Driving from Split to Dubrovnik

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The three and a half hour drive from Split to Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful stretches of land in the Mediterranean. It’s comparable to the Amalfi Coast of Italy, only slightly better in my opinion, because it is less congested and is not quite as dangerous. I cannot believe that I almost missed out on this because I was worried about conditions of the roads in Croatia. As it turns out, the streets are well paved and easy to navigate. I had hired a private guide to drive me through the area, but now that I’ve done it I can tell you that it can easily be driven as long as you have a valid driver’s license, a passport, and a rental car. However, I do recommend hiring a guide (like mine from Zagreb Tours)  because they will know of all the secret sights to see along the way, and you can enjoy the spectacular views while leaving the driving up to them.

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Our first and most magnificent secret spot had us on top of a hill overlooking a large patchwork quilt of greenery with the ocean and hills as its backdrop. I’m not quite sure why, but there was an abandoned old fruit shack and canoe up there, which worked as perfect props for photos!

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Further down the coast we drooled over gorgeous views of Brac and Hvar, as well as charming small town after charming small town. About two thirds of the way down, we passed right through Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tiny stretch of coast line surrounding the city of Neum. Street signs immediately went from English to Cyrillic and multiple languages could be heard at any given time.  My short time in this absolutely beautiful country made me very curious to learn about its turbulent history and how it somehow manages to now maintain peace between its three major ethnicities and three different dominant religions: Muslim, Orthodox, and Catholic. 

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After leaving Bosnia, we approached the peninsula of Peljesac, the second longest peninsula in Croatia. Peljesac is known for it’s olives, figs, oysters, and wine. We were told of a secret place that had “the best oysters in the world”. We stopped there and my fellow travel blogger, Vanessa, picked out some fresh oysters- right from the water- squeezed a lemon on them and gobbled them up. I don’t eat oysters, but she confirmed that they were indeed the best she had ever had. They were also insanely cheap, which was odd considering how tasty and fresh they were.

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We had some extra time and our guide told us he would take us to try some award winning olive oil and do some wine tasting along the way. The moment we started to drive through the Peljesac Peninsula, I knew I had made a mistake by not planning to spend a few days in this dreamy and quiet little place. It was so peaceful and felt somewhat undiscovered by the masses of tourists that visit Croatia every summer. Vineyards, rolling green hills, and olive, apple, and fig trees spotted the land. It was surrounded by bright blue bays and oyster beds and its beauty gave me a strong yearning to explore this part of Croatia more in depth. 

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We stopped into the Milos winery, took a tour, and tasted some very pure and delicious olive oil, followed by a wine tasting. I wanted to keep exploring the peninsula but it was time to get back on the road and head to Dubrovnik. I will definitely be coming back to this wonderful part of Croatia.

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Please stay tuned for my future posts on Dubrovnik and Split, and follow my journey on Instagram @Wildluxe_MishaIX8A8359

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Showing 34 comments
  • Karen Cunningham

    Hi Misha,
    I am trying to plan a trip to Croatia next September and after reading this article I think we should hire a car and explore this area in more detail love your photos. Any tips on must see or places to stay in Croatia? Also thinking of visiting Budapest and Romania, oh and I loved your article on Lake Beld, so we should fit that in to?? I hope you are well. Cheers Karen

    • Misha

      September is a great time to go to Croatia! Depending on how much time you have here is what I recommend: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Krka National Park, The Croatian Wine Country, and the islands! Dubrovnik is beautiful but it might still be extremely crowded in September so keep that in mind. I did not love Split and would not spend a lot of time there. Hope that helps. Have fun!

  • Morgan Musgrave

    Hi Misha- Awesome blog. I’m heading to Croatia in September/2015 and am contemplating doing the drive from Dubrovnik back to Split to catch my departing flight. Two questions for you: (1) Do you feel it’s safe for a woman to drive alone (as I will be traveling solo) on the drive from Dubrovnik to Split?? ….and (2) Those are gorgeous pictures!! What camera do you use??

