Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tips for Visiting Croatia

We Visited Croatia this summer and thought it would be fun to share a few tips and recommendations.  Croatia as a country has an ancient history and complicated past. It used to be part of Yugoslavia but in the early 1990's there was a war and over time this lead to many new countries being formed with Croatia being one. Croatia lucked out on getting the most coastline. Croatia has become very popular with tourists in the last few years and summer is the peak season so expect large crowds but only really in Dubrovnik and Split. I would recommend seeing these cities as they are amazing I think Dubrovnik was our favorite this ancient walled city dates back to 1189 and the walled city built in the 1600's its listed as a UNESCO World heritage side. Its lovely to stroll around the old city and soak up the atmosphere and explore the little stair cases and alleys, walking along the city walls is a must. The views of the Adriatic sea are lovely but be sure to do this early morning before the heat and crowds. 

We hired a car and started our vacation here just spending a day then drove North to Split. This was a wonderful stretch of road, park your swimwear and a towel and stop at some beaches along the way. It was also fun to drive through Bosnia although short we stopped at a local store and got snacks to see another currency. 

We then stayed in Split another old city on the coast. The outskirts felt a little rough but the people were friendly and it felt safe. 
If in Split its a fun idea to take a ferry to a near by Island for a few hours we visited Hvar the picture below. Again be sure to take swimwear the beaches are amazing and the water is so calm. The beaches are rocky though and local markets sell cheap beach shoes this makes all the difference. 

The Map shows our drive. 

The beach below was another stop we made after leaving Split and driving north to Zadar a small village called Marina. It was stunning and had great places to eat with fresh fish. This would be an amazing place to stay as beautiful and no crowds at all. In between the tourist hubs its very chilled. 

On the drive you will find roadside honey and fruit stands, be sure to stop its a treat. 

We then spent a night in Zadar again a coastal Dalmatian city a little like Split and a famous place to watch the sunset. This city felt a little run down also and speaking to the girl at the hotel we learned how young folks are leaving Croatia in the 100, 000's to move to Germany and Ireland to seek work. You will see quite a few abandoned buildings we even saw a carpark full of abandoned ambulances in this city. The wages are low in Croatia and many work in hotels as Tourism is the main source of employment but the cost of living, rent and eating out is high. Bear that in mind when planning your trip we were surprised at how expensive it was. 

After leaving Zadar we headed inland to stay in the countryside. I always love to add a farm stay to every trip. We planned it to visit the World Famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, another UNSECO World heritage site and a must visit. Its busy though and be prepared for a long hike the shortest takes 3 hours, be sure to bring good footwear, these lakes are stunning, crystal clear water full of fish, and all kinds of wildlife, excellent walkways and trails it will take your breath away. 

 Another treat is local markets this was one of the green markets in Split, loved how they still used weights to weigh not digital scales, you will be treated to an abundance of delicious in season produce and fish. The food is wonderful be sure to try local seafood and Pag cheese a special sheep's cheese.

We stayed in Rakovica, just north of the lakes at an amazing farm stay, here's the link I highly recommend this place its called Fairyland and you can also horse ride here, its close to this gorgeous village built over the river. 

The countryside was lovely but what struck me was just how many abandoned houses there are as folks leave to find work. Often as tourists we miss these things but I often chat to locals, walk in the countryside and we drive all over a country to get the big picture and truly connect with the place, the people and daily life there. 
Croatians are lovely, friendly folks and proud of their heritage it makes a great vacation and offers a lot from history, beautiful architecture, food, landscapes, great roads, beaches and more.

We ended our trip in Zagreb the capital and flew out. This was a cool city but to be honest it didn't wow me, the coastal cities are best.

If in Spilt be sure to rub the bishops feet for GOOD LUCK for your onward travels!

Bookmark and Share
Pin It



Related Posts with Thumbnails