Best of Croatia Tour: 12-Day South to North

A 12 day trip to Croatia 
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Croatia is a country that is on the cusp of becoming one of Europe’s most desired destinations. There are a plethora of reasons that account for this recent popularity, including Croatia’s awe-inspiring architecture, deeply-rooted historical roots, and wondrous landscapes that are truly lovely. Not only is the country gorgeous in its own right, but Croatia also offers extensive opportunities to explore with an abundance of outdoor adventures and exciting cultural and educational excursions. Join in the appreciation as you embark on this luxurious, 12-day tour of Croatia’s highlights, introducing you to the some of the best that this European gem has to offer. Indulge in tours of Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice National Park, the capital city of Zagreb, the Istrian region, and so much more.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

View of an old street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Lokrum is an island in the Adriatic Sea 600 metres from the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Aerial view of Dubrovnik, historic port in Croatia.
Kayaking on the Adriatic sea close to Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Dubrovnik, Elaphiti Islands, Plitvice National Park, Zagreb, Varazdin, Krka National Park, Zadar, Split, Pula

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Dubrovnik - Glimpse into Game of Thrones on an Old City Tour

From the moment your plane lands in Dubrovnik, all of your worries will disappear as your private driver will be waiting to whisk you away to your luxurious accommodation. Once you have settled in, you will be escorted to meet your local guide for a private walking tour of the Old City. You can explore this ancient, seaside enclave, climb Fortress Lovrijenac, and even marvel at some of the real-life filming locations from the famed TV series Game of Thrones, including the Red Keep, the House of the Undying’s dungeon, and the Battle of Blackwater Bay. As evening falls, you will delight in a lovely sunset over the Croatian coast as your private driver returns you to your hotel.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Dubrovnik - Embark on a Luxury Cruise to the Elaphiti Islands

You will be thrilled to get out and enjoy Mother Nature with today’s exciting outdoor adventure, which is a private and luxurious cruise to the stunning Elaphiti Islands. After donning your favorite swimsuit and reaching for your sunscreen and sunglasses, you will meet your private guide and boat captain who will then whisk you away on a magical sea cruise on a state-of-the-art luxury liner.

You can sit back, relax, and feel all of your stress as it melts away and the waves of the Adriatic skim by you. You can soak up the sunshine as you glide through the serene blue waters before visiting three beautiful islands: Lopud, Sipan, and Kolocep. At each island, you will have plenty of free time to relax in the ocean, bask in the warm sunbeams on sandy shores, and window shop your way through the most charming stone village. After this full day of fun in the sun, your private driver will pick you up and return you to your hotel for a well-deserved night’s rest.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 3: Split - Uncover the Secrets of Split and Trogir

You will depart Dubrovnik as day three dawns, making your way to the splendid seaside city of Split. After checking-in to your luxury accommodation, you will be led on a half day’s private tour of the highlights of this heavenly enclave. You will even enjoy a side trip to Trogir, which is a splendid UNESCO World Heritage Site that will take your breath away. Here, you will be immersed in Trogir’s Renaissance and Baroque architecture that has become a staple of this charming city.

After being introduced to the best parts of these two pristine places, including  Split’s Diocletian Palace, the Bell Tower of Saint Domnius, and Trogir’s Kamerlengo Fortress, the Duke's Palace, the cathedral, and much more, your private driver will lead you back to your hotel, as you will need your rest for another day of discovery in just a few hours.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 4: Split - Have a Bliss-Filled Day with Visits to the Blue Cave and Hvar Island

Another island adventure awaits you today, and you will be swept away for a full day of fun, sun, and six amazing locales. Today will have you visiting not just one but six stunning, Croatian islands.

Upon each stop, you will have your choice of how to spend your time. Whether it be swimming, snorkeling, or soaking up the sun on a deck or the sandy shores, this coastal cruise is sure to cure whatever ails you. You will also be introduced to the world famous Blue Cave and nearby Budikovac Island’s beautiful Blue Lagoon before having the opportunity to wander around the photogenic island of Hvar. After an entire day of awe-inspiring activities and marveling at the most unique sights, you will be dropped off at your luxurious accommodation by your private driver.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 5: Zadar - Tour the City and Embark on a Sunset Sail

Today, you will say your farewells to Split as you zoom toward Zadar via private transfer. Upon your arrival, you will enjoy a private tour of the city’s highlights and popular landmarks on foot. During your tour, your guide will entertain you with fascinating facts about each of these prized landmarks.

Once night falls, you will embark on a luxurious catamaran cruise during sunset. Not only will this give you a chance to see the sights from a new and glorious perspective while bobbing along the sparkling waters of the Adriatic, but it will also allow you to absorb the unmatched Zadar sunset while relaxing in utmost comfort. As you make your way back to the shore, you will be provided with the exciting opportunity to sail past Zadar’s world famous night light displays, including the Sea Organ, Nova Riva, Kolovare, and more. Upon disembarking, your private driver will meet you at the dock and return you to your luxurious accommodation.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 6: Plitvice National Park - Roam Among Waterfalls at Plitvice National Park

For today, you will need to prepare yourself to believe in fairytales for today’s adventure to Plitvice National Park. You will have an early morning and be transported to this UNESCO World Heritage Site via private transfer. Upon your arrival, you will have your breath taken away as you follow your private guide, wandering around a world that is filled with majestic waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and enchanting forest walkways. After spending the entire afternoon of roaming this whimsical world, you will truly feel as if you have spent the entire day in a walking dream, which will be one from which you never want to wake.

