Croatia self drive holiday

“Tailor made self drive holiday in a country easily navigable by car, including its islands. This itinerary also entices you to get your feet walking. And your toes wet.”


Adriatic Island hopping | Zagreb | Dubrovnik | Trogir | Zadar | Plitvice National Park | Krka National Park | Split | Historic cities

Description of Croatia self drive holiday

Croatia has now regained its place as one of Europe’s favourite locations with a fantastic selection of lake-filled national parks, hillside vineyards, cobbled coastal towns and over a thousand Adriatic islands adding to the appeal of some genuinely friendly folk and a fascinating cultural history.

Croatia fly-drive holidays allow you to discover the country in your own time with a flexible two week itinerary from the capital, Zagreb, to the walled city of Dubrovnik. You can travel in either direction and we can arrange duration, route and flight options* exactly as you’d like them.

* For example, UK travellers may find it more convenient to fly to Pula (3 hrs west of Zagreb) to explore the Istrian Peninsula before rejoining the recommended itinerary two days later at Plitvice Lakes National Park.

All accommodation on this Croatia driving holiday has been hand-picked to show off what the country does best: hospitality; with smaller, more authentic, family-run hotels and guesthouses providing a unique look at the culture and the lifestyles of everyday Croatians.

Driving conditions are excellent with the new highway from the capital to the coast cutting down on travel times but also freeing up space on minor roads so drivers can choose between peaceful scenic routes or speedier alternatives to make the most of time away from home.

This self drive Croatia holiday lets you choose cultural sightseeing as well as exciting activity options before you set off. We recommend avoiding single overnight stays so drivers and travellers can stretch their legs, relax and explore with local timetables, walking trails and ideal picnic spots all to hand.

The documents below are all included on this Croatia fly drive holiday:
- Detailed driving notes
- Sightseeing, activity and cultural options
- Accommodation details
- Parking information
- Ferry schedules and tariffs
- Maps
- Local activity & excursion details

Of course, once you’ve finished your tour of Croatia, the world of former Yugoslavia awaits with Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor and Bosnia & Herzegovina's famous town of Mostar within easy reach if you’ve got the time for further travels. All you have to do is ask.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive at Zagreb airport and private transfer to your city centre hotel for the next two nights. Meals included: breakfast.
Day 2:Your first full day in Croatia allows you to utilise public transport for sightseeing. Suggested optional visits to the northern city of Varazdin or Trakoscan Castle can be done if your hire car is delivered today, if you prefer.
Day 3:Your hire car will be dropped off at your hotel in order for you to make the drive south to Plitvice National Park by way of the central Croatian town of Karlovac. On arrival you'll check into your B&B accommodation for the next two nights.
Day 4:Take your time to explore Plitvice National Park on foot or by taking advantage of the all-inclusive entry fee which includes use of the national park's public transport system. Plitvice is criss-crossed with walking trails and makes for an incredibly scenic spot for outdoor picnics and being at one with the natural world of Croatia. NB. pre-booking your tickets for guaranteed entry slot is recommended.
Day 5:Leave the forest trails of Plitvice behind as you drive to Zadar, on the coast, via a variety of stop off points en-route, including: Velebit National Park, Paklenica National Park and Pag Island. Upon arrival you'll check into your B&B accommodation in Zadar which will be your home for the next two nights.
Day 6:Known for its Venetian and Roman heritage, Zadar is a magnificent city on Croatia's Dalmatian coast and today you'll enjoy a cultural sightseeing tour of the old town or perhaps a chance to explore more of the beautiful surrounding countryside. The coastal village of Nin, Pag Island, and the collection of islands within Kornati National Park, are all highly recommended whilst you're based in Zadar.
Day 7:Today you'll be offered the choice of using the highway or taking a more scenic coastal route as you head towards Split by way of Sibenik or the Krka National Park. Recommended B&B accommodation for the next three nights can be found in Trogir or you can spend two nights in Trogir and one night in Skradin (or Sibenik) so as to make the most of Krka National Park.
Day 8-9:For the next two days you'll be able to relax and explore both Split and Trogir on foot or by means of local public water bus. The nearby city of Salona, with its Roman ruins, is certainly a great alternative option as are zip-wiring and white water rafting activities further along the coast in the Cetina Valley, which is near the harbour town of Omis.
Day 10:After your time spent on the mainland today we recommend you take the car ferry to one of the islands close to Split. Hvar, Brac and Korcula islands are all nearby and provide the perfect location for two nights in B&B accommodation.
Day 11:The Pakleni Islands (off Hvar Town) and the world-famous Zlatini Rat beach, near Bol, both make superb options for relaxing and sightseeing whilst you're located on one of the nearby islands mentioned above.
Day 12:Today we recommend you take the ferry back to the mainland and spend a night in the town of Ston which is situated on the stunning Peljesac Peninsula. Overnight stay in B&B accommodation in Ston.
Day 13:We recommend driving south, along the coast, to Dubrovnik, with Ston Castle, the Bosnian city of Mostar or the island of Mljet making for ideal rest stops along the way. The next two nights will be spent in B&B accommodation in the red roofed coastal city of Dubrovnik.
Day 14:Leave your hire car behind and walk the famous city walls and explore the rich medieval heritage to be found in the old town of Dubrovnik with a great choice of public transport and optional activities and excursions finishing off your two week tour of Croatia in style.
Day 15:More free time in Dubrovnik then a private transfer to Dubrovnik airport for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Our top tip:
Go on day trips to smaller islands and take guided walking tours when you are there. They all have stories galore.
Single supp.
Solo travellers welcome although one person per car leaves very heavy carbon footprint.
Small locally owned hotels.
14 nights in small locally owned hotels, breakfasts, guide book, 11 days air-conditioned car hire, airport transfers, ferry timetables, directions, on call service.
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We have chosen to include places to stay where public transport is more than adequate for sightseeing so that the car is not used with towns or national parks; the use of such a variety of transport enables you to interact more fully with the locals, to practice your language and to minimise your carbon footprint somewhat. By including the opportunity to visit the National Parks on this holiday you choose to contribute to the excellent record of conservation in recent years through the entrance fees.

