Italy and Croatia Itinerary Ideas (7-14 Days)

Last updated on May 20th, 2023 at 08:51 pm

From sampling the most refined fresh pasta to sailing across the sparkling Adriatic sea, these Italy and Croatia itinerary ideas are sure to satisfy your Mediterranean craving. 

One of the many joys of traveling in Europe is how easy it is to visit multiple countries in a short amount of time. In this post, we’re sharing three Croatia and Italy itinerary ideas for trips ranging from 7 to 14 days. These itineraries have been carefully crafted to give you the perfect sample of each country without stretching yourself too thin!

Some travelers are unfamiliar with just how close Croatia actually is to Italy or how easy it is to get from Italy to Croatia and visa versa. Instead of choosing between Italy or Croatia, you can get the best of both worlds by combining the two into one epic trip!

No time to read the entire post? Skip straight to the itinerary you’re interested in:
🌟 7 Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary
🌟 10 Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary
🌟 14 Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary

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Table of Contents 👇

What to Know Before Planning Your Croatia and Italy Trip

Map of Italy and Croatia

If you were wondering how close Italy and Croatia are, they’re pretty close! While there is no Italy and Croatia border, only a tiny area of land that belongs to Slovenia separates the two countries. Take a look at this map of Italy and Croatia to get an idea of just how close they are!

Map of Europe highlighting Italy and Croatia.

How to Get From Italy to Croatia (and Vice Versa)

Each of these itineraries will recommend the best way to travel between Italy and Croatia. The modes of transportation include flying, taking a ferry, driving, and finally, train travel between Croatia and Italy. When considering Italy to Croatia distance, know that this can vary depending on your points of departure and arrival.

Italy to Croatia Ferry ⛴️

⛴️ FROM ANCONA
The option to travel from Italy to Croatia by ferry (or Croatia to Italy by ferry) is available from several major locations in both countries. The Italian city of Ancona is connected to three Croatian cities via two ferry operators, Jadrolinija and Snav, operating 0-3 times per day during high season. The routes available are:

  • Ancona – Split
  • Ancona – Stari Grad (Hvar)
  • Ancona – Zadar

⛴️ FROM VENICE
A third ferry operator, Venezia Lines, offers transportation between Venice and the Istrian Peninsula in northwest Croatia. The routes available are:

  • Venice – Rovinj

⛴️ FROM BARI
The final option for traveling between Italy and Croatia is the Jadrolinija ferry that connects Bari to Dubrovnik and Split. The ferry routes between southern Croatia and southern Italy are:

  • Bari – Dubrovnik
  • Bari – Split
Jadrolinija ferry route map depicting the ferry routes between Croatia and Italy.
Jadrolinija ferry route map depicting the ferry routes between Croatia and Italy. (Photo Credit: Jadrolinija)

Italy to Croatia Train 🚂

Those who love traveling by railway may be asking “How far is Croatia from Italy by train”? There is only one line that currently operates between the two countries, and it travels from Zagreb to Trieste and back. However, the line is not a direct route, rather passengers must change trains in Ljubljana before continuing their journey.

There are up to 2 daily trains traveling between Trieste and Ljubljana, but the wait time in Ljubljana can be several hours and is not recommended for travelers with a tight schedule. All things considered, Italy to Croatia train time is approximately 8 hours.

Italy to Croatia Flight 🛫

Flying from Croatia to Italy and vice versa is simple, convenient, and can be relatively affordable when flying between certain destinations.

Ryanair is the cheapest option, offering the following connections:

  • Zagreb – Brindisi
  • Zagreb – Milan Bergamo
  • Zagreb – Naples
  • Zagreb – Rome Fiumicino
  • Rijeka – Milan Bergamo
  • Split – Rome Fiumicino
  • Zadar – Bologna
  • Zadar – Milan (All Airports)
  • Zadar – Pisa
  • Zadar – Rome Fiumicino

The second best option for checking flights is Skyscanner, which will allow you to search the cheapest flights for airlines besides Ryanair as well as a wider selection of departure and arrival points.

⭐ 7 Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary

This itinerary is for those who are short on time and need help making sure they have the best Italy and Croatia vacation in just one week.

Days 1-4: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Day 1: Discover Dubrovnik

Begin your Italy and Croatia 7 day tour in none other than Dubrovnik, the Pearl of the Adriatic. Get an early start with a leisurely morning stroll along the city’s medieval walls. The two-kilometer long walk will take you past stunning sights like Minceta Tower, Bokar Fort, Revelin Fort and Pile Gate. The panoramic views from the top of Old Town are absolutely breathtaking and provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photo ops.

If you’re a GOT fan, you may want to book yourself a Game of Thrones Walking Tour and explore the Old Town on foot while your guide takes you to the top landmarks used in the filming of the series. On the tour, you’ll hear stories and gain expert insight from behind the scenes of the filming process.

A view of Dubrovnik's orange rooftops from an old stone window in the city walls.

