Highlights of the Adriatic Itinerary: Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik

A 8 day trip to Croatia 
5 out of 5 stars
4 reviews

You will be seduced by Split, dazzled by Dubrovnik, and heart-warmed by the island of Hvar. This is the best of Croatia’s Adriatic coast in a week with highlights like Trogir, the Blue Cave, Cavtat and a day trip to Montenegro. Soak up the island life, visit vineyards and olive farms, lounge on the coast and immerse yourself in the terracotta charm of the historical destinations.

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General Information

Blue lake in Split, Croatia.
Red rooftops in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Arial view of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Roman ampitheater ruins in Split, Croatia.
Restaurant in old town Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Mediterranean square in Split, Croatia.
Aerial view of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Flower filled patio in Split, Croatia.
Wine tasting flight.
The statue of Grgur Ninski who was a Croatian Bishop.
The old city walls of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
A main street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
View of Dubrovnik city from the Adriatic coastline.
View of the clock in Trogir, Croatia.
Perast is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.
Wine barrels in a Croatian vineyard.
Palmižana is a tourist resort on the Croatian island of Sveti Klement.
Milna is a village on the island of Brač, Croatia.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Dalmatian Coast, Adriatic Sea, Split, Diocletian’s Palace, Trogir, Trogir Cathedral, Riva Harbor, Hvar, Stari Grad, Vrboska, Jelsa, Blue Cave, Green Cave, Stiniva, Palmizana beach, Milna, Dubrovnik, Mt Srd, Cavtat, Konavle, Kotor, Perast, Budva

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Split – Wandering Through the Iconic Dalmatian City

Split has always basked in its unrivaled location. Rolling mountains provide a backdrop as they wrap themselves around a soft blue bay. Diocletian’s Palace has the prime location, a 4th-century retreat for Emperor Diocletian. The old city extends around the palace with walls that shimmer white in the sun and roof tiles a faded terracotta color. There is a harmony to the architecture, and you can easily get lost in the mazy knot of central lanes. Do not worry, as getting lost is part of the allure here. Being lost is the best way to explore, as you will find charming streets and small boutiques. You are never really lost, though, as Split is easy to navigate on foot and you will have the afternoon to explore.

Earlier in the morning, you will be greeted at the city’s airport for a short transfer to your hotel. Just a few steps from Diocletian’s Palace, the boutique four-star property has one foot in the past and the other embracing contemporary styles. It will be comfortable while still giving you a keen sense of how the city’s medieval buildings look on the inside. For the evening, it is recommended that you head down the promenade to Riva Harbor, where you can watch the boats coming and going from a cafe terrace.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Split – Seduced by Trogir and Diocletian’s Palace

If it were not for the setting, Trogir would look remarkably like Venice. It was an important town at the height of the Venetian Republic, its center built in grand pre-Renaissance and Renaissance styles. It is also a city on the coast, surrounded by the blue-green of the Adriatic. However, rather than canals, Trogir has a steep maze of streets that are barely wide enough for carts destined for the market. Visit Trogir on a privately guided excursion from Split, your guide helping to navigate such a jumble of streets. Romanesque remains are also evident, particularly in the churches before you ascend towards the town’s magnificent cathedral. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral is perhaps the best example of Venetian Renaissance architecture outside Venice.

Return to Split, and you will be guided around the central street to inspect the details you might have missed yesterday. Stories accompany the buildings and the harbor-front hums with local Dalmatian life. This is an exuberant city with an atmosphere that has far more to offer than the history and buildings. So even though this guided tour ensures you really discover Diocletian’s Palace, there is more to Split than a Roman emperor from 305 AD. The evening is at your leisure, and your guide can provide advice on where to dine. And whatever time you head out, there will always be life to watch along the banks of the Riva River.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Hvar – Wine Tasting, Medieval Bliss, and Unique Island Flavors

Lavender fields bloom on the island of Hvar. Wild olive groves dot the hills along with the family farms that produce some of Europe’s very finest olive oil. Vineyards tumble down other hills and towards the remains of medieval castles. Small fishing villages dot the coast, as traditional as they always have been. Coves and pebbled beaches are also found along the water, perfect for an hour on your own. You can take the fast catamaran to Hvar and spend the day touring the island, wondering how such diverse highlights can be found on such a slither of land.