As a company we employ responsible policies such as recycling paper, ink cartridges, glass and cardboard; we minimise the use of electricity and conducting the vast majority of our correspondence and promotion via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities. We also compost waste in our company garden.

The Impacts of this Trip

Accommodation on this holiday is in, primarily, family run, small hotels. The food in the hotels is primarily sourced locally and a large number of dishes on the menus are home made. We encourage you to engage local guides in places where their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and on the environmental impact of your visit. In Dubrovnik in particular you will see the evidence for and read about the impact of the war on this UNESCO protected location; the cost of rebuilding and repairing the historic centre has been enormous and every contribution made by visitors will help.


58 Reviews of Croatia self drive holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 29 Sep 2019 by

The most memorable part of the holiday was the lovely and friendly hotel in Plitvice right in the countryside and very close to the Park (Etno Garden). Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2019 by

There were a few (memorable moments) but at the top it would have to be the lovely staff at Hotel Korsal, Korcula Island and at the Plitvice Lakes. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2019 by

The most memorable parts of the trip were the visits to Plitvice lakes and Krka national park, both parks were very scenic but busy. Zadar by contrast was quiet and not totally touristy yet! Read full review

Reviewed on 29 May 2019 by

Plivitz and Kirka National Parks were absolutely superb Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2019 by

Croatia is a beautiful country and all parts had their moments Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Oct 2018 by

Croatia is wonderful... the Port of Sucrulaj on Hvar is a beautiful village. The best Port City I have ever visited. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2018 by

Excellent. The operator was exceptional. Our accommodations were the best Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jul 2018 by

It was fabulous....Plitvice was pretty cool. Zagreb was a pleasant surprise, as was Zadar. The staff at the hotels in Zadar, Hvar, and Plitvice deserve a call out for their help, friendliness and service. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Jun 2018 by

The national parks we visited, Plitvice Lakes and Kirk, were excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 May 2018 by

Croatia's natural beauty - its brilliant coastline, azure seas, beautiful lakes... and great roads meant to be driven on. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 May 2018 by

There were many highlights so it's hard to choose just 1. The amphitheatre in Pula was amazing, as was Dubrovnik as a whole and all of the towns, small and large with their narrow streets, beautiful churches, squares and other old buildings were an absolute delight. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2018 by

The most memorable part of the holiday were the National Parks - simply gorgeous Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2018 by

(The holiday was) Excellent! I have gained knowledge about the scenery, culture and the people of Croatia. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Aug 2018 by

The excursions were the most memorable part of the holiday Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2018 by

Traveling up Cetina Valley while staying in Omis. Learning the process of lavender oil production on Hvar Island. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2018 by

Plitvice was very nice Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Oct 2017 by

The most memorable part of our holiday was the time spent at Plitvice. We arrived in torrential rain at c9.00 am, but had come prepared with our ponchos! By mid morning the weather had cleared and the sun was out. This area has to be unique in the world, with all the walk ways running along the numerous waterfalls and water flowing underneath your feet. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2017 by

Difficult to make a choice because the coastline is beautiful and the towns are very interesting but the Plitvice Lakes have the edge and were very memorable even in the rain! We also found Ston surprising - in a good way - particularly walking the walls. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2017 by

Plitvice National Park and walking the walls of Dubrovnik both stand out as super experiences. Both needed early starts but so worth it to get ahead of the crowds and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2017 by

We stayed in 6 cities and travelled through 4 former Yugoslav states. Our favourite city was Split. It is the ideal spot to do island hopping. The most fascinating city was Sarajevo. We were not expecting such a diversity of cultures living side by side. Read full review

Reviewed on 08 Aug 2017 by

All of it was memorable. Great adventure. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2017 by

