How to Spend 1 Week in Dalmatia
Home to glass-clear waters, extraordinary islands, towering mountains, and sun-drenched scenery, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is one of Europe’s loveliest beach destinations. Big cities such as Split and Dubrovnik serve up culture, while scattered islets and hidden coves bring beautiful tranquility. Here’s how to plan the perfect 1-week trip.
Day 1: Zadar
Begin your Croatian explorations in northern Dalmatia, and jet into the coastal city of Zadar: Its mix of Roman ruins, buzzing cafés, and seaside splendor makes it the perfect introduction to the region. Embark on a walking tour to discover its UNESCO-listed historical center, and spy highlights including Zadar Cathedral and the Roman forum. Then head to the waterfront to take in the Sea Organ, which uses the Adriatic’s waves to make music, and the Sun Salutation, a solar-powered installation that produces an after-dark light show. Finish off your day with a relaxing sunset sailing trip.
Days 2–3: Split and Trogir
The largest city in the region, and the second-largest in Croatia after the capital of Zagreb, seaside Split is built around Diocletian’s Palace. Today, the palace walls house bell towers, seafood markets, and lively crowds, plus Game of Thrones filming locations. Dedicate your day to a cultural immersion, followed up with a trip to Marjan Park for panoramic city views. On your second day in the region, venture to the petite city of Trogir, located on an island just off the coast; its medieval center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 4: Croatian Islands
Croatia’s coastline comprises over 1,000 islands, and Split offers the perfect jumping-off point for a day of island-hopping. Many full-day sailing tours include stops at the region’s most coveted destinations, including the Blue Cave, Vis Island (home to the top-rated Stiniva Beach), Hvar, Budikovac Island, and the unspoiled Pakleni Islands.
Day 5: Makarska
For a passport to some of Dalmatia’s finest scenery—and a chance to bypass the crowds—the Makarska Riviera is unmissable. Located just a quick trip down the coast from Split, the city’s beautiful coastline is complemented by Mt. Biokovo: one of the highest peaks in the region. Hike up the mountain for views overlooking the city, sea, and islands beyond, and wind down the day with time on the beach, a kayaking trip, or a meal on the waterfront promenade.
Days 6–7: Dubrovnik
Known as “the Pearl of the Adriatic,” Dubrovnik—located on the southern edge of the Dalmatian Coast—is one of Croatia’s most popular vacation destinations (thanks in part to Game of Thrones, which used the city as its location for King’s Landing). On your first day in town, orient yourself on a walking tour, strolling along the city’s well-preserved fortification walls and admiring its famously beautiful Old Town. On the final day of your trip, indulge in more Adriatic scenery on the idyllic island of Lokrum, where you can go sea kayaking or ascend by cable car to the top of Srđ hill for sunset views of the city.