Why on earth have I waited this long to go here?! That’s basically what I thought during the Croatia trip I did with my friend Lisette earlier this year. The country is stunning, the people are friendly and the food is good, so really, what’s not to like?
I honestly think Croatia is one of the most diverse countries I’ve been to in terms of what it has to offer. There literally is something for everyone: natural parks for nature and hiking lovers, party islands, plenty of diving & snorkeling options, beaches for the beach bums and – lots – of other stuff.
Although we were only in Croatia for 10 days (which in no way is long enough), I can tell you what you definitely don’t want to miss: here are my 5 Croatia Must Do’s.
1. Eat Fresh Fish (lots of it!)
Before I went to Croatia I didn’t know much about the local food. That’s why it was such a pleasant surprise to discover that the people there eat plenty of fish. My absolute favourite was the sea bass we had for lunch in this tiny restaurant (actually it was more like a canteen) that was tucked away in one of the bays of Korčula island.
As soon as we’d ordered, they went to catch the fish (bloody amazing right?!), grilled it and served it simply with a drizzle of olive oil and some lemon: delicious. I don’t know exactly how much fish I’ve eaten during our trip, but it was a lot and it was always super fresh. Unless you’re a vegetarian or a vegan: do try it!
2. Go on a Boat Trip
Croatia has a mainland coastline of nearly 2000 kilometers (1777.3 to be exact) and over a 1000 islands. The water is incredibly clear and the islands look like they’ve come straight out of a travel magazine. Needless to say, at least one boat trip is a must!
There are tons of options: you can rent an entire sailboat if you’re into sailing, you can go on one of the many organised trips – some of them super cool – or you can simply hop on a taxi boat that takes you to one or more islands of your choice. We chose to do the latter. Since it was still the low season we basically had our private taxi boat for the day (absolutely loved it).
3. Korčula Island
For me, Korčula (featured in the picture above) was my favourite part of our trip. It took us a couple of hours driving from Split and two ferries to get there, but it was worth it. We stayed in the medieval old town – named Korčula as well – on the east side of the island. Think little alleyways, cobblestones all over and general cuteness. The island has several (sand) beaches, beautiful bays and stunning vineyards. I’ll write a separate post about Korčula soon, so stay tuned if you want to find out more.
I have to be honest here, I was a little disappointed about Dubrovnik. I’d heard many good thing about this city in the south of Croatia, so I was super excited to go there. Although it was only May – relatively early you’d think – the place was already swamped with tourists. Yes, the old town is beautiful and you feel like you’re in Game of Thrones (it’s the main film location for King’s Landing), but when we were there the amount of people drove me mad. I do think Dubrovnik is worth a visit, but you’re probably best to do so early in the morning. If you want to get a taste of the town’s original charm that is.
5. Drive along the Coast
In the end we drove all the way from Split to Dubrovnik and back in just 10 days. The biggest part of that route was along the beautiful Croatian coastline. Our lovely host in Split recommended we take the coastal road rather than the motorway. Sure, it’s not the fastest way to get from one place to another, but you’re on holiday so really, who cares? The drive is an activity in itself and it’s whilst we were driving that we got to see some of the most stunning views of our trip. If you’ve got a car and you plan to visit more than one place during your stay in Croatia, I’d strongly suggest you ‘go coastal’ at least for a part of your journey!
Like I said at the beginning of this post, there’s so much you can do in Croatia. I suspect a visit to one of the country’s natural parks is something you don’t want to miss either for example. Unfortunately we couldn’t go because the weather was very poorly on the day we’d planned our visit, but at least we’ve got a good reason to go back!
Have you been to Croatia? What was your favourite part?
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