When you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing, make your way to Buza Bar – the coolest city hangout perched on the cliffs just outside the city walls. With its white umbrellas scattered up the rocky seaside and spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea, this is an ideal spot to relax and grab a cold drink. For an adrenaline rush, watch the cliff jumpers plunge anywhere from 20 to 60 feet into the water below.

Before ending the day, head over to Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main promenade, and explore its cobblestone streets at twilight. You’ll find plenty of iconic buildings like the Sponza Palace, Rector’s Palace, and Franciscan Monastery all clustered along the street. Enjoy a dinner at one of the many restaurants on Stradun before calling it a night.

Many travelers ask: is Dubrovnik expensive? To accurately plan your budget for this trip, be sure to check out the current prices in Dubrovnik.

Day 2: Uncover the Magic of Lokrum Island

On day 2 of your itinerary, venture beyond the walls of Dubrovnik and take a day trip to Lokrum Island. This tiny yet mystical islet just off the coast of Dubrovnik is only 10-minute ferry ride away, and the perfect place to relax in nature.

From sunbathing on scenic beaches to cliff jumping into Croatia’s pure waters off of Lokrum’s jagged shore, there is no shortage of things to do. Wander the trails and discover the Royal Fort or ramble through the island’s Botanical Gardens, home to hundreds of exotic species. Take a peaceful stroll around the Lokrum Monastery and refresh yourself with a cold beverage from Lake Cocktail Bar while watching for the local bunnies and peacocks roam freely!

Whatever you decide to do, you can be sure that Lokrum Island will be one of the highlights of your visit to Dubrovnik.

Woman standing inside of an open cave on Lokrum Island, her reflection is visible in the water below.
Iconic photo spot on Lokrum Island near Dubrovnik.

Day 3: Day Trip to Montenegro

With its ideal location, Dubrovnik offers an amazing opportunity to explore nearby destinations like Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina or the enchanting towns of Montenegro. On day 3, take respite from the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik’s busy streets and hop over to Montenegro for the day.

This private day trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro will take you on an adventure to the medieval villages and tranquil towns that make up this southeastern European nation. You’ll be picked up in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle from your accommodation in Dubrovnik and guided toward Montenegro’s picture-perfect coast. Highlights of this day trip include the Bay of Kotor, the darling village of Perast, Kotor Old City, and the seaside town of Budva.

Good to know: If it happens to be raining in Dubrovnik during your visit, the rain tends to be localized due to the city’s coastal location. So a day trip to Montenegro (or even Mostar) is a great way to escape the rain!

Day 4: Beach Day

Beach day! On your last day in Croatia, relax and hangout at some of Dubrovnik’s most beautiful beaches.

Just a short stroll away from the city walls and Ploče Gate is Banje Beach, an absolute sight to behold. Visitors flock here for its breathtaking views of the Old Town and it remains one of the most picturesque beaches in all of Croatia.

Unlike its bustling counterpart, Banje Beach, Šulić Beach offers a unique experience due to its atmospheric location. Secluded in an enchanting corner just beneath Lovrijenac Fortress is the petite beach – giving you the feeling of taking a dip back in time to 13th-century Croatia!

A view of Pasjaca from the path leading town to the beach.

Another beach within walking distance of the Old Town that is worth visiting is Danče Beach. This stone beach is one of the city’s oldest swimming spots and a favorite among locals.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to make the trek down to Pasjaca Beach for the day, about a 30-minute drive south of Dubrovnik. Nestled in a small cove surrounded by imposing cliffs, this 80-meter stretch of sandy beach is strikingly beautiful and well worth a visit.

As evening approaches, pack your bags and get ready to board the overnight ferry to Bari, Italy!

Days 5-7: Italy

Day 5: Wake Up in Italy

Buongiorno! Good morning from southern Italy. On the morning of day 5, your ferry will cruise into Bari – the capital of Puglia and your home base for exploring this southern region of Italy.

Kick off your first day in Italy by heading into town and strolling around Centro Storico, Bari’s historic center. Get lost in the town’s narrow alleyways decorated with laundry hanging down from balconies, and Vespas perfectly positioned in doorways. A few notable sights worth stopping at include the 12th-century Basilica San Nicola, visiting the Art Nouveau-style Teatro Margherita, and dropping by Spazio Murat to browse the modern works of local designers.

While walking through the old town, make sure you spend some time on Piazza Mercantile. This public square, surrounded by palaces and commercial buildings, has been the core of Bari city life since the 14th century. Today it serves as a common meeting point among locals and is a fantastic place to people-watch. Grab an espresso or gelato from one of the nearby shops and soak up authentic Italian life.

Delicious and authentic Italian food on a street food tour in Bari.
A street food walking tour is one of the best ways to discover Italy’s Puglia region!

Of course, the best way to get to know a new destination is through the local cuisine. That’s why I suggest spending the rest of day one sampling delicious bites on this Street Food Tour in Bari Old Town! Your guide, Alessia, will take you through the streets of Bari to local places you would never find on your own. You’ll get to sample full-size dishes (so come hungry!) while learning about interesting historic facts and local life along the way.

