Itinerary for the Best Motorhome Road Trip in Croatia

June 9, 2023 in Routes, Destinations, Tips for Travellers & Croatia

When you think of Croatia, your mind likely wanders to sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and delicious food. While you’re not wrong, you’re forgetting one important thing: your motorhome. There is no better way to explore Croatia than from behind the wheel of a motorhome. Your biggest issue will be keeping your eyes on the road and not on the incredible views.

Man stood on motorhome taking photo of coastal road in Croatia

We’re going to take you through the ultimate Croatia road trip in 7 or 10 days — it’s up to you! You’ll also get to choose between visiting Pula or Zagreb (or both), but more on that later. For now, it’s time to pack your bags and hit the road for an adventure.

Croatia Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 - Dubrovnik

We’ll start your Croatian road trip in a true fan favourite: Dubrovnik. This city is located right in the south of Croatia, facing the Adriatic Sea. It’s particularly known for its Old Town, which is surrounded by massive stone walls that date back to the 16th century. You’ll be amazed at how well-preserved these ageing buildings are, and you’ll instantly feel transported to a different time. Aside from its picturesque buildings, Dubrovnik is renowned for its stunning coastline and delightful restaurants. You might want to spend an extra day in this gorgeous city, as you’ll struggle to run out of things to do!

Things to do in Dubrovnik:

-Take a stroll through the Old Town and circle the city walls.

-If you’re a fan of the hit HBO show, we recommend taking a Game of Thrones tour. You’ll spot many familiar sights! DubrovnicIt was mainly used for scenes set in King’s Landing, but also featured as Blackwater Bay and the House of the Undying.

-Take a cable car ride up Mount Srđd. Reaching to 1,350 feet, it’s not incredibly high, reaching 412 metres at its top, but it still offers a lovely view of the city. At the peak, you’ll also find a large white stone cross and Fort Imperial, which was built by the French in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars.

-If you feel like relaxing in nature, spend an afternoon in Gradac Park. As you sunbathe on the grass or enjoy a picnic, you can take advantage of the views over the old fort, city and sea.

-As mentioned previously, Dubrovnik is famous for its coastline, so make sure to enjoy it while you’re here. You can easily rent kayaks for an afternoon; just be wary of strong currents!

Dubrovnik, CroatiaPhoto by Datingjungle on Unsplash

Staying at: Kamp Solitudo

You won’t find a better campsite near Dubrovnik than Kamp Solitudo. It’s a mere 10-minute ride from the historic centre of Dubrovnik and only a 5-minute stroll to the beach! This campsite is also dog-friendly and particularly liked by couples and families. 

Ul. Vatroslava Lisinskog 60, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia

42.661998, 18.070515

Day 2 - Dubrovnik to Split

Driving distance: 144 miles

You can spend the morning ticking the final items off of your Dubrovnik to-do list, or pack up your motorhome and head further on your road trip through Croatia. Your next stop is Split! This drive should take about three hours, so consider planning a stop along the way. 

Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and is known as a hub of culture, nature and antiquity. It has the perfect balance of old and new. It’s beloved for its nightlife and bustling promenade. Split is also known to be slightly cheaper than Dubrovnik, however, we do prefer the beaches at the former.

Split, Croatia

Things to do in Split:

-You’ll find buildings dating back to the Roman Empire here in Split. In particular, a visit to Diocletian’s Palace is a must. This ancient palace was built at the turn of the fourth century AD and is at the heart of the old town. It’s even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so ensure you take the time to see it.

-If you’d like to see more architecture during your trip, head to Saint Domnius Cathedral. It’s known locally as Sveti Dujam, and it’s the seat of the Archdiocese of Split-Makarska. Saint Domnius CathedralIt’s the smallest cathedral in the world but also the oldest.

-Itching to stretch your legs? Wake up early to hike Parka Suma Marjan. This foresty hillside park features walking trails, lookout points, a botanical garden and more. The track can be challenging might be a challenging trek, but it’ll be more than worth it for the views.

-If you’d like to visit more sites during your time in Split, then we recommend purchasing a Blue Ticket or Green Ticket. The Blue Ticket includes entrance to the Cathedral, Crypt and Baptistery. The Green Ticket includes entrance to the Cathedral, Bell Tower and Treasury. See which interests you most, and then get one of these bundle tickets to cut down on costs. The Green and Blue ticket cost around £5-10, check out the Croatia tourism office for the latest information and exact prices.  

Staying at: Camping Stobreč Split

This family-friendly campsite is only 15 minutes from central Split and is exactly the treat you deserve on your holiday. You’ll get to fall asleep to the sound of the Adriatic quietly lapping against the sandy shore… heavenly! It has a supermarket on-site, as well as bars and restaurants.

