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11 Day Croatia trip - Looking to stay Dubrovnik & Split?

We are a group of 5 (4 Adults, 2 being upper 70's) and one 5 year old child. Just moved a prior planned trip from Feb 2022 to Aug/early Sep. Only thing we have booked so far is Flying in and out of DBV.
We are not folks that like to cover lots of places for short time, just to say we were there.

Am tentatively thinking about perhaps flying into DBV, then book a driver to bring us to Split, stay perhaps 5 days there and do one or two "Day trips". Then go back to DBV, for the rest of the time and do a day trip or two there. We are leaving for Split right away as I don't want to "rush" back the before we leave. So would rather start out farther and come back where we will fly back out of.

Is that reasonable? Are there places that we should consider instead?
Open to hearing what the community says here. We certainly understand it will be HOT while there.
And while we have been to Europe at least once or more a year for last 10 years or more, never have been to anywhere near Croatia, closest been would be Venice.


Posted by
836 posts

It will be quite hot, but the sea breezes are refreshing. Certainly, it won't be stifling and muggy like Rome or Vienna.

Posted by
13395 posts

You know this is an individual preference thing. I spent about a week in Croatia last August (not too terribly hot). For Dubrovnik it was even my second trip (first out of curiosity about 5 years ago, this time because my daughter wanted to go). I will be honest with you; I really didn't like Split. Bunch of rich drunk kids. Dubrovnik is beautiful but not particularly a living culture (pure tourism now --- but undeniably beautiful). Plitvice Lakes were indeed beautiful but the crowds (even during COVID) were remarkable. But, yes, I enjoyed that day. I guess I enjoyed Zagreb the most ... and okay, Dubrovnik too ... oh and a few islands we hit, but they didn't really use up much time as nice as they were). But the best part of the trip was Bosnia & Herzegovina (Mostar and Sarajevo) and Montenegro (Budva Perast and Ulcinj). BiH and Montenegro were repeat visits (2nd for one and 4th for the other) and I will be going again this year.

But you are about to get slammed with a 100 posts about how wonderful Croatia is; and they are correct too.

Posted by
1244 posts

Hmm.... curious if you researched "open jaw" flight options (arriving DUB and departing Split)?

Suggest staying in DUB after the lengthy travel over the pond before moving up to Split.
Research taking a ferry up to Split as the service is excellent and provides a travel mode shared for centuries (albeit may be more comfortable and quicker today). When in Rome...........
Plan on swimming and bring some inflatables to use in the sea. We brought two, including a huge unicorn, and gifted them to a family upon our departure.
Research available beaches in Split.

We spent a week in Split and found wonderful things to occupy our time and enjoyed the experience.
Definitely recommend renting apartments in order to have more room, kitchen, etc.

You will walk a lot on cobblestones. Stay hydrated and bring light hats to protect the noggin from the sun.
A number of nice island destinations are assessable via ferry as day trips.
Check out this trip report for a focus on island experiences.

Posted by
796 posts

If it's not too late, I recommend buying open-jaw tickets, too, so that you don't have to waste time backtracking. And I agree it would be better to stay in Dubrovnik first rather than push on to Split after a long overseas flight.

We visited Croatia in September 2019, and although it was warm, in the 80's and very summer like, it was comfortable because we were on the water.

We loved both Dubrovnik and Split. We spent 3 nights in Dubrovnik, and it would have been nice to have an extra day. We did hire a private driver while in Dubrovnik to take us to Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor. We visited Budva, Kotor, and Perast (our favorite). Perast is smaller and quieter than Budva and Kotor, and I think prettier, too. Another popular day trip from Dubrovnik is Mostar, but that would be a longer day. My preference would be some day to spend at least one night in Mostar.

I think Split is beautiful with its gorgeous architecture, Diocletian's Palace, and its location right on the water. We spent 4 nights there. We took the ferry for a day from Split to Hvar Town, which is gorgeous! We also visited Trogir one day. I know there are other day trips from Split, such as Sibenik. We didn't see drunk teens as one poster mentioned. Hvar Town has a party reputation but in mid-September it was quiet.

I do recommend visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is beautiful and very unique. I recommend spending one night there. You can visit the upper lakes in the afternoon, stay overnight, and then visit the lower lakes the next morning before the crowds get too bad. Or vice versa, lower lakes first, then upper lakes the next morning.

Posted by
2399 posts

You can definitely be kept busy in these two cities for 11 days. Our last trip we spent 9 days just in Dubrovnik. The two cities will give you a nice contrast, Split is Roman, Dubrovnik is Medieval. Day trips from Dubrovnik could be Mostar (very hilly and uneven cobblestones), Konavale, Cavtat, Kotor (long day). We never traveled there with young children so I don’t know how those day trips would be for them. Lokrum is a nature preserve just a 10-15 minute ferry ride from the local pier, a few steps from the Stradun (Main Street in the city). It is a nice place to walk, they have peacocks roaming around and a few small playgrounds (equipment looks like it’s from the 60’s). You can also swim there and have a lunch in the one cafe. Or, you could bring a nice picnic lunch. Back in the old city At the TI you can check for activities for children, sometimes they have puppet shows. The beach nearby is all pebbles but a short walk from the ploće gate. We like to go early because it does get very hot.
There are some day trips from Split, Krka National Park, Trogir (you can take the bus or a ferry which is always better in my opinion). I don’t like the beach in Split. There is a catamaran from Dubrovnik to Split, it is 4.20 hours. In July it leaves at 7, 4, and 4:30. Check for times and prices.