We had a driving holiday through Croatia - with a couple of days relaxation at the end. The whole holiday was enjoyable, Croatia is a beautiful country. Each part had its own merits, so hard to pinpoint one particular aspect. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 May 2017 by

An excellent holiday much enhanced by the organisation of RT, resulting in a lot achieved in the 2 weeks. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2017 by

Everything was a new experience and the country has fantastic scenery and many historical towns - nothing stood out overall. It was all exceptional! Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2017 by

All bar three days of the holiday were spent in Montenegro, not Croatia. Montenegro is largely about the scenery/outdoor activities - very little in the way of notable buildings/museums/etc. But nonetheless interesting & worthwhile. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Aug 2017 by

The amazing, beautiful scenery round every corner, whether we were driving along the coast road, hiking in a national park, cycling round an island or exploring the towns and cities. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2016 by

Absolutely fantastic - want to return ASAP!!!! Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2016 by

Everything had been arranged perfectly and went smoothly and we really felt like we got a feel for the country. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

Fab, thank you to Andy for all the assistance given to make this a memorable holiday. Well done all. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2016 by

Had an amazing time exploring the islands and mainland. Easy driving. Good food. Lovely people. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2016 by

Excellent. The travel arrangements worked like clockwork. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2016 by

Unspoiled coastal towns with clean beaches and water, friendly and welcoming people, good food and drink and wall-to-wall sunshine. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2016 by

Excellent, especially swimming in the lovely clear sea. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Aug 2016 by

Excellent Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2016 by

Excellent! There were many little touches that made this holiday seem more luxurious than other road trips we have taken. It felt as if the tour operator had personally chosen the best rooms for us. We wouldn't have been able to do that if we'd booked on the hotels ourselves. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2016 by

Really enjoyed it. Great people, lovely country (especially northern Croatia), fascinating architecture and fabulous food. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Jul 2016 by

Beautiful coastline, clear waters, great snorkelling. The hotels were all quite different, but all good. Hotel mediteran in Zadar is not flashy, but it is clean and I think the friendliest hotel we have ever stayed in. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Jul 2016 by

10/10 we loved it thanks !! Read full review

Reviewed on 23 May 2016 by

It was all executed with simple, smooth efficiency which enabled us to enjoy everything to the max, and have a relaxing yet adventurous experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2015 by

Absolutely perfect. Well organized and with no hitches. Car hire was easy and the hotels were very well chosen. We would certainly recommend this to anyone. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2015 by

We have travelled to a lot of the world over the last 30 years and I would put this holiday at the top of them all! Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Aug 2015 by

There were so many highlights - Croatia is such a beautiful country, I genuinely loved every stop on our itinerary. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jul 2015 by

Plitvice Lakes National Park which is simply stunning, but Krka Park is also not to be missed. The drive to Hvar Town on the island of Hvar is similarly stunning. Many beautiful old towns. We liked the smaller towns like Stari Grad as well as magnificent Dubrovnik. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2015 by

Very good. The holiday provider gave a superb personal service and clearly with detailed knowledge of the country. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2015 by

Excellent - great country, great scenery, everyone we met was friendly and very helpful Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Jun 2015 by

A relaxing, interesting and in some ways an educational experience which was great fun and very enjoyable. The good weather also helped! Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2015 by

The Plitvice Lakes exceeded our expectations to a considerable degree. Made all the more impressive by reason of it raining lightly for the two days we were there, which resulted in a lot of flowing water and I adding to the effect. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 May 2015 by

Walking through the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Breath-taking views from the hilltop hotel in Motovun. The pleasure of car driving through the beautiful inland countryside of Slovenia and Croatia on relatively empty but well maintained roads. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2015 by

The visit to Plitvisc lakes and falls were absolutely spectacular...Overall it was a very interesting experience and well worth it. Croatia is a beautiful country with plenty of natural sights. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2014 by

Your company was fantastic. Everything falling into place . Pick up, hotels, car arrangements , the whole works. Will recommend you to all my friends . Well done. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2014 by

9 out of 10 ( rain for a few days cost one point!) Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jul 2014 by

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall? very highly and everything was expertly organised Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2013 by

Excellent. We highly recommend this type of holiday to anyone travelling to Croatia. Driving is easy. Don't hesitate to do it. It is breath taking to drive along the coast. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jun 2013 by

It was truly memorable, and we highly recommend this company to book your trip. You were willing to shorten it for us as we could only be away for 10 days not 14 days. You looked at what we wanted and the sights we wanted to visit. Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2013 by

The most memorable part was walking along Dubrovnik walls & spectacular views. Enjoying Plitvice waterfalls - spent hrs walking every path. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Aug 2013 by

Excellent Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Jul 2012 by

Meeting the locals seeing amazing landscapes was the most memorable part of the holiday. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2012 by

The whole trip down the coast of Croatia (from Zagreb to Dubrovnik) was absolutely beautiful ... all the old Roman ruins and towns. The people were so friendly and helpful and the food was delicious. Read full review

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