Planning a Croatia road trip? It can be hard to decide where to go in Croatia for a week — there are so many beautiful destinations! While we were there for 7 days, we really only had 5 full days to explore, but we made the most of it! Here is an overview of our week-long Croatia road trip itinerary:
- Day 1: Fly into Zadar, Croatia
- Day 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Day 3: Split, Croatia
- Day 4: Split, Croatia
- Day 5: Split to Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Day 6: Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Day 7: Fly out of Dubrovnik, Croatia
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Day 1: Zadar, Croatia
We did walk along the port and checked out a couple of bars and restaurants in Old Town Zadar. One particularly cool one was The Garden Lounge. It has a great vibe and outdoor patio.
We stayed in an Airbnb while in Zadar. It was relatively inexpensive, clean, and the hosts were nice. The location was a bit of a walk from Old Town Zadar, but not too bad.
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Day 2: Plitvice Lakes National Park
On day 2 of our Croatian road trip, we took a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park and it was incredible! Only an hour and a half away from Zadar, this place is definitely worth the drive.
Day 3: Zadar to Split, Croatia
We left bright and early and started the drive from Zadar to Split! Normally it’s under 2 hours to get there, but we took a couple of detours along the route.
There are a lot of small villages and towns along the way, so we decided to stop in and explore one for lunch. We decided on Sibenik, Croatia, a small village located right on the water.
If you’re curious on where to eat in Sibenik, we had lunch at Pizzeria Argola right along the seawall and got the seafood platter to share. It was delicious and plenty of food for two people!
After Sibenik, we continued on to Split and arrived about an hour later. We checked into our Airbnb, and then headed to Split’s Old Town.
These are some of the other top rated restaurants in Split, Croatia:
After dinner, we strolled around and stumbled upon a really cool cocktail bar in the middle of Old Town Split: NOOR Fine Spirits & Cocktails. They make a great old fashioned is you’re in the mood for that!
We opted not to go out clubbing, but if you’re looking to do so, these are the most recommended places in Split to go out:
- Club Ghetto
- Bačvice beach club
See my Instagram story highlight from Split here.
Day 4: Split, Croatia
Even though we only had one full day in Split, we decide to take a sailing tour that included visiting Shipwreck Kontesa, Maslinica, Solta Island, and the blue lagoon! The exact tour we did isn’t on Viator anymore, but this one is very similar and by same company, plus it has great reviews!
We had a great time snorkeling over a sunken ship at Shipwreck Kontesa. There wasn’t many fish but the water was super blue and crystal clear.
After snorkeling, we had lunch on board before setting sail to our next destination. Lunch was not my favorite, I would recommend bringing something to snack on… The beer was good though!
The next stop on our full day sailing tour from Split was Maslinica on the Island of Solta. We had about an hour here to explore the little port city.
Following our stop at Maslinica, we continued on and sailed to our final destination of the tour: The Blue Lagoon. It was cool, but the water was a lot deeper so you didn’t see all that much while snorkeling.
There are a lot of tours offering trips specifically to the Blue Lagoon, and I would say it’s not really worth it to only do that. Definitely pick a tour that takes you to other places as well.
Super important note on the Blue Lagoon: BEWARE OF SEA URCHINS! Shockingly, our tour did not warn us about the urchins close to the shore of the Blue Lagoon. Luckily I didn’t step on any, but unfortunately, Alex did. We spent hours that night trying to get the spines out of his toe. Just be careful and watch where you put your feet
After the Blue Lagoon, we sailed back to Split. That evening, due to the sea urchin incident, we had a pretty late dinner (it was just okay, the place isn’t worth mentioning) in Old Town and went out to another bar for drinks after.
Day 5: Split to Dubrovnik, Croatia
On day 5 of our Croatian road trip, we packed up the car and started the drive from Split to Dubrovnik! Depending on the route and stops you want to make, it normally takes about 3 hours.
It’s an incredibly beautiful drive through the Croatian countryside. Something we didn’t realize at first is that you actually have to go through Bosnia and Herzegovina to get to Dubrovnik from Split!
The border crossing was fairly easy: we showed out passports, got a stamp, and drove on through! We ended up stopping in Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina for lunch on our way to Dubrovnik.
After lunch, we drove on through the Neum II border crossing. Once you cross through Bosnia and Herzegovina back into Croatia, it’s about an hour drive to Dubrovnik.
Upon arriving in Dubrovnik, we checked into our Airbnb… it had the most amazing panoramic sea view, and the best view of Old Town Dubrovnik! It was a splurge, but SO worth it.
We headed into old town for drinks and dinner.
Something to be aware of when visiting Dubrovnik: there are SO MANY STAIRS. It was a serious workout in some spots. Both Alex and I are in fairly good shape and were completely winded after some of the sets of stairs.
You may recognize Old Town Dubrovnik from Game of Thrones, a lot of the filming was done here! They even offer Game of Thrones tours for die-hard fans.
We went to Buza Bar, and even on a weekday night it was PACKED. Luckily we ended up not having to wait too long though.
We had dinner at a pizza restaurant, it was late and everywhere was packed so we kinda just picked a random place that had a spot open. It was just OK and I can’t even remember the name so not going to bother sharing/recommending it.
These are some of the most recommended restaurants though and are worth saving when planning your trip to Dubrovnik:
- Lokanda Peskerija
- Stara Loza Rooftop Restaurant
- Restaurant Komarda
For other recommendations on the best restaurants in Dubrovnik, check out this article from Time Out.
Day 6: Dubrovnik, Croatia
On our last full day of our Croatian road trip, we decided to take it easy (I had been on my Euro Trip for 16 days at this point). We slept in a little and then walked in to Old Town Dubrovnik for breakfast at Gradska Kavana Arsenal. The patio had a great view of the ocean and port, and we even got to watch a pirate ship come in 😉
After we decided to take it easy and relax all day on the beach. We were tipped off by a local that we could sneak into the Grand Villa Argentina Hotel and hang at their beach! It was a great little beach, not too crowded — perfect for relaxing in the sun with a few drinks in hand.
Looking for the best beaches in Dubrovnik? These are the most recommended:
- Banje Beach (most famous, pictured below)
- Sveti Jakov Beach
- Uvala Lapad Beach
- Copacabana Beach
- Bellevue Beach
- Suluci Beach
The view at the top is stunning!
If you want to have dinner at the restaurant at the top of the hill, Panorama Restaurant and Bar, it is HIGHLY recommended you make a reservation. We did not know this/think to look it up at the time, and were put on a wait list. Lucky for us, someone no showed and we were able to get a table.
The food was pretty good, a little pricey, but the views/experience made up for it!
Opposite the restaurant, there is a little viewing area. You can also walk down a path to get another view of the city. We were able to catch the sun just as it was setting.
After we had drinks at another hole in the wall bar! These are some of Dubrovnik’s best bars:
- Buzz Bar
- Sunset Lounge at Hotel Dubrovnik
- D’Vino Wine Bar
- The Gaffe
- La Bodega Dubrovnik
Day 7: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Unfortunately, on day 7, we had to leave pretty early to catch a flight. But had we been able to stay and enjoy the full day, these are some of the other great things to do in Dubrovnik: