Croatia Self Drive 08 - The Grand Tour!

Zagreb to Split via Slovenia

About Croatia Self Drive 08 - The Grand Tour!


A full tour of Croatia's & Slovenia's "best bits" including both capitals, stunning coastline, incredible caves, islands, lakes, historic towns & national parks of world-renown.

Activity code: CRFD08

Duration: 18 Days

START - Zagreb / FINISH - Split

This fly drive itinerary is our recommended route if you were looking to visit both Croatia and Slovenia. Starting in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, the route includes national parks, historic towns, beautiful islands and much more. The itinerary concludes in Split but can easily be extended to Dubrovnik or done in reverse with the flexible flight schedule now available.

The 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 stop, the city of Varazdin, one of the oldest in Croatia and located on the southern bank of the River Drava. In the 18th Century Varazdin became Croatia's capital for a time but a disastrous fire (1776) ended this period of glory and the government returned to Zagreb. Today, the town is definitely an easy-going kind of place, thanks to its large student population and makes a good day trip from Zagreb or a relaxing place to stay in its own right.

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. The middle section of this holiday is in Slovenia, including a couple of nights in its fabulous and compact capital, Ljubljana, and the incredible Lake Bled and Triglav National Park which offers so much in the way of outdoor activities. On the way back to Croatia we recommend you stop off to visit the caves at Postojna, surely one of the best in Europe. On arrival in Istria your main base for this part of the holiday is likely to be Rovinj; from here there is so much to visit, including Porec, the Brijuni Islands and the lovely hill town of Motovun.

Before driving inland to the main national park of your trip, Plitvice Lakes, we recommend an overnight in the seaside town of Opatija or on nearby Krk Island (accessible by spectacular bridge). After a full day to explore Plitvice National Park it is time to return to the coast at the lovely old town of Zadar which also has some innovative new sights up its sleeve. Travelling along the coast road or highway 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 and in the main season it is easy to travel between on the local 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.

If you have a few extra days or wish to cut down the locations along the way you may wish to consider a few days on the islands such as Hvar and Korcula.

Why Book with Rediscover the World ?

We are able to tailor-make this holiday to suit your requirements for any or all of the following - departure airport, budget, hotel type/size, overall duration, pre-booked activities, etc.

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 transfer service; we can deliver and collect your hire car from your hotel at no extra cost. All our vehicles have a/c and come with a full tank of fuel, 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, particularly in Dubrovnik - such as cycling, sea kayaking, wine-tasting, etc.

What's included in your Fly-Drive holiday?

  • Private round trip airport transfers.
  • 17 nts on BB at a choice of small hotels.
  • 13 days fully-inclusive car hire
  • Fully detailed itinerary with ferry schedules, driving directions and sighteeing ideas
  • All taxes, full 24hr representative services.

NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.

Our recommended hotel choices for this holiday:

  • Zagreb: - Hotel Villa Tina, Hotel Astoria, Hotel Esplanade
  • Varazdin: - Hotel Istra, Hotel Trakoscan
  • Ljubljana: - City Hotel, Antiq Hotel
  • Lake Bled: - Pension Mayer, Hotel Villa Preseren, Hotel Golf
  • Rovinj: - Hotel Villa Lili, Hotel Tuttoretto, Hotel Eden
  • Opatija: - Hotel Galeb, Villa Ariston, Hotel Bristol
  • Plitvice: - Hotel Miric Inn, Hotel Degenija
  • Zadar - Hotel Mediteran, Hotel Bastion
  • Split: - Hotel Peristil, Hotel Luxe, Le Meridien Lav
  • Trogir: - Hotel Concordia, Hotel Monika, Trogir Palace Hotel

Click on the location to view our whole selection.

Contact us now to book this recommended Holiday for any date.


  • Day 1: Arrival into Zagreb

    Arrive into Zagreb; private transfer to hotel.

    • Overnight in Zagreb.

  • Day 2: Zagreb

    Local sightseeing - we recommend using public transport.

    • Overnight in Zagreb.

  • Day 3: Zagreb - Varazdin

    Deliver hire car to your hotel and drive short distance to the north to Varazdin; visit castle.

    • Overnight in Varazdin.

  • Day 4: Varazdin - Ljubljana

    Head west into Slovenija along scenic route and/or main highway to Lubljana.

    • Overnight at hotel in old city centre.

  • Day 5: Ljubljana - Lake Bled

    Sightseeing in Ljubljana in morning, then drive short distance to Lake Bled.

    • Overnight in hotel on shores of Lake Bled.

  • Day 6: Lake Bled

    Free day to explore Lake Bled area.

    • Overnight in hotel on shores of Lake Bled.

  • Day 7: Lake Bled - Postonja - Rovinj

    Drive south back into Croatia; suggest a visit to the spectacular caves at Postonja.

    • Overnight in Rovinj or Motovun.

  • Day 8: Istrian Peninsula

    Local sightseeing, e.g. Pula, Porec, Brijuni Islands.

    • Overnight in Rovinj or Motovun.

  • Day 9: Rovinj - Pazin - Opatija / Krk Island

    Drive through centre of Istria via Pazin to east coast, stay in Opatija. An alternative would be to stay on Krk Island, e.g. Malinska.

    • Overnight in Opatija or Krk Island.

  • Day 10: Opatija - Rijeka - Plitvice

    Continue down coast and then inland to Plitvice National Park.

    • Overnight in small hotel near Plitvice National Park.

  • Day 11: Plitvice National Park

    Full day to explore National Park trails and scenery.

    • Overnight in small hotel near Plitvice National Park.

  • Day 12: Plitvice - Zadar

    Drive down to Dalmatian coast via one of a choice of interesting routes (Otocac & Senj; Paklenica; Pag Island...) and finish the day in the historic town of Zadar.

    • Overnight in Zadar.

  • Day 13: Zadar

    Relax in Zadar, local sightseeing, e.g. Pag Island, Paklenica National Park.

    • Overnight in Zadar.

  • Day 14: Zadar - Sibenik - Split - Adriatic Islands

    Onward drive to Split via Sibenik (possibly Krka National Park), then take car ferry to one of the nearby islands, such as Hvar or Brac.

    • Overnight in Hvar Town or in Bol on Brac Island.

  • Day 15: Adriatic Islands - Makarska - Split / Trogir

    Morning sightseeing in your chosen town/resort and then drive across island for short ferry crossing to mainland. Drive back up the coast road (or highway if later in day) to Split or Trogir.

    • Overnight in Split or Trogir.

  • Days 16 & 17: Split / Trogir

    Relax and explore historic cities of Split and Trogir and Roman site at Solana.

    • Overnight in Split or Trogir.

  • Day 18: Departure from Split

    Private transfer to Split airport for flight home.

  • Prices and Departure Dates

    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.


Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998