After visiting 13 other European countries before arriving here, I now know what all the hype is behind Croatia. Besides the physical warmth of the sun and the locally grown food that replenishes your cells, Croatia is like the Caribbean of Europe. A tropical escape for anyone looking for beautiful turquoise water, outdoor activities, culture, and solitude. Although I was reluctant at first to travel here, I ended up loving our road trip in Croatia and was happy we experienced this beautiful country and their friendly people. These were my five favorite places we visited in Croatia.
1 | Paklenica National Park
The approach to the climbing area is less than five minutes and there are walls and walls of routes for all levels. It’s very developed with large sidewalks, routes labeled, picnic tables, and a snack shop. You can buy the climbing book at the snack shop too. There are also great hiking trails here. I highly recommend hiking to the cave and paying for the short tour.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Yes, it’s really touristy and crowded and drove me crazy that each tourist stops and takes a picture of the waterfall with three different cameras. But it’s gorgeous and you just have to see it. I hate paying for touristy things and I was really glad that we went here. Try to get there right when it opens and walk though fast before the tour buses show up.
It is very easy to hike the boardwalks and trails that connect the chain of 16 terraced lakes. There are well marked trails the entire way and maps you can purchase or take pictures of. We hiked the K route, which was about 8.5 miles in all. We started at P1 and hiked trail number 8 to 2 to 3 to 1 to 5 to 7, then a boat ride from P3 to P2, then we hiked trail number 12 to 15 to 11 to 14 to 10, and finished with the short boat ride from P2 to P1.
Peljac Peninsula and Little Dubrovnik
We stayed at Antony Boy Campground and enjoyed our lifestyle while here. This area is very well known for it’s kite surfing and wind surfing. While we just stuck to morning jogs, I loved the surf vibe here, the delicious gelato, and relaxing time on the beaches swimming. Make sure to take the boat ride to Little Dubrovnik and check out the cobblestone streets and its rich history.
The sunsets here reminded us of being home in San Diego. Every morning we’d swim in the bay and during the day we’d ride bikes from the campground into the town of Rovinj and stop at the restaurants along the way. The cobblestone streets of Rovinj are filled with markets, restaurants, and artisan shops.
This was a great place if you are active. There were trampolines on the beach, rock climbing on the seas, and a sidewalk from the town to the campground where we’d bike and run. There were plenty of food options both in grocery stores and quaint restaurants on the water. The town of Rovinj is another must see with its cobblestone streets and artisan shops.
I loved spending our days relaxing at Camping Split. While I don’t recommend staying here your entire time, it was a really nice resort for when you are ready to sit by the water, have a drink, and let the kids play in the water and jump off the high dive. If you go into Split, be sure to walk to the top of Marjan hill.
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