Put Svetog Lovre 6, 21311, Stobreč, Croatia

43.504135, 16.526505

Man relaxing in hammock in front of campervan

Day 3 - Split

As you can see from the list above, there is simply so much to do in Split! That’s why we recommend taking an extra day to explore this bustling city. Along with all the things mentioned, you could also stroll the Riva, a pedestrian promenade that spans the city’s coastline. You’ll get to enjoy views of the Adriatic Sea on one side, and delightful shops and restaurants on your other side.

If you’re looking to escape the heat for a bit, head to the Ivan Mestrovic Gallery. Ivan Mestrovic is often described as the Croatian Michelangelo. A famous 20th-century sculptor, Ivan’s work was even featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This art and sculpture museum is housed in his neoclassic mansion, which is a work of art in itself!

Day 4 - Split to Krka National Park

Driving distance: 53 miles

We’ve given you plenty of time to enjoy Split, so for day four of your road trip itinerary, we suggest getting up nice and early. You’ve got one day in Krka National Park, and we guarantee that you’ll want to make the most of it! It should take about an hour to drive from Split to Krka National Park.

No road trip in Croatia is complete without a visit to a national park, and you’re spoiled for choices. For this itinerary, we’ve opted for Krka over Mljet and Plitvice Lakes National Park, as it’s the closest to Split. But if you’re looking to extend your route from Dubrovnik to Pula, or stay for longer than 10 days, consider including those as well.

Krka National Park offers over 88 square miles of incredible nature. You’ll find waterfalls, wildlife, caves, forests and more. It can get quite busy here, so if possible, we urge you to travel outside of the peak season for this trip.

What should you do in Krka National Park? A lot of walking, that’s for sure! You can get a guided tour or head out on your own. Swimming is not permitted in many areas of the park, to preserve the biodiversity — but some areas allow it. The park is not very bike friendly, but there are options for bike hire if you prefer it.

Krka National Park, CroatiaPhoto by Tom Wheatley on Unsplash

Staying at: Kamp Krka

You won’t have to leave the beauty of the national park to pitch your motorhome, as Kamp Krka is right around the corner! It features spacious pitches with electric hook-ups, as well as sanitary facilities and a playground for the little ones. You can even buy fresh bread at the campsite to get a filling breakfast before you hit the road again.

Skočići 2, 22221, Lozovac, Croatia

43.800322, 15.942177

Day 5 - Krka National Park to Zadar

Driving distance: 47,.6 miles

You might be leaving It might be with a heavy heart that you leave Krka National Park with a heavy heart, as it’s impossible to see everything it has to offer in less than three days. But we promise, there are plenty of great destinations to come on this itinerary.

It should take just under an hour to drive from Krka National Park to Zadar. We decided to include Zadar on this Croatian road trip itinerary as it's the best place to discover the history of this majestic country. It also has a calmer pace than other cities in Croatia, so it's the perfect way to ease back into the bustle of things after the peaceful surroundings of a national park.

Zadar is located on the Dalmatian Coast but differs from many of the other seaside cities dotted along it. Many visitors prefer Zadar to other destinations in Croatia as they find it to be more low-key and less touristy, but you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Campervan driving along coastal road in Croatia

Things to do in Zadar:

-Head to the beach for the afternoon! If your feet are weary after all that walking in Krka National Park, you can rest up at the beach and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

-For a sight you have to see to believe, head to The Greeting to the Sun, also known as the Monument to the Sun. It consists of three hundred, multi-layered glass plates, which are placed on the same level as the stone-paved waterfront. The reflection of light creates an incredible illusion, which you can never truly capture on camera.

-Seek out the cool interior of the National Museum of Zadar. It features four distinct departments: Natural history, Ethnological, Gallery of the Fine Arts and the City museum. You can easily spend hours exploring the wonders of this museum.

-Head to the largest church in all of Dalmatia: the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. It’s the seat of the Archdiocese of Zadar and consists of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It was built in the 4th and 5th centuries and was renovated in the 12th and 13th centuries.

-We mentioned that Zadar is known for its history, so it’s time to explore that for yourself! Take a stroll through the Roman Forum. It’s believed that this area was dedicated to the gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, and dates back to the 1st century BC. You’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of citizens back then.

Zadar, CroatiaPhoto by Sidharth Bhatia on Unsplash

Staying at: Falkensteiner Premium Camping Zadar

A mere five-minute drive from Zadar, this seaside campsite is the perfect place to pitch up for the night. It’s only walking distance to the beach, so you can start your day with a swim. The whole family will have fun at this campsite as it features swimming pools, waterslides, a sauna and a sea view restaurant. We recommend staying here for both of your nights in Zadar.

Ul. Majstora Radovana 7, 23000, Zadar, Croatia

44.135060, 15.215467

Day 6 - Zadar

No driving today. Simply more time to explore Zadar! 