    • Misha

      Hi Morgan. From my experience, driving in Croatia is safe even for a solo female. I found the roads to be pretty easy to navigate. From Dubrovnik to Split, it’s mostly beautiful coastal roads with great views. They were clean and well paved. As long as you don’t mind being in the car for a while, you should be fine. Be sure to have your passport with you, as you will cross through Bosnia for a few minutes along the coast.

    • Misha

      Thanks for the compliment! I use a Canon 5D Mark iii

  • Martin

    Hi Misha….

    Off to Croatia in a couple of days with my wife & 2 (adult) daughters! Picking up a car in Split & doing the drive to Cavtat in the south! Great tips & photos Misha, I too have the 5D Mk3 & hopefully will get some good shots?! Was going to take the coastal road all the way but I believe there is now a small part of motorway if I want that option too? Keep up the good work!

    • Misha

      How was your trip Martin? Feel like sharing any of the shots you got? =)

  • Danny

    Hi Misha,

    I will be in croatia driving from Split to Dubrovnik next week. Were the stops you made along the trip pretty easy? Did you have to navigate far from the main coastal road or can you basically just pull over for a picture of the coast/islands? Any suggestions on little towns to grab a meal or two along the way?

    • Misha

      Hi Danny,

      The stops were very easy. You shouldn’t have to navigate far off of the main road for any reason. It mostly runs along the coast and through hills. It’s a beautiful drive! Makarska would be a nice place to grab a meal. Have a great time!

  • Zeljko Mihic

    Hi Misha,if I look map I can see that you use big part of dis trip driving on highway.Then you missed great part,Split to Makarska via Ploce.If not then dis post is confuising for other people.

    • Misha

      Hi Zeljko,

      I mapped out the quickest and most convenient way to do the drive. Maybe I should clarify that if people want to see Makarska they need to take the coastal road. Thank you.

  • masha

    Misha, do you need some special paperwork to enter Bosnia?

    • Misha

      Hi Masha, I did not need paperwork to enter Bosnia, but that may have been because I was just passing through.

  • Miranda

    Hello Misha , did u have to go through Bosnia ?

    • Misha

      Hi Miranda, yes we did have to go through Bosnia. It was very beautiful.

  • Ananth Ramachandran

    Hi Misha,

    Loved your blog. a few quick questions:
    1. How many days in Split, how many in Dubrovnik if we had only 4 full days
    2. Ok to drive Split to Dubronvik? What time should we start morning drive or afternoon drive
    3. Dubronvik explore by car or foot?

    Thanks

    Ananth, Singapore

    • Misha

      Hi Ananth,

      I wouldn’t spend much time in Split, I did not find it nearly as charming as the other towns in Croatia. I only spent 1 day in Split and was not impressed. The drive from Split to Dubrovnik is absolutely beautiful and I would start in the morning as there are many places to see along the way. You will want to explore Dubrovnik on foot for sure!

  • Megan McDonnell

    Hi Misha,

    This blog is amazing <3 Myself and 4 girlfriends are going flying into Dubrovnik in 4 weeks time, doing a day trip to Montenegro and then driving from Dubrovnik to Split. We were going to get the bus but your this blog has 100% convinced me to get a car.

    Just a quick question, did the company that you mentioned above, Zagreb Tours, take you on a lot of sight seeing trips or just the drive from Dubrovnik to Split? Would do the drive myself but would hate to miss all the little secret places for the fab photos.

    Megan

    • Misha

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks! If you can, I would leave extra time to explore the coastline as it is just heavenly. If you want to see the best spots, go with a guide. Jakov from Zagreb Tours showed us the most amazing spots that we never would have found with out him. It really is a beautiful coastline and should get at least a full day of your itinerary! If you email me (misha@wildluxe.com) I can send you my guide’s contact info and he can give you a quote.

  • James

    Hi Misha,

    Your blog is fantastic I am so glad that I stumbled upon it.

    Just a quick question, around where on the coastal road was the first picture of this post taken? It is amazing.

    Hope you’re well,
    James

    • James

      To be clear, the featured image of this post with the vast pastures of land in the background!

    • Misha

      Hi James, Thank you. The photo was taken at a spot that only my guide knew. You can contact him at this link to ask. His name is Jakov Radman http://www.theguide.hr/about-us/

  • TS

    where is your patchwork quilt of greenery photo taken from

  • Zarmyg

    Hi Misha,

    We will be travelling from Split to Dubrovnik by bus and we are little bit worried about the road. We heard that there it is full of curves, narrow and little bit scary?? Is it true? Is it safe and in good condition? Appreciate your reply.
    Thanks
    ZB

    • Misha

      Hi ZB,

      The road was in good condition and I did not find it dangerous or scary in the least bit. It is a curvy road, but seemed to be easier to drive then most of the tiny roads I’ve encountered in Europe.

  • Jon

    We did the drive yesterday and i had been trying to find the best places to stop along the route when I came across your post. Thanks for the tips. We found a fabulous statue called ‘Ivan Meštrović – Mila Gojsalić statue’, then we stopped at Punta Rata beach for lunch. This route took us down to the coastal road just south of Ploce where we stumbled upon the same shack with canoe on top of the hill! For anyone curious to find it, it is right on the route 8 road near Raba. If your google maps route takes you south on this road, you’ll see the patchwork fields as you start up the mountain. Then just keep your eyes open for the canoe and shack as you head up. It’s right on the side of the road.

  • Clara Mulligan

    Hi Misha!
    Where should we stop for a great oysters and mussel lunch on the Peljesac Peninsula? Where did you stop to eat?

    Thanks,
    Clara

    • Misha

      Hi Clara,

      We stopped at a little spot on the side of the main road – but there are multiple places to find good oysters. Since this was a few years ago I couldn’t tell you exactly which one I went to, but my guide, Jakov can answer any questions you have. Here is a link to his website and contact info: http://www.theguide.hr/about-us/

  • Maria Monares

    Hi Misha,

    I stumbled upon your site by accident, and I’m glad I did. Your pictures are stunning and many of the places you have visited are places that I’ve either been to or are on my bucket list (most are on my bucket list).

    I know this is probably an impossible question to answer but I will ask you anyway since I’m interested on your take.

    I’ve never been to Europe and this year my partner and I are planning a 15 day trip. She’s been to Italy before (Florence / Tuscany region) and we were thinking of going to Italy (a few days in Rome, few days in Lake Cuomo, few days in Dolomites and a couple of days in Matera) but every time I do research and someone mentions Croatia, 55% of me wants to go there instead or at least split the trip up. (Splitting the trip up would not allow us to fully experience the places though…)

    If you were in my shoes (never having been to Europe) and had 2 weeks, what would you do? (No pressure and doesn’t mean we would alter our very up in the air plans) I just want to have an idea especially since you’ve been to both places.

    Thanks and thank you for your awesome website. 🙂

    Maria

    • Misha

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for the note and for checking out my blog. Your question is a hard one, because I love both Italy and Croatia SO MUCH. They both have a lot to offer. If it were me, I would split up the time and do a week in each place. This way you can get a feel for both. I love Lake Como and Matera, both totally different and beautiful. I also love the Amalfi Coast of Italy. In Croatia I’d recommend Hvar and Dubrovnik (I didn’t enjoy Split quite as much). Northern Croatia is also very unique and beautiful. Zagreb is a great fun city and the Plitvice Lakes are amazing (but crowded). Hope that helps.

  • Phil

    Hi Misha

    Do you think driving from Dubrovnik to Split will not be as good given it will not be hugging the coastline?

    Thanks
    Phil

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