7-Day Itinerary In Croatia – Island Hopping, Old Towns & Beach Breaks
Croatia is a true Mediterranean gem of a destination. With its beaches, dramatic coastlines, national parks, charming coastal towns, and historic sights, it’s become an unmissable European summer vacation destination.
The nation hides an array of magnificent sights that draw in travelers from far and wide. With so much to see and do, it can be hard to figure out just how many days to spend in Croatia.
You may prefer beaches or getting your fill of food in Old Towns and fishing villages, or maybe you’re more of a history fan. Either way, you’ll need to consider your interests when planning your trip.
To help you do so, we’ve shared our favorite 7 day Croatia itinerary options. These include some of the most famous sights of the country as well as some lesser-known destinations that you should focus on. From coast to capital, and island to island, let’s take a look at your options for the best Croatia adventure going.
Croatia Transport Options – The Best Ways To Travel While In Croatia
Croatia is a developed Mediterranean country that’s pretty easy to get around. The country has a well trusted transport network that both locals and tourists regularly use to travel between destinations.
The transport network is made up of fast boats and ferries, trains and buses, private transfers, and taxis. You could even rent a set of wheels and embark on a road trip through the country for added adventure points.
The only thing to note about transport when planning your 7 day Croatia tour is the time of year you’ll be traveling. In peak season, the tourist crowds can mean long waits for public transport — particularly for ferries to popular islands. Outside of peak season, timetables will be thinned out with fewer departures.
Planning in advance will help ease any travel woes when on the ground. Here’s an overview of the transport situation to help you plan the best itinerary for Croatia.
- Catch the bus: Croatia’s public buses mean that it’s fairly straightforward to travel around the country without using your own vehicle to do so. Most of the bus stations in urban areas are centrally located or are conveniently placed near ferry ports. There’s also healthy competition between bus companies that ply the same routes, resulting in affordable prices year-round
- Hop on a boat: Visiting Croatia without getting on a boat would be a real shame. With many of Croatia’s highlights being either coastal or situated on islands, there’s a high chance you’ll be catching a boat or ferry at some point. Watching the landscape go by from the deck of a boat is all part of the experience. Boats are modern and comfortable and range from car ferries to fast foot passenger-only catamarans. Some even have restaurants and WiFi onboard. Tickets can be bought online in advance to make your life easier
- Rent a car: For those looking to make their trip to Croatia itinerary into a real adventure, this calls for a car. Renting your own set of wheels really opens up the country and gives you access to destinations that may be hard to reach otherwise. Not only that, but you’ll have the freedom to travel when and where you want. Most major rental chains are represented in Croatia; you’ll find these in transit hubs and in the centers of big towns and cities. And don’t worry: driving in Croatia is safe. Just watch out for the cost of tolls along the highways – they add up very fast!
- Trains and planes: Croatia’s train network isn’t that good when it comes to getting visitors and locals around the coastline. In fact, it’s quite limited. But if you want to travel from Zagreb or if you’re looking to more inland areas, then trains can be a good option. Otherwise, for quick travel, flying is the most straightforward route. Note, however, that most islands won’t have airports, so you’ll still have to take a boat or bus to your destination
- Private transfer & taxis: The most expensive option when it comes to traveling around Croatia is opting for a private transfer. But for travelers who want a stress-free trip without the hassle of lining up for bus tickets or driving yourself, it’s definitely viable. You can arrange private transfers or taxis through tour companies or through your accommodation. It may even save you money if you’re traveling in a group.
Are 7 Days In Croatia Enough?
Yes and no. Depending on what you want to do, of course, 7 days in Croatia is generally enough to see the big-hitter sights of the Mediterranean nation. It allows you ample time to explore from the coast to the capital, stopping by national parks and historical sights along the way.
Even if you want to spend a few days in one place — let’s say Dubrovnik — you’ll still have spare days left over to see places like Split, Hvar, and Korcula. You could even spend 7 days just island hopping — definitely, enough time to see just how chilled out the pace of life is along the Dalmatian coast.
Why 7 Days In Croatia Is Not Enough
Now we come to the “no” part of the above question. While 7 days in Croatia is a good amount of time (it’s a whole week, after all), unless you’re sticking to just one particular place, it’s not enough time to really get under the skin of the country.
To properly take in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split, you’d need at least two or three days in each one. And these are just the main cities. Aside from that, there are several national parks worth visiting, hundreds of islands, and a string of beautiful beaches — not to mention towns you’ve never heard of with illustrious pasts and architecture (plus the tourist sights) to match.
So when it comes to working out how many days you need in Croatia, it’s a good idea to take a look at the kind of vacation you want and what you’re interested in. For example, if you’re a history buff, then you should take note of the itineraries we’ve shared below and craft one that takes in the best of the best when it comes to centuries-old architecture and ancient sights. If it’s islands and beaches that pique your interest the most, then stick to those and leave the Old Towns of Split, Trogir, and Dubrovnik behind.
And since you’re in this part of the world, there’s even the chance to add on a day trip to neighboring countries. Hopping over the border to Montenegro, for example, reveals yet more timeworn coastal towns that shed light on the ever-shifting borders and civilizations that the Mediterranean has witnessed over the centuries (if not millennia). If that interests you, then it’s definitely something to take into consideration.
The other reason why 7 days in Croatia is not enough is one of practicality. While there’s public transport, rental cars on offer, and private transfers available, it can take surprisingly long to get from one end of the country to the other. It has a long, complex coastline that can take a while to navigate. Plus, the country itself is over 21,000 square miles in area.
With more days, 10 or more, let’s say; you’ll have just that extra bit more time to tour Croatia. You’ll be able to relax a little bit during your trip, stick around in places that you enjoy, and not have to worry about heading off every morning to travel to a new part of the country. After all, if this nomadic style of traveling isn’t something you enjoy, then 7 days definitely won’t be enough. Ideally, if you have the freedom to do so, you’d want to spend around two weeks getting a good look at everything Croatia has to offer.
7 Days In Croatia Itinerary Ideas
We’ve shared a few Croatia one-week itinerary options that will help you to plan your We’ve You may want to follow these exactly, or you could always mix and match between destinations. Either way, we hope these inspire you to start planning your adventures to this fascinating corner of Europe.
Day 1: Explore the Old Town of Dubrovnik
Day 2: Kayak and see charming villages of the Elafiti Islands
Day 3: Hop over to Korcula
Day 4: Go wine tasting at Lumbarda
Day 5: See the Walls of Ston via the Peljesac Peninsula
Day 6: Discover Mljet National Park
Day 7: Dubrovnik
Day 1: See Split in all its glory
Day 2: Take a ferry to Hvar and kayak around the Pakleni Islands
Day 3: Day trip to Vis
Day 4: Korcula
Day 5: Explore the Peljesac Peninsula
Day 6: Dubrovnik
Day 7: Dubrovnik
Day 1: See the museums and galleries of Zagreb
Day 2: Travel to Zadar via Plitvice Lakes National Park
Day 3: Split
Day 4: Take a trip to Brac Island to relax on Zlatni Rat beach
Day 5: Discover Hvar Town and Korcula
Day 6: Tour around Dubrovnik Old Town
Day 7: Swim at Lokrum Island
Day 1: Split
Day 2: Be wowed by Plitvice Lakes
Day 3: Head to Stiniva Beach on the island of Vis
Day 4: Hike in Krka National Park
Day 5: Dubrovnik
Day 6: Dubrovnik
Day 7: Hop across the border to Kotor, Montenegro
Day 1: Zagreb
Day 2: Head to Rovinj, stopping by hilltop Motovun on the way
Day 3: Sample seafood in Volosko
Day 4: Relax in the town of Skradin
Day 5: Ston
Day 6: Peljesac Peninsula
Day 7: Hike the forested Mljet National Park
Day 1: Explore Trogir
Day 2: Split
Day 3: Split
Day 4: Brac Island
Day 5: Hvar
Day 6: Korcula
Day 7: Discover the remote island of Lastovo
Day 1: Start in Zadar
Day 2: and head to the car-free island of Zilba
Day 3: Visit Murter to explore the Kornati Islands
Day 4: Enjoy the tourist-free Solta
Day 5: Visit easygoing Stari Grad on Hvar
Day 6: Vis
Day 7: Mljet National Park
Highlights From These Itineraries
Below you’ll find the highlights from our 5-day Croatia itineraries above. From national parks and beaches to ancient ruins and medieval townscapes, these destinations make up an inspired collection of places across the country. We’ve provided links to a few of them so you can get more in-depth travel info to helpWe’veplan your Croatia adventures.
