- Visit the 1,700-year-old Diocletian's Palace in Split
- Sea kayak in the deep blue Adriatic
- Stroll through the pine forests of the island of Korčula
- Explore the beloved island of Hvar
- Explore the Peljesac Peninsula, Croatia's wine country
|Day 1||Split & Diocletian’s Palace||Split|
|Day 2||Sea kayaking & snorkeling in Split||Split|
|Day 3||Hvar Island||Hvar|
|Day 4||Sea kayaking around Hvar||Hvar|
|Day 5||Island Korčula||Korčula|
|Day 6||Walks on Korčula||Korčula|
|Day 7||Peljesac Peninsula||Dubrovnik|
Day 1: Diocletian’s Palace
Welcome to Croatia! When you arrive in Split, start your explorations with a stroll around the 1,700-year-old UNESCO-recognized marvel of Diocletian's Palace. Here you'll find stones worn shiny over the decades, towers stretching into the sky, and columns lining open squares. On one side of the palace, you'll find a sprawling market full of fresh greens, fragrant onions, strings of garlic, and even hand crafts. On the other side, a vibrant fish market runs in the early mornings. If you're here early enough, make time to explore both.
Once you've had your fill of ancient architecture and bustling fish markets, head to Marjan Hill, a pretty hilltop park well-loved by the locals. The views from the top are sweeping ones - of both the city and the sea, so don't forget your camera. When you're done strolling, descend back down to the city for a fresh, Mediterranean dinner.
Day 2: Sea kayaking and snorkel discovery of Split
On your second day in Croatia, it's time to take to the sea - with a four-hour scenic seaside tour around the Marjan Peninsula. You can choose to do your tour in the morning or in the evening, but either way, it's time to sea kayak your way around the peninsula, stopping in secluded bays, at shady pine forests, and on pebble beaches for a dip and a snorkel.
The rest of the day is yours to explore. Popular local attractions include the morning fish and fresh markets, Diocletian's Palace (if you missed it yesterday), the winding streets of old town, and the Galerija Mestrovic art museum. For something more offbeat, try Froggyland - a strange and wonderful collection of taxidermied frogs staged as though they're doing human tasks (like sewing and blacksmith work).
Day 3: Island Hvar's abandoned villages
Grab an early-morning coffee and board your first Croatian ferry to the island of Hvar! Here, you'll start your morning exploration with a hike along rocky paths to the highest point on the island, stopping in abandoned villages along the way. These were once famous for their lavender oil production, but now they're charming, old stone relics.
On your way back, stop in one of the numerous hidden bays along the southern coast and go for a swim in the deep blue of the Adriatic. When you reach Hvar's famous piazza (promenade), stop to admire the many historical buildings that line it. They were built in Venetian times and are well preserved.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Day 4: Sea kayaking Hvar
Linger over a delicious local breakfast before donning your water gear and taking to the sea. Today, you're setting off for a small group of islands called the Pakleni - formerly a source of rosin for local shipbuilders. These days, the islands are covered in thick pine forest, where you'll find endless shade even on the hottest, sunniest days.
Paddle through narrow straits and along the islands' shorelines to find hidden pebble beaches where you can swim, snorkel, and relax without another soul in sight. Then paddle to another beach where a beachfront restaurant waits to serve up some Mediterranean specialties. Finally, make your way back to Hvar town in the early afternoon and spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing, exploring, or lounging in the sun.
Day 5: Korčula Island
Before you bid Hvar farewell, spend your morning climbing through parkland to visit the Spanjol Fortress for a sweeping view of the town, the harbor, and the surrounding islets. The fortress was built on the site of a Medieval castle and you'll find a collection of ancient jars still on display. Back in Hvar, don't miss the Renaissance Theater - built in 1612 and thought by some to be the first theater in Europe - and the Benedictine Monastery, where you'll find a collection of laces woven by the nuns from dried agave leaves.
Later in the afternoon, board your next ferry and make your way to Korčula, an ancient Venetian walled city where you'll spend the next two nights.
Day 6: Walking the eastern part of Korčula
Lace up your best walking shoes, grab a quick breakfast, and make your way along the eastern coast of Korčula Island. Today’s walk will take you through ancient villages, along rocky paths dotted with cypress and pine trees, and past olive groves and aromatic Mediterranean vegetation. For lunch, try a homemade pašticada (Dalmatian pot roast) or macaroni dish with a glass of Posip - Croatia's most famous white wine, produced right here on the island.
In the afternoon, stroll along the narrow cobblestone alleys of the old town of Korčula, where famous world traveler Marco Polo started his epic journey. In the historic center of town, check out the Cathedral of St. Marko, built in Gothic and Renaissance style. And, of course, don't miss another classic Mediterranean dinner at one of the town's best restaurants.
Day 7: Peljesac Peninsula
Start the day with a short boat ride to the town of Orebić on the Peljesac Peninsula - a region known for its wines. The town was founded in the 15th century as a part of the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) and was famous for its seamen and maritime traditions. Today, it's still full of charming old stone houses built by those once-famous sea captains. From here, hike along the southern slopes of Mt. Ilija, passing secluded vineyards, Franciscan monasteries, and sweeping views of Korčula and the Pelješac archipelago. Then make your way to the coast for a scenic stroll along the waterfront of the laid-back villages of Kučište and Viganj.
In the afternoon, head to the mainland, to the town of Ston - home of one of the longest stone walls in the world. The town is also famous for its salt works, oysters, and mussels. Stop here to explore before continuing on to Dubrovnik - the Pearl of the Adriatic.
Day 8: Departure
It's time to bid Croatia a fond farewell! Or, if you just can't get enough, consider extending your trip to see more of Dubrovnik and the Balkans. If you still have some time, Dubrovnik's most popular attractions include walking the fortified walls, riding the gondola above the city for a panoramic view, and taking a Game of Thrones tour. More offbeat attractions in the area include the abandoned hotels of Kupari and the small, charming seaside town of Cavtat (pronounced "Tsav-tat").