This 14-day adventure covers the highlights of Croatia from north to south, all the way from the Dalmatian Coast to the inland national parks. You'll leave no stone unturned as you stroll the cobbled streets of ancient cities like Split, Dubrovnik, and Trogir. Discover culture and history in Zagreb, visit the waterfall-filled national parks of Plitvice and Krka, go truffle hunting in Istria, and meet the locals with an authentic family farm experience in the Croatian countryside.


  • Explore Zagreb, one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe
  • Marvel at the cascading waterfalls of Plitvice and Krka national parks
  • Join a truffle hunting excursion and cooking class in the forests around Motovun
  • Break bread with a local Croatian family at their farm
  • Stroll the streets of the ancient fortress city of Dubrovnik

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia's Historic Capital Zagreb
Day 2 Day Trip to Trakošćan Castle & Varazdin Zagreb
Day 3 Transfer to Motovun, Istria's Loveliest Hill Town Motovun
Day 4 Truffle Hunting in Motovun Forest Motovun
Days 5-6 Transfer to Grabovac & Plitvice Lakes, Optional Activities Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 7 Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 8 Transfer to Split, Gateway to the Dalmatian Coast Split
Day 9 Morning Walking Culture & Food Tour of Split Split
Day 10 Day Trip to Krka National Park Split
Day 11 Half-Day Trogir & Klis Tour Split
Day 12 Transfer to Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic" Dubrovnik
Day 13 Cavtat Family Farm Visit, Sunset from Mount Srđ Dubrovnik
Day 14 Depart Dubrovnik  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia's Historic Capital

Discover Zagreb's lively café and cultural scene as you explore the capital

Welcome to Croatia! Upon arrival in the capital of Zagreb, you'll check into your hotel and have the remainder of the day free to explore. Zagreb is a gem of a European city, at once historic and new. On the one hand, it's filled with leafy green parks and Gothic or neo-Renaissance buildings, yet you'll also find modern shopping complexes, outdoor malls, and endless dining and drinking options. You can feast on haute cuisine paired with the nation's famous wines or chow down on pub grub washed down with a few craft beers.

The party is nonstop in Zagreb, as there's no shortage of festivals, sporting events, museum exhibits, and other activities. For the most bars and restaurants per square meter, visit the windy streets of the Tkalčićeva neighborhood, located above the main square. For more urban culture, head to Branimirova Street, where drab walls have been transformed by colorful murals that stretch 1,476 feet (450 m) and feature the works of over 50 street artists. Regardless of when you visit Zagreb or where you go, there's always something to see and do.

Day 2: Day Trip to Trakošćan Castle & Varazdin

Spend a day touring the Trakošćan Castle, north of Zagreb

The impressive Trakošćan Castle awaits today. After breakfast, meet your driver and guide for an hour-long drive toward Croatia's northern border, where Trakošćan is located in a storybook setting by a glassy lake. The castle is a historic landmark built in the 14th century as a defensive fortress, but was later used as a home for aristocratic Croatian families. You'll tour the castle grounds, then explore all four floors. Step back into the heyday of Croatian nobility with historic oil paintings, antique furniture, and even medieval weapons like swords and cannons.

Finally, you'll float across the lake with a romantic boat ride. After the castle, visit Varazdin, a small city also called "Little Vienna" due to its abundance of Baroque and Rococo architecture. In Croatia, Varazdin is known as the "city of music and flowers," and there's no shortage of festivals and floral exhibitions. Walk by Baroque palaces, churches, and monasteries, and visit the historic Old Town, which is actually a castle that dates to the 14th century.

Day 3: Transfer to Motovun, Istria's Loveliest Hill Town

Motovun Town
You'll stay in the medieval hilltop town of Motovun, famed for its wine and truffles

In the morning, you'll transfer about three hours west to the ancient town of Motovun, which is located near the coast on the Istrian peninsula. The scenery on the drive is spectacular as you pass by rolling hills, fertile valleys, and lowland Mediterranean forests abounding with oak, elm, and ash trees. Motovun itself is a medieval gem, an ancient Istrian acropolis perched on a 908-foot (277 m) hill overlooking the Mirna River Valley

Leading from Motovun's Venetian-inspired town square up to the top of the hill is the longest staircase on the Istrian Peninsula, which boasts 1,052 steps. Walk up it, and you'll be treated to 360-degree views of the vineyards and forest outside the village walls. The vineyards produce Croatia's famed teran and malvasia wines, while the forests are home to hidden treasure: black and white wild truffles, which are prized among foodies across the globe.

