Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar with family of 5

  Group of 2 adults and 3 children looking to visit Croatia in August 2016

“I have 3 boys ages 14,12,7. My husband and I have always wanted to visit Croatia and we love the ocean and nice food. We would like to see the waterfalls and to swim in the beaches. Also love to visit the islands by boat. Where would you recommend to base ourselves for at least one week? I don't mind traveling around for a week and maybe just staying in a villa or hotel for a week. We'd like to see Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar?”

Alan Mandić, a local specialist from Croatia, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary based on Best of the Dalmatian Coast - 8 Days.

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This adventure begins in over 2 years

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I visited Croatia about 10 years ago... Loved it! Let me connect you to my colleague Markus who is based in Amsterdam. He is our Croatia specialist and will be able to give you great advice.




Great. Not sure if he is still awake... it may be tomorrow morning before he gets back


Ok, no problem. How will I get in touch with him?


He will respond in this thread here. You will receive an email once he reponds


ok. thanks


Thanks again for your initial request on kimkim.

Sorry, it took a bit longer to get back to you, but I wanted to provide you with a thorough reply with a lot of info you can look into.

You had a quick chat with my colleague Joost and he asked me to gather some interesting info and sites for you. This may help you get a better picture of the possibilities and of your preferences.

Regarding your request, looking at your picture quiz ratings, we think the coast between Zadar and Sibenik may be a good option.

Zadar has the airport (Split could be the alternative airport) and is known for its night life, nice cafes and restaurants. Sibenik is ca 1,5 ride from Split airport and is amazingly beautiful town with nice beaches in the surrounding (check Primosten).

You can stay in the city or, if your prefer to stay near the beach there are numerous smaller towns/villages like Biograd or Vodice (see for instance www.villematilde.com/en_us/ or http://hotel-life.hr/en/homepage/ in Rogoznica, south from Sibenik).
You can also check bigger resorts like Zaton or Solaris. (http://www.zaton.hr/en/ and http://www.solarishotelsresort.com/)
In Zadar we would suggest nice boutique hotels Bastion and Art hotel Kalelarga. (http://www.hotel-bastion.hr/ and http://www.arthotel-kalelarga.com/en)

In the vicinity you can find several nature or national parks like:
• Paklenica
• Krka
• Kornati – book a day boat trip (check www.tome.hr )
• Vransko lake
• The ride to National park Plitvice would take ca 2 hours (depending from your departure spot, ca 120 km from Zadar, see http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/).
• The ride to the city of Split (worth of a daytrip with stop in Trogir) would take ca 2 hours from Zadar as well.

Info about national parks you can find on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_areas_of_Croatia
Info about Croatia as tourist destination you can find on http://croatia.hr/en-GB.
Brochures you can order via Croatian Tourist Office in many cities around the world (http://croatia.hr/en-GB/Representative-offices).

Here you can find more information about regions Zadar, Sibenik and Split:
And....you shouldn’t rule out Dubrovnik as well (one of my personal favorites:-):

Well, these are some initial suggestions. Not my intention to overload you, but many of our travelers appreciate checking out some options first before our expert provides a concrete travel plan. In order for them to do so and make you a plan, it would definitely help in case you could share with me what appeals most to you. I’ll then match you with your ‘perfect insider’ and I’m sure they will then work on the perfect trip plan for you and your family.

Thanks for addressing the following aspects so we can help you more specifically:
-what kind of activities? How many days per activity?
-what kind of areas/landscapes: sea, islands, coast/beach, inland/nature, (historical) cities/towns
-transport expectations: self-drive/rental, transfers, car with driver/guide, etc
-guidance expectations: whole tour guided, only during specific activities (which ones?), etc
-specific areas, parks or cities? (names)

Please don’t hesitate to get back to me and I’ll hook you up with the best possible local match to work out your travel plan.

We’re almost there:-)



Hi Markus,

I had a look through your message! Thank you for sending so much info.

We would really like to visit Plitvice and would consider staying one or two nights in a hotel near the lakes.

Dubrovnik is also a must see for us so we thought we could stay a few nights in a hotel here too.

