Croatia itinerary: a 9-day itinerary for Dalmatia

This post is written by Noelia, marketing and event manager originally from Madrid, but now living the dream in London. Noelia is curious about life, trends and consumer behavior. She loves to socialize and travel, as well as to learn from each experience. Back in June, as she was planning her upcoming Croatian trip, Noelia reached out to us with few questions. Now that she has actually experienced Croatia for herself on her 9 days tour of Dalmatia, who better to share with us 9 days Croatia itinerary  than Noelia.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Croatia Itineraries
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Croatia Itineraries

Noelia’s Croatia itinerary for visiting Dalmatia

So how much can you actually see during a nine day vacation in Croatia? A lot. Here are all the places that we’ve visited: Split, Podgora, Drasnice, Igrane, Drvenik, Zaostrog, Ploce, Bacina Lakes, Dubrovnik, Zaton, Ston, Mali Ston, Hvar Island (Sucuraj, and Stari Grad), Krka National Park and Waterfalls (Sibenik), Zadar, Vis Island (Vis old town, Stiniva, and Komiza), Trogir and Ciovo. And beside all those places on our Croatia itinerary, we’ve also made it to Mostar, Kravice Waterfalls and Počitelj in the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I don’t know if that sounds a lot or not really, but we are really happy about what we saw and looking forward to seeing more.

An awesome trip, with an incredible landscape, sea and nature, a medieval towns and uncrowded areas.

Croatia Itinerary: suggested itinerary for 9 days in Dalmatia

Once, we decided to travel to Croatia, we started the exciting and challenging trip planning. Yes… I said challenging… as Frank told me when I have suggested the number of places I was planning to visit in 9 days.

However, we made it!

Day 1 | Arrival to Split and drive to Podgora

We landed into Split Airport around 7 pm. We went to pick up the rental car. This was a start of our Summer Tour in Croatia.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Photo credit: Flame_7 via Flickr

First stop – Podgora quiet and welcoming seaside village.  We’ve stayed at private apartment. As soon as we arrived, found a property we’ve booked, we hit the village. We couldn’t wait to taste the amazing local seafood, so we had a dinner at the Roko Restaurant, sitting literally one step from sea. Service at the Roko was good, and we found the food to be very good value for money.

Day 2 |  Exploring Makarska Riviera

Makarska Riviera is beautiful, it stretches from Brela to the north to Gradac to the south, and while we haven’t visited every village along the Riviera, we did visit quite few of them. From our base, Podgora, we explored Makarska Riviera; mountains, rocks, trees, vegetation and small beaches.

Makarska Beaches: Garma
Garma beach near Podgora | Photo credit: Makarska Beaches

We had a great experience enjoying Croatian nature and tried different beaches around. In the late afternoon we hang around different seaside towns and villages, such as Drasnice and Igrane, both amazing for their style and good look and feel. We also made it all the way south to Ploce.

Ploce is a port town, that has a very different look, feel, and culture than other seaside villages.

Day 3 | Dubrovnik with a stop on the Peljesac peninsula

We traveled from Podgora to Dubrovnik. So many people visit Dubrovnik, and write about it, so we won’t tell you anything new. It’s a gorgeous town, but a bit too crowded and touristy. On our way back to Podgora, we stopped in Ston, a small fortified town, well known for its medieval walls that circle the town.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Visiting Ston

Next to Ston is a village of Mali Ston, famed for its seafood, especially shellfish. We had a dinner in Mali Ston and tried their oysters and seafood black rice. The food was delicious. There are three restaurants in Mali Ston, all serving more or less the same menu based on local shellfish and other seafood.

Day 4 | A day in Bosnia & Herzegovina

In the early morning, we’ve enjoyed one of the central beaches on the Makarska Riviera. This was the best way to get ready for an energetic day ahead.

Bosnia calling, we drove to Mostar along that road, full of curves and impressive rocky mountain during 2 and a half hours, until we arrived to the mandatory stop of Kravice Waterfalls. This is a popular swim stop in Bosnia & Herzegovina, visited mostly by locals, although in the last years more and more tourists started visiting here.

Kravice Waterfalls are a nice natural site, where you can swim, have a picnic, or just enjoy a drink by the water. It’s not a designed park area, and there isn’t admission fee to enter. The place is just amazing.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | We even visited Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar is a must-visit if you spend some time in Central Dalmatia. The old town, and the famed Mostar bridge will bring you a taste of East, and you’ll experience a contrasting architecture and culture compared to the neighboring Croatia, yet just few kilometers from the Croatia.

