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A woman walking the city walls of Dubrovnik during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

During summer 2021, I did a memorable Balkans trip where I got to visit five beautiful countries – Northeastern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. I am excited to share a thorough Balkans itinerary for 2 weeks based off of my personal adventures and experiences.

With Ashley of World to Wander, we started our Balkans trip in Venice, Italy before enjoying a weekend in Slovenia. From there, we made our way back to Trieste, Italy before heading into Croatia where we spent two nights in Pula, two nights in Split, one night in Hvar and four nights in Dubrovnik.

We also did a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Pula to Split as well as day trips to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina from Split and Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik. We also enjoyed a lovely day on the island of Korcula from Hvar to Dubrovnik. All of these destinations in the Balkans were amazing in their own special ways.

A woman walking the alleyways of Split, Croatia

Even though Italy isn’t a Balkans country, I believe it is a perfect start to an amazing travel itinerary for 2 weeks along the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Slovenia technically isn’t part of the Balkans either, it is a Central European country, but it was a former Yugoslavia country along with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. (We did not visit Serbia on this trip.)

In this Balkans travel blog, discover the best itinerary for 2 unforgettable weeks!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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The Best Balkans Itinerary for 2 Weeks

Traveling to and Around the Balkans:

A women in St. Mark's Square of Venice

My itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans started with a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Marco Polo Airport in Venice with a layover in Lisbon. Ashley flew from Tampa to Venice. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

From Marco Polo Airport to Venice, we took the ATVO bus to Piazzale Roma, which is the main bus station in the city. Just like at the train station in Venice, you can catch a water taxi from the bus terminal to your accommodation, but since our hotel was close by, we just walked there. During our time in Venice, we mainly got around by walking.

A woman exploring Ljubljana, Slovenia

After spending time in Venice, we rented a car at Piazzale Roma and drove around three hours to Lake Bled in Slovenia. From Lake Bled, we drove 45 minutes to the capital city, Ljubljana, where we spent the evening and early the next day. As we moved on, we drove to Predjama Castle on the way to Trieste, Italy where we would drop our rental car off and take the bus into to Croatia. It takes an hour to drive from Ljubljana to Predjama Castle and a little over 45 minutes to get from the castle to Trieste.

We purchased our bus tickets to Croatia through GetByBus. The ride from the Trieste bus terminal to the Pula bus station is over an hour and a half, but you will need to go through customs and border patrol. The line to enter Croatia can take up to a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line wasn’t long for us and it only took two hours to get from Trieste to Pula.

Roman buildings in Istria, Croatia

While we were in Pula, we mainly got around by walking and took the city bus, which is managed by Pulapromet, to the beach in Verudela. (The bus lines to take from Pula city center to Verudela are 2 and 3.)

On our second day in Pula, we picked up our second rental car from Pula Airport to explore Rovinj. We also kept the same rental car for our journey to Plitvice Lakes National Park to Split and our day trip to Mostar in Bosnia. We dropped our car off right outside the Old Town of Split when we were finished with it.

Plitvice Lakes National Park during a Balkans road trip

(The drive from Pula to Rovinj and vice versa is around 45 minutes. Then, the drive from Pula to Plitvice Lakes is a little less than three and a half hours and the journey back from the National Park to Split is around two and a half hours. Lastly, the trip from Split to Mostar is around a two-hour drive. It is a lot of driving, but totally worth it!)

Ashley and I spent two nights in Split before traveling around via ferry to the Croatian islands of Hvar and Korcula. We first took the ferry from Split to Hvar. Once we were on Hvar, we mainly got around by renting an ATV for the day. After spending one night on Hvar, we then took the ferry over to Korcula where we got around by walking.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Korcula, Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

When we completed our time on the beautiful islands of Hvar and Korcula, we then took the ferry over to Dubrovnik. (We only did a day trip to Korcula, so we arrived in Dubrovnik later in the evening.) We booked all of our ferry tickets through GetbyFerry.

The best way to get from the ferry port in Dubrovnik to Old Town is by either taking a city taxi or Uber. Once we were in the heart of the city, we mainly adventured around by foot, but we did do a fun tour through Gourmets of Dubrovnik, which provided us with transportation.

A woman exploring Dubrovnik, Croatia

We ended our 2 weeks in the Balkans by doing a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro, which should not be missed in your travel itinerary. Ashley and I only rented a car for the day to get to Kotor from Dubrovnik. (We rented our car near Hotel Rixos.)

One thing to note about renting a car in Croatia (or anywhere in the European Union) is that you will need to have an international diver’s permit in addition to your regular license. I don’t know how the process works for every single country out there, but for U.S. residents, you could easily obtain one by going to your local AAA office.  

I flew home from Dubrovnik Airport to Newark Airport with a layover in Frankfurt.

Where to Stay on a Balkan Road Trip:

A woman staying at Venice Times Hotel in Venice, Italy

All throughout the Balkans, you can find a plethora of great accommodations ranging from all different budgets. In addition, you can also find a lot of great Airbnbs, Vrbos and hostels that are perfect for your Balkans trip.

Below are the accommodations Ashley and I stayed in during our 2 weeks in the Balkans:

2 nights in Venice, Italy: We stayed at Venice Times Hotel.

1 night in Ljubljana, Slovenia: We stayed at InterContinental Ljubljana.

2 nights in Pula, Istria, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Pula.

2 nights in Split, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Split.

1 night in Hvar, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Hvar.

4 nights in Dubrovnik, Croatia: We stayed at The Pucic Palace.

The Ultimate Balkans Travel Itinerary

A woman exploring Mostar, Bosnia during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

My time in the Balkans area of Europe was incredible! It was one of the best and most memorable trips I’ve done since 2019 and I cannot wait to share with you the best and most thorough itinerary for your own personal 2 weeks in the Balkans. This is a busy itinerary, so you can obviously add and remove whatever you wish and don’t wish to do.

Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Italy

Discover the best and thorough 2 days in Venice, Italy itinerary.

A woman exploring Venice, Italy

Once you arrive in Venice, check into your accommodation and get settled in. Afterwards, I recommend getting lost around the city. Venice boasts beautiful architecture, charming bridges, majestic canals, great eateries and wonderful shops.  

Venice is a romantic city and it is one of the best places to stroll around with a loved one and enjoy an espresso, gelato and heart-shaped pizza!

Some of the most iconic landmarks to see during your 2 days in Venice is the Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs and Saint Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco, which boasts Saint Marks’ Basilica. Click here to book a walking city tour in Venice and click here to book a cooking class in Italy.

A woman participating in a Venetian rowing lesson during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you have time, enjoy a gondola ride or participate in a Venetian rowing lesson on the canals! It is one of the best ways to get the true Venice experience.

When it comes to food, I recommend grabbing lunch at Ristorante Diana and/or dinner at Ostaria al Vecio Pozzo. A great gelato and chocolate shop to check out as you adventure around the city is VizioVirtù Cioccolateria.

Day 2: Adventure around the Venetian Islands

The colorful streets of Burano, Venice, Italy

During your second full day in Venice, check out the Venetian islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. The best way to get around to each island is by taking the ferry. (You can take an organized tour to these islands, but from my own experience, it is best that you explore them on your own.) I recommend starting in Murano, which is a 30-minute ride from the Grand Canal, and then making your way to the colorful island of Burano and ending in the quiet village of Torcello.

The island of Murano is renowned for its tradition of glassmaking. During your time on the island of Murano, I recommend seeing a glass making demonstration. You will be fascinated by the glasssmith (or glassblower) and his talent.

After being blown away by Murano’s glassmaking (no pun intended), head over to Burano where you will enter a rainbow village! According to Italian folklore, Venetians living in Burano painted their homes bright colors so that fishermen could see them even during the grayest days to avoid crashing into shore after a long voyage at sea.

Glass blowing in Murano, Venice, Italy

While you’re on Burano island, I recommend just simply strolling through the charming streets; wandering through lace shops, which is what this island is known for and visiting the Museo del Merletto that includes exhibits on the development of lace production; walking through the leaning church tower of San Martino and admiring the culture.