After departing the park, you can make a brief but blissful stop by the nearby Rastoke Village, which is a magical spot that is complete with a romantic main street and real-life working watermills. You will then be returned your nearby luxurious accommodation by your private driver, still stunned by the wonder and whimsy that you have witnessed today.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 7: Pula - Spend the Day in Captivating Krka National Park

Another fantastic day in the great outdoors amid another jaw-dropping national park awaits you today. However, today it is Krka National Park that promises to capture your heart and captivate your mind. You will depart early in the morning and spend the entire day on a private tour that will take you to some of the most beloved treasures in the entire park, including a hike through an emerald green forests to the largest waterfall in Krka, which is known as Skradinski Buk. You will have free time to swim, hike, or snap photos in the shade until it’s time to depart for Pula.

After arriving in Pula, you will be dropped off at your luxury accommodation, where the rest of the day and evening will be at your leisure. You can stroll around and become familiar with the surrounding area, or simply relax and prepare for tomorrow’s adventure.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 8: Pula - Be Whisked Away on a Luxurious Istrian Peninsula Tour

Today, a wondrous, whirlwind tour of Croatia’s pristine Istrian Peninsula awaits you. Famed for its jaw-dropping scenery, stunning seaside towns, and deliciously produced wines, this region will flirt with your palate and imagination. Highlights of this heavenly tour include shopping for handcrafted local goods in Groznjan, truffle tasting in Motovun, and even a quick jaunt to the beautiful Basilica of Porec.

After an entire day of discovery and being surrounded by dreamy medieval architecture, fine wines, handicrafts, and even truffles, you will never want the day to end. Once it does, your private driver will return to the doorstep of your luxurious accommodation.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 9: Pula - Kayak to Your Heart’s Content and Peruse Pula

Today, you will wake up and be ready to cruise as today’s adventure finds you kayaking along the breathtaking shores of Valsaline Beach. After receiving a quick run-through on how to handle the kayak, you will row to the region’s famous Tarzan Cliff, which is a place that is rarely visited because it is only accessible by boat. Once you arrive, you can delight in a break from paddling and enjoy relaxing in the warm waters, swimming, sunbathing, or cliff diving. You will then transfer to the famed Pula’s cave, where your professional guide will lead you inside and offer exciting insight into its history with other fascinating facts.

The evening allows you to give your paddling arms a break as you take part in an insightful walking tour of Pula, which will be complete with several stops by the city’s major landmarks like the ancient Roman Pula Arena and the Temple of Augustus. You will even have the opportunity to look around the local farmer’s market and try local Istrian products for which the extra virgin olive oil is world famous. As night descends, your private driver will transfer you back to your hotel.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 10: Zagreb - Discover Zagreb’s Best Before a Private Cooking Class

Day ten will find you traveling to Zagreb. Upon your arrival and after checking-in to your luxury accommodation, You will be whisked away on a private walking tour of the picturesque Upper Town, which is also known as Gornji Grad and includes famous landmarks such as St. Mark’s Church, Zagreb Cathedral, Dolac Market, and more.

Tonight’s treat will be sinfully delicious, and it will give you the chance to taste many of the different exotic flavors of Croatian cuisine. You will indulge in a private cooking lesson that will be complete with locally crafted wine to complement your locally crafted cuisine. Under the tutelage of a Croatian master chef, you will craft a mouthwatering meal, using an age-old authentic recipe and the freshest local ingredients. After you have finished, you can devour every last bite. With a happy heart and a full belly, you will be returned to your hotel, satisfied and ready for a good night’s sleep.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, dinner

Day 11: Zagreb – Storm Some Storybook Castles and Visit Varazdin

You will spend your final full day in Croatia on a discovery, traveling to some of the country’s most photographed and famed destinations. You will first visit the swoon-worthy city of Varazdin, as well as its resident castle. The castle is home to a museum that will be sure to capture your attention if you desire some historic artifacts and artful designs. 

After spending the day of sauntering down the charming city streets and window shopping along the idyllic main strip of Varazdin, you can stop by Croatia’s most famous castle, Trakoscan Castle, where you can wander among its gorgeous grounds, the highlight of which includes a lovely lake that is perfect for the perfect photograph. After your tour, you will be returned to your hotel, and you will most likely be wishing that this was only day one.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 12: Zagreb – Dine on a Delicious Brunch Before Saying Goodbye

As the alarm sounds on your final morning in Croatia, you will want to hit the snooze button nonstop to delay your having to leave this idyllic destination that has brought you so much delight. After enjoying a morning brunch, you will receive a local-inspired parting gift, and as you ride to the airport via private transport, you will already be dreaming of your return trip, wanting to discover more and more of this magical country.

What’s Included: airport transfer, brunch


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.