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A diverse road trip through Croatia: the perfect camping route along the Adriatic coast

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A diverse road trip through Croatia: the perfect camping route along the Adriatic coast

Croatia - a small country with great potential and diversity. Crystal clear, blue sea water, kilometres of sandy beaches, picturesque pebble and rocky bays, dense, green forests, islands and historic, beautiful cities with impressive sights and unique culture. In other words: Croatia is the perfect holiday destination. We've been travelling and have put together an itinerary for an unforgettable road trip.

 

TIP: Wild camping is generally not allowed in Croatia, but is mostly tolerated unless you are on private property, in national parks or tourist areas.

 

ROUTE PREVIEW FOR YOUR ROADTRIP

Poreč - Rovinj - Pula - Rijeka - Zagreb - Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen - Zadar - Nationalpark Krka - Split - Dubrovnik

 

Poreč to Rovinj
  • Route Lenght: approx. 40 kilometers
  • Travel Time: approx. 40 - 50 minutes
Rovinj to Pula
  • Route Length: approx. 40 kilometers
  • Travel Time: approx. 45 minutes
Pula to Rijeka
  • Route Length: approx. 110 kilometers
  • Travel Time: 1,5 - 2 hours
Rijeka to Zagreb
  • Route Length: approx. 165 kilometers
  • Travel Time: 2 hours
Zagreb to Zadar with a stopover at Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen
  • Route Length: approx. 300 kilometers
  • Travel Time: approx. 4 hours
Zadar to Split with a stopover at Nationalpark Krka
  • Reoute Length: approx. 150 kilometers
  • Travel Time: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes
Split to Dubrovnik
  • Route Length: apprx. 230 kilometers
  • Travel Time: approx. 3 hours

 

Entire Trip

approx. 1000 kilometers and 14 hours of travel time

Stop 1 (Starting point): Poreč

The trip begins in Poreč, one of the most popular holiday destinations and seaside resorts on the Istrian coast. Stroll through the old Roman town, over the cobblestones along the many small cafés, restaurants, bars, boutiques, souvenir shops and ice cream parlours. Our recommendation is to experience the sunset on the harbour promenade along the historic city walls and enjoy the view of the island of Sveti Nikola with a refreshing ice cream in your hand.

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND POREČ

Camping Zelena Laguna: A family-run campsite with modern facilities and numerous activities and events. The town centre of Poreč can be reached in around 15 minutes by tourist train.

Istra Premium Camping Resort: This campsite in the middle of nature and right by the sea offers not only pitches, but also mobile homes, glamping tents and luxury accommodation.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Typical restaurants: Konobas with traditional Istrian dishes, fish and seafood, Istrian ham and juicy cevapcici

Gelateria Fontana: Enjoy a refreshing sundae at this ice cream parlor.

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Sights:
  • Euphrasian Basilica: in Byzantine style with mosaics (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Walk along the waterfront with the harbor, the main square (Trg Slobode), the church of Gospa od Andela and through the longest and most beautiful street, Decumanus
  • Otok Sveti Nikola: Small island in front of the city

 

Activities:
  • Walks and bike rides along the Adriatic coast
  • Dives to reefs, shipwrecks and underwater caves
  • Aquacolors water park with activities for the whole family
  • Baredine stalactite cave

 

 

Stop 2: Rovinj

Our second stop takes us to Rovinj, the coastal town on the Istrian peninsula, which is known beyond the borders for its sights and especially the charming historic old town. Located between pine forests and the Adriatic Sea, the city combines an unforgettable relaxing holiday at the beach and pool with a city and cultural trip.

Enthusiastic athletes and adrenaline junkies don't miss out in Rovinj either: from snorkeling and kayaking to hiking and climbing in the rocky bays, there is something to suit everyone's leisure activities.

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND ROVINJ

Camping Val Saline: This campsite offers everything your heart desires: from a spacious pool area, a beautiful stretch of beach, various restaurants to extensive leisure entertainment. 

