If you’re considering where to go on holiday, think about taking a family road trip to Croatia.
A country filled with natural beauty; it is home to some of the best beaches in Europe. It will have much for Game of Thrones fans to get excited about in the cities of Dubrovnik and Split, and you can become immersed in Croatia’s fascinating history.
You’ll find some hidden gems in the city of Split, with quirky lesser-known attractions like the Museum of the Senses and Froggyland.
You can also take in Croatia’s astounding natural beauty on a trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park and learn about the native wildlife at the Makarska Riviera.
Later, I’ll take you through my 7-day Croatia road trip itinerary to give you some ideas. First, we’ll discover the best time to visit.
Let’s jump in.
What is the best month to visit Croatia?
The best month to visit Croatia is in July, which is the hottest month of the year. However, the time of year you choose to visit does depend on the kinds of activities you’d like to do because Croatia has something to offer all year round.
The summer months are ideal for swimming in the shimmering blue waters around the islands and going out on boating trips if you want a break from driving.
If you choose to visit in April, May, or October, the cooler weather is fantastic for a range of outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking.
If you take a trip between November and March, you can enjoy the delights of Split and Zagreb, when there are fewer people around and there is a more relaxed atmosphere.
Now let’s find out which areas of Croatia are good for families.
Which part of Croatia is best for families?
Croatia — with its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and beautiful beaches — has a lot that people of all ages can enjoy.
Here are some of the best places you and your family can explore.
The Istrian Coast
Istria is home to some of the best beaches in Croatia. It’s the place to go to soak up the sun, swim in the sea, and make sand castles. You can explore the coastal resorts of Rovinj and Poreč and there is plenty to do without having to travel far.
The family will love taking a train down to Pical Beach in Poreč, and you can spend a day exploring caves and sampling the local cuisine. The kids are bound to love the two local waterparks too.
The Istrian Coast will make for a great destination on your road trip, but if you prefer to discover some charming beaches that are a little nearer to hand, check out our post on a Cornwall Road Trip.
The Makarska Riviera
The Makarska Riviera is a beautiful place for the young and old alike to enjoy. A delightful mix of 16th-century architecture and picturesque sandy beaches, this region is a wonderful place from which to discover the natural beauty of Croatia.
Why not take the kids to learn a little about the wildlife of the area? You can keep an eye out for a rare sighting of the Mediterranean monk seal. You could even learn a little geology when you explore some of the caves found here.
Be sure to visit Pula on your trip, as the Roman amphitheatre is certain to captivate the kids and you can all enjoy discovering more about Croatia’s rich and varied history.
Need a break from all the driving? Why not investigate the car-free zone of Old Town, Dubrovnik? You can admire the stunning views and take a cable car up the hill. You can then hop on the bus and make your way down to the sea and enjoy relaxing on Lapad Beach. If you fancy a bit more adventure, take a boat trip over to the car-free island of Kolocep to make the most of a driving-free day.
Is Croatia good to travel with kids?
Croatia is a wonderful option for a holiday with the kids.
There is the draw of amazing beaches and the attractions of Split, Hvar Town, Zadar, and Dubrovnik. The beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park is worth adding to your inventory and is the perfect place to explore with the family.
Read on for my 7-day family holiday itinerary, which is sure to make your road trip one full of unforgettable memories.
A 7-Day Croatia Road Trip Itinerary
Planning a family road trip to Croatia? Here are my suggestions for where to go and what to do if you want to have a fun-filled, action-packed week.
Day 1: A flight into Zadar, Croatia
After a flight into Zadar, why not take time to walk around Old Town and check out some restaurants and sample the national cuisine?
Day 2: A trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park
Located just an hour and a half drive from Zadar, the fabulous Plitvice Lakes National Park is not to be missed. You can have a wonderful time with the kids, discovering the many lakes and waterfalls and enjoying the spellbinding natural beauty of the park.
Day 3: Split
Split is less than a two-hour drive from Zadar if you’re lucky enough to get a clear run. It’s worth taking a short detour to the charming village of Sibenik to enjoy some excellent seafood before continuing to Split.
You’ll be spoilt for things to do in Split, and later we’ll explore some of the main attractions, but you can enjoy the nightlife when you first arrive and then decide what you’d like to do on your full day in Split on day 4.
