About Croatia Self Drive 07 - Coastal Odyssey
Croatia's whole coastline from Pula to Dubrovnik (or vice versa) - includes magnificent history, choice of beautiful islands and several national parks along the way.
Activity code: CRFD07
Duration: 15 Days
START - Pula / FINISH - Dubrovnik.
This fly drive itinerary is our suggestion for a journey of discovery along the length of the Adriatic coast over 2 weeks. Starting in the Istrian Peninsula at Pula, the route includes national parks, historic towns, beautiful islands and much more. The itinerary concludes in Dubrovnik but can easily be reversed with the flexible flight schedule now available.
The holiday exploration begins straight away with a hire car from the airport and a very short drive into Pula with its incredible amphitheatre; after this stop which will probably include lunch you can head over to the west coast of Istria and your main base for this part of the holiday, Rovinj. In this area there is so much to visit, including Porec, the Brijuni Islands and the lovely hill town of Motovun. Before driving inland to the main national park of your trip, Plitvice Lakes, we recommend an overnight in the seaside town of Opatija or on nearby Krk Island (accessible by spectacular bridge).
Each day's drive is not so far so you have plenty of time to do some sightseeing, walking or take an extended lunch / picnic along the way. Your first sight of the coast comes at the lovely old town of Zadar which also has some innovative new sights up its sleeve. Travelling along the coast you can visit another national park, Krka, which is similar to Plitvice en route to your next main stop, either Trogir or Split (you can choose either according to your preference and in the main season it is easy to travel between on the local ferry across the bay). Time to relax or perhaps take up the offer to do some rafting or the mulit-zip-wire experience in the Cetina Valley.
For the second week of the trip you could give up the car and travel on the catamaran service to Dubrovnik via an island (or two) of your choice but sticking with the self-drive we recommend staying in Hvar Town for a couple of nights and then traversing the island to get the ferry over to the mainland (thereby avoiding backtracking to Split). Once back on the mainland you can stay in Ston and sample oysters and walk the walls or consider travelling inland to Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina prior to arriving in Dubrovnik. Mostar may be a day trip destination for many holidaying in Croatia but its stunning bridge, which was lovingly reconstructed after the war in the 1990s, and the old town's atmosphere is well worth the overnight stay.
If you have a few extra days or wish to cut down the locations along the way you may wish to consider a few days in Montenegro which can be tailored to your preference between the beach resort of Budva with its tranquil old town and Kotor with its impressive walls, historic buildings and challenging walk up the "staircase" to the fortress high above.
We feel that the best finale to this holiday is a few nights in Dubrovnik where you can relax, enjoy some activities and sightseeing without your car as the local buses and cable car offer an excellent service.
We are able to tailor-make this holiday to suit your requirements for any or all of the following - departure airport, budget, hotel type/size, overall duration, pre-booked activities, etc.
Accommodation: the hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in these fascinating countries (in the list below we have included our main recommendations together with suggestions for "boutique" hotels and deluxe options, please do not hesitate to request alternative hotels).
Transport: to take the stress out of arriving and departing we offer a private airport (or port) transfer service; we can collect your hire car from your hotel in Dubrovnik at no extra cost. All our vehicles have a/c and come with a full tank of fuel, we provide detailed driving routes, sightseeing suggestions and parking information for all accommodation. The new highways linking Zagreb, Split, Pula and Dubrovnik will cut down journey times when you wish to get from A to B quickly but this also means that the other roads will be quieter and a pleasant alternative for sightseeing and travelling at a gentler pace. (NB. tolls apply on the highways).
Extra Information: all our holidays have a recommended route with suggestions for sightseeing and we include the most up-to-date ferry schedules and tariffs; we are also able to book activities and specialist sightseeing, particularly in Dubrovnik - such as cycling, sea kayaking, wine-tasting, etc.
NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.
Click on the location to view our whole selection.
Arrive into Pula; private transfer to your hotel. Balance of day for local sightseeing.
Deliver hire car to your hotel; local sightseeing, e.g. Rovinj, Porec, Brijuni Islands.
NB. you may wish to relocate to Rovinj for one or both days depending upon your flight times and preferences.
Drive through centre of Istria (via Pazin) to east coas; stay in Opatija.