We also want 5-7 days staying in a hotel on the beach where we can take boats to see Kornati island. Would love to stay in a 5 star hotel that is not too large but close to a charming town with nice restaurants and night life. Also read about Nin and Queens beach. Is this crowded in early August? Worth seeing?

How is Porec? Would you rate Istria higher than zadar/sibinec area by coast? We are wanting luxury accommodation and to take at least 2-3 boat trips to visit various islands and to swim. We would also like water sports in hotel if possible. What about Hvar and Split?

We are planning to rent a car.

Thank you for your help!


You're welcome.

Good feedback, great stuff to work with. This was exactly what I needed to be able making the perfect match with one of our experts 'on the ground'.

In the meantime I've informed 'your' expert Alan and his staff about your wishes and expectations. They take over from here so you can communicate directly in order to shape that perfect trip together with them.

Hope it's ok with you in case they get back to you on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Cheers, Markus


Thank you for your interest in traveling in Croatia!
You have mentioned that you have 10 days in Croatia yet you are suggesting an itinerary that is well over that period. Do you have extra days available?
We would suggest doing a one way trip from Dubrovnik to Istria but you need at least 12 nights.
August is by far the busiest part of the year and all main tourist areas will be busy and crowded.
Plitvice are not worth more than a day trip and that can be easily done from Zadar. Zadar is a good base for more active stay and we can organize a day trip to Kornati from there. That way your skipper will take you cruising to some of the most beautiful coves and beaches and to see the cliffs.
Queens beach near Nin is really nice but yes, it will be crowded. Near Zadar, we would suggest Punta Skala resort which is fairly big but has all the amenities of a 5 star hotel. In town, you can only stay at 4* heritage properties but then you have to drive to other places to go to beach...
Renting a car is generally good way to see the country and be independent - we usually give lots of information on what to see and where to eat besides the general itinerary.
Istria is a stunning part of the country and, having a car, you can have a great time exploring it.
I assume you need two bedrooms (one double and one triple) but please let me know if you have a specific budget.
I look forward to your feedback so we can plan a very special journey for you!

Warm regards



We are happy to stay 12 days. We thought we would end the trip in Dubrovnik and start with the beaches. We are happy to stay in Zadar but not sure we could do Zadar, Istria and Dubrovnik? Will that not be too much moving around? Yes, we do need 1 double and one triple room.

Not sure about the punta skala resort. It looks very large but I will look again at the accommodation. Do they have a nice beach?
I hope that's a good start at least.
Thank you,


In 12 days it will be too much to do Istria as well so I would go with Zadar - Hvar - Dubrovnik. Punta Skala is large but has all the amenities and several beaches. If staying in town, you will be limited but again, you will have a car.
Let us create something for you for a start and then we will go from there



Program suggestion you can find below:
This is a basic, initial suggestion based on your input so we can start from here. The itinerary has all luxury hotels (two rooms for your family) and several day trips that will make this a great holiday. Please note that everything can be adjusted to your preferences and budget. I look forward to your feedback!

Day 1 – August 6th

Welcome to Croatia! Upon your arrival to Zadar Airport pick up your car rental and drive yourself to Hotel
Iader 5*. Hotel & Spa Iadera is located in the exclusive resort Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Punta Skala,
on the very peak of the Punta Skala peninsula with boasting magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea and the
offshore islands. With contemporary design and state of the art technology flowing through the stylish
accommodation in tuned with Mediterranean climate, one will find exceptional service for a longremembered
holiday. Spacious guestrooms and a great selection of leisure activities together with
Acquapura Spa will bring you excitement, comfort and rejuvenation you deserve. Conveniently located at
only 28 km from Zadar International Airport and 12 km from city of Zadar, Hotel & Spa Iadera is a perfect
choice for abundant holidays, wellness retreats, family reunions, upscale events end meetings. Enjoy
reminder of your first day in Zadar at your leisure.
Hotel: Iadera 5*

Day 2 – August 7th

Enjoy your day at leisure, exploring Zadar on your own and discover the Queens beach near Nin.
Hotel: Iadera 5* Meals: breakfast

