Our journey along the Dalmatian Coast started in Split, Croatia. Flying from Rome to Split was very easy and it was the perfect starting point for our journey along the Dalmatian Coast. Croatia has thousands of islands - 1260 to be exact - and about half of them are uninhabited. The summer season revolves around the Adriatic Sea and these islands, and we were just catching it as the weather was warming up and the summer season was getting into full swing.
For our route, we went from Split -> Hvar -> Korcula -> Dubrovnik. Two nights in each place was perfect and the ferries from each were super easy. Here are our highlights from each location:
The old town is a UNESCO Heritage Site and has a "French Riviera meets medieval fort” vibe to it. We spent our first day exploring the old town, hiking up to the top of Marjan Park, and listening to live music
The main reason we stayed two nights in Split was for our trip to Medjugorje. You can explore the old town of Split in one day. Even though Split is more commercial than any of the Croatian islands, inside the walls of the palace still made the city feel like a medieval village. We climbed to the top of the Bell Tower for a great view of the city.
If we were to come back, we would probably still stay a night in Split so that we could do a day trip to the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice is about 2.5 hours away from split, but a lot of companies offer day trips and the views of the waterfall look incredible!
A short ferry from Split, Hvar is known as the sunniest island in Croatia. You wouldn’t believe it in the off season, but this sleepy little town is known for its crazy party scene in the summer. There are infamous beach clubs on all of the surrounding islands. And in the summer, the harbor is lined with yachts. Everyone in town was gearing up for the summer season—refurbishing and repainting all of the local hot spots. Although some of the summer restaurants and bars were still closed, we loved feeling like we had the island all to ourselves. We were staying in an awesome Airbnb in town, right below the fortress, with views of the port.
Our first morning we hiked up to the fortress for the most picturesque view of Hvar. Later that day we hiked an hour to Robinson beach. Along the way, we saw the cutest little kids learning how to sail. “Beaches” in Hvar are non existent! We weren’t prepared for the rocky “beaches” and were in desperate need of those dorky water shoes. Still, we had fun attempting to wade in the water and saying "ooo, ahhh" every step.
The next day, Patrick set up a 25km bike tour of the island through a really cool bike company, Hvar Life. We met the owner, Massimo, and our guides, Robert and Dobidos, and were on our way! From the coast to lavender fields, to vineyards—seeing all of the different parts of the island by bike was amazing. The tour started in Stari Grad, went up to Vrisnik, stopped in Jelsa, through the canals of Vrboska ('Little Venice') and ended with lunch at a local farm. Our guides, Robert (Montana native) and Dobidos (Croatian), were awesome! They gave us the local tour and could not have been cooler dudes.
The next day, we rented a scooter to explore more of the island (as per recommendation from Michael and Kate Viole). Without the crowds on island, it was the perfect way to get around. Our airbnb guide gave us a great itinerary for stopping at various beaches and towns. Seeing the island by scooter is so much fun. You go slower than a car and can cover more ground than a bike, so you really get to appreciate your surroundings. Motorized bikes are also really popular in Hvar—so that is another great option for anyone a little nervous to try a scooter!
The first stop on Marco Polo’s journey to Asia and also known as “Little Dubrovnik”, Korcula was a big time highlight! We stayed in a B&B about 15 minutes outside of the town on a small, peaceful cove.
Our hotel had one of the best restaurants on Korcula, Mimi’s, a small little modern beach bistro. We watched the sunset and had an awesome dinner by the sea.
The next morning we were up early on paddle boards cruising around our little cove. The hotel owner thought we were crazy for jumping in the water so early in the season! We had an awesome morning on the water and headed into town for lunch.
Korcula is surrounded by walls. There are shops and restaurants in the walls of the fortress. We had an amazing lunch at Nonna under the trees at a restaurant right on the water. After lunch, we walked to St. Anthony's church on top of the hill.
Korcula is a quiet and cute little island town early in the season. Go to relax and hang on the water.
Dubrovnik is the main attraction for Game of Thrones fans and we know why! The city fortress is amazing! They have done a great job at keeping the walls restored. After two hours of walking the walls around the fortress, you can clearly see how impressive the town really is. Our hotel was a 10 minute walk outside of town and had incredible views of the fortress.
We did a sunset kayak tour and loved being out on the water for sunset! It was so cool to see the sun setting with views from the water of the city walls.
Croatia was beautiful! We loved how each island had its own vibe and were happy to be there before the summer crowds. Like every other beach town, we were told May and September are the best months to visit the Dalmatian Coast. If we were to come back, we would definitely add Mljet to our island hopping list!