Day 6: Day Trip to Locorotondo

On day 6, step away from the traditional tourist path and unlock the authentic beauty of Puglia with a visit to Locorotondo. Named one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Locorotondo has managed to remain unspoiled (which is one of the many reasons you should visit!).

This white-washed village is truly magnificent, featuring al fresco bars, winding streets and picturesque views. Nonetheless, the atmosphere of this unique city cannot be understated – it must be experienced to be fully appreciated! A few things to do while you’re wandering around town include walking down the Lungomare, getting lost in the maze of narrow streets, visiting Trullo Marziolla, and sampling some of the local wine.

A romantic stone street in Puglia lined with white-washed houses.

The fastest way to reach Locorotondo is by renting a car through Discover Cars. Traveling to Locorotondo doesn’t just have to be by car though; you can also catch a train or bus from Bari. The journey takes about an hour and a half and trains depart Bari daily. On weekends and holidays, the train is replaced by a bus that departs the main train station in Bari. When you arrive at the train station in Locorotondo, the Old Town is only a short stroll away.

Locorotondo is not far from the attractive and famous Alberobello, known for its Trulli (a traditional Apulian stone hut with a cone-shaped roof). If you do rent a car, this fairytale-like town is also lovely to stop at, just know that it can be extremely crowded during high season.

Day 7: Boat Excursion to Polignano a Mare

Spend your final day in Italy at sea on a small group boat excursion to Polignano a Mare. You’ll likely recognize this picturesque town by its breathtaking beach flanked by limestone cliffs and white-washed houses. Aside from its iconic beach, this picturesque coast is also home to hidden grottos and coves that are only accessible by sea.

Polignano a Mare, a stunning cliffside town to visit on an Italy and Croatia itinerary.

On this boat tour, you’ll visit several caves along the coast and have ample time to swim in the aquamarine waters of the Adriatic Sea. You’ll also have the chance to snap some epic photos at Grotta Azzurra and Grotta Piana. As you glide along the shoreline, your knowledgeable skipper will share the area’s history and traditions while you relax over drinks on board.

⭐ 10-Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary

Travel to Croatia and Italy on a 10-day journey with this northern Italy and Croatia itinerary. You’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in Roman culture, glide through Venetian canals by gondola, and traverse across the Istrian peninsula as you experience the best of Italy and Croatia in 10 days.

This itinerary length is perfect for an Italy and Croatia honeymoon!

Day 1-3:  Rome, Italy

Colosseum in Rome - Italy and Croatia itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Rome

Benvenuto! Welcome to Italy. Start off your Italy and Croatia 10 days itinerary by flying into the Italian capital city of Rome. Ideally, you will find a flight that arrives in the morning to have a full day here for your first day. Nevertheless, prepare to be awe-stricken by Rome’s classical and buzzing vibe on this first day.

Check into your accommodation and get familiar with your surroundings on day one. Rome is a huge city, and there are a variety of great neighborhoods to stay in while you’re here. But with just three days, it’s best to arrange your accommodation to be in the center of Rome. The districts of Monti (bustling, hip neighborhood with lots of bars near the Colosseum), Trevi (famous for none other than the Trevi Fountain), and Sant’ Eustachio are all located within the historical center of the city.

Find the perfect place to stay here:

Once you are checked in and settled, take the Metro or venture by foot to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Take a guided tour of these monumental museums, or just enjoy their atmosphere and snap some photos from the outside!

The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

Day 2: Explore Historical Rome

On day two, check out the historical sites in central Rome. What better way to start your day than to enjoy a quick authentic Italian espresso (you won’t find any Starbucks here!) and make your way to the Trevi Fountain. Visitors swamp this famous fountain in the afternoon, so it’s best to visit in the morning. 

From there, stroll down the whimsical narrow alleyways of Colonna and end up at the Pantheon. This 2,000-year-old temple is impressive to see and is a true landmark of Roman history. If you want to tour the temple on the weekend, it is necessary to book in advance. Otherwise, you can buy your ticket on-site the day of.

Next, make the short walk over to the famous Piazza Navona. There are dozens of quaint eateries here looking over the square making it a great place to grab lunch or at least a gelato! 

Make your way down Via dei Coronari and cross the ancient Ponte Sant’ Angelo bridge to arrive at the Castel Sant’ Angelo, a second-century castle and museum. Tour here, or walk down Via della Conciliazione to reach Vatican City.

End your day with a slice of pizza (or 5) and an Italian aperitivo. Aperol Spritz or Limoncello Spritz are widely popular amongst tourists AND locals, and you know…when in Rome! 

A cobblestone street in Rome, lined with pastel colored buildings - one of the main locations on a seven day Italy and Croatia itinerary.

Day 3: Italian Shopping and Roman Galleries

On day three, stroll through the districts of Campo Marzio, Ponte, and Regola for premium Italian shopping (or window shopping) or meander through renowned European galleries. 

Start your day by visiting the Spanish steps in Campo Marzio. From there, stroll down Via dei Condotti to see a few of the flagship stores of some of the world’s best-known designers. Dior, Gucci, Fendi, you’ll find them all here! 