Day 4: Split
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you won’t want to miss Diocletian’s Palace, which was a filming location for the hit TV show. It’s also a fantastic way to dive into the country’s history.
If you don’t mind taking a quick detour out of the city, Klis Fortress is well worth a visit.
When you’re finished exploring, why not head to Bačvice beach to relax? There are shops nearby, so you can even enjoy a bit of retail therapy.
Day 5: From Split to Dubrovnik
This drive takes about 3 hours, but the time will surely fly by as you head through some glorious countryside and pass-through Bosnia and Herzegovina on your way. Be sure to bring your passports!
You could even stop in Bosnia for lunch, before heading onward to Dubrovnik.
When you arrive, why not take a walk through Old Town ? You might imagine that you’ve stepped onto a set from Game of Thrones. You could even go on a Game of Thrones tour if you’re a super fan.
You’re sure to find a great place to indulge in some delicious food too.
Day 6: Dubrovnik
Be prepared to negotiate a lot of stairs on your visit to Dubrovnik. A trek around this city on day 6 will sure keep you fit!
You can visit the Church of St. Blaise and enjoy some refreshments at the Bard Bar, located in Old Town. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can go on a guided sea kayaking tour too.
Day 7: Dubrovnik and the flight home
Before you catch your flight on your final day in Croatia, you could take a quick trip to explore the Elaphati islands or visit Trsteno Arboretum.
Now it’s time to go into more detail on what Split has to offer for families. I promise you won’t lack for stuff to do.
Is Split Croatia good for families?
The city of Split in Croatia is an excellent place to make a stopover on your family road trip. It has something that will appeal to every family.
You can have fun on the beaches, enjoy the scenic parks and explore fascinating historical sites like Klis Fortress and Diocletian’s Palace. The more adventurous among you might get an adrenaline kick out of river rafting or enjoy an invigorating hike on the nature trails.
Even if the kids are easily bored, they will likely be excited by the prospect of wondering a Roman Palace, getting a close look at an Egyptian sphinx, and peering over the walls of a stone fortress.
Read on for my list of six fantastic things you and your family can get up to during a stayover in Split.
This is Split’s most popular beach and can be found a short drive from the city centre. Kids will have plenty to amuse them here, from the slides and trampoline in the play park to the sailing and paddle boats in the water.
You can find shops and restaurants nearby that you can investigate when you’ve finished on the beach.
The fairy-tale setting of Diocletian’s Palace is sure to spark children’s imagination. They will imagine travelling back to ages past and make their way along the cobbled streets to see the Temple of Jupiter and the sphinx.
Game of Thrones fans will recognise parts of the Palace’s superstructures, as some of the underground vaults were featured in the show.
Located on a hilltop 5 miles outside of Split, this fortress boasts amazing views and has a rich history. It is well worth the slight detour out of the city. Be sure to check out the museum where you can see an array of old weaponry and uniforms.
Klis Fortress was also a filming location for Game of Thrones, so you may find yourself imagining a dragon flying by as you wander the grounds.
Rafting on the Cetina River
One for the more adventurous among you, you can go on a rafting trip down the Cetina River. You will enjoy a mix of tranquil gliding along the river, and thrilling action as you and your river guide negotiate the rapids.
This is an excellent chance to see parts of the Dalmatia coast that you can’t access any other way.
The Museum of the Senses
Here, families can become immersed in a world of pure imagination. You can spend a couple of hours exploring the 50 interactive exhibits, including sound cubes and fascinating optical illusions. You might even lose yourselves in the night room.
This is perfect for a rainy day and is a fabulous way to discover more about contemporary culture, as many of the exhibits have been created by local designers, artists, and architects.
This eccentric but charming place is full of stuffed frogs engaged in many human-like activities. It displays the craft of taxidermy in all its glory.
You will find it hard not to be fascinated by the sheer artistry that has gone into creating these frogs. Kids are bound to be intrigued by the carpenter frogs hard at work, or the frogs frozen in the middle of a circus performance.
Now you know more about the many things Croatia has to offer that will make for a fun-filled family road trip. Whether you enjoy exploring nature, have an abiding love of history, are a Game of Thrones fan, or just enjoy relaxing on the beach, you will find something to suit you.
So, get planning a road trip to remember today!
Want to explore the natural beauty of England before venturing further? Check out our post about taking a road trip to the Lake District.