Short breaks in Europe don’t always have to be city trips. With so many countries on one continent there’s always something to do for everyone! Take Croatian beauty Dalmatia for instance, with its beautiful, historic towns and heavenly beaches it has every ingredient for a short, yet sweet, summer holiday.
When you fantasize about sailing away on a yacht, soaking up sun on the deck whilst enjoying a regional wine and seafood lunch, the Croatian coast is the place for you! Tourists can pick between the coasts of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia, Croatia’s finest regions when it comes to sea, sun and relaxation.
The Dalmatian coast is popular because of the many excellent islands nearby. Although popular in the high season, Croatia isn’t as expensive as most of Europe’s coastal attractions. That’s why many tourists come over to Dalmatia enjoy the Croatian hospitality, food and surroundings.
Croatia is a great, accessible getaway for non-deciders and last minute flyers. Touristy? Yes. You can’t ask for an unspoiled piece of beach in Europe during the busy summer season. But if you know where to go, the Dalmatian coast will exceed your expectations despite of that.
Since my trip to the Dalmatian coast I’ve put together an itinerary with the best places to visit. For this trip you need to spend at least 6 nights on Croatian soil. However, this trip is easily extendable by visiting surrounding islands or spending some extra days on the beach.
7 Day Itinerary for Dalmatia
Split – 1 night
On the first day you fly to Split. Low budget airlines, such as EasyJet, fly on and off to get as much tourists there as possible. This sounds horrifying but it does mean affordable tickets!
If you hate mass tourism there isn’t much to do in Split, although a stroll on the boulevard overlooking the blue Adriatic wouldn’t hurt. Some of the highlights include the Diocletian palace, Marjan hill and the harbor. There’s also a great beach to relax on called Bacvice.
On your bucket list:
- A visit to Froggy Land! Stuffed frogs in acrobatic poses. Hilarious!
- Eating fresh sea food at Konoba Fife.
- Marvel at the amazing view from the panoramic deck at Marjan Hill.
Where to sleep in Split:
Theatre of Dreams is located within the historic center, just 4 minutes from the Diocletian palace. They serve an amazing continental breakfast each morning, which is great for starting your day. From the accommodation you can get to the beach in only 12 minutes.
Read: 8 things to do in Split
Hvar – 2 nights
From Split, take the catamaran to Hvar, one of the islands closest to Split. Hvar is also a hotspot for tourists, but when you’re creative you can easily avoid them.
Hvar is well known for its many beaches and the medieval old town of the city of Hvar. You can wander through the narrow streets for ages, spotting many cats and friendly locals on the go. And when you’re done, you can take a walk around the city on the rocks and through the surrounding neighborhoods. One thing I found typical about Hvar is the smell of lavender that was basically everywhere.
On your bucket list:
- A visit to the Pakleni islands.
- Spend a quiet morning on Mlini beach (Pakleni Islands). Get there before everybody else does.
- Walk around the island for the best sea views.
- Rent a scooter to explore the center of the island.
- Buy fresh lavender from the island.
Where to sleep in Hvar:
Apartments Jure is perfect for beach lovers and culture seekers. The accommodation is located in the center of the old town, just 500m away from the closest beach.
Korcula Town – 1 night
When you’re done exploring boiling hot Hvar, it’s time to get some wind in your hair. The catamaran takes you further from Split and Hvar to Korcula island. As you might already know, this is my favorite island on the Dalmatian coast.
Korcula Town seems like any other – perfect – medieval town on the Dalmatian coast, however, it was built so perfectly the wind blows through, giving you a break from the summer heat. Korcula is also great for windsurfing and when you’re eager to explore you’ll find an empty beach further on the island.
On your bucket list:
- Dinner at Marco Polo restaurant.
- Go windsurfing from Orebic (mainland) to Korcula.
- Hike to the top of the island for magnificent views.
- Climb down the city walls to relax on the rocks close to the sea.
- Drink Posip, a regional wine.
Where to sleep in Korcula:
For those who enjoy the beach, Kanavelic place is the right choice! From the accommodation you can reach the sea in under a minute, while other important attractions are also next door. The view from is pension is simpy amazing! A great start to your day!
Read: 24 Hours in Korcula Town
Dubrovnik – 2 nights
They call it the ‘pearl of the Adriatic’ and while that’s true, it’s also the most touristic spot on your itinerary. You’ll get to Dubrovnik from Korcula in 5 hours by ferry. Personally I loved the ferry ride, 5 hours of softly sailing the Adriatic while being surrounded by the most beautiful, unspoiled, islands is no punishment at all!
Chosen as a décor for popular TV-series Game of Thrones and home to many, many historic buildings and stories; Dubrovnik might be the perfect place to visit in Croatia. Year round Dubrovnik gets many visitors so beware if you dislike mass tourism. Escaping to the nearby islands is quite simple and it’s what got me through spending 4 (!) nights there.
On your bucket list:
- Have lunch at restaurant Lady Pipi.
- Escape to nearby island Lokrum.
- Walk the historic city walls.
- Soak up nature on unspoiled island Mljet.
Where to sleep in Dubrovnik:
It’s often difficult to find amazing accommodation in Dubrovnik without completely breaking the bank. 87 Stairs Apartments offers a spectacular view on the Old Town and is located on 3 minutes walking distance from the beach. Perfect!
Fly back home from Dubrovnik or spend another scenic ride on the ferry to Split before heading off home from there.
This trip is easily extendable as there is plenty to do in Croatia and on the Croatian coast. In the listed articles you’ll find more information on each destination listed. Keep in mind that Croatia is a wine country with excellent – pebble or rock – beaches. I could’ve easily spend 3 weeks in this country and I’m sure someday I’ll find my way back.
If you have any questions or if you’d like to add anything, please leave a comment below!