Croatia

Waterfalls at Plitvicka Jezera National Park

Once you travel to Croatia it will be with you always …the sun drenched towns the cobbled pathways, friendly trusting people. I though I was flirting with it, but I fell in love, now the memories keep calling out, once more it whispers.

This country in Europe has so much going for it. One of the largest coastlines of the Mediterranean sea, 3,600 miles which translates to a lot of beaches and sunshine for 7 months of the year from middle of April to middle of October. Hidden bars and restaurants in Roman ruins. National parks, cultural and musical festivals in quaint towns. Parties that go on all night, in the morning you feel you are tired and done but end up taking a walk along the sea or maybe grabbing a coffee at a Cliffside restaurant before calling it a night ( day ? ). I did say cliff, as you find cliffs and sea together in many parts of this country. The quirkiest museum that you can think of is in Zagreb-The museum of broken relationships. I guess there are many takers for this one as a second one opened in Los Angeles. It’s probably one of the cheaper European countries as it’s only around 30 years ago that it got its freedom.Your money will go a little longer here. Whatever fascinates you, history, beaches, adventure, nature you will probably get it here. A small deterrent could be that public transportation to get from one city to another is not quite developed, it has to be self drive which is a beautiful experience in itself or guided tours which are a little pricey.

There are so many charming towns and ancient cities that probably figuring out which one to visit may be tough. Add to that the undiscovered ones which are just calling out to the adventurous souls to bring them out of hiding.

Let’s start with the capital.

Zagreb

Cathedral in Zagreb

I am not too much of a city person and though it has its quaint cafes and buzzing vibes I would rather spend more time in the smaller towns which I love much better. I did miss the opportunity to visit the museum of broken relationships, maybe on my next trip. 🙂

Rovinj

Coffee on the rocks ???, cafe on the sea front, Rovinj.
A little more before I call it a day. Waterfront Rovinj.
Memories made before sightseeing. Central square Rovinj.

It’s difficult, no impossible to not be fascinated with this almost vehicle free town, sea and cliffs both holding hands and welcoming you. Restaurants and bars along the cliff, quaint tiny shops selling high fashion from Italy at throw away prices. Sea front eateries with informal seating and picturesque view with lively vibes. Things to do ??? not sure and there is no reason to look for activities, that would be a waste of time. Soak in the town and walk around it’s small enough for you to get around on foot or a cycle.

Not that anyone would want to but you can hop on a ferry and go to Venice in around 3 to 3.30 hours.

Plitvice

Plitvice.
Plitvice
Plitvice

All the energies saved can be used here. It’s a protected national park as well as UNESCO World heritage site. It’s got 16 interconnected lakes and over 90 waterfalls. Though it can be done as a day trip from Zagreb and Split would highly recommend that you stay a couple of nights here, especially if you like trekking and photography. All seasons here have their own charm, summer obviously but that also is a time when most people visit so it may get crowded. Spring where the waterfalls would be in their full glory, Autumn with leaves changing colors, winter when covered with snow the waterfalls look surreal.

Though swimming is not permitted you can spot the small fish from afar, the water is so clear. In case you are very keen to swim you can visit Krka national park instead of Plitvice, it’s smaller but more accessible from Zadar and Split.

There are small hotels to stay, nothing very fancy but comfortable. Some food you should keep handy as restaurants close early and are far apart, and all the trekking will leave you with a good appetite.  

Split

A beautiful sunset, peaceful and calm. Split.
This is how pretty ladies should be protected. Dioletian’s palace.

This in a nutshell is a bigger and more glamorous version of Rovinj. Roam around Diocletian’s palace in the city centre, take a guided tour to know more about the history of the place. Take a cruise on the sea. Climb Marjan hill at sunset for great views. The nightlife here is very vibrant for all the party animals.

If you haven’t visited Plitvice you can do a day trip to Krka from here, it’s just an hour and half away.

Hvar

Hvar.

From Split, Hvar is just an hour away by ferry. It’s known for its parties, beaches and local wine. Pakelni Islands can be explored from there as a half day or a full day for the beach bums. For the trekkers they can climb Sveti Nikola, which is a difficult trek of 10 kms and takes up to 5 hours. 

Hula- Hula is a beach club without a beach, it’s full of young people and known for sun downers as it closes by 10 PM.

Dubrovnik

Cable car to Mount Srd
Buza Bar

The most know and visited city of Croatia thanks to Game Of Thrones. It’s also a walled city where you can climb up the wall and actually walk around the city to get to know it better. Take loads of pictures while you are at it. Sunglasses and a hat are a must as there would be no protection from the sun. If views and pictures are your mantra for a good evening go to the top Mount Srd, you can take a cable car, drive or hike. Cable car is the fun option. There’s a café there to grab a bite or a drink while enjoying the views.

Take a walking tour of Game of Thrones, Museums….. tired of history? Take a 15 minute ferry to Lokrum Island, roam around or jump into the inviting waters.

War never does any good, see that for yourself, visit Hotel Belvedre which operated for 6 years and was then abandoned during the Croatian war of Independence.  It’s on a cliff and offers some great views.

For all the adventure seekers you have loads to choose from, sea kayaking, cliff jumping, jet ski. After all that is done and dusted and you want to boast about your day or simply just let the dayl soak in, Dubrovnik has a few cliff bars, most notable of which is Buza bar, it’s outside the city walls and perched on the cliff, with beautiful views of the island of Lokrum and inviting waters just below or maybe if you have a lot of energy left and want to dance to the latest music, head to a 500 year old fortress which houses Club Revlin. It’s been voted in DJ magazines as the top 100 clubs in the world. 

For a sun downer or maybe for a full day to laze around you can head to Banje beach club, it’s a pebbled beach to relax or party. Statutory warning : it’s very crowded. Want to avoid crowds go to Bistro Izvor, it’s in the suburbs and has a good collection of local wines . 

Rovinj
Once you have traveled, the journey never ends, it’s played out over and over again in the quietest chambers,. The mind can never break off from the journey. Pat Conroy.

Published by Sapna Rateria

Hi! I’m Sapna, I live in Mumbai, India. I guess what started me from writing this blog was seeing 911 everywhere, ( seems it’s called synchronicity ) I was like OMG there is some misfortune just waiting to happen to me, I turned to my best advisor Mr. Google and what he told me was not bad…..let go of your past and pursue your passion, your guardian angel will see you through, so here I am encouraged by the unseen forces to follow my heart and write about what I love most…travelling. I have been travelling every opportunity I get from last 15 years, have been to 35 countries and hope to experience as many as possible before I hang up my boots. Every part of my travel I love, from packing bags to the airport sights and smells, even what people hate most airline food.( sounds crazy ? ) Over here I must confess that may be because I try to travel only club class. Hope it inspires all those who do reach this page to go out and see the places they have heard about, cause it’s better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times ( Asian proverb )

9 thoughts on “Croatia

  1. Lovely memories Sapna. How you remember the name of the places as some are so odd.
    But it was a treat to the eyes and made wonderful reading. Keep posting such wonderful anecdotes so we too get the feel of having visited them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are able to relate your travel experiences so well, for a moment I was lost to imagine the journey as I read along your article. All the best Sapna, very good read indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Got to read this one today… definitely one of my to do list…just waiting for the right time to be there…Thanks for this visual treat once again and you look fab fab fabulous in all the pics 😁😁

    Like

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