Made up of 6,000 kilometers of coastline, Croatia is a haven for ocean side fun.
Dalmatia contains the more popular islands and resorts and is well worth effort to travel south. Inland, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a gorgeous sprawl of woods and waters. Skip the capital, Zagreb, if you are headed down the coast, unless a craving for nightlife sets in.
With the Adriatic Sea on one side and the Dinaric Alps on the other, the southern part of Croatia from Zadar to Dubrovnik contains some of the Mediterranean’s most postcardesque scenery. From untouched green isles to old Venetian fortresses, the coast is a haven for sun, nature and medieval architecture and history. Split, Hvar, Korcula and Dubrovnik are beautiful destinations.
There are hostels in most of the main towns as well as rooms provided by locals. Expect to be greeted aggressively with room offers at the bus stations and boat docks. Agree on a price beforehand and only get in a car if you don’t mind staying out of the town center.
Getting There & Around
Jadrolinija ferry is a beautiful way to get around Dalmatia. You can purchase individual legs or you can buy a one way or round trip journey all the way from the Istrian port of Rijeka to Dubrovnik, which allows for one stopover of up to a week.
This is the largest coastal city and a good stopping point before the journey further south. It is a major hub for buses and ferries. The ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, built by the Romans in 300 AD, is worth a visit.
The narrow cobbled streets and marble old town square are reminiscent of Venice. Take a dip off the rocky beaches or simply suck in the lavender and rosemary scents while you tan. There is a typical Croatian market with fresh eggs and cheeses that make for nice omelets. For activity you can climb to the top of the old town fortress. If motivated to explore, boat taxis will take you to the uninhabited neighboring islands. Adventure seekers with a bit of time and Kuna to burn can take a PADI certification SCUBA course. There are excellent diving opportunities which include explorations of shipwrecks.
Korcula boasts the most abundant vegetation in the region and includes olive trees and vineyards which the locals use to make olive oil and wine. In summer there is a weekly Moreška, a fighting dance with swords that has been performed for more than 400 years.