Croatia in 9 days

From red roof tops of Dubrovnik, through orange sunset of Zadar, to the turquoise waters of Plitvice Lakes, Croatia is an unmissable destination. There we’ve spent 9 days, in middle of sunny and warm July of 2017. Here’s what we’ve seen and done.
Our journey starts in Dubrovnik – without a doubt, the most beautiful, major city we’ve seen in Croatia. We stayed within the old town, which I highly recommend! If you book in advance, the price won’t be devastating. Oh, and by the way – the food also, isn’t that expensive.
Sunset, seen from the top of Srd mountain is not to be missed and a dinner at the Panorama restaurant (also at the top) is desirable. We took the cable car, which is the most convenient way of getting to the top.
A walk around Dubrovnik walls is an amazing way of seeing the city and its surroundings. The price is acceptable and the views are well worth it.
Details about Dubrovnik are available on a separate post. Check it out here.
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Dubrovnik City Walls
An early morning ferry takes us to the port of Hvar on the island of the same name. Accommodation and food isn’t cheap here, but the island is amazing! We spent two days here, enjoying our time on few lovely beaches, while on a road trip around the island. We ate some really nice food, enjoyed drinks while watching sunset at the Hula Hula beach bar and visited a historic fortress (great sunset here too). You can read all about our visit to Hvar here.
dubovica bar
Dubovica bar
Croatia has many islands and I’m sure every single one has something interesting to offer to travellers. Brac is just a short distance away and has one of the most unique looking beach, not only in the country, but entire Europe – Zlatni Rat. It’s within walking distance from the port and city of Bol, where the ferry from Hvar took us and where we booked our accommodation.
We are suckers for sunsets and the island is home to the highest peak of all Adriatic Sea islands… you know where I’m going with this?! Yes, obviously, we had to go up to see the sun going down! We rented a quad, not only for the trip to the top, but to go around the island, there are many nice places to see. You can read all about our visit to Brac here.
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Vidova Gora
Split wasn’t really high on our “to do” list in Croatia, but the city turned out to be pretty interesting. There’s a nice waterfront area full of tables hidden from the sun under huge umbrellas. These seating areas belong to near by bars and restaurants and we ate in one of them. The prices are inflated and food is of mediocre quality.
Inside, what’s known as Diocletian palace, is Split’s old town full of restaurants, pubs and souvenir shops. Its narrow pathways  make it for a pleasant wander around. The cathedral complex is the main attraction, with top of the bell tower being the most sought after. The view, however, isn’t spectacular.
On leaving Split, we rented a car and made our way to chase one of the most desired sunsets in Europe – the one in Zadar! As you already know, we’re suckers for sunsets and so we watched quite a few. I now consider myself to be a sort of an expert in that area, so trust me when I say: this sunset is well worth a visit to Zadar. Read all about Split and Zadar here.
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Plitvice Lakes was our next stop and what a stop it was! We stayed only one night around the lakes and had only one day to explore, but that is enough to tick of the “must do” here. Views are spectacular and water is turquoise to a point of disbelief. Since the beauty of the park is so overwhelming, any attempt to capture it in words can only be pathetic. I’ll save you reading about it. It really is “you have to see it for yourself” kind of place. Details about our visit to the park are here.
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We came back to Split to return the car, catch our flight home and do one last tour in Croatia, a boat one. The main reason for doing this was to see a blue cave. Unfortunately the sea wasn’t calm enough and we couldn’t do that. Apart from that, the tour was great; we got to visit many beautiful places, which are quite tricky to access on your own. Overall it was well worth the price and I would highly recommend it! Check out details here.
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Budikovac
That was our trip to Croatia. Come back for more tips on trips.

Croatia – What to do in Hvar, the party island

Hvar is well known as a spring break destination; full of life, clubs and nice beaches. Students often chose to come here to have fun! Oh no, don’t think that because of it, Hvar is not a couples’ destination, it definitely is. Greg and I aren’t fans of clubs and we indeed enjoyed the island a lot.

