History, waterfalls, culture & wine, it has it all.
Croatia had been on our wandering wish list for a few years now, although we had to decide how to tackle it. Do we break it up into mini breaks, do we fly in, hire a car and hit the road? Or as we live in the UK & being slightly mad, do we jump in our own car, head south and tour Croatia under our own steam?
Well, you can guess which option we took, yep we fired up the Quattro.
What Gary and I love about travel, are the great memories that it brings and the fact that they last a lifetime.
We’re always reminiscing about one trip or another, whether it’s a location we visited or food that we ate. Something jogs our memory, and we’re off again.
Croatia was such an unforgettable adventure in so many ways; therefore, we wanted to share some of our highlights & experiences with you.
A helpful guide
If you've yet to discover the delights of Croatia you're in for a treat. While planning our road trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Croatian road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.
Plitvice – The incredible scenery and the opal water at Plitvice Lakes National Park are wonderful. This area appears to have its own microclimate, which can often mean you’re in for a shower or two. Although, to be perfectly honest it didn’t put a dampener on the day. The eerie mist sitting across the lakes just added to the atmosphere. You are spoilt with waterfall after waterfall, it’s no surprise that this is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Trogir – This little UNESCO city was a real pleasure to stay at. It’s just along the coastline from Split (and I actually preferred it to Split). It has bundles of history within its walls, lovely restaurants and an elegant Riva to stroll along in the evening.
Dubrovnik – It does get a bit of bad press for crowds; however, it is a lovely city. The walk around the top of the surrounding walls is incredible, and the view across the crystal blue Adriatic Sea are truly worth it. Try and stay for the evening when it’s a bit quieter.
Rovinj – Wow, another picturesque town and harbour. Lovely colourful houses surrounding the bay, intriguing little-cobbled lanes leading up to a baroque church. Then you’re spoilt with the stunning views across the ocean.
Brodet – Is a dish I would certainly have again. It’s a seafood stew which is traditionally served with polenta and includes three different types of fish. It tasted so fresh and was even more pleasurable accompanied with a glass of a local crisp white wine.
Driving – Well, actually Gary did all the driving, however, I did have slight reservations before we left, what the conditions would be like, in some places. All my doubts were banished as the roads we travelled on were pretty good.
Day trip to Mostar – Ok, so it was a bit of hassle organising our Green Card to take our car into Bosnia & Herzegovina, but it certainly was worth it (and we got a stamp in our passports). Seeing the Mostar Bridge was amazing and the remaining scars of the war around the town. The landscape travelling there and back was very rural. Cows in the roads, deserted villages & derelict houses in the hillside, the differences to Croatia were quite distinct.
Venetian touch – Prior to visiting Croatia I was aware of the role that the Venetian Empire played in its history. Although, I didn’t realise how much of the Venetian influence would still be remaining. Within quite a few of the towns we visited the tall iconic bell tower, similar to the one seen in St Mark’s Square, played a central role.
Diocletian Palace – This Roman slice of history in the heart of Split is astonishing, you just keep wandering around looking up. It’s is amazing that so many of the 4th-century buildings remain. A lovely touch is that it is free of charge to stroll around.
Zadar – This was one of our favourite destinations of the trip. The historic town itself is wonderful; however, the joy of sitting on the water’s edge, staring out across the Dalmatian coast and listening to the Sea Organ was unforgettable.
Wine – Well, they’ve certainly been keeping their wine a secret. It doesn’t appear to have sneaked across the shores to the UK much. So, we brought some back ourselves.
Friendliness of people - It may sound clichéd; however, we met some really great people, who went out of their way to help and accommodate us.
What I would do differently
Explore the Islands – We only had time to travel across a couple of islands, so, definitely, need to discover more.
A slight disappointment
We didn’t have time to head to Krka National Park, well at least we have an excuse to return.
Inspired to visit Croatia?
Don’t just take our word for it, head over to this incredibly picturesque country & weave your way along the Dalmatian coastline. Enjoying everything Croatia has to offer.
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