Croatia

CROATIA | MORE THAN 2 YEARS AGO |
by Jacqueline
Once is not enough in my book. From intriguing cities to island hopping to national parks, Croatia has much to offer. If possible, explore Dubrovnik and Split in the shoulder season, to experience the history of the cities without the cruise ship crowds. I found Croatians to be happy, friendly people - grateful for what they have and that the Yugoslav Wars are well behind them. I hope to return soon to experience the lively island hopping scene in the summer and explore the cuisine and national parks of the northern part. And for those of you that are Game of Thrones fan, you’ll be in heaven checking out all the places where they filmed! We went over Memorial Day weekend which is before tourist season...a wonderful time to explore the cities, but note that many of the island ferries are not yet running.

TRIP OVERVIEW

Dubrovnik | 5 Ideas
Split | 8 Ideas

Dubrovnik

D'vino Wine Bar Dubrovnik

We stumbled upon this wine bar one evening. We loved the cozy ambiance and local feel. Our waiter Dino was friendly and happy, which impressed me all the more when I heard his childhood stories about growing up during the Yugoslav Wars. It reminded me how lucky many of us are to live in peaceful communities. Dino helped us find some amazing bottles of Graševinaj, an everyday white wine with dry, fresh, aromatic notes.

Proto

Delicious restaurant with a good outdoor balcony upstairs. We loved dining outside with the feeling of old town, without actually being on the street. Well known for their fish, everything we had was great. It was a bit more upscale, but comfortable.

Hotel Excelsior

Great hotel for any visit to Dubrovnik. Located a 10-15 minute walk outside the old city walls, the hotel has fabulous views of Old Town. If warm enough, make sure to plan for an afternoon on their dock, relaxing in the sun looking at the Island of Lokrum and Old Town...and swimming in the Adriatic. Have more time? Take out kayaks and circle Lokrum Island.

Buza Bar

Cool bar on the cliffs, accessed through a tiny doorway in the city walls. Beautiful views looking over the sea to the island of Lokrum and beyond. Don’t expect luxury – drinks are served in plastic cups. Best to order a local beer!

Rooftop walk

Best to start out early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the midday sun. This walk along the top of the city walls provides incredible views of the ocean and the city rooftops. Definitely a new perspective!

Split

Food & Wine bar ZINFANDEL

Loved this local spot. It's just outside the walls of Diocletian's Palace.

Diocletian’s Palace

Diocletian's Palace

Ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. It's about half of the old town of Split.

Airbnb - Diocletian Tower in Split

A gorgeous, incredibly convenient place to stay in Split.

Diocletian's Palace - cellars

Don't miss this. Really cool, well preserved rooms that are underneath Diocletian's palace. The layout is the same as when emperor Diocletian walked through them. Find the souvenir shops underground (just through the Brass Gate of the Palace) to find the entrance. While used for storage throughout history, they were also filming spots for Game of Thrones - home to the dragons.

Cafe Luxor Split

Diocletian’s Palace empties out at night time, which makes it the perfect time to stroll the streets and catch the ancient buildings in a different light. Stop for awhile at the Peristil (the central square of the Palace) right next to the cathedral. It’s fun evening spot. The plaza is a few steps down, and LVXOR Café has a bunch of cushions on the steps circling the Peristil, where they’ll serve you drinks. We loved hanging here with the locals and enjoying the casual nighttime vibe. Don’t forget to check out the sphinx that guard the square. You can also stop by here during the day for a re-enactment from Diocletian’s time.

Krka National Park

Awesome day trip up to see the waterfalls.

Peristil