Croatia borders the Adriatic Sea and has it all from beaches/nightlife to culture to nature.
Based on my research, the must see locations in Croatia are the following:
• Plitvice National Park
• Novalja on the Island of Pag (“Ibiza of Croatia”) – also one of the best beaches in Croatia
If you don’t want to party in Croatia, you could probably skip Novalija.
Plitvice National Park
87% (567 reviews) of travelers give Plitvice National Park a 5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor. 98% of travelers give it a four or five.
This is clearly the must-see of all National Parks in Croatia. The one downside is that it can get crowded. Most people recommend getting there
early and if you do see a lot of people that it is probably best to go in the opposite direction.
The park can be completed in a day.
There are a variety of different paths through the park:
Path C and Path H will take you past the main falls. You do not need to go on these set trails.
Admission to the park in the summer costs about $20 USD. It can be visited in the winter for about $15 USD. The cost of ticket will get you free rides on the buses, electric ferry boat ride, hiking trail rates, taxes, and insurance.
Good blog post on park:
Novalja on the Island of Pag
Novalija is known as the “Ibiza of Croatia.” Zcre Beach is also considered one of the best beaches in Croatia. As in other beach towns, there are water sports at your fingertips.
This is a popular location for bachelor (stag) and bachelorette (hen) parties.
You can easily take the day trip to Plitvice National Park from the park. If you don’t want to party or want a quieter beach experience, I would skip this beach and pick one of the other destinations.
Hvar is an island off the Croatian coast. It is consistently ranked as one of the must see locations in Croatia. If you want a place with an active nightlife, it is also considered to be one of the best places in Croatia.
While I believe there are ferries from Novalja, I would make a pit stop through Split to see Diocletian’s Palace. You can then catch a ferry from Split to Hvar. The ferry takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Link regarding ferries:
There are a variety of water tours, such as those from Ilirio’s Hvar Tours. They have tours that leave 10 (probably good idea after even longer night)
You could spend a day here if you are spending a longer time in Croatia.
I would personally spend most of time at Hvar.
With that said, the main attractions would be Diocletian’s Palace and Bavice Beach.
Within Dubrovnik the must see attractions are the following:
• Old Town
• Walk around on the City Walls
• Cliff Jumping at Café Buza
• Dubrovnik Cable Car for awesome view
• Variety of Sailing and Boat Trips
• Plat Beach
The most popular locations for sailing/boats are to Elaphite islands, Korcula, Pelješac and Mljet. Of these different spots, I would indicate that Mljet is the most popular. Over ¾ of the islands is covered by forest.
Dubrovnik is worth two days.
I would spend 7 days in Croatia.
Day 1: Travel to Novalja on the Island of Pag
Day 2: Novalja with Day Trip to Plitvice
Day 3: Novalja with pit stop in Split to Hvar (probably will arrive later in day)
Day 4: Hvar; Boat Trip
Day 5: Leave Hvar in afternoon for Dubrovnik
Day 6: Dubrovnik
Day 7: Dubrovnik; Mljet Island; Head Home
Day 1: Travel to and see Plivice National Park
Day 2: Travel to Hvar
Day 3: Hvar and leave at end of day to Dubrovnik
Day 4: Dubrovnik
Day 5: Dubrovnik; Mljet Island; Head Home
I would skip Split and Novalja in the short itinerary
Other Popular Beach Spots
Baska on Krk Island
Zlatni Rat on Brac Island
Orebic on Peljesac Peninsula
Plat Beach in Dubrovnik