The Complete 28-Day Croatia Travel Itinerary for 2023

Croatia Map - 28-Day Croatia Travel Itinerary

Croatia Map - 28-Day Croatia Travel Itinerary

If you have Croatia on your travel bucket list, this travel itinerary will help you plan an unforgettable time in this beautiful country. Do you want to visit the most popular destinations in Croatia and enjoy 4 weeks full of adventure? With this Croatia itinerary, you won’t miss anything. You will see all the best places that Croatia has to offer.

What is the best time to visit Croatia?

If you want to avoid the summer peak season and the crowds, the best time to visit Croatia would be the fall or the spring, especially September/October and May/June. In these months, Croatia's weather is still quite warm and sunny, so not only can you visit many historical sights and national parks, you can still enjoy swimming and sunbathing.

What are the best places to visit in Croatia?

As you can see above on the map of Croatia, with this 28-day travel itinerary, you will explore the following destinations, and you can check them off your travel bucket list the second you visit each one:

ZagrebRovinjPulaPorecPlitvice Lakes National ParkZadarKrka National ParkSibenikSplit – Golden Horn (optional from Split) - HvarKorcula - Dubrovnik

The best way to experience this Croatia trip is by car as you will be able to get to all places easily and you'll be more flexible as well.


Cathedral of Zagreb - Croatia

Days 1-2: Zagreb

Zagreb is the most strategic point to start your trip if you want to visit all destinations on this itinerary and learn more about Croatia. Zagreb is Croatia’s capital city, and it’s worth exploring.

Top 10 things to do in Zagreb:

  • Ban Jelacic Square – a capital’s main square

  • St. Mark’s Church – one of the oldest architectural monuments in Zagreb

  • Cathedral of Zagreb – a major landmark in Zagreb and a must-see attraction

  • Dolac Market – a traditional main open-air farmer’s market

  • Mirogoj Cemetery – a cemetery where the most famous Croatians are buried

  • Zagreb 360 – an observation deck with panoramic views of the city and a viewpoint bar

  • Tkalciceva Street – a street famous for cafes and nice restaurants

  • Lotrscak Tower – a historic fortified tower with a nice view (cannon fired daily at noon)

  • Museum of Broken Relationships – a museum dedicated to failed love relationships

  • Maksimir – the oldest public park in Zagreb

Best one-day trips from Zagreb

There are many one-day trips from Zagreb you can consider when staying in the city. So, if you want to include an additional day or two, here some tips:


Rovinj Harbor - Croatia

Days 3-6: Rovinj

This gorgeous fishing village in Istria is about 3 hours’ drive from Zagreb.

Halfway there, you can stop at Rijeka to get some refreshments, go on a walk, or visit nearby Trsat Fortress, a restored castle with views. When you continue to your destination, you may also like to see Humthe world’s smallest town with just around 30 inhabitants.

It’s better to get accommodation in Rovinj for the whole time you spend in Istria and go for daily trips to Pula and Porec. This way, you can avoid unnecessary packing and unpacking your luggage and moving from one place to another.

Top 10 things to do in Rovinj:

  • Old Town – a small historic center with tight streets and alleys

  • Church of St. Euphemia – a landmark church with a tower for views

  • Rovinj Port – a waterfront with restaurants and cafes with scenic views of Rovinj

  • Carera Street – a famous shopping street with many shops and galleries

  • Balbi’s Arch – a symbol of Rovinj and the gateway to the old town

  • Batana Eco-Museum – a museum dedicated to a traditional wooden boat batana

  • Rovinj Heritage Museum – a traditional venue with permanent and temporary exhibits

  • Lim Fjord – a scenic channel with boat tours

  • Park Forest Zlatni Rt (Punta Corrente) – a forested park for hiking, cycling, rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing

  • Monkodonja – an archaeological site from the bronze age and scenic hill outside of Rovinj

The 5 best beaches in Rovinj:

  • Baluota (Monte) Beach

  • Amarin Beach

  • Skaraba Beach

  • Villas Rubin Beach

  • Kuvi Beach

If you want to include an additional highlight when staying in Rovinj, you can make a one-day trip from Rovinj to Slovenia and visit Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle. It’s about 2 hours drive to get there.


Pula Arena - Croatia

Days 3-6: Pula

Pula is a beautiful seafront city on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula and a perfect place to explore on a day trip. From Rovinj to Pula, it’s just about 45 minutes by car. Pula is known for its Roman amphitheater, beach-lined coast, and protected harbor.

