“Sail Croatia” is a phrase in its own right. It was the first thing I googled when I knew I was heading to Croatia for 10 days as it seemed like the logical way to get around in a country with some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. Problem: I don’t go so well on boats. I LOVE them when they’re moored, they can be so beautiful and luxurious. But get me on the open water and it quickly becomes evident how much I like solid ground.
So my plan quickly moved to ‘Drive Croatia’ and I was immediately excited about the endless options and freedom that comes with a road trip.
Ten days brings lots of ‘wonderful’ to mind, but I’m going to give you my top 5 ‘wonderful’ as a brief glimpse into this gorgeous Adriatic gem.
D U B R O V N I K | Ancient City Walls Walk
The views of the town are unparalleled. The colour of the water in the distance and the terracotta tiles that blanket the town make for incredibly beautiful photos.
BUT | Don’t walk it in the rain if you can help it; it’s longer than it looks and a tad slippery so I spent much of the time looking at my feet to ensure no falling occurred. Also, the paper hat you bought will turn into something resembling soggy newspaper...and you will be sad to lose it (personal experience).
O N T H E R O A D | Dubrovnik to Split
Road trips are my favourite way of exploring a new country, so long as you feel safe and you're comfortable driving in an unfamiliar environment.Croatia car rental was relatively inexpensive and with short distances between our chosen destinations it made sense to take advantage and enjoy the views along the way.
DO | Visit the gorgeous beachside haven of Brela Beach on your way if you have time.
N A T U R E W A T C H | Plitvice Lakes National Park
An absolute MUST if you can while in Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a marvel. The photos online made it look like a fairy land - and it was even more incredible in person.
We travelled by car early in the morning from Split and having the freedom of the road meant that we managed to avoid the lines, getting there in around two and a half hours. The park itself is such a beautiful display of nature, fresh, lush greens, the crystal blue water and the chill of the rocks as they tower above the path. Photos just can't do it justice and seeing it for yourself is really the only way to go!
TIP | If you’re strapped for time and aren’t keen to do a long hike, it is still possible to do a leisurely day trip from Split to the Upper Lakes. We spent two to three hours marvelling at the views and still made it back to Split for a sunset walk around Old Town.
S P L I T | Restaurant Fave - Perivoj
A stunning outdoor restaurant on a warm summer night with fairy lights in the trees and grass under the tables is my kind of place. A recommendation from our Airbnb host, Perivoj’s menu is simple but full of flavour and the service was just as friendly as you’d expect in Croatia. I loved it so much I snuck out early the next morning to have breakfast and some solitary time reading in the sunshine.
HIGHLIGHT | Fritaja - Scrambled Eggs with Pancetta
Slaviceva 44, Split
I S L A N D T I M E | Hvar
You may have heard rumours that Hvar is the ‘Ibiza of Croatia’, but don’t let the party tag put you off if that’s not what you’re aiming for. The island is full of gems even for quieter travellers such as myself.
We stayed in a gorgeous, quaint Airbnb Villa on the top of the hill overlooking the coast where we could watch the sunset every night and the sailboats come and go. Hvar has a real ‘resort’ feel to it. People wander around in bare feet looking for their next spot on the beach, their next deck chair by the pool or the all important gelato top up. The only thing to be concerned with is making sure you know the time your ferry departs on your last day.
Other than that, grab your swimmers, your hat and your novel and enjoy the feeling of having no particular place to be.
EAT | Buffet breakfast at Butchery & Wine
DO | Hire a deck chair by the pool at the Amfora Grand Hotel and enjoy sitting by the pool all day long.