I take at least one big international trip every year and this year’s was one of my favorites of all time, if not my very favorite ever. If you haven’t been, I HIGHLY recommend a trip to Croatia. It had been at the very top of my travel list for years, but for some reason or another it kept getting pushed off. One reason being that I really wanted to spend at least two weeks there, and another being that it was a little overwhelming to plan. I love to plan trips and I usually have a pretty easy time of it, but with Croatia it was really hard for me to figure out the best itinerary because there are just so many amazing stops there that you simply can’t do them all in one two week trip. So the toughest part was narrowing it down, knowing that we wanted time for relaxing and didn’t want to jump around too much.
I pretty quickly decided that I wanted to focus on the southern part of the Dalmatian coast, since we were craving some island hopping and really wanted to see Dubrovnik. We had just shy of two weeks and mapped out the following itinerary:
Day 1-4: Dubrovnik (with a day trip to Montenegro)
Day 5-8: Split (with a day trip to Krka national park)
Day 9 – 13: Hvar (with at least one day on a boat, visiting nearby islands)
It ended up working out pretty perfectly, with just the right mix of exploring and relaxing. We ended up feeling like we got to see a lot, while also having the luxury of slowing down and taking it all in without rushing to the next place.
Traveling with my boyfriend, I knew he’d want to spend at least 3 nights in each place (more if possible) and I also kept in mind that I wanted to avoid renting a car if possible. A lot of people swear by renting a car and driving along the Dalmatian coast, but we tend to get stressed out by the whole rental car process, so we stuck to ferries, Ubers, and private tours – all of which are really affordable and convenient in Croatia.
We were totally blown away by the beauty of Croatia. Everywhere we went there were amazing views of the crystal clear blue water, green hillsides and beautiful little towns and cities with orange tiled rooftops and pristine stone walls and walkways. There is so much to do – from beach lounging and wine tasting to hiking and boating. Here’s a sample of the things we did: explored cities and towns by foot, island hopped by boat, visited a park with insane waterfalls and swam in the pools, explored back roads on a quad, jumped of cliffs into the Adriatic Sea, posted up at beach bars…the list goes on!
The food was incredible everywhere we went, which is a big deal for us, since eating is one of our favorite things. There are tons of local Croatian wines, which were great and are really really cheap. Overall, we found it really affordable (maybe excluding Dubrovnik, which is by far the most expensive city in Croatia and has prices comparable to our home city of San Diego) and in our experience everything was really clean, safe, and comfortable. I really can’t find a single negative thing to say, and we can’t wait to go back! We’ve already been talking about another trip in a couple years, so we can do more island hopping.
If you’re interested in more details about each place we visited, check out my individual posts on each: