A 10-day stress-free Croatia itinerary

A few days ago I arrived from an amazing trip to Croatia. I am right now in a position at work when I cannot take much days and so I prepared a short 10-day itinerary through the country. With this itinerary we were able to visit most of the coastal cities as well as some interesting less touristy spots. For most people it may be a bit too ambitious, but that’s the way I love to travel the most. Here you have my Croatia itinerary !

Day 1 of my Croatia itinerary: Arriving to Dubrovnik

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

Our Croatia itinerary started and finished in Dubrovnik mostly because of the flights. The cheapest flight was to this small beautiful town, so that was where we went. In case you don’t know about it, Dubrovnik is kind of isolated from the rest of the country by land. Traveling anywhere else from there is a bit complicated so we opted for leaving the city by ferry. The town of Dubrovnik was one of my favourites in Croatia. It is pretty small, but it is so cute. Like everywhere in the country, the old town is surrounded by ancient walls of white and shiny stone. There are more restaurants and souvenir shops you can count but it is still possible to find some cute and quiet streets.

Day 2: Dubrovnik to Hvar

The Trip to Hvar started by taking a ferry to the island a bit before 7am. Considering that the flight the day before departed at 7 in the morning too… Well let’s just say that it was a demanding beginning of the trip! I remember that the trip in the ferry was extremely cold. I was wearing two jackets and even like that I was frozen. When we finally arrived to that magnific port I almost wanted to cry of happiness. Just imagine a beautiful street made of white stone, plenty of small restaurants to the right, dozens of tiny boats to the left. Straight out of a dream. Our amazing host was waiting for us nearby and she drove us to the apartment.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

The town of Hvar has a beautiful centre, but the fortress is one of the cutest in the country. We spent our day walking through the city and soaking in the rocky beaches a corner away from the old town. One of the best things of this country is that you can just jump out of a rock to the sea everywhere. And the water is so clean and greenishy blue… Beautiful. Anyway, when you are in the city you can walk to the right, where some of the noisiest hotels and pubs are. With all that babies drinking (read here late teens) and partying, it can seem horrendous, but if you continue you will reach a very quiet and relaxed zone to have a drink or simply jump off to the sea. To the left, in the other hand, you have a bit more city, another church and dozens of tiny boats.

Day 3: Hvar and Lemini islands

On our third day we finally got to sleep a bit longer. After that, we went and picked a taxi boat to the Lemini islands. This National Park is formed by a a set of several islands that are not inhabited. There are only some small bars here and there made out of old wood… And that is all. The islans are barely 5 minutes away from the old town. There you can decide if you go to the nudist beach or if you want to keep your clothes on. In any case, the beaches are beautiful and even though the water is kind of cold, it is amazing to soak there, clothes on or off.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

After a whole day in the beach, it is a nice idea to just go back to town and head up the fortress. Specially nice if you go there around sunset, the views are simply breathtaking. I could try and describe them in any way, but really, the picture says it all. It was one of my favourite stops of this Croatia itinerary.

Day 4 and 5: Hvar to Split

Moving to our next destination, we arrived by Ferry to Split. I will be honest and admit that I really did not like this city. It may be nice and cute, but I felt like I was much more in any town in Europe than in Croatia. The walkway by the sea stunk and the town was crowded. That is the only way to describe it, completely crowded. Also, not many beaches around. During the first day, we walked around the old town, visited the Palace and wandered through the streets.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

The following day was pouring water like crazy. We attempted to visit some parts of the city but the weather was extremely annoying, so we gave up and had a rest day. Some wine by the sea, and watching the storm through the window. When the day improved we hit small park in the peninsule of the city. There are a couple of tiny beaches around there that are quite secluded. Also, an interesting alternative for days like these are museums, the city is crowded with amazing centres and if you like cultural tourism there you have your alternative.

Day 6: Split to Zadar through Krka

At this point, and to continue our Croatia itinerary, we rented a car. On the sixth day of our trip we left Split with Zadar as destination… but with a stopover in the amazing Krka National Park. This park is the little brother of the famous Plitvice Lakes. Located between Split and Zadar, in this park you can find several sets of small waterfalls, and, what’s best, a place to swim. You will not be able to swim to the waterfal, it is not allowed. And trust me, even if it were you would not make it ther with such current against you. But just laying there and watching the landscape around you is amazing enough. I will talk about this in more detail, it is worth much more than a few sentences!

