1. March 2018.   •     Nika

Beautiful small country for a great active holiday

If you’re looking to visit Croatia and spend one week, you’ll have a number of options how to spend your time in the country. Croatia remains an undiscovered gem in Europe. Even though being a relatively small country, it has so many beauties and attractions that will surely fill your day to day plan. But, you only have eight days. However, by organizing your itinerary in advance, minimizing your travel time and prioritizing which places you would really like to see, then you can make the most of your, let’s call it “Visit Croatia vacation”.

NOTE: This article was inspired by the 8-day ‘Best of Croatia’ trip

With so much to see and do, it can be challenging to plan a week’s itinerary in Croatia. With its ancient walled cities, crystal clear waters, great wine and delicious cuisine, Croatia is where Mediterranean spirits come together. But it can be done!

Visit Croatia in one week – how to make the most of it

Visit Croatia - Zagreb town panorama
Zagreb Town panorama

Day 1: Zagreb

Do not force yourself yet to get out of Zagreb like most tourists do, because Croatia’s vibrant capital offers plenty of things to see and experience. Zagreb is not only known for its cultural beauties. But also for the lovely nature that surrounds it. You’ll be very happy to spend at least one day in town. Here you’ll find the towering Zagreb cathedral. The Dolac market, and the City Museum for an insight of Zagreb’s history.

It has culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and all the other things that make a quality capital city. Therefore it’s no surprise that the number of visitors has risen sharply in the last couple of years. Often ignored as tourists make a beeline for the coast.  An exciting city and offers an invaluable window into Croatian culture.

Mreznica-river-kayaking-rafting-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)
Mreznica River kayaking

Day 2: National Park Plitvice Lakes and Mreznica River

Kayaking Mreznica Canyon takes us through a gorge so narrow and deep that the sun enters it for only a few hours each day, around noon, creating spectacular light effects. To reach the upper canyon of Mreznica between Primislje and Trzic, the most beautiful part of the river right in the wilderness, you need a little more effort. We will pass cliffs of carved white rocks, lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls, strong freshwater springs and pools of water which are great for swimming in summer.

Visit Croatia and spend your afternoon walking along the wooden paths and bridges, in and around the park area. Its exquisite series of 16 emerald green and blue travertine lakes, more than 90 waterfalls and numerous caves make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The emerging travertine barriers decelerated and retained the flowing water. These dams are continuously growing in height. The color of the lakes is emerald green or turquoise.

Plitvicka jezera-Walking-Plitvice-lakes-Croatia-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)
Walking National Park Plitvice Lakes

Day 3: Zadar and Zrmanja River kayaking

Zrmanja River and Krupa are among the most beautiful rivers in Europe. Perfectly clear warm water, a spectacular canyon with magnificent waterfalls. They are easy and safe enough for beginner canoeists. But their scenery makes them also very exciting for all river adventurists. If you like being outdoors and active, whether it is your first time holding a paddle or you are a canoeist with certain experience, Kayaking Zrmanja River is the right choice for you.

Zadar town is very intriguing. Most importantly it is not crowded or overrun by tourists. Consist of at least two unique attractions. The “sound-and-light spectacle”. First coming from of the Sea Organ and second from the Sun Salutation. Both worthy of seeing and hearing, to be believed. In the past several years Zadar town has become an outdoor exhibition.

Zrmanja-Canoe-safari-Croatia-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)-3
Kayaking down Zrmanja River waterfalls

Day 4: Skradin and Cycling National Park Krka River

Cycling Krka River National Park is breathtaking. There is hardly a better way to get around it than cycling. This biking route will lead you through Croatian history while enjoying a landscape of forests, hills, and monuments. Swimming underneath a 44-meter high waterfall and the mere sight of it is quite impressive, it will be an experience you will never forget.

To visit Croatia also means to spend a day in Skradin, a small picturesque town. Situated at the doorstep of the Krka River National Park in Croatia. Just 80 kilometers from Split. This magical place is where the river joins the Adriatic Sea. Therefore, it is a pretty little riverside town. With a combination of brightly painted and bare stone houses on its main street and a ruined fortress towering above. The town has a couple of family-run hotels, restaurants, pubs and wineries, a beach, and marina. We use the hotel Skradinski Buk, as a base for our week-long activity holidays.

NP-Krka-biking-Croatia-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)-2
National Park Krka cycling

Day 5: Šibenik and Sea kayaking Zlarin Island

Paddling along the coast of the island we come to the town of Zlarin. It is a perfect place for a picnic break and some swimming. You can try out some local restaurants that offer different fish dishes, explore the island’s renowned coral history or just relax in the perfect quietness with no traffic nor cars.

With its breathtaking cathedral, Sibenik is an unavoidable destination for inspirational sightseeing. A historic city in Croatia, located in central Dalmatia. Where the river Krka flows into the Adriatic Sea. Sibenik town is a political, educational, transport, industrial and tourist center of the county. Also the 3rd largest city in the historic region of Dalmatia. An ancient town with a lively spirit.

Sea-kayaking-Zlarin-island-Croatia-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)-4
Sea kayaking around fortress in Sibenik

Day 6: Split and Cetina River Rafting

Cetina River is a great way to enjoy a breath-taking scenery. Due to its waterfalls, caves and jungle-like vegetation make it a must-do activity while in Croatia. The warm Mediterranean climate meets the canyon and creates a setting just like out of a fairy tale. Along the clear and green river, the rapids of this river are relatively easy.

Without hiding their pride, the people of Split will tell you that their city is “the most beautiful one in the world and beyond”. You better not discuss this with them, for well-spirited Split will convince you of this as soon as you discover it! The second-largest city in Croatia, Split is a great place to see Dalmatian life first hand. This busy city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity.

Cetina River rafting with Raftrek travel

Day 7: Dubrovnik and half day sailing

Dubrovnik the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s most beautiful old towns. The town and its surroundings are rich in history and natural variety. Today, the cultural heritage is repaired for the most part attracting tourist from all over the world.

Its coastline is beautiful. Dotted with bays, beaches, steep cliffs and many forested islands. There is a great variety of flora, predominantly cypress, pine and olive trees. Also vineyards, lemon and orange plantations together with aromatic herbs and flowers. Including exotic plants such as palm trees, agave, and cactus, which create a special atmosphere. Nature lovers will find a true Mediterranean landscape here. While those fond of sailing will discover a wonderful sea and marinas. It is attractive any time of the year.

Adventure-sailing-Dubrovnik-Croatia-Raftrek-travel (1 of 1)-3
Adventure sailing around Dubrovnik islands

Day 8: Departure

Therefore, if you decide to visit Croatia for a longer period, we would be happy to recommend other beautiful places to visit, especially those you won’t find in tourist guidebooks. This is just our 8-day suggested itinerary. Since there are alternative routes of travel, most will depend on your intended length of stay, budget, and interests.

The memories you create and the changes that happen within you that is exactly where the value of adventure travel lies. Therefore You’ll have stories to share when you return home. For reaching new memories, we’re here to guide you. We know our country well, we love it and we want to share it with you.