Croatia

From the seaside cities of Split and Dubrovnik, to stunning national parks, and lesser-visited heritage sites, Croatia has it all. Shawn and I are fortunate to have spent three winters in this Adriatic Sea nation, mingling with talented winemakers, learning how to make silver filigree jewelry and traditional Dalmatian dishes like peka, and visiting a handful of the country’s dramatic natural attractions.

Below, you’ll find my clickable Croatia indexes, as well as destination-specific tips, accommodation and transportation resources.


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Table of Contents

General

Places


Dubrovnik

Krka, Šibenik & Surrounding Areas

  • Slowly wander through Krka National Park, appreciating the majestic falls, and calming blue and green hues surrounding you.
  • Swing by the town of Skradin, famous for its slow-cooked risotto and kayaking opportunities.
  • Take in the sunset and enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee while overlooking the island town of Primošten.
  • Admire Šibenik’s Saint James Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site adorned with more than 70 stone-carved faces of men, women and children.
  • Watch the action in Šibenik’s main square while enjoying a coffee at the Gradska Vijećnica restaurant.

Split

Trogir

Brač Island

  • Soak up the sunshine on Zlatni Rat, Croatia’s most-photographed beach.
  • Observe student stonemasons crafting masterpieces at the Stonemason School in the picturesque town of Pučišća.
  • Hike to the ruins of an abandoned monastery above Murvica.
  • Visit the former Roman quarry used to source stone for Diocletian’s Palace, and catch a glimpse of the 1,700-year-old Hercules relief.
  • Learn about how olive oil production has evolved by visiting the family-owned Museum of Olive Oil in Škrip.

Hvar Island

  • Wander the sleepy lanes of Stari Grad, Croatia’s oldest town, and explore the landscape of the Stari Grad Plain.
  • Pack treats and enjoy views of Hvar Town and the Adriatic from the hillside near the Spanish Fortress.

Korčula Island

  • Take a dip in the crystalline water near Korčula Town.
  • Climb the bell-tower of Korčula Town’s iconic Sveti Marko Cathedral just before sunset to see the town dressed in pink.
  • Stroll along Lumbarda’s coast, as well as its fields dotted with grapes and olives, while glimpsing the gorgeous Pelješac Peninsula.

Accommodation

  • Shawn and I have spent three winters in Croatia’s Dalmatia region, finding lodging in apartments that would be packed during the summer months, but are practically empty during winter. We’ve also experienced Dubrovnik during the summer months when the city is bustling with travelers.
  • During our first two and a half months in Split, we stayed at the lovely Kaleta Apartments (affiliate link) which are located within Diocletian’s Palace. Our studio apartment (called the ‘Diocletian’s Suite’) featured much character, including Roman brickwork embedded into our wall, and overhead views of Splits’ Old Town streets. Owners Novica and Negri were thoughtful citizen ambassadors too.
  • Two years later, we returned to Split, staying in the charming Varoš neighborhood, characterized by quirky stone homes sporting hunter-green shutters and flower boxes. For those two months, we stayed in quaint studio apartments at the Guesthouse F (affiliate link). We especially enjoyed our tiny terrace and the kindness of our hosts, Anja and Miro. One of Guesthouse F’s apartments was originally a horseshoe maker’s workshop, which previously belonged to Anja’s grandfather. Shawn and I dubbed it the ‘horseshoe cottage’.
  • We often use Booking.com (affiliate link) and Airbnb to find our accommodation. If we’re going to stay somewhere for a shorter time (less than a week, for example), we’ll usually book in advance. When we do 2+ month stays during the off-season, we tend to test out an apartment for 2 or 3 nights via Booking.com, then negotiate with the owners in person for a long-term rate. We’ve found long-term rates to be up to 80% less during the off-season!
  • If you’re new to Airbnb and sign up using this link, you will get $25 in travel credit. Some readers have mentioned that Airbnb modifies the promotion from time to time, so the actual amount shown to you at sign-up might be a bit more or less.

Transportation

  • Taxis – We’ve used Uber with great results in Split and in Zagreb. Our drivers were prompt, professional, and straightforward. If you’re new to Uber, and sign up using this link, you will get $15 off your first ride.
  • FerriesJadrolinija is Croatia’s state-owned ferry service. We’ve ridden their ferries and catamarans to travel between Croatian islands and the mainland. Twice, we did overnight journeys across the Adriatic to get to and from Italy. See their website for timetables, routes, and fares.
  • Buses – We most often use Eurolines (Autotrans is their Croatian branch) for journeys between Croatian cities. We’ve also used Eurolines to make the long journey from Germany to Croatia.
  • Train – While train routes are limited and many locals will tell you it costs more and takes longer than buses, we enjoyed the scenic train route from Zagreb to Split! HŽPP is the national railway company of Croatia.