Split is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. It’s also the second-largest city in the country and overflows with fascinating sightIt’sat point to its long history. Days here can be filled with wandering the old streets, admiring the 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace, and being in awe of the impressive Cathedral of St Domnius. The cDiocletian’sis also a good jumping-off point for travel further afield.
The Adriatic city of Dubrovnik is famed for its 16th-century walls. Once the center of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, the city is awash with historic architecture, from the awe-inspiring Rector’s Palace to the beautiful Baroque-style St Blaise Church. Today Dubrovnik is well known for its Game of Thrones filming locations.
Read more about Dubrovnik here ↳
Plitvice National Park
Central Croatia’s UNESCO-recognized national park is the oldest nature reserve of its kind in Croatia’sry. Crowned by a series of terraced lakes connected by waterfalls, it’s a gem of Croatia’s natural landscape. Come here to hike among its karst limestone cliffs and see Croatia’s unforgettable natural wonder. It’s easily accessible on a day trip from Zadar or Zagreb.
Read more about Plitvice Lakes National Park here ↳
The island of Hvar is a magnet for those who want to enjoy the good life. Just off the mainland and easily reached from Split, it’s known for its hidden coves and secluded beaches thatattract a combination of high-end travelers and backpackers to its shores. Though also renowned for its party atmosphere, Hvar also hides a number of quiet hamlets to soak up some down-to-earth Mediterranean vibes.
Catch a ferry from Dubrovnik, and you’ll be on the island of Lokrum in just 10 minutes. The island feels worlds away from the touristed Old Town of Dubrovnik and is clad with forests of oak and pines. There’s also a history on Lokrum, most notably in the form of a Benedictine monastery. Game of Thrones fans will find a replica of the Iron Throne here — a photo opportunity for many tourists.
Also known by its Italian name, Rovigno, Rovinj is an attractive port town that has been dubbed “The Pearl of the Istrian Peninsula.” The Old Town here is made up of handsome Venetia” architecture, cut through by narrow lanes and dotted with interesting squares. In the peak of summer Rovinj gets busy with vacationers who stay in the resort hotels situated along the coast nearby.
Mljet National Park
Mljet National Park makes up a large swathe of the island of Mljet itself. Unlike some of the more popular destinations in Croatia, Mljet remains something of a hidden gem with unspoiled forests, tranquil beaches, and plenty of hiking trails to explore it all and spot wildlife. Mljet also has legendary connections to Odysseus – apparently, he spent seven years in a cave here.
Read more about Mljet National Park here ↳
Zagreb is the energetic Croatian capital. Layered with centuries of European history, the city’s core is awash with Austro-Hungarian architecture. Think red roofs, gleaming white buildings, grand squares, and plenty of historical sights to show for it. Days here are spent perusing museums, checking out art galleries, and watching life go by from a terrace cafe. It’s also a great starting point for your Croatian adventures.
The attraction of Kornati Islands lies in the beautiful contrast between the gleaming limestone of its cliffs and rock formations against the rich blues of the Adriatic Sea. The archipelago comprises over 140 uninhabited islands and is home to reefs and islets — all waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. Kornat is home to most of the buildings of the entire island group, so most people choose to camp, stay in old stone houses, or overnight in yachts.
