How to see the highlights of Croatia in one week

With stunning walled cities, delicious local cuisine, and an extraordinary coastline, Croatia dazzles many. This week-long itinerary is perfect for those visiting for the first time.

Starting in Trogir and ending in Dubrovnik, you’ll explore three Unesco World Heritage-listed old towns on the Dalmatian coast and hop by ferry between gorgeous islands along the way.


Begin with a stroll through the walled town of Trogir, just 5km west of Split’s international airport. The World Heritage-listed town is on a small island, connected to the mainland by a bridge.

The town’s St Lawrence’s Cathedral is its must-see. In the evening, hit the bar-lined seafront promenade.


Make Split your base for a couple of days, taking in the city’s sights and enjoying its nightlife.

Built in the 4th century as a retirement palace for the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Diocletian’s Palace is the heart of this city, home to 3000 people with hundreds of buildings added through the ages.

At the centre of the World Heritage Site is a well-preserved colonnaded Roman Peristil (courtyard), and the octagonal Cathedral of St Domnius, which was originally Diocletian’s mausoleum.

At the centre of the World Heritage Site is a well-preserved colonnaded Roman Peristil (courtyard), and the octagonal Cathedral of St Domnius, which was originally Diocletian’s mausoleum.

Packed with cafes, restaurants and bars, the palace is also a fun place in the evenings, though locals also like to take an evening stroll or a drink of the city’s Riva waterfront promenade.

If you decide to stay for a second day you should have time to hike in Marjan Forest Park, to the west of the city, or relax on Bačvice or Firule beaches, on the city’s eastern outskirts.


Take a fast catamaran from Split to Bol on Brač Island. This port is most famous for Zlatni Rat beach – with its smooth white pebbles that extend into the Adriatic, reached by a 1.5km stroll.

The beach is popular with windsurfers thanks to its strong, steady maestrale winds.

The direct catamarans that connect Bol with Split and Hvar Town only run from June to September, so outside the high season it’s advisable to skip Bol and head straight to Hvar Town from Split.


Catch a catamaran to Hvar Town, the glittering capital of Hvar Island. One of Croatia’s most glamorous towns, it offers a vibrant nightlife scene and historic architecture in a stunning setting.

For a spectacular view over Hvar’s terracotta rooftops, rectangular harbour, and the green Pakleni Islands scattered in the sea just offshore, hike up to Fortica, the town’s hilltop medieval castle.

Wander the narrow streets of the old town, past pretty churches and squares, then try a tasty hvarska gregada (traditional fish stew) at one of the many restaurants that flank the harbour.

In the afternoon it’s time for a swim, either taking a boat ride out to one of the Pakleni Islands or strolling west along the seafront promenade to one of the nearby rocky bays.

On the promenade, Hula-Hula Hvar is the place to sip cocktails and watch the sun set, then dance on the tables if the mood takes you. Later on, the action moves to the bars that line the harbour.


From Hvar Town take a catamaran to Korčula Town, a picture-perfect walled settlement on a boat-shaped peninsula that juts into the Adriatic.

Tightly clustered within a ring of walls and towers, the old town centres on the 15th-century St Mark’s Cathedral.

Catamarans run from Korčula Town to Dubrovnik in high season (May to mid-October), but at other times of year you should catch a car ferry to Orebić and continue on to Dubrovnik by bus.


Your first glimpse of Dubrovnik’s old town – its magnificent white limestone walls standing proud above the turquoise waters of the Adriatic sea – will take your breath away.

Spend at least two days exploring the city. The classic Dubrovnik experience is a walk around the top of the City Walls, taking in views of the old town rooftops and glittering Adriatic on the way.

Next, wander the marble streets within the walls, stopping by at the city’s various palaces, churches and museums.

Finish your day off with a cable car ride up Mt Srđ, which rises directly behind the old town, to watch the sunset glint off the rooftops, then dip into the Adriatic sea.

The next day you should have time to head out of town for a refreshing swim, either on Lokrum Island, a 10-minute ferry ride away, or at one of the local beaches.

Bring your journey to a close with a sunset drink at one of the tiny bars on the rocks outside Dubrovnik’s city walls.

Get to the heart of Croatia

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