Destination: Croatia. The ultimate one week in Croatia

hvar, croatia

What’s not to love about a vacation in Croatia? Sparkling blue seas, historic fortified towns, vineyards, olive groves and freshly caught seafood all enjoyed at a slower pace of life. If you’ve been thinking of visiting Croatia and you’ve only got one week, this itinerary is the one you need to discover the most beautiful parts of the country, balancing relaxation with exploration.

What highlights can I see in one week in Croatia?

  • Discover UNESCO World Heritage fortified towns
  • Swim in the Adriatic at world class beaches
  • Learn about olive oil and wine
  • Explore national parks and waterfalls
  • Impressive views every day
  • Island hopping
  • Game of Thrones fans can visit filming locations

Your itinerary for one week in Croatia

Day One – Split

Split is the perfect base to begin your week in croatia
View of Split old town from Marjan Hill

Fly into Split and spend the afternoon doing a walking tour of UNESCO-protected Split, including Diocletian’s Palace. Marjan Park is likely to be the last stop of your walking tour and is the spot for a great view over Split.

The next two days you’ll spend the night in Split but spend the days out exploring. We recommend hiring a car but if you prefer to take a tour, there are plenty of options.

peristil split croatia
The Peristil in Diocletian’s Palace, busy every night with travellers huddled on the steps enjoying live acoustic music

Day Two – Trip to National Park

Krka National Park is an easy drive from Split. Head out early and spend a few hours at the park, indulging in some forest bathing. In the summer, you can swim in the waterfalls. On your drive back, you can check out Trogir, another UNESCO world heritage site, which is very close to Split.

If you prefer to see the Plitvice National Park (also a UNESCO site), be aware this is a four hour drive each way, so it is a major day trip. If you have more time to add to the vacation, extend your trip by a day or two and fly into Zagreb. Drive to the National Park one day, then continue to Split the next.

Day Three – Trip to Brač Island

Take your rental car on the Jadrolinja car ferry (or get on the same ferry with passenger only tickets and arrange a tour on the island). The ferry goes to and from Supetar regularly. Drive straight on to Škrip, where fascinating stone houses endure and be sure to visit the Olive Oil Museum, a restored stone house that is now government protected. At the museum, you can taste the oil, some rakija and receive a twenty-minute tour on the fascinating history of olive oil making on the island of Brač.

Next, drive along to Vidova Gora, the highest peak on Brač, and all Dalmatian islands. You’ll get great views down to Bol and Zlatni Rat beach and over to Hvar and Korčula.

You’ll be ready for lunch at this point so make your way to Bol for a bite. After lunch, wander the shaded pathway to the famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach and enjoy an afternoon at one of the world’s best beaches. As the afternoon comes to an end, drive back to Supetar and have dinner on the waterfront before taking the ferry back to Split.

The Golden Horn is the most spectacular of all Croatia’s beaches. It’s not just its shape that makes it so beautiful and unique. The pebble beach is surrounded by crystal clear sea, that goes from turquoise blue to dark blue in just 10-20 meters.

The 50 Best Beaches in the World, Big Seven Travel
Zlatni Rat is a must-see stop during one week in Croatia
Zlatni Rat

Day Four – Islands Trip and Hvar Party Night

a highlight of a week in Croatia is the blue cave
Blue Cave

Book a boat tour to take you to see the “six islands” and drop you at Hvar at the end of the day. The stops on these tours are stunning; the Blue Cave at Biševo Island is a must-see, the swimming at Stiniva Bay on Vis Island is refreshing and Pepito, the donkey, at Budikovac Island is certainly memorable. Most of these tours have Hvar as the final stop of the day, so just check you can take your luggage with you on the boat (travellers did this on a trip we did with SeaYou Excursions, a provider we recommend).

spend one week swimming in croatian blue waters
Stiniva Bay

In the evening, freshen up and enjoy some of the nightlife that Hvar has to offer. You can keep it chill with drinks on the beach or go clubbing.

Day Five – Explore Hvar

the hvar main square in hvat town, a stop for one week in Croatia trip
Hvar main square

Time for a lazy day. In the morning, take a short walk through the Mediterranean herb garden up to the fortress. Look around the fortress’ museum and take in the expansive views. Spend the afternoon kayaking around the Pakleni Islands, lazing on the beach, sipping drinks on the waterfront or shopping in the narrow pedestrian streets. Take the late afternoon ferry to your next destination; Mljet OR Korčula

view from hvar fortress during one week in Croatia trip
View from the Fortica (fortress) on Hvar

Day Six – Discover Mljet OR Korčula

Spend the day exploring Korčula or Mljet. Pick Korčula for a gorgeous town with a great wine and dining scene or Mljet for a tranquil retreat into nature, it’s a National Park!

With only one week in Croatia, there’s time for just one more island. However, if you have no interest in the national parks on the mainland, you could move that day here and spend a day at each island, or two days relaxing at one.

In the afternoon/evening, take the two-hour ferry to Dubrovnik, another UNESCO world heritage site. From Korčula, take the 4pm ferry in July and August or 7:25pm year-round and from Mljet, take the 4pm/4:55pm ferry from the Polače ferry port. Spend your evening strolling through the compact old town.

Day Seven – Dubrovnik Old Town

Walk the walls in the morning to escape the heat

Get onto the walls first thing in the morning, as it gets hot in Dubrovnik. The walls and the St Lawrence fortress will take two-and-a-half hours to explore. Next, join a walking tour to learn the interesting history of Dubrovnik. We liked Dubrovnik Walks as they keep you in the shade for most of the “Discover the Old Town” tour and they had audio headsets. After lunch, cool off at Banje Beach, or another beach like Bellevue Beach, if you’ve booked accommodation outside the old town. Just before sunset, take a taxi/Uber to the top of Mt Srd for a magnificent sunset view across Dubrovnik, the last night of your trip!

Day Eight – Fly home

If one week in Croatia isn’t enough, stay longer to explore more of Croatia and its neighbouring countries!

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones fans will find plenty of fun in seeking out the filming locations along your way through this itinerary. This map (from Total Croatia News) shows some of the key spots filmed in Croatia for the series.

What to take on your trip

If Croatia is a long haul flight away, check our essentials (including printable checklist) for everything you need to pack in your carry on for a long haul flight to arrive comfortably at your destination!

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