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7 Day Croatia Itinerary: The Best of Croatia in 7 Days

7 Day Croatia Itinerary: The Best of Croatia in 7 Days

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If you love history, nature, beautiful scenery and Game of Thrones then 7 days in Croatia is guaranteed to whet your wanderlust and appetite for travel.

From the Old Town of Split and a day of island hopping to walks by the side of waterfalls and forests, this Croatia itinerary aims to show you how you can see the very best of Croatia in just 7 perfect sun-filled days.

7 Day Croatia Itinerary At-A-Glance

7 Days in Croatia Itinerary

If it’s your first time in Croatia, then you’ll probably want to pack in as much as you can while still being able to appreciate the beauty and history of this mesmerising country. 

This is what our 7 day Croatia itinerary is all about. Here’s how it looks at-a-glance:

  • Day 1: Split
  • Day 2: Plitvice Lakes Day Trip
  • Day 3: Five Islands & Blue Cave Day Trip
  • Day 4: Krka National Park Day Trip
  • Day 5: Travel to Dubrovnik
  • Day 6: Dubrovnik
  • Day 7: (Bonus) Montenegro Day Trip

How To Get Around Croatia

The great thing about our 7 day Croatia itinerary is that it works well whether you’re heading out on a road trip or travelling around Croatia without a car. 

Along the way, we’ll suggest different tours and public transport options you can take in case you’re not able to turn this into a self-drive Croatia itinerary. But for those of you who are driving, we’ll also include distances and driving times too.

When To Visit Croatia

The first thing to know about Croatia’s climate is that it varies a little from the coast to the mainland. The coast tends to have warm Mediterranean summers and mild winters, while the mainland has hot summers and freezing cold winters. 

Although the best time to visit Croatia depends on what you want to do while you’re there, it’s highly likely that you’ll want to see Croatia’s beautiful landscapes and national parks. 

In that case, we’d recommend visiting outside of Croatia’s peak summer season (June to August), and instead visit in May or September. That way, you’ll still experience Croatia’s balmy climes as average temperatures should be in the mid to high twenties Celsius.

Adriatic Sea, Croatia

How To See The Best of Croatia in 7 Days

Here’s a reminder of how this 7 day Croatia itinerary looks:

  • Day 1: Split
  • Day 2: Plitvice Lakes Day Trip
  • Day 3: Five Islands & Blue Cave Day Trip
  • Day 4: Krka National Park Day Trip
  • Day 5: Travel to Dubrovnik
  • Day 6: Dubrovnik
  • Day 7: (Bonus) Montenegro Day Trip

Let’s dive in and find out the details of how to see the best of Croatia in 7 days and what you need to know before your trip…

Day 1: Split

Split is Croatia’s second largest city and the largest city in the Dalmatia region along the western shore. It’s a thriving city with a healthy blend of modern living and historic sights – and is one of the most popular places for first time visitors to Croatia. 

This has ensured transport links to and from Split are some of the best and most varied in the country while a number of tour operators see Split as the perfect pick up point for various day trips.

Your first day will be spent getting to your hotel in Split, and if you’ve arrived early enough, there’s no reason why you can’t hit the top sights straightaway. 

Split Must Sees:

  • Diocletian’s Palace: Ancient Roman palace built in the fourth century AD and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s so large, you could easily spend two or three hours here. Don’t forget to climb the bell tower for some epic views of the city!
  • The Old Town: Take your time wandering around the historical sights. Although Diocletian’s Palace takes up around half of the old city, you can see the rest at your own pace and as much of it as you want to.
  • Riva Promenade: Lined with colourful buildings and palm trees, the Riva Promenade overlooks Split’s harbour and is simply perfect for romantic strolls.
  • Marjan Park: Home to a botanical garden and various walking routes, Marjan Park is the perfect escape into nature when in Split. Be sure to climb Marjan Hill for yet more epic views!
  • Game of Thrones Walking Tour: Although Split wasn’t used as much in Game of Thrones as Dubrovnik, if you’re a fan of the show, then you’ll want to see as many locations as you can, so a GoT-themed walking tour here is well worth considering. Check out Get Your Guide for prices >>

Top Tip: Order your FREE Split city card from splitcitycard.com for discounts off food, activities and other services during your visit.

Getting To Split

Croatia has extensive transport options, which makes it really easy to get to. 

Split’s airport is roughly 15 miles outside of the city, close to Trogir, and is a 30 minute drive away. Plenty of low-cost and premium airlines fly to Split including easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and Norwegian. 

There are also plenty of rental car options close to the airport too. But if you’re not embarking on a road trip, then you can book a private transfer, hop in a taxi or catch a bus. 

Frequent buses depart from the airport terminal and take around 40 minutes to get to Split, making this a great low-cost option for those of you on a budget.

Where To Stay In Split

To make it easy for bus links, tour pick ups and sightseeing, you’re best staying in the centre of Split. 

Here are a few hotel options to consider:

Find more Split hotels and B&Bs on Booking.com >>
Or check out Hotels.com >>

Day 2: Plitvice Lakes Day Trip

The stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes may be one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations, but it’s easy to see why.

Within the 115 square mile park lies sixteen sprawling lakes linked by cascading waterfalls, wooden walkways and various hiking trails. 

Although Plitvice is 150 miles north of Split, it’s possible to experience some of it as a day trip – albeit you’ll need to get up early as it takes around 2.5 hours to drive there. 

