Is it time to visit Croatia? Well, let me help you discover Croatia in 14 days! Explore historic cities and stunning national parks. Uncover the beauty of Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb, and beyond, just as I have been doing for the past 20 years of exploring Croatia.
To some, Croatia might seem like a relatively small country. However, this area is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty.
From the Slavonic plains, over the hills of Zagorje and the Dinarid mountains, all the way to the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea and its rugged coastline – Croatia is the perfect destination for a trip of any length. However, it’s small enough to cover much of it in 14 days.
There are multiple routes you can take through Croatia in two weeks, and it all depends on your preference. Roughly speaking, you could divide Croatia into continental and Mediterranean parts.
We’ll share one 2-week Croatia itinerary that’ll take you throughout most of Croatia so you can experience its diversity and an additional one focused on the less visited inland part of Croatia.
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2-Week Croatia Itinerary – Popular Route Option
Although Croatia has much to offer and no place is less valuable than others, there are some places you should definitely visit if you want the true experience.
First of all, you should start in Zagreb. The city center has a rich cultural life. There is always some festival, whether a movie, food, or music festival.
Zagreb also has a rich nightlife, and everyone will find something for themselves. There are many parks where you can rest from the urban lifestyle and many fascinating museums, such as the Museum of Broken Relationships, or traditional ones, like The Archaeological Museum.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Once you’ve explored Zagreb, you can continue to one of the most popular destinations in Croatia – the Plitvice National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Thousands of people visit Plitvice every year; although it gets crowded, it’s worth it. Beautiful waterfalls and rivers immersed in the forest are a memorable experience and one you shouldn’t miss.
From Plitvice, you should continue to the coast. The first stop is Pula on the Istrian Peninsula. These destinations won’t be included in the second itinerary.
This municipality is famous for great wine, tasty food, and internationally acclaimed olive oil. Here’s where you’ll discover authentic Mediterranean cuisine. Visit the ancient amphitheater of Pula and discover charming villages throughout Istria – make sure to stop in local taverns and enjoy.
After Pula, it’s the best time to head to the Dalmatian Coast, to which the majority of the Croatian coast belongs. The first city in Dalmatia should be Šibenik with its beautiful archipelago.
This city is famous for its fortification system and offers beautiful viewpoints. You can discover various architectural styles from its rich history. When in Šibenik, make sure to visit some of the nearby islands, such as Zlarin or Murter. If you’d like to explore the Great Outdoors, then nature lovers should make sure to visit the Krka National Park, which you can get to by boat, car, or bus.
Another Dalmatian city you can’t skip is Split. Home to the Diocletian’s Palace, it’s filled with Roman ruins and architecture.
Not only are there incredible historical and cultural sights in Split, but the nature surrounding it is also unique. Make a one-day trip to the river Cetina in Omiš or visit the Mosor Observatory in the hinterland of Split. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled in time to the ancient Rome.
From Split, you can travel to Dubrovnik, undoubtedly a popular spot in Croatia. You might even recognize it from famous TV shows and movies – like Game of Thrones. If you are a GoT fan, then you can do a group tour of the filming locations.
Dubrovnik is exceptionally popular due to its beautiful old town. Every Croatia road trip itinerary list has at least one day in Dubrovnik; here is why.
Don’t miss out on this walled city, its beautiful beaches, and crystal-clear sea in this region, and discover smaller neighboring towns on your way from one larger destination to another. Dubrovnik has an airport, so you can travel back home without going back to Zagreb.
In short, this is what your 14 day Croatia travel itinerary could look like this:
- Day 1-3: Zagreb
- Day 4: Plitvice Lakes
- Days 5 and 6: Pula and Istria
- Day 7-9: Šibenik
- Day 10-12: Split
- Day 13 and 14: Dubrovnik
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14 Days In Croatia Itinerary – Continental Croatia Option
Croatia is known for its coastal cities and the Adriatic Sea, but you could arrange a Croatia road trip for 2 weeks and discover many valuable things in other areas as well.
This area of Croatia has a geographical variety and ranges from plains and hills to the Dinarid mountains. The main characteristic of its geology is karst, which is good news for those who enjoy cave tourism and speleology.
This alternative summary of your 2 weeks in Croatia can look something like this:
- Day 1-3: Zagreb
- Day 4-5: Zagorje (and castles)
- Day 6: Rastoke
- Days 7 and 8: Lonja field
- Days 9 and 10: Kopački rit
- Days 11 and 12: Risnjak
- Day 13: Plitvice Lakes
- Day 14: Zagreb
There are great hiking destinations throughout Croatia, as well as amazing national and nature parks. One worth mentioning is the Lonja field. It’s the largest protected wetland area in this part of Europe and has much to offer. Visiting the Lonja field is the best on bicycles so that you can follow the river Lonja.
Another nature park you should add to your 2 week Croatia itinerary is Kopački rit, a complex of ponds and lakes in eastern Croatia. It’s filled with interesting flora and fauna, so you’ll meet some wild animals. One part of it is a designated zoological reserve with high animal diversity.
Continental Croatia has a lot of castles from various periods of history, and any one of them will amaze you. One of the most popular is the Trakošćan Castle, but there are many less visited ones all over the mainland.
If you’d like to discover some freshwater habitats, Rastoke is the perfect place. It’s not so crowded, and you’ll enjoy several crystal-clear streams, small waterfalls, and rivers.
Moving away from the plains and crossing over to hiking locations, we can’t forget to mention Risnjak, a national park filled with great hiking trails and amazing wildlife. It’s one of the beloved destinations for locals so that you can get an authentic experience.
