Croatia

Highlights of Croatia (2-weeks)

This two-week trip takes you along the length of Croatia’s sparkling coastline from Pula, in the north, to Dubrovnik far in the south. Along the way, you will take in the country’s most spectacular national parks, enjoy plenty of adrenalin activities, soak up the history and have ample opportunity to swim in the extraordinarily clear and enticing waters of the Adriatic.

If you are travelling with younger children we can suggest alternative activities that will be more suitable.

Highlights

  Kayaking in the sparkling Adriatic
  Hiking in spectacular national parks
  Swimming in waterfalls
  White-water kayaking
  Navigating towering canyons
  Boat rides to remote archipelagos
  Beautiful Dubrovnik and Split

15 days from £2,125 pp

Plus international flights starting at £200 direct.

A two-week itinerary for a family of four to Croatia will typically cost from around £8,500 including accommodation, car hire and a wide range of activities. Upgrade to more luxurious accommodation and additional activities from £10,000 for a family of four.

view pricing guide

Highlights of Croatia (2-weeks) day-to-day itinerary 

Day 1, Pula
Welcome to Croatia – Dobrodosli! Upon your arrival at Pula airport, you will collect your hire car and take the short 20-minute drive to the accommodation of your choice.

Pula is one of the gems of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. It is well known for its perfectly preserved Roman arena, one of the best in the world, and is a superb introduction to the gorgeous aquamarine waters of the Adriatic. Time permitting you can head out into the quaint alleyways of this historic town and indulge in some early souvenir shopping.


Day 2, Pula
This morning you will head out onto the Pula Peninsula, a narrow strip of land that juts out into the Adriatic. Covered in fragrant pine trees, the peninsula is fringed by rugged beaches, with a walking and cycling path around the edge. Accompanied by a guide, you will spend the morning exploring the peninsula, stopping at small beaches to swim and soak up the views.

The afternoon is free for some sightseeing, shopping or beach time. Highly recommended is a visit to the stunning Roman amphitheatre, right in the centre of the city.


Day 3, Pula – Istria – Plitvice Lakes National Park
Today you have a beautiful drive across the Istrian Peninsula to Plitvice. Although there is a direct route, it is much more interesting to take the scenic route. This starts with a quick drive up the coast to the picture-perfect small seaside town of Rovinj. Built on the side of the hill, with commanding views over the Adriatic, this is a jumble of pretty pastel-coloured houses crowded around a busy harbour. There is an imposing hill-top church and a wealth of enticing pavement cafes, boutique shops and gelato stalls.

Spend the morning wandering around Rovinj before continuing inland to the idyllic hill towns of the interior. This area is very much reminiscent of Tuscany with beautiful rolling hills, covered in vineyards and olive groves, topped by medieval stone villages. We will recommend a wonderful village restaurant for lunch, where you can sit in the shade of giant plane trees and dine on sensational home-made pasta as you soak up the views.

We particularly recommend the lovely town of Motovun, which is one of the more well-known villages, but deservedly so with impossibly picturesque steep narrow cobbled streets, houses with coloured shutters, showers of bougainvillea and superb views over the surrounding valley.

From here continue to Plitvice.


Day 4, Plitvice Lake National Park – Paklenica
Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the scenery here is truly spectacular. In 1979, it was added the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its exceptional natural beauty. Across the park there are 16 lakes which fall naturally in cascades separated by natural travertine dams. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey to blue. The colours change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.

There are a series of walking trails through the park that weave along the edge of the lakes and into the hills around, some connected by boat. The views throughout are breath-taking.


Day 5, Zrmanja – Paklenica
Today is an exciting water-based day, with an excursion on the picturesque Zrmanja River. This is one of the most beautiful in Europe with perfectly clear, warm water, spectacular canyons and magnificent waterfalls. The first section involves paddling down some easy rapids with time to enjoy the lush scenery and abundant bird life. You will be able to stop at Krupa waterfall for a swim and a picnic lunch before starting the second section. The scenery continues to be gorgeous and there is on dramatic section where the river pours through a gap in the rocks and down into a pool below. More adventurous children will enjoy kayaking down this; others can choose to walk around!

Later you will drive to Starigrad Paklenica, at the foot of the Velebit Mountains. The contrast of the blue Adriatic Sea and the cliffs of Velebit, which tower over the kilometre-long beaches, create a scenic backdrop for your time here.

