If you are coming to Croatia from the USA or Canada, you are probably wondering what to see and how much time you’ll need.
I’ll suggest two itineraries here, one from Dubrovnik (for those coming from the USA) and one from Zagreb (for those coming from Canada).
Information about transport options between Dubrovnik and Split, you can find here.
For those coming from the USA
In this case, we’ll assume that you arrival to Croatia (Dubrovnik) is on Monday and departure the following Monday.
Dubrovnik – Split – Dubrovnik – 7 nights:
- Arrival (Monday) from Philadelphia at 09:30 AM (departures from Philadelphia on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday at 06:15 PM – arrival to Dubrovnik the next day (on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) at 09:30 AM.
- Taxi ride from the airport to Dubrovnik will cost you HRK 300. After you check into your hotel stroll around the Old Town and visit the famous City Walls.
- The following day (Tuesday) you should enjoy the breathtaking view of Dubrovnik by taking the cable car. After enjoying the view you can have lunch in the restaurant which is located on top of the hill. You can spend the rest of the day visiting the nearby Lokrum island and the fortress Lovrijenac.
- On the third day (Wednesday) you’ll leave Dubrovnik and go to Split. The ride lasts approximately 3 hours if you do not pull over during the ride. But, since you are on a road trip along the beautiful coastline why not visit some of the stunning places: Ston, Makarska, Klis fortress or maybe Mostar (not really on your way but worth visiting) – I suggest booking a private transfer which includes a vehicle and an English-speaking driver who can advise you what to see and how much time to spend.
- If you took my advice you’ll arrive to Split late in the afternoon or in the evening. You’ll check into your hotel and walk around the Old Town. Tip: try to book a hotel which can be reached by car! A lot of small Split hotels are located in the Old Town and can be reached only on foot and if you have a lot of luggage that’s really inconvenient. So, I suggest you book a hotel not far from the Old Town but reachable by car such as: Hotel Cornaro, Hotel Park, Hotel Atrium, Hotel Luxe, Hotel Globo, Hotel Corner, Hotel Art.
- On the fourth day (Thursday) after breakfast I suggest visiting the local green market and fish market to smell and taste all the flavours which the area offers. Next you can visit the bell tower of the Cathedral which offers a stunning view of the city. The next spot should be the main promenade – Riva. After that you should visit the sightseeing point (Vidilica) located on Marjan hill.
- On the fifth day (Friday) you should go on a one-day boat trip and visit Hvar, Blue Cave and some other beautiful small islands.
- On the sixth day you should choose from one of the following one-day trips:
- Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Krka National Park + Trogir
- Makarska + Klis
- On the seventh day (Sunday) you’ll head back to Dubrovnik but you’ll spend a night in Cavtat – a beautiful small town located a couple of minutes from the airport by car.
- Departure to Philadelphia (Monday). The flight takes off at 11:40 AM. You need to leave Cavtat only 10 minutes before – at 09:20 AM to be at the airport at 09:30 AM.
For those coming from Canada
In this case, we’ll assume that you arrival to Croatia (Zagreb) is on Wednesday and departure the following Wednesday.
Zagreb – Split – Dubrovnik – 7 nights
- Arrival (Wednesday) to the airport in Zagreb at 12:00 PM. Take a taxi to reach your hotel, that would cost you HRK 150. Use the rest of the day to stroll around Zagreb.
- On Thursday you’ll head from Zagreb to Split but you should definitely stop on your way and visit Plitvice Lakes National Park (you’ll need 3 or 4 hours for this). My suggestion is that you leave Zagreb at 09:00 AM and reach Plitvice by 11:00 AM – the driver will leave you in front of the entrance where you’ll buy the tickets and continue exploring the park on your own. If you spend 4 hours in the park you’ll reach Split around 06:00 PM. Once you check into your hotel use the rest of the day to explore the Old Town.
- The third day (Friday) should be spent walking around Split and getting to know it better
- The fourth day (Saturday) – you should visit Hvar island
- On the fifth day (Sunday) you’ll head to Dubrovnik – it takes approximately 3 hours to reach Dubrovnik from Split
- The sixth day (Monday) – spend some time exploring Dubrovnik
- On the seventh day (Tuesday) you’ll get back to Zagreb. You can reach it by plane or car. By car it takes 5 hours at least. Once you reach Zagreb use the rest of the day to explore it a bit more.
- Departure to Canada (Wednesday) – flight to Toronto leaves at 01:00 PM, you should be at the airport at 11:00 AM so you should leave Zagreb at 10:30 AM.
NOTE: the aforementioned flight details are currently valid. Changes may occur so you should check the airline websites regularly.