Posted by
5 posts

quick post. Thanks for so quick replies already. Happy to take them all in. Yes very familiar with open jaw and flight travels globally, but the tickets are already purchased. The deal was it had to be from west coast to DBV, round trip, but a very good price at ~$1600 r/t each, biz class, in a high season. When first planned to go there was no or limited ferry service, so had not thought of that, so thanks for that and other suggestions. if others have ideas, happy to hear them
Thanks again

Posted by
1 posts

My daughter was teaching ESL in Prague when her school year ended in early July, she decided to spend 8 days in Dubrovnik. Many of her students went there for vacations. She asked me, mom, to meet her there. She already booked an Air B&B in Old Town. I highly recommend that. You're in the middle of everything. It was hot but being on the breezy waters were refreshing. We did an sunset dinner cruise on an old pirate ship, plus three separate boat trips in three days. One included lunch on board while we stopped along three different islands. The on-board Somalia looked like a Tommy Hilfiger model. There were @20 people on board. Another afternoon 1:00-6:00, cruise took us blue cave diving and stopping along a pier to have a pizza delivered. There were 10 passengers + the Captain and first mate. And the last was to the island where GoT was filmed. Love dining al fresco; Food and people were marvelous. I highly recommend Dubrovnik. I flew from Chicago to Stockhom to Split to Dubrovnik.

Posted by
29 posts

I will advocate for the ferry that runs between Dubrovnik and Split. Takes the same amount of time as driving. Of course if you want to stop in between go for the driver, but the ferry is smooth, you can walk around, buy a coffee and relax.

Posted by
2 posts

I think Split is fun for a day or two but that's it. Go marvel at Diocletian's Palace and then, well, split. Mostar is a pretty great place too. You also just need one night because it's small but it's worth it. If I had to choose between, say, Split or Sarajevo, I'd go with Sarajevo.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks all for the suggestions. All the feedback and tips were helpful and welcome. We did end up setting up the following
1. Had already had tickets into DBV, setup a car and driver to pickup at airport and drive to Split, 4 nights
2. Hired Driver & van to Mostar, 2 nights
3. Driver & Van from Mostar to DBV, 5 night

Will likely do at least 1 Day trip in DBV and likely 1 day trip in Split. May do one or two short stops and interesting locations between Split/Mostar and Mostar/DBV. Will keep on this forum and hear other ideas or tips. We sure hope this summer will be more back to "normal"!!

Posted by
386 posts

One more vote for a ferry between Dubrovnik and Split, especially if it's hot. The ocean breezes on the top deck are wonderful, and the views into the islands are OK, too. The 5 year old would really like the adventure I think. See above reference for finding options. Krilo worked well for us, but the others are comparable.

Posted by
42 posts

In 2018, we did something we have NEVER done before ... we took a tour. 6 day bike tour from Split to Dubrovnik, starting in Split (2 nights), a day trip to a nearby island Brac, then a ferry trip from Split to Hvar (one night), and then on to Korcula (boat, not ferry) (two nights in Korcula) and then final leg down to Dubrovnik via the Peljesac peninsula. The tour company we used (based in Split) had e-bikes (for a bit extra), as well as road bikes and hybrids. 25-35 miles each day (after the first, shorter "shake down" ride in Split).

There are also many boating-among-the-island possibilities, if biking is more than your diverse group can handle.

One day in Dubrovnik was plenty for us. Korcula was great. Split was also great for a couple of days and there are MANY ferries from there to different islands along the coast. Further north from Split (on the mainland), you could do a day trip to Krka NP ... not as famous as Plitvice Lakes, but a lot closer and also a lovely place to walk along the water and amongst the falls. PLUS, you can take a swim at Krka, unlike Plitvice. Trogir wojuld be a nice stop on the way back to Split ... both very manageable as a one day trip by car from Split. Krka is near Sibenik. All are on the map that RS has at

Posted by
2211 posts

Split has more than just the Palace. There is a fine archeology museum. There are the ruins at Solina just outside Split (we have never gotten there). There are day trips to Trogir available also. There is also a fine sandy beach at Split. I think Split is worth at least 2 nights. As others have noted, there is the hydroplane trip from Dubrovnik which is inexpensive and fun. Also a trip to Krka Park or Plitvice Lakes park from Split is very do-able.

Posted by
2399 posts

We’ve been in Solina and the area is quite large but a bit boring after seeing Diocletian’s Palace. Split also have an excellent ethnographic museum. We were the only ones there this past September. We also took a fun evening cooking class in split.