Croatia’s capital is an underrated destination waiting to be explored. It is not as popular as Dubrovnik or Split, but is a quintessential metropolitan city combining elegant 19th century buildings with plenty of cultural divisions and a vibrant cafe life. It is a great place to discover charming boutiques selling unique dresses, shopping for souvenirs, and tasting local delicacies. It is also a good place to visit undulating hills and charming villages nearby.
Dubrovnik is a unique and bewitching coastal town that has become the crowning glory of Croatia in recent years. The city is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also the place where parts of super popular TV show Game Of Thrones are shot. The Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Fan was also shot in this city making it a popular tourist attraction for Indians now! However, it's not just a famous shooting location; Dubrovnik has much more to offer. It is a glittering jewel in the Adriatic Sea bordering Croatia and it holds the power to leave you asking for more. The city's white limestone streets, buildings from the Baroque era and the shimmering Adriatic Sea will leave you mesmerised.One can spend a week, a month or even a year here and not get tired of this city, but for those who are on a tight budget, dedicate at least three days to see this city.What to see: 1. Walk along the Old City, Dubrovnik's best feature. It is the perfect place for a casual stroll to enjoy excellent views over the Adriatic Sea and the Old City centre.2. Walk on Stradun Street, the most famous street within the Old City. It is lined with shopping stalls and cafes on both sides and a great place to grab a cup of coffee and just relax.3. Don't miss out on Walking The Walls, a great architectural site in the city, and also the place where Game Of Thrones is shot.4. Take a cable car ride to Srđ Hill for the most amazing aerial views of the city.5. Visit Fort Lovrijenac, dubbed as 'Croatia's Gibraltar', and Croatia's most prominent fortress.6. Visit the beautiful Dominican and Franciscan monasteries. 7. Spend a day visiting the Elaphite Islands surrounding Dubrovnik.8. Take a Game Of Thrones tour and visit all the spots where the show is shot.Some tips1. Prices around Old Town are really high, so try and negotiate and go in a large group rather than alone.2. Public transport in Dubrovnik is also cheap and efficient.3. You can reach the top of Srđ Hill by taxi as well, if the line to the cable car is too long.Costs Per DayLocal Transport (Bus & Metro): Rs. 500 (50 Croatian Kuna)Taxi Starting Tariff: Rs. 60/kmHotel Stay: Average price for a night per person is Rs. 4500 (450 Croatian Kuna)A Meal: A lunch or dinner without alcohol will cost you around Rs. 1500 (150 Croatian Kuna), and with alcohol around Rs. 3000 (300 Croatian Kuna).
The remains of Diocletian’s Palace in Split is the heart of the city. A main getaway to the south Dalmatian islands, Split in itself is a city that you must stop and explore. Always buzzing, always alive, this city is a perfect example of a seamless blend of old and new; and this blend is clearly shown by bars, restaurants and shop hidden in between ancient columns, temples, walls.What to see: 1. Start your day by visiting Diocletian’s Palace, the ancient Roman ruin that was built in 305 AD.2. Cathedral of St. Domnius is recognised as the oldest cathedral in Croatia and one of the most well-preserved Roman buildings in Split. Visit this cathedral and then climb the bell tower for the most beautiful panoramic view of the city.3. Visit the Riva Waterfront and promenade for some relaxing time and to pick up souvenirs. This is the place to try delicious ice creams and enjoy a hot cup of coffee while staring at jewelled waters.4. Climb up the Marjan Hill for some amazing views of surrounding islands on one side and imposing mountains on the other.5. After that tiring climb up and down the hill, relax at Bačvice Beach and spend the evening enjoying the sunset.6. For a fun night out, check out Ghetto Bar, famous for its delicious cocktails or just chill at the Bačvice Beach shacks with a pint of beer or two.Some tips1. Almost every bar and coffee house has free wifi. The passwords are generally written on the receipts, but if you don't get one, ask the waiter and he/she will happily provide you with one.2. Public transport is almost non-existent, but the cabs here are cheaper compared to the rest of the country, Uber being the cheapest option.Costs Per DayLocal Transport (Buses): Rs. 1000 (90 Croatian Kuna)Taxi Starting Tariff: Rs. 60/kmHotel Stay: Average price for a night per person is Rs. 4000 (400 Croatian Kuna)A Meal: A lunch or dinner without alcohol will cost you around Rs. 1400 (140 Croatian Kuna), and with alcohol around Rs. 3000 (300 Croatian Kuna).
I took a very long, but great route getting here. First I passed through Plitvice Lakes National Park. Next, I rode over Mali Alan pass. Earlier, in the morning, it was raining a tiny bit, so I was happy to see that it stopped by the time I started up the pass. I’d just have to deal with a little fog at the top. The road surface wasn’t too bad…some occasional loose gravel and ruts, but nothing serious, and there hadn’t been enough rain to make it muddy. Coming down the south side was a little more nerve wracking. Less than fifty feet of visibility and hairpins with no warnings or guardrails made for some very slow riding.After getting down from the pass, I was about 30km from my destination, but decided to backtrack to get some riding in along the coast…wise choice. The view was amazing, the road surface was surprisingly good, and the riding was excellent. I rode from Senj to Zadar…any motorcyclists out there that want a nice route, keep this one in mind. So, now I’m in Zadar…it’s a nice little city with some Roman ruins to see in the old town…very interesting. Right on the water were two cool features. The first was the sea organs, which are large tubes underneath marble steps leading to the waterfront. As waves pass over the tubes underneath these steps, they emit different sounds. And the second shows up after sunset…the Greeting to the Sun. This large disk has LEDs of various colors that light up in crazy patterns, and all the while, you can hear the sea organs in the background…just add mushrooms and you’ve got yourself a party!