Even though Torcello is mainly uninhabited and the handful of people who live there reside in farmhouses, it is still worth a visit during your time in Venice.

There are a few restaurants on Torcello that you can eat lunch at, but I recommend that you see the Devil’s Bridge, which according to legend, was built in one night by the devil to win a bet. I also suggest that you check out the Church of Santa Fosca.

A spaghetti dish from Vencie

Regarding food, I recommend either grabbing a bite to eat during your time on one of the three islands or visiting Ristorante Baccarandino ai Corazzieri or Muro Venezia on the main island.

Day 3: Travel to Lake Bled, Slovenia

Read a thorough guide on how to have a memorable weekend in Slovenia.

A woman looking at beautiful views of Lake Bled, Slovenia

After picking up your rental car and driving from Venice to Slovenia, the first spot to check out in this breathtaking country is Lake Bled. (We parked our car at a lot next to Camping Bled. It cost us a few euros to park.)

Situated near the Slovenian-Austrian border in the Julian Alps, Lake Bled has an island that you can take a traditional boat over to. (The boat is called a Pletna.) Once you’re on the island, you should check out the Assumption of Maria, which is a 17th Century Catholic church.

A 2 weeks in the Balkans is not complete without including a hike, in your itinerary, to a gorgeous viewpoint of Lake Bled. During our time at Lake Bled, Ashley and I did the hike to Ojstrica. It was short, but strenuous since it is straight uphill and rugged. It is worth it though because the views are jaw dropping! Another hike to a breathtaking viewpoint of Lake Bled is Mala Osojnica.

Visiting Lake Bled during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

Throughout Bled are lovely walking and bike paths to enjoy and there is a plethora of awesome spots to sit down, relax and have a nice picnic. There are also great tours that you can take around the town of Bled, Slovenia.

When it comes to food around Lake Bled, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, but I recommend trying the Bled Cream Cake, otherwise known as kremna rezina in Slovenian. This mouthwatering cake is made with a golden butter crust, vanilla and whipped cream, another layer of crispy dough and sugar icing. You can enjoy this delicious dessert at Hotel Park.

Before you head to Ljubljana, check out Bled Castle (or Blejski Grad), which is a Romanesque castle built in 1011. You can either hike up to the castle from the center of town or drive there like we did. It costs 3 euros to park at Bled Castle and the majestic grounds are something to admire.

A woman enjoying a drink from InterContinental in Ljubljana

Later in the evening, head to Ljubljana and check into your hotel. A great spot to enjoy a sunset with awesome views and drinks is B-Bar at InterContinental in Ljubljana. This rooftop bar that overlooks the city of Ljubljana has a great craft cocktail and beer list with a wonderful wine menu.

For dinner, enjoy traditional Slovenian food at Slovenska Hiša – Figovec, which is located down the road from InterContinental.

Day 4: Explore Ljubljana and Predjama Castle, then Head to Istria from Trieste

A woman wandering around Ljubljana, Slovenia

The next morning, wake up early to wander around the beautiful city of Ljubljana. It is the capital city of Slovenia and it features charming architecture and historical landmarks dating back to the Roman times. (I also recommend doing a city tour in Ljubljana!)

During your time in Ljubljana, Slovenia, check out the Odprta Kuhna, which is an open kitchen or outdoor street food market. It allows you to choose among amazing food and drink options in the city. You can find everything from vegan plates to Vietnamese food and craft beer to Indian cuisine.

Another epic thing you cannot exclude from your itinerary during your 2 weeks in the Balkans is walking through Ljubljana Castle or Ljubljanski Grad. It is a medieval castle established in the 11th Century and it features a wine trail, escape game, awesome museums as well as great tours!

A woman at Predjama Castle during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

After a memorable morning in Ljubljana, head east and visit Predjama Castle. Known as the Renaissance castle built within a cave, Predjama Castle was purposely made with difficult access. It is also the world’s largest cave castle and has been listed as one of the Guinness World Records. Predjama Castle is also known as one of the 10 most fascinating castles in the world and has a lot of history!

Predjama Castle is located in Postojna Cave Park and you can do fun cave tours there. At this park, there are also a lot of great hiking trails and nature adventures.

Gelato from Italy

Once you are finished enjoying all the beauty Predjama Castle has to offer, drive to Trieste, Italy to drop off your rental car and hop on the bus that will take you to Croatia! If you have time, I encourage you to explore Trieste and even grab a nice Italian lunch or coffee/pastry there.

Day 5: Journey to Pula, Croatia

Here is a detailed travel guide on how to have a great Istria vacation in Pula and Rovinj.

A woman exploring Pula Arena during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you thoroughly follow along this itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans, then you will arrive in Pula in the afternoon on day 5. I recommend using this time to settle into your accommodation and grab a bite to eat at Hook & Cook, which has the popular fritto misto plate (fried fishes) on their menu. They also have great local beer too!

After your delicious meal, stroll around Pula and admire all the stunning landmarks and Roman Ruins. Pula is known as ‘Little Rome’ because it was once under Italian rule. The cool Roman landmarks you must check out in Pula are the Pula Arena, which I recommend you explore during sunset; the Arch of Sergii; Augustus Temple and the Roman Forum and The Twin Gate.

A woman walking through Pula during sunset

Other great spots to explore in Pula, Croatia are Fortress Kaštel, Zerostrasse (Pula’s underground tunnels) and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At nighttime, check out Pula’s fun bars and nightclubs!

Side Note: During your 2 weeks in the Balkans, you must also include tasting Malvasia, which is Croatian orange (or amber) wine in your Croatia itinerary. Overall, Malvasia is a staple in the Istria region of Croatia and if you have ample time, I recommend visiting a vineyard.

Malvasia, orange Croatian wine

Malvasia is delicious! The more orange the wine looks, the higher quality it is. Orange wine has a distinct taste that is unique and incredible. It is technically a white wine made from the same methods as red wine. The skins are left on, which produces tannins and gives the wine a spicier and drier taste than most white wines.

Day 6: Enjoy a Beach Day in Pula and a Lovely Evening in Rovinj

A woman at Hawaiian Beach in Istria, Croatia

During your second day in Istria, enjoy a lovely beach day at Pula’s Hawaiian Cove Beach, which is situated in Principina Cove at Verudela Peninsula. (We took the bus from Pula city center to the beach!)

Hawaiian beach is a rock beach that features clear and turquoise waters, rocky boulders to sunbathe on, cliffs to jump off and small caves to check out. It is a nice spot for families and friend groups. A great place to enjoy lunch in Verudela is at Da Bruno Pizza and Grill. Their pizzas are delicious!

After your amazing beach day, haul a taxi or Uber to take you to Pula Airport so that you can pick up your rental car to take to Rovinj and then Plitvice Lakes the next day.

A woman enjoying an evening in Rovinj during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you take a car to Rovinj like Ashley and I did, you will need to find parking outside of the Old Town. There are a few parking lots that are close by and in a short walking distance. If you don’t have a vehicle, then you can take the Brioni Pula bus or a FlixBus to Rovinj. (The parking lots in Rovinj cost a few euros, depending on how long you’re there for.)

Once you arrive in Rovinj, which is also known as Croatia’s ‘Little Venice’, stroll around the colorful Old Town that features charming buildings, stunning waterfronts, beautiful churches, wonderful boutique shops, wine stores and more.

Another fun thing to do during your time in Rovinj from Pula is to climb up St. Euphemia Church, which has a bell tower and breathtaking views of Old Town. (If you have time, also visit one of Rovinj’s beaches.)

Rovinj during sunset

As the sun starts to set, head over to the waterfront to grab dinner and drinks. Even though it isn’t on the waterfront, Restoran Giannino is known to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Rovinj. Because we didn’t make reservations ahead of time, we couldn’t get in and instead, enjoyed a nice seafood dish at Restaurant Atlas.

After your evening in Rovinj, head back to Pula to enjoy a good night’s rest before your next day’s adventure to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Day 7: Visit Plitvice Lakes and Have a Fun Evening in Split

Learn about what to do with 2 days in Split, Croatia.

A woman admiring the beautiful views at Plitvice Lakes National Park

The best place to visit between Istria and Split is Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is a little out of the way, but the park is worth including in your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.

