Scott and I decided this year, and hopefully from here on we’d swap the two weeks in one location for a road trip. Something about blue skies, long roads and your holiday playlist that screams adventure. Our destination of choice was Croatia, which over the years seems to have increased in popularity and we wanted to know why. We flew into Zagreb, and then travelled along the coast to Dubrovnik. We’re currently in Split, so this blog post is details of our first three stops! The remaining stops I’ll share with you once I’m home, plus another post all about the best Vegan spots.
Plitvice National Park
Our first stop was to see the Plitvice Lakes, so we opted for just a one nights stay. Which, I’m very glad we did. It really was in the middle of no where. We found this place from Airbnb. Classic me, I didn’t read the description properly. So we rocked up with a bag full to bursting of food, to later found out it was just a room with no kitchen in sight. So with our tails between our legs, we found the only restaurant in the area. Our dinner consisted of mushy boiled vegetables, cold chips and rice. We finished the rest of our night watching Netflix, drinking Somersby Cider! Needless to say, we had a good laugh. It’s these events that seem to stick out in years to come.
Tip of the day, set your alarm and head out early. Whilst we visited out of season, it still gets very busy. We arrived at the Park (which was a five-minute drive from our room) at just after 7.30am. It was worth the cold vegetables, the lakes and waterfalls were spectacular. The water was crystal clear, and if there hadn’t been a park ranger I would have jumped in for a dip! We opted for the 2-3 hour hike, but you had the option to spend the whole day there. I felt like I was in a scene from Jurassic Park, with thick forest and a slight mist set over the hills. It’s more than worth stopping here, you have a couple of options. You can stay within the area, or just day trip there from one of the smaller cites such as Zadar.
The drive from Plitvice to Zadar was just short of two hours, in the most wonderful scenery. I honestly didn’t expect it to be so green. We used Airbnb the whole trip, and for the next stop we stayed here. It was a lovely, smart apartment. With a short walk to the old town. Cobbled narrow streets, with beautiful old buildings towering over you. We located the only Vegan/Raw restaurant in the area, The Garden Lounge. We had a really tasty lunch. We were in fact given the wrong meal by accident, but we’d already tucked into it before the waiter realised. So we got three meals for two, what a way to start!
The whole town is set by the sea, without a beach but you can still swim in the sea. Once again I was taken back by the crystal clear waters, which made for a very pleasant swim. There were market stalls selling local jewellery, food and natural beauty products. You can climb the bell tower, which beholds breath- taking views of the area and beyond. We also visited a great café/bar for cocktails, La Bodega. I tried my first Espresso Martini. How has that happened? It was bloody great. Whilst it seemed the primary selling point of Zadar, the sea organ and sun salutation (solar powered dance floor) did add to the calming setting and is something I’ve not experienced before! Overall it was a lovely couple of days, there’s enough to see and do for a long weekend. If you’re like us and like to be on the move, this is a good stop over point.
I didn’t have high hopes for this place, but don’t they say that’s when the best things often happen? We’d only booked for one night, to see Krka National Park the following day. It was such a beautiful, quaint City and with half the number of tourists. Everything was in keeping with the old buildings. From the winding alleyways, to the local souvenir shops. We had dinner in one of the local restaurants, which was decorated with fairy lights with classical music surrounding us. It felt like a scene from a film.
Next day we packed up, and headed to Krka Park. It was a short 15/20 minute drive from Sibenik, once again I’d advise you to set your alarms for an early start. We arrived around 8/8.30, and there was only a handful of people around us. The park beheld the most wonderful waterfalls, and dramatic scenery. You also had the option to swim in one point of the park, you’ll have a whole load of fun trying to navigate your way over the rocks against the tide. In total we stayed here for around 2-3 hours, which was more than enough to take it all on and for a coffee break! I’d definitely recommended including this stop over, Sibenik is a charming little place that I’m sure you’ll love as much as we did.
Thoughts so far
Honestly Croatia has blown my mind so far, it’s stunning. The architecture, views and general feel of each place has exceeded any expectations I had. I’ve been thankful for each place we’ve visited so far, so if you’re planning to make a visit be sure to include them in your stops! Next blog post you’ll hear about Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. You can find me on Instagram, watch my stories to see what I’m getting up to!