Our Croatian Road Trip memories

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Europe, Memories, Our Journeys, Road Trips, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

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.

Stopped by the roadside near Pag, Croatia

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.

The waters around Croatia

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.

{For the post on our day check out - Opal lakes of Plitvice}

Gary's note

Thinking of taking a full size tripod? - well don't. The paths are narrow, and can be busy at times. If you want to use a long exposure to capture those flowing waters you either need to practice your stance, and use a shutter speed of around 1/10 of a second. Or opt for a flexi-mini tripod which you can attach to a branch or post which will give you some extra stability.

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.

{For more from Trogir we have - The Historic Walled City of Trogir}

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.

{We have more from the city in 'Exploring the streets of Dubrovnik'}

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.

{For more on the town you can read 'The Romance of Rovinj'}

Plitvice Lakes

Arrive as early as possible, if you want to see the upper & lower lakes then head to entrance 2, catch the bus to St3. Then you’ll be descending most of the way, until the final climb back to St1.


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.

{Brodet was just one of our 'Croatian culinary delights' }

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.

{For more there's our post 'Driving to Mostar'}

Good to know

If you’re driving to Mostar either in your own car or a hire car, ensure that you have the correct documents. We required, passports, vehicle registration documents, driving licenses, insurance, GB sticker & Green Card.

Also, remember Bosnia & Herzegovina have the Convertible Mark as the local currency although some places do take the Euro.  You may need change for parking so it may be worth picking up something at a local petrol station.

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.

{Why not read 'Sights and Sounds of Zadar' for more}

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.

Why not?

Start creating your own adventure and discover the delights of Croatia for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.

You may even want to combine it into a road trip like us, Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.

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.

Have You?

Visited Croatia? Does our reminiscing bring back any memories for you? What was your favourite destination?

A slight disappointment

We didn’t have time to head to Krka National Park, well at least we have an excuse to return.

A point to note

In our experience with the accommodation we used, the majority of the apartment owners requested payment in cash.

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.

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?


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  1. Croatia has been top of my list for quite some time now and I’m hoping to do make it a road trip! Your tips are always so helpful. How long were you there? How much longer would you have like in order to fit in a few more of those islands? Did you visit in summer? Thank you for sharing on #farawayfiles

    1. We visited for 12 days in the last 2 weeks of September, we did a circular kind of route as we drove from the UK, headed south and back north again & visited different places there and back. I have added a link to our Croatian posts, which gives a little more detail into the places we visited.I think a lot of people would spend a couple of weeks touring, however, they may not visit the north of Croatia. We found this region slightly less touristy but very picturesque, like most of CroatiaWe used the ferries twice to get to a couple of the Islands and we didn’t have any issues, however, I have heard in the height of the summer they can get very busy, so booking is probably advisable.We loved Zadar – highly recommend it & you can catch ferries from here.We also included a few days in & around Dubrovnik, which as you’ve probably heard can be overcrowded during the day, however, during the evenings the numbers were fine. We spent one day driving to Mostar.Just shout if you’d like any more information?https://www.ourworldforyou….

  2. I have fancied a trip to Croatia for a while, I did wonder if there wasn’t much to see but your post has made me realise just how much. Adding this to the list now. Love the number plate!! #farawayflies

    1. There’s certainly plenty to do, it’s a very historical country and still a lot of evidence of the Venetian empire. It’s quite rural in places and the roads are pretty easy to drive around. Parts of the coastline are incredible, highly recommend it.

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