BARE IN MIND WE VISITED CROATIA DURING HIGH SEASON

We came by ferry from Dubrovnik; it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to arrive in Hvar so to not be overcharged on board, make sure you get some snacks before getting onto the boat. There is a small bakery right in front of Dubrovnik Gruz Port called Glavinić, amazing pastry with fair prices. The ferry price was 190 KUNA in July 2017 for one way ticket – you can check current fares at http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/ferry-croatia

Where to stay

We chose to stay in a studio very close to Hvar’s really tiny port; Studio Riva was very comfortable with kitchen appliances and a nice rustic decoration. We booked it through Booking.com and paid €250 for 2 nights; it’s not cheap but definitely a prime location.

Getting around

We got in Hvar around 10am and it took us awhile to find our accommodation. Not complaining as the small narrow streets are very entertaining, but if you do need to drop of your luggage before exploring, I do recommend checking it before arriving and having a GPS in place! We normally use our IPhones, as part of European Union we don’t need to pay for roaming; if that is not your case you can install the MAPS.ME app recommended by Marek Bron, he also has a list of useful travel apps here

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Hvar

Where to eat

After finally getting into our cosy studio, we went out for food. In the main square you will find tones of different restaurants; if you are on a budget and have more time, I’m sure you can find nice restaurants outside of the tourist place for much less money, but we had our lunch in the main square at WBurger and Steak house; we paid 230 KUNAS for 2 burgers and 2 beers. For dinner we decided to roam the streets in search of a place to eat. We ended up at Goloso, it’s kind of a tavern and we paid 315 KUNAS for two meals including beverage.

WBurger Steakhouse: http://wsteakburger.com/
Goloso: https://www.facebook.com/Goloso-1454411141248904/

Hvar old town

From the main square, you can see the Hvar Fortress and during the night it is lighted up making the view even better. As I said on the beginning of this post, Hvar is known as the party island, so when you walk around the old town you will find pubs and clubs for all different tastes. We went to Hula Hula beach bar for a stunning sunset, it’s a little bit outside of the old town but not too far; the bar is full of young crowd and there is electronic music playing. The location is privileged and the place has some beach beds between the rocks facing the sea. I don’t even need to tell you how amazing that is, right?!

There are few beds before actually getting into the “club”, so if you want to bring your own booze I think it would be okay. Although we didn’t chose to stay at the bar, we did buy drinks there and as any fancy bar you pay the fancy price… yeah it is expensive!

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Hula Hula beach bar

Hula Hula beach bar: https://www.hulahulahvar.com/

Beaches

Before I start that topic, I just want to point out that in Croatia, most of the beaches we’ve been to were pebble beaches. Make sure you buy the appropriate shoes to walk around and get into the water.

We had planned to do a boat tour on our second day in Hvar, but due to our bad timings we had to change plans and rent a car instead. Pass the main square going towards Hvar market, you will find few places to rent cars, scooters and quads. We got the cheapest small car they had which was also the oldest; I honestly can’t tell you for sure how much it was, but from our Master Card transactions we are guessing 500 KUNAS.

The rental car staff gave us a map with points of interest and we visited few of them. Our first stop was Milna beach, 10 minutes from the old town. It is a very small pebble beach with quite a few restaurants around. Finding free parking was difficult, but they do have a private one for 10 KUNAS an hour.

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Milna beach

We headed to our second destination (also only 10 minutes driving), Dubovica beach, in my opinion the most beautiful one. We parked the car in a sort of an off road shoulder. From there we follow down the trail until getting into this amazing view.

We stayed there for lunch at the Dubovica bar, the only one there and you have to try it – it’s truly amazing local food.

Back to the car we drove through a serpentine road for half an hour to arrive into Plaza Sveta Nedjelja, a rocky bay with a beautiful view. There is a balcony 5 meters above the water and there were plenty of people jumping to the open sea; Greg was really tempted, but he has a easily scared wife which didn’t quite agree on that! After having a relaxing afternoon in that area we drove back to Hvar town for a sunset at the fortress.

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Sveta Nedjelja

Hvar fortress

You will walk up through the narrow streets I mentioned before, very charming I can say. Then you will reach the top in about 40 minutes if you are not fit as me, guilty! There is an entrance fee of 30 KUNAS for an adult; you can walk around the fortress “rooms”, although the big thing in here is the breath-taking view, really impossible not notice and you will want to enjoy it as much as you can. Don’t miss the sunset!

That’s was our 2 nights in Hvar, I hope you have enjoyed it and got valuable tips, if there is still something missing, just drop us an email. Oh, come back on Sunday to know about our next stop in Croatia – Brac Island.