bars and sporting events. Walk around Lenuci’s Horseshoe - which is a u-shaped string of seven landscaped, urban park squares in Zagreb. Explore and take in the sites like the iconic Croatian National Theater, several museums, monuments, lots of outdoor statuary, shops and restaurants.
Day 2: Drive from Zagreb to Plitvice
Drive two hours to Plitvice National Park, the most popular park in Croatia. Spend the morning in Zagreb and drive to one of the nearby villages of Plitvice. Spend the night in a sobe (B&B) to enjoy a more intimate experience and wake up early the next day to take advantage of the park before the crowds.
Even if you arrive in the Plitvice area earlier there are plenty of outdoor activities to partake in, from hiking to swimming in the Mrežnica River.
Day 3: Plitvice National Park
Wake up early and explore the park before the crowds. Choose your route before you go to the park as there are 8 different hiking trails to choose from which range from 3 to 8 hours. The upper lakes tend to be less crowded during the peak season. Make sure to pack a picnic lunch as food in the park is overpriced.
Day 4: Drive to Split and Ferry to Hvar
After breakfast, drive an hour and 40 minutes to Zadar, an ancient Mediterranean walled port city. Rich in history, explore the historic center starting at the Sea Organ, passing the 12th-century cathedral and the church of St. Simeon. Stop for lunch with a glass of wine in the center of town at a restaurant like Stomornica, which is popular for its grilled fish and simple Dalmatian cuisine.
Continue driving to Split for an hour and 40 minutes, returning the car, then going to the ferry terminal to catch the ferry for Hvar Town. Depending on if you have time before the ferry - explore the Old Town of Split, its narrow alleys and walk around Diocletian’s Palace.
Day 5: Explore the island of Hvar
Rent a scooter from Hvar Town and drive through olive groves, lavender fields, and vineyards along the coastline, for no more than 250 Kuna/day ($40 USD). Bring a bottle of wine and watch the sunset from Spanjola Fortress. The short walk up to this old 16th-century fortress is worth the hike up for the stunning views of Hvar Town and the Pakleni islands.
Day 6: Half-day sailing trip to Pakleni Islands
Take a half-day sailing and snorkeling trip to the Pakleni Islands. Just off the coast of Hvar, these islands are filled with hidden beaches and lagoons.
Day 7-8: Hvar to Dubrovnik - Depart Dubrovnik
After breakfast, take the three-hour ferry ride to Dubrovnik. Take the cable car up to the top of Srdj Hill, for stunning views of Dubrovnik and nearby Elafiti Islands then walk down instead of taking the cable car down. Spend the day exploring Old Town and the city walls at your own pace. Get a map from your hotel and wander aimlessly through the town.
Watch the sunset from Buza Bar, a hidden gem outside the city walls overlooking the sea or catch the sunset from the water on a 2.5-hour sunset dinner cruise on a traditional Karaka replica ship or your own private boat. Taking in the scenes of Old Town and the islands from the water.
If you have the next morning free, visit Gundulić Square Market to buy gifts and snacks from the only open-air market in Old Town. It sells authentic Dubrovnik products like dried lavender, local brandies, and dried fruits. Go before 1 pm.