The Perfect 10 Days in Croatia: Itinerary
Ten days Croatia itinerary on first sight may seem to be a short time to see all what Croatia can offer. According my opinion, it’s an ideal balance for those travelers who do not have neither too much nor little time.
It’s quite enough to to get acquainted with the core of Croatia. This tour is a perfect combination of Croatia’s natural beauties, heritage sites of Split, Trogir and Dubrovnik but still with enough time for enjoying the sun and swimming.
How to move around Croatia? Should you rent a car or use public transportation on this itinerary? This itinerary can be done entirely by public transportation, buses and ferries are comfortable and efficient but require careful planning.
What about renting a car? No doubt, renting a car in Croatia is a great way to get around. Flexibility and convenience of car rental can be more convenient in comparison with buses and ferries.
Before you go, it’s a wise idea to have a travel insurance as you never know what can happen during any of Croatia itineraries. I just want to remind the old saying ‘If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.’
Brief Ten Days Croatia Itinerary Overview
- Day 1 – Arrival in Zagreb, half a day to visit Lower town and Upper town. Overnight in Zagreb.
- Day 2 – Visit Plitvice National park. Overnight in Plitvice.
- Day 3 – Proceed to the coast with stopover in Krka NP – Overnight in Trogir.
- Day 4 – Visit Trogir. Overnight in Split
- Day 5 – Visit Split. Overnight in Split.
- Day 6 – Visit Hvar town. Overnight in Hvar.
- Day 7 – Visit Korcula town. Overnight in Korcula.
- Day 8 – Visit Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
- Day 9 – Visit of your choice: Elaphiti islands, Mostar, Montenegro. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
- Day 10 – Departure from Dubrovnik
Day 1 – Arrival in Zagreb
Welcome to Zagreb, Croatia’s capital! I advice not to rush to much to get to the Adriatic coast, bypassing Zagreb city. City offers so many attractions that one day will not be enough to discover all the magic of Zagreb.
If you have arrived by plane in Zagreb, I suggest not to rent a car immediately if you are planning to drive on this ten days Croatia itinerary. Just take a cheap taxi transfer to your hotel as Zagreb airport is only 17 km from Zagreb downtown.
During you first day in Zagreb, make sure you take time for a walking tour and to explore both, Upper and Lower town. Zagreb is flat, not too big city but it’s first of all, a great place to walk around.
In the afternoon or in the evening, don’t miss to scroll the Tkalciceva street, considered the center of city nightlife, full of fine small café-bars, nice and inexpensive restaurants, pizzerias and art galleries.
Day 2 – Plitvice National Park
It’s time to say farewell to Zagreb and to proceed to the coast. On the way visiting Plitvice Lakes will be for every visitors a great pleasure to discover that untouched and wild area still exists.
The second way is taking a bus from Zagreb bus station. The bus is the cheapest and the most frequent way of traveling to Plitvice Lakes. The one way ticket is about 85 Kuna (about 11 € or 14 US$) but booking online in advance you can take advantage of 50% discount.
Buses are rather cheap way of traveling in Croatia but on our ten days Croatia itinerary there are some disadvantages of traveling by bus to Plitvice Lakes. On traveling from Zagreb to Plitvice page you’ll find all reasons why traveling by car is much more favorable.
When is the best time to visit Plitvice National Park? The park is open the whole year around but the best period is late Spring and early Summer and late September to November. The period of July, August and he the first half of September is the most crowded, characterized by higher entrance tickets rates and accommodation.
Important: Between November and mid-April, only Entrance 1 and the Lower Lakes are open to visitors.
After one night on Plitvice lakes, it’s time to prepare your journey towards Trogir Croatia and Split Croatia, your next destinations on your ten days Croatia itinerary program.
Day 3 Trogir with stopover at Skradinski Buk Waterfalls.
This route on ten days Croatia itinerary is doable only by car as I added another destination on the way to Trogir, I consider worth to be visited. This route is 165 km long and it will take approximately 2 hours drive. Check the below map!
Only 4 km from Skradin, there is a terrific spot where you can swim just in front of the waterfall, famous Skradinski Buk waterfalls, one of six other waterfalls, caves and lush forests inside Krka river National Park. I’m sure you’ll enjoy a bit of refreshment after a car trip.
After a couple of hours, it’s time to proceed to next destination, Trogir Croatia, following again the highway E65. It will take you only one hour to reach Trogir town where I propose to spend a night.
Day 4 visit Trogir
Trogir Croatia called ‘a small Venice’ on your ten days Croatia itinerary will be the best place to combine city sightseeing and swimming on one of the many Trogir beaches or nearby Ciovo island.
Since Trogir is considered as a city-museum, the city sightseeing on foot is the best way to enjoy this old town and to understand why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the late afternoon it’s time to proceed to the next destination on your ten days Croatia itinerary, to Split town only 25 km from Trogir. If you are traveling by rented car, It will be a wise idea to drop off your car in Split.
Day 5 visit Split
Croatia’s largest coastal city definitely has to be on your ten days Croatia itinerary bucket list as one of favorite and inevitable stops along the coast. It is not by chance that I propose two nights in Split although Split, my home town can keep you entertained for days.