Day 3 – August 8th

Private motor boat tour of Kornati National Park
After breakfast, head toward center of Zadar and Riva walking promenade where you will meet your skipper
and board your motor boat (Sessa C42) for today’s private tour of Kornati National Park. Kornati is a surreal
dreamscape, a natural archipelago of more than 140 uninhabited islands so stunning in their random beauty
that according to the legend, after God created the world, there were still a few gems still left in his hand, so
he threw them over his shoulder into the sea and Kornati were born. Entrance tickets to National Park and
lunch on one of the islands are included. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon hours.
Hotel: Iadera 5* Meals: breakfast, refreshments on board, lunch

Day 4 – August 9th

After breakfast, head toward Plitvice National Park, some 2,30 hours driving distance from Zadar and
discover and explore Plitvice Lakes on your own. According to legend, the Plitvice lakes were created after a
long drought. The "Black Queen" took pity on the people and animals that cried for water. Heavy rain began
to fall and continued until they formed the lakes we see today. The natural attributes of the Plitvice Lakes
National Park, uniqueness and sensibility of that phenomenon, deserve the full attention of our visitors.
Plitvice National Park is Croatia’s natural masterpiece. Even for seasoned world travelers, the overpowering
beauty and grandeur of Plitvice National Park is simply astounding. With waterfalls spilling over impossible
hills, sixteen different lakes and fascinating flora and fauna, Plitvice is the most visited place in the entire
country! Since 1979, it has been under the protection of UNESCO as a rare World Heritage Site and is often
voted as one of the most beautiful national parks in the world!
Hotel: Iadera 5* Meals: breakfast

Day 5 – August 10th
Zadar – Split – Hvar
After breakfast, check out and head toward Split. After approximately 2 hours driving, arrive to Split and
board a public ferry for Hvar Island. After some 2 hours boat ride, you will arrive to Stari Grad port on Hvar
Island. Afterwards, continue toward Hvar Town (some 20 minutes driving distance).
Upon arrival, check in to Hotel Amfora 4*. On a secluded bay, this luxury beach resort features a private
beach and a multi-level pool. Sea views are the highlight here and Hvar’s center is only a 10-minute walk
away. All rooms enjoy views of Paklinski Islands or the well groomed gardens. On the exclusive Bonj les
bains Beach, guests can rent a private seaside cabin and enjoy a soothing massage. Cocktails are served on
the stylish lounge area or the poolside Cascades Restaurant, with its two-level terrace. The Amfora Hvar’s
pool is filled with freshwater. The rooftop Windows Restaurant offers panoramic views of the Hvar
Archipelago and Amfora Bay. At the beachside Maestral restaurant, guests can enjoy the views under the
shade of a cool white tent. Enjoy reminder of the day at leisure.
Hotel: Amfora 4* Meals: breakfast

Day 6 – August 11th
Private motor boat day trip to Vis, Bisevo and Pakleni islands (Cranchi 41)
Meet your skipper in the morning for a private motor boat day trip to Pakleni archipelago and Vis and
Bisevo. These islands are famous for their inlets and caves, most famous being Modra Špilja (the Blue Cave)
in the Balun Cove, accessible only by a boat. On a sunny day, when the sea is calm, sunbeams penetrate
through an underwater opening and the effect of the sea bottom reflecting and illuminating the cave with
azure color is incredible. Enjoy a fun day of sunbathing and swimming in the coves around Biševo and Vis,
enjoying fantastic nature with numerous bays and beaches which offer the peace and tranquility to make
your visit to the islands memorable. Your journey continues to Pakleni islands in front of Hvar, where your
skipper can recommend a very good seafood restaurant in one of numerous hidden bays. Swimming in one
of these bays is a spectacular experience you do not want to miss, because of the crystal clear sea and the
wonderful pebbly beaches with pine trees! Return to Hvar Town in the late afternoon hours.
Hotel: Amfora 4* Meals: breakfast

