Discover the Croatian Coastline on a Dalmatian Express Rail Adventure

Discover Croatia on an escorted tour with Great Rail Journeys. From dazzling medieval towns to glistening islands, these trips take you to destinations that are steeped in history and natural wonder.

Begin with a welcome in Dubrovnik where tangerine-hued rooftops and enduring architecture make this enchanting enclave shine. Then island hop between Korcula and Mljet or venture into Krka National Park.


Dubrovnik, a city of soaring medieval walls and cobbled limestone streets, is a highlight of any trip to Croatia. Known as the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic,’ it is an enchanting historic town that once rivaled Venice in maritime trade and has since been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Located on the southernmost part of Croatia’s Adriatic coast, its distinguishing feature is its spectacular 16th-century walled inner city that runs around the entire city.

As the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, Dubrovnik’s wealth derived from the lucrative Adriatic Sea trade in spices and silk, and it became one of the most important cultural centers in the Mediterranean region during the 16th century. The well-conserved structures of the old city range from Baroque churches to Renaissance-style palaces. The primary street through the Old Town, Stradun (also called Placa), is lined with awe-inspiring limestone and marble buildings.

A popular option is to wander through the city’s thick stone walls, which surround its quaint inner city and offer sweeping views of the turquoise Adriatic Sea and rocky coves. Other highlights include the Rector’s Palace, built in a late Gothic style in the 15th century; the Church of St Blaise, with its baroque interior; and two 14th-century convents.

Just outside the city are the Elaphiti Islands, which are a short boat ride away. These small, inhabited islands are known for their vineyards, with rows of red plavac mali and dingac grapes dotting the landscape. They also boast a seductive charm, with pristine beaches and crystal clear waters backed by pine woods.

From the port of Gruz, boats ply to other Dalmatian towns and to Italy. A direct rail line no longer runs to Dubrovnik, but the city is easy to explore by bus.

Dubrovnik is a key stop on our comprehensive tour of Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. Unwind at picturesque Lake Bled and embark on a gondola ride to the romantic island church. Take a charming train adventure into the Postojna Caves, and then sail over to Hvar for an unforgettable island experience. After exploring the capitals of Slovenia and Croatia, you’ll discover remarkable natural wonders and idyllic historic cities during this incredible journey in former Yugoslavia.


The charming stone walled city of Sibenik is home to 4 imposing fortresses—1 of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sibenik is less crowded than other Croatian coastal destinations and offers a host of sights, happenings, and beaches to enjoy.

The city’s 15th-century stone Cathedral of St James is decorated with 71 sculpted faces, and its mighty St Michael’s Fortress has panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands. The ibenik City Museum, located in the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, has exhibits that span prehistory to the present day.

Sibenik is also a convenient gateway to mighty natural sights like Krka National Park, which is situated alongside the beautiful Krka River and boasts plenty of cascading waterfalls. Great pebble beaches are within an easy drive of the city, including Banj Beach whose shores overlook the old town, and Rezaliste and Olive Beach. Boats can also ferry you to the Kornati Islands, a beguiling archipelago and another of Croatia’s epic national parks.

Sailing during the day is a lovely way to take in the beautiful scenery of this part of Croatia, and many cruises include daily swim breaks where you can jump off the ship and plunge into the sky-blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. These are the perfect opportunities to try some daring cliff diving or simply relax on the sandy beaches that abound.

Afternoons on deck are a chance to learn about your fellow passengers from around the globe and swap stories about your own travel adventures. With the ship’s WiFi on board, it’s simple to connect with new friends back home and share photos of your trip.

Sibenik is also a hub for island hopping, a popular form of tourism that gives you the opportunity to see parts of Croatia that are difficult to reach by land. From Sibenik, it’s easy to hop aboard a boat and spend the day exploring the stunning beaches and lush landscapes of the Kornati Islands or the smaller Elaphiti islands, where you can wander among swaying olive groves and dine on freshly grilled fish.


The coastal towns and islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast are a classic cocktail of Mediterranean beauty, with glittering azure seas and sun-kissed beaches backed by lush pine forests, limestone cliffs and – to the north – soaring mountains. This region, which stretches up to the Balkans and borders Italy, is also dotted with beautifully preserved medieval old towns and home to delicious local food and wine.

One of the most enticing destinations on this stretch is Korcula, which entices travelers with its seductive vibe and dreamy landscapes of olive groves and pebbly beaches. This small island, once a tycoon’s vacation hideaway, remains largely undeveloped and a haven for tranquility. It is easy to see why it has the appeal that it does.

Spend a day on the beach, swim in a hidden cove or hike to a spectacular lookout point. Alternatively, head to the island’s vineyards to learn about local wine making traditions and sample the prized varietal of posip, grown in the sun-drenched fields that dot the countryside.

Korcula is also an ideal spot to explore on a boat tour, which takes you out to the smaller inhabited islands in the archipelago. You can enjoy a swim stop on a romantic heart-shaped isle or visit a monastery perched on the edge of a cliff. The pristine beaches are perfect for relaxing with a book, or for soaking up the views of the crystal blue waters below.

Wander along Dubrovnik’s old port and you will be offered a day trip to the Elaphiti Islands, which lie north of the city. It’s tempting to go all out and visit all three inhabited islands – Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan – but it’s more satisfying to pick one and spend a few days reveling in peace once the daytrippers have left.

While any time of year can be good to visit the Dalmatian Coast, its best season is in May and June or September and October. At these times, temperatures are warm enough for swimming and sailing, but there is still a pleasant breeze and the crowds are much thinner than in July and August.


The sun-kissed shores and pristine islands of Croatia are a classic cocktail of rugged limestone mountains, sapphire waters, and gastronomic delights. Take in sweeping views from mountaintops like the mighty Dinaras, stroll Hvar and Korcula’s ancient cobblestone streets, kayak secluded inlets, and linger over unbelievably fresh seafood. It’s an experience that will leave you spellbound.

Explore the heavenly Dalmatian Coast by train and cruise with this escorted rail adventure! From the UNESCO-listed walled city of Dubrovnik, set sail to enchanting islands and timeless ports. Visit a thousand-year-old fortified town in Sibenik, the awe-inspiring Cathedral of St. James with its 71 sculpted faces, and the scenic island group of Kornati and Mljet. Thrill to awe-inspiring natural wonders at Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes National Park. Then, cap off your tour in cosmopolitan Zagreb.

From the seaside cliffs at Zlatni Rat to the rocky villages of Brac, Sumartin, and Vis, the islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast offer a variety of enticing options. Spend a day at the uniquely V-shaped beach of Bol, or explore its quieter side in the village of Milna. Or, explore a more secluded side of the island of Mljet by hiking its shady paths to discover the ruins of an ancient monk’s settlement.

The unofficial capital of the country, this historic heartland city was once the retirement home of a Dalmatian-born Ilyrian who went on to become the Roman Emperor Diocletian back in the 4th century AD. Today, its maze of ancient palaces and towers is one of Europe’s most remarkably preserved medieval cities. It’s also home to the neo-Baroque Croatian National Theatre, and its old and new museums showcase a fascinating mix of art and history.

On this escorted trip, you’ll embark on an 8am departure by inter-county commuter rail from Split, traveling along the coast and across the verdant beauty of the Lika mountains to arrive in Zagreb around 3pm. Nicknamed ‘Little Vienna’, Croatia’s vibrant capital may surprise you with its cultural renaissance. Its art galleries and academies feature both old and modern works, and the city’s neo-Baroque churches and dazzling palaces have earned it a reputation as a fine cultural centre.

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