You could also stay near the park if you’ve got extra time or would prefer to visit it at a slower pace. 

Either way, just remember to book your tickets for the park at least 48 hours before your visit because of how busy it gets.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Getting To Plitvice Lakes

Driving directly to Plitvice Lakes from Split takes roughly 2.5 hours. There are two entrances to the park; each with parking charged by the hour.

Alternatively, Split is a popular starting point for day tours, which usually last for 10-12 hours in total. Our advice would be to find a tour like this one that allows for plenty of free time (say five hours) at Plitvice Lakes so you can explore at your own pace.

Check out these tour options from Get Your Guide >>

Day 3: Five Islands & Blue Cave Day Trip

More than a thousand islands are dotted along Croatia’s coastline with some of the most pristine and most famous found along the Dalmatian coast and close to Split.

In just one day, you can see several of these islands including Hvar, Biševo, Vis, Ravnik and Budikovac by boat. Whether you like swimming and snorkelling or eating ice cream and lazing on the beach, you’ll love this day out!

While some visitors choose to charter their own boats, you can also head out on various tours from the Port of Split itself. Some of which even take you to the Blue Cave on the island of Biševo.

On sunny days, the sun light passes through an underwater opening inside the cave, creating a luminous silver-blue light, which is both eerie and mesmerising. This stunning natural phenomenon was once only accessible through scuba diving, but since 1884, can now be accessed by a small boat. 

Check out these tour options from Get Your Guide >>

Croatia Islands

Day 4: Krka National Park Day Trip

Another of Croatia’s most famous sights is Krka National Park. Although it’s also north of Split, it’s only about an hour away.

Within this 55 square mile park, you’ll find yet more cascading waterfalls and clean lakes, some of which you’re even allowed to swim in. 

Your entrance ticket also includes a boat trip through the park so you can see even more than you would on foot.

Getting To Krka National Park

Krka National Park is about an hour’s drive north of Split. It has a total of five entrances but the one at Lozovac has the largest car park.

You can also catch a bus from Split to Skradin, which takes around 1.5 hours, operating year-round. From there, you can catch a ferry to the entrance of Krka and start exploring.

There are also plenty of tours from Split to Krka, which take around 9-11 hours in total. Just like with Plitvice Lakes, you should find a tour that offers you free time to explore. Some even include free time within Skradin itself so you can marvel at all the medieval buildings here too. Here’s a great tour option!

Or check out even more tours to Krka on Get Your Guide >>

Krka National Park, Croatia

Day 5: Travel to Dubrovnik

Found around three to four hours south of Split, and also along the Dalmatian coast, is the ancient city of Dubrovnik. Much like Split, it’s known for its Old Town but was also extensively used within the popular Game of Thrones television series.

You have a couple of different options for travelling from Split to Dubrovnik. You can drive it or you can catch one of several daily buses straight from Split to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik sadly doesn’t have a train station, so this is a no go!

You should know that there is a brief border crossing through Bosnia and Herzegovina so you should keep your passport in your hand luggage – whether you’re driving, busing it or being chauffeured privately. 

This crossing can also cause delays during peak times, which is why we’ve set aside the bulk of this day to travel… just in case! The buses also often allow for a 15 minute rest stop in Neum in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Where To Stay In Dubrovnik

The centre of Dubrovnik is the best place to stay for convenience and sightseeing. But it’s also home to a lot of apartments making it easy to cater for yourself during your trip. 

Here are a few options to consider:

Find more Dubrovnik hotels and B&Bs on Booking.com >>
Or check out Hotels.com >>

Day 6: Dubrovnik

Today, it’s all about taking your time wandering around Dubrovnik; seeing the sights, eating ice cream and people watching from local bars and cafes.

Just like in Split, most of Dubrovnik’s top must sees are its most ancient sights such as:

  • The City Walls: Famous fortress walls surrounding Dubrovnik’s Old Town. The views from here are just as incredible as the history of the place!
  • Old Town: With impressive views of the Adriatic sea, the terracotta rooftops of medieval Dubrovnik are well worth wandering around and photographing.
  • Dubrovnik Cable Car: Take in the breathtaking views of Dubronik’s Old Town from the city’s cable car. While the journey might only be four minutes long, the views are some of the best in Dubrovnik.
  • Game of Thrones Walking Tour: Taking around two hours, there are so many Game of Thrones filming locations to discover in Dubrovnik via a guided walking tour. Check out Get Your Guide for prices >>

Dubrovnik, Croatia

(Bonus) Day 7: Montenegro Day Trip

On your last full day in Croatia, you might need to rush off for your flight from Dubrovnik. 

But if you’ve got time or can stay in Croatia for a bit longer, then why not make the most of seeing another country on a day trip while you’re here?

Ignoring border crossing times for a moment, Dubrovnik is around an hour from the border of stunning Montenegro. It’s less touristy than Croatia but no less beautiful – and perfect for nature lovers!

Getting To Montenegro

You can drive yourself to Montenegro, of course. One of the country’s current claims to fame is Kotor, which is home to mesmerising views across a glistening lake cuddled by mountains.

Alternatively, you can also head out on a day tour from Dubrovnik, which lasts for around 11 or 12 hours. Some of which include free time in Kotor as well as the charming town of Perast and the unspoiled beaches of Budva.

Check out various tour options from Get Your Guide >>

We hope you like this 7 day Croatia itinerary! What are you most excited to see and do first? Do you have other ideas for how you’d spend one week in Croatia? Let us know! 

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