Overall, Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s largest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Dinaric Alps. It boasts 16 aqua blue lakes, numerous waterfalls, a limestone canyon and 360-degree views from all around. There are also hiking trails, walking paths, an electric boat that takes visitors to different parts of the park as well as places to eat and drink.

A woman on a day trip at Plitvice Lakes from Split

When you first arrive at Plitvice Lakes National Park, start by visiting the Upper Lakes, which includes a boardwalk, walking and hiking trails, waterfalls and stunning hidden gems. Then, take the boat over to the lower lakes where you can see the Big Waterfall and hike up to an overlook where you can admire breathtaking views of the park. There is also a third section to Plitvice Lakes where you can find Proscansko Lake. There are different routes (called programs) you can take throughout the park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is open from 7am to 8pm during the summer months; 8am to 6pm in the spring and fall months and 8am to 3pm during the winter months. The cost for adults to enter is 300 Kuna during the summer months before 4pm and 200 Kuna after 4pm; it is 180 Kuna during the autumn and spring months and it’s 80 Kuna during the winter months.

Exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

The park also charges for parking. It is 10 Kuna per hour, per vehicle and 100 Kuna per day for a camper.

In addition to the boat that takes you around Plitvice Lakes, there is also a shuttle bus that transports visitors to and from the trails and park entrances to the visitor’s center and parking lots. The boat and shuttles are included with the price you pay to get into the National Park.

(A great place to eat outside of Plitvice Lakes National Park is Vila Velebita, which serves heartwarming Croatian mountain food.)

From Plitvice Lakes National Park, drive to Split, on the Dalmatian Coast, and get settled into your accommodation. Some hotels offer free parking on site, but if you stay in an Airbnb in the Old Town like we did, then you will need to find street parking outside the fortified walls. We parked on a side street that didn’t require us to pay a fee.

Roman ruins and buildings in Split at night

During your first evening in Split, I recommend walking around the medieval Old Town and enjoying its restaurants, bars and liveliness. Split was probably my favorite destination to experience at night, plus all the cool Roman landmarks shined bright under the dark sky!

In the evening, I recommend grabbing dinner at Café Bar – Bistro No Stress. Afterwards, head over to the Riva Promenade for a fun night out on the water.

Day 8: Do a Day Trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina from Split

Follow this thorough guide on how to have a perfect day trip to Mostar from Split.

A woman exploring Mostar in Bosnia during a day trip from Split

One of the best ways to squeeze seeing all of Split’s landmarks in your itinerary, during your 2 weeks in the Balkans, is by waking up early to avoid crowds.

On day 8, wake up early to walk around and explore the fascinating Roman architecture and history in Split’s Diocletian’s Palace. It was the Emperor’s Palace that was built as a complex and today is is known as Old Town Split.

Some of the best medieval spots and landmarks to check out in Diocletian’s Palace are the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, The Golden Gate, The Silver Gate, The Iron Gate, The Brass Gate, the Vestibule, the Temple of Jupiter, Peristyle, The Substructures and more.

Visiting Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

(Another great way to explore Split is by doing an organized walking tour!)

After exploring the beautiful city of Split, head back to your vehicle and drive two hours to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Please keep in mind that you will need to go through border patrol to get from Croatia to Bosnia and back. The customs line can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line was short for us.)

When Ashley and I first arrived in Mostar, we easily found street parking near the Aleksa Santic Monument. (It was free the day we went, but I recommend asking around and doing your research to see if you must pay for parking. There is paid street parking in specific areas of Mostar.) There are also parking garages that you can park at for a fee.

A destroyed building in Mostar, Bosnia

There is a lot of history to Bosnia and Herzegovina and I encourage you to learn about it all. Four Mostar museums that you should include in your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans are the War Photo Exhibition, Bosnaseum, Museum of War and Genocide Victims and the Museum of Herzegovina. These museums are great places to learn about the Bosnian war along with Herzegovina’s cultural and historical heritage.

Next, make your way over to the čaršija, which is a Muslim bazaar in Mostar. It is right next to the city’s popular bridge, Stari Most, and you can shop from homemade copper items, Turkish rugs, Arabic jewelry, handmade Bosnian blankets and other souvenir items. From there, walk over the Stari Most bridge.

The carsija in Mostar, Bosnia

As you wander around Mostar, admire all the beautiful Ottoman architecture and walk over the Crooked Bridge, which resembles the larger Stari Most bridge. Another stunning spot to visit in Mostar is Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, which represents one of the best architectural wonders of Ottoman culture and it is also known as the most monumental Islamic Mosque in the city.

During your day trip to Mostar from Split, I recommend savoring mouthwatering Bosnian food and wine. An authentic restaurant to enjoy great food and views is Restoran Kaldrma. Afterwards, enjoy heartwarming tea and a treat at Café de Alma before your drive back to Split.

Beach in Split during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you have time, when you return to Split, I recommend checking out Bačvice beach. It is both a sandy and concrete beach where you can sunbathe, enjoy a great drink and just have a good ole time! What is nice about this beach in Split is that it is located near the rental car company where you can drop your vehicle off since you no longer need it.

For dinner, Ashley and I wanted something different than the pasta dishes we had been consuming, so we ate at Adriatic Sushi & Oyster Bar, which offers great sushi, seafood and Asian fusion dishes.

Day 9: Take the Ferry and Adventure around Hvar

Here is a travel guide on Hvar to Korcula, best of the Croatian islands.

2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

A Balkans itinerary is not complete without exploring some of Croatia’s islands during your 2 weeks there. On day 9, take the ferry from the Ferry Port of Split to the Harbour of Hvar. It takes around an hour to get from Split to Hvar by ferry.

When you first arrive in Hvar, I recommend checking into your accommodation right away and dropping off your belongings. From there, grab breakfast at Vita Hvar, which specializes in healthy food. (They have great coffee and smoothie bowls.)

During your one night in Hvar, I recommend getting around the island via ATV. (I would try to book your ATV as soon as you get to Hvar because they do run out, especially during the summer. We rented from Hvar Quads.) Once you have your ATV, explore the beauty of the island with it!

A woman at Milna Beach in Hvar

As you make your way around Hvar, I encourage you to check out the beautiful beaches. The three beaches that Ashley and I visited on Hvar were Milna, Malo Zarače and Dubovica. It was at Dubovica where we decided to spend most of our day.

The beach at Dubovica can be reached from the main road. You will need to do a short hike down to the cove, but it is worth it because of how breathtaking it is. Dubovica is also considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Dubovica beach is pebbly and it boasts crystal clear water, a café and a stone villa that plays classical music all day. Everything about this beach is incredible and the classical music coming from the villa sets the vibe to this special place.

A woman at Dubovica beach in Hvar

After a lovely beach day at Dubovica, hop back on your ATV and head over to Duboković Winery in Jelsa. At this winery, you can enjoy both wine and olive oil tasting in the cellars, which is a great experience!

During our wine tasting experience at Duboković Winery, we tried a variety of red and white wines, including Prč, which is a white muscadine grape variety that is popular on the island of Hvar. This wine is light and dry with hints of fruit. Malvasia (orange wine) was also included in our wine tasting at Duboković Winery.

A woman wine tasting in a cellar at a winery in Hvar - itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans

In the evening, head back to Hvar Town and enjoy a lovely Italian dinner at Kogo. At this restaurant, I savored one of the best pasta dishes that I had during my Croatia trip. It was Dalmatian black truffle homemade pasta with prosciutto and burrata.

Once you’re finished with dinner, have a fun night out! On the island of Hvar, you can find everything from nightclubs to pubs and beach clubs to lounges.

Day 10: Take a Relaxing Day Trip to Korcula Island by Ferry

A woman exploring Korcula, Croatia

Take the ferry from Hvar to Korcula on day 10. It will take a little over an hour to get from the Harbour of Hvar to Catamaran Ferry Port in Korcula.

During your 2 weeks in the Balkans, you must include a “chill” day in your itinerary and one of the best places to do that is on the island of Korcula.

