Croatia is what I call a pleasant surprise, a surprise I hadn’t heard much about in all my years of living in Europe. All I knew was that this beautiful country was home to the set of the tv show “Game of Thrones”. My visit to Croatia took me to visit Dubrovnik (a city in Southern Croatia known for its stunning old town with large stone walls) and Split (a town in the Dalmatian Coast which is know for its beaches and fortresslike complex at the Diocletian Palace).
Did I mention that the old city in Split is a UNESCO heritage site? I spent 5 days and 4 nights in Croatia and here is what I got up to (and hopefully inspiration for your trip to Croatia).
DAY 1: “DUBROVNIK” – EXPLORE OLD TOWN, CABLE CAR RIDE, LOCAL FOOD & NEW FRIENDS
I arrived into Dubrovnik at midday which meant that I had enough time to begin exploring. I stayed at the Hilton which was a mere 2 min walk into the old town. I then took the cable car up to the top of the city, grabbed a baileys coffee and walked down the hill to an incredible meal (a recommendation made by my Croatian airport driver).
Walking through the old city, I decided to surround myself with beauty. One actually took out my ear rings.
Making new friends: Many were friendly and wanted to take pics!!
Enjoying some gelato in the old town
One of the many beautiful paths/staircases in the old town
After the cable car ride from the town, we grabbed a seat at the Panorama Restaurant and sipped our baileys coffee whilst absorbing the stunning (I mean extremely stunning) views of Dubrovnik.
Absorbing the beauty of this city on our walk down to an amazing restaurant “Konoba Dubrava”
DAY 2: “DUBROVNIK”- EXPLORE OLD TOWN, VISIT FORT LOVRIJENAC
The plan for today was to explore more of the old town, explore the Game Of Thrones set, set sail on the waters and go exploring. Unfortunately weren’t able to charter a boat as the weather was not great.
On our way to explore Dubrovnik from Fort Lovrijenac….what a view!!!
Exploring the stunning walls at Fort Lovrijenac (There was a fee to enter the fort)
Another view of the city from the Fort. This view shows our hotel
DAY 3: VISIT TO SPLIT
We left Dubrovnik at 6am on a bus to Split (bus was approximately 15 EURS). The bus took us approx 4 hours to Split and we then checked in at a beautiful boutique hotel before we began to indulge in the town. Walk around the old city, indulge in some good food (Try Villa Spiza for great home cooked food and Restaurant Sperun), take tour of the city, explore the many museums if history is your thing. I recommend
A view of the port of Spilt from the beautiful window in the old town
Exploring this UNESCO heritage site in the city of Split
The city is filled with many museums and a few Cathedrals
The statue represents Bishop Gregory of Nin, a Croatian Bishop that strongly opposed the Pope. It has been told that the rubbing of the statue’s toe will bring good luck (Trust me to keep rubbing on the toe for a while)
DAY 4: SPLIT TO BOSNIA – MOSTAR, WATERFALL
This trip to Bosnia was not part of my well planned itinerary but after speaking to locals and a friend of mine from Serbia, I was advised that it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t go. The trip to Mostar, Bosnia was approx. 3.5 hours and truly flew by.
DAY 5: BACK HOME
We took an early bus ride from Split to Dubrovnik where we then caught our flight back to London. The bus was an hour late but given we had allocated enough time, we made our flight. I would suggest factoring in bus delays when travelling between cities in Croatia due to e.g. passport checks, bus delays e.t.c
What did I enjoy: The views, the food and the people. The warmth of the Croatian people was incredible.
What didn’t I like/What would I change: The weather wasn’t the best. We travelled in April so I would suggest that people travel in the summer around June (when the weather is a bit stable) but I could imagine that the city would also be incredibly packed then.
I would visit Plitvice Lakes National Park. A few travellers I met said it was probably the one of the most stunning places on earth they had been too. I had heard of it but I didn’t have enough time to visit.
Would I go back?: Yes, certainly
TRAVEL TIPS & HACKS
- Avoid tourist traps e.g. Some of the costly tours can be conducted by yourself with a free map (available at hotel lobby and travel centres).
- Avoid restaurants in the old city (or at least do some research on trip advisor prior to going there) as they can be very very expensive
- The view from the top of the cable car is a MUST. I am sure I spent 2 hours there sipping my baileys coffee (it was a bit cold so happy that guests at the Panorama restaurant were given blankets)
- Eat at the Konoba Dubrava in Dubrovnik – The food, the wine, the hospitality at this restaurant was unreal and second to none. I have never felt so much at home “away from home” as I did at this restaurant. Hence why I spent 6 hours there.
- Make sure to visit other parts of Croatia. Dubrovnik can be done in a day or two.
- In Dubrovnik and Split, ensure to stay at close tom the old town especially if you are not mobile.
- A Bosnia day trip is very much worth it.
Have you been to Croatia before? What was your most memorable moment in Croatia?