Two weeks in Croatia? All we can say is – lucky you! You’re unlikely to want to spend all of that time in one place unless you’re a true sun-worshipper and fancy spending a considerable amount of time on the beach and in the sea.
More likely, you could split your time by spending half your holiday on the beach and the other half doing some travelling around the country or the local area you are in, which is what we’d recommend doing.
A two-week holiday means you have the relative luxury of seeing where your travels take you. To start off the planning stage of your holiday, why not book your flights into one city (e.g. Zadar or Split) and out of another (e.g. Dubrovnik) – and then plan your journey between the two? Or could you even cover more ground – flying to Pula, the most northern airport on the Croatian coast, or to capital city Zagreb and then travelling on.
For a tailor-made itinerary, Explorer Club offers a private Grand Tour of Croatia that will allow you to explore all the best the country has to offer, from capital city Zagreb to the coast – and all the important culinary destinations in between. Uncover Zagreb, Istria and the Dalmatian coast where you will enjoy island hopping on a gulet sailboat. Experience truly unique Croatian adventures, from city sightseeing to truffle hunting, wine tasting to national parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites to Michelin-starred restaurants; you’ll be hard-pressed to find another tour as exceptional as this one!
We would suggest being as flexible as possible – as you’ll travel through the country, you can decide there and then how long you’ll want to spend in each place. You may be in – say – Zadar and are more taken with it that you thought you’d be, so want to extend your stay there a bit. On the other hand, you may find other towns not what you thought they’d be, so want to move on as quickly as possible. (We’re not going to give any actual examples for this one…)
If you’re travelling outside of peak season (July & August), it’s very unlikely that you will have any problems finding accommodation on the spot. You may encounter people offering “Rooms/Sobe/Zimmer” at ports and bus stations – you can take a look at the room in question before accepting the price. If you’re travelling by car, you’ll also see plenty of guesthouses offering rooms (or, more specifically, vacancies) which is another good way of finding some accommodation if you don’t have anything booked. Alternatively, visit the local tourist office of the place you are in and they will be able to help you find accommodation – and this is a good thing to keep in mind if you are ever finding it difficult to secure a place to stay somewhere.
As you travel through the country (providing you have Internet access or are able to pop into Internet cafes) you could also book ahead using websites such as Airbnb or Booking.com which offers a good selection of rooms and apartments, as well as hotels.
Try and pre-book your onward bus tickets the day before, if you can (particularly in you’re travelling in high season) so you’re guaranteed a space on the bus. Some buses in summer can get rather crowded. It isn’t always possible to pre-book tickets, especially at smaller towns, but ask at the bus station and see what they say.
Two Weeks in Croatia – Where to Go?
In two words: the coast! In all seriousness, two weeks is an excellent amount of time to explore the coastline of Croatia. You may either like to spend most of your time in Dalmatia, travelling between the mainland and its islands. Two weeks here will give you a really good feel of the area, and the numerous islands, resorts, towns and cities will mean you won’t see too much of the same and get bored.
For a slightly more stretched out holiday, you could also combine visiting Dalmatia with time spent further north, such as in Istria or Kvarner, or in Zagreb. If you do want to include Zagreb in your trip, do try and stop off at Plitvice Lakes National Park either on your way to or from the coast.
Two Weeks in Croatia – When to Go?
As we’ve mentioned, July and August are absolute peak season, so sometime outside of these months would be great, if possible. June can also be quite busy as the season (and weather!) starts hotting up. Our recommendation would be September when the summer crowds have gone home, but almost all amenities are still up and running (and ferries/catamarans are still operating to summer schedules). The weather will still be warm/hot and sunny, and the sea will be still be pleasantly warm!
May and (early) October should also be considered – the weather will be pleasant (although perhaps not quite warm enough for sea swimming!). However, in these months some amenities may not be open/will start closing.
Two Weeks in Croatia – Itineraries
These itineraries can obviously be easily re-jigged if you’d like to spend more time in one bit of the country!
Obviously, these itineraries can be done either way. Personally, we always think it’s nice to start off inland (Zagreb) and head to the coast, if the itinerary does include a portion of the Croatian interior. But you may find it easier (or better, cost wise) to travel in the other direction.
Two Weeks in Croatia: Zagreb to Dubrovnik (or reverse)
Taking in Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, Split, a Dalmatian island and Dubrovnik.
- Day 1 – Fly into Zagreb, spend a nice day/evening strolling around the centre of the city (main square, cathedral, Ilica). (Stay 1 night)
- Day 2 – Bus down to the Plitvice Lakes, stay local to the park. Explore the park on your full day here, or on both days if time allows. (Or use the additional time to explore other sights in the local area). (2 nights)
- Day 3 – Plitvice Lakes
- Day 4 – Bus down the Zadar. Explore the town and its lovely sights, get in some beach time, and consider a day trip to the Kornati islands or other local islands (e.g. Dugi Otok). (2 nights)
- Day 5 – Zadar
- Day 6 – Bus down to Split. Again, explore the city and take in its culture, enjoy some cocktails and good food, and more beach time! Consider day trips to Trogir and to Krka National Park. (3 nights)
- Day 7 – Split
- Day 8 – Split
- Day 9 – Catamaran towards Dubrovnik – stop off at one of the islands along the way for an island experience! Consider Hvar Town if you like to party, Bol (on Brac) for more beach time and water sports, stylish Korcula Town or the lush tranquility of Mljet. (2 nights)
- Day 10 – Island time!