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

As the afternoon was halfway in, we headed to Zadar. The coolest thing in town is the sea organ. It may have been the thing I loved the most in our whole trip. It is an organ operated by the sea. The sea sings! and plays music! This day the sea was quite calm and even like that I liked it.

Day 7: Zadar to Plitvice…. or not

In our seven day of this Croatia Itinerary we had planned to visit the famous Plitvice lakes. But you can’t have it all. You cannot travel in September and expect permanent good weather. Because we did not have it…! Again, this day was completely covered. My man talked with some of the locals and they told us that the real beauty of the lakes is the colour of the water when the sun shines. Because we did not want to throw away 50€, we decided to skip it. Instead, I did some research in my beloved Lonely Planet, and we found a very nice cave on the way to our hotel: Pećinski Park Grabovača.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

These caves were quite beautiful and only a very short trip from Zadar. You can only visit them with a guide and there are 4 turns a day, starting at 10am and every hour and a half. The whole visit is about an hour and the tour costs less than 5 euros per person. Just one little tip, if you decide to add this stop to your Croatia itinerary, make sure you wear plenty of layers. The whole cave system is at aroun 10ºC all year long.

Because we planned on visiting the Plitvice lakes that day, I had booked a hotel near the park. The town where we were staying was named Slunj, and it is quite original. The whole town was build on a set of waterfals! It was VERY cold, but very cute!

Day 8: Slunj back to Zadar

When I was organizing this trip, I decided to leave this day unplanned. We could have gone deeper into the countryside but we loved Zadar so much that we decided to go back. It was raining, so when we visit the organ, we were mostly alone. Also, something that I did not mentioned before is a beautiful circular light display that is right by the organ. The first time we were there there was so much people that we could barely see anything. It was this second time that we really appreciated it.

Day 9: Zadar to Split

On day nine of our Croatia itinerary, we started to head south. We just spent a most of the day stoping in little towns between Zadar and Split. We took the long road and found some amazing landscapes. Later on the day we had the famous Cevapcici (sorry for the spelling) in Trogir (a beautiful little town north Split). And, we finish this amazing roadtrip by visiting the beautiful Kliss Fortress (a setting for Game of Thrones). This fortress is tiny (and I did not know about it), but lovely to spend half an hour walking around it.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

To finish the day, we arrived to Split and gave the car back. Bought a bottle of wine and we just enjoyed walking through the cobblestone streets.

Day 10 and 11: Back to Dubrovnik

On the last couple of days of our Croatia itinerary we stayed in Dubrovnik. We arrived by ferry to the city a bit passed noon. After we did the checkin we headed to one of the few “beaches” of the city. Hidden behind a cliff and surrounded by hotels is Bellevue Beach. With clear blue waters and a small cave to discover while swimming, it is a nice retreat in the city.

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul

On our last day we decided to leave the luggage in storage and head to the harbor. Right there, passed it, and near the wall, there is a little spot where you can swim, jump to the water or simply sunbath. We spent there the whole day because a huge cruise trip had arrived the night before and the city was beyond crowded. Even though our experience in Dubrovnik the second time was very different from the first day, it was still one of the cities I like the most during our trip.

I hope you enjoyed this itinerary! If you have any doubt about it let me know! And if you want to save it for later, here you have a pin! Thank you for passing by!

A ten day croatia itinerary - The Solivagant Soul.

36 Comments

  1. Thank you for your honesty in this post! I have yet to go to Croatia, but it’s of course on the list 🙂 I think the caves look quite different and a nice recommendation!

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      We were in total about 5 people in the tour… They are quite hidden and not many people visit, so they are a very nice option!

  2. Great itinerary! Croatia is on our list – can’t wait to visit!

  3. Croatia has been on our bucket list for a while now, especially for the Plitvice Lakes. I also really love the view from the fort in Hvar though, what a beautiful photo! We would definitely do a Game of Thrones tour as well. 😉

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      For me too, and it turned out to be the best option for a short break. It was a fantastic trip and so close by that I do not discard getting there again. Hvar was lovely, and the fort so cute! I will be writing soon some post dedicated to it exclusively!