Read More


Day 6, Paklenica – Sibenik
Today you will enjoy a hike in the extraordinarily beautiful Paklenica National Park. This is one of the most beautiful in the region and features a combination of high craggy peaks and deep rocky gorges, all covered in beech and pine forest. Particularly stunning is the Velika Paklenica canyon, which is more than 14km long, with steep cliffs sheering up on either side. There are a number of different routes through the park which you can follow, depending on how fit you are all feeling. We will send you a recommendation.

When you have finished in the national park, continue to Šibenik for the night. This is a lovely harbour town perched on a hillside on the edge of the Adriatic. The imposing cathedral and fortress dominate the town’s skyline and provide an impressive backdrop. (Alternatively you may like to spend two nights in Zadar, a slightly larger but also very picturesque city).


Day 7, Kornati National Park
Just off the coast of Šibenik, the turquoise waters of the Adriatic are dotted with a series of pristine islands that comprise the Kornati National Park. Some islands feature soaring cliffs that drop sharply into the water, others have gently shelving beaches. Although there are no longer any permanent settlements here, olive groves and fig and lemon orchards dot the islands and are tended by residents of nearby Murter Island.

You will spend the day exploring the islands by speed boat. Stop on secluded beaches to swim, cliff jump and snorkel and enjoy a simple lunch at a local taverna.

Return to Šibenik for a second night.


Day 8, Krka National Park – Split
Today you will head along the coast to Split. En route, you may like to visit Krka National Park with its amazing collection of waterfalls. Unlike in Plitvice you are allowed to swim in the waterfalls here and can spend a very pleasant morning exploring on foot and by boat. Skradinski Buk falls are particularly impressive, with the water cascading down a series of levels and finishing in a beautiful shallow pool that is ideal for swimming.

You will end the day in Split. This is the second-largest city in the country, and a beguiling mix of ancient and modern sandwiched between mountains and sea. The old town centres around the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace, built in 305 AD but the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Surrounding the palace is a lattice of narrow cobbled streets, peppered with attractive street-side cafes.


Day 9, Split
A full free day to explore Split. You can wander for hours through the picturesque streets of the city, stopping for a drink or a gelato along the way. In the late afternoon it is well worth taking a meandering walk through the medieval western part of the city to Teraca Vidilica, a small restaurant in the hills with stunning views over the city.


Day 10, Split – Lopud
Today you will head south towards Dubrovnik and will leave your rental car behind to take a fast boat to Lopud Island. This is one of a string of beautiful islands which make up the Elephiti archipelago. This is where those-in-the-know come to escape the crowds of Dubrovnik and enjoy some R & R. The islands are densely forested and dotted with quiet villages that lead down to picturesque beaches. The water here, as along the whole Croatian coast, is crystal clear and a startlingly bright turquoise.

Although Lopud is quite close to Dubrovnik and is the most popular of the Elephati Islands, it remains relatively uncrowded. Famous for its sandy beaches, it has a bevy of great little restaurants and café bars. Each day the local fishermen will deliver the day’s catch to the restaurant and you can enjoy this freshly barbequed, washed down with the excellent local wine.


Day 11, Lopud (Elephiti Islands)
A free day to relax and enjoy the beach.


Day 12, Lopud (Elephiti Islands)
Today you will kayak across the channel to neighbouring Šipan island before donning masks and snorkels to swim underwater into a cave. This is illuminated by rays of sunlight that give off a surreal green glow. From here you swap kayak for mountain bike and cycle through ancient olive groves and vineyards, past stone villas and wild fig trees to a local taverna where you will enjoy lunch. Return to Lopud for the night.


Day 13, Lopud (Elephiti Islands)
A further free day to relax and enjoy the beach.


Day 14, Lopud – Dubrovnik
This morning you will take a speed boat back to the mainland and will be transferred to Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is known as the Pearl of the Adriatic and with good reason. It is impossibly, improbably pretty, surrounded by the azure waters of the Adriatic, which contrast so strikingly with the terracotta roofs and imposing city walls. The polished, white, limestone streets of this UNESCO world-heritage site have been walked by countless visitors, who marvel at how well the ancient buildings have been preserved, even after attacks and earthquakes.

You have a full day to explore the town, following the weaving pedestrianised streets past medieval buildings and walled fortifications with the shimmer of the Adriatic a constant backdrop. The city is undeniably busy in the summer months, but no less impressive for it. The secret is to explore slowly, following some of the backstreets and stopping frequently in a pavement café to watch the world go by and soak up the scene.


Day 15, Departure
Make your way to the airport for your flight home.

Logo-icon

Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

Stubborn Mule cartoon