During your private tour, you will be exploring villages, tasting oil and wine, wandering around castles and listening to all the old stories. Later in the evening, you can dine at a family olive estate for a dinner that celebrates the island’s diversity. For the other hours, today and tomorrow, you will absorb the ambiance of Stari Grad. Hvar has more than 2,400 years of history, and while it can feel like Europe’s hidden island gem, wealthy Romans and Venetians have been taking vacations here for centuries. Stari Grad is the finest evocation of this history, and your hotel is tucked inside the ancient town surrounded by lantern-lit lanes and the enchantment of history.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Hvar – Highlights of the Archipelago Small-Group Boat Tour

Hvar’s coastline seems as surreal as the town of Stari Grad. You will see a Blue Cave hidden beneath the sea cliffs, where sunlight penetrates through a subterranean hole, creating a silvery shimmer that cannot be replicated by. See Stiniva Cove, a concealed lagoon surrounded by weather-carved cliffs. Green Cave is another good place for swimming while the Pakleni Islands continue to be the realm of local fishermen. After the three stops on the coast, you will disembark at a small beach where a restaurant will provide a seafood lunch that even the fishermen frequent.

After this full-day tour, you will have some downtime in Stari Grad, either relaxing at the hotel or trying out a different cafe on the plaza. Move into the evening, and you will head out to an abandoned part of the island to a medieval village that has turned into a ghost town. It is, however, not entirely abandoned for there is a farmhouse that still provides a traditional konoba experience. Hear the village’s story, soak up the soul of the farmhouse, and eat traditional farmhouse dishes with all the produce coming from Hvar Island. A konoba is the most traditional dining experience you can have in Croatia, and the one on Hvar is as unique as they come.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Dubrovnik – The Epic Historical City on the Coast

The fast catamaran to Dubrovnik is always fun as you cruise across the distinctive blue tone of the Adriatic. You will arrive like the explorers of old and into the pier beneath the imposing city walls. Meet a guide and walk to your hotel, a small five-star property inside the Old Town city walls. This location is ideal for a several night stay, and most visitors stay outside the city walls so that you will find the Old Town streets wonderfully quiet after dusk. Wrought-iron lanterns illuminate the streets during the evening hours, and you could spend many hours simply strolling around after dark.

To get you acquainted with the where and the how, you will spend the day on a guided walking tour of the city. Start on the city walls and walk almost two kilometers along the thick fortifications. Descend into the streets where a handful of landmarks help narrate the history of this city republic. You will head to the coastal promenade and then take the cable car to Mt Srd, a rugged mountain that towers high over Dubrovnik. From up here, you can reflect on the views that have frequented Game of Thrones, before the first of your evenings in the Old Town.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Dubrovnik – A Day Trip Exploring the Mystery of Montenegro

Travel south from Dubrovnik, and you will soon be in Montenegro. You will be traveling along the Adriatic coastline, and the landscapes are now a little rougher around the edges. Montenegro is barely a slither of land stretched along the coast with everything centered on a handful of towns. Kotor is the most iconic, a walled city that rivals Dubrovnik for charm yet sees barely ten percent of the visitors. You will walk on marble streets here across the cobbles of a city that is still dominated by small and traditional establishments with cafes, taverns, haberdasheries, butchers, bakeries.

Dubva is a little further along the coast, a beach town that the Croatians escape to when they want a vacation. It is an interesting place for lunch before you take the road back north, where you will stop at an old village with even more intrigue. Perast was once glorious, and its wealth is shown in palaces and elaborate churches. The city never retained this wealth, and at the turn of each subsequent century, it seemed that Perast would become a ghost village. A few people have returned, and with the help of the tourist trickle, this once grand town is finding some life once more. Today is a relaxed tour, and you will return to Dubrovnik before sunset.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Dubrovnik – Exploring Cavtat and Rural Croatian Life

After six full days on the coast, a day in the Konavle region is a great chance to see another side to Croatia. Several dozen rural farming villages are found here, each one seemingly smaller than the last. There is old history as well, such as fortified remains and the melancholy tales of war. Cavtat came before Dubrovnik, and you will have a coffee in town while listening to the stories. Spend time in one of the villages and join a local family on a farm and cooking experience. You will see how life is lived here, and see how it has not really changed in centuries, something best shown by the archaic farmyard equipment that still dots the region. Return to Dubrovnik in the early afternoon, and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Dubrovnik – Departure

Late check-out has been arranged, so there is one final chance to walk around Dubrovnik’s Old Town, which you really cannot get tired of doing. You will be transferred to the airport and your outbound flight.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast



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