Camping Ulika Rovinj: A relatively small campsite that impresses with its peace and family atmosphere. The perfect holiday feeling by the sea is still guaranteed.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Rovinj weekly market: The market near Tito Square impresses with its huge selection of different fruits, vegetables, freshly caught fish and seafood, as well as meat products and local specialties.

Restaurant La Puntulina: A very cozy restaurant right on the water that serves delicious pasta dishes and seafood at fair prices.

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Highlights:
  • Church of Saint Euphemia: Baroque church with Gothic statues and important paintings
  • Picturesque old town with many small bars, restaurants and cafes, narrow streets, main square and clock tower
  • Impressive waterfront promenade with fishing port and marina
 
Activities:
  • Walk through the old town of Rovinj with a climb to the baroque church of St. Euphemia
  • Relax on Rovinj's many beautiful beaches
  • Water sports, snorkeling, kayaking, ...
  • Visit to the coves surrounded by pine forests and the crystal clear sea

Stop 3: Pula

Our road trip continues to the oldest city in Istria - Pula.

There you definitely have to take a look at the sixth largest arena, the Amphitheatre, where today concerts and theater performances take place instead of gladiator fights. You can perfectly combine your walk through the old town with a shopping tour, because the sights, such as the Triumphal Arch, are located directly on the shopping mile.

Relaxation is provided on the various pebble and rocky beaches. The crystal clear sea water invites you to dive and splash around.

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND PULA

Arena Stoja campsite: In addition to classic pitches, the Arena Stoja campsite also offers various more luxurious alternatives and spots for glamping. Another highlight of the campsite is the access to numerous rocky beaches. 

Pineta campsite: Due to its proximity to the Brijuni National Park with its 14 islands, this campsite is a real insider tip.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

BOCA Bar: A special restaurant with outstanding wines, local specialties and snacks.

Kod Kadre: This restaurant provides you with traditional Croatian cuisine - and at reasonable prices.

Market: As in other Croatian cities, fresh fruit, vegetables, sausages, cheese and fish are sold in the market hall every day from morning to noon.

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Sights:
  • Aamphitheater / Arena Pula
  • Old town with various stylistic influences from different eras and European countries
  • Forum square, Augustus temple and city wall
  • Triumphal arch and subsequent shopping mile
 
Activities: 
  • Attending a concert or other event in the Pula Amphitheater
  • Walk and shopping trip through the old town
  • Relaxing on the beach
  • For adventurers: water sports, especially snorkeling and windsurfing, but also tennis and the “Green Garden” go-kart track.

 

 

Stop 4: Rijeka

From Pula we continue to Rijeka: the gateway to the Croatian islands of Krk, Cres and Mali Losinj and the country's important transport hub. Particularly recommended here are the Molo Longo, the long pier directly at the marina and the Trsat Castle, a castle complex with a great view.

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND RJEKA

 

Aminess Atea Camping Resort: The campsite is the perfect starting point if you want to explore the island of Krk. Right by the sea you can relax perfectly on the beautiful pebble beach. 

Camping Opatija: In the middle of a shady pine forest, this campsite is located right by the sea - very close to the beautiful coastal town of Opatija.

CULINARY RESOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Restaurant Girica: A real insider tip in Rijeka - traditional Croatian dishes and specialties

Restorant Na Susaku: Typical Croatian restaurant with very good reviews and a fair price-performance ratio

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGTHS
Sights: 
  • Trsat Castle with family mausoleum and basilica
  • Korzo - the shopping mile with many cafes, shops and restaurants
  • Molo Longo - long pier at the fishing harbor and marina
  • Market square and fish market
  • Ferries to the islands of Krk, Cres and Mali Losinj
  • City tower
  • Cathedral of Saint Vitus
 
Activities: 
  • Walk through the pedestrian promenade, the Korzo, with colorful houses and buildings from the time of the Habsburg dynasty
  • Visit to interesting museums
  • City tour through historic squares and narrow streets past ancient buildings such as churches and castles and many small cafes and restaurants
  • Experience the vibrant nightlife of Rijeka
Stop 5: Zagreb

Of course, on a road trip through Croatia you shouldn't forget the capital Zagreb! The metropolis in the interior also offers numerous monuments that you definitely shouldn't miss: the upper and lower towns, St. Mark's Church and the Green Horseshoe. The Tklaciceva promenade is definitely worth seeing with its many small restaurants, cafés and bars, which with its exuberant atmosphere forms a cultural center in the city.