Once you arrive on Korcula, I recommend grabbing a lovely breakfast and strolling around the Old Town. Some of the best things to see in Old Town Korcula are Marco Polo’s House and Museum, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bishop’s Treasury, Kanavelić Tower and Korcula’s Town Gates.

A woman enjoying a beautiful day on Korcula Island

Next, during a relaxing day on Korcula, I encourage you to enjoy a nice beach day. Ashley and I relaxed at Zakerjan Beach that is located on Korcula’s seaside promenade. It is a rock beach with some concrete slabs and jetties where you can place your beach towel on, relax and sunbathe. If you’re looking to explore other beaches on the island, I recommend renting an ATV or scooter and visiting Beach Vela Przina, Beach Bacva, Zitna Beach and/or Proizd Island Beach.

When you get hungry, eat at Cupido, which is one of the best restaurants along Korcula’s seaside promenade. It is a seafood restaurant with a great wine selection. Speaking of wine, an awesome wine bar to enjoy in Korcula is Wine & Tapas Bar Lole!

A Croatian fish soup and oysters from Korcula

Pošip is the renowned wine produced on Korcula and if you have extra time on the island, I recommend checking out some great vineyards! Some wineries to visit are Bire Winery, Pošip Čara Winery and Lovrič Winery. You can even book a great wine tour during your time on Korcula.

In the evening, hop back on the ferry and enjoy a relaxing two-hour journey to Dubrovnik. When you arrive in Dubrovnik, check into your accommodation and enjoy a nice evening.

Day 11: Venture Outside of Dubrovnik

Explore a detailed Dubrovnik bucket list.

A woman enjoying a glass of Champagne in Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

On our first day in Dubrovnik, Ashley and I did a fun and memorable day trip outside of the city’s Old town. (In fact, it was one of the most memorable excursions included in our itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.) We did our tour with Gourmets of Dubrovnik, which is a family-owned tour company where they will pick you up in a comfortable luxury van near your accommodation.

During a day tour with Gourmets of Dubrovnik, you will visit an overlook where you can admire breathtaking views of the city. From there, you’ll enjoy a thrilling ATV tour through countryside villages and forests. (On our tour, we got to see a herd of sheep crossing the road.)

A woman participating in a fun ATV tour, which was included in her 2 weeks Balkans itinerary

After the ATV tour, you will savor delicious Croatian tapas and taste different flavors of grappa. It is amazing!

The next adventure on this amazing tour is to an oyster farm that is situated on the Mali Ston Bay. You can see how a local family farms oysters and prepares them to be eaten. During this tour, you will eat a lot of oysters and they are delicious!

Oysters and champagne from Croatia

The last stop on this tour is to the medieval village of Ston. You will go straight to Milos Winery where you can learn all about the family history of winemaking and the vineyard’s unique journey.

Before heading back to Dubrovnik, you’ll have the opportunity to walk around the Old Town of Ston where you can see the defense walls from a distance. Ston’s defense walls are currently the second largest in Europe.

A scallop dish from Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik

When you arrive back in Dubrovnik, relax at your hotel before enjoying an exquisite dinner at Restaurant 360, which is Michelin Star rated and features delicious dishes. (I suggest you treat yourself and include at least one fancy dinner on your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.) If you plan to eat here, I recommend making reservations ahead of time!

Day 12: Tour Around Dubrovnik

A woman exploring Old Town Dubrovnik during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

A second day in Dubrovnik should be spent enjoying everything this amazing city has to offer! First, start your day with a fulfilling breakfast at Café Royal in The Pucic Palace hotel.

Once you get your stomach full, walk it off by wandering around the city and visiting all of Dubrovnik’s coolest landmarks in Old Town! During your time in the city, I recommend you check out Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Loggia Square, The Fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviour Church, Old Port of Dubrovnik and the Jesuit Stairs. Click here to book a city tour in Dubrovnik.

In the afternoon, relax at one of Dubrovnik’s beaches. During our time in the city, Ashley and I went to Banje Beach, which is located east of the city, around a 10-minute walk from the Old Town’s Ploče Gate. Banje Beach boasts an upscale seafood restaurant and a vibrant waterfront nightclub.

A woman walking Dubrovnik's ancient city walls during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

In the later afternoon and into early evening, I suggest you walk along the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik. This should most definitely be a MUST on your 2 weeks Balkans itinerary!

For 200 Kuna, you can walk along the walls and enjoy 360-degree views of the city. There are three entrances to the ancient city walls and you can purchase tickets at each entrance – the Pile Gate, Ploče Gate and Maritime Museum.

In general, the best time to walk along the ancient walls of Dubrovnik is around sunset because you can enjoy stunning views, there will be less crowds and the weather isn’t as hot as it would be in the middle of the afternoon.

Game of Thrones location in Dubrovnik

After walking along the city walls, treat yourself to a drink and views at Buza Bar, which is located on the side of the cliff that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. It is a great spot to socialize and see people cliff jump!

A great restaurant to grab dinner in Dubrovnik on your second night in the city is Buffet Kamenice, which is in Gundulić Square. Even though Kamenice isn’t an actual buffet, it is known for its seafood dishes, especially mussels!

Later at night, check out Dubrovnik’s bars and nightclubs along the Placa Street, otherwise known as the Stradun.

Day 13: Drive to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik

Follow this great guide on a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik, Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

On your last full day in the Balkans, enjoy a fun day trip to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik. Since Kotor is so close, it should be included in your itinerary during your 2 weeks in the Balkans. We only rented a car for the day to go to Montenegro.

The drive from Dubrovnik to Kotor is around two hours. Please also keep in mind that you will need to go through border patrol to get from Croatia to Montenegro and back. The customs line can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line went quick like it did for Bosnia.

When Ashley and I first arrived, we found street parking along Njegoševa, which is the main road across from the Bay of Kotor. Since we visited Kotor on a Sunday, street parking was free for us, but I recommend doing your research beforehand to see if you need to pay. There are parking garages you can pay to park at as well.

Old Town Kotor Montenegro

If you get to Kotor early enough, I recommend hiking to the Castle of San Giovanni. It offers the most breathtaking views of both the city and the Bay of Kotor. During this hike, you should wear comfortable clothing and shoes and also ensure that the weather is going to be okay. The hike includes 1,350+ stairs to the castle. It is strenuous, but totally worth it!

After your hike, grab a delicious meal at either Cesare Old Town Restaurant, Restaurant Cesarica, Konoba Scala Santa, Astoria Restaurant, Tanjga and Che Nova. Montenegrin food is similar to the food in Croatia.

A woman visiting Kotor, Montenegro during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

Throughout the rest of your day trip in Kotor, explore around the Old Town. There are beautiful churches to admire, a cat museum, a moat and more. The waterfront of Kotor is also a gorgeous part of the city to enjoy!

Later in the evening, when you arrive back in Dubrovnik, savor one of the best Bosnian meals at Taj Mahal in Old Town. I recommend you make reservations ahead of time if you want to eat here. Overall, everything on Taj Mahal’s menu is delicious and my dinner there was one of the best meals I’ve had during my Balkans trip!

Day 14: Fly Home from Dubrovnik


A woman walking through Diocletian's Palace during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary.

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro:

Italy:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Rome, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Slovenia:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Ljubljana, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Croatia:

Currency: Croatian Kuna, Capital: Zagreb, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark, Capital: Sarajevo, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Montenegro:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Podgorica, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

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*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Balkans Look:

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on November 5, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    What an amazing guide to all those beautiful places in Croatia ~ the architecture and beaches are breathtaking. The color of the aqua water is so welcoming for a swim. The cathedrals are so beautiful! Food and drink you described throughout the blog looked amazing ~ you look fabulous in all the photos ~ love all your outfits which always match the region you are in ~ awesome blog! Love you, mom xoxo 👩♥️👍

    • Taylor Deer on November 7, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you mom! It was such an amazing trip. I want to go back one day. <3 Love you too!

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Taylor-Rovinj2

A woman walking the city walls of Dubrovnik during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

During summer 2021, I did a memorable Balkans trip where I got to visit five beautiful countries – Northeastern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. I am excited to share a thorough Balkans itinerary for 2 weeks based off of my personal adventures and experiences.