Continue down this street, and you’ll arrive in Ponte, a district known for cobbled streets and local life. Ponte is a great place to find a quaint trattoria to enjoy lunch before an afternoon of visiting local galleries. Make your way to the street “Via Guilia” when you’re ready. There you will find quaint shops, impressive palazzos, and the art district, perfect for browsing and picking up some unique souvenirs.

Days 4-5: Venice, Italy

Day 4: From Rome to Venice

A pastel view of Venice's canals with a gondola floating through

Travel from Rome to Venice by train on day 4. 

It takes about four hours to get from Rome to Venice by train, so it’s a good idea to make this journey in the morning. You should pack some snacks or lunch to take on the train; there may not be a cafe on board. Arrive at Venice’s central train station in the afternoon and check into your accommodation. Be aware there are no cars in the city of Venice. The main form of transportation here is by boat, or you’re walking! So keep this in mind if you have heavy luggage and book accommodation far from the train station.

Get acquainted with Venice on this first afternoon and wander through the district of Dorsoduro. A quirky, artsy district hosting novelty shops and is home to the Museo Leonardo da Vinci. In Dorsoduro, you will find endless eateries and quaint bars that offer competitive prices since this district doubles as a student neighborhood.

 

Day 5: Venice by Land and Sea

Begin your day of Venetian exploring by visiting St. Marks Basilica in the morning. Enjoy the Piazza San Marco, where the cathedral is located, and revel in the ambiance of grand Venetian architecture. Here you will also find the impressive library, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and the Palazzo Ducale (an opulent gothic palace that houses exhibits and tours of the prison, armory, and palatial rooms.). 

From the square, go to the famous Rialto Bridge either by foot or by boat! You can get a ferry from San Marco to Rialto or take a gondola down the Rio del Palazzo and Rio Della Fava canals. Admire the Rialto bridge and head up to the rooftop terrace at the Fondaco dei Tedeschi shopping mall for a better view of the bridge and the Grand Canal. Visit the nearby Rialto Markets, a beloved marketplace hosting a great variety of shops for locals and tourists.

Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy

Head back to the Grand Canal and hop on a ferry to San Toma. You can walk to the area around Campo Santa Margarita, a ritzy and fashionable local area, and try some of the favorite eateries amongst Venetians.

Keep in mind the beauty of Venice is in wandering the streets, hopping on gondolas or ferries, and just embracing the atmosphere of one of the most unique cities in the world. 

Day 6-10: Istrian Peninsula, Croatia

Day 6: Italy to Croatia by Boat

The picturesque fishing village of Rovinj Croatia.

It’s ciao for now, Italy! Get ready to discover the northwest corner of Croatia on day 6. It’s surprisingly easy to get from Italy to Croatia by boat. You can go directly from Venice to the picturesque hilltop town of Rovinj in just a few hours. There are two ferry operators for this route, either Venezia Lines or Adriatic Lines and the journey will take anywhere between 2.5 hours to 5.5 hours, depending on which line you choose. 

Another option you may consider is driving from Venice to Croatia, however, it is important to consider the potential costs of renting a car in Italy and returning it in Croatia. If an Italy to Croatia road trip is what you’re after, I recommend Discover Cars for finding the best rates.

When you arrive in Rovinj in the afternoon, prepare to be blown away by the enchanting, fairytale-like atmosphere of this coastal town. Spend the afternoon getting lost in the tangled cobblestone alleyways that lead towards the waterfront. 

Go treasure hunting on Grisia Street and enjoy the variety of quaint boutiques this famous street offers. Continue walking uphill, and you will end up at St. Euphemia Church and the iconic bell tower. This tower is sure to catch your eye as it is the town’s most prominent and defining feature. Learn the story of Euphemia and enjoy the architecture of this quaint, central church. In the evening, watch the sunset from the old town pier and get ready for your next day of adventuring. 

Day 7: Explore Poreč and Buje

Small town of Porec on the Istrian peninsula in Croatia during sunset.

After seven days of traversing cities on foot, it’s the perfect time to pick up a rental car and explore the corners of the Istrian peninsula. Rovinj offers several options for rental car companies to choose from, so opt for what suits you best and head north to the town of Poreč. 

Just a 40-minute drive away from Rovinj, the pastel-painted town of Porec offers impressive history and a quaint Riviera. Poreč has seen inhabitants since 800 BC and was captured by the Romans in 129 BC. The city is well known for its 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica, which is remarkably preserved and boasts unique gold mosaics to admire.

From Poreč, make your way to the charming medieval village of Buje, one of the many fairytale towns in Istria. This town is known as the home to some of the most renowned wineries in Croatia. With around 25 wineries, it would almost be impossible not to stop and taste some of Croatia’s finest wines! Return to Rovinj for the night. 

Day 8: Visit the Islands of Cres and Lošinj

The beautiful blue-green waters of Cres with a lush forest in the background.

