About a year ago, I finally got a passport and left the US! After hearing magical stories about the Plitvice Lakes and Hvar from friends (not to forget my obsession with Game of Thrones) I’ve been dying to explore Croatia—and always appreciate some time with the sun and the sea. My boyfriend and I traveled to Split, Hvar, Zagreb, Korčula, and Dubrovnik— plus islands like Parmigiana, Badija, and Lokrum Island, all within two weeks. Below I’m sharing what I saw as well as some recommendations of what to explore when visiting Croatia.
First up was the historic old town of Split, which is buzzing with restaurants, shopping, and bars. Windy and charming streets led us to countless shops to browse and even to a private spot where we enjoyed some pasta outside. We wandered through Diocletian’s Palace and climbed to the top of the St. Domnius bell tower, where we experienced beautiful views of Split(and is where I took this picture.)!
Hvar was one of my favorite places in Croatia. Staying just a block from the marina, we hung out at a beach in old town during the day and explored the nightlife along the water in town at night. The streets of Hvar are just as charming as Split but are much more vibrant—you can find street performers, local artisans, and even a bread shop that stays open late for late night treats. There are also plenty of boats that will take you to other islands for the day—we headed to the tranquil island Palmižana, where we layed in the sun on a quiet beach followed by a healthy dinner overlooking the water.
We ended up staying at an Airbnb about 30 minutes outside of the old town of Korčula where we could enjoy some peace and quiet on a private beach for a few days. The old town was beautiful though—plenty of gardens, charm, and the house of Marco Polo! We spent a lot of time swimming here, the water was crystal clear and filled with fish and sea urchins.
As a huge Game of Thrones fan, I was most excited to explore the walls once we arrived in Dubrovnik. It was hot and humid and the walls took most of the day to walk, but gave way to amazing views of all of Dubrovnik. Theres a lot to see and do here, we ended up purchasing a Dubrovnik card so we could easily hop in and out of the museums, cathedrals, and up the rail car. We did manage to relax here a little by joining a sunset Kayaking crew where we explored Dubrovnik’s and Lokrum island’s caves, ending the night with a glass of wine on the shore.
Lokrum island is easy to get to from Dubrovnik, and I recommend spending a whole day there if you can.We swam in the dead sea and wandered through a monastery and botanical gardens. The island is magical, filled with wild rabbits, peacocks, and triangle-shaped trees.
After island hopping down the coast, we flew to Zagreb where we rented a car to travel to Castle Trakošćan and the Plitvice Lakes. We spent the day walking through the castle and museum and took a stroll around the surrounding lake.
Plitvice is a must see, and will take your breath away. We climbed up the tallest waterfall in the upper lakes (Galovački buk),explored and hiked through countless caves around the bright, blue-green waterfalls.
Overall this was a wonderful first trip outside of the States. Have you traveled to Croatia? Would love to hear your experiences and what I may have missed to try out next time!