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND ZAGREB

Camp Zagreb: Relatively small campsite with many options. The perfect balance between capital and nature.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Torero Restaurant: Classic Croatian cuisine recreated - modern and creative menus

Restaurant La Struk: delicious, regional dishes in a cozy atmosphere

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGTHS
Sights: 
  • City center - the Kaptol with Ban Jelacic Square
  • Cathedral and Madonna Fountain - Fountain of Mary with four angels
  • Dolac market - huge market with fresh fruit & vegetables, etc. The trademarks are the red parasols
  • Gornji Grad (Upper Town) - St. Mark's Church and St. Mark's Square, Lotrscak Tower
  • Donji Grad - Green Horseshoe: Zrinjevac Park, Botanical Garden, National Theater and Tito Square
  • Ilica shopping mile
 
Activities:
  • Short city tour through the upper and lower towns on the rack railway
  • Walk through the popular Tkalciceva promenade
  • For the adventurous: water skiing and wakeboarding at Lake Jarun
  • Visit to the Mimara Museum

 

  

DAY TRIP

Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen

n the way from Zagreb to Zadar, we recommend taking a break in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Following in Winnetou's footsteps, experiencing the untouched nature, wild animals - such as nimble otters and brown bears - as well as the dense forests and impressive clearings of the national park is definitely a must on a trip to Croatia.

In total, the Plitvice Lakes comprise 16 bodies of water and around 90 waterfalls, offering enthusiastic hikers, mountain bikers and even families a huge area to experience nature in all its stunning, untouched beauty.

Good to know: Admission costs up to 40 euros for adults in the high season, but children usually get in free. 

In order to protect nature as best as possible, there are strict rules to be observed throughout the entire area: e.g. Swimming or bathing is strictly prohibited in all lakes and bodies of water.

Stop 6: Zadar

Our journey continues to the south, to Dalmatia and the city of Zadar. The city's Roman past is still clearly recognisable: the city walls and the fortress offer you the opportunity to experience the past up close. Stroll along the promenade in the evening and enjoy the melody of the waves at the Sea Organ and be mesmerised by a unique light show at the Greeting to the Sun.  

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND ZADAR

Zaton Holiday Resort: large and luxurious campsite with a wide range of facilities right by the sea

Falkensteiner Premium Camping: modern and fully equipped campsite with spa area, spacious pool area, extensive sports and leisure facilities and everything else that children and adults could wish for. 

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Restaurant Pet Bunara: Restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, specialising in seafood, excellent olives and homemade bread and olive oil

Gricko Grill: It's worth trying the cevapcici here, because according to many testimonials, they are the best in the whole city.

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Sights:
  • Impressive, historic old town with influences from various eras, picturesque waterfront promenade and marina
  • Kalelarga - the city's main street
  • Cathedral of St Anastasia
  • Church and monastery of St Dominic
  • Sea organ
  • Greeting to the sun (circular play of light after sunset)
 
Activites:

 

  • Walk through the historic city centre and visit the Roman ruins
  • Evening stroll along the promenade, light show during sun salutations
  • Relaxing on the many beaches in and around Zadar
  • Hiking, climbing and mountain bike tours in Paklencia National Park
DAY TRIP
Krka National park

We have also picked out a stopover for your journey to Split, the Krka National Park. We think that this location is also an absolute must-see in Croatia. With its 7 impressive waterfalls and lagoons, this natural spectacle will inspire you. According to the locals, the largest and most beautiful waterfall is Manojlovac, which was also visited by the Austrian imperial couple in 1875. 

Similar to the Plitvice Lakes, this jewel in nature also offers a unique journey of discovery - either on foot or by bike on the 14 cycle and mountain bike trails. 

