Explore Croatia following the Dalmatian coast from Dubrovnik to Split.

Visit Croatia. Travel from Dubrovnik to Split along the Dalmatian coast. Idyllic beaches, ancient ruins and some serious old-world charm are just some of the highlights of this island-hopping adventure along the Dalmatian coast. Visit a local farm for fresh produce, swim in turquoise waters and wander cobbled streets to uncover hidden treasures. Discover the true heart and soul of Croatia and meet friendly locals along the way.

Start
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Finish
Split, Croatia
Countries
Croatia
Themes
Explorer
Code
ZMSF
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
114kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Dubrovnik's charms reach far beyond the UNESCO-listed city walls. Cruise to Lokrum Island where a botanical garden, Benedictine monastery and excellent swimming spots await
  • A highlight for many travellers, Hvar Island seems to have it all: Renaissance architecture, beautiful beaches, lush green landscapes and excellent Dalmatian cuisine
  • Explore ancient Split and its staggering Roman masterpiece: Diocletian's Palace
  • Indulge in local island specialties during a feast in one of Korcula Island's sleepy villages

Itinerary

Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

The undisputed jewel of the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik is a beautiful white stone town surrounded entirely by city walls. Although it experienced devastation during the war in the early 1990s, the old town - with its tiled roofs and stone buildings - remains as charming as ever. Extensive restoration has taken place to return it to its original splendour, and even today repairs are still being undertaken. With the sparkling water of the Adriatic in the background, Dubrovnik is picturesque, full of character and can easily be covered on foot.

If you arrive early, why not head out to one of the Elafiti Islands? There's Lopud, a quiet island with lovely hikes, clean beaches and a ruined castle. Kolocep is a sleepy enclave that boasts walks for every fitness level and Sipan, which is the most populated of the isles and reputedly has the most hospitable inhabitants. Alternatively, you might choose to simply laze about on one of Dubrovnik's beaches and people-watch for hours.
Today is a free day for you to enjoy all that Dubrovnik has to offer. Enjoy views of the sea from the 2 km-long city walls surrounding the town. Visit Big Onofrio's Fountain, a masterpiece built by famous European architect Onofrio della Cava. This 15th-century landmark was built to supply water to the city, flowing from the spigots into the collection trough surrounding it. Be sure to check out the Franciscan monastery with one of the world's oldest, continuously functioning pharmacies, founded in the 13th century.

If you still feel energetic after a day exploring the city you can take the switchbacks leading up Srd Hill behind Dubrovnik for spectacular views of the city and the Dalmatian coastline. Alternatively the newly restored cable car can whisk you to the top in less than 10 minutes. The hill is topped by a castle of Napoleonic times, which now houses the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence.
Journey by bus and boat to Korcula (approx 4 hrs). The time you depart and your travel time may vary depending on the transport schedule. Natives of Korcula believe Marco Polo was born on the island. Whether or not this can be proved (the Venetians have a similar claim), Korcula is steeped in a long history and the islanders are proud owners of this little gem, smaller than Dubrovnik but no less precious to its inhabitants. Greeks settled in the 6th century BC (they called the island Black Korcula), but the town was occupied by the Romans, the Slavs and then the longest period of rule passed to the Venetians between 1420 and 1797. Even Napoleon was ruler for a while. As a result of all these influences, Korcula has a stunning Old Town - romantic and evocative. And what's more, there are plenty of warm beaches to relax upon if that's more your speed. For the next two nights stay with local hosts who rent out their rooms in the summer season.
Today you might like to take a swim, or walk around the bays and villages near Korcula town. If you're feeling energetic take a snorkelling, kayaking or mountain-biking day trip. Your leader can help arrange these activities from our base in Korcula. The rooms, while simple, are the best way to put money back into the local economy. Later in the afternoon make the short journey by local bus (approx 30 mins) to the tiny village of Pupnat (population: 300) in the interior of the island to visit a local farm/restaurant and eat outside on the patio. Sample some of the family vineyard's wines and be treated to a meal made entirely from ingredients found on the farm. Perhaps you can drink your wine like the locals do - mixed with a bit of water. The traditional Dalmatian meat loaf or pasticada and fresh grilled vegetables with olive oil constitute a typical dish, served with fresh goat and sheep cheeses and maybe some smoked ham to tie it all together. Don't forget to have a bit of travarica (a grappa-like drink made with the herb called verbane) and some Korcula cakes for dessert before heading home.
A speedboat takes us to the neighbouring island of Hvar (approx 90 mins). Hvar has an air of Venice about it, and is known as the 'Queen of the Dalmatian Islands'. Wander around a town with wonderfully preserved Renaissance facades, hike past dramatic jagged limestone cliffs and slow your pace to enjoy the undulating farms, fields and ancient olive groves. Upon arrival embark on an orientation walk around town and visit the 16th century Spanjola Fortress, from which spectacular views over town and this part of the Adriatic can be had.