Top 10 things to do in Pula:

  • Pula Arena – a Roman amphitheater and underground museum

  • Arch of the Sergii – the remains of a historical Roman arch

  • The Forum - a central square of ancient and medieval Pula

  • Temple of Augustus – a beautiful Roman temple dedicated to the first Roman emperor Augustus

  • Church and Monastery of St. Francis – a catholic church with a large monastery complex

  • Fortress Kastel – a fortress with views of the city and bay

  • Small Roman Theater – the second Roman amphitheater in Pula located within the town walls

  • Aquarium Pula – an aquarium in a 19th-century fortress

  • Brijuni National Park – a famous archipelago with historical ruins

  • Cape Kamenjak Nature Park – Istria’s southernmost point with the best beaches on the west side

If you want to explore more, go on a bike or wine tour or try stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, or snorkeling in Pula.


Euphrasian Basilica in Porec - Croatia

Days 3-6: Porec

This popular summer resort on the Istrian Peninsula coast is just about 45 minutes from Rovinj and an excellent destination for a one-day trip.

Top 10 things to do in Porec:

  • Euphrasian Basilica – this beautiful cathedral is a World Heritage Site and the main attraction in Porec

  • Old Town – a small historic center with cafes and restaurants

  • Decumanus Street – an old stone iconic street lined with plenty of tourist shops

  • Round Tower – one of the city's Venetian-era towers with a lovely rooftop bar

  • Romanesque House – one of the oldest houses in Porec

  • Motodrom Porec – the best race track in Istria

  • St. Nicholas Island – a small island with beautiful pebble beaches

  • Zelena Laguna – a popular spot for swimmers with small bays and caves to explore

  • Aquapark Aquacolos – Croatia’s largest waterpark located near Porec

  • Jama - Grotta Baredine – beautiful karst cave near Porec

The 5 best beaches in Porec:

  • Zelena Laguna Beaches

  • Delfin Beach

  • Brulo Beach

  • Pical Beach

  • Spadici Beach


Plitvice Lakes National Park - Croatia

Days 7-8: Plitvice Lakes National Park

This world-famous forest reserve with 16 lakes arranged in cascades and beautiful waterfalls is located in central Croatia.

It’s one of the most visited destinations in Croatia and a World Heritage Site.

From Rovinj to Plitvice Lakes, it’s more than 3 hours drive by car, so it’s worth starting the trip in the morning. Consider an overnight stay in a nearby accommodation to make your access to Plitvice Lakes easier and enjoy hiking without a rush.

Top things to do in Plitvice Lakes National Park:

Upper Lakes (12 lakes) – Proscansko jezero, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Vir, Galovac, Milinovo jezero, Gradinsko jezero, Buk, Kozjak (the park’s largest and deepest lake)

Lower Lakes (4 lakes) – Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluderovac, Novakovica brod

At the end of the Lower Lakes, you will find the tallest waterfall in Croatia, the Large Waterfall (Veliki Slap).

How to plan your visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park?

There are more options to explore Plitvice Lakes. One of the best ones is hiking, but you can also choose a shuttle bus between the Upper and Lower Lakes or a boat ride around Kozjak Lake.

If you have enough time, you want to explore both Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes. You can choose the best hiking tour that will suit your needs. If you don’t have enough time, you should at least visit the Upper Lakes.

Be aware that swimming is not permitted in any of the lakes in Plitvice Lakes National Park.


Cathedral of St. Anastasia in Zadar - Croatia

Days 9-11: Zadar

Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia, known for its Old Town Roman and Venetian ruins. To get to Zadar from Plitvice Lakes takes about 1.5 hours by car, and it’s worth staying here at least two full days to explore this old city.

Top 10 things to do in Zadar:

  • Sea Organ – an experimental musical instrument, which plays music by way of sea waves

  • The Greetings to the Sun – a monument dedicated to sun consisting of 300 glass plates

  • The Roman Forum – one of the Zadar’s most important landmarks

  • St. Donatus’ Church – a Byzantine church and a symbol of Zadar

  • Cathedral of St. Anastasia – the largest church of Dalmatia

  • St. Mary’s Church – a Benedictine monastery where you can see one of the city’s most prized exhibits

  • The Land Gate – a stone gate that once served as the main entrance to the city

  • People’s Square – an iconic square with historic buildings and a central square of Zadar

  • The Five Wells Square – five wells adorn the center of this square, explaining its name

  • Archaeological Museum Zadar – a museum with artifacts dating to the prehistoric era


Krka National Park - Croatia

Day 12: Krka National Park

Krka National Park is known for a series of 7 beautiful waterfalls, and it’s a great place to stop on the way to Sibenik or as a one-day trip from Sibenik. The walking trails with equipped educational panels and the stunning viewpoints are the best way to explore this beautiful Park.

The main walking trail (Skradinski Buk) takes about 1.5 hours, but you can easily spend a whole day hiking here when you decide.


