Croatia: Pearl of the Adriatic

We had no expectations of Croatia. We didn’t know anyone that had visited and had done no prior research. We saw a cheap one way ticket from London and decided, “meh? why not.” We had 2 days booked in a hostel and decided since it was the off season to travel in Europe, we’d just wing it.

I am now 100% convinced that that zero expectations = amazing trip. Since we knew nothing of Croatia, we went to the more well known cities of Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb. The only place I knew prior to going was that we were going to make a pit stop in Plitvice National Park. All of the cities were so different from each other, but ended up all holding the same basic traits: great food, friendly people, and beautiful scenery. 

Dubrovnik is the a coastal town in the south of Croatia and is nicknamed “Pearl of the Adriatic”. It’s easy to see why it got this name. After traveling in West Europe where everything is packed with must-see sites, tourists, and hagglers, Dubrovnik makes you feel like you’ve stepped onto an exotic island that hasn’t been discovered yet. We only saw a handful of backpackers the entire time we were there. The highlight of our trip was taking the 2 kilometer walk around the city walls that wrap around the Old Town center, giving you stunning views of the Dalmation coast and red roofed houses. 

Split was the next town we visited. This city is pretty historic, and walking around you can still clearly see the Roman walls, squares, and temples. 

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and was our final stop. We found it to have a more city feel, reminding us of places like Budapest and Prague. My favorite was the Museum of Broken Relationships.

From there we made a day trip to Plitvice National Park, one of the oldest national parks in Southest Europe. This place is considered to be one of most beautiful natural sights in Europe. Unfortunately, since we went in the dead winter most of the trails were closed off to us. Despite this, we were still blown away. Every corner we turned there was another waterfall or a frozen turquoise lake. After looking up photos of this place in the summertime, I am eager to come back.

Croatia is no doubt an up and coming country. Most claim that is reminiscent of the Mediterranean but what it was like 30 years ago. In a few years this place is going to be packed with tourists, especially because they will be in the EU soon. I am already day dreaming about visiting again. 

If we have any advice for Croatia, it would be to pack your bags and go now, while it’s cheap! 


One response to “Croatia: Pearl of the Adriatic

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Married Nomads·

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