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Croatia: your Guide to the Best of the Balkan Country

Updated: Feb 24

Plitvice lake - Croatia

Croatia - far behond Dubrovnik

Croatia is a small country but with great cultural and natural wealth.

With a coastline bathed by the Adriatic Sea, the country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, medieval cities, national parks, and nature reserves.

Located in southern Europe, on the Balkan peninsula, the country has a coastline of 1,778 kilometers. White sand beaches, crystal blue sea, and paradisiacal islands.

If you are planning a trip to Croatia, this post is for you. Here, we will present a 15-day itinerary around the country, which includes the main tourist destinations. Come explore Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb, and Plitvice Lakes!

15-day itinerary through Croatia

Zagreb: 2 days - capital of Croatia, charming medieval old town with Austro-Hungarian architecture dotted with cafés

Main tourist attractions:

  • Zagreb Cathedral

  • The Ban Palace

  • The Dolac Market

  • The Zrinjevac Park

Plitvice Lakes: 1 day - Plitvice Lakes are a national park located in the interior of Croatia. The park is known for its lakes with crystal clear waters, connected by waterfalls and gorges.

Here are some of the main tourist attractions in Plitvice Lakes:

  • The Veliki Slap Falls

  • Kozjak Lake

  • Prošćansko Lake

Arrive early and take one of the countless walks around 16 blue/green lakes, waterfalls, and natural pools.

Zadar - Croatia

Zadar: 2 days – lose yourself in the atmosphere of its narrow streets, visit the churches, the Roman forum, and the University - one of the oldest in Europe.

Do not miss the spectacular sea organ, with its 35 tubes that produce sounds when the waves meet them and where the sunset is of unparalleled beauty.

Sibenick: passage - founded by Croatians, has a Mediterranean climate and a beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea. Enjoy relaxing on a bench facing the sea or in countless restaurants/cafes.

Visit St James Cathedral, on the UNESCO Heritage List, and ST Nicholas Fortress right at the entrance to the harbor.

Trogir: 1 night: county of Split-Dalmatia, founded by Greek colonists and became a major port in Roman times. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with palaces, churches, towers, and fortresses.

Split: 1 night - Split is the second largest city in Croatia and is located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The well-known Roman ruins are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Main tourist attractions:

  • Diocletian's Palace

  • The Temple of Jupiter

  • The Split Market

  • The Flu Fortress

It is the starting point of the Jadrolinija ferry to Hvar.

Hvar: 3 nights - Croatia has more than 1,200 islands. All popular tourist destinations. Here are some of the most visited islands in Croatia:

  • Hvar

  • Korčula

  • Brac

  • Vis

We recommend staying on Hvar, the sunniest Croatian island. It has nightlife, good cuisine, and boutiques. From there, take boat trips to the neighboring islands.

Markaska: 1 night – town known for its promenade with restaurants, cafes, shops, and harbor views. Enjoy the sunset sitting in one of the restaurants.

Dubrovnik: 3 days - in the extreme south of Dalmatia, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, surrounded by walls and fortifications. It mixes medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture and the Adriatic landscape.

Here are some of Dubrovnik's top tourist attractions:

  • The walls of Dubrovnik

  • The Old City

  • Luža Square

  • Dubrovnik Cathedral

Take the opportunity to look for a tour at a local tourism agency to Montenegro (1 full day) and get to know Budva and Kotor.

Best time to visit Croatia

Croatia can be visited all year round, but the best time to visit is spring (April-June) or autumn (September-October) when temperatures are milder.

Rent a car, bicycle, or motorbike and go down (or up) the coast to enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Whether exploring the charming cobblestone streets of its cities or basking in the sun on its beautiful beaches, Croatia promises a journey of discovery and delight.

So, pack your bags, set your spirit of adventure free, and come create your own Croatian story. Remember, every journey is a treasure trove of memories waiting to be discovered. Let's make every moment count! Have a perfect trip!

Where to stay: Hotels

Below the hotels we stayed and recommend. If one city is missing is because we stayed in a hotel that we cannot recommend.

Zagreb: Hotel Esplanade Zagreb. Check availability here

Zadar: Almayer Art& heritage. Check availability here

Hvar, Hotel Adriana. Very cozy and super well-located. Check availability here

Dubrovnick: Hotel Bellevue. Check availability here

For other options, try Excellent tool to compare and book! Read our tips on how to book a perfect hotel.

Rent a Car

One of the best sites to compare prices and book your car rental is

You may want to read, Rent a Car to explore the World.


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