If you’re looking to escape the heat of the afternoon, head to the Museum of Ancient Glass. It features ancient glass artefacts as well as glassblowing demonstrations. Given all the incredible glasswork you’ll spot around Croatia, it’s definitely worth learning more about how these pieces are made.

Another fun sight to witness in Zadar is the Sea Organ. This experimental musical instrument uses the sea waves and tubes located under a large set of marble steps to create music. You truly won’t believe what you hear!

Campervan road trip in Croatia

Day 7 - Zadar to Rijeka

Driving distance: 180 miles

As beautiful as Zadar is, it’s time to move on to the next destination on our road trip itinerary for Croatia. The drive from Zadar to Rijeka should take about three hours in total. It’s a gorgeous coastal drive along the E65, with plenty of viewpoints to take a break and enjoy the offer unbeatable views.

The port city of Rijeka is tucked away on Kvarner Bay and is known best as a gateway to Croatia’s islands. If you’re looking to go island hopping, this would be a great place to park your van and embark on that adventure. But as this itinerary is focused on a motorhome road trip, we’ll stay behind the wheel and on the mainland for now.

Things to do in Rijeka:

-In the heart of town, you’ll find the Gradski Tower. This majestic clock tower looks almost identical to when it was built in the Middle Ages. It’s considered to be a symbol of Rijeka, and you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants scattered around it.

-If your legs feel strong enough, tackle the Petar Druzic Stairway. This historic stairway connects Rijeka’s Upper, Middle and Lower towns. It used to be part of the vital pilgrimage to the Church of Our Lady of Tsrat.

-Hike up the hill leading to Trsat Castle and the Church of Our Lady. This castle was once home to Croatia’s first king and now functions as an art gallery and cafe. Once you’ve seen art exhibited in the ruins of a crumbling castle, you’ll never want to return to traditional galleries again.

-Take the time to stroll through the City Market. This is one of the best places to get a taste of daily life in Rijeka — and that’s not all you’ll get a taste of! Aside from flower, vegetable and fruit stalls, the City Market is filled with delicious stalls selling bites to eat. It’s the ideal place to grab lunch in Rijeka.

Campervan road trip in Croatia

Staying at: Camping Opatija

You’ll get to enjoy a shaded pitch at Camping Opatija, courtesy of the woodland surrounding this campsite. But don’t let the forestry location fool you, as you’re only 65 steps away from the beach! This campsite allows you to be only thirty minutes away from Rijeka, but still enjoy a peaceful evening with an incredible view.

Poljanska cesta 16, 51414, Ičići, Croatia

45.310548, 14.284592

Day 8 - Rijeka

If you’re struggling with a bit of sunburn or simply looking to cool off inside, head to the Maritime and Historical Museum of Rijeka. It also tends to be a hit with the little ones. This fascinating museum takes you through the maritime history of Croatia, featuring many artefacts, models and paintings. Given that the majority of Croatia is centred around the coastline and its navy played a vital role in its history, this is a great way to understand this country and its legacy.

Another way to stay inside without getting bored is to explore the spooky Rijeka War Tunnels. During World War II, Rijeka was occupied by the Italians, which forced the locals to build a series of tunnels deep into the hills surrounding Rijeka. These might not be as famous as the war tunnels in Pula, but they’re still fascinating for any history buffs.

Day 9 - Rijeka to Pula or Zagreb

Rijeka to Pula: 67 miles

Rijeka to Zagreb: 103 miles

Okay, we’ve reached a crossroad junction in our road trip itinerary. It’s time to decide whether you’ll head west to Pula or east to Zagreb. Given that these are both excellent cities worth a visit, but in the opposite direction, this itinerary includes both options. 

If you’re looking to do a Pula to Dubrovnik road trip within 10 days, you can drive an hour and a half on the E751 until you reach this coastal town. You can even stop at Učka National Park along the way. 

Alternatively, if you’re aiming for a Zagreb to Dubrovnik road trip itinerary, then now is your chance to detour and head to Croatia’s northwestern capital. Simply head inland on the E65, and you’ll reach Zagreb within two hours of driving. 

And if you can’t choose between these two great destinations and you’re willing to extend your trip a little further, simply head to Pula first and then over to Zagreb, and extend your trip to approximately 12 days.

Campervan road trip in Croatia

Day 10 - Pula

You’ve opted for the Pula to Dubrovnik road trip section! Don’t worry, Pula isn’t just another seaside town in Croatia. Located right on the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, Pula is known for its protected harbour, Roman ruins and excellent beaches. 

