Croatia,home to some stunning old towns,sapphire waters is breathtakingly beautiful and we(me and my husband,again!) just loved every bit of it.
Day 1: Hyderabad-Zagreb
Our journey started from Hyderabad with layovers in Mumbai and Dubai.In Mumbai,we even got to visit a friend(we had about 4-5 hrs).
Day 2: Zagreb
The flight touched down at Zagreb(the Croatian capital city) at around 3.30pm on 8th of september(Best time to visit Croatia : June - early september). After the Immigration check and baggage claim,we took the airport bus to the city. From there,took a tram to reach our apartment(at the centre of the city,so that we can walk and explore at night).Trams are the cheapest and easy means of transport through the city(Just 5-10 kunas,1 Kuna = approximately 10 ₹ while cabs would cost around 8-10 times more).
Even after the exhaustive travel we were too excited to take rest and so quickly went out to explore the streets.Just beside the apartment there were all kind of stalls(Food,souvenirs,even beer stall etc) and all the streets were literally filled with small restaurants. So,one can walk the length of the street and settle at something they like and we did just the same.
Apartment:Premium Class Apartments II(Amazing place to stay,had all the amenities and pretty big too, right at the centre of the city)
Booked via: Booking.com
Currency Used: Euro or Kuna
For the Visa: You would need to submit all your hotel/stay bookings beforehand
After having dinner, we took a walk through the streets for some more time(no sightseeing as such) and then retired to our quarters for the night, as we had to catch an early morning flight to Dubrovnik.
Day 3: Dubrovnik(AKA Kings Landing-GOT)
In order to reach the airport the next morning(flight time:7 am),we took the tram till the airport bus stand but instead of the bus we took cab to the airport as we were running late and had to spend ar0und 110 kuna more!(Taxi = 200 kunas while bus = 90 kunas/2 people).Thanks to the cab driver we reached the airport just before time and were ready to takeoff.(I was excited to see Dubrovnik from the top view....and I was rewarded well!)
Zagreb-Dubrovnik flight cost: 6000₹/person
From the airport we boarded a bus that goes to the city and on the way itself we could see why this city is the most prominent tourist destination.
Inside the old city,no vehicles are allowed so in order to reach the apartment we walked through the city for about a km or so and finally (there were steps included as well!) reached our destination at around 11am.
Apartment: Euro Adria Residence
Cost : 20K/2 nights(The stay in the oldtown is expensive compared to the stays outside)
Booked Via: Booking.com
The city had so much to offer in terms of restaurants and for lunch we settled down at a beach side shack Konaba Ribar,had octopus salad,bread and pita along with some chilled beer.
After lunch,we strolled through the stradun,saw the city gates(Pile Gate),the Square of the Loggia.Then we went to ride the cable car which offers visitors a killer view of the old city.The price for this 4 min ride is on a bit higher end(150 kuna).Alternative approaches: Hike to the top or can go by means of a cab
After the sunset, we had hoped to find a table at the restaurant located on the top,but unfortunately there was a wait time of 30 mins.(Its advisable to book a table here beforehand as almost every day it would be bustling with tourists).Hence,instead of waiting,we rode the cable back to the town and while walking spotted an asian cuisine deli Snogu Wok Bar.This wok bar offered rice and noodles with variety of sauces,veggies and meat.We ordered chicken noodles and prawn rice with hot sauce,both of them were very palatable to the Indian taste buds.
During the evening,we visited the Cultural Historical Museum( Though both of us do not have artistic eye, I am sure this city would inspire many artists!). Later, we strolled through the city,bought some souvenirs,stopped for dessert at one of the restaurants(Presa) near stradun.Here,we spent out time at leisure and retired to our quarters late at night.
Day 4: Dubrovnik
Agenda for the Day: City Walls,Sunset Kayaking
The entrance to the city walls is about 3 mins walk from our residence,we grabbed juice from Mr.Fresh located right around the corner and went ahead to purchase the entrance tickets in order to see the city walls.(Entrance Fee of 150 Kuna/person is a bit expensive!)
We spent about 2 hours walking and admiring the city walls.The walls offered a remarkable view of the old town,the Adriatic and the countryside.There are several entrances to the walls(west,east and the south).There's a small cafe offering refreshments and food on the top.We stopped here for a beer(the climate was a little humid by then) and the place also offered a superb view of the Adriatic.
By the time we finished with the city walls, we were starving and so on our way back grabbed a quick pizza from Tutto Bene Pizerria & Fast Food and ice cream from Peppino's Ice Cream Shop(Busiest around), returned to our residence so that we could rest a while and at around 4 pm we headed towards the small port called Pile beneath the old town where the Kayaking would start.We booked the event through AdventureDalmatia(through phone booking).
Peppino's Ice Cream: One of the best I have had in Croatia.
Cost: Normal ice cream -14 kuna,Premium ice cream-16 Kuna, Cone-2 Kuna extra
Kayaking Cost: 250 kuna/person including snacks and local wine
The upstream journey was followed by a rest stop inside a cave where we were left free to snorkel for a while and then we commenced the return journey.On the way back the guide briefed us about the history of the city,the surrounding island,the croatian war and so no..(Informative!) and we even got to hold a sea urchin!
Sunset view from the water was really fascinating and soothing.The low waves striking the kayak,the cool wind blowing with the mesmerizing sky view, all enriched our experience.
The total trip took us about 2.30-3 hrs. At the end of the trip, all of the participants were offered bruschettas and a small bottle of red wine(YUM!!).After we bid farewell to the guide and fellow travellers,we got back to our place tired,had a hot shower and rested for a while before we headed to Nautica for dinner.
Food Cost: Approx. spent around 150-200 kunas/meal including drinks
Day 5: Dubrovnik
The next day,Ala Mizerija cafe was on our mind(because of its ratings) and hence decided to pay it a visit for breakfast.The place was about 10 min walk from the residence and once you reach there,you will instantly fall in love with the location.There's a beach right below the cafe which is easily accessible and you can also see ferries and boats passing by in the distance.
The croissant was warm and delicious(15 kuna) and so was the cappuccino(15 Kuna).We had a lovely time at the cafe and strolled through the city back home before making our way towards Split.(Also, visited the GOT official store and bought a shot glass(80 kuna) so that we could take a picture on the Iron Throne!)