Note: For the next two nights we are staying in private apartments that locals rent out during the summer months. They are diverse and can vary in size and most may not have air-conditioning. All are located within 15 minutes of the main square.
Today is a free day. There are plenty of options for exciting activities in town or take a short hike on the nearby Pakleni islands. Depending on the weather there is the option to join a four hour walk through the lavender fields (they are blooming in June) and olive groves that are abundant on this pearl in the Adriatic. If you do not feel energetic today, spend the day at the beach at one of the island's many quiet beaches and enjoy a sunset stroll along the harbour promenade. Alternatively why not visit the island of Brac with its famed white pebble beach, Zlatni Rat. Brac is the third largest of Croatia's islands and hosts enchanting harbour villages. The island is famous for milk-white marble, which was used for the construction of the White House in Washington DC and Diocletian's Palace in Split.
Catch a boat to Split (approx 2 hrs). If Dubrovnik is considered the heart of Dalmatia, Split is certainly its soul. Situated on a small peninsula on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea, it's the second largest city in Croatia. Explore the impressive ruins of Diocletian's Palace - Split's most imposing structure and indeed some of the most interesting ruins on the Adriatic coast. Diocletian (245-313 AD) was a Roman Emperor infamous for his cruel treatment of Christians in the 3rd century. He chose the peninsula at Split to build this huge palace for his retirement, near to the Roman settlement of Salona (Solin), the ruins of which can still be seen today.

Join a local guide for a walking tour of Split to get to know its history a little. See the original and fantastically preserved basements under the city as well as the Cathedral in Diocletian's Peristyle and Jupiter's Temple. The Peristyle is a large rectangular open space framed by columns and arches on the long sides, with the entrance to the Emperor's old living quarters at one end. Portions of the Palace are over 1,700 years old and we allow ample time to truly experience the amazing, time-defying structure. Split grew out from Diocletian's Palace and you can almost see it evolving in a multitude of different ways right before your eyes. Some cultures might have made the palace a museum but the city of Split has always been a dynamic, vibrant place and the palace houses many businesses as well as being home to locals. You can get lots of local interaction in Split, such as at the fish market on Marmontova or the markets just outside the palace walls.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there is so much to see in Split and the surrounding area, such as Salona, Trogir or Sibenik, you may want to consider extending your time in Split. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.
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Inclusions

Meals
2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Transport
Bus, Ferry, Private vehicle
Accommodation
Guesthouse (2 nights), Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (1 night), Private apartment (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Dubrovnik Card - 1 Day - Local Transport & Entry to Museums
  • Wine Tasting and Dinner in Pupnat Village - Korcula Island
  • Hvar Orientation Walk
  • Spanjola Fortress - Hvar Town
  • Split Guided City Tour
  • Diocletian's Palace - Split
  • Split Cathedral & Tower

Dates

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Reviews

Our Explore Croatia trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 70 reviews in the last year.

Explore Croatia , September 2015

Explore Croatia , September 2015

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