- Day 11 – Head to Dubrovnik for the end of your trip, enjoying this beautiful city and its sights, some good food and wine. (3 nights)
- Day 12 – Dubrovnik
- Day 13 – Dubrovnik
- Day 14 – Dubrovnik and fly home!
Two Weeks in Croatia: Dalmatia – Zadar (or Split) to Dubrovnik (or reverse)
Includes Zadar, Split, Vis, Hvar Town, Dubrovnik. You could also skip Zadar and fly into Split and then spend more time on the islands.
- Day 1 – Fly into Zadar. Spend a few days relaxing on the local beaches, taking in the sights, and making a few local day trips (such as the Kornati islands, or perhaps the Plitvice Lakes). (3 nights
- Day 2 – Zadar
- Day 3 – Zadar
- Day 4 – Bus down to Split. Spend a couple of nights exploring the city; a trip out to Trogir could also be do-able!
- Day 5 – Split
- Day 6 – Catamaran or ferry out to Vis island. This island is the furthermost island out from the mainland, so it’s a little tricky to get to, but certainly do-able in this itinerary. You will be rewarded with a very chilled out time! Simply spend some time relaxing and taking in island highlights; you could consider an organised excursion out to the Blue Cave. (4 nights)
- Day 7 – Vis
- Day 8 – Vis
- Day 9 – Vis
- Day 10 – Ferry/catamaran back to Split. Take another catamaran on to Hvar island for a couple of days of stylish beach time and cocktails! (2 nights)
- Day 11 – Hvar Town
- Day 12 – Catamaran on to Dubrovnik. Sightseeing!
- Day 13 – Dubrovnik
- Day 14 – Dubrovnik and return home!
Two Weeks in Croatia: Pula to Split (or reverse)
- Day 1 – Fly into Pula. Base yourself there or in another nearby town (e.g. lovely Rovinj). Spend some time exploring Istria and indulging in its gastronomy and wines! (4 nights)
- Day 2 – Istria
- Day 3 – Istria
- Day 4 – Istria
- Day 5 – Bus on to Opatija. Enjoy this ‘grand dame’ of Croatia…it’s more like the French Riviera than the Croatian Adriatic! (2 nights)
- Day 6 – Opatija
- Day 7 – Bus (or even taxi) on to Rijeka (this will involve quite an early start, but Opatija and Rijeka are very close to each other!). Take the G&V Line Iadera catamaran down towards Zadar and stop off at one of the islands along the way – Krk, Rab or Novalja on Pag (the latter is great if you fancy some clubbing!). (3 nights)
- Day 8 – one of the above islands
- Day 9 – one of the above islands
- Day 10 – catamaran on to Zadar. Spend a couple of days here, enjoying the sights. (2 nights)
- Day 11 – Zadar
- Day 12 – Bus down to Split. Spend the remainder of your trip here, exploring the city and making trips to (some of) Trogir, Krka National Park, one of the islands and other excursions.
- Day 13 – Split
- Day 14 – Split and home!
Two Weeks in Croatia: Zagreb to Pula (or reverse)
Including Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Zadar, Losinj and Pula/Istria.
- Day 1 – Fly into Zagreb, explore the city and its sights, enjoy its good restaurants and bars. (Stay 2 nights)
- Day 2 – Zagreb
- Day 3 – Bus down to the Plitvice Lakes, stay local to the park. Explore the park on your full day here, or on both days if time allows. (Or use the additional time to explore other sights in the local area). (2 nights)
- Day 4 – Plitvice Lakes
- Day 5 – Bus down the Zadar. Explore the town and its lovely sights, get in some beach time, and consider a day trip to the Kornati islands or other local islands (e.g. Dugi Otok), as well as Krka National Park or Sibenik. (3 nights)
- Day 6 – Zadar
- Day 7 – Zadar
- Day 8 – Take a catamaran (note below) up towards Pula. Stop off on Losinj to experience a bit of island life off the more northern Croatian coast. (2 nights)
- Day 9 – Losinj
- Day 10 – Continue with the same catamaran to Pula. Base yourself here for the remainder of your trip. As well as exploring Pula, you could visit lovely Rovinj, the Brijuni islands, Cape Kamenjak and parts of the Istrian interior. (4 nights)
- Day 11 – Pula/Istria
- Day 12 – Pula/Istria
- Day 13 – Pula/Istria
- Day 14 – Pula/Istria and fly home!
Note: this catamaran does not run on Tuesdays or Thursdays in summer – keep that in mind when planning your trip!
These itineraries are of course merely suggestions – you could include other towns/cities and islands than those suggested above!