Follow the road twisting just meters off of the Adriatic sea and ending up in Dubrovnik

Photo: Goran Bogičević
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roadtrip travel to Croatia and Adriatic sea

Tour Croatia & more trip

Adriatic Road Trip from Istria through Dalmatia

Croatia is a small country with a spectacular coastline. In just nine days you will explore its natural and historical wonders from the Istria region in the northwest through Dalmatia and the city of Dubrovnik in the southeast. Apart from the taste of local food and wine and some great photo opportunities, you'll even get to try some sailing in an Adriatic sea speckled with charming islands.

This road trip adventure through the indented Adriatic coastline of Croatia is a perfect way to enjoy the natural and man-made highlights. Discover local foods, wines and sights of natural wonders, antique towns and monuments.

Many of Europe's greatest empires including the Romans, Venetians, Ottoman Turks, and Habsburgs, left their mark here in the form of architecture, language, art, and food.

After visiting Istria in the northwest, we will get to know the region of Dalmatia. You will be driving through some delightful spots along the 700 km long road twisting just meters off of the Adriatic sea and ending up in Dubrovnik.

Trip highlights

  • Experience the diversity of Istria, where continental Croatia meets the Mediterranean
  • Visit Motovun as you tour the picturesque Istrian peninsula
  • Explore the waterfalls, lakes, and rivers of Krka and Plitvice national parks
  • Marvel at the remains of Diocletian’s Palace in the coastal city of Split
  • Walk the ancient fortress walls of Dubrovnik

Trip availableJUN - OCT
Duration9 days
Suitable for2-8 people
SupportPartially guided
Languagesen
Price per personfrom 1,995.00 €
Great for
  • Urban population Families with or without children
You’ll be accommodated in
  • 4- and 5-star hotels and resorts
Trip designer Anna Maria Frid
Trip designed by Anna Maria Frid

Avid skier and swimmer, fluent in 5 languages. She spends most of her free time trekking, skiing, cycling, ice skating or simply walking through the woods.

Activities are taking place in Istria and Dalmatia

The Roads in Croatia are generally in very good condition and easy to navigate.

Images of pristine landscapes, sparkling seas and fortified towns are a great setup for the vibrant and relaxed atmosphere of the Mediterranean. Local delicacies, cheese, olive oil and vine supplement the unique blend of cultures, best seen in quaint outdoor cafés and restaurants.

Situated at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Central Europe, and the Balkans — Croatia has it all, from beautifully preserved medieval cities to stunning natural wonders. You will visit Roman relics in Istria and Dalmatia, the natural wonders that are the top three Croatian National Parks – Brijuni National Park, Plitvice Lakes, and Krka River National Park. You will enjoy good food and wines, breathtaking views and witness the different hospitality customs in each part you visit. Your final destination will be Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic.

Day-by-day itinerary

DAY 1

Arrival in Rovinj

Rovinj is a small jewel on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula. After arrival, you will have the rest of the day to explore Rovinj at your leisure. Though Rovinj remains an active fishing port today, it wasn't until 1763 that it became a part of the mainland. As such, its restricted access resulted in the idyllic narrow, cobblestoned streets you see today. Explore the town and note Rovinj's skyline, dominated by the baroque St. Euphemia Church.

We ask you to arrive into Rovinj by 17:30 (5:30 p.m.) as the program includes an afternoon Sunset Sailing activity after you settle into your accommodation.

You, the sea, the curious dolphins swimming around you, on the horizon the sun is slowly sinking into the Rovinj sea, burning the sky with an explosion of color. Fully immerse yourself in this unforgettable experience with a glass of wine and the sound of waves.

After this relaxing experience, you have the rest of the evening off to roam the ancient streets of this vibrant city.

DAY 2

Into the Heart of Istria: Truffle hunting in the Motovun forests

Today, your guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and you will head inland to explore the rolling hills of Istria, taste a few of the best local olive oil and wine varieties and explore some of the most charming villages in the country.

After a short drive, you will arrive at the foot of the famous Istrian hilltop town - Motovun where you will meet your hosts for the day. Motovun Forest has been for more than two thousand years recognized as a natural phenomenon of the Istrian peninsula and this part of Croatia. This area is a site of ancient deciduous tree forest that spreads along Mirna and Butoniga rivers valley.

