Why wouldn’t you want to go on a Croatian Road Trip? Croatia is a great country for a road trip, there’s one main road which runs the full length of the coast from Dubrovnik in the south to Pula and Zagreb in the north. There are lots of place to chose from, from city locations to small island with incredible beaches and you can’t forget the National Parks! I love Croatia, it’s an amazing country which is why I’ve now been there three times. A road trip is definitely the best way to see what this country has to offer and give you a lot of freedom; however, the ferry’s and coaches are also very reliable so don’t miss out!
Big City Locations
The easiest place to start a Croatian Road Trip in the furthest south part of Croatia; known as the walled city, the Old Town of Dubrovnik is incredible. It’s very busy the majority of the time as it’s a favourite for the big cruise ships, but that’s definitely for a reason! If you go to one place in Croatia, go to Dubrovnik.
There is so much to do in Dubrovnik, from the kayaking tours so you can truly appreciate the old town walls, to the amazing walking tours which include ones that specialise in the Game of Thrones. Yes, you read that correctly. From Dubrovnik you can easily access the island of Lokrum, the island of bunnies, peacocks and a Game of Thrones Museum. I’d also recommend getting the cable car up to the highest part and watch the sunset. It’s just beautiful.
I’ve also written a post about recommendations for places to eat in Dubrovnik from a local so you can find lots of yummy local food along the way!
Beautiful in it’s own right and home to one of the best well-kept Roman monuments in Diocletian’s Palace. Taken over by refugees to create a flourishing inner city full of unique shops, restaurants and bars the Palace walls practically buzz. Visit the Cathedral’s Dome with its scary staircase, explore the underground Palace, get a drink along the promenade, go for walk around Park Marjan. There’s walking tours on offer, along with kayaking trips. The water is just too good not to get in!
From Split you can easily access the islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis and Korcula where you’ll find the famous blue and green caves. You’re also pretty close to the Krka National Park if you fancy a day trip! But we’ll talk about that later.
Zadar has a younger vibe than some of the other cities. Known for it’s night life and good bars, but don’t miss the incredible history with a good walking tour. Sit and listen to the Sea Organ, admire the architecture, solar charge yourself at The Greeting to the Sun, enjoy all the bars and try some Maraska liqueur.
From Zadar you can easily access the island of Dogi Otok, a must visit in my opinion. You can do kayaking tours and also visit one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to; Saharun. It’s also the biggest large town to access Plitvice National Park, but we’ll get to that later.
A great stop for a couple of days. Try and combine it with a concert at the huge Roman amphitheatre because you will not regret it! Two of the biggest Croatian festivals, Outlook and Dimensions, are also held near to Pula. Browse the market, wander the cute streets, walk along the seafront, visit the fortress and go to a festival!
It’s also an easy boat ride from Venice if you fancy a little Italian day trip across the ocean.
Explore the little streets of the Upper Town and walk down to King Tomislav Square. Visit the Dolac market and you can’t leave Zagreb without going to the Museum of Broken Relationships.
The best spot for dolphin watching on the island of Losinj is Mali Losinj. A number of pods just off the coast have been intensely studied providing a great chance of you finding them on the day. The island also has a number of beautiful beaches and lovely towns.
Meaning ‘long isand’ Dogi Otok is one of the furthest islands from mainland Croatia and a favourite for locals. You can get the ferry across from Zadar. There’s some pretty little towns, beautiful beaches and a Nature Park.
The island has a number of towns such as Stari Grad and Hvar which are worth visiting. Hvar is known as a party destination for the super rich so the ports are full of super yachts. There’s great bars and more interesting fortifications.
Home to one of the prettiest beaches in Croatia, Zlatni Rat, Brac is easily on your list of places to visit to just get away from the big city. View the Dragon’s Cave, walk along the pretty promenade from Bol to Zlatni Rat and make sure you check out the art made with Brac stone.
Easily accessible from Dubrovnik, it’s a really cool little island with swimming spots, little museums, a botanical garden and some fortifications. It has also been infiltrated by both bunnies and peacocks.
National Parks – a MUST stop on a Croatian Road Trip
I cannot recommend this National Park enough. It is just truly beautiful! There’s lots of different routes you can take and we walked the longest route. With hundreds of little and large waterfalls, crystal clear waters and small paths, my only negative is that you cannot get into the water.
A much smaller National Park than Plitvice, but it’s still really pretty. There’s one large main waterfall and you can actually swim in the water.
It’s easily accessible as a day trip from Split so there’s just no excuse not to visit!
This is the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. The water is absolutely crystal clear and it’s shallow for about 50m making it a good beach with children. The beach is small white pebbles and the water is sandy. It’s quite difficult to reach which makes it even better. We got a boat over to Dogi Otok, hired a car and drove the length of the island. It’s 60kn to park for the whole day and 10kn an hour.
Bacvice – Split
A sandy beach 1km out of Split with effortlessly clear water. It’s shallow and has a number of bars nearby.
Sveti Jakov – Dubrovnik
Just outside Dubrovnik, but accessible by car or bus, Sveti Jakov is the best beach in Dubrovnik.
Zlatni Rat – Brac
On the island of Brac, the V shaped beach is just beautiful! Often voted the number one beach in Croatia to visit, it’s just along from a pretty town called Bol.
Where are you planning on going on your Croatian Road Trip? It’s a beautiful country with lots to offer and this is just the start. Let me know if there’s anything you think I’ve missed.
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