With Ashley of World to Wander, we started our Balkans trip in Venice, Italy before enjoying a weekend in Slovenia. From there, we made our way back to Trieste, Italy before heading into Croatia where we spent two nights in Pula, two nights in Split, one night in Hvar and four nights in Dubrovnik.

We also did a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park from Pula to Split as well as day trips to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina from Split and Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik. We also enjoyed a lovely day on the island of Korcula from Hvar to Dubrovnik. All of these destinations in the Balkans were amazing in their own special ways.

A woman walking the alleyways of Split, Croatia

Even though Italy isn’t a Balkans country, I believe it is a perfect start to an amazing travel itinerary for 2 weeks along the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Slovenia technically isn’t part of the Balkans either, it is a Central European country, but it was a former Yugoslavia country along with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. (We did not visit Serbia on this trip.)

In this Balkans travel blog, discover the best itinerary for 2 unforgettable weeks!

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


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The Best Balkans Itinerary for 2 Weeks

Traveling to and Around the Balkans:

A women in St. Mark's Square of Venice

My itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans started with a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey to Marco Polo Airport in Venice with a layover in Lisbon. Ashley flew from Tampa to Venice. You can find affordable flights through Skyscanner.

From Marco Polo Airport to Venice, we took the ATVO bus to Piazzale Roma, which is the main bus station in the city. Just like at the train station in Venice, you can catch a water taxi from the bus terminal to your accommodation, but since our hotel was close by, we just walked there. During our time in Venice, we mainly got around by walking.

A woman exploring Ljubljana, Slovenia

After spending time in Venice, we rented a car at Piazzale Roma and drove around three hours to Lake Bled in Slovenia. From Lake Bled, we drove 45 minutes to the capital city, Ljubljana, where we spent the evening and early the next day. As we moved on, we drove to Predjama Castle on the way to Trieste, Italy where we would drop our rental car off and take the bus into to Croatia. It takes an hour to drive from Ljubljana to Predjama Castle and a little over 45 minutes to get from the castle to Trieste.

We purchased our bus tickets to Croatia through GetByBus. The ride from the Trieste bus terminal to the Pula bus station is over an hour and a half, but you will need to go through customs and border patrol. The line to enter Croatia can take up to a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line wasn’t long for us and it only took two hours to get from Trieste to Pula.

Roman buildings in Istria, Croatia

While we were in Pula, we mainly got around by walking and took the city bus, which is managed by Pulapromet, to the beach in Verudela. (The bus lines to take from Pula city center to Verudela are 2 and 3.)

On our second day in Pula, we picked up our second rental car from Pula Airport to explore Rovinj. We also kept the same rental car for our journey to Plitvice Lakes National Park to Split and our day trip to Mostar in Bosnia. We dropped our car off right outside the Old Town of Split when we were finished with it.

Plitvice Lakes National Park during a Balkans road trip

(The drive from Pula to Rovinj and vice versa is around 45 minutes. Then, the drive from Pula to Plitvice Lakes is a little less than three and a half hours and the journey back from the National Park to Split is around two and a half hours. Lastly, the trip from Split to Mostar is around a two-hour drive. It is a lot of driving, but totally worth it!)

Ashley and I spent two nights in Split before traveling around via ferry to the Croatian islands of Hvar and Korcula. We first took the ferry from Split to Hvar. Once we were on Hvar, we mainly got around by renting an ATV for the day. After spending one night on Hvar, we then took the ferry over to Korcula where we got around by walking.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Korcula, Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

When we completed our time on the beautiful islands of Hvar and Korcula, we then took the ferry over to Dubrovnik. (We only did a day trip to Korcula, so we arrived in Dubrovnik later in the evening.) We booked all of our ferry tickets through GetbyFerry.

The best way to get from the ferry port in Dubrovnik to Old Town is by either taking a city taxi or Uber. Once we were in the heart of the city, we mainly adventured around by foot, but we did do a fun tour through Gourmets of Dubrovnik, which provided us with transportation.

A woman exploring Dubrovnik, Croatia

We ended our 2 weeks in the Balkans by doing a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro, which should not be missed in your travel itinerary. Ashley and I only rented a car for the day to get to Kotor from Dubrovnik. (We rented our car near Hotel Rixos.)

One thing to note about renting a car in Croatia (or anywhere in the European Union) is that you will need to have an international diver’s permit in addition to your regular license. I don’t know how the process works for every single country out there, but for U.S. residents, you could easily obtain one by going to your local AAA office.  

I flew home from Dubrovnik Airport to Newark Airport with a layover in Frankfurt.

Where to Stay on a Balkan Road Trip:

A woman staying at Venice Times Hotel in Venice, Italy

All throughout the Balkans, you can find a plethora of great accommodations ranging from all different budgets. In addition, you can also find a lot of great Airbnbs, Vrbos and hostels that are perfect for your Balkans trip.

Below are the accommodations Ashley and I stayed in during our 2 weeks in the Balkans:

2 nights in Venice, Italy: We stayed at Venice Times Hotel.

1 night in Ljubljana, Slovenia: We stayed at InterContinental Ljubljana.

2 nights in Pula, Istria, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Pula.

2 nights in Split, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Split.

1 night in Hvar, Croatia: We stayed at this Airbnb in Hvar.

4 nights in Dubrovnik, Croatia: We stayed at The Pucic Palace.

The Ultimate Balkans Travel Itinerary

A woman exploring Mostar, Bosnia during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

My time in the Balkans area of Europe was incredible! It was one of the best and most memorable trips I’ve done since 2019 and I cannot wait to share with you the best and most thorough itinerary for your own personal 2 weeks in the Balkans. This is a busy itinerary, so you can obviously add and remove whatever you wish and don’t wish to do.

Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Italy

Discover the best and thorough 2 days in Venice, Italy itinerary.

A woman exploring Venice, Italy

Once you arrive in Venice, check into your accommodation and get settled in. Afterwards, I recommend getting lost around the city. Venice boasts beautiful architecture, charming bridges, majestic canals, great eateries and wonderful shops.  

Venice is a romantic city and it is one of the best places to stroll around with a loved one and enjoy an espresso, gelato and heart-shaped pizza!

Some of the most iconic landmarks to see during your 2 days in Venice is the Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs and Saint Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco, which boasts Saint Marks’ Basilica. Click here to book a walking city tour in Venice and click here to book a cooking class in Italy.

A woman participating in a Venetian rowing lesson during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you have time, enjoy a gondola ride or participate in a Venetian rowing lesson on the canals! It is one of the best ways to get the true Venice experience.

When it comes to food, I recommend grabbing lunch at Ristorante Diana and/or dinner at Ostaria al Vecio Pozzo. A great gelato and chocolate shop to check out as you adventure around the city is VizioVirtù Cioccolateria.

Day 2: Adventure around the Venetian Islands

The colorful streets of Burano, Venice, Italy

During your second full day in Venice, check out the Venetian islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. The best way to get around to each island is by taking the ferry. (You can take an organized tour to these islands, but from my own experience, it is best that you explore them on your own.) I recommend starting in Murano, which is a 30-minute ride from the Grand Canal, and then making your way to the colorful island of Burano and ending in the quiet village of Torcello.

The island of Murano is renowned for its tradition of glassmaking. During your time on the island of Murano, I recommend seeing a glass making demonstration. You will be fascinated by the glasssmith (or glassblower) and his talent.

After being blown away by Murano’s glassmaking (no pun intended), head over to Burano where you will enter a rainbow village! According to Italian folklore, Venetians living in Burano painted their homes bright colors so that fishermen could see them even during the grayest days to avoid crashing into shore after a long voyage at sea.

Glass blowing in Murano, Venice, Italy

While you’re on Burano island, I recommend just simply strolling through the charming streets; wandering through lace shops, which is what this island is known for and visiting the Museo del Merletto that includes exhibits on the development of lace production; walking through the leaning church tower of San Martino and admiring the culture.

Even though Torcello is mainly uninhabited and the handful of people who live there reside in farmhouses, it is still worth a visit during your time in Venice.

