Tuesday, June 7, 2022

How to plan an unforgettable 14 day adventure in Croatia

View of buildings and sea in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Wondering what to see in Croatia? There's so much to see and do, so planning a 2-week trip can be overwhelming, but you can save yourself time with my unforgettable 14-day itinerary that covers the best of Croatia's islands, coast, and cities.

Want to plan your own trip to Croatia? Jayway Travel arranged our entire 2-week trip and made the entire process so easy. Based on our preferences, they helped us choose and book everything we did, including all hotels, tours, restaurant reservations, ferry tickets, and private transfers. If you want to plan a trip to Croatia (or elsewhere in Central or Western Europe), working with Jayway is a life-saver.

Read on after the jump for my itinerary.

I've included an affiliate link in this article. I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

14 days of food and adventure in Croatia

Sunset and people strolling in Croatian island village
Sunset over Hvar | photo: Adventurous Tastes

Arrive: Split, take ferry to Hvar

3 nights Hvar

Start your trip on this glam, party island. Enjoy wine tasting, sailing to the Pakleni Islands, meals at Dalmatino and Bunar, and ice cream at l'amor per il gelato. Take a very rocky and steep walk down to Pokonji dol Beach (190 Kuna for two chairs and an umbrella) or take a taxi to Bilin Zal Beach, which is actually sandy (a rarity in Croatia). Note none of the restaurants at this beach take credit cards, so if you're short on cash, walk down the beach to Pizzaria Torkul which is at least quite cheap and tasty, albeit very slow.

Looking down on rocky Croatian beach and subathers
Pokonji dol Beach in Hvar | photo: Adventurous Tastes

2 nights Korcula

Umbrella art installation over Korcula, Croatia
Korcula | photo: Adventurous Tastes

Hop a ferry to this more casual island. Don't miss the stellar Lole Wine and Tapas Bar, perhaps my favorite restaurant of the entire trip. Sample the locally grown white Grk wine on a bike and winery tour.

Man holding oysters string filled with oysters in Ston, Croatia
Oysters in Ston | photo: Adventurous Tastes

On the private transfer Jayway arranged, we were able to stop at Matusko and Miloš wineries for tastings. Don't miss the award-winning olive oil at Miloš. One of the best experiences was when we stopped during our transfer to oyster tasting in Ston. We enjoyed a private feast of fresh from the sea oysters on a lovely wooded beach. It was heavenly!

3 nights Dubrovnik

Beautiful woman posing in front of Dubrovnik scenic view
Dubrovnik photo: Adventurous Tastes

You will probably recognize this gorgeous town from Game of Thrones, although you may not be able to see it through the throngs of tourists. I went at a historically slow time because cruise ships weren't docking, and it was still overwhelmingly crowded. Beat the heat and the crowds by getting up at the crack of dawn. Our favorite restaurant was Taj Mahal for Bosnian, and definitely don't miss the opportunity to dine in a local's home, which was a highlight of my trip.

Church and mountains in old town Kotor, Montenegro
Old Town Kotor in Montenegro | photo: Adventurous Tastes

Dubrovnik is a great jumping-off point for adventure tours or day trips to Montenegro and Mostar. We kayaked to Lokrum island, and while quite strenuous, it made for a beautiful day on the water and gave us access to amazing caves. The day trips make for a long day, and you can get stuck at borders, but we're glad we made both trips. In Montenegro, you can see Perast fishing village, our lady of the rocks church, Kotor Bay, and dramatic mountain views in Old Town Kotor.

View of famed Stari Most Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia
Stari Most Bridge in Mostar | photo: Adventurous Tastes

In Mostar, be sure to stop for lunch at Urban Grill which has an amazing view of Mostar's famous bridge, where you can watch brave local divers tempt fate as you indulge in local wine and huge servings of mixed meat for one that could easily serve two. With our private tour, we were also able to stop on the drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar for fresh out-of-the-ocean oysters. Compared to Dubrovnik, Mostar is also a great option for gift shopping with many similar items and much lower prices.  Worth noting, Mostar is center of the sun hot in the summertime. I was caught off guard that 100 degrees is a typical daily temperature in summer. 

2 nights Split

People strolling on the Riva in Split, Croatia
Riva in Split | photo: Adventurous Tastes

Head back to Split to enjoy this lively, charming seaside town. Enjoy dinner at trendy pizza hotspot Bokamora and take a stroll and do some top-notch people-watching on the Riva. We also enjoyed an elegant dinner at Bokeria. Old Town offers well-preserved ruins including a sphinx. We were tired of rocky beaches and wanted a day to recoup from all of our activities, so we opted to rent a sunbed at Radisson Blu. It's pricy and blasting club music, but it was a good option for some R&R.  

1 night near Plitvice 

Waterfalls in Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes | photo: Adventurous Tastes

The one miss of our itinerary was the underwhelming Zadar. My rec is to skip it and instead spend a low key evening closer to Plitvice so you can get an earlier jump on your visit there. Plitvice is a must for nature lovers, and if you get there early enough to beat the bus tours, you can enjoy the gorgeous blue waterfalls and walk around the park without too many traffic-jams. 

Beautiful woman posing with bicycle at Bibich Winery
Getting my 'gram on at Bibich Winery | photo: Adventurous Tastes

We also stopped during our drive from Split to Zadar at Trogir and Bibich Winery. The former was a pretty town that you don't need long in, and the latter was actually a bit of a disappointment. Perhaps because it's so well known, they didn't seem very customer service oriented, and we were stuck in a blazing hot outdoor seat despite the indoors appearing to have room.

2 nights Zagreb

Dark skies over St. Mark's Church in Zagreb, Croatia
St. Mark's Church in Zagreb | photo: Adventurous Tastes

This interior capital city doesn't get a lot of love from tourists compared to the coast, but it was quite pleasant, and a good option for flying back home. A Zagreb food tour was a great opportunity to try some of the heartier dishes this town is known for. Don't miss La Struk, famed for its štrukli, a cheesy white lasagna-like dish usually for celebratory events, or sample some wines in the atmospheric Vinoteka Bornstein.

Depart: Zagreb 

I've included an affiliate link in this article. I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
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