Croatia – ”High on Life” One of our best holidays in Europe!

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What a magical place and a dream location for those who love nature and water. The waters here have all shades of blue we know of from our 48 colours crayon set. This is one of the places in Europe which deserves another visit just because you cannot get enough of it! Click here to watch and enjoy the aerial view of Croatian coastline while approaching Split.

Good to know

  • It is not a part of Schengen region but a member of European Union (EU). Tourists travelling on Schengen visa, please note only two or multiple entry Schengen visa is valid for entering the Republic of Croatia. Those holding a resident permit card in Netherlands or other European countries can travel without restriction
  • Main Airports –Split, Dubrovnik , Zadar and Zagreb (capital city)
  • CurrencyHRK (Kuna’s) Always carry local currency as Croatia does not accept Credit Cards and Euros widely. Airports give the best exchange rate
  • Car Rental-Always book in advance to get best rates. Be careful while booking through websites that offer multiple car rental agencies (e.g.autorenteurope) as the prices only reflect basic fare and is purely a marketing gimmick. Go on the provider’s website to get the actual rates
  • Renting a child seat is cheaper in Croatia than most other European countries
  • If you plan to drive to Dubrovnik from Split via E65 and D8, please ask for a sticker from the rental car agency (for a small fee) to cross the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina before entering into Croatia again
  • Food and food options do not figure out much in my travel posts as being vegetarians our options are limited and spending a lot of time, energy and money won’t really change much in a Margarita Pizza!
  • Beware: Croatia is a haven for late night parties and hosts several internationally renowned music festivals especially during the months of July and August. The accommodation rates can reach 4 times the actual fare

We used all modes of transport

  • Air -Rotterdam to Split and back by Transavia; a low cost airline
  • By Road in a rented car- Split to Dubrovnik – Dubrovnik to Split- Split to Plitvice- Plitvice to Zadar- Zadar to Split
  • Water – Split to Hvar and back by Jadrolinija Ship

Fun Facts

  • The Dalmatian breed of dog is named after Dalmatia, a south coastal region in Croatia
  • Dalmatia is also the setting for Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night
  • Marco Polo, the famous explorer, was born on the Croatian island of Korcula
  • Sharing a slideshow of our unforgettable trip to Croatia

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Split Airport to Dubrovnik

  • The distance by car is around 229 km via E65 and D8. Highway with toll roads that crosses through Bosnia and Herzegovina (no visa required) is the recommended route. Keep your passports and resident permits handy
  • Be cash ready to pay at the toll gate (preferred). It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful drives in the world where the sea follows your car and continues to mesmerize you with its different shades of blue!
  • Note: If you plan to drive to Dubrovnik via E65 and D8, please ask for a sticker from the rental car agency (for a small fee) to cross the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina before entering into Croatia again

What we did in Dubrovnik?

We visited Dubrovnik in May and it was a perfect time as it was not too crowded and expensive. We stayed in a B&B and took the local transport to get to the Old town where the action lies.The bus tickets can be bought at kiosks of Liberatas (cheaper) or directly from the driver.

  • We climbed the majestic city walls encircling the old city that were built between 12th and 17th centuries to protect the citizens of Dubrovnik. It can get hectic especially with a kid as the sun is shining at its best and it’s a long walk of around 2 kms. However, the stunning view of the orange cascading roofs, Dubrovnik harbor and mesmerizing Adriatic Sea all around makes the experience unforgettable. We bought the tickets at the Pile Gate entrance (preferred) for 120 HRK (app 17 euros)!
    • Start early; as it gets hot and crowded too!
    • Carry a sun hat, sunscreen lotion and a water bottle
    • Strollers are a BIG NO; carry a baby sling instead
    • Wear comfortable footwear and avoid sandals and open toes
    • You may decide not to walk the 2 km strech and take the closest exit
    • There are several small but expensive cafes on the wall
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Exploring the Walls with the Little Guy
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Breath-taking View from the Walls
  • There is a Game of Thrones Tour (GoT) for fans that takes you around Old town to Red Keep, House of Undying, and Spanish Steps etc. One of the tour guides claimed to be Tyrion’s costume designer. We skipped this tour with a non-fan husband as it needed an extra 2 hours and a lot of walking with the toddler. I was happy to see the Spanish Steps; where Cersei made the famous Walk of Shame. These can be seen just behind the restaurant area after exiting the wallse
  • We walked the famous street Placa Stradun and picked up some souvenirs.

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  • Buza Bar is a very famous bar accessed via the walls because of its beautiful setting; just hanging on the cliffs over the sea. We missed the entrance so make sure you ask some local guy and enjoy the experience. The setting is a little scary to go with the kid so we admired it from the walls
Buza Bar, Grad Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Image Sourced from the Internet
  • Dream to own an island some day? You can come closest to enjoying this dream by doing day trips to nearby islands like Cavtat, Lokrum and Mljet. There are a zillion agents at the harbor ready with the itinerary and the photo album of the nearby islands depending on time on hand. Cheap Thrill? Bargaining is possible 🙂
  • Panoramic Tours on glass boat was a HIT with us and our kid. The water is so clear that one can enjoy watching fish in shallow waters through the glass. When the water is choppy; the boat can rock with the waves but there is nothing to worry about as long as the skipper is smiling 🙂 It’s perfectly safe for kids and so much fun for just 10 euros/person!
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Glass Bottom of the Boat to watch the Fish
  • For other water sports in Dubrovnik like scuba diving, sailing etc. visit www.avansa-travel.com.Looking for something else? Visit www.happytovisit.com for other suggestions depending on your interest
  • Do you want to see something cool then click here to watch the boat dance!

Tempting Information

  • Try Kings Ice Cream available in many exotic flavours at supermarkets
  • Try jam-filled donuts
  • Vegetarian Food: Plenty of Pizzeria and bakeries
  • Try the local fruit brandy (rakija)
  • Try dried and candied orange peels famously called Arancini

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Did this post pump you enough to think about a vacation to Croatia? Are you excited to read about other beautiful cities/islands of this republic? Then, stay tuned and enjoy reading as I cover Split, Hvar, Zadar and  Plitvice Lakes National Parks in subsequent posts.

What waited for us in Split? Interested in knowing about our adventures in Split? Click to read Part 2 of our Croatia holiday-SPLIT!

The photos above are clicked using a smartphone

 

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Author: Livinginhague

I am Varsha living in The Hague since 2013 with my husband and almost 3 year old son Mihir! I love to travel and explore with my son and that's where I get the motivation to write this blog. Follow along to have a fantastic stay in Netherlands!

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