There are a few restaurants on Torcello that you can eat lunch at, but I recommend that you see the Devil’s Bridge, which according to legend, was built in one night by the devil to win a bet. I also suggest that you check out the Church of Santa Fosca.

A spaghetti dish from Vencie

Regarding food, I recommend either grabbing a bite to eat during your time on one of the three islands or visiting Ristorante Baccarandino ai Corazzieri or Muro Venezia on the main island.

Day 3: Travel to Lake Bled, Slovenia

Read a thorough guide on how to have a memorable weekend in Slovenia.

A woman looking at beautiful views of Lake Bled, Slovenia

After picking up your rental car and driving from Venice to Slovenia, the first spot to check out in this breathtaking country is Lake Bled. (We parked our car at a lot next to Camping Bled. It cost us a few euros to park.)

Situated near the Slovenian-Austrian border in the Julian Alps, Lake Bled has an island that you can take a traditional boat over to. (The boat is called a Pletna.) Once you’re on the island, you should check out the Assumption of Maria, which is a 17th Century Catholic church.

A 2 weeks in the Balkans is not complete without including a hike, in your itinerary, to a gorgeous viewpoint of Lake Bled. During our time at Lake Bled, Ashley and I did the hike to Ojstrica. It was short, but strenuous since it is straight uphill and rugged. It is worth it though because the views are jaw dropping! Another hike to a breathtaking viewpoint of Lake Bled is Mala Osojnica.

Visiting Lake Bled during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

Throughout Bled are lovely walking and bike paths to enjoy and there is a plethora of awesome spots to sit down, relax and have a nice picnic. There are also great tours that you can take around the town of Bled, Slovenia.

When it comes to food around Lake Bled, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, but I recommend trying the Bled Cream Cake, otherwise known as kremna rezina in Slovenian. This mouthwatering cake is made with a golden butter crust, vanilla and whipped cream, another layer of crispy dough and sugar icing. You can enjoy this delicious dessert at Hotel Park.

Before you head to Ljubljana, check out Bled Castle (or Blejski Grad), which is a Romanesque castle built in 1011. You can either hike up to the castle from the center of town or drive there like we did. It costs 3 euros to park at Bled Castle and the majestic grounds are something to admire.

A woman enjoying a drink from InterContinental in Ljubljana

Later in the evening, head to Ljubljana and check into your hotel. A great spot to enjoy a sunset with awesome views and drinks is B-Bar at InterContinental in Ljubljana. This rooftop bar that overlooks the city of Ljubljana has a great craft cocktail and beer list with a wonderful wine menu.

For dinner, enjoy traditional Slovenian food at Slovenska Hiša – Figovec, which is located down the road from InterContinental.

Day 4: Explore Ljubljana and Predjama Castle, then Head to Istria from Trieste

A woman wandering around Ljubljana, Slovenia

The next morning, wake up early to wander around the beautiful city of Ljubljana. It is the capital city of Slovenia and it features charming architecture and historical landmarks dating back to the Roman times. (I also recommend doing a city tour in Ljubljana!)

During your time in Ljubljana, Slovenia, check out the Odprta Kuhna, which is an open kitchen or outdoor street food market. It allows you to choose among amazing food and drink options in the city. You can find everything from vegan plates to Vietnamese food and craft beer to Indian cuisine.

Another epic thing you cannot exclude from your itinerary during your 2 weeks in the Balkans is walking through Ljubljana Castle or Ljubljanski Grad. It is a medieval castle established in the 11th Century and it features a wine trail, escape game, awesome museums as well as great tours!

A woman at Predjama Castle during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

After a memorable morning in Ljubljana, head east and visit Predjama Castle. Known as the Renaissance castle built within a cave, Predjama Castle was purposely made with difficult access. It is also the world’s largest cave castle and has been listed as one of the Guinness World Records. Predjama Castle is also known as one of the 10 most fascinating castles in the world and has a lot of history!

Predjama Castle is located in Postojna Cave Park and you can do fun cave tours there. At this park, there are also a lot of great hiking trails and nature adventures.

Gelato from Italy

Once you are finished enjoying all the beauty Predjama Castle has to offer, drive to Trieste, Italy to drop off your rental car and hop on the bus that will take you to Croatia! If you have time, I encourage you to explore Trieste and even grab a nice Italian lunch or coffee/pastry there.

Day 5: Journey to Pula, Croatia

Here is a detailed travel guide on how to have a great Istria vacation in Pula and Rovinj.

A woman exploring Pula Arena during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you thoroughly follow along this itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans, then you will arrive in Pula in the afternoon on day 5. I recommend using this time to settle into your accommodation and grab a bite to eat at Hook & Cook, which has the popular fritto misto plate (fried fishes) on their menu. They also have great local beer too!

After your delicious meal, stroll around Pula and admire all the stunning landmarks and Roman Ruins. Pula is known as ‘Little Rome’ because it was once under Italian rule. The cool Roman landmarks you must check out in Pula are the Pula Arena, which I recommend you explore during sunset; the Arch of Sergii; Augustus Temple and the Roman Forum and The Twin Gate.

A woman walking through Pula during sunset

Other great spots to explore in Pula, Croatia are Fortress Kaštel, Zerostrasse (Pula’s underground tunnels) and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At nighttime, check out Pula’s fun bars and nightclubs!

Side Note: During your 2 weeks in the Balkans, you must also include tasting Malvasia, which is Croatian orange (or amber) wine in your Croatia itinerary. Overall, Malvasia is a staple in the Istria region of Croatia and if you have ample time, I recommend visiting a vineyard.

Malvasia, orange Croatian wine

Malvasia is delicious! The more orange the wine looks, the higher quality it is. Orange wine has a distinct taste that is unique and incredible. It is technically a white wine made from the same methods as red wine. The skins are left on, which produces tannins and gives the wine a spicier and drier taste than most white wines.

Day 6: Enjoy a Beach Day in Pula and a Lovely Evening in Rovinj

A woman at Hawaiian Beach in Istria, Croatia

During your second day in Istria, enjoy a lovely beach day at Pula’s Hawaiian Cove Beach, which is situated in Principina Cove at Verudela Peninsula. (We took the bus from Pula city center to the beach!)

Hawaiian beach is a rock beach that features clear and turquoise waters, rocky boulders to sunbathe on, cliffs to jump off and small caves to check out. It is a nice spot for families and friend groups. A great place to enjoy lunch in Verudela is at Da Bruno Pizza and Grill. Their pizzas are delicious!

After your amazing beach day, haul a taxi or Uber to take you to Pula Airport so that you can pick up your rental car to take to Rovinj and then Plitvice Lakes the next day.

A woman enjoying an evening in Rovinj during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you take a car to Rovinj like Ashley and I did, you will need to find parking outside of the Old Town. There are a few parking lots that are close by and in a short walking distance. If you don’t have a vehicle, then you can take the Brioni Pula bus or a FlixBus to Rovinj. (The parking lots in Rovinj cost a few euros, depending on how long you’re there for.)

Once you arrive in Rovinj, which is also known as Croatia’s ‘Little Venice’, stroll around the colorful Old Town that features charming buildings, stunning waterfronts, beautiful churches, wonderful boutique shops, wine stores and more.

Another fun thing to do during your time in Rovinj from Pula is to climb up St. Euphemia Church, which has a bell tower and breathtaking views of Old Town. (If you have time, also visit one of Rovinj’s beaches.)

Rovinj during sunset

As the sun starts to set, head over to the waterfront to grab dinner and drinks. Even though it isn’t on the waterfront, Restoran Giannino is known to be one of the best Italian restaurants in Rovinj. Because we didn’t make reservations ahead of time, we couldn’t get in and instead, enjoyed a nice seafood dish at Restaurant Atlas.

After your evening in Rovinj, head back to Pula to enjoy a good night’s rest before your next day’s adventure to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Day 7: Visit Plitvice Lakes and Have a Fun Evening in Split

Learn about what to do with 2 days in Split, Croatia.

A woman admiring the beautiful views at Plitvice Lakes National Park

The best place to visit between Istria and Split is Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is a little out of the way, but the park is worth including in your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.