On day 8, drive approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes east to the Brestova Ferry Terminal and experience the Islands of Cres and Lošinj. The ferry connecting Brestova and Cres holds cars, so there is no need to ditch the rental car yet! Drive on board, and in just 20 minutes, you will be on the Island of Cres. Drive down the coast (there is just one main highway here) and enjoy the views of the sparkling sea on either side of you. At the southern tip of Cres, you will cross a small bridge to the Island of Losinj and be pleasantly surprised by this hidden gem of Croatia. Spend the rest of the day bathing in some of the cleanest waters Croatia has to offer.

Day 9: Beach Day in Lošinj

Colorful houses and church lining the harbor on Losinj Island in Croatia

Wake up on day 9 and fully immerse yourself in the island life. Spend your morning strolling through the ultra charming town of Lošinj and enjoying coffee among the locals at one of the cafes along the harbor.

In the afternoon, cross over to Cres to uncover the island’s most secluded and pristine beaches, Lubenice. There is a 45-minute walk down to this remote beach, but the views and bright aquamarine water is a sight to see! If you’re looking for a beach with a little more accessibility, check out Valun. This small coastal village hosts two charming beaches with pristine waters perfect for wadding in – just keep your eyes peeled for sharks in Croatia.

 

End the day by making your way up to Providenca Tematski Vidikovac, the most magical spot for enjoying the sunset in Lošinj.

Day 10: Head Home From Pula

On the morning of day 10, head back to the ferry and make the 1 hour drive to Pula, where your Italy and Croatia holiday will come to an end.

This Istrian capital city is the largest city on the peninsula. You will undoubtedly feel the reminiscent Roman atmosphere while you’re traipsing through the old town. Pula is home to the world’s 6th largest Roman Colosseum, which is the focal point of the city. The Pula Arena is also one of the best-preserved Colosseums in the world, so make sure you pay a visit here during your time in Pula.  

The best preserved Roman arena outside of Rome, located in Pula, Croatia.

Wrap up your Italy and Croatia trip by going for a morning coffee at a quaint cafe around the Piazza in Pula and go for a morning stroll through the Marina. It’s quite the sight to look up and see the Pula Arena set as a backdrop behind the sleepy harbor. Aside from the arena, Pula offers two other impressive sights which include the Arch of the Sergii and Temple of Augustus.

Depending on where you are going next, Pula offers excellent transport links as the main hub of Istria. Pula has an airport that is well connected to other European cities and hosts airlines such as RyanAir, EasyJet, British Airways, Eurowings, SAS, and Norwegian Airlines, to name a few.

⭐ 14 Day Italy and Croatia Itinerary

This 14 day trip to Italy and Croatia will take you to the southern Mediterranean, where you’ll get to experience Croatia’s most impressive sites, plunge into the turquoise Adriatic Sea, and traipse down the romantic streets of Tuscany.

Days 1-3: Dubrovnik

Day 1: Get to Know Dubrovnik

Fly into Dubrovnik to kick of your epic Croatia and Italy trip. Once you get situated in your hotel, it’s time to go out and explore the historic Old Town. If you’re not staying inside the city walls, be sure to enter at the Pile Gate – the best entrance for reaching all of the city’s major attractions.

Spend the day meandering the beautiful labyrinth of cobblestone streets that make up the medieval core of Dubrovnik. Drop by the Old Town Market to pick up some snacks or head to Barba for a seafood lunch (and be sure to try their octopus burger!).

Once your belly is full, it’s time to visit the most famous attraction in all of Dubrovnik – the stone wall surrounding the Old Town. I recommend taking a guided tour if you want to learn a bit more about the historic importance of the city walls. You can also opt for a Game of Thrones Walking Tour if you’re a fan of the series!

A picturesque view of Dubrovnik's Old Town framed by lavender flowers.

If the views of the red-roofed town from the city walls aren’t enough, kick things up a notch and end your day with a cable car ride to Mount Srđ. The most incredible views of Dubrovnik and the surrounding area are, without a doubt, best experienced from the top of the mountain. Facilities at the top include a souvenir shop, bar, and restaurant where you can enjoy a drink or a meal while looking out over the town.

Day 2: Sightseeing and Beaches

The sightseeing isn’t over quite yet! Begin your morning with a visit to Fort Lovrijenac, an incredible architectural fortress towering over rocky cliffs. From its observation point, you can witness the scenic old district of Dubrovnik spread out before you and capture some amazing photos. Next, hit up the Sponza Palace, Franciscan Monastery Church and the Church of St. Blaise.

Once you’re done sightseeing, spend the rest of day 2 soaking up the sun and scenery at some of Dubrovnik’s most picturesque beaches. Within walking distance from the Ploče Gate is Banje Beach, a magnificent sight to behold. This beach is frequented by tourists for its stunning views of the Old Town and it remains one of Croatia’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you stop by for some sunbathing or to simply take in the gorgeous scenery, Banje Beach will not disappoint.

Visitors enjoying a busy beach just outside of Dubrovnik on a Croatia Italy trip.

Banje Beach does get crowded in the summer, so if that’s not your thing, you can kick it with the locals at Danče Beach. Located within walking distance of Old Town, this stone beach has been around since the city’s earliest days! Its popularity among the townspeople makes it one of Dubrovnik’s most beloved swimming spots.

