About Croatia Self Drive 06 - Classic Croatia
Croatia's "best bits"! Visit the capital city, Dalmatian coast, beautiful islands & some incredible national parks.
Activity code: CRFD06
Duration: 15 days
START - Zagreb / FINISH - Dubrovnik.
Starting in the capital, Zagreb, this fabulous self-drive holiday includes national parks, historic towns, beautiful islands and much more. The itinerary concludes in Dubrovnik but can easily be reversed with the flexible flight schedule now available.
Your holiday begins with a smooth transfer service to your hotel in Zagreb where you have a couple of days to visit the city on foot and using its excellent public transport. Your hire car will be delivered to you and you can head straight out into the countryside in the direction of your first major stop, the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park. Each day's drive is not so far so you have plenty of time to do some sightseeing, walking or take an extended lunch / picnic along the way. Your first sight of the coast comes at the lovely old town of Zadar which also has some innovative new sights up its sleeve. Travelling along the coast you can visit another national park, Krka, which is similar to Plitvice, en route to your next main stop, either Trogir or Split (you can choose either according to your preference as it is easy to travel between on the small ferry across the bay). Time to relax or perhaps take up the offer to do some rafting or the mulit-zip-wire experience in the Cetina Valley.
For the second week of the trip you could give up the car and travel on the fast ferry catamaran service to Dubrovnik via your choice of island(s) but sticking with the self-drive we recommend staying in Hvar Town for a couple of nights and then traversing the island to get the ferry over to the mainland (thereby avoiding backtracking to Split). Once back on the mainland you can stay in Ston and sample oysters and walk the walls or consider travelling inland to Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina prior to arriving in Dubrovnik. Mostar may be a day trip destination for many holidaying in Croatia but its stunning bridge, which was lovingly reconstructed after the war in the 1990s, and the old town's atmosphere is well worth the overnight stay.
If you have a few extra days you may wish to consider a few days in Montenegro which can be tailored to your preference between the beach resort of Budva with its tranquil old town and Kotor with its impressive walls, historic buildings and challenging walk up the "staircase" to the fortress high above.
We feel that the best finale to this holiday is a few nights in Dubrovnik where you can relax, enjoy some activities and sightseeing without your car as the local buses and cable car offer an excellent service.
** Designed as a linear route so you can reverse the direction if you wish.
Accommodation: the hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in these fascinating countries (in the list below we have included our main recommendations together with suggestions for "boutique" hotels and deluxe options, please do not hesitate to request alternative hotels).
Transport: To take the stress out of arriving and departing we offer a private airport (or port) transfer service, we can then deliver and collect your hire car from your hotel. All our vehicles have a/c and we provide driving directions and parking information for all accommodation. The new highways linking Zagreb, Split, Pula and Dubrovnik will cut down journey times when you wish to get from A to B quickly but this also means that the other roads will be quieter and a pleasant alternative for sightseeing and travelling at a gentler pace. (NB. tolls apply on the highways).
Extra Information: all our holidays have a recommended route with suggestions for sightseeing and we include the most up-to-date ferry schedules and tariffs; we are also able to book activities and specialist sightseeing in a number of locations - such as cycling, sea kayaking, wine-tasting, etc.
NB: Flights available with a range of airlines, from various UK airports. All holidays which include flights booked through us include ATOL cover.
Click on the location to view our whole selection.
Arrive in Zagreb; private transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 - Local sightseeing on foot and by public transport.
Deliver hire car to your hotel; drive south via Karlovac and Rastoke on a scenic route to Plitvice National Park.
A full day to explore National Park trails and scenery including parks electric boats and traditional restaurants.
Drive south towards the Dalmatian coast on a choice of routes to beautiful Zadar; optional detour along the way to Paklenica National Park. If you wish to devote the whole day an enchanting alternative route would be via Otocac and Senj / Velebit National Park, even Rab and Pag Islands.
Relax in Zadar and/or visit the local area, e.g. Pag Island, village of Nin, Paklenica National Park
Onward drive along coast road to Split via Sibenik and/or visit to Krka National Park.
Relax and explore historic cities of Split and Trogir plus Solana Roman city. It is possible to visit Split using local ferry.
** Alternative Days 8/9 - drive short distance south along coast to Omis for one night and spend day 9 rafting and/or doing the multi zip-wire experience in the stunning Cetina Valley.
Take car ferry from Split to one of the islands, such as Hvar or Brac or Korcula.
Relax and explore your chosen island.
Drive across island to east coast and take short ferry to mainland; drive along coast road including the "Bosnia Corridor" to Mali Ston for one night.
* We recommend that you include a night here, particulalry if you have been to Brac or Hvar, prior to travelling on to Dubrovnik; this will allow you time to also visit Korcula or Mostar.
** Alternative Day 12 - head inland once back on mainland and visit Mostar with its famous old bridge and exciting atmosphere - stay 1 night in old town.
If you decided to stay in Mali Ston then you can visit the castle walls, travel up the Peljesac Peninsula to Orebic & Korcula or head inland to Mostar to visit the World-famous bridge. Drop off car in Dubrovnik (we will collect it from your hotel).
