My Croatian travels began in the city of Dubrovnik. I had picked an oceanside apartment to stay just south of the old town in a place called Plat. It was a 20 minute boat ride to the old town and I really enjoyed the quite and serenity of Plat to come back to. The boat ride to and back were pretty scenic and since riding a boat on the crystal clear warm waters of the Adriatic ocean is not something I do everyday, I had no problems with the commute to the old town where all the historic sights are.
The city of Dubrovnik is surrounded by fortified walls built between 12th to 17th century. You can walk along the entire cities periphery by walking on these walls.
The old town is fairly small but has a lot of character and a very lively vibe.
I was able to see all of the old town sights, check out the churches, museums and grab a yummy dinner at Nishta, a vegetarian joint and hop back on the boat to be back in my room for this view of the sunset from my balcony.
The city of Split is famous for the Diocletian palace that encompasses the entire old city of today. It was very fascinating for me to see this palace built by the Roman emperor for his retirement as I was in Rome earlier this year and read about his love of gardening and his unprecedented decision to take retirement from being an emperor so he could grow cabbages in Croatia :).
Today the palace is filled with souvenir shops and restaurants.
Split also has a great number of beach side resorts. This is a great port to start your island adventures from. Boats to islands of Brac, Hvar and Korcula run daily during the tourist season.
If there is one thing that will be etched in my memory forever about Croatia, it will be the feeling of watching the sunset in Zadar while listening to the Sea Organs. The sea organs were created by the architect Nicola Basic in order to reinvent the city’s sea front. The harmonics produced by the waves crashing against the sea organs makes for the perfect background for the lovely sunsets that play out here in Zadar. (I was told Brad Pitt was here the week before I landed to check out the sea organs. Ughhh. Timing!!)
A day sailing around the Koronati islands is also a great way to spend time here. This national park is a cluster of 300+ islands which were inhabited by the Romans in and around 1st century AD. The islands are what remains of a mountain range from thousands of years ago. Currently uninhabited, they are preserved as a national park.
Some of the bigger islands adjacent to the park are inhabited and only accessible by boats.
During my time in the coastal part of Croatia, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting obscure towns that were famous for very peculiar things- like the town of Primosten that is famous for its red wine called Babic.
The town of Pag famous for its sheep’s milk cheese!