Read more about the Kornati Islands here ↳
Zadar is well known for its Old Town, making it an ideal alternative to the more crowded Old Towns of Split or Dubrovnik. Here you’ll find a wealth of architecture, including the 11th-century St Mary’s Convent, its impressive 12th-century cathedral, and the Roman-era Forum — stillMary’st. Zadar is the longest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, and it shows (in a good way).
Set on the mainland side of the Peljesac Peninsula, the town of Ston was once an integral military outpost of the Republic of Ragusa. It certainly shows: Ston is home to some truly impressive defensive walls. The largest in Europe, some 3.4 miles of them still stand since they were started back in 1358. Foodies should take note of Ston as it’s also famed for its oysters and mussels — not to mention the wine produced in the region.
Exploring Croatia doesn’t have to be all about crowded Old Towns and wandering cobbled streets looking for something to eat. The Elafiti Islands provide the perfect place to take a break from busy travel itineraries.
Here you can spend your time catching boats between the sleepy shores of the archipelago’s 14 islands, discovering charming villages and beaches along the way. Onlarchipelago’se islands are permanently inhabited: Sipan, Kolocep, and Lopud (which is car-free).
Read more about the Elafiti Islands here ↳
The most remote of Croatia’s inhabited islands, Lastovo has a population of fewer than a thousand people. ThCroatia’sa tranquil destination to explore and is ideal for couples who want to escape it all. Expect quiet beaches, stunning sunsets, and peaceful evenings spent enjoying local food and drinking wine from the local vineyards.
Read more about the Lastovo here ↳
Better known as Qarth to Game of Thrones fans (scenes depicting the fictional city were filmed here), Trogir is another coastal gem in Croatia’s travel crown. Just 17 miles from Split, Trogir is actually a tiny island liCroatia’sridges to the larger island of Ciovo and the mainland.
The town itself is set within centuries-old city walls and is home to everything from Romanesque and Venetian architecture to beautiful Renaissance buildings. It’s exactly that which gives Trogir a UNESCO World Heritage listing.
Vis has only been open to tourists in recent years since 1989; that’s because it was used as a naval base following World War II. The decades of its isolation have led to it being relatively undeveloped when compared to other Croatian islands.
But as well as nature, there are also historic sights to discover on the Island of Vis, such as the ancient city walls of Visthere’snd the archeological museum (home to a bronze head of the Greek goddess Artemis that dates back to the 4th century BC). Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again being filmed on the island has naturally increased its popularity.
The island of Brac is famed for Zlatni Rat, a long, pebble-clad beach that juts out into the Adriatic Sea. There are several small, pretty towns and villages around the island, incluThere’sl (home to Zlatni Rat itself), as well as Supetar — the main town, which is a little more down to earth and a good transit hub for onward travel.
The long, slender island of Korcula lies just off the coast of the Peljesac Peninsula. Here on Croatia’s sixth largest island, visitors can spend time discovering a taste of traditiCroatia’s. Medieval walls ring the attractive Korcula Town itself and hosts a wealth of historic architecture. Elsewhere, the island boasts pine forests, hidden coves, and beautiful beaches.
Read more about Korcula here ↳
A visit to Croatia doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay inside the nation’s borders. Just a stone’s throw from Dubrovnik and easily reached on a day trip (or an overnight stay), Kotor is the jewel of neighboring Montenegro. Fortified by winding walls and once an important city-state, the town hides a host of medieval buildings, Venetian palaces, and charming churches. Pick a cafe on one of its cobbled streets and watch the world go by from a terrace seat.
Krka National Park
Another of Croatia’s surprisingly impressive national parks, Krka is known for its collection of Croatia’swaterfalls set among forests and craggy gorges. Thanks to its remote location, Krka also has a long heritage of monasteries (the oldest dating to the 15th century) and ancient Roman catacombs.
We hope that all this info has helped you get inspired to plan your own one-week travel itinerary for Croatia. A marvel of Mediterranean proportions awaits you!