10! That’s how many places we got to see in our car trip to Croatia.
It took us almost two weeks and over 2200 km by car to complete the loop from the Romanian border at Iron Gates and back.
On the coastline, the landscape leaves you breathless and you find picture perfect spots at every step. #NOFILTER!
Our summer holiday of 2016 lasted two weeks and we wanted to make the most out of this time and explore beautiful cities but also relax and sunbathe. Croatia looked like the perfect destination to combine both and add even more to the adventure, so the decision was not hard to make. On the morning of 28th August, the luggage was all set, the car was prepared, the phones were fully charged and we were good to start this new amazing journey:
1.Belgrade – 1 night
2.Zagreb – 2 nights
3.Varazdin – ca. 4 hours (short trip in the last day in Zagreb)
4.Plitvice National Park – ca. 7 hours (UNESCO site)
5. Zadar – 2 nights
6.Sibenik – ca. 4 hours (UNESCO SITE at St. James Cathedral)
7. Krka National Park – ca. 4 hours (but you need more!)
8.Split – 2 nights (UNESCO SITE at Diocletian Palace)
9.Hvar Island – 2 nights (UNESCO SITE at Stari Grad Plain)
10.Dubrovnik – 2 nights (UNESCO SITE at Old Town)
And here is the whole path that we followed with all our stops. I had to include two maps, because the new google maps doesn’t allow more that 10 destinations per map.
- Mainland in Croatia: we visited Zagreb and the charming town of Varazdin, Plitvice and Krka national parks and once we got to the seaside we stopped in Zadar, Sibenik, Split, then got to Hvar island and then finally to Dubrovnik.
- UNESCO SITES are in Split, Hvar, Sibenik, Dubrovnik.
- Countries we crossed in this round-trip by car were Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia again and then back home to Romania.
- Drive carefully because there are many police filters on the way; when entering in Bosnia and Herzagovina we were stopped twice in less than 50 km to have our papers and truck checked;
- The roads in Croatia are great, they’re a tourist attraction itself;
- we liked Plitvice national park more than the Krka park;
- The prices go up once you get closer to the seaside, and the most expensive of all the places was Dubrovnik, and also the most crowded;
- The Coastline rewards you with crystal clear turquoise water but don’t forget that most of the beaches are pebbly.
- Food: we did not like it, nothing traditional only a lot of fast-food, pizza slices at every step melting in the heat and just few options to eat fresh sea food which was really surprising considering the location.
We left early morning from Targu-Jiu, my hometown. The Iron Gates on the Danube river were our entry point to Serbia, where we waited just a little bit at a small line at the customs to have our passports checked. We had not exchanged any money for Serbia in advance, but luckily here you can do that.
Once on the Serbian side, we continued on the shores of the Danube but we were also keeping an eye on the Romanian side because we didn’t want to miss the magnificent Decebal figure at Orsova.
Slowly we moved away from the Danube, exited on the highway and in a few hours we were in Belgrade, the Serbian capital.
My story will stop here for now, but this is the first post in a long series about a beautiful summer holiday. I add below few pictures from all of the stops and hope that they will tickle your curiosity to come back for more in the next weeks.
Zagreb – more about the journey here.
Varazdin – check more on our journey to this beautiful town here.
Plitvice National Park – more about the journey here.
Zadar – more about the journey here.
Šibenik – more about the journey here.
Krka National Park – more about the journey here.
Starting with May 2017, you can also travel by plane from Bucharest to Zagreb with Croatia Airlines.
Photos taken with: Samsung Galaxy S7 & Sony DSC-RX100M3