7 zile in Croatia – Circuit cu masina pe Coasta Marii Adriatice

Who wouldn't want to visit in the summer a beautiful country, with a gorgeous sea, heavenly landscapes, colorful cities and picturesque resorts, to feel the holiday atmosphere and to be able to explore all the beauties that this destination has to offer?

Croatia is such a country. Croatia is the perfect destination for a road trip of a few days, with your own car or a rented car. It has everything: a gorgeous turquoise blue sea, spectacular views, beautiful islands, elegant cities and resorts or different natural parks . It is one of the most touristic countries in Europe, and it's easy to understand why.

About Croatia

Croatia is a Central European country, located in the northwest of the Balkan Peninsula, with a population of approximately 4 million inhabitants. It has an exit to the Adriatic Sea and includes a number of almost 700 islands, of which around 47 are inhabited.

The official currency is euro (as of January 1, 2023). Croatia has been a member of the European Union since 2013, and a member of NATO since 2009. The name of the country in Croatian is Hrvatska, which is why you will see this name written in many locations around the country.

What to do in Croatia

Croatia is a country with impressive landscapes and tourists attraction, you can not get bored here, whatever your preferences in terms of activities and ways to spend your vacation. You can choose to spend your holiday in a seaside resort (on the Makarska Riviera) or on an island (the island of Brac with the wonderful beach of Bol, the island of Hvar), to go on city breaks in the touristic cities (Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Rovinj), to explore the well-known natural parks (Plitvice, Krka), to go boating on the sea or to practice various water sports.

Golden Horn Beach, Bol - Brac Island

We chose the option of a road trip by car, through which we managed to tick as many places as possible from those listed above:

  • We visited the cities of SplitDubrovnikZagreb
  • We went to the beach on the famous Zlatni Rat (Golder Horn) beach in Bol, on the island of Brac
  • We enjoyed the beautiful landscapes of the Plitvice National Park
  • We felt the sumemer-holiday atmosphere of the elegant resorts on the Makarska Riviera
  • We listened to the sound of the sea in Zadar, admired the wonderful Primosten from above and bathed in the sandy sea in Omis
Makarska Riviera - Brela, Croatia
Makarska Riviera - Brela, Croatia

Next, I will present our program, by day, together with a list of recommendations and suggestions related to our experience.

How to get to Croatia

Being a road trip by car, we set off for Croatia with our personal car, from Romania. Obvious, there is also the option of arriving in Croatia by plane, and from there renting a car, with which you can explore the country by yourself. To rent a car, you can search here: Rentalcars.com.

As for road taxes, in Hungary we had to pay the vignette, which we chose to pay online, directly from the TPARK application (for 10 days, the vignette costs 16 euros). 

In Croatia there is no vignette, but there are taxes for the highways: upon entering the highway you receive a ticket, and at exit you pay based on the returned ticket, depending on the number of kilometers travelled. You can pay both in cash or by card. If you want to get an idea of how much the highway costs in Croatia, it is best to use an online calculator for such calculations (for example: https://tollguru.com/toll-calculator-croatia). As an example, from the border with Hungary to Zagreb we paid almost 6 euros.

From my own experience, after having crossed the country and traveled both on highways and on toll-free roads, our recommendation is to choose to go on the highway wherever you can. From our point of view, the difference in money is worth the time saved. Although they have good roads and the landscapes seen from the national roads are, indeed, beautiful, traffic is slow on these roads, often below the legal limit, being very congested and with many serpentines.

Where to stay in Croatia

Croatia offers many beautiful places to spend your holiday: from the beaches on the Makarska Riviera, to the beautiful cities of Dubrovnik or Split, or perhaps in the Istria region.

In this one-week road trip we had several accommodations, which we further recommend:

Croatia itinerary - How to visit Croatia by car

Day 1 - Zagreb

The first day was more on the road, We left Romania early in the morning, and around 5 pm we were already in Zagreb. We chose Zagreb as the first stop of our trip, being the closest point to the border. Alhough, being the capital of the country, it was also our desire to visit it.

As accommodation, we booked this apartment on Booking.com. We parked the car on the street, in a public parking lot - on Mondays to Fridays, after 10 p.m., Saturdays after 3 p.m. and on Sundays, the public parking lot in the central area is free. There are also private parking lots nearby, with payment, if you don't feel comfortable parking your car on the street.


Zagreb is the capital and largest city of Croatia, with a population of approximately 800,000 people. It is a city surrounded by history, from Austro-Hungarian architecture to its medieval-style center.

Central Square in Zagreb
Central Square in Zagreb

Arriving in the center of the capital, we started the visit with the central square of the city, with the famous statue of Ban Josip Jelacic. The square is the heart of social life in Zagreb, also thanks to the many terraces and cafes that can be found in the central area.

From the square we started towards the Cathedral of Zagreb, which is considered the symbol of the city. Built in the 12th century, the cathedral has the tallest towers in all of Croatia.

We then walked to Gornji Grad, or the "Upper Town", which is the historical district in the hill area, where the oldest buildings in Zagreb are found. Here don't miss St. Mark's church, one of the most beautiful and emblematic buildings in Zagreb, thanks to its roof, where the coat of arms of Zagreb and the Kingdom of Croatia are represented.

Day 2 - Zagreb, Zadar, Primosten, Split

In the first part of the second day, we wanted to walk around Zagreb again and have some breakfast at in the city center. We decided to eat strukli, traditional food popular in Zagreb - local cheese, cream and eggs, all baked in a very thin dough. If you arrive in Zagreb, we recommend you to try Strukli for breakfast, it is very tasty!

After breakfast, we left for Split, but with a short stop in Zadar, to visit the city with the famous sea organ. From Zagreb to Zadar there are approximately 280 km, covered on the highway in about 3 hours.


Zadar is a historic city with a pedestrian center and marble streets, medieval churches and Roman ruins, perfect for exploring on foot. The city also has a seafront, where you can find the most famous tourist attraction in Zadar at the moment, namely the Sea Organ, an installation through which the waves of the sea create unique sounds.


From Zadar we left to Split, with a short stop in Primosten, from where we could admire the beautiful city island.


From Zadar to Split, choosing the route through which we passed by Primosten, is approximately 170 km. The road is toll-free, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, with very beautiful views of the sea and the nearby islands. 

For the panoramic point of Primosten, we recommend The statue of Our Lady of Loreto, on a small hill near Primosten. You can reach the top by car.

The statue of Our Lady of Loreto
The statue of Our Lady of Loreto
Primosten Beach
Primosten Beach

In the evening we arrived in Split, and the accommodation was booked on Booking, , near the city center. If you come to Split by car, you will need a lot of patience and carefunessl when parking. The city is very chaotic when it comes to parking: small parking lots, on very narrow roads, there is a high probability of finding your car scratched, if it is not parked properly. The pedestrian city center cannot be reached by car.

Day 3 - Split


The third day we decided to keep it entirely to visit Split. Split is the second largest city in Croatia, and one of the most popular tourist destinations of this country. It is suitable for a city break, to spend your summer holiday here, or to visit various other locations around, being a starting point to the nearby islands, such as Hvar, Brac, Vis or to the natural park Krka.

In Split, we walked along the beautiful seafront with palm trees, through the port, visited the historic pedestrian center and discovered the main tourist attractions, such as Diocletian's Palacethe Golden Gate or St. Dominus Cathedral.

Day 4 - Brac Island

The next day we decided to visit the most famous beach in Croatia: Zlatni Rat, or Golden Horn Beach, on the island of Brac.

For this, we woke up early to take the ferry to the island of Brac, destination Supetar. From Supetar to Bol, the resort where the famous beach is located, is around 30 km, so for us it was most convenient to go directly to the island by car. 

We bought the ferry tickets from the website https://www.jadrolinija.hr/. A ticket for 2 adults and a car, normal size, was around 35 euros. Our recommendation is to get your tickets online and to arrive at the port as early as possible, because it is quite a crowded route, especially in summer. If you arrive later, around 10 o'clock, you run the risk of waiting in line for a few hours to board. The ticket bought online is valid for the whole day, not for a certain time, so you are not limited to a fixed time entry on the ferry.

After arriving on the island, in Supetar, we drove to Vidova Gora, the highest peak on all the Croatian islands (780 meters), from where we had a superb panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea, the surrounding islands and the Golden Horn beach.


Golden Horn Beach

From there, we went to the resort of Bol, where we had a coffee, and then to the Golden Horn beach. Parking in the beach area cost 13 euros and it was valid for the whole day.

As soon as you get to the beach, you will be amazed by everything you see around you: a gorgeous water color, a wonderful view of the sea and the neighboring islands, there is also a relaxation area among the trees where you can serve the meal. You can spend a whole day there, without missing anything. The beach is pebbled, as it is on most beaches in Croatia, but if you have the right slippers for the bath, this will not be an impediment. It is a place you must visit if you come to Croatia!

Because in the evening we had accommodation in Baska Voda, a resort on the Makarska riviera, the best for us was to return to the mainland on the route Sumartin - Makarska, Sumartin being another port on the island of Brac. We bought the ferry tickets online, with the mention that, in this case, the time on the ticket had to be respected. Then from Makarska to Baska Voda we had only 10 km to go by car.

This was our accommodation in Baska Voda.

Day 5 – Croatian Riviera: Baska Voda, Brela, Makarska

On this day we wanted to enjoy everything that the Croatian Riviera has to offer for tourists: chic and elegant resorts, full of color, a several kilometers long seafront, palm trees, turquoise sea and lots of sun.

We started on foot from Baska Voda towards Brela, on the 3 kilometer long sea front. Baska Voda and Brela are two popular resorts, located on the Makarska riviera and are connected to each other by the seafront and the long beach, full of tourists. We enjoyed the walk and took a bath when the heat became unbearable. The beach is pebbled, but with the right slippers, you won't feel any discomfort. In the resorts there are terraces, shops and places to eat.

In the evening we took the car and made a short visit to Makarska, being the main city on this coast. We took the pulse of the city, walked around the center, on the seafront and in the port and had dinner.

Day 6 – Omis, Dubrovnik


The next day we wanted to visit a sandy beach in Croatia, so we set off in the morning for Omis, at a distance of 25 km from Baska Voda.

We were very pleased with the resort and the beach in Omis: wide beach, warm water, sand everywhere, and the view offered by the rocks surrounding the city was extraordinary. We were sorry that we didn't have more time to spend in that resort, but it is a place that we definitely want to return sometime.

After lunch, we drove to Dubrovnik, located 200 km away from Omis. Even if it doesn't seem like a long distance, it seemed to us the most tiring road done in Croatia: we only went on national roads, many curves and low speed limits. A distance that on the highway you could do in an hour and a half, here we needed almost 4 hours to reach our destination. But we were happy to cross the new bridge completed in the summer of 2022, which connects Dubrovnik to the rest of the country. Thus, we no longer had to go through Bosnia to reach the southern part of the country.



Considered the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik does not need too many words to be described, the pictures probably say it all. The old center of the city offers a medieval air and gives you the impression that you have entered another century, you feel like you are in a movie once you have passed the gates of the fortress. Probably also for this reason, the people from Game of Thrones chose to film the well-known series here. Everything is very well set up, and as a tourist, you need at least two days to explore everything:

  • You can climb the walls of the fortress. We did it too, and the ticket cost 33 euro), bought directly from the entrance. The landscapes seen from the walls are wonderful, you have a full view of the fortress, the entire city of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea.
  • You can take the cable car up to the panoramic point, from where you have a view of the old town. We decided to go by car up to this point, and it was worth getting up to the top, to see Dubrovnik from above, either by cable car or by car

Day 7 - Dubrovnik

The next day we continued to visit Dubrovnik, in the first part of the day. As I mentioned above, this city needs at least 2 days to be fully explored. 

In the afternoon we left for Plitvice, where the next morning we were going to visit the natural park. The distance between Dubrovnik and Plitivice was about 430 km, and we stayed for the night in a village near the park. There are many guesthouses in the area, at an affordable price. This was our accommodation.

Day 8 – Plitvice

Plitvice Lakes National Park

We left for the last day in Croatia the most famous tourist destination in Croatia, namely Plitvice Lakes National Park.

We had tickets for 8 AM, from entrance number 1, and we chose to do route C, a route of 4-6 hours, through which we visited the both parts of the park: the upper lakes, respectively the lower ones. The ticket cost 40 euros, and it had to be bought online, with at least a few days before.

After visiting the park, we started slowly towards the house. Because the road was quite long, we decided to make an overnight stop in the first town on the border with Hungary, Nagykanizsa. Our accommodation was this.


This was our one-week road trip in Croatia, we left Cluj-Napoca (Romania) on a Saturday morning and returned the following Sunday evening. If we had more time, we would certainly have visited the other famous locations in the country, such as the island of Hvar, the cities of Pula, Rovinj or the Krka national park. But these will remain on the list for our next trip to Croatia.

Croatia is beautiful and very attractive for any type of tourism, and it is a perfect destination for a summer holiday at the sea, or for exploring the entire country.