Good morning everyone!
In May 2018 I went to Croatia for the very first time. I had seen quite a few pictures from Dubrovnik on my friends’ feeds but that was it. My knowledge about Croatia was close to non-existing. I wrote about my reasons for going there in the last post, check it out if you’ve missed it!
At the beginning of April I booked a flight from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik with Jet2, one way because my next stop would have been Belgrade (my mother has been living in Serbia for 5 or 6 years now) and in my head the journey looked pretty much straightforward: neighbouring countries, should be no trouble in getting a train or something. I didn’t put very much thought into planning in the beginning, but eventually, I decided that it would be a shame to travel all the way to Croatia and see just one city. I looked at the map, thought of Bosnia, but instead decided to spend more time on the coast. The idea was to get to Zagreb from Dubrovnik with a few stops on the way.
I have to confess, it was the first time in my life when I bought a travel-guide because I got sick of trying to connect bits of online information together and it was a damn good decision!
There are many articles online about Croatia, but I was missing some kind of ‘Croatia for dummies’ thing. The book helped to make decisions on the route, the cities and transportation. More importantly, I got a much better idea of the country and the things I wanted to see.
First on the list was obviously Dubrovnik and then unknown time on the unknown seaside. The second thing on my to-do-list was the big National park because I was hungry for some proper forest hiking. Last on the list – Zagreb, cause why not to see the capital? I gave myself two weeks for the route and I have to say, the timing was perfect.
So, here goes the route:
Kind of obvious since I flew there. Two days was my plan as I had a suspicion that I could get bored. Two-three days is indeed more than enough. The old town is stunning but what would one do there for a week I have no idea.
2. An island of Hvar (three hours ferry journey).
Three nights (two full days) was enough to see the entire island. The old city and the fortress are really sweet, you can see everything in one long walk. I rented a scooter and went all the way to the other side of the island and it was a stunning journey with the most spectacular view all the way! But there are two or three gas stations on the ENTIRE island, so… just keep that in mind when renting a bike or a car:)
3. Split (one hour ferry from Hvar).
I booked just one night in the city because I would have had almost entire two days and I thought that it would be enough for a city. What a wise decision it was! I did not like Split at all! It was absolutely overcrowded! Too many people all the time everywhere, too busy. I was very happy to leave it.
4. Sibenik (about 2h bus journey from Split).
I booked 2 nights and I really enjoyed this little town. It was not that crowded, it had a nice old town, sweet coffee-places by the sea and a beach. The views were really nice. The idea was to travel to the National part, Krka, for a day, but unfortunately, that day was rainy, the bus schedule was very funny and on top of that the most exciting part of the park was closed anyway. But two days in Sibenik were nice!
5. Zadar (1.5-2h bus journey from Sibenik).
I booked two nights: possibly a bit too much. Oh well, at least to my taste Zadar is not my place to be. It has some nice things to it, but it is believed to be Croatia’s party capital and you see the very young people drinking a bit too much in the bars with very loud and very bad music. Meh…
6. Plitvice Lakes National Park (about two hours bus journey from Zadar).
I booked just one night in the beginning, but then have decided to stay one night more and it was a great decision! If you are into all that nature stuff, two days in the Plitvice is a must!
7. And the last stop was Zagreb, the capital (and another couple of hours from the park by bus).
And also two days. Oh well, it’s a nice city, but the holiday vibe was killed by the noise and just big city vibe. And noticeably more expensive.
My favourite places were, I guess, Dubrovnik, Sibenik and The Plitvice Park.
What about you? Have you ever been to Croatia? Where about? Any tips for planning another trip? Let me know in the comment section below :)
Next week I’ll share a few more details about the trip itself: unfortunate surprises, useful tips and more details! Stay tuned!
xx, love, Liza