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.
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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.

Split and Zadar – the less known, Croatian gems of the Adriatic

We only spent a day exploring Split and had a brief few hours in Zadar. When you compare these two to the likes of the city of Dubrovnik, the island of Hvar or Brac, you cannot really consider them a holiday destination itself. Nevertheless, these two Croatian coastline’s cities deserve a short stop-by and here’s why…

Riva – Split

This is part of the city’s waterfront, where a lot of restaurants and bars with tables and huge umbrellas are located. Stalls by the water offer all kinds of boat tours and we definitely recommend taking part in one (more about that in a future post on our blog). Bars and restaurants are a typical tourist trap with inflated prices and average food. We didn’t have time to look for and eat in a proper restaurant where locals escape the crowds, so we settled for one of the ones on the promenade. I can’t remember what the price of the meal was, but it certainly wasn’t cheap …or very tasty for that matter.

Diocletian Palace – Split

A long time ago, this may have been a palace, but these days it is more a part of the old town rather than anything else– no entry fees, no closed gates; instead, plenty of charming, narrow alleys, restaurants, tiny souvenir shops and small art galleries. This is a perfect place to simply walk around and get lost. Within walls of The Palace, there are several other points of interest.

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Golden Gate, Diocletian Palace – Split

Cathedral of Saint Domnius – within Diocletian Palace

It is still a place of worship and Sunday mass, but for its nice (not great) views of the surrounding area, I believe the bell tower will appeal to travellers the most (just like it did to us). You may also visit the underground chambers and a separate room (The Treasury) filled with Christian artefacts. A real gem for history fans, but don’t expect thrilling entertainment.  Entrance to The Cathedral, The Baptistery and The Crypt is 25 KUNA. Entrance to The Cathedral, The Baptistery, The Crypt and The Treasury is 45 KUNA.

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Bell Tower, St Domnius – Split

Temple of Jupiter – within Diocletian Palace

To an average traveller, this is an optional attraction. Unless you are on a quest, a real history fan or simply happen to be around, I will recommend popping in for a moment; otherwise, you may skip it. Simply put, it’s not going to be the most memorable attraction. This is a free attraction.

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Statue of Jupiter – Split

Peristyle – within Diocletian Palace

A square located in front of the entrance to the Cathedral complex. As I mentioned before, the narrow streets of Diocletian Palace are a perfect place to simply get lost. If that’s true, the Peristyle square is a perfect place to find yourself… drinking a coffee and people watching. You will also have an opportunity to take a picture with a real (Croatian, dressed like a) Roman soldier. This is a free attraction.

Vestibule – within Diocletian Palace

This structure isn’t spectacular, but a nice addition to the palace as a whole. It also makes for a cool photo opportunity.  This is a free attraction.

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Vestibule – Split

Jordan Beach Bar – Split

Not much of a beach at this beach bar, but a decent atmosphere, pretty good view and a nice place to swim. I don’t quite remember how we found this spot and what made us go there in the first place, but if you want to relax, this is a really cool local’s hangout.  There is a free parking nearby, drinks available at the bar and sweet water pool in addition to the seafront one.

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Quey at Jordan beach bar – Spilt

The sunset – Zadar

Not “a sunset”, but “the sunset” and yes it’s one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever seen. Well worth travelling to, even for that brief moment of watching the light turning into the dark. The palette of colours, the audience (hundreds if not thousands of people) and the sounds of the sea, make it for an unforgettable experience. To save yourself some time (and gasoline) searching for a parking spot, arrive early – we did pay for parking, but most didn’t seem to bother. It’s hard to say if you can get away without paying.

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Promenade – Zadar

After the sunset, the old town will make for a pleasant walk around. There are souvenir shops and restaurants on every corner and you may even come across a lost child – yes, we happen to see a boy of 4-6 years old running around, screaming in search for his mum. It’s quite funny when you think about it, but at the time, it wasn’t at all! We did eat in one of the restaurants within the old town, but we paid in cash and I can’t remember the price we paid.

Our next stop was Plitvice Lakes and you can read all about it next Sunday on our blog.

Make sure you don’t miss it!