Overall, Plitvice Lakes National Park is Croatia’s largest National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Dinaric Alps. It boasts 16 aqua blue lakes, numerous waterfalls, a limestone canyon and 360-degree views from all around. There are also hiking trails, walking paths, an electric boat that takes visitors to different parts of the park as well as places to eat and drink.

A woman on a day trip at Plitvice Lakes from Split

When you first arrive at Plitvice Lakes National Park, start by visiting the Upper Lakes, which includes a boardwalk, walking and hiking trails, waterfalls and stunning hidden gems. Then, take the boat over to the lower lakes where you can see the Big Waterfall and hike up to an overlook where you can admire breathtaking views of the park. There is also a third section to Plitvice Lakes where you can find Proscansko Lake. There are different routes (called programs) you can take throughout the park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is open from 7am to 8pm during the summer months; 8am to 6pm in the spring and fall months and 8am to 3pm during the winter months. The cost for adults to enter is 300 Kuna during the summer months before 4pm and 200 Kuna after 4pm; it is 180 Kuna during the autumn and spring months and it’s 80 Kuna during the winter months.

Exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

The park also charges for parking. It is 10 Kuna per hour, per vehicle and 100 Kuna per day for a camper.

In addition to the boat that takes you around Plitvice Lakes, there is also a shuttle bus that transports visitors to and from the trails and park entrances to the visitor’s center and parking lots. The boat and shuttles are included with the price you pay to get into the National Park.

(A great place to eat outside of Plitvice Lakes National Park is Vila Velebita, which serves heartwarming Croatian mountain food.)

From Plitvice Lakes National Park, drive to Split, on the Dalmatian Coast, and get settled into your accommodation. Some hotels offer free parking on site, but if you stay in an Airbnb in the Old Town like we did, then you will need to find street parking outside the fortified walls. We parked on a side street that didn’t require us to pay a fee.

Roman ruins and buildings in Split at night

During your first evening in Split, I recommend walking around the medieval Old Town and enjoying its restaurants, bars and liveliness. Split was probably my favorite destination to experience at night, plus all the cool Roman landmarks shined bright under the dark sky!

In the evening, I recommend grabbing dinner at Café Bar – Bistro No Stress. Afterwards, head over to the Riva Promenade for a fun night out on the water.

Day 8: Do a Day Trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina from Split

Follow this thorough guide on how to have a perfect day trip to Mostar from Split.

A woman exploring Mostar in Bosnia during a day trip from Split

One of the best ways to squeeze seeing all of Split’s landmarks in your itinerary, during your 2 weeks in the Balkans, is by waking up early to avoid crowds.

On day 8, wake up early to walk around and explore the fascinating Roman architecture and history in Split’s Diocletian’s Palace. It was the Emperor’s Palace that was built as a complex and today is is known as Old Town Split.

Some of the best medieval spots and landmarks to check out in Diocletian’s Palace are the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, The Golden Gate, The Silver Gate, The Iron Gate, The Brass Gate, the Vestibule, the Temple of Jupiter, Peristyle, The Substructures and more.

Visiting Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

(Another great way to explore Split is by doing an organized walking tour!)

After exploring the beautiful city of Split, head back to your vehicle and drive two hours to Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Please keep in mind that you will need to go through border patrol to get from Croatia to Bosnia and back. The customs line can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line was short for us.)

When Ashley and I first arrived in Mostar, we easily found street parking near the Aleksa Santic Monument. (It was free the day we went, but I recommend asking around and doing your research to see if you must pay for parking. There is paid street parking in specific areas of Mostar.) There are also parking garages that you can park at for a fee.

A destroyed building in Mostar, Bosnia

There is a lot of history to Bosnia and Herzegovina and I encourage you to learn about it all. Four Mostar museums that you should include in your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans are the War Photo Exhibition, Bosnaseum, Museum of War and Genocide Victims and the Museum of Herzegovina. These museums are great places to learn about the Bosnian war along with Herzegovina’s cultural and historical heritage.

Next, make your way over to the čaršija, which is a Muslim bazaar in Mostar. It is right next to the city’s popular bridge, Stari Most, and you can shop from homemade copper items, Turkish rugs, Arabic jewelry, handmade Bosnian blankets and other souvenir items. From there, walk over the Stari Most bridge.

The carsija in Mostar, Bosnia

As you wander around Mostar, admire all the beautiful Ottoman architecture and walk over the Crooked Bridge, which resembles the larger Stari Most bridge. Another stunning spot to visit in Mostar is Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, which represents one of the best architectural wonders of Ottoman culture and it is also known as the most monumental Islamic Mosque in the city.

During your day trip to Mostar from Split, I recommend savoring mouthwatering Bosnian food and wine. An authentic restaurant to enjoy great food and views is Restoran Kaldrma. Afterwards, enjoy heartwarming tea and a treat at Café de Alma before your drive back to Split.

Beach in Split during 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

If you have time, when you return to Split, I recommend checking out Bačvice beach. It is both a sandy and concrete beach where you can sunbathe, enjoy a great drink and just have a good ole time! What is nice about this beach in Split is that it is located near the rental car company where you can drop your vehicle off since you no longer need it.

For dinner, Ashley and I wanted something different than the pasta dishes we had been consuming, so we ate at Adriatic Sushi & Oyster Bar, which offers great sushi, seafood and Asian fusion dishes.

Day 9: Take the Ferry and Adventure around Hvar

Here is a travel guide on Hvar to Korcula, best of the Croatian islands.

2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

A Balkans itinerary is not complete without exploring some of Croatia’s islands during your 2 weeks there. On day 9, take the ferry from the Ferry Port of Split to the Harbour of Hvar. It takes around an hour to get from Split to Hvar by ferry.

When you first arrive in Hvar, I recommend checking into your accommodation right away and dropping off your belongings. From there, grab breakfast at Vita Hvar, which specializes in healthy food. (They have great coffee and smoothie bowls.)

During your one night in Hvar, I recommend getting around the island via ATV. (I would try to book your ATV as soon as you get to Hvar because they do run out, especially during the summer. We rented from Hvar Quads.) Once you have your ATV, explore the beauty of the island with it!

A woman at Milna Beach in Hvar

As you make your way around Hvar, I encourage you to check out the beautiful beaches. The three beaches that Ashley and I visited on Hvar were Milna, Malo Zarače and Dubovica. It was at Dubovica where we decided to spend most of our day.

The beach at Dubovica can be reached from the main road. You will need to do a short hike down to the cove, but it is worth it because of how breathtaking it is. Dubovica is also considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

Dubovica beach is pebbly and it boasts crystal clear water, a café and a stone villa that plays classical music all day. Everything about this beach is incredible and the classical music coming from the villa sets the vibe to this special place.

A woman at Dubovica beach in Hvar

After a lovely beach day at Dubovica, hop back on your ATV and head over to Duboković Winery in Jelsa. At this winery, you can enjoy both wine and olive oil tasting in the cellars, which is a great experience!

During our wine tasting experience at Duboković Winery, we tried a variety of red and white wines, including Prč, which is a white muscadine grape variety that is popular on the island of Hvar. This wine is light and dry with hints of fruit. Malvasia (orange wine) was also included in our wine tasting at Duboković Winery.

A woman wine tasting in a cellar at a winery in Hvar - itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans

In the evening, head back to Hvar Town and enjoy a lovely Italian dinner at Kogo. At this restaurant, I savored one of the best pasta dishes that I had during my Croatia trip. It was Dalmatian black truffle homemade pasta with prosciutto and burrata.

Once you’re finished with dinner, have a fun night out! On the island of Hvar, you can find everything from nightclubs to pubs and beach clubs to lounges.

Day 10: Take a Relaxing Day Trip to Korcula Island by Ferry

A woman exploring Korcula, Croatia

Take the ferry from Hvar to Korcula on day 10. It will take a little over an hour to get from the Harbour of Hvar to Catamaran Ferry Port in Korcula.

During your 2 weeks in the Balkans, you must include a “chill” day in your itinerary and one of the best places to do that is on the island of Korcula.

