Exploring the Croatian coastline

View from the Fortress of Hvar. Pakleni islands in the back.

The Adriatic Sea coastline is the most beautiful coastline I have set eyes on. This is the number one reason I can give anyone to visit this country.

One month was not enough, and on our last days, I’m already looking forward to coming back.

We picked Split as our basecamp. Split is the largest city in the region of Dalmatia and is built around the roman emperor Diocletian’s Palace. The ancient charm can be felt in most parts of the city.

Our Airbnb apartment was in a perfect location, on the Old Town just before the climb towards the Marjan Park begins.

View of the city from Marjan Park.

Split is in a perfect location for day or weekend travels. On our first weekend we visited some of the island towns. Split is a very touristic city and there are plentiful options for tours. On our first weekend we payed for a day tour of several small towns in the coast and islands. At first I thought of how nice it is for a company to do all the thinking for you, however it is not enjoyable when you are being rushed from one place to another and don’t really get the time to explore. I would not recommend taking these tours for that reason, they don’t give you the freedom to really see the places. There are many different buses, boats, caramarans and ferries that will take you to almost every town for very cheap.

Cathedral of Trogir.

We visited the town of Trogir after having been there on the day tour but having barely had time to explore. This town is a maze of small streets where vendors offer coral jewelery and hand made chess sets, and you can find many restaurants and cafes. The highlight is the Cathedral of Saint Lawrence with it’s tall bell tower that overlooks the picturesque red roofs and the Adriatic Sea.

Plitvice. Two lakes can be seen on the picture, on different elevations.

The National Park Plitvice was my favorite of our weekend trips. We rented a car with two more friends and mare our way to the breathtaking park where the grandeur of lakes and waterfalls are on display. Different lakes that, by being on different elevations end up in waterfalls that connect to the next lake, make this place like no other. The water on these is so clear you have to think twice before stepping because there doesn’t seem to be any water. The park is big enough to explore in more than a day and is definitely worth a visit.

Another great park is Krka. The main attraction is the great waterfall. The park is smaller than Plitvice, but you are allowed to swim here. For us, the best part was going on a boat ride through the river, which is on a higher elevation. This river takes you through a canyon and to the Visovac Monastery which is on an island. Here you can visit the museum and church and walk through the gardens. You can see pumpkin patches, fig trees from which the monks make brandy that is so unique in flavor you will want to get a bottle to bring back home. The charm of this franciscan monastery cannot be found anywhere and it is nice that it is somehow isolated on this little island, where it can be kept secret.

Croatia has countless islands and not all of them are inhabited. From Split you can take boats to a lot of them. We visited Brač, where we rented a quad and explored. The island is very mountainous, and is covered with fields of olive trees and vineyards. The views from the mountains are breathtaking: the sea and mainland in the background. We passed through some small towns, all quiet on a Sunday morning. We also visited Hvar, another island, and climed up to the Fortress. From there you can see the Pakleni islands, the port and the many red roofs.

Dubrovnik was our last great trip. Separated from the rest of Croatia by a tiny bit of land that belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina, this city is becoming more and more popular every year. The city is walled and is one of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. The city is amazing, but the roadtrip there made the experience better. The Adriatic coastline, as I said before, has to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

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