If you’re up for it, join a sunset kayak tour for a fresh perspective of the medieval town from the water. This tour will allow you to kayak around the historic city walls, stop at a nearby island to snorkel, and enjoy a glass of local wine on the boat.

Day 3: Elafiti Island Tour

Day 3 is dedicated to none other than island hopping in Croatia!

Just a few miles off the coast of Dubrovnik lies an archipelago of six picturesque isles, with many more unspoiled islets dotting the scenery. The Elafiti Islands offer breathtaking views and peaceful getaways for those wishing to escape the dense tourist crowds of Dubrovnik.

Šipan, Lopud, and Koločep are the primary islands that make up this archipelago. Out of these three islands where people reside, two have completely forbidden motored vehicles (Lopud and Koločep). This makes a trip to Elafiti Islands quite special as you’ll truly get a chance to relax after two full days of sightseeing in Dubrovnik.

For the best experience, I recommend going with a local who can take you to secret spots that most tourists would not be able to reach by themselves. This private Elafiti Island Boat Tour will have you sailing to mesmerizing caves, idyllic swimming spots, and secluded beaches that you can enjoy all to yourself.

A view of Lopud Island near Dubrovnik with waves crashing onto the shore.

Days 4-5: Split

Day 4: Uncover Historic Split

It’s time to say goodbye to Dubrovnik and head north to spend a few days in Split, Croatia’s largest port. You can reach Split from Dubrovnik by bus, which will last around 4 hours, or by ferry, which takes anywhere between 4 and 6 hours depending on the route.

When you arrive in Split, embark on a journey through time and immerse yourself in the marble streets of Diocletian’s Palace. This majestic palace was built centuries ago for Roman Emperor Diocletian, and to this day remains an important part of the Old Town that has earned its prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Since the palace is integrated into the surrounding town, certain sections of it are open to all visitors which you can explore on your own. However, I recommend joining a guided tour for more insight into historical facts as well as access to exclusive rooms that are only available through a tour.

A rare view of Diocletian's Palace in Split with no tourists around.

After your tour, take the opportunity to explore Split’s Old Town. Visit St. Domnius Cathedral and Bell Tower for some breathtaking views of the city from above! Wander through the cobblestone streets and browse around some of the delightful boutiques – you’ll find an array of beautiful linen clothing, beachwear, leather goods, lavender-scented products as well as charming souvenirs.

Day 5: Split Like a Local

Begin your second day in Split just like the locals do – with a freshly brewed cup of Croatian coffee. I recommend Kava2 for specialty coffee (“kava” actually means coffee in the Croatian language).

Afterwards, head to the local market, Pazar, and pick up some freshly baked goods and seasonal fruit for breakfast before making your way toward Marjan Hill.

Often overlooked by tourists, Marjan Hill is a fantastic spot in the city that offers an easy hike through nature not too far from Split’s downtown area. The hike up is fairly easy and the path is paved, so you won’t need any special shoes for this activity. At the top, you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous viewpoint overlooking the Riva, Split’s waterfront promenade, which is a lovely spot to snap a few photos.

View of the Split waterfront promenade from the top of Marjan Hill

On the way down, check out the Meštrović Gallery to admire the incredible sculptures and architecture accompanied by stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. Finally, take some time to relax and unwind at one of Split’s many beautiful beaches. Kasjuni Beach and Bene Beach are two favorite summer swimming destinations among locals and tourists alike. End the day with a delicious pizza from Bokamorra, a cool local hangout serving up mouthwatering pizzas and specialty cocktails.

Alternatively, you could spend your second day in Split on a boat tour of the surrounding islands or take a day trip to Krka National Park and spend the day hiking.

Days 6-7: Explore Hvar Town

Day 6: Hvar Town

Take a short, 50-minute ferry ride to Hvar Town from Split and spend the day exploring one of the most striking towns in Croatia. Hvar Town is a gorgeous Mediterranean oasis tucked away on the southern side of Hvar Island in a tranquil bay. With cobblestone pathways, breathtaking beaches, and majestic Venetian buildings adorning its streets, this charming town will leave you enamored with its beauty!

There are countless things to do in Hvar that should not be missed! A few of them include enjoying local coffee at Kava, stopping by the fresh market to sample some seasonal produce, people watching on St. Stephen’s Square, and taking a dip at the town beach near the monastery.

View of Hvar Bay at sunset from the Fortica Fortress.

As the sun begins to set, make your way to the Fortica fortress that looms high above the town. Getting there is easy – just follow the signs from St. Stephen’s Square leading up the hill. You’ll need to purchase tickets to enter the fortress to reach the sprawling multi-level terrace overlooking Hvar Town and the Pakleni archipelago.

Once the sun goes down, descend back onto the streets of Hvar to experience the town’s famous nightlife scene. Start with a signature cocktail at Ka’Lavanda and end your evening at one of the many lively bars in town.

Day 7: Hvar Island by Scooter

On your final day in Croatia, set off on a real adventure by renting a scooter and exploring the island. If you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you can also rent a vintage Volkswagen Beetle Cabrio convertible which is a super fun way to get around Hvar!