Day 14 - relax and enjoy Dubrovnik on foot, by bus or cable car; optional excursions available.
Private transfer to Dubrovnik airport.
Prices shown are 'per person' in UK Pounds and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. A single supplement needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.
Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, room availability as well as time of travel. Please take this into consideration when comparing prices; we always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money.
NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.
Fully inclusive fly drive; prices include airport transfers, car hire (group A), small hotel accommodation on BB basis, all taxes, detailed itinerary and 24hr emergency customer support in Croatia. Based upon 2 persons travelling.
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All prices are per person
All prices are per person
"All accommodation was good - a good mixture of character, location and comfort."
K Gibbes, Australia, Sept 2019
"We stayed in 7 different locations and the time spent in each was very well judged. The best hotel we stayed in was the Villa Nora in Hvar. The staff could not have been more helpful and welcoming, the breakfast was wonderful and the hotel room fantastic. Zagreb - The murals are worth looking out for, the kids really enjoyed finding them. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a must and we loved the Croatian Museum of Native Art. Dolac Market is a good place to buy snacks for the car, don't miss the underground part. Mirogoj is worth the bus trip and very peaceful. Plitvice - Fantastic, so beautiful lots of different routes, Zadar - If you want to drive into town in the evening you really need to be parked by 5 pm after this time it becomes a bit of a bun fight, there are cars everywhere. It seemed a bit of a shame to end the holiday at the Hotel Perla, which is very basic and noisy. Dubrovnik is fantastic and the bus ride from the hotel is quick and easy, but, on reflection we would have paid more for the last 2 nights to round off the experience."
B Harris, UK, July, 2019
"Yes we had a wonderful time and the Vamoos info was great. The itinerary was fabulous giving us a good sample of Croatian country, culture and history. The whole trip and the accommodation and service was good overall. It was exceptional at Hotel Degenija. Airport transfers and rental car were very good."
M Larsen, June, 2019
"All arrangements worked out beautifully as did the downloaded maps. Everything worked out so well and we enjoyed every moment of this well planned itinerary. All people we dealt with - at the hotels, meeting us at airport and taking us to the airport - were friendly, helpful and kind. The planning of this trip for us was excellent. Thank you, Andy."
M Hick, Canada, Oct 2018
" Well, we are safely home from Croatia. Our flight was a little late in arriving in Toronto then the pilot missed the runway first time and had to go around again plus the Toronto Airport was very crowded as they are just starting to use electronic customs check in. It was a bit chaotic. We are very, very pleased with the program you set up for us. First, you were easily available for any questions we had in anticipation of the trip and you responded quickly. That started us off with lots of confidence in your planning and recommendations. We are also impressed that you accurately understood the type of travel we like to do. The amount of travel time each day was not overly taxing. Staying at one place for 2 or 3 nights was much more relaxing and satisfying. This gave us free time to explore the area as we wished... The accommodations without exception were excellent choices. In addition they had some exciting extras, Motovun on top of the mountain, Ston along the harbour and next to the wall, and Villas Mline 20 meters from the sea with large slider doors facing it were highlights especially watching the storm on the Adriatic for the 2 days we were there. Omis was also a favourite. Vamoos was very helpful. We did not end up using a smart phone or a GPS. We found the written directions from Vamoos to be based on street names and after the first day realized that Croatians used the destination city as the standard rather than street names. We bought a highway map, identified the city or town we were heading toward and followed the well marked signs along the road. Driving in Croatia was fun, although some of the roadways were a little serpentine [quite]! We didn’t hesitate to take some of the challenging back roads and enjoyed them and the towns and villages along the way very much. Overall, we would not hesitate to use your services in the future and you may use our recommendation to anyone else who asks. "
C & K Drudge, Canada, Oct 2018
"My wife and I want to thank you for your assistance in planning this trip. It was a wonderful trip. Croatia is a beautiful place, combining the natural beauty of the Adriatic with the beautiful stone towns of ancient Croatia. The natural beauty, historic setting and comfortable roadways make this an ideal place to vacation....you were very helpful in designing the trip and answering my questions. We will definitely recommend you to our friends travelling in Europe."
M Tilles, USA, Sept 2018
"Just wanted to send a quick personal email to say thank you for all your help in arranging our Croatia holiday! We had a great time and it was exactly what we were after at a price we were comfortable with, so perfect."
H & C Leat, UK, Aug 2018
"We had excellent time in Croatia. Services provided by Rediscover the World & Amathus Travel were excellent and we will highly recommend both companies to our friends in Canada and England planning to visit Croatia."
S Minhas, Canada, Aug 2018
"Excellent holiday and choice of hotels and towns/cities, especially given that we booked very late. Great choice of towns, islands and good pacing of travel i.e. no more than 2 hrs driving per day. Great job Andy!"
A Cope, UK, July 2018
"We especially enjoyed having the notes giving us alternative routes to use and also suggested stops. The app. Vamoos was great ensuring we did not get lost. Our correspondence with Andy and Dawn could not have been better. They always replied promptly to our emails and fitted the trip into our timetable."
E & S Woods, New Zealand, July 2018