St. James Cathedral in Sibenik - Croatia

Day 13: Sibenik

Sibenik is a beautiful historic place and the third-largest city in the region of Dalmatia. It’s mainly known for the stone Cathedral of St. James, a World Heritage Site. An easy drive from Zadar to Sibenik takes just about 1 hour and it’s worth staying overnight.

Top 10 things to do in Sibenik:

  • St. James Cathedral – one of the Dalmatian Coast's architectural highlights and a World Heritage Site

  • The Old Town Hall – a town hall famous for its beautiful large columns, arches, and balustrades

  • Michael’s Fortress – the oldest fortress atop a hill with panoramic views across the city

  • Barone Fortress – a historic hilltop fort with views and tours

  • St. Nicholas Fortress – a fortress with a unique shape built in 16th-century to block Turkish attacks

  • St. Barbara’s Church – a pretty little church with a noteworthy collection of sculptures and paintings

  • The Count’s Palace – a city museum with a significant selection of archaeological artifacts

  • The Dalmatian Ethno Village – little stone houses representing the Dalmatian traditions

  • Marina and Waterfront – a beautiful seaside location with a walkway and cafes

  • Banj Beach – the most famous beach in the old city


Diocletian’s Palace in Split - Croatia

Days 14-17: Split

Split is the largest city in the Dalmatian region and is known for its beautiful waterfront and beaches, stunning architecture, and historic sites. From Sibenik to Split, it takes about 1 hour by car and you will need to stay a couple of days to explore all the highlights of this beautiful city.

Top 10 things to do in Split:

  • Diocletian’s Palace – a tremendous palace of a Roman emperor and a World Heritage Site

  • The Old Town – a charming historic town with cafes, restaurants, and a beautiful old town clock

  • St. Domnius’ Cathedral – an eight-sided Catholic cathedral built as a mausoleum for Diocletian

  • St. Domnius’ Bell Tower – a tall Romanesque bell tower with views over the old town's rooftops

  • Riva Promenade – a beautiful waterfront promenade with restaurants, bars, and cafes

  • Marjan Hill – a famous peak for walking and fantastic city views

  • Golden Gate – one of the entry points of Diocletian's palace complex

  • Statue of Grgur Ninski – a tall statue of Croatian bishop and icon

  • Mestrovic Gallery – the most extensive collection of Mestrovic’s work

  • Klis Fortress – an ancient military fortress near Split

Best one-day trips from Split (excluded from this itinerary):

  • Brac Island – the largest Dalmatian island with many beautiful beaches

  • Golden Horn Beach (Brac Island) – a day cruise to the Croatia’s most famous white-pebble beach

  • The Blue Lagoon – a gorgeous bay with turquoise water great for swimming and snorkeling

  • Solta Island – a hilly island known for charming villages and a great spot for relaxation, swimming and snorkeling

  • The Roman Ruins of Salona - an archaeological site from Roman times, built before the Diocletian's Palace in Split, located near the town of Solin

  • Trogir – a gorgeous tiny town and lovely gateway from Split

  • Vis Island – a wild island a bit further from Split is an excellent spot for relaxation and quiet time

  • Cetina Canyon – perfect for outside activities like zip lining, canyoning, kayaking, or rafting

The 5 best beaches in Split:

  • Bacvice Beach

  • Znjan Beach

  • Kastelet Beach

  • Bene Beach

  • Kasjuni Beach


Hvar - Croatia

Days 18-21 – Hvar

Hvar is a gorgeous Croatian Island best known for stunning beaches and lavender fields. It’s an excellent summer destination and one of the most popular in Croatia. The best way to get from Split to Hvar Island with a car is by car ferry to Stari Grad (Hvar Island). It takes about 1.5 hours.

Top 10 things to do in Hvar:

  • Hvar (Town) – a beautiful port and resort town with many beautiful beaches

    • Trg Sv Stjepana – the main square in Hvar with charming historical buildings

    • St. Stephen’s Cathedral – one of the most impressive landmarks in Hvar

    • Spanish Fortress – a fortress with breathtaking views of the city, islands, and sea

    • Franciscan Monastery – a monastery set in a very scenic spot overlooking a small cove

  • Stari Grad - one of the main towns of interest to visit on the island

    • Tvrdalj Castle – a castle that served as a summer residence of the Croatian poet Petar Hektorovic

    • St. Stephen’s Church – a parish church dedicated to Pope Stephen I

    • Stari Grad Plain – a cultural landscape set up by the Greeks colonists

  • Jelsa – a small town with some fascinating historical sights, lovely streets, cozy cafes, and restaurants

  • Vrboska – the smallest town on the island, often called “Little Venice”

  • Pakleni Islands – a group of small islands with lagoons and crystal-clear water

The 5 best beaches in Hvar:

  • Dubovica Beach

  • Pokonji Dol

  • Jagodna Beach

  • Lucisca Beach

  • Milna Beach


Korcula - Croatia

Days 22-23 – Korcula

Korcula is a beautiful small island in Croatia with many vineyards and stunning small villages. It’s often called “Little Dubrovnik” due to its squares, churches, and houses.