Pula is characterised by its history. It has been occupied, destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries. It’s been a base for the Romans, Ostrogoths, Venetians, Allied forces and more. So how will you spend your time in Pula? Well, we’ve got a few ideas lined up for you…

Things to do in Pula:

-If we had to pick only one thing to do in Pula, it would be to visit Pula Arena. Built between 27 BC and 68 AD, Pula Arena is the only remaining Roman amphitheatre with a fully intact circular wall. It was built to host gladiator fights and could fit up to 20,000 spectators. The real highlight of Pula Arena is that it is still operational today, but luckily not for fights. It hosts concerts, games and outdoor cinemas.

-Feeling inspired by Pula Arena and looking for more Roman sights? Head to the Temple of Augustus. It was built in 27 BC and dedicated to Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. It was almost destroyed by a bomb during a World War II air raid and underwent restoration in the years after. This temple is also located close to the Town Hall, which is definitely worth a visit.

-If you’re not afraid of small spaces, take a trip underground to Zerostrasse. This tunnel system was built during World War I to provide shelter in the event of air raids. It’s almost the size of Pula and is used nowadays for exhibitions, concerts and tours. 

-After the sun sets and you’ve enjoyed a delicious meal, head to the Uljanik Shipyard for a show like no other. Each evening of the summer, the Lighting Giants installation takes place from about 9 pm and 10 pm. It lasts fifteen minutes and consists of 16,000 colour combinations on over 300 feet tall 100-metre-tall cranes. 

Pula Arena, CroatiaPhoto by Linda Gerbec on Unsplash

Staying at: Campsite Piccolo

This cosy campsite has everything you need from a motorhome site, and none of the fancy trimmings. It’s a simple site that prides itself on taking a limited number of bookings to ensure spacious pitches and tranquillity — so be sure to book ahead of time! You can use their designated barbecue area to grill a delicious dinner, and you’ll find many bars and supermarkets within walking distance.

Indije 102, 52203, Banjole, Croatia

44.822483, 13.849354

Day 10 - Zagreb

You’ve opted for the Zagreb to Dubrovnik road trip section! This is a great choice as it really differs from previous stops on the road trip itinerary. Firstly because Zagreb is not a coastal town in the slightest; it’s located inland. Travellers often neglect this part of Croatia in favour of beaches and harbours, but it’s a gorgeous region to explore.

Zagreb is also a great pick as you’ll encounter fewer tourists than in the coastal towns. This also means it’s cheaper than many other destinations in Croatia. 

Zagreb, CroatiaPhoto by Kristijan Arsov on Unsplash

Things to do in Zagreb:

-Head to the world-famous Zagreb Cathedral. You’ll spot it from far away, as the Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in the city. This cathedral is known for its Gothic architecture, with spires that soar deep into the sky. It was initially built in the 11th century but was further developed after the Zagreb earthquake of 1880.

-While exploring the Old Town, you’ll likely come across St. Mark’s Church. The best photos of this church are taken from a distance so that you can fully appreciate the Croatian medieval coat of arms and emblem of Zagreb on the roof. It’s situated close to other historical buildings, such as the Croatian Parliament and the Old City Hall.

-Now we’ve got something truly unique for you to do in Zagreb. If you’ve got the time, definitely take a detour to the Museum of Broken Relationships. You’ll find it located in the Kulmer Palace in the Upper Town. At this museum, you can travel the world through love stories, as it contains artefacts from thousands of past relationships, with their tale attached. It’s both emotional, funny and heartwarming, a reminder of how much love there is in the world, and how fragile it can be.

-Take a trip in the Zagreb Funicular, which happens to be the shortest funicular in the world at 216 feet66 metres. Don’t let the size deter you, as that minute-long trip is a great shortcut from the Upper Town to the Lower Town. It’s the oldest form of public transport in the city, dating back to the 1890s. 

-Zagreb is also renowned for its 18th and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture. You’ll spot plenty of Gothic buildings dotted around the city.

Campervan set up at a campsite at nighttime

Staying at: Camp Zagreb

Finish your holiday with a bit of luxury at Camp Zagreb! This campsite has it all: a massage studio, kayak rentals, a pizzeria, a playground and more. You can use the free shuttle to get to and from Zagreb, allowing you to set up your motorhome and awning for the entirety of your stay.

Zagreb, Jezerska ul. 6, 10437, Rakitje, Croatia

45.801964, 15.826480

Whether you’ve opted for a 7-day road trip or a 10-day road trip in Croatia, you’ve definitely made the right choice by visiting this incredible country. Croatia has so much to offer, and with a motorhome, you’ll be able to design your perfect road trip. 

Given that Croatia is filled with rocky terrain, you might want to check out our tips for driving a motorhome in the mountains. Given that there’s minimal driving in this road trip itinerary, you should be able to really take your time on the roads. And be sure to check out our guide to visiting Croatia in a motorhome. Now let the adventure begin!