This incredible Croatia highlights itinerary packs a lot into five days and is complete with private transfers to and from your luxury accommodations in Split, Hvar Island, and Dubrovnik. Discover the ancient port city of Split and marvel at Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world on a private food tour of the city. Head to Hvar and see the interior of the island on an exciting half-day excursion from Hvar Town and end your stay with two nights in Dubrovnik where you'll also explore Cavtat and Konavle—the less-frequented gems beyond the "Adriatic Pearl."

Highlights

  • Dine al fresco from an exclusive rooftop terrace above Diocletian's Palace in Split
  • Explore remote settlements and ruggedly beautiful island terrain on Hvar
  • Dive into history with a private tour of Dubrovnik's medieval Old Town & city walls
  • Discover Konavle wine country & prepare a 4-course dinner on a family-run estate

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Split, Private Walking Food Tour Split
Day 2 Split to Hvar, Half-Day Private Island Tour Hvar Town
Day 3 Hvar to Dubrovnik, Private Walking City Tour Dubrovnik
Day 4 Cavtat & Konavle Region Private Culinary Experience Dubrovnik
Day 5 Depart Dubrovnik  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Split, Private Walking Food Tour

Riva in the evening
Riva in the evening

Welcome to Croatia! Start your luxury adventure from Split. Upon arrival at the Zračna luka Split Airport, you'll board your private transfer to a centrally located hotel in the heart of the city. After settling into your upscale heritage boutique hotel set within the walls of famed Diocletian's Palace, you may wish to set out to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

Split is a dynamic ancient coastal city, founded 1,700 years ago by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Today its UNESCO-protected Old Town includes several impressive sites, including Diocletian's Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world. You'll have some time to wander Split's historic center before joining your food tour—an excellent way to experience Split as you snack your way through the city's streets sampling sweet and savory local delicacies. 

You'll meet your guide in the evening and meander over to a restaurant where you'll taste Dalmatian prosciutto and cheese together with rakija, a typical fruit brandy of the region. Next, you'll stop to discover, as well as enjoy, how the savory soparnik—a type of Swiss-chard filled pie thought to be the prototype of the Italian pizza—is made. Following the tour, you'll dine al fresco from an exclusive rooftop terrace above Diocletian's Palace.

Following the tour, you might like to take a stroll along Split's seafront Riva to admire the views over the Adriatic.

Day 2: Split to Hvar, Half-Day Private Island Tour

2400-year-old stone square in Stari Grad
2400-year-old stone square in Stari Grad

This morning you'll board a catamaran from Split to Hvar. A Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar draws visitors for its natural setting, mild climate, and its historic town of the same name. Highlights of Hvar Town include its 13th-century walls, the 16th-century Španjola Fortress, and the main square anchored by the Renaissance-era Cathedral of St. Stephen.

You'll check into your hotel to drop off your luggage before joining your local guide and setting out on a half-day private excursion to cover the undulating island terrain, accented with vineyard-covered hills, thick olive groves, and fragrant fields full of rosemary and lavender. You'll find your way to the abandoned 16th-century village of Malo Grablje before carrying on to the slightly older, UNESCO-protected Velo Grablje. Once home to a thriving lavender industry, Velo Grablje is slowly undergoing a revival. 

Stop for an authentic lunch at a family-run konoba for a traditionally prepared meal in the peka, a bell-shaped lid that is covered in coal. Next, you'll spend a little time visiting a family-owned vineyard or two where you'll have the opportunity to try wines endemic to the island paired with regional delicacies before heading up Vidikovac for views over the Stari Grad Plain. An agricultural landscape set up by the ancient Greeks (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) you'll meander amid small villages in the inner part of the island stopping to visit Stari Grad, Croatia's oldest town. 

After the day's adventures, treat yourself to a drink in the town's ancient piazza that overlooks the Venetian loggia, 7th-century fortification walls, and the oldest municipal theater in Europe.

Day 3: Hvar to Dubrovnik, Private Walking City Tour

Dubrovnik's historic Old Town (Rector's Palace)
Dubrovnik's historic Old Town (Rector's Palace)

In the morning you'll embark on a catamaran to the far south of Croatia and to one of the most ancient fortress cities in Europe. Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik is a world-renowned city of exceptional charm. 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/gothic palaces that still stand today.

After checking into your accommodation, you'll set out to explore your surroundings on a private guided walking tour of the old city. Entering the medieval Old Town through the 16th-century Pile Gate, you'll uncover centuries of the city's rich history as you listen to stories of local life and legends and of the importance Dubrovnik once held in the era of the Republic. Highlights include Onofrio's  Fountain, the 15th century Rector's Palace, Luza Square, the Church of St. Blaise (St. Vlaho), and the café-lined streets of Brsalje Street

After touring the streets and alleys, you'll head for Lovrijenac Fortress as well as the city's impressive defensive walls, the second-largest set of city walls in the world. At certain places the wall rises 75 feet high, offering excellent vantage points for photos of the coastline. 

For the rest of the afternoon, explore Dubrovnik and its surroundings on your own or enjoy the afternoon sun on the nearby beaches. Alternatively, you might like to join at Game of Thrones tour or opt for a kayaking tour around the city walls. Come early evening, however, it's an idea to take the cable car up to you Srđ Mountain for stunning panoramic views over the city and Adriatic before descending back down for dinner at one of Dubrovnik's great restaurants.

Day 4: Cavtat & Konavle Region Private Culinary Experience

Waterfront view of Cavtat
Waterfront view of Cavtat

Enjoy a day reserved for exploring the towns and villages to the east of the "Adriatic Pearl." 

Your first stop will be the small town of Cavtat, just 30 minutes southeast of Dubrovnik. This gorgeous harbor village enjoys a postcard-perfect location nestled in a peninsular cove on the Adriatic. It also has quite a bit of history. It was founded in the 7th century as a haven for ancient-Greek Epidaurum refugees after invaders sacked their colony. Enjoyable activities here include strolling the waterfront promenade, lazing on pebbly beaches, and whiling away the hours in cafés and restaurants after navigating the network of charming streets and cobbled alleys of its Old Town.

From here, the tour takes you through the Konavle countryside, a famous wine region that stretches from Cavtat to the south-easterly tip of Croatia at the Montenegrin border. Its small population lives in some 32 villages scattered across the fertile land where you'll have the opportunity to visit a local family estate and participate in a cooking class.

You'll board your private transfer and head out to a family-run farmhouse where you'll meet your hosts and soon learn about the regional gastronomy as well as Croatian culture and history. Together with your hosts, you'll take in the picturesque scene as you explore the grounds by bike before picking fresh vegetables from the garden and preparing a four-course dinner. And when it comes time to sit down and taste your efforts, you’ll have the added pleasure of sampling homemade wines paired appropriately with your meal.

Day 5: Depart Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

Your exploration of Croatia will end after breakfast with a transfer to the airport to catch your flight home or to your next destination. 

Map

Map of Luxury Croatian Highlights: Split, Hvar, & Dubrovnik - 5 Days
Map of Luxury Croatian Highlights: Split, Hvar, & Dubrovnik - 5 Days