Croatia: the final verdict

We’ve been home for two days now and have had time to process our vacation. With a resounding ‘yes,’ we all agree that Croatia was one of our favorite vacations. The people, food, beaches, and history made for an excellent trip.

But as with every trip, I like to break down what I would do differently and what I’d do the same.

Things I’d do the same:

  1. Stay with AirBnB. We used them in Paris and San Francisco as well, and they haven’t let us down yet. Our apartments where clean, well-located, and the hostess very informative. 
  2. Get a local, private guide of the larger cities. These helped orientate us to the cities and gave us information, dining tips, and fun ideas that we wouldn’t have had on our own.
  3. The toll road is mostly empty and Croats are decent and polite drivers. Driving also cuts down considerably on the amount of travel time versus a bus.
  4. Go during the late shoulder season (mid-June). The travel hordes are just beginning, but are nothing compared to what we’ve been told July and August are like.
  5. Visit both the inland and the islands. Zagreb is a nice, manageable city that’s just beginning to become a tourist hotspot. The islands are a magical break from the hustle and bustle on shore. 
  6. We rented a private sailing yacht for the week, and our skipper, Ben, acted as cook/tour guide/sailor/child wrangler. If you can’t afford that option, I recommend taking the ferries to the islands. We did Hvar, Brac, and Vis – all highly recommended, but I want to go back to explore the southern islands too.
  7. Only bring a soft-sided carