Discover Croatia on a small group tour or family adventure with Explore. With blue sea, gold sand beaches, Game of Thrones-esque architecture and national parks with infinite waterfalls - a Croatia holiday has it all.
Thanks to its starring role in the mega-hit TV show Game of Thrones, Croatia has gone from being a hidden gem along the Balkan Peninsula to a sparkling diamond that everyone wants to explore and discover. A magical blend of fantasy cities hugging picturesque coastlines of dazzling blue sea and sun-drenched beaches, alpine lakes, waterfall-laced national parks, and dreamy Adriatic Sea islands, Croatia is a treasure trove of both outdoor adventure and fascinating history and culture.
See how you can discover Croatia for yourself on one of our immersive, small-group tours around this unforgettable European country. Medieval villages and cities, gold sand beaches, Game of Thrones-esque architecture, and national parks with infinite waterfalls - a Croatia vacation has it all.
Immerse yourself in a world of picture-postcard landscapes with our Croatia trips and adventure holidays. Follow your expert local leader for a tour through the maze of red-roofed medieval buildings, marble-paved squares and narrow cobbled streets of Dubrovnik's Old Town, and join the locals in a game of Picigin in the crystal-clear aquamarine waters of Split’s golden beaches.
For those of you looking for a family adventure in Croatia, jump into the Centin River for a wild white-water rafting and canyoning expedition before exploring the craggy inlets of the Dalmatian Coast in sea-kayaks. And cyclists will love our cycling tour along Croatia’s coastline; pedal past the vast lavender fields of Hvar and sample local cuisine at traditional konoba restaurants along the way.
Considering a trip to Croatia but new to Explore? We've answered some of your most-asked questions about small group travel.
Whether you choose to explore the historic charm of Dubrovnik and the golden sand beaches of Split or embark on an activity holiday along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, our selection of small group holidays to Croatia will create memories to last a lifetime. Here are some of our Croatia tour highlights.
Also known as the ‘pearl of the Adriatic' the medieval town of Dubrovnik is one of Croatia's crown jewels. Almost completely destroyed by shelling in the Siege of Dubrovnik, UNESCO and the local people gracefully restored this fortified town. With restoration, Dubrovnik retains a cheerful atmosphere and authentic charm. Wander around the city's timeworn stone walls on our Cycle the Dalmatian Coast trip for far-reaching views across a patchwork of red-terracotta roofs encased by the azure-blue ocean and jagged coastline.
Step back in time as you wander through Split's maze of narrow cobblestone streets on our Croatia Discovery Tour. Discover pre-Romanesque churches, Gothic chapels and alleyways lined with rustic townhouses adorned with faded emerald-green shutters. Browse eclectic boutiques, delve into hidden galleries and stop for a bite to eat in a hole-in-the-wall cafe.
Head to the seafront for a gentle stroll along the Riva Promenade and savour fresh seafood in one of the waterfront restaurants, before relaxing on the golden sand beach lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters and playing a game of Picigin with the locals.
Located on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, Split is a captivating city that blends ancient history with a vibrant modern atmosphere. Its centrepiece is the remarkable Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most impressive Roman ruins in existence. Split's Old Town, with its labyrinthine streets and charming squares, revolves around the palace. At the palace, visitors can explore underground passages, marvel at the grandeur of the Cathedral of St. Domnius, and soak in the enchanting ambiance.
Beyond the historical allure, Split offers a bustling waterfront promenade, a thriving cultural scene, and nearby natural beauty, including Marjan Hill's panoramic views and the inviting beaches along the Adriatic Sea.
Standing in stark contrast to the Mediterranean-esque cities along the coast, the Croatian capital city of Zagreb wows with its abundance of 18th and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian buildings and architecture. Nestled between the slopes of Mount Medvednica, this cultural hub offers a wealth of architectural gems, historical landmarks, and artistic treasures.
The Upper Town, with its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture, features the iconic St. Mark's Church and the impressive Zagreb Cathedral. The Lower Town boasts lively squares, bustling markets, and vibrant café culture. Zagreb also houses an array of world-class museums, showcasing art, history, and science.
Follow timber boardwalks around a labyrinth of aquamarine lakes in Plitvice National Park, Croatia's largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sixteen lagoons of shimmering topaz water sit among lush verdant forests and cascade over steep limestone cliffs, as pearly-white spray glistens in the sunshine and rainbows beam over the veils of water pouring into the ethereal plunge pools below. These dams of limestone crystals have formed over many millennia, and new chutes frequently burst through the travertine banks, creating a plethora of over ninety waterfalls to explore in this ever-evolving landscape.
Another of Croatia's most popular national parks, Krka National Park is located in southern Croatia. It is renowned for its series of breathtaking waterfalls, including the iconic Skradinski Buk, which tumbles over a series of travertine barriers.
The park's lush greenery and crystal-clear turquoise waters create a picturesque setting that feels like something out of a fairytale. Visitors can explore the park's network of wooden walkways and hiking trails, immersing themselves in the tranquility of nature while enjoying the captivating sights and sounds of rushing waterfalls and diverse wildlife.
Sail between sun-soaked islands, swim in beautiful bays of crystal-clear water and wander through historic cities of red-roofed buildings and grand monuments along the Dalmatian Coast. The southernmost stretch of coastline along Croatia's Adriatic Coast, the Dalmatian Coast is home to several of Croatia's most legendary cities, Dubrovnik and Split, as well as 79 scenic islands that you can hopscotch between on an island-hopping adventure.
The Dalmatian Islands, scattered along the coast, provide an idyllic escape with their pristine beaches, secluded coves, and quaint fishing villages. Hvar Island is famous for its vibrant nightlife, stunning lavender fields, and elegant Venetian architecture. Korčula Island, the birthplace of the legendary explorer Marco Polo, enchants visitors with its charming old town and vineyards.
English is widely spoken in Croatia, especially in popular areas like Dubrovnik, making it easy to talk with locals and navigate the country. However, it's always polite to learn some basic words and phrases of Croatian, both to be respectful of the locals and to aid in better communication. Even if you're on a guided tour, picking up some beginner Croatian phrases helps you better connect with the local culture.
Five days to a week is usually enough to do all the highlights, plus have some free time, in a particular region or city. But if you plan to explore multiple regions in one trip, you'll likely want to plan for up to two weeks of travel.
For visits of under 90 days as a tourist, you don't need to get a visa to come to Croatia as a US citizen.
As a small country, it's easy to get around Croatia using its well-connected public transit system of buses, ferries, and trains. Ferry routes are a popular way to get between coastal islands and travel along the coast, while buses and trains connect most of the country. Croatia's compact size also means you can thoroughly explore entire regions by foot or bike on a walking tour or a cycling tour. If traveling with Explore, all of your local transportation is included in the trip cost unless otherwise specified.
Traveling with a small-group tour, you can forget about the logistics and planning of travel and just get to enjoy the experience. With a small group size to preserve the intimate, personal nature of bespoke tours, you'll have a designated guide on-hand to help you discover all that Croatia has to offer.
With accommodations, activities, and transportation all arranged, you'll also have a seamless and smooth travel experience. Finally, you have the opportunity to make lifelong friends on small-group trips, creating unforgettable memories with people that go from strangers to close friends in a matter of days.
Apart from minor theft and pickpocketing in major cities, Croatia is a very safe country for all kinds of travellers. Violent crime rates are extremely low, and you'll encounter welcoming and kind locals throughout the country.
Currently, you don't need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to travel to Croatia. However, masks are still required in some indoor public spaces.
Walking and Cycling Tours:
• Comfortable hiking or cycling shoes
• Activity-appropriate clothing (cycling kit, hiking pants, etc.)
• Clothing layers
• Waterproof jacket
• Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc.)
Cultural and Food Tours:
• Season-appropriate clothing (warm layers for winter, cool lightweight clothing for summer)
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Layers (jackets, fleeces, etc.)
• Waterproof jacket
• Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.)
The specifics of what is included vary from tour to tour, but accommodation and some excursions and activities are included across the board. On our guided tours, one of Explore's expert tour leaders will be with you every step of the way, offering guided activities and information. Included meals vary by itinerary.
Our Croatia walking and cycling tours range in difficulty from easy to moderate, requiring a good level of health and fitness. Some hikes and cycling routes will have elevation gains, but nothing too strenuous. For cycling tours, you also have the option to choose an e-bike for a power assist.
From big wows to hidden gems, our tours leave you feeling that you've really explored.
Chosen for their great knowledge of your destination and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.
Average groups of 11; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.
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