Day 7 – August 12th
Cultural tour of Hvar Island
Famed for its sunshine, lavender and nightlife, visitors to the island of Hvar are often surprised at the depth
of culture and heritage on offer on the exclusive island. Join us on the Secret Dalmatia Cultural Tour of Hvar
Island to get the very best of the island's culture in this fascinating day trip, which starts in the morning
hours. Start the day in the historic town of Stari Grad. Originally called Faros, it was once the capital of Hvar
and is the oldest town in Croatia. Walk through the ancient pedestrian town, with a postcard scene around
every corner, and head to the town's premier cultural attraction, the impressive Tvrdalj fortress, home of
the legendary poet Petar Hektorovic, complete with fishpond and stone inscriptions in Croatian and Latin.
The UNESCO theme continues as you travel east to the Stari Grad Plain (also known as Ager or Hora), an 80-
hectare agricultural colony founded by the Ancient Greeks in 384 BC. In addition to being the largest
cultivated field on the Mediterranean islands, agricultural life has continued uninterrupted since before the
birth of Christ - a fascinating example of living heritage.
Continuing east to the island's third town of Jelsa, which is set around a pretty harbor, your destination is
the Dubokovic wine cellar, home to Ivo Dubokovic, Croatia's leading boutique winemaker, and an excellent
chance to taste the quality wines and olive oils of the island.
Then you are off to Hvar town, home to the birth of organized tourism in Europe in 1868, the largest square
in all of Dalmatia at 4.700m2, and the oldest public theatre in Europe, built in 1612. Your guided walking
tour will include these and several other treasures in the town, including the 550 year-old Franciscan
Monastery and the Benedictine Convent, where the nuns make fine lace from agave, which is one of four
UNESCO heritages on Hvar.
The tour concludes with a sumptuous traditional lunch served in the abandoned village of Malo Grablje – a
truly unique and picturesque atmosphere. A perfect way to end a very fulfilling cultural tour!
Hotel: Amfora 4* Meals: breakfast, olive oil and wine tating, lunch

Day 8 – August 13th
Enjoy your last day at leisure, exploring and discovering Hvar on your own.
Hotel: Amfora 4* Meals: breakfast

Day 9 – August 14
Hvar – Dubrovnik
Check out after breakfast and head south toward Dubrovnik via the Drvenik ferry port.
Upon arrival, check in to the beautiful seaside Hotel Bellevue 5*. A heaven for the senses, Hotel Bellevue
will immerse you into a world of luxury and elegance. Located on a spectacular cliff top, 30 meters above
Miramare Bay, Hotel Bellevue is within walking distance from the Old Town. Enjoy your first day in
Dubrovnik at leisure.
Hotel: Bellevue 5* Meals: breakfast

Day 10 – August 15
‘Under the Walls’ private kayaking tour of Dubrovnik
This morning a wonderful experience of kayaking under the Walls of Dubrovnik is waiting for you! Depart
toward St. Jacob’s beach after breakfast for a unique private sea kayaking adventure towards the island of
Lokrum, passing right under the magnificent City walls. Discover unreachable caves and hidden beaches
while paddling past impressive sea rocks. Experience the cultural-historical sites from a different and
exciting perspective and enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear blue Adriatic Sea. You will have
a short stop on the island of Lokrum, so you can take a walk through its beautiful botanical garden or relax
in a cafe on the island sipping cold refreshing drinks before returning to the mainland. Afterwards, enjoy
Dubrovnik on your own.
Hotel: Bellevue 5* Meals: breakfast

Day 11 – August 16
Private motor boat day trip to Mljet National Park
Meet your skipper in the morning hours and embark a private motor boat trip to Mljet National Park. Mljet
is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. It is a
beautiful island, a large portion of which is a nationally protected national park. The National Park is at the
western part of the island, covering an area of 54 km 2, including Veliko jezero (The Great Lake), Malo jezero
(The Small Lake), Soline Bay and a sea belt 500m wide from the most prominent cape of Mljet. The central
parts of the park are Veliko jezero with the Isle of St. Mary, Malo jezero and the villages of Goveđari, Polače
and Pomena. Return to your hotel in the afternon hours and enjoy your last evening in Dubrovnik at leisure.
Hotel: Bellevue 5* Meals: breakfast

Day 12 – August 17th
Enjoy your last day at leisure, discovering and exploring on your own.
Hotel: Bellevue 5* Meals: breakfast


This looks amazing!! The Zadar and Dubrovnik bits look amazing but not sure about Hvar.

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