Perfect for outdoorsy travelers who appreciate a touch of luxury, this weeklong tour showcases the best of Croatia's nature alongside its rich history and culture. Start in Zagreb, where you'll view the 13th-century architecture of Trakoscan Castle and try local wines at a nearby vineyard. Then, transfer to Split, stopping to hike in the lush greenery of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Ferry over to the island of Hvar for a day, then end in Dubrovnik with a scenic boating excursion through the nearby Elafiti Islands.


  • Enjoy lavish rooms and classic Art Deco interiors at the 5-star Esplanade Zagreb
  • Walk the impressive grounds of Zagreb's 13th-century Trakoscan Castle
  • Cross the border to Slovenia and visit the historic cities of Ljubljana and Bled
  • Sample fresh oysters straight from the waters of Ston Bay
  • Swim, snorkel, and sunbathe as you cruise around the Elafiti Islands

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zagreb, Trakošćan Castle Tour, Wine & Lunch at a Local Vineyard Zagreb
Day 2 Day Trip to Slovenia, Discover Ljubljana & Bled Zagreb
Day 3 Hiking in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Transfer to Split Split
Day 4 Day Trip to the Island of Hvar, Explore Hvar's Towns & Villages Split
Day 5 Oyster Tasting & Farming Experience in Ston Bay, Transfer to Dubrovnik Dubrovnik
Day 6 Boating Excursion to the Elafiti Islands Dubrovnik
Day 7 Depart Dubrovnik  
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zagreb, Trakošćan Castle Tour, Wine & Lunch at a Local Vineyard

Relax in your tastefully appointed room at Esplanade Zagreb (photo courtesy of Esplanade Zagreb Hotel)

Dobro došli! Welcome to Croatia! Your flight lands in the capital city of Zagreb, a thriving metropolis known for its Austro-Hungarian architecture, historic Upper and Lower Town districts, and lively, colorful atmosphere. Your driver will collect you from the airport and transfer you to your hotel, the Esplanade Zagreb, a gorgeous Art Deco retreat steps away from museums, parks, and other local sites. Their spacious rooms blend classic decor with modern touches, including lush textiles, marble bathrooms, and options for suites with sitting areas and city views. 

After check-in, it's time to start exploring! Start with a privately guided tour to Trakošćan Castle. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby for a scenic one-hour drive to the 13th-century castle. Most rooms here are open to visitors, with many left precisely as they were when the last family, the Draškovićs, left in the middle of the 20th century. Learn more about the castle's history and architecture, then take a walk around the grounds and nearby lake. After the tour, visit a local vineyard to enjoy a hearty lunch and delicious Croatian wine before returning to Zagreb. 

Day 2: Day Trip to Slovenia, Discover Ljubljana & Bled

Visit the city of Ljubljana on a day trip to Slovenia

Visit Croatia's next-door neighbor today, the picturesque country of Slovenia. Meet your driver in the morning and make the two-hour drive across the border to Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital. Ljubljana is considered one of the country's most important cities, with a rich history and cultural heritage. You'll start with a private tour of the Old Town district, visiting sites such as the Ljubljana Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece with huge bronze doors and a wealth of gold leaf and intricate frescos within.

See the bustling Town Square and stop at the Triple Bridge (three historic bridges over the river Ljubljanica), then pass through the central market for snacks and souvenirs. Walk along the river to Ljubljana Castle, which is said to be protected by the dragon that sits on top of its spire. From here, you'll have time to explore at your leisure or have lunch at a local restaurant. Try a plate of štruklji, rolled dough filled with either savory or sweet ingredients such as cottage cheese, walnuts, apples, and poppy seeds.

Afterward, meet back up with your driver and travel to Bled, a quaint town on the shores of Lake Bled. On a privately guided tour around the lake, see the famed Bled Castle (the oldest in Slovenia) perched on the clifftop above while your guide explains its cultural significance. Stop along the way to admire the lake, its picturesque island, and the colorful flat-bottomed pletna boats that take visitors silently across the lake. Finish the tour by sampling Bled's specialty dessert, kremna rezina, a vanilla and custard cream cake, before your drive back to Zagreb. 

Day 3: Hiking in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Transfer to Split

Hike through the lush greenery of Plitvice Lakes National Park

In the morning, check out of your hotel and meet your private driver before traveling two hours along scenic roadways and stopping at Plitvice Lakes National Park. This pristine reserve encompasses 74,000 acres (30,000 ha), with 16 terraced lakes and over 90 cascading waterfalls flowing into a limestone canyon. With multiple paths and wooden walkways throughout the park, you'll have the option of a privately guided walking tour or exploring on your own. Stop for lunch at one of the park's restaurants before you set off through the lush greenery.