On our way back to Croatia, we’ve had a night swim, a priceless experience.

Day 5 | A visit to the Hvar Island & Split

In early morning we said Goodbye to our hosts in Podgora, and made Split our base for the next day. But instead to take a road directly to Split, we took a ferry to Hvar. The ferry connects a seaside village of Drvenik, on the mainland, with Sucuraj, on the south side of the island. From Sucuraj we did a road trip to Stari Grad, and we’ve got lost in some of island’s paradise beaches.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Photo Credit: A_Peach via Flickr

On the way back we took a different ferry, connecting Stari Grad on the Hvar Island, with Split on the mainland. We arrived in Split late evening, and such as, locals had mentioned, we went to have dinner at the Buffet Fife good food and price, and nice staff. We spend the night hanging out at number of places that the old medieval city center offers. We had fun, and connected with lots of like minded people.

 Day 6 | Krka National Park & Waterfalls & Zadar Sunset

Next day we woke up early, and headed to the Krka National Park. Krka National Park is less than hour drive from Split. The park is beautiful, smaller and less challenging to discover than Plitvice, and unlike at Plitvice, here you can swim in the waterfalls at designated areas.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Krka Waterfalls

After exploring the Krka Waterfalls, we continued to Zadar to watch the famous Zadar Sunset while listening to the sounds of Sea Organ. This was totally worth it, and made it for one of special, and very memorable moments. We also liked Zadar’s town center, full of cozy shops and restaurants.

 Day 7 | A visit to the Vis Island

Vis has a special vibe, very appealing for those who appreciate that bohemian lifestyle. We were surprised with the number of local designers, artist and galleries, as well as their great handmade products. I loved Stiniva beach, Komiza village and Vis old town night walk.

Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Vis Island
Croatia itinerary: 9 days in Dalmatia | Vis Island | Photo credit: Balázs Gerencsér via Flickr

Day 8 | Trogir

Last day, we moved from Vis to Trogir. We had chosen it, just to sleep in a different town last night and it was a fantastic experience, personable as the locals are and as a place. Trogir is also conveniently located from the Split Airport. It takes less than 15 minutes to reach the airport.

Day 9 | Flying back home

It was time to head back home. We loved every minute of our time in Croatia. And although we did move a lot around, we haven’t felt so much exhausted (maybe a little bit). Croatia is relatively small, and it’s easy to travel from one to another place. Roads are in a good conditions, although a bit winding.

Croatia has an endless things to see and do, each step or way you take go and pass through, you’ll stumble across such a beautiful place. Happy that we’ve seen so many things, we still felt we’ve missed even more. So, this trip has been just the first contact with such awesome country, what to say…

Can’t wait to come back!

Thanks again Noelia for sharing with us your 9 days Croatia itinerary for Dalmatia. We hope it gives everyone a good idea on how much you can see in a nine days in Dalmatia.

What do you think about this itinerary? Do you find it challenging? Do you prefer to visit as many places as possible or you prefer to follow a slower pace, and see less? Let us know in the comments below. 

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6 thoughts on “Croatia itinerary: a 9-day itinerary for Dalmatia”

  1. My husband, myself, and my brother also have only 9 days from Zagreb. Can you let us know what you chose and how you felt about it?

  2. Hi R s bhargava, you should be at the end of your trip by the time I’m writing this reply. Sorry for that. Do let me know what itinerary you have chosen and how happy you were with it. Thanks!

  3. This is rs bhargava from india
    I am visiting Croatia for 9 days from 11 th Sept from Zagreb and my tour will finish by 19 th at Dubrovnik.20 th return to home.we are 2 person.
    Can u suggest us 9 days iteniary.with shoffer driven car.comfot is important

  4. This is a great alternative to many of the other road trip itineraries I’ve found for Croatia. It seems much more in line with our travel style as opposed to the big destination trips you so commonly find. Thanks for this. It has already come in handy for our plans this June.

  5. Great itinerary, in nine days she captured the incredible landscapes, towns, sea and nature. I must add the turquoise seas in Croatia always captivate me.

  6. Hopefully doing it this summer so this article is incredibly useful!! Thanks for sharing!!

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