  4. My mum absolutely loved Dubrovnik and my boss just got back from Split. I’m yet to go to Croatia but it’s on my list. It sounds so pretty. Do you have any more photos?

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      I have a few hundreds hahaha Every time I go somewhere the amount of pictures I take is insane. I am preparing a weekly update of photo journals. Next one will be Athens, but maybe the next will be some place in Croatia =)

  5. That’s so cool! Already visited all the places you mentioned but your itinerary is so ooo rich! 😍😍😍

  6. Croatia is such a great country <3 beautiful views indeed <3

    Carmelatte

  7. Croatia is definitely on my bucket list and even more so now. Great post.

  8. Croatia is so beautiful. You’ve chosen a great itinerary. Imagine doing the route on a sailing boat!

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      Well, I have already done a trip in a sailing boat, and I did not enjoyed it all. Too slow and the boat too small to really enjoy it. It was desperatingly slow, and I am too nervous to even consider repeating a trip like that. Have you done another sailboat trip before?

  9. I did a ten day trip in Croatia too and we drove from Zagreb to Dubrovnik ..missed Zadar though 🙁

  10. Love Croatia, it’s such a beautiful place!:) I only visited Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! The sea is so blue there!! Thanks for the great itinerary:)

    • thesolivagantsoul@gmail.com

      It is indeed one of the nicest countries in the Mediterranean! Of these three places that you visited, which one was your favourite?

  11. I love this, all that history surrounded by such incredible natural beauty. I will definitely be adding Croatia to my bucket list! Thanks for sharing!

  12. That cave looks like arguably the best part! I’d love to try some of the cuisine in Croatia… I bet it’s divine!

  13. This is a great itinerary! This actually inspired me to make a Croatia pinterest board! Thanks!

  14. What a beautiful post! I visited Croatia this past May and had the most incredible time. I really love reading your opinions on everything. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Croatia is on my list, pinning this for future use!

  16. you explored entire southhern cost 🙂 great itenerry

  17. Croatia is definitely on my bucket list! love the pictures.

  18. Ever since a good friend of mine went to Croatia a couple summers back, I’ve wanted to go. This itinerary seems like the best way to tackle 10 days there. Thank!

  19. Good to know what is doable in this amount of time. Sometimes with a FT job 10 days is all you can squeeze. Thanks! 🙂

  20. Love the itinerary! My boyfriend really wants to go to Croatia. This will make planning our trip a lot easier! Thanks 😊

  21. Oh that’s an awesome itinerary! I almost had a similar travel plan as yours, except I was in Croatia for a month. Gotta love those waterfalls!

  22. Great itinerary, you explained everything perfectly. I will keep it in mind since I really want to visit Croatia next year 🙂

  23. I have noticed how life serves us rest days sometimes, as if reminding us that some wine with a sea view, even if there’s a storm outside, is also part of the trip; and that we won’t always have perfect weather but that’s totally ok 🙂

  24. What an awesome itinerary! Croatia is pretty high up on my bucket list so hopefully I’ll get there soon. But that sea organ though… HOW COOL! I love it.

  25. Well detailed itinerary! We only had about a week when we visited last summer and I realized I missed a lot. We got to see Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar and Plitvice Lakes.

    It’s good that you rented a car to travel around. We did it by bus and we wasted an awful amount of time. Croatian buses aren’t all that good but thankfully the country and the locals make up for it. I want to check on Zadar and Zagreb next time. 🙂

  26. This is a great itinerary along with some useful tips, especially for first-timers. Croatia in on my list, hope to do so soon and whenever I do I’ll return to this post for planning around 🙂 I like Fortress Kliss too..no matter how small…yes big GOT fan 😉

  27. As a European I am surprised I’ve not heard much about Croatia since about a year ago when everyone started posting pictures that are just perfect! Dubrovnik especially is on my list for summer sunshine.. let’s hope I will get there!

  28. Those lakes are so dreamy!

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