Sibenik is one of the most historical and cultural cities in coastal Croatia.
While all the cities have their charm, it is the wine paradise of Korcula, inarguably Croatia’s most beautiful and greenest islands, which takes my breath away. From the spectacular sunsets to the high quality wine that the island produces, Korcula is the destination to visit. On a wine map, the island is divided into four sections: Lumbarda, Cara, Smokvica, and Blato, each known for its particular grapes, vineyards, and family-run wineries. While the central region of the island grows Posip and Rukatac, on the eastern tip of the island grows Grk, another white grape only found in the village of Lumbarda.
Tipple tourism is at its best here, with the tourism board and private players offering curated wine tours to travellers willing to explore the island. We see the entire island on a self-drive tour, with stops at Smokvica and Blato, before heading to Korcula to finish our trip in style with a three-course lunch paired with different kinds of wines, red, white, and dessert rosé. After Toreto, our next stop, was Blato, a gorgeous town with Baroque mansions, Romanesque-Gothic-style churches, and avenues of lime trees that lend a splendid fragrance to the air.
Apart from the amphorae wine, wine bottles are also aged at the Croatian winery in the shimmering Adriatic sea. A nearby sunken boat at the bottom of the Mali Ston Bay is used to store the amphorae for 700 days at a temperature of 15 to 17 degrees akin to an underwater cellar.Upon removal, the amphorae acquire a beautiful layer of corals and shells and a plethora of other sea flora and fauna. To commemorate this exquisite viticulture experience, the old amphorae jugs that resemble props straight out of an ancient fairytale, are also sold as unique gift items or souvenirs by the winery. The pinewood boxes in which the bottles are sold in, are made in the city of Varaždin, off the coast of northern Croatia.
At Blato 1902’s wine tasting room (blato1902.hr)—a company-run winery (unlike Toreto)—we taste a very elegant rosé with a delicious aroma, full of fruity character and fl oral fragrance. Soft on the palate, this is a wine best served chilled and paired with grilled fish, light pasta, and homemade macaroni.
One of the first cities I rode through was Vukovar, and I immediately came upon the water tower. It was heavily damaged in a battle in the early 90s, in which ~2000 people were killed. It’s been preserved as a memorial (a very grim one) of this battle. There were a few other large structures I noticed with very heavy damage, along with many buildings that were still riddled with bullet holes. On my first day, I also visited two WWII memorials. The first was the Monument to the Revolution of the people of Moslavina, built in 1967 to honor the people of Moslavina that fought in WWII. The second was the Stone Flower, in memory of the victims of the Jasenovac Concentration Camp. This was the only concentration camp that wasn’t run by the Germans, and was also one of the largest across Europe. It was started by the Ustaše in 1941, and the primary victims were Serbs. It’s estimated that 80-100,000 people were killed at this camp.
Starigrad - Paklenica
The best time to visit Starigrad Paklenica is from early spring all the way through to late autumn; it’s the ultimate place for nature lovers. The area has much to keep you busy and is located in an excellent position to make take day trips to neighbouring national parks and towns. Starigrad offers real diversity, where the magnificent mountains and the swirling sea meet with the town of Starigrad sandwiched between them. The area is most well known for adventure vacationers and although we’re not climbers, hikers or bikers, we spent three days at Paklenica and had more fun than we thought we would – and best of all it’s so close to our home we can go back again and again. The main attraction is of course the Paklenica National Park, yet there is much more to enjoy in Starigrad than I had ever thought…
Lopud is an island of lush Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation, beautiful gardens, parks and beaches and is one of the most developed islands for tourism in the Dubrovnik region. In the past, it was an island of captains, which provided the most sailors for the navy of the Dubrovnik Republic. The famed sailor and ship owner Miho Pracat lso was also from Lopud. The town of Lopud is on the island of the same name, which is a part of the Elaphite archipelago. The town is situated in the center of a wide inlet with spacious pebble beaches. Palms, cypress and citrus trees and gardens with subtropical plants that grow well here surround the stone houses. Accommodations are available in private rooms, apartments and two hotels. Lopud is a quiet island and is a perfect place for those wanting to vacation in peace and quiet in a natural landscape.
10) Pučišća, Brač, Croatia
Slivno Ravno is a municipality in the Dubrovnik- Neretva county. The hilly area of Stolovi and Slivno hides many cute, abandoned villages, over hundred years old olive groves, and some of the prettiest views in Croatia.
Slano is a village in Dubrovnik-Neretva county. You need to pass by Slano if you are traveling to Dubrovnik by car. Our tip is to take an old road in Slano that runs parallel with the main coastal road, and enjoy great views over the sea and nearby islands. The old road joins the coastal road in Trsteno.
Trstenik is a small village on the Peljesac peninsula. This is your starting point to explore the south slopes of Peljesac peninsula, particularly the wine-growing region of Dingac.