Some other hiking destinations include various hills all over Zagorje – a region near the central city of Zagreb. I
ts main characteristics are numerous hills and forests, making anyone fall in love with inland Croatia. This part of Croatia is known for its great continental food and wine. The people are cheerful and friendly, so you’re bound to fall in love with it. As mentioned earlier, many of the castles are located in Zagorje.
For great music and food festivals, visit Karlovac, the city on the four rivers. You can travel to it by train from Zagreb, and there you’ll discover many historical monuments and a modern aquarium, one of the biggest freshwater ones in Europe.
How To Get To Croatia
This is the best choice for those traveling to continental Croatia or visiting the largest city in Croatia, Zagreb. This will also be the starting point for our “must-see tour,” the good news is that the cheapest plane option, Ryanair, flies to this airport.
The highways leading to Croatia are in good shape, so a road trip in Croatia will be a comfortable ride. Those who prefer road trips can get to Zagreb by bus. It’s well-connected with many European countries.
Another option for traveling to Croatia is by train. This means a longer ride but also a picturesque one. If you prefer the comfort of train travel, you can incorporate Croatia into cheaper train arrangements such as Interrail.
Finally, you can always travel by car. A rental car is the easiest way to travel to the less popular places in Croatia and small coastal towns. Since this country has a lot of natural beauty, which you can’t get to by bus, a car is your best option if you’d like to explore Croatia. Plus, buses get so packed in the high season!
Ferry Travel Tips For Croatia
Exploring Croatia by ferry is like unlocking a secret level in a video game – it’s an adventure that shows you a side of the country many miss. First things first, ferries in Croatia are a lifeline, connecting numerous islands with the mainland.
You’ll find a range of options, from high-speed catamarans to traditional ferries. High-speed ones are great for quick hops, but remember, they’re not fans of rough weather and can get canceled. Traditional ferries are slower but steadier, and they can carry cars – a plus if you’re on a road trip.
Booking tickets is usually straightforward. In peak season, though, book in advance to avoid the last-minute rush. Also, ferry schedules can be quirky, especially on less popular routes, so always double-check timings.
Onboard, expect basic amenities. We’re talking snack bars, seating areas, and sometimes, outdoor decks. Don’t expect luxury, but hey, the views are priceless!
A pro tip: bring layers. It can get breezy out at sea.
Lastly, island hopping by ferry isn’t just about transportation. It’s a chance to slow down, soak in the scenery, and maybe make a new friend or two. It’s Croatia, but a bit more laid back.
Road Trip Croatia
Ready for a road trip across Croatia? Buckle up because it’s an experience filled with breathtaking views, charming towns, and unexpected delights. Croatia’s roads are generally in good shape, making it a hassle-free destination for drivers. Plus, the country’s size means you can cover a lot of ground without spending all day behind the wheel.
Coastal routes are stunning. Think winding roads, panoramic sea views, and stops in quaint coastal towns, and then imagine it as part of your perfect Croatia itinerary. The Adriatic Highway is a star here. But it’s not all about the coast. Inland routes offer rolling hills, vineyards, and historical sites. Every turn brings something new.
Here are a few practical tips: tolls are a thing on Croatian highways. They’re not bank-breakers but have some euros ready. And while we’re on the subject of money, gas stations are plenty, but it’s wise to keep the tank at least half full in more remote areas.
Parking in popular spots can be tight, especially in summer. Look for signed parking areas and always have some coins or your phone handy to pay for the meters.
Lastly, embrace the unexpected. Part of the fun of a Croatian road trip is stumbling upon a local festival, a hidden beach, or a family-run konoba that serves up the best seafood you’ve ever tasted.
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Best Time To Visit Croatia
Picking the right time to visit Croatia is like choosing the perfect outfit – it depends on the occasion! Summer, from June to August, is party time. The sun’s out, the beaches are buzzing, and the festivals are in full swing. It’s perfect for sun-seekers and social butterflies. But remember, it’s also peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices.
If you prefer a quieter vibe, aim for late spring (May to early June) or early autumn (September to October). This is when Croatia shows its chill side. The weather’s still warm enough for beach days but cool enough for exploring cities without melting. Plus, fewer tourists mean more space for you.
Winter in Croatia has its own charm, especially if you’re into Christmas markets and fewer crowds. Coastal areas can be quiet, but cities like Zagreb come alive with holiday spirit. It’s also an excellent time for budget travelers.
In short, there’s no bad time to visit Croatia. It just depends on what you’re looking for. Want sun and fun? Go in summer. Prefer peace and pleasant weather? Spring or autumn is your best bet. Love cozy vibes and Christmas lights? Winter’s waiting for you.
Croatia’s always a good idea, any time of the year.
FAQS About 14 Days Around Croatia
Two Weeks In Croatia Wrap Up
Croatia is the perfect destination for a 14-day trip. It has a lot to offer but can also be explored quickly.
It’s filled with charming small towns, amazing nature, and historical sights. This beautiful country has numerous places to visit, but we can’t go through them all.
Because of this, we’ve compiled these two itineraries for traveling through Croatia. The best advice we can give you is to make stops on your travels from one great place to another to get the real Croatian experience.
You can gravitate more to coastal or continental Croatia, depending on your preference. The crowds are usually bigger on the coast, especially in summer, but there genuinely are some places you can’t skip when visiting Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.
However, inland Croatia offers large geological and natural diversity, so it’s filled with different landscapes and nature parks. A good guide for choosing what to visit is whether you’ll focus on nature or urban landscapes.
Larger cities are ideal destinations if you want to discover the architecture and culture, while small cities are perfect for exploring nature. This doesn’t always need to be the case, but it’s a good guideline.
If you’re wondering if you should visit Croatia, the answer is definitely yes, and as you can see in these 14 day Croatia itinerary options, two weeks in Croatia is the perfect time frame for getting a sense of what this country is like. Beautiful, diverse, and full of life.