As you walk past emerald green and blue travertine lakes and through beech and pine forests, keep an eye out for the abundance of fish, birds, and other wildlife. Afterward, continue 2.5 hours to Split, where you'll be dropped off at your hotel, the Cornaro. Here, you'll find a seamless blend of history and modern-day, with warmly decorated rooms and suites, options for panoramic sea or city views, and an elegant rooftop bar. Get settled in your room, then head up to the bar for sunset or step out on the town to explore on your own.

Day 4: Day Trip to the Island of Hvar, Explore Hvar's Towns & Villages

Explore the picturesque villages on the island of Hvar 

After breakfast, meet your private guide and catch a ferry to the island of Hvar, known for its beautiful beaches, top-notch restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Spend the day getting to know this charming island, visiting the town of Jelsa, where you can stroll the main square and grab a coffee at one of the many cafés, and Stari Grad, one of Europe's oldest towns. Discover Stari Grad's Riva promenade, lined with centuries-old Venetian buildings, colorful shops, and sea views at every turn.

Explore lesser-known sites around the island with your guide, who will curate the tour to include specific places you'd like to visit or activities you'd like to try. You can rent bikes, visit Tvrdalj Palace, once the home of Croatian poet Petar Hektorović, or hike up Stari Grad's Glavica Hill for views of the whole countryside. End the day with lunch at a local konoba (tavern), then enjoy some free time in Hvar Town before returning to Split by ferry. 

Day 5: Oyster Tasting & Farming Experience in Ston Bay, Transfer to Dubrovnik

Taste oysters fresh from the sea in Ston Bay 

Your next destination is Dubrovnik, one of Europe's most ancient fortress cities, whose Old Town showcases a long and storied history. After checking out of your hotel in the morning, depart with your private driver on a two-hour drive south. Follow the beautiful Dalmatian coastline to the historic settlement of Ston with its 14th-century fortified walls. The village sits on Ston Bay, known for its oyster farming and salt beds. 

Take some time to walk around town, then head out on a boat to visit the oyster farms. The bay's waters are an unusual mix of freshwater and seawater, essential to growing the perfect oyster. As a result, Ston oysters are considered some of the best in the world. You'll get a firsthand look at the farming process, learn more about how the oysters are grown and harvested, and sample these delicacies directly from the sea.

Return to shore in time to sample wine at a nearby vineyard before continuing the drive to Dubrovnik and your accommodation at the Hotel Bellevue Dubrovnik. This 5-star retreat sits carved into the cliffs above Miramare Bay. Enjoy incredible views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, rooms with a clean, contemporary style, and an on-site spa and restaurant. Tonight, relax at the hotel and take advantage of its many amenities, or see more of the city on your own. 

Day 6: Boating Excursion to the Elafiti Islands

Cruise along the shores of Koločep, part of the Elafiti Islands

This morning, embark on an exclusive full-day boating trip to visit the Elafiti Islands, or Elaphites, an archipelago of 13 islands just off the coast of Dubrovnik. Along the way, you'll stop to swim and snorkel in the hidden coves and peaceful waters of the Adriatic Sea and visit the three main islands (the only ones inhabited), which all offer great swimming beaches and a very relaxed vibe.

Visit Koločep, the smallest of the main islands and closest to Dubrovnik. This "car-free" island has multiple walking trails that take you through restful green forests and along quiet beaches. With two villages on the island, both within walking distance of each other, you can sit down for a relaxed lunch here or check out some historic buildings, including the pre-Romanesque St. Anthony and St. Nicholas churches.

Next, you'll stop at the island of Lopud, where you can spend time on Šunj Beach, a peaceful spot with calm, shallow waters. Just above the beach, make the easy hike to the 15th-century church of Our Lady of Šunj, which has an unusual wooden Renaissance-Baroque altar. End the day on Šipan, where you'll find more beaches, restaurants, and bike rentals to cruise around the island before returning to Dubrovnik in the early evening.

Day 7: Depart Dubrovnik

Time to bid farewell to Croatia! 

Your Croatia adventure ends today. Meet your private driver at your hotel for a 30-minute transfer to the airport. Safe travels home or to your next destination! 

More Great Croatia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Croatia? Check out these other Croatia itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in Croatia in luxury, 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 Luxury Nature & Culture in Croatia: Zagreb, Split & Dubrovnik - 7 Days
Map of Luxury Nature & Culture in Croatia: Zagreb, Split & Dubrovnik - 7 Days