Let the roads lead you where they may as you uncover fragrant fields of lavender, abandoned villages, and stop for a refreshing dip at some of Hvar’s best beaches. A few places you don’t want to miss include Jagodna Bay, Malo Zarace Beach, and Dubovica Beach (one of my personal favorites!).

A woman diving at Dubovica Beach on Hvar Island.
Swimming in Dubovica Bay is a must-have experience on Hvar Island!

Days 8-10: Naples

Day 8: From Hvar to Naples

Depart Hvar on the early morning ferry and head straight for the airport, because on day 8 you are flying to Italy! The flight between Split and Naples is only 1 hour, leaving you plenty of time to get to know your home base for the next few days.

Naples is a city that is often misunderstood. It’s chaotic, energetic, unapologetic, yet at the same time, a uniquely beautiful city. For this reason, I highly recommend starting off your visit with a Street Food Walking Tour. Not only is this a great chance to sample delicious local eats, but it’s a good way to get your bearings with a local showing you around. This is the tour I personally went on when I visited Naples in the summer of 2022 and I can’t recommend it enough.

Our guide Mario was amazing, offering lots of local insight and recommendations for what to do after the tour was finished. A few activities to consider post-tour are taking the cable car up to the Vomero neighborhood to visit Castel Sant’Elmo, stroll through the ornate courtyard of Chiostri di Santa Chiara, marvel at the handicraft work displayed along Via San Gregorio Armeno, and grab a drink at Piazza Bellini.

The busy streets of Naples, Italy

Day 9: Tour the Amalfi Coast

Wake up on your second day in Italy and take a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi Coast is a Mediterranean paradise, featuring beautiful coastlines, colorful villages, and lush landscapes. It’s known for its dramatic cliffsides and picturesque seaside towns, each with their own unique charm.

The easiest way to explore this iconic coastline is to hop on an organized tour from Naples. I went on this exact tour when I visited Naples in 2022 and could not recommend it enough! Our excellent guide and driver for the day, Carmine, was welcoming, charming, and very knowledgeable about the region. He took us on a scenic drive, first stopping in the darling town of Ravello (my favorite of the trip).

After that we continued to the village of Amalfi, and ended our day in the famous Positano. We had plenty of time to walk around and enjoy each town we visited without feeling rushed, and the best part was that we didn’t have to worry about navigating the narrow, winding roads by ourselves.

The times for this tour are also suitable for cruise ship passengers, so you can be confident you’ll be back to board your ship by 4:30 PM.

A view of Positano from afar, before walking into the town.

If you’d rather not take a guided tour, you can reach Amalfi via a combination of public trains and buses. However, bear in mind that this area of Italy is bursting with tourists in the summertime and buses may not provide the most enjoyable experience (they are known for being rather packed and sweaty). I would avoid renting a car in the summer because you will have a difficult and near impossible time accessing the villages due to traffic as well as some roads being only open to those with permits.

Day 10: Day Trip to Capri

On day ten of your trip, escape to the island of beauty and romance, also known as Capri. Situated in the Bay of Naples, Capri is best known for its rugged limestone cliffs, bright blue waters, and upscale hotels. Once upon a time, this island was a popular destination for the rich and famous, but has become increasingly accessible to all types of travelers who wish to experience Capri’s stunning scenery and vibrant culture.

The absolute best way to discover this coveted Italian island is on a private boat tour. During the summer, Capri can be overrun with tourists, so I recommend uncovering the beauty of the island from the water! This private Capri boat tour will take you on a breathtaking boat ride around the island’s rugged coast, while stopping to explore hidden coves, mysterious grottos, and ancient Roman ruins. You’ll have plenty of time to swim as well as enjoy an onboard snack of caprese salad and Prosecco.

A view of Capri's main harbor bordered by a beautiful, purple bougainvillea tree.

You can also easily DIY a day trip to Capri by catching the ferry from Naples. The crossing takes approximately one hour and offers stunning scenery of both the Amalfi Coast and the islands of Capri, Procida, and Ischia. Once you arrive in Capri, you can explore 11th century churches, gorgeous gardens and villas, as well as many artisanal workshops where you can learn about and purchase authentic pottery and leather goods.

Days 11-14: Tuscany

Day 11: Florence Highlights

On day 11 of your journey through Italy, catch the high-speed train from Naples to Florence. In just under 2.5 hours, you’ll reach the birthplace of the Renaissance and cultural capital of Italy.

Situated on the majestic Arno River, Florence (Firenze in Italian) is Tuscany’s most sought-after city. It’s one of those destinations that you must make time to visit at least once in your lifetime. In truth, a trip to Italy would be incomplete without an excursion to stunning Florence! There is plenty to see and do in this city, which make it a fantastic base for exploring the region of Tuscany.

The Ponte Vecchio Bridge, one of Florence Italy's most notable sights.

