How much does it cost to go on a Croatia Road Trip in Croatia?
Croatia Grand Tour is a versatile trip encompassing an array of beautiful Croatian settlements, ancient and medieval landmarks, and stunning landscapes that can be all admired through your car window along the way. This family-friendly adventure will cater to the needs of the most demanding motorists. Experience the top-notch ambiance of Croatian cities and glide along excellent roads valued by drivers from all around the world!
Croatia Grand Tour consists of 11 stages that will take you from Northern to Southern Croatia. The trip starts at the Zagreb Airport and takes you east to such places as Karlovac or Novigrad. Afterwards, you will head south and visit Opatija, Rijeka, and Zadar. After a stopover at the southern most part of this trip in Korčula, you will head north to Plitvica and Karlovac again. The finishing line of this trip is the Zagreb Airport; however, we encourage you to continue your Croatian adventure and head for the capital itself!
Your journey starts at the Zagreb Airport. It is precisely the place where you can collect your rental vehicle.
Start your Croatia Grand Tour at the Zagreb Airport where you will have the opportunity to hire a car at one of the car rental companies located at the airport. The first stage of your adventure will cover almost 300 km so there is plenty to see during this stage! First, head for Karlovac located in Central Croatia. Due to the city`s perfect location on the Zagreb-Rijeka highway, the journey will be pleasant, easy, and fast.
When you reach Karlovac, it is worth taking some time to explore its interesting monuments. Among the most exciting places to visit, you will find the Karlovac Town Hall, Dubovac Castle, Franciscan Monastery, and the Church of Holy Trinity. During this stage, while driving along the smooth surfaces of Croatian roads, you pass through such places as Dugave, Gronje Stative, or Nova Vas. In the end, you reach Novigrad, a treasure trove of tourist highlights for the visiting motorists.
Novigrad is the jewel of Istria Country with ancient roots. It already existed in the times of Ancient Greece. The town can boast a number of small houses representing the Venetian Gothic style. While in the city, you should also visit the 8th-century Basilica of Saint Pelgaius. After a short break in Novigrad, hop in your car and hit the road to reach Poreč with its stunning harbour and a plethora of lively restaurants.
While in Poreč, you should definitely pay a visit at the Church of Our Lady of Angel, Euphrasian Basilica, Baredin Cave, and Poreč Promenade. Along the promenade, you will find an array of top-notch restaurants serving meals based on fresh local products. After a short ramble, buckle up for some more adventure in Rovinj. While travelling to your final destination, you admire the stunning Croatian coast with plenty of sandy coves and scenic promontories.
Rovinj is not only a well-known tourist resort, but also an active fishing port; therefore, do not forget to try some of the delicacies available at the restaurants specialising in seafood and fish-based meals. Interestingly, the town is officially bilingual with its residents speaking both Croatian and Italian. Many of the houses located in the town are notable examples of Venetian style. Among the most interesting landmarks and attractions, you will find St Euphemia Basilica, Monkodonja, and Limska Draga Fjord. It is also worth taking some time to drive around the town and admire the unique topography.
From Rovinj, your trip continues to Pula, an ancient Roman outpost. With plenty of Roman remnants, Pula will captivate the lovers of both history and archaeology. One of the most popular attractions in the city is, of course, the perfectly preserved Roman amphitheatre. Be sure to visit such places as the Temple of Augustus and the Pula Aquarium as well. After a short stopover, take E751 road to reach the finishing line of this lap, Opatija.
Opatija is one of the traditional seaside resorts enjoying a brilliant location on the Kvarner Gulf. Its hot climate and excellent landmarks are a perfect combination that lures thousands of tourists on an annual basis. When in Opatija, you should definitely check out Villa Angiolina, the Maiden with the Seagull, and St Jacob Church. The beach lovers should also visit Opatija Beach. From Opatija, you take E61 road to reach Rijeka, another perfect seaside resort.
Rijeka is considered a brilliant gateway to the Croatian islands, these are visible even from the mainland. Rijeka is a perfect combination of a harbour town and a seaside resort. Its Dalmatian charm will enchant you with brilliant culture and top-notch cuisine. From Rijeka, you head further south to Senj, located at a distance of 60 km away. While driving along the coastline, you will have the opportunity to admire the stunning Dalmatian isles and sandy coves. Afterwards, take E65 road to reach Zadar, the final destination of this road trip lap.
Zadar is characterised by a myriad of attractions and entertainment venues. Your experience in Zadar will be even more pleasant thanks to the impeccable state of Croatian roads in this region. Old Roman ruins, medieval fortifications, and lively restaurants are the quintessence of the city. After a short stroll around the town centre, travel around 90 km to Sibenik, another seaside resort. It is an industrial and a cultural hub welcoming motorists with stunning architecture.
In Sibenik, you will be taken away by the unique ambiance and beautiful beaches. Travel to St Michael Fortress to admire a picturesque panorama of the settlement. The town is also known for the Sibenik Bridge that offers beautiful views on the sea. After a short stopover, travel to Trogir by taking the coastal road no 8 through such places as Brodanica or Rogoznica. Reach the final destination of this stage, namely Omis.
