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Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Croatia: Enchanted Cities & Waterfalls

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,020 pp incl. flights


Short description

Explore the UNESCO protected Plitvice Lakes National Park


  • Discover the 'cosmopolitan and edgy' Zagreb
  • Explore Zadar and its listen to its famous organ played by the sea
  • Make stops in Sibenik and Trogir enroute to Split
  • Make side trips to Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Explore Kotor and Perast in Montenegro from your Dubrovnik base

In Brief

  • 1 Night Zagreb
  • 1 Night Plitvice
  • 1 Night Zadar
  • 2 Nights Split
  • 3 Nights Dubrovnik


Recommended for:
History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive

There's more to Croatia than just the beaches and islands of the Dalmatian coast, as this fascinating five-day self-drive so neatly demonstrates. Starting in Zagreb you'll head to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, home to some of Croatia's most dramatic landscapes. From there you'll head south, stopping at the ancient towns and cities of Zadar, Sibenik, Trogir and Split before reaching Dubrovnik.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Begin your holiday with included airport lounge access before your flight to Zagreb where you'll collect your hire car and drive to your chosen hotel

Time to enjoy Zagreb. For a small capital city, Zagreb has more parks than you can imagine and a vibrant café society. The sights are all within walking distance. The pretty Upper Town is an area of cobbled streets, courtyard restaurants, bars, art galleries and the home of Sabor, the Croatian Parliament. The Lower Town is the main shopping and museum district as well as the Dolac market where produce from the width and breadth of Croatia is on display. The tram system is cheap and efficient and will get you to every corner of the city.

Stay: Hotel Laguna (Standard) / Hotel International (Superior) / Sheraton Zagreb (Deluxe)

Day 2
Plitvice Lakes National Park

After breakfast, leave Zagreb and head inland to the spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia's best-known national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the mountainous karst region of central Croatia, Plitvice boasts some truly stunning scenery with 16 lakes, interconnected by a series of frothy cascades and subterranean river systems, nestled in between the forests and mountains that dominate the landscape. Plitvice is home to an incredible array of flaura and fauna with up to 157 bird species known to inhabit the region along with lynx, wolves, polecats and brown bears. Spend the afternoon exploring the national park before heading to your accommodation. In the evening, why not take advantage of Hotel Jezero's spa? Or, if you fancy a swim in more natural surrounds, take a drive just a few kilometres north to Korana for a cooling dip in the crystal clear river.

Stay: Hotel Jezero, Plitvice (Standard, Superior and Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 3
Plitvice - Zadar

This morning, head south down the Dalmatian Coast to Zadar, whose traffic-free old town has a wonderful collection of old Roman ruins, marble streets and medieval churches. It's not all ancient history though. Modern attractions include one of Dalmatia's best markets and the unusual Sea Organ, a system of pipes carved into marble steps that lead into the sea, which whistle gentle harmonies as the sea pushes air through the pipes.

Stay: Hotel Porto (Standard) / Hotel Kolovare (Superior and Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 4-5
Zadar - Split

Continue along the coast to tiny towns of Sibenik and Trogir, which brims with Renaissance and Romanesque architecture and has one of the loveliest cathedrals on the Croatian coast. Then continue to Split, whose star attraction, Diocletian's Palace, is a vast open-air museum and one of the most imposing Roman ruins in existence.

Enjoy Split, the second largest city in Croatia, explore 1700 years old of history as you explore hidden alleys, the worlds oldest cathedral, and even the street where the last Roman Emperor Diocletian was killed.

We recommend embarking by ferry to Brac Island or Hvar and explore one of these magnificent islands

Stay: Hotel Slavija (Standard) / DiocletianHotel Jupiter (Superior) / Hotel Atrium (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 6-8
Split - Dubrovnik

Leave Split towards the south of Croatian coast passing the Makarska Riviera, you could take a short side trip into Bosnia and Herzigovina with its town Mostar and famous old bridge.

When it comes to the 'pearl of the Adriatic', as Byron called Dubrovnik, it's hard to imagine anyone becoming inured to the city's marble streets and melange of cafes, museums, churches and Baroque buildings. Be sure to walk the old city walls, which offer wonderful views of the shimmering Adriatic. Or perhaps take a boat trip to the pristine Elaphiti Islands, whose turquoise waters offer excellent swimming and snorkelling.

We suggest to take cable car to Srdj Hill and enjoy stunning view of the city or visit Montenegro - drive along Adriatic coast and explore the scenic Kotor Bay. The Fjord of Kotor that goes deep inland, with high cliffs and mountains lies close to the border of Croatia. Stop in Perast for visit the island of Gospa aod Skrpjela. Continue to Kotor for sightseeing this small city enriched with maritime tradition before returning to Dubrovnik

Stay: Hotel Astoria (Standard) / Grand Hotel Park (Superior) / Hotel Rixos Libertas (Deluxe)

Day 9

After a final breakfast and maybe a quick coffee in one of Zagreb's buzzing cafes, return your hire car to Zagreb airport in time for your onward flight.

Blog: Croatia - a traveller's guide

Meals: B



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

9-day tailor-made self-drive
from £1,020 pp incl. flights

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