Croatia – Brac and its famous beach, Zlatni Rat

Hallo y’all! I’m back to let you know about another amazing island in Croatia – Brac. We left Hvar in the morning and took the ferry to Brac, going to Bol town. One way ticket was 70 KUNA each (summer time) and the journey is around 40 minutes.

Our accommodation was half an hour walking from one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, Zlatni Rat. We stayed at Villa Mila, a lovely place with a really friendly owner; a lady who cannot speak much English but yet can make your stay very comfortable. Our two nights at one bedroom apartment was €158

Since we were planning our trip to Croatia’s islands, we had in mind renting a quad to go around. We didn’t manage to do it in Hvar, so we couldn’t miss it in Brac. You can find many tours that will include a quad, but usually not choosing your own destination. At the entrance to the main promenade in Bol you will see a parking with scooters, bikes and quads to rent. This agency lets you rent without buying a tour, but the quad rental has some restrictions. They will give you a map to show where you can’t go with it – basically anywhere that is unpaved. You can get a quad for €13 per day, but we paid a little more than that as we had it overnight.

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Red quad

Well, after having transportation in place we went for lunch right next to the parking lot in a Pizza bar facing the sea. We paid 297 KUNAS for two small pizzas and non-alcoholic beverage.

Vidova Gora

You guys may have noticed that we pretty much chase sunsets wherever we go and it was no different in Brac. When we got our quad we drove to Vidova Gora, the highest point on the Adriatic Islands with a view to the Zlatni Rat beach. The ride takes around 1 hour, but if you are going by car it’s 40 minutes. It was real fun going there by quad, although our buttchicks were awfully painful the next morning.

On the mountain there is a sort of observation tower. We didn’t go up as it seemed closed, but when we were leaving, a couple was going up there, so I think it’s worth researching about it!

There is free parking about 10 minutes’ walk from the top of the mountain from where, on one side you can see the shape of Zlatni beach and from the other an amazing sunset between trees – sunset may be seen from slightly different angle depending on the time of the year.

Back to the city in a really adventures way – it was pitch dark, by the time we reached the serpentine to Bol. We went for dinner; in the very long promenade you can find restaurants, bars, cafes for all tastes and budgets. We choose Vendetta by Vagabundo, it’s fancy and expensive if you consider that you are in Bol, but coming from UK, £11 for a meal doesn’t sound that bad. You can check their menu here

“Quading” around

The next morning we woke up very early to watch the sunrise from the well-known Golden Cape or as I’ve said before Zlatni Rat beach. Although it looks like a lovely sandy beach from all the pictures on the internet, it’s actually a pebble one. Still pretty! In the morning you can’t see the blue ocean if the sun isn’t shining, but having this beach just to yourself pays the price.

After a power charging sunrise we head to our first stop on the “quadventure” – Lovrecina. This is a sandy beach one hour by quad from the Bol town. With few stops at viewpoints, we reached our destination. To get on this beach you will need to come down through a very narrow and steep road. The water is very shallow and you need to walk quite a bit to be able to swim. Because we got here early it wasn’t so crowded, but around 11am it started to be a little chaotic as the sand stretch is not that wide and there is no proper parking lot.

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Lovrecina beach

On our way back, we went for lunch at Konoba Kopacina, an amazing restaurant recommended by the lady who rent us the quad. If you have time, eat in there. It’s money well spent! We paid 199 KUNAS for 2 meals and beverage.

Konoba Kopacina: https://www.facebook.com/kopacinakonoba/

All the way back to Bol, we went to see the Monastery, it was closed, but we enjoyed a little beach nearby called Martinica.

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Martinica beach

Our last stop was the Murvica Beach, 15 minutes’ ride from Bol town. You should park on the road and go down by foot (10 minutes); there is a restaurant in there with a very privileged view.

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Murvica beach

On our last night in Brac, we had dinner on the main square. There was a festival going on where you could try different types of food and enjoy music outdoors.

Most of the beaches I talked about in this post are pebble beaches; make sure you have the appropriate shoes for that.

Travelling by quad cost us around 40 KUNAS on gasoline

If there is anything in particular you would like to know about in Brac, send us a message and I will get back to you.