One of the hottest new tourist destinations for a warm and sunny summer getaway is Croatia and it is certainly one of my favourite! You get a taste of everything you desire in a European summer vacation – from its beautiful beaches to its lush scenery along the coastline and mountain tops to its historical findings and bustling nightlife. I have visited numerous countries and islands surrounding the Mediterranean and this is the one place that I would fly back to in a heartbeat. I was in Croatia for just one short week but I would highly recommend a longer stay, as I only got a chance to visit Spilt and Dubrovnik. I had missed out on the opportunities to check out the famous Plitvice Lakes as well as partaking in a sailing cruise along the coastline, where one can visit islands such as Hvar. A major pull factor for Croatia for the outgoing crowd is Yacht Week. I have been dying to try out Yacht Week but given my time limits and the fact that I had just spent 4 days partying it up in Tomorrowland, I did not think I could handle another week of endless partying. Hopefully I can gather some friends and make it out to Yachtweek one day! If you are interested in Yachtweek, check out this link for more information or even watch their video for an idea of what to expect.
We commenced our Croatian adventure in the beautiful city of Split, which is also known as the starting point for Yacht Week! We actually flew straight from Tomorrowland in Belgium to Spilt via Rome using Vueling airlines. The airline was perfect as we got a 4 hour layover in Rome and somehow rushed into the city via the high speed train to catch a glimpse of the Colosseum and grabbed a slice of yummy Italian pizza! Not exactly a trip to Italy but was well worth the rush. Split is quite unique with its dramatic coastal mountains acting as a perfect backdrop to the clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Split has great seafood and tons of bars, restaurants and shopping which you can all see once you step foot into the impressive Diocletian palace (Unesco heritage site). We rented a spot from airbnb “Violet Sea Breeze apartment” and it appeared close to the city centre however it ended up being quite a hike up the hill on the way back home everyday so I would recommend renting a place right down in the city centre even with a view of the ocean. After lounging all day at the city’s most popular beach, Bacvice beach, we decided to take a stroll down to the bars along the water and wow that was a great choice. We ordered non stop cocktails and people watched and relaxed all afternoon watching the sun go down. Also some friends decided to take a swim to the Inflatable iceberg sea playground floating in the middle of the bay, that was a quite sight especially watching a special someone attempt to make it up the floating device 🙂 I would advise holding on tight as you climb the rope! We found the cutest restaurant for a bit for dinner – the stunning view, delicious food and excellent service, makes Dvor one of my top choices for European restaurants. Next time we will book more time to visit the Plitvice lakes which is about a 4 hour drive from Split.
The coastal drive between Split and Dubrovnik
We rented a car, which you can do from any of these car rental choices and drove down the coastline instead of taking the quicker highway route and oh my, I was so happy we choose that route. It was the most breathtaking roadtrip I had ever taken. Absolutely stunning views of the Croatian islands up on the cliffs with the sweetest little towns all along the coast. The drive was a tiny bit scary if you are afraid of heights like myself but it’s a view not too miss. It was about a 6 hour drive but that because of all the amazing stops we took along the way. So one thing you can’t forget – you actually get the opportunity to pass through the amazing Bosnia & Herzegovina for a while 40 KM. You mostly drive inland in Bosnia and you see the most beautiful lakes along the way. We had decided to stop off for a quick lunch in a quaint town called Neum to say that we visited “Bosnia & Herzegonia” – we had lunch and got a parking ticket hence it counts as my number 45 country! The food was amazing – the oysters and yummy seafood and amazing view from the Bonaca restaurant was worth a visit back!
6 hours later, we arrived in one and only Dubrovnik. Entering around the city’s walls is unreal. The city is the most beautiful city I have ever visited especially arriving at sunset was magical! It was perfect for the first 10 minutes but then only to realize that we had to drop off the car to a closed office and await not only for the owner of the store to come back but the owner of the airbnb apartment at Hedera Estate, Hedera A36 to arrive, as we clearly did not do some proper pre-planning. However the apartment was perfectly situated for an amazing view of the city and our hostess was very helpful. The days were spent touring the Games of Thrones city from sitting in the Iron Chair to walking down the steps with by passers shouting Shame, Shame (this actually happened!) to learning about the history of this awe-inspiring city while walking along the city walls. One of the days we took a boat ride to the island of Lokrom, enjoyed the endless peacocks roaming the island and jumping off the cliffs. Great bars and restaurants to visit include the oyster and sushi bar, Marco Polo restaurant, restaurant 360 and of course buzz bar. Other sightseeing nearby adventures include taking a day trip to Montenegro, this is a stop I def missed out on but next time!
If you are planning a trip to Europe this summer, make sure an d book a stop in the amazing Croatia! All I want to do is rent a little chic house along the coastline and relax for a couple weeks in the summer. The food, the people, the views and endless fun activities makes it one of my favourite trips! More information on Croatia.
Please message me if you have any questions or need help planning your next trip to Croatia!!