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Looking for more Croatia Travel Advice: Where to stop on drive from Zadar to Dubrovnik??

I have posted before and received excellent feedback -- so first, Thank You Rick Steve's travel junkies!!!
We are two Best Friend Moms doing a 2-week Croatia Trip with our three collective 20-22 year old daughters. Girls trip!!! We are active and love adventure.

- We are using Delta Miles to fly free, so we land in Zagreb on Sun. May 22nd and depart Split on Sat. June 4th. (This we cannot change).

- Renting a van in Zadar, then using it for our journey for the next 5-6 days to get to Dubrovnik. Then dropping van in Dubrovnik and using passenger ferry for remainder.

Sun 5/22- Tues 5/24: Zagreb – 2 nights
Tues 5/24: Plitvice – Day trip
Tues 5/24- Wed 5/25: Zadar – 1 nights
Wed 5/25- Sun 5/29: Dubrovnik – 4 nights
Sun 5/29- Wed 6/1: Hvar – 3 nights
Wed 6/1 - Sat 6/4: Split – 3 nights

Questions: Where should we should we stop along the way from Zadar to Dubrovnik on Wed. 5/25? We will leave Zadar around 10am and have the day to make our way. Since we have 4 nights in Dbv, we want to see/do something along the way.

- Mostar visit for a few hours (which adds about 2 hours to our drive time)?
- Wineries along the way -- and if so, which ones?
- Sibenik, Makarska, Korkola? -- if so, which one and what should we do there?
- Others we should consider??

Also, we welcome any feedback on our itinerary, things to 'not miss' at our destinations, and any other Travel Tips you may have.
Thanks much!!
Laura and Karla :)

Posted by
2604 posts

You can hike Mt Biokovo in Makarska, and there is rafting at Omis.
I don't know what the border crossings are like, so I'd scope that out. There are some interesting sounding sights in Hercegovina, Blagaj and and Kravice.
I have not done any of those , but I've made note of them for when I get back!

Posted by
1786 posts

You might consider Krka Nat’l Park. This winery was recommended but I didn’t have the opportunity to stop.

I think I would nix Mostar myself, for a visit of a couple of hours, given the extra considerations like potential border crossing times (twice).

Posted by
399 posts

It’s only an hour south of Zadar, but Sibenik is quite a place. Krka National Park is just a few miles outside of Sibenik. If you’re into wine-tasting, the Peljesac Peninsula has the Mikulic Winery where you can sample both their red wines and their tasty sparkling white wine.

Posted by
2458 posts

Šibenik. Just a little confused - drive to Dubrovnik from Zadar is just a few hours. Do you plan on keeping the car while in Dubrovnik because it is impossible to park. Our relatives live there don’t even own a car and they have a driveway. Try and find a garage before you arrive. For the price you would be better off hiring a driver. I can recommend one if you want.

Posted by
2632 posts

I'm wondering if you meant to say that you'll have the car for 5-6 hours for the drive from Zadar to Dubrovnik? That would give you time for a short visit to KRKA: I'd want at least a couple of hours there.

I did that drive in a much longer day, spending a few hours in KRKA and stopping in a few small towns for coffee, lunch and a stroll.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for responses so far!
To clarify: We pickup a car at Zagreb airport. Stay 2 nights; Keep it to drive to Plitvice, then to Zadar, then to Dubrovnik. We like freedom of car to stop/do/see what we want along the way. However, based on previous recommendations from folks, we are dropping the car in Dubrovnik and then, after our 4-night Dubrovnik stay -- we are taking the passenger ferry to Hvar for 3-night stay, then a passenger ferry to Split for our last 3 nights before flying out.

We like the idea of seeing Sibenik and one or two wineries along our way to Dubrovnik. We are still considering to do Peljasik for wineries, but not sure we want to waste an hour on the car ferry. There seems to be ALOT of wineries along the way such as Bibich, Rak, Testament, Krystal Modus, Rizman, etc.

Let us know what you think of our overall plans and any other recommendations! Thank you :)

Posted by
399 posts

The road-trip from Zadar to Dubrovnik can be done in 4 hours over toll roads ( they run less than €10) so, you can easily see Krka, have lunch in Sibenik and then continue to the Peljesac Penininsula. The new Peljeski Most (Peljesac Bridge) opened last year making the drive faster over a 1.5-mile bridge. The Peljesac Peninsula is known for the winemakers in the region. It’s where the precursor to Old Vine Zinfandel grapes originated.

You might want to overnight near the Peljesac Peninsula town of Orebic or, with a designated-driver, continue to Dubrovnik.
Have a great Trip!

Posted by
3794 posts

The Peljesac bridge is not open yet. July 2022 is the expected date.

Posted by
399 posts

I guess it’s now due to open in June- a little too late for our traveling friends.