It’s easy to get from Hvar to Korcula by passenger ferry, but it’s a bit tricky when traveling by car. There is no direct car ferry to get from Hvar to Korcula, and the combination of driving and ferries from Hvar usually takes more than 5 hours.

For this reason, it’s more convenient to explore Korcula on a one-day trip or an overnight stay and then come back to Hvar and continue your trip to Dubrovnik.

Top 10 things to do in Korcula:

  • St. Mark’s Cathedral – a cathedral offering beautiful views of the city and sea from the bell tower

  • Land Gate – an old gate and entrance to the old town

  • St. Mark’s Abbey Treasury – a bishop’s treasury museum with a collection of Dalmatian religious art

  • Icon Museum – a museum offering a permanent display of interesting Byzantine icons

  • Korcula Town Museum – a museum with various collections of Korcula’s culture and history

  • House of Marco Polo – a rumored birthplace of traveler Marco Polo

  • Vela Spila – a cave and an important archaeological site

  • Proizd Island – an idyllic island for spending a day in the sun, swimming, and relaxing

  • Osjak Island – known as an island of love, Osjak Island is a small island and an excellent place for sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing

  • Mount of St. Ilija – a mountain peak with many options for hiking

The 5 best beaches in Korcula:

  • Pupnatska Luka Beach

  • Vela Przina Beach

  • Divna Beach

  • Bacva Beach

  • Vaja Beach


Dubrovnik - Croatia

Days 24-28 – Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is one of Croatia's most visited destinations and is known for its historic Old Town, beautiful buildings, museums and galleries, and stunning beaches.

"The Pearl of the Adriatic" is the last destination in this travel itinerary.

If you travel to Croatia for the first time, Dubrovnik should be a must-see on your travel bucket list.

There are many options on how to get to Dubrovnik, but if you travel from Hvar, it takes about 4 hours drive to get there. So, it's worth starting the trip early in the morning.

Top 10 things to do in Dubrovnik:

  • Old Town – a medieval city with narrow streets and many historical attractions

  • Walls of Dubrovnik – historical city walls with stunning views

  • Stradun – the main street in Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik’s famous promenade

  • Rector’s Palace - a Gothic-Renaissance palace and museum

  • Dubrovnik Cathedral – a Romanesque cathedral with unique interior’s artworks

  • Franciscan Monastery – a beautiful complex consisting of a monastery, church, library and, a must-see pharmacy

  • Sponza Palace – this charming palace is the home of the Dubrovnik’s archives

  • Clock Tower – this 31 meters high bell tower is a significant landmark of the Old Town

  • Lovrijenac Fort – a historic fort with views

  • Cable Car Dubrovnik – this cable car takes you to the top of the Mount Srd for the best views of Dubrovnik

What else to do in Dubrovnik?

  • Fort Imperial – an old fort famous for panoramic views of the city and sea

  • Game of Thrones Tour – a tour for fans of this favorite TV show to see all the famous sites where the show was filmed

  • Sea Kayaking Tour – a guided sea kayak tour for all who love adventures

  • Food and Wine Tour – a guided tour for food and wine lovers who want to try local specialties and tasty wine

  • Trsteno Arboretum – the oldest arboretum in Croatia with beautiful gardens just half a hour by car from Dubrovnik

Best one-day trips from Dubrovnik (excluded places from this itinerary):

  • Mostar and Kravica Waterfalls (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

  • Kotor (Montenegro)

  • Elaphiti Islands – this small group of islands is a great escape from Dubrovnik’s crowds to enjoy a day with swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing

  • Lokrum Island – an island with beautiful gardens and a monastery just a short distance by ferry from Dubrovnik’s harbor. It’s a popular spot for relaxation and for Game of Thrones’ fans, as it’s one of the filming locations. The Iron Throne can be found here in the Game of Thrones Visitor Center.

The 5 best beaches in Dubrovnik:

  • Bellevue Beach

  • Uvala Lapad Beach

  • Sulic Beach

  • Sveti Jakov Beach

  • Dance Beach

Have a wonderful time in Croatia and don’t forget to write notes, attach photos, and check off all the destinations from the travel bucket list in your Travel Challenge Book - Europe!


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