You shall walk off into this exciting adventure in the company of our licensed guide and our two hunting dogs, Bela and Nera, who are real masters in finding truffles. You shall discover everything that is to be known about truffles and truffle hunting and finally have an opportunity to savor what we prepare on our estate, with delicious Miro Truffle products.

After a nice time spent with your hosts for the day, you can opt to explore Motovun, an ancient sleepy town located atop a 909-foot (277 m) hill. Its present appearance, with the city walls surrounding the center of the town, dates back to the Middle Ages. Sitting opposite Oprtalj on the southern side of the Mirna river, Motovun today hosts a popular film festival for one week in the summer.

After a fulfilling day, you will return to Rovinj.

DAY 3

Brijuni, Pula and Dinosaur Island Tour

Today, after breakfast, make your way to the Rovinj Marina where you will meet the crew who will take you on an unforgettable journey.

You will join a group for a cruise to the southernmost point of Istrian Archipelago and famous lighthouse Porer, discover Fenoliga – a site of more than 100 dinosaur footprints, swim in the crystal-clear waters, admire breathtaking cliffs & caves of Rt Kamenjak, capture the magnificence of Seagull Rocks, fall in love with Pula amphitheatre – once been the site of gladiator fights, conquer panoramic viewpoints of Jerolim Island & take a swim on one of the 14 islands of Brijuni National Park and discover the unspoiled nature, finish the journey with the beautiful, picturesque sea view on the “Little Venice”. You will be dropped-off at the Rovinj Marina upon your return.

DAY 4

Rovinj to Opatija & Plitvice Lakes National Park

Today after a hearty breakfast, you will pick your rental car and leave Istria for inland Croatia. It's a four-hour drive to your ultimate destination of Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the great natural attractions of the country. This protected area is famous for its 16 terraced lakes and myriad waterfalls the likes of which you won't find anywhere else on earth. On your way to the park, stop and visit Opatija. Opatija is a beautiful little coastal town known for its Lungomare, a waterfront promenade. The town was actually built in the 19th century as a summer resort for Austro- Hungarian aristocracy. You can see remnants of this era in the elegant villas nestled in the lowland Mediterranean forest along the coast. A local guide will be waiting for you at a designated place to show you around.

After touring Opatija, you will continue to your accommodations in Plitvice.

DAY 5

Plitvice Lakes National Park visit, Zadar overnight

Today, you'll visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park. A must- visit for any traveler to Croatia, the UNESCO-protected park comprises an exquisite collection of 16 glassy emerald green and blue travertine lakes, more than 90 cascading waterfalls that seemingly cover every corner of the park, and numerous caves. The terraced lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife.

As the park is very easy to navigate, we will provide you with a map and you follow the wooden paths and bridges throughout the park where you will witness the most impressive sights. After your tour, you will continue your trip towards Zadar, where you will spend the night.

DAY 6

Skradin and a visit to the Krka National Park, Split overnight

After breakfast at the hotel, you will continue your way toward Skradin to visit the Krka River National Park.

Skradin is a romantic Mediterranean town with narrow cobbled streets, passages, arches, and stairs and is located at the entrance to Krka National Park. Its history dates back two thousand years, accounting for the notable archaeological sites in the local vicinity. The entire town of Skradin is a protected cultural heritage monument.

Under the current name, Skradin is mentioned already in the tenth century. It is located on the right bank of river Krka and all until recently has been hiding its beauty sheltered in a natural bay. With its beauty, Skradin has been attracting many conquerors in history, being devastated on several occasions. It was ruled by old Liburnians, Romans, Goths, Venetians, and Turks.

Krka National Park lies within Šibenik-Knin County and covers a total area of 109 km² of the loveliest sections of the Krka River, and the lower course of the Čikola River. It springs in the foothills of the Dinara mountain range, 2.5 km northeast of Knin. With its seven waterfalls and a total drop in altitude of 242 m, the Krka is a natural and karst phenomenon.

After the visit you’ll continue your drive to Split and overnight.

DAY 7

Split Historical and Gastro Tour with Green Market

This morning, after breakfast,you will embark on a tour that will tickle your senses.

On this Split food tour, your guide will take you to different food stops so you can taste the most delicious and scrumptious food while you are walking along the 1700 year old imperial palace, getting to know all of Diocletian’s Palace and the surrounding medieval highlights of Split.

You’ll start your food adventure by visiting Green market, a great traditional restaurant ”konoba” known for its culinary specialties “macaroni” – handmade pasta and fresh seafood.

During the next part of the tour you will visit a small shop where you will taste traditional peasant pie “soparnik” and tour concludes in the oldest pastry shop in Split, where you will taste traditional pastries and gelato.

Rest assured, you will enjoy this food & walk culinary tour with the best highlights of Split and its delights.

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and nut free options are absolutely available so dear guests if you have any kind of diet restrictions or food allergies please let us know.

Return to the hotel and enjoy an evening off to explore around the city.

DAY 8

Split to Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Walking Tour

Get an early start this morning to drive along the coast into southern Dalmatia and to the medieval city of Dubrovnik.

On the way, you are free to make a stop in the city of Ston, a historic town that played an important strategic role during the time of the Dubrovnik Republic. Its salt works, dating back to Roman times, were worth a fortune. The 5.5km long defensive wall, which dates from the 14th century provided security in times of danger - it is the world’s second-longest wall after the Great Wall of China.

Upon your arrival in Dubrovnik and once you have settled into your accommodation, you will participate in an organized city tour. The walking tour route takes you around the Old Town via Onofrio's Fountain and up Prijeko Street to the Old Port - the key to Dubrovnik's trading and maritime success. Along the way you will pay a visit to St. Saviour's, the grandiose Franciscan and Dominican church, and see wine-producing vines believed to be more than 100 years old.

Ships from Dubrovnik were renowned throughout the Mediterranean and galleons from the Republic could be found in navies across Europe and beyond. These ships were built and loaded in the legendary Arsenal, which is another stop on the tour. Once in the "Old Port", your guide will relate the intriguing stories of the famous Quarantine and the nearby fortresses of St. Luke and St. John as well as fascinating legends about the Church of St Blaise, the Cathedral, the Rector's Palace, Sponza Palace, and Orlando's Column.

Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 9

Depart Dubrovnik

Depending on when you depart, you may have time to visit one of Dubrovnik's museums, like the Franciscan Monastery and Museum. This large complex houses many treasures, including the world's third oldest pharmacy dating from 1317. Alternatively, for a collection of 15,000 pieces of interesting works, visit the Rector's Palace and Cultural Historical Museum. Wander this well-preserved palace-turned-museum and explore its exhibits, some detailing life in the Republic of Ragusa during medieval times.

The drive to the airport from Dubrovnik takes around 45 minutes with normal traffic.

What's included?

  • 3 overnight in a standard double room in a 5* hotel in Rovinj with breakfast and tourist tax 
  • Sunset Sailing afternoon activity
  • Full-day truffle hunting activity with private transfer and English-speaking guide 
  • Full-day boating activity with English speaking guide 
  • Car rental Day 4 to Day 8
  • Half-day Opatija city guided tour with English speaking guide
  • 1 overnight in a double standard room in a Plitvice Lakes region resort with breakfast, tourist tax and eco tax
  • Entrance fee to Plitvice National Park
  • 1 overnight in a double standard room 5* hotel in Zadar with breakfast and tourist tax
  • Entrance fee to Krka National Park
  • 2 overnights in a 5* hotel in Split with breakfast and tourist tax 
  • Full-day Split tour with English speaking guide and a food tasting 
  • 1 overnight in 4* hotel in Dubrovnik with breakfast and tourist tax 
  • Half-day Dubrovnik walking tour with professional English speaking guide
  • Private transfer to the airport on departure day
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia/Europe
  • Transfer to/from arrival/departure points, and transfers not included in the itinerary - available on request
  • Meals and services other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Gas expenses, highway tolls, parking fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory) 

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on additional bed (on request)
  • For children additional bed available (on request)
  • For single room (on request)  

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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