Croatia has become one of my favorite countries in the world after my two-week road trip along its coast earlier this year. It’s a marvelously beautiful nation, home to some of Europe’s most stunning national parks, excellent seafood restaurants, fantastic old cities, picturesque coastal towns, and gorgeous beaches.
It really has everything any destination should have—and it has it all in abundance. While reminiscing about that road trip of a lifetime, I decided to write down a list of my favorite Croatia destinations.
Hopefully, this personal list of mine can serve as inspiration for your own road trip along Croatia’s stunning coast.
Road Trip Destinations in Croatia
The old Roman-founded coastal town of Zadar makes for a perfect stopping place when driving between Istria and Dalmatia. Its beautiful Old Town, set on a rectangular peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, is home to a collection of Roman ruins and a gorgeous waterfront promenade.
2. Krka National Park
Krka National Park may not be the most well-known of all Croatia destinations, but it is well-worth visiting. Krka National Park comprises woodlands, rivers, wetlands and—its main attraction—spectacular waterfalls.
A small city on the northern Dalmatian coast, Šibenik is the only city on the coast of Croatia that was founded by the Croats. It’s a surprisingly beautiful and lively medieval city, consisting entirely of stone buildings, fortresses, and countless stairways. Its main attraction is the striking Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Plitvice Lakes National Park
One of the oldest national parks in Europe, Plitvice Lakes National Park is often considered to be the most beautiful attraction in Croatia. It is made up of sixteen amazingly clear lakes that cascade into each other in a series of waterfalls. This natural landscape is so unique that the park has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
Istria, the prominent peninsula in the northwestern corner of the country, is vastly different from the landscapes of inland Croatia and Dalmatia. Istria features rolling farmlands, vineyards, olive groves, forests where people search for truffles, hilltop towns and beautiful beaches. This is an absolutely recommended region to visit—I can’t stress enough how much it impressed me.
Split is the second city in Croatia. Founded as the retirement home of Diocletian, a Roman Emperor, Split is still home to that so-called Diocletian’s Palace. This complex of ruins is still the center of everyday life in the city—it is so incredible that this, too, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
If any place can be considered the absolute star highlight in Croatia, it has to be Dubrovnik. This fabulous old city is home to mighty city walls, stunning beaches, and a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Old Town. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest cities in the whole world.