Drive along coast road and then head inland to Plitvice National Park.
Full day to explore National Park trails and scenery.
Drive down to Dalmatian coast via a choice of routes and arrive in the historic town of Zadar.
Relax in Zadar; onward drive to Split or Trogir via Sibenik / Krka National Park.
Explore historic cities of Split and Trogir. It is possible to visit one from the other by local ferry.
Ferry from Split to one of the nearby islands, such as Hvar or Brac or Korcula.
Relax and explore your chosen island.
Drive across island and take short ferry to mainland; drive along coast road to Mali Ston for one night.
If you decided to stay in Mali Ston then you can visit the castle, travel up the Peljesac Peninsula to Korcula or head inland to Mostar to visit the World-famous bridge.
- [followed by...] relax and enjoy Dubrovnik on foot, by bus or cable car; optional excursions available.
Private transfer to Dubrovnik airport.
Prices shown are 'per person' in UK Pounds and are based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. A single supplement needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required.
Prices are indicative and will vary depending on your chosen accommodation, room availability as well as time of travel. Please take this into consideration when comparing prices; we always aim to match a high quality experience with exceptional value for money.
NB: Flights available to book through us with a range of airlines, from various UK airports.
"A fantastic holiday experiencing the beauty of a charming country....self drive is the best way to experience it.."
J Butterworth, UK, Sept 2019
"We had an amazing time and loved all the resorts. The organisation was great and everything worked well. We loved the app too - very helpful! We would definitely come to you again for a future holiday. Thanks!"
J Graves, UK, Sept 2019
"Generally, this was an excellent holiday and we thank Andy for his input and attention to detail. We also did evening walking tours at Pula and Zadar. These were both excellent."
R Hazeldine, UK, July, 2019
"I just wanted to thank you for putting together a great itinerary for us. We both enjoyed it beyond our expectations. The combination of sites and points of interest suited us excellently and the days were allocated to each stop just right. It all worked wonderfully, thanks"
A Ward, May 2019
"A really well organised self drive holiday through Croatia. The app we received for our phone with all the holiday details was excellent, we used it so much throughout the two weeks. Maps and suggestions of places of interest to visit en route were very helpful. The Croatian agents Amathus were very helpful when we needed to contact them in regard to a query over paying for car hire. They contacted the car hire company straight away and cleared up any confusion.. We would certainly consider booking another holiday through Redisciver the World to another destination as it worked so well. All the hotels selected for us were of a good to excellent standard. The Miric Inn at Plitvice was beyond excellent- a fantastic hotel, very helpful staff and fabulous food. Thank you. "
D Toone, UK, Oct 2018
"A great holiday, thank you. Made all the more enjoyable by the information pack you supplied and in particular the amazing detailed maps that were invaluable in the towns especially with one way streets."
M Clarke, UK, July 2018
"Got back yesterday and just wanted to say a huge thank you to you, Dawn and your Amathus colleagues for organising such a great trip for us. Whilst, with hindsight, we might make the odd timing tweak here and there, the tour was a great pace and everything was well thought through and professionally and efficiently organised from start to finish. We loved Croatia as a country and think we got a really good feel for it. The hotels were all fine and in line with our travel style. We would totally recommend others to take up the experience and would be very happy to recommend you to others. Thanks again for a great trip."
A Brading, UK, May 2018
"It is pretty hot during summer time. Temperature went once up to 37 degrees. We knew that but were bound to summer holidays. But if one can arrange, we would recommend to go there in spring or autumn. It is more pleasant, especially when you go hiking like we did. But besides, everything went as planned. We enjoyed it very much."
C Kaegi, Switzerland, August 2017
"The notes from Andy were extremely helpful. We used scenic routes and the coast road and really enjoyed the scenery. The roads were fairly quiet and a good quality. We found the Croatian people to be friendly and helpful and everywhere was clean and well-kept. A lovely holiday with a lot of wonderful sights. All arrangements made for us by the agents worked perfectly."
L Stringer, UK, July, 2017
"Hotel Villa Dvor however was fabulous, such friendly people and ideally situated with a fantastic view. Omis was also beautiful and perfect to end our holiday. Thank you for recommending it to us. We will definitely go back."
D Higham, UK, July, 2017