Your day in Split will probably start visiting, the old city Diocletian Palace. You can do it on your own or taking a part in one of morning organized city tours . This two and a half hours walking tour will be sufficient to admire all Split old town attractions .
In the afternoon you can spend few hours on one of Split beaches, for example at Bacvice sandy beach. In alternative what about discovering the place where the famous series Game of Thrones was shot or even better, don’t miss to try delicious wine tour.
If none of these fascinate you, you can just take a walk along Riva promenade and in on of many bars and restaurants, enjoy a glass of good wine (beer) or a portion of ice cream and start thinking about your next day on ten days Croatia itinerary.
Day 6 visit Hvar
Important notes : On this route of ten days Croatia itinerary, I recommend not to use a car as in some period of the year (May to September) there is no car ferry connection (only fast catamaran passenger connection) from Hvar town to Korcula island.
If you are planning your island hopping tour, for the first time, take a look at Split island hopping page visiting four islands including Dubrovnik as it will be very helpful to make this ten days Croatia itinerary less complicated.
How to get to Hvar town ? Book online in advance your catamaran ticket from Split that leaves at 08.05 AM and reaches Hvar town at 08.40 AM.
Hvar town, together with Dubrovnik, represents the most elegant destination along the coast and the top meeting place of hundreds of young party-goers, dancing on tables at the town’s legendary beach bars.
Hvar’s reputation as Croatia’s premier party town, is well known but if you are on a lower budget, don’t even think about getting there without booking in advance as the prices can be seriously inflated in July and August.
Upon arrival in Hvar town port, start to explore the sights of the old town, take a swim at the numerous beaches or take a boat to the Pakleni Islands.
In the evening Hvar Town becomes the town that never sleeps, so you have a choice of plenty night-bars venues. Among the most popular are Carpe Diem Hvar, Hvar Pub Crawl, Hula-Hula beach bar and many others.
Day 7 visit Korcula town
It’s time to say farewell to Hvar town and to continue your ten days Croatia itinerary, taking the morning fast catamaran heading to Korcula island and its capital Korcula town. This catamaran leaves at 08.50 from Hvar harbor, arriving in Korcula town at 10.00 AM.
Korcula town, due to its similarity with Dubrovnik, its older brother is often called ‘A little Dubrovnik’. Its also a capital of Korcula island.
This small fortified town is among the most beautiful towns on the Croatian coast and is known for its unique architecture. Few people know that Marco Polo, the famous Venetian explorer was actually born here.
Marco Polo’s house is the main attractions, which can be visited in the old city center. A walk around the old city gives you the possibility to see the old city walls and the many towers that protected the Korcula Croatia town against invaders.
During the high season, don’t miss to take part of MORESKA – a traditional sword dance that has been performed for over 400 year. You can check it out in the video below, but it is even more spectacular and entertaining to enjoy it live:
Day 8 to 10 Dubrovnik
Your 8th day in Korcula will be in preparation for the next destination. Your catamaran will leave the Korcula port at 10.10 AM and after an hour and forty-five minutes (with a short stop at Pomena (Mljet Island), the arrival in Dubrovnik is scheduled at 12.00-
Your ten days Croatia itinerary is about to end but it will end in beauty, visiting the miraculous Dubrovnik Croatia , ready to satisfied the most sophisticated requests of its visitors.
If you are planning to visit Croatia, without visiting Dubrovnik, is like visiting Italy skipping Rome or Florence. That’s way a visit to Dubrovnik has to be planned very carefully to have the most of it.
I’m sure this town of museums and festivals, the town of taverns and restaurants, the place of a mild Mediterranean climate and wonderful landscapes, will convince you to come back again.
This city boasts of a cosmopolitan tourism. It’s an aristocratic and elite destination. Hotels are more sophisticated, and the most expensive on the Adriatic coast. If you are looking for Dubrovnik accommodation, I recommend to book any type of accommodation in advance.
On the first day of your ten days Croatia itinerary in Dubrovnik, after you check in, you can take advantage of old city walking tour in combination with city walls or you can see all Dubrovnik tours that this town offers.
In the evening you can start strolling old town streets, looking for a nice Dubrovnik restaurant. The narrow streets in the Old Town are hiding various venues with music of all kinds as well as vast drink selections that will satisfy anyone’s taste.
Last two days on this ten days Croatia itinerary in Dubrovnik, you can dedicate to swimming and sunbathing on one of the numerous beaches , within the city walls or those in town vicinity.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for more seaside activities, than kayaking tour along the city walls or Elaphite Islands on this full-day trip from Dubrovnik, are for you.
Dubrovnik is the best starting point to visit Montenegro. A day trip to Montenegro is quite enough to visit the prettiest part of this small country, the Boka Kotorska, a fjord-like bay in southwest part of Montenegro, with two medieval towns of Kotor and Perast.
It would be unforgivable not to mention other tours on your ten days Croatia itinerary from Dubrovnik, such as tour to Mostar and Medjugorje.