Day 4: Truffle Hunting in Motovun Forest

Join a hunt for wild truffles in the Istrian countryside, then cook up a feast

Today, you'll venture southwest from Motovun to the hilltop Istrian village of Vrh. Meet an English-speaking guide at the bell tower, who will lead on a special hunt for wild truffles. Together, you'll journey to the nearby country house of a seasoned professional with 40 years of experience hunting for wild truffles in the Mediterranean forests of the area. They'll introduce you to dogs trained specially to hunt truffles, and after an aperitif, you'll venture into the forest and begin the hunt. 

After you've unearthed the prized fungi, you'll return to the country house and learn how to prepare a special meal with truffles as the star ingredient. As you get to work, the friendly hosts will serve you local wine, cheese, truffle-flavored honey, and other delicacies. Finally, you'll sit down to enjoy this special meal before returning to Motovun for the evening.

Days 5-6: Transfer to Grabovac & Plitvice Lakes, Optional Activities

Relax in the Croatian countryside and take your pick of outdoor adventures

Today, you get to commune with the unspoiled nature of rural Croatia. It begins in the morning as you take a three-hour private transfer to Grabovac. This village is located in the wilderness just 5 miles (8 km) from one of the great natural attractions of Croatia—Plitvice Lakes National Park, famous for its terraced lakes and waterfalls. 

Upon arrival, you'll have the next two days free to partake in various outdoor adventures, from horseback riding and cycling to rock climbing, kayaking, and even a paintball match. Use these days to switch off and relax—you're on vacation, after all. At the end of each day, you'll spend the night in a treehouse nestled amid the tall pines of the forest.

Plan your trip to Croatia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park
Explore the surreal beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-visit for any traveler to Croatia. This is more than a park—it's a storybook locale conjured from a romantic dream. Comprised of 16 terraced lakes over a total area of 114 square miles (296 sq km), its glassy waters are as emerald green as the forest that surrounds it. The real stars of the show, however, are the cascading waterfalls that plunge over the terraces in seemingly every corner of Plitvice. 

Many hiking routes within the park follow along wooden boardwalks, and you can explore them on your own or with a private guide. The benefit of opting for a guide is that they'll be able to offer insight into the region as well as lead you to the most interesting areas of the park. However you choose to explore Plitvice, it's best to arrive early in the morning before the crowds arrive, when you'll have the winding boardwalks to yourself.

Day 8: Transfer to Split, Gateway to the Dalmatian Coast

Glimpse views over the ancient coastal city of Split from above

After breakfast, you'll transfer three hours south to Split, the second-largest city in Croatia and the largest on the Dalmatian Coast. Split is a dynamic and ancient coastal city founded 1,700 years ago by the Roman emperor Diocletian. Today, its UNESCO-protected Old Town is set within the walls of the expansive Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world. Every step you take in this "city within a city," a maze of narrow alleyways within stone fortifications, is walking through the halls of history and the emperor's former palace.

You'll have the day free to wander the cobbled alleyways of Old Town and stroll along Split's palm-lined, riviera-like waterfront. You can do this either by yourself or joined by a local guide who will offer perspective and historical insight into the locales you visit. Other highlights include the Venetian Cathedral of St. Lovro and the Church of St. John the Baptist, built on a former Byzantine basilica dating to the sixth century.

Day 9: Morning Walking Culture & Food Tour of Split

Split market
Venture into the market of Split to taste local produce

Experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of Split today on a private food tour. You'll snack your way through the city's historic streets while visiting street markets, modest bakeries, and old bars, on the hunt for sweet and savory local delicacies. Meet your guide in the morning and meander over to Pazar, a lively outdoor fruit and vegetable market just east of Diocletian's Palace. See how the locals shop and sample prosciutto and cheese together with rakija, a typical fruit brandy of the region.

Then, step back in time as your guide escorts you underground to the palace's cellars while sharing intriguing accounts of its history. End the tour with some savory soparnik—a type of Swiss-chard-filled pie thought to be the prototype of the Italian pizza. After, use your afternoon to explore as you wish. You might like to visit the famous Bačvice Beach, walk through Marjan Park, and if you love being active, tackle the long steps to Telegrin—the highest peak of Marjan with a panoramic view of the city. In the evening, stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the views over the Adriatic.