Omis is the starting point of the sixth stage of your trip. You can also begin with a short exploration of the town itself. Among the most interesting historical monuments, you will find Mirabella Fortress, the Church of St Euphemia, and Starigrad Fortress. There is plenty to see for the lovers of history and architecture. After a short break in the town, head for Makarska that is probably one of the most popular places on the Croatian coast. Makarska will be an ideal starting base for trips to the Biokovo Nature Park.
For those who would like to focus on the exploration of Croatian urban jewels, Makarska is a great opportunity to see a true instance of Croatian Riviera. Its Old Town is full of narrow stone streets, beautiful architectural pieces, and fruit markets that create unique ambience that the travellers can soak up for hours on end. Check out St Mark Cathedral, St Peter church, and the 16th-century Franciscan Monastery. Later, buckle up and return to the coastal road no 8 to reach Dubrovnik.
The seventh stage of Croatia Grand Tour takes you back north to such places as Ston and Korčula. Ston is located at a distance of around 60 km away. On your way back north, you will have an opportunity to admire the greatness of the Croatian coastline again. Take coastal road no 8 through such settlements as Zaton or Doli. On your left-hand side, you will see scenic beaches lined with seashells and pretty stones, a truly idyllic and relaxing view.
From Ston, you travel through Potomje and Orebić to Korčula lying just off the Dalmatian coast. This small settlement is popular for holding the Korkyra Baroque Festival that is a showcase of Baroque music. Check out the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of St Mark and the 15th-century Franciscan monastery that lies nearby. After a short stroll around the town centre, hop in your car to begin the next stage of your trip.
This stage of Croatia Grand Tour will cover almost 300 km and will take you approximately 6 hours on the road. Along the way, you will see spectacular views of the coastline and enjoy a number of interesting small settlements spread along the Croatian coast. The next destination of your rip is Vela Luka located still on the island of Korčula. Its inhabitants are a blend of fishermen and farmers. It is a great place for the lovers of archaeology thanks to the many dig sites located in its near vicinity.
After the exploration of Vela Luka, you return to the Croatian mainland and head for the finishing line of this lap, namely Split. The city is a place where modernity and antiquity meet. Croatia`s second largest settlements will welcome motorists with impeccable roads, spectacular landmarks, and top-notch dining venues. Visit Cathedral of St Dominicus, admire the Temple of Jupiter, and take a stroll around the towering Klis Fortress before hitting the road again.
There are 140 km ahead of you during this stage. Start from the beautiful Split and travel in the north-eastern direction to Sinj, located at a distance of around 35 km away. Take E65 road through such places as Osoje, Kraj, and Brnaze. This section of the road is characterised by top-notch state and impeccable infrastructure. Sinj will welcome you with small-town architecture and delicious cuisine. From Sinj, you travel further north to Knin which is located around 70 km away.
From Knijn, another small Croatian settlements, you travel to the final destination of this lap, namely Gračac. The main attractions around the town are Lake Stikada and the karst field of Gračac. Nearby, you will also find Cerovac Caves open for sightseeing. Along the way to Gračac, you have the opportunity to admire the stunning mountainous region of Croatia.
The tenth stage of this road trip will take you approximately 3 hours and 80 km of beautiful roads and stunning landscapes. From Gračac, travel to Plitvička Jezera which are part of a large national park. The place is considered one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. It can be found in the mountainous karst area, at a stone`s throw from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The national park is a great highlight in itself with plenty of diverse landscapes, butterfly and animal species, and stunning panoramas.
From Plitvička Jezera, you head for the finishing line of this stage Plitvica, located nearby. It is a perfect spot for those who enjoy natural landscapes. On all sides, you will be surrounded by stunning flora and fauna. Besides, Plitvica is a perfect location for those who would like to venture into the most distant and unexplored recesses of the famous nature park. After some time spent around the beauty of Mother Nature, buckle up to begin the next stage of your road trip.
From Plitvica, you take D1 road and head north to Karlovac, located around 85 km away. During this stage, you will have a myriad of opportunities to take a stopover at one of the smaller Croatian settlements to soak up the idyllic atmosphere and admire the one of a kind backdrop of these places. This stage is a showcase of Croatian beauty at its best.
Karlovac offers a considerable choice of tourist highlights. These include the Holy Nikolai Orthodox Church, the River Korana, Trinity Church, and plenty of small-town architecture examples. After a short break in Karlovac, return on the road to reach the Zagreb Airport, the finishing line of your road trip. However, do not worry, you can prolong your Croatian experience by taking public transport to the capital of Croatia.
After leaving your car at the Zagreb Airport, you have 12 km to cover to reach the city centre. You can pre-book a private or shared transfer or take the airport bus which can be found outside the main Arrival Terminal. The whole trip will take you approximately 25-30 minutes to reach the very centre of Zagreb, a city made for long strolls and family rambles.
Admire the stunning architecture, marvel at the beauty of medieval housing, and eat a local delicacy at one of the lively and buzzing restaurants in the city centre. Art fans should head for the Croatian Museum of Naive Art or Croatian Association of Artists, whereas those who enjoy admiring architecture should definitely consider a visit at Mirogoj, Dolac Market, or Lotrsčak Tower. The capital offers best restaurants, shopping venues, entertainment spots, and museums in the country. Lose yourself in the variety of experiences that Zagreb offers. After a long day full of sightseeing and delicious food, travel back to the Zagreb Airport!