Dedicate your first day in Florence to seeing the city’s highlights. Your first stop should be the Accademia Gallery to witness Michelangelo’s most famous work – the statue of David. Afterwards, head to the magnificent cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore (or simply called the Duomo), which is by far Firenze’s most renowned site. It is free to admire the inside of the cathedral, but I recommend getting skip-the-line tickets to climb to the top of the Dome, one of the major works of the Renaissance designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Spend the rest of the day getting lost in the city streets or visiting other notable sites like the Palazzo Vecchio, Basilica of Santissima Annunziata, Museum of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.

Day 12: Day Trip to Siena

The beauty of Florence (other than its jaw-dropping architecture) is the fact that it is perfectly situated for exploring the region of Tuscany. On your second day in Tuscany, hop on a direct train leaving from the Santa Maria Novella station. In just 1 hour and 15 minutes, you’ll arrive in the majestic and noble city of Siena.

Siena is a moody and mysterious, medieval town that makes for a wonderful day trip from Florence. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Siena is known for its tightly packed narrow lanes dotted with towering houses that transport you right back to the middle ages. Begin your morning with a coffee at Torrefazione Fiorella, one of the many atmospheric cafes in town frequented by locals.

An aerial view of Siena's oval-shaped piazza and impressive tower.

Then, a visit to the main public square, Piazza del Campo, is a must for any traveler. Here you can gaze in awe at the stunning Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia, marveling at their intricate architectural details. From here you can wander through the cobbled streets until you reach one of Siena’s many awe-inspiring churches, where you can admire the breathtaking frescos and other works of art. Be sure not to miss the Duomo di Siena, a remarkable Gothic cathedral featuring an intricate facade of black and white marble.

Day 13: Train to Pisa and Lucca

Due to their close proximity, the towns of Pisa and Lucca are commonly combined for a day trip from Florence. I suggest heading to Pisa first thing in the morning if you want to enjoy the famous landmark with as few crowds as possible. The high speed train from Florence is quick and lasts just 51 minutes, which will allow you to be there before the busloads of tourists arrive.

Once you’ve explored Pisa’s main sights, hop on a regional train to Lucca and spend the afternoon taking in its history and culture, and maybe enjoy an espresso in the oval-shaped piazza. In Lucca, don’t forget to take a stroll around the city walls, which are impressive and well-preserved. As the sun sets, jump back on the train to return to Florence in time for dinner. Although this day may have passed quickly, it’s a great way to get a glimpse of what the Tuscany region has to offer.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa on an Italy and Croatia itinerary, one of Italy's most famous and recognizable sights.

Day 14: Wind Down in Florence

It is day fourteen of your Italy itinerary and almost time to go home! It has been a whirlwind of a visit, and now it’s time to wind down and soak in every last bit of Italian atmosphere. Spend your final day strolling the magnificent streets and visiting any city highlights you may have missed on your first day in Florence. Don’t forget to pick up any last-minute souvenirs and enjoying some delicious Italian cuisine!

In the late afternoon, venture beyond the famous squares and museums of Florence to the most stunning rose garden you’ve ever seen, Giardino delle Rose. This garden is free to visit and boasts ridiculously striking views all year round.

End your last day in Italy by climbing up to the Piazzale Michelangelo, a spectacular 19-century piazza featuring panoramic views of the city. This is a popular sunset-watching spot, so get their early and bring a bottle of Chianti to sip on while you watch the sun go down behind the Florence skyline.

Florence sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo

Travel Resources for Planning a Trip to Croatia and Italy

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road (like that time I had to go to urgent care in Thailand for a severe case of dehydration). Luckily I had SafetyWing insurance that covered my bill. Their average plan is $42 for 28 days – that’s $1.50 a day to enjoy peace of mind…just get it. Plus you can adjust your length of coverage to your specific dates of travel, so you could be paying even less than that!

📱 Will my phone work in Italy and Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling to Croatia and Italy. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Europe!

🏨 What’s the best way to book my Italy and Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia and Italy hotels, Booking is by far the best site.

🛫 What’s the best site to buy Italy and Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

🚗  Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)

💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up! (Read more)

🪪 Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.

Final Thoughts: Italy and Croatia Itinerary Ideas

Each of these Italy and Croatia itinerary options are optimized so you can spend less time traveling between locations, and more time experiencing. Whether you choose to explore northern Italy and Croatia or hop between Croatia and Italy’s stunning southern destinations, you are sure to have a memorable adventure.


Never leave home without insurance! I’ve been using SafetyWing for all of my travels and can’t recommend them enough. They offer the best coverage, are super affordable, and you can turn your policy off and on as you need it. Learn more here.

FAQs

Can I go from Italy to Croatia?

Yes! Italy and Croatia are geographically close and well connected by ferry and airline routes.

How long is the ferry from Croatia to Italy?

The ferry from Venice to Croatia is the most popular route with a duration of 3-4 hours.

How many days do you need in Croatia?

10 days is the ideal amount of time to explore the highlights of Croatia while still having time to relax and enjoy your trip.

What is the best way from Croatia to Italy?

The best way to get from Croatia to Italy is either by ferry or by plane.

What city in Italy is closest to Croatia?

Trieste in Italy is the closest city to Croatia. It is only 47 km (29 miles) to Umag, the northernmost town in Istria, Croatia’s western peninsula.

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