The waterfall of Plitvice NP
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3-Week Stunning Croatia Road Trip • Read Now!

Beautiful beaches, great food, amazing architecture… Croatia has it all.
Read along my solo Croatia road trip from Split through the Dalmatian Islands, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and back.

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Solo Croatia Road Trip: 3 Weeks in a Nutshell

Places I visited in Croatia, Montenegro & Bosnia-Herzegovina

Where I stayed: Hotels & BnBs

  • = absolutely LOVED the place
Vestibulo in Split; Croatia Road Trip 2021
The Vestibulo in Split

Things to do

Croatia

Montenegro

Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • Experience religious coexistence in Sarajevo
Waterfalls at Plitvice National Park
Waterfalls at Plitvice National Park

Itinerary

I try to take a solo trip every year. This time, I went for a 20-day solo adventure, with 10 days spent in the Dalmatian Islands; and 10 days on a road trip along Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and back to Split in Croatia.

20 days were short; but here’s how to make the most of your Croatia road trip!

Split

My journey began in the vibrant coastal city of Split. I stayed at Angela’s lovely B&B in a central location for exploring the center. Split is a highly cyclable city, so I recommend renting bikes to move around.

After a couple of nights there, I took off to the beautiful Dalmatian islands with the ferry!

Things to Do in Split

  • Walk the medieval downtown: Diocletian’s Palace and Cellars, main square, city gates, etc…
  • Rent a bike to go around the Park Šuma Marjan and lay down on the rocks
  • Take a bus to Omiš (±1 hour) and go zip-lining!
Picture of the blue waters in Park Šuma Marjan
Swimming spot at Park Šuma Marjan

Vis Island

Vis Island is a small place of paradise in the Dalmatian archipelago. It is much calmer than Brač and Hvar.

You can reach Vis island with the Split-Vis Jadrolinija direct line #602 from the Ferry Port of Split. It cost me about €6.50 euros for the one-way ticket.

Book a scooter prior to your arrival at the ferry terminal of Vis – (Vis Rent is a great option), and avoid the lines and the risk of not getting one at all.

On the first day, I stayed a The Sea House Apartments, and had dinner at Dalmatino restaurant on the Southern end of Vis.

Stiniva beach on Vis island
Stiniva beach on Vis island

The rest of the time was spent scooting around, swimming in clear blue waters and taking hikes across the island.

Things to Do in Vis island

  • Hike down to Stiniva beach – it’s fun but really crowded with tourists. Good fitness level recommended.
  • Hang out in one of Vis’ beautiful beaches: Oključna, Stončica, Milna Beach… They are all very worth it.
  • Take a boat tour to the Blue Cave, where you can witness bioluminescence
The Blue Cave in Vis Island, Croatia
The Blue Cave in Vis Island
Photo by James Crewdson on Unsplash

As for all of the Dalmatian Islands, I highly recommend renting a scooter upon arrival to commute on the island. There is no or limited public transportation, it’s much more convenient than a car and it’s great fun!

Mljet Island

A little under 1/3 of Mljet island is covered by the Mljet National Park. That island, one of the lesser-visited and reached, had less food and restaurant options (and they’re very expensive and rather mediocre) but the nature is stunning.

I got from Vis to Mljet by taking 2 ferries:

  • Line 9602 Split-Vis-Hvar with Jadrolinija, with a 2-hour layover in Hvar,
  • Line 998 Hvar-Pomena with Jadrolinija, bringing you to Pomena, the harbor on the top of the island and part of Mljet National Park.
Mljet Island – Photo by Kevin Charit on Unsplash

I stayed at the Guesthouse Sobra, which was hard to get to and whose walls were thin like paper, so I don’t especially recommend it. But the scenery around it was beautiful.

My favorite things to do in Mljet island

  • The Odysseus Cave: its surroundings are perfect for cliff-jumping and hanging out in the water, the cave itself has beautiful colors and is big enough to chill on the rocks.
    If you want to see it but aren’t going to the island, you can book this shared boat tour from Split.
  • Hiking in Mljet National Park: whether you choose Mount Montokuc, Mt Veliki Gradac or else, these small hikes offer stunning views, especially for sunset.
  • Visit Saint Mary’s Island: you can reach the island with a small boat ferry or by renting SUPs.

Dubrovnik

I got from Mljet Island to Dubrovnik with line 9807 from TP Line, which operates every day of the week but only departs once a day at 6.15am.

Everything you heard is true – Dubrovnik is a gorgeous city known for its stunning medieval architecture, orange-roofed buildings, and ancient city walls. It has a rich history and stunning views of the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea, and offers a magical blend of cultural charm and breathtaking coastal beauty.

Dubrovnik’s gorgeous cobblestone streets

What I didn’t like however was how overcrowded the city was, everything was extremely expensive given its location and I felt like in a living tourist trap.

Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Downtown
Dubrovnik Downtown

After dropping my luggage at Apartments Gabrieri next to the ferry port of Dubrovnik, I went to visit the city for the day, which is gorgeous.

The next morning, I picked up the rental car that I booked from Dubrovnik to Split, and made my way to the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina as it is the way to reach the Durmitor National Park at the North of Montenegro.

Durmitor National Park

Passing the border to Bosnia & Herzegovinam took a very long time. Europeans (+ a few other countries) don’t need visas to enter, but the car line took almost 2 hours.

The trip between Dubrovnik and the Zabljak in the Durmitor NP took about 4 hours. The views are absolutely beautiful and the driving is comfortable.

Stunning views of a bnb in Zabljak
The stunning views of my BnB in Zabljak

I was very surprised to find a lot of stray dogs right after passing the border, and for the whole trip to Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

I spent the night at Green Top Apartments, a beautiful and cozy Bnb that I booked through Booking.com.

Things to Do in Durmitor National Park

  • Hike the trails of Durmitor National Park to discover its majestic peaks, glacial lakes, and dense pine forests, offering panoramic views and a chance to encounter diverse wildlife.
  • Visit the Black Lake, the largest and most famous glacial lake in the Durmitor area, ideal for leisurely walks, picnics, and capturing stunning photographs of the surrounding mountain landscapes.
  • Embark on a rafting adventure down the Tara River Canyon, experiencing thrilling rapids and taking in the breathtaking scenery of one of the deepest river canyons in Europe.
Stunning sunset at Crno Jezero, the Black Lake in Montenegro
Stunning sunset at Crno Jezero, the Black Lake

Sarajevo

I heard only good things about Sarajevo but had very little time to visit, so I made a 1-night pitstop to experience its famous religious coexistence thanks to the same neighborhood hosting a mosque, Catholic church, Eastern Orthodox church, and synagogue.

Picture of the Sarajevo Old Town Square
Sarajevo Downtown
Photo by ADEV on Unsplash
Sarajevo from an aerial viewpoint
Aerial view of Sarajevo
Photo by Milana Jovanov on Unsplash

Things To Do in Sarajevo

  • Explore the cobbled streets of Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city, famous for its Ottoman-influenced architecture, lively cafes, and artisan shops.
  • Visit the War Childhood Museum, a poignant and impactful space that tells the stories of children who grew up during the Bosnian War, offering a moving insight into the impact of conflict on the innocent.
  • Discover the poignant history and significance of the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum, also known as Tunnel of Hope, which served as a vital supply route during the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s.

Plitvice National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Croatia, is famed for its spellbinding series of turquoise lakes and cascading waterfalls. Its network of trails and wooden walkways offer an immersive experience of this pristine natural wonder.

One of the thousands 
waterfalls at Plitvice NP
One of the thousands
waterfalls at Plitvice NP
Veliki Slap, the Great Waterfalls 
at Plitvice National Park
Veliki Slap, the Great Waterfalls
at Plitvice National Park

If I’m being honest, I didn’t really enjoy my visit of Plitvice National Park as I went in the end of August. The park was still full of the Summer tourists (which I was part of) and I basically had to queue my way throughout the whole park. There were queues to see and take pictures of basically every waterfall. I highly, highly recommend visiting in the Spring or in the Fall to avoid crowds, especially if you want to get the beautiful orange foliage.

Trogir

Nestled on a charming islet and connected by bridges to the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo, Trogir’s beautifully preserved medieval town, serene ambience, and stunning Adriatic coast render it an idyllic haven of tranquility and aesthetic delight.

A ladder leading into the sea in Trogir, Croatia
A ladder leading into the sea in Trogir, Croatia
A springboard to heaven in Trogir, Croatia
A springboard to heaven in Trogir, Croatia

Trogir was definitely the most aesthetically pleasing stop of my 20-day trip. I had the best time there as I spent a full 2 days chilling and enjoying the sun in a much calmer and emptier scene than neighbouring Split.

Back to split airport after the Croatia Road Trip

There is bus #37 from Trogir to Split Airport that is direct and gets there in 10 mins and costs between €1-2.

Planning for a 3-Week Croatia Road Trip

General organization

I always use the same template to organize multi-day trips. Make a copy of the ultimate Trip Planning Template here!

Budget for a Croatia Road Trip

I paid a total of €1,512.20 for 1 person. Here is the breakdown:

  • Transportation: €400.20
    • Ferries: €84
    • Car rental Dub – Split: €240.40
    • Scooters: €70
    • Trains & busses: €5.80
  • Food: €314
    • Groceries: €83
    • Dinners: €231
  • Accommodation: €801
  • Activities: €156

Hope you enjoyed! If you have any feedback or questions,
I would love to hear them in the comments. Cheers!


Looking for more adventures? Check out our 2-Week Van Trip through Portugal!

Quinta da Padrela, Portugal
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Azulejos in Lisbon, Portugal

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