Good to know: Admission costs up to 40 euros for adults in the high season, but children are usually admitted free of charge.  

 

Stop 7: Split

Following in the footsteps of Game of Thrones characters Jon Snow, Arya Stark and co, our penultimate stop takes us to the Dalmatian city of Split, where some scenes from the successful series were filmed - particularly in the Diocletian's Palace monument.

But that's not all that makes the city so impressive. The four famous city gates - the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Gates - are the most visited sights in the old town today.

A day trip to the island of Hvar with a visit to the vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields is also highly recommended. 

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUD SPLIT

Camping Stobreč Split: Located in the middle of a dense forest, this campsite combines the idyll of nature with sporting adventures: from a water park to adventure golf and a riding school.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATION AND RESTAURANTS

Kaša Grill & Bar: Croatian steakhouse with a cosy, authentic flair and excellent fooD

Konoba Korta: Cosy restaurant in the heart of Split's old town - especially seafood, but also many vegetarian and vegan options

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITES AND SIGHTS
ACTIVITIES 
  • Visit Diocletian's Palace - the filming location for some scenes from the series "Game of Thrones"
  • Stroll through the historic city centre, along the Riva promenade past the many historical sights
  • Theatre performance or concert on Peristyle Square
  • Day trip to the island of Hvar - olive groves, vineyards and lavender fields
  • Boat trip/ city tour with a semi-submarine
  • For bad weather: escape rooms
 
SIGHTS
  • Diocletian's Palace - the former residence of the emperor  
  • Marmontova Ulica and square with a large market 
  • Matejuška harbour
  • Various beautiful beaches around Split
  • Riva waterfront promenade
  • the four gates (Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Gates)

Stop 8: Dubrovnik

The last stop takes us to the pearl of the Adriatic: the coastal town of Dubrovnik in the very south of Croatia. Dubrovnik is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Croatia and, thanks to its airport, is easily accessible from many European cities. The city is an attractive and popular holiday destination, especially among European high society, and offers luxurious accommodation, expensive restaurants, bars and exclusive boutiques. 

Like many other European cities, Dubrovnik's Roman past and the influence of all eras is still clearly visible today. Sights such as the well-preserved city walls and numerous churches, squares and the old town centre are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

THE BEST CAMPSITES IN AND AROUND DUBROVNIK

Solitudo Sunny Camping: The campsite is located right by the sea and just a few kilometres from the city centre. The perfect place for relaxation and a tour of Dubrovnik.

CULINARY RECOMMENDATIONS AND RESTAURANTS

Konoba Bonaca: Mediterranean restaurant with a view of the sea - mainly seafood and Croatian grilled specialities

Hard Rock Café Dubrovnik: Restaurant of the Hard Rock Café chain, grilled specialities, burgers and more, also for vegetarians and vegans

Soul Kitchen Dubrovnik: Creative, international and varied menus, also very suitable for vegetarians and vegans

HIGHLIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Activites
  • Visit to the old town centre with all its sights, especially the fortifications and the city wall
  • Visit to numerous museums (including the Game of Thrones Museum, etc.)
  • Relaxing on Buza Beach or Banje Beach - leisure activities such as jet skiing, paragliding and boat trips
 
Sights 
  • Historic old town
  • City walls and fortifications (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Stradun (Great Street) - promenade and promenade with the stone baroque houses
  • Onofrio Fountain, Orlando statue, Sponza Palace, Church of St Blaise and bell tower
  • Lovrijenac Fortress
  • Old town harbour

With the sun behind you and the sound of the Adriatic Sea in your ears, our unforgettable road trip through Croatia comes to an end.

Now it's your turn: discover for yourself the historic alleyways, the sun-kissed beaches and enjoy the diversity of Croatia at every turn between ancient towns, picturesque coastal roads, impressive waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes. This journey is more than just kilometres on the road - it's a journey through time, culture and nature.

 

BOOK NOW

 

So what are you waiting for? Rent your PIA camper now and start your own Croatian adventure on four wheels. 

 

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