Once you arrive on Korcula, I recommend grabbing a lovely breakfast and strolling around the Old Town. Some of the best things to see in Old Town Korcula are Marco Polo’s House and Museum, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bishop’s Treasury, Kanavelić Tower and Korcula’s Town Gates.

A woman enjoying a beautiful day on Korcula Island

Next, during a relaxing day on Korcula, I encourage you to enjoy a nice beach day. Ashley and I relaxed at Zakerjan Beach that is located on Korcula’s seaside promenade. It is a rock beach with some concrete slabs and jetties where you can place your beach towel on, relax and sunbathe. If you’re looking to explore other beaches on the island, I recommend renting an ATV or scooter and visiting Beach Vela Przina, Beach Bacva, Zitna Beach and/or Proizd Island Beach.

When you get hungry, eat at Cupido, which is one of the best restaurants along Korcula’s seaside promenade. It is a seafood restaurant with a great wine selection. Speaking of wine, an awesome wine bar to enjoy in Korcula is Wine & Tapas Bar Lole!

A Croatian fish soup and oysters from Korcula

Pošip is the renowned wine produced on Korcula and if you have extra time on the island, I recommend checking out some great vineyards! Some wineries to visit are Bire Winery, Pošip Čara Winery and Lovrič Winery. You can even book a great wine tour during your time on Korcula.

In the evening, hop back on the ferry and enjoy a relaxing two-hour journey to Dubrovnik. When you arrive in Dubrovnik, check into your accommodation and enjoy a nice evening.

Day 11: Venture Outside of Dubrovnik

Explore a detailed Dubrovnik bucket list.

A woman enjoying a glass of Champagne in Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

On our first day in Dubrovnik, Ashley and I did a fun and memorable day trip outside of the city’s Old town. (In fact, it was one of the most memorable excursions included in our itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.) We did our tour with Gourmets of Dubrovnik, which is a family-owned tour company where they will pick you up in a comfortable luxury van near your accommodation.

During a day tour with Gourmets of Dubrovnik, you will visit an overlook where you can admire breathtaking views of the city. From there, you’ll enjoy a thrilling ATV tour through countryside villages and forests. (On our tour, we got to see a herd of sheep crossing the road.)

A woman participating in a fun ATV tour, which was included in her 2 weeks Balkans itinerary

After the ATV tour, you will savor delicious Croatian tapas and taste different flavors of grappa. It is amazing!

The next adventure on this amazing tour is to an oyster farm that is situated on the Mali Ston Bay. You can see how a local family farms oysters and prepares them to be eaten. During this tour, you will eat a lot of oysters and they are delicious!

Oysters and champagne from Croatia

The last stop on this tour is to the medieval village of Ston. You will go straight to Milos Winery where you can learn all about the family history of winemaking and the vineyard’s unique journey.

Before heading back to Dubrovnik, you’ll have the opportunity to walk around the Old Town of Ston where you can see the defense walls from a distance. Ston’s defense walls are currently the second largest in Europe.

A scallop dish from Restaurant 360 in Dubrovnik

When you arrive back in Dubrovnik, relax at your hotel before enjoying an exquisite dinner at Restaurant 360, which is Michelin Star rated and features delicious dishes. (I suggest you treat yourself and include at least one fancy dinner on your itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans.) If you plan to eat here, I recommend making reservations ahead of time!

Day 12: Tour Around Dubrovnik

A woman exploring Old Town Dubrovnik during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

A second day in Dubrovnik should be spent enjoying everything this amazing city has to offer! First, start your day with a fulfilling breakfast at Café Royal in The Pucic Palace hotel.

Once you get your stomach full, walk it off by wandering around the city and visiting all of Dubrovnik’s coolest landmarks in Old Town! During your time in the city, I recommend you check out Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Loggia Square, The Fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviour Church, Old Port of Dubrovnik and the Jesuit Stairs. Click here to book a city tour in Dubrovnik.

In the afternoon, relax at one of Dubrovnik’s beaches. During our time in the city, Ashley and I went to Banje Beach, which is located east of the city, around a 10-minute walk from the Old Town’s Ploče Gate. Banje Beach boasts an upscale seafood restaurant and a vibrant waterfront nightclub.

A woman walking Dubrovnik's ancient city walls during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

In the later afternoon and into early evening, I suggest you walk along the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik. This should most definitely be a MUST on your 2 weeks Balkans itinerary!

For 200 Kuna, you can walk along the walls and enjoy 360-degree views of the city. There are three entrances to the ancient city walls and you can purchase tickets at each entrance – the Pile Gate, Ploče Gate and Maritime Museum.

In general, the best time to walk along the ancient walls of Dubrovnik is around sunset because you can enjoy stunning views, there will be less crowds and the weather isn’t as hot as it would be in the middle of the afternoon.

Game of Thrones location in Dubrovnik

After walking along the city walls, treat yourself to a drink and views at Buza Bar, which is located on the side of the cliff that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. It is a great spot to socialize and see people cliff jump!

A great restaurant to grab dinner in Dubrovnik on your second night in the city is Buffet Kamenice, which is in Gundulić Square. Even though Kamenice isn’t an actual buffet, it is known for its seafood dishes, especially mussels!

Later at night, check out Dubrovnik’s bars and nightclubs along the Placa Street, otherwise known as the Stradun.

Day 13: Drive to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik

Follow this great guide on a day trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik, Croatia during a 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

On your last full day in the Balkans, enjoy a fun day trip to Kotor, Montenegro from Dubrovnik. Since Kotor is so close, it should be included in your itinerary during your 2 weeks in the Balkans. We only rented a car for the day to go to Montenegro.

The drive from Dubrovnik to Kotor is around two hours. Please also keep in mind that you will need to go through border patrol to get from Croatia to Montenegro and back. The customs line can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Thankfully, the line went quick like it did for Bosnia.

When Ashley and I first arrived, we found street parking along Njegoševa, which is the main road across from the Bay of Kotor. Since we visited Kotor on a Sunday, street parking was free for us, but I recommend doing your research beforehand to see if you need to pay. There are parking garages you can pay to park at as well.

Old Town Kotor Montenegro

If you get to Kotor early enough, I recommend hiking to the Castle of San Giovanni. It offers the most breathtaking views of both the city and the Bay of Kotor. During this hike, you should wear comfortable clothing and shoes and also ensure that the weather is going to be okay. The hike includes 1,350+ stairs to the castle. It is strenuous, but totally worth it!

After your hike, grab a delicious meal at either Cesare Old Town Restaurant, Restaurant Cesarica, Konoba Scala Santa, Astoria Restaurant, Tanjga and Che Nova. Montenegrin food is similar to the food in Croatia.

A woman visiting Kotor, Montenegro during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary

Throughout the rest of your day trip in Kotor, explore around the Old Town. There are beautiful churches to admire, a cat museum, a moat and more. The waterfront of Kotor is also a gorgeous part of the city to enjoy!

Later in the evening, when you arrive back in Dubrovnik, savor one of the best Bosnian meals at Taj Mahal in Old Town. I recommend you make reservations ahead of time if you want to eat here. Overall, everything on Taj Mahal’s menu is delicious and my dinner there was one of the best meals I’ve had during my Balkans trip!

Day 14: Fly Home from Dubrovnik


A woman walking through Diocletian's Palace during her 2 weeks in the Balkans itinerary.

I hope you all enjoyed discovering the best itinerary for 2 weeks in the Balkans. If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]

Basic Facts of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro:

Italy:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Rome, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Slovenia:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Ljubljana, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Croatia:

Currency: Croatian Kuna, Capital: Zagreb, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina Convertible Mark, Capital: Sarajevo, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Montenegro:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Podgorica, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on November 5, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    What an amazing guide to all those beautiful places in Croatia ~ the architecture and beaches are breathtaking. The color of the aqua water is so welcoming for a swim. The cathedrals are so beautiful! Food and drink you described throughout the blog looked amazing ~ you look fabulous in all the photos ~ love all your outfits which always match the region you are in ~ awesome blog! Love you, mom xoxo 👩♥️👍

    • Taylor Deer on November 7, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you mom! It was such an amazing trip. I want to go back one day. <3 Love you too!

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