Day 10: Day Trip to Krka National Park

Don't miss the multitiered Skradinski Buk waterfall in Krka National Park

A memorable day trip awaits you today. In the morning, you'll transfer one hour from Split to Krka National Park, which, besides Plitvice, is home to Croatia's other drop-dead gorgeous network of waterfalls. In total, there are seven waterfalls in this 54 square-mile (139 sq km) national park. They're formed by the Krka River, and a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) boardwalk follows a circuitous route through the Mediterranean forest around the falls. You can complete the path in under an hour, and on this easy walk, you'll pass by gullies and over river islands featuring prime lookout spots. 

Skradinski Buk is the final of the seven waterfalls, and Mother Nature saved the best for last. Cascading 78 feet (24 m) down into an emerald lagoon wider than the falls are tall. At the base of this postcard locale, you'll find restaurants, snack stands, ice cream shops, and more. 

Day 11: Half-Day Trogir & Klis Tour

An aerial view of tiny Trogir, a UNESCO-listed fortress town

With over 2,000 years of history, Trogir is one of Croatia's beloved UNESCO World Heritage sites and a great example of a beautiful island fortress town. Today, a private guide will take you to Trogir, which is around 45 minutes up the coast from Split. Stroll the narrow cobbled streets, enjoy the Romanesque architecture and medieval stone walls, and don't be surprised if you hear the harmonies of Trogir's famous Dalmatian a cappella singers carrying through the air. For Instagram-worthy photos, head to Kamerlengo Castle, a fortress built by the Venetians in the 15th century.

Take in the incredible panoramic views of Trogir and the surrounding area from atop its battlements, then make the return to Split. En route, you'll visit Klis to walk along its ancient ramparts. This fortress town sits on a cliff 20 minutes northeast of Trogir and was the seat of Croatian kings beginning in the ninth century. Its strategic position made it a defensive stronghold against invading Ottomans, who took Klis in 1537 but lost it to the Venetians in 1669. These days, Klis is ensconced in popular culture thanks to the hit TV show "Game of Thrones."

Day 12: Transfer to Dubrovnik, the "Pearl of the Adriatic"

Enjoy the beauty of Dubrovnik and its imposing city walls

In the morning, you'll transfer three hours to the far south of Croatia and the historic city of Dubrovnik. Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," it might be the most attractive city in all of Croatia. While there's evidence of settlements as far back as the Byzantine era, this area 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 and Gothic palaces that still stand today.

There's no better way to pass the time in Dubrovnik than to spend an afternoon strolling its historic walls and smooth, limestone-paved streets while marveling at the spirit of the city. A tour with a local guide will be that much more rewarding, as they'll lead you to the best spots and offer insight into Dubrovnik's culture and history. 

Day 13: Cavtat Family Farm Visit, Sunset from Mount Srđ

Sit down with a local family and enjoy a traditional peka meal

After breakfast, you'll meet a local guide and venture to beautiful Cavtat, a medieval coastal town nestled in a bay on the southernmost tip of Croatia. Wander the small, quaint streets and stroll along the waterfront promenade that spans the peninsula. View the House of Vlaho Bukovac, a famous Croatian painter, then return to the vehicle. Next, drive through the pastoral Konavle region to a little village called Cilipi, where you'll join a local family to prepare a delicious, authentic Croatian peka meal cooked under an iron dome.

Enjoy homemade cheese, lots of fresh vegetables cultivated from the garden, wine, olive oil, and most memorably, the company of the family. This experience allows you to learn about Croatian culture directly from the locals! Later, when you return to the city, you might like to take the cable car up to Mount Srđ. This peak looks out over the city and the Adriatic Sea from 1,351 feet (412 m) high. At the top, you'll find panoramic views and can even stay for dinner at the Panorama Restaurant—the perfect end to two weeks in Croatia. 

Day 14: Depart Dubrovnik

Twilight over Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coast

After breakfast, you'll check out of your hotel, transfer to the airport, and make all connecting flights home. This concludes your grand Croatian adventure. Come back soon, and 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 two weeks in Croatia, or discover the best time to visit Croatia.


A note on diacritical and retroflex markings: In order to support the best technical experience and search functions, diacritical markings have been omitted from this article.


Map of Highlights of Croatia: Zagreb, Istria, Plitvice & Dalmatia - 14 Days
Map of Highlights of Croatia: Zagreb, Istria, Plitvice & Dalmatia - 14 Days