The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Croatia’s Stunning Coastline: From Dubrovnik to Split

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Exploring Croatia's Stunning Coastline

Croatia is well-loved by enthusiastic beachgoers for its gorgeous coastlines, picture-perfect pebbled beaches, and crystal-clear waters. Adding to its charms are the quaint medieval cities and historic ruins where tourists from all over the world can experience Croatian life and immerse themselves in its opulent culture and history. 

The perfect way to explore and discover Croatia’s beloved coastline is to start from Dubrovnik—the Pearl of the Adriatic—and ferry along the major scenic landmarks until you reach Split. If you are determined to have the best of Croatia tours during your trip, we got you covered! Here, we will cover everything you need to know to make the most of your trip—from what to pack, how to get to places, and even what to do upon arriving at the featured itineraries. So just sit back, relax, and take good notes!

Travelling from Dubrovnik to Split

You would have to traverse 142 miles or 235 kilometers to get to Split from Dubrovnik by land travel. There are several modes of transportation such as private or rental cars, busses, or by ferry or catamaran boat rides.

By Car

If you like to travel solo or in small groups and stop at places from time to time to admire the scenery, travelling by a private or rented car might be more suitable for you. Be sure to fill up your gas tank because once you hit the coastal route, it is going to take at least three hours to arrive at Split.  Sure, it is indeed a long journey, but you’re surely in for a ride! After all, driving through the mesmerizing Croatian coast is already a delightful adventure in itself.

Just keep in mind that if you take this route, you will need to cross borders through Bosnia & Herzegovina to go from Dubrovnik to Split.

By Bus

If you want to take a rest and driving for 3+ hours doesn’t sound appealing to you, using Croatia’s public transportation will be a much better alternative for you. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and relish the view of the breathtaking Mediterranean scenery through the window as the bus transports you to Split. Just be warned that this is a four-and-a-half-hour journey, so you better find a way to keep yourself entertained throughout the travel time. 

By Ferry

Croatia also has circulating ferries that make boat trips from Dubrovnik to Split and vice versa. However, like taking the bus, it is quite a lengthy ride—about four and a half hours. It’s a unique experience though, because cruising through the sea is quite enjoyable. Do note, however, that ferries are only available from May to October.

Starting Point: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

Let’s start the tour at one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the Mediterranean— Dubrovnik. World-renowned as the Pearl of the Adriatic but even more famed as the King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones, the Old Town walls of Dubrovnik give us modern people a glimpse of the medieval period from the distant past. 

Here, you can take on a walking tour along its historic streets featuring Renaissance and Baroque architecture, iconic red brick roofs, and towering walls that have stood the test of time. It’s going to be a long but fascinating walk—around one and a half to two hours—so be sure to put on some comfortable attire and shoes, pack a change of clothes, a bottle of water, a power bank, some sunscreen, and a good amount of stamina. 

Once you reach the Old Town–which, by the way, is the heart of the city—this is where you’ll find the main attractions such as the Sponza Palace, the Church of Saint Blaise in the main square, and the famous Rector’s Palace. You can also explore Stradun–which is the Old Town’s central street—the Franciscan Monastery, and of course, you can’t miss the iconic Fort Lovrijenac, which was the filming site for scenes from the Game of Thrones. You will also pass along the Jesuit Staircase, which you might recognize as the place where Cersei’s infamous “walk of shame” took place. And be sure to visit the Lokrum Island to get a glimpse of the real Iron Throne.

You can also head over to the beach and take a quick dip at the Adriatic sea to cool yourself before you get back on the road. From Dubrovnik, you can ride either a private or rented vehicle, a bus, or a ferry to get to the next destination—Ston. Along the way, you will pass villages such as Orašac, Trsteno, Salona, and Elaphiti islands.

Next Stop: Ston, the Oyster Paradise

Ston

Take a break from the road and take the chance to visit Ston so you can get a taste of their famous fresh oysters. These meticulously crafted oyster dishes are something you have to try at least once in your lifetime. 

Ston famous for three things: its long, preserved town walls, its salt works, and its delicious oysters. Ston was a cornerstone military fort back in the day. Hence, it is not strange for it to have long, towering defensive walls. The 900-meter wall encircles the area for three miles—making it the second largest wall trailing just behind the Great Wall of China. In addition, Croatia is also home to the oldest salt mines in Europe. 

After a quick meal and exploration in Ston, head over to the town of Drvenik where you can ride a ferry or a catamaran to get to the Hvar Town.

Stopover at Hvar Town: The Wine Island

You can have another stopover at Hvar Town which is known for its bustling nightlife scene eerily held at medieval-inspired establishments. The locals at Hvar island have held a lengthy history of winemaking, dating as far back as the arrival of the Ancient Greeks. Given their millenniums-worth of winemaking practice, Croatia’s high-quality wines are indeed worthy of being exported throughout the Mediterranean. Be sure to take a sip when you get here!

Next Stop: Zlatni Rat Beach on Brač Island 

Zlatni rat

From Hvar Town, you can ride a fast catamaran and head over to Brač Island to visit the famous Zlatni Rat beach. Tourists love this beach for its white pebbled beach with turquoise waters and overall astounding scenery. You just chill and sunbathe here, or you can swim against the current or try windsurfing as this is the best location for windsurfing. 

Final Destination: Split

Split

At last, you’ve arrived at Split! This city is beloved for its awe-inspiring architecture and vibrant nightlife scene—which showcases its unique amalgamation of modern life and medieval history. One could say that the heart of Split lies in the Diocletian’s Palace, so be sure to pay it a visit. After all, Split is most known for the ruins of the Palace of Diocletian. This majestic palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site way back in 1979. 

You will never run out of things to do in Split. After visiting the ruins of the Diocletian’s Palace, try climbing the bell tower of St. Domnius Cathedral, which offers a full 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city, which, by the way, is utterly breathtaking. Then, roam around the maze-like cobblestone streets of Old Town where you can chill at its cozy cafes while gazing at the old tower clock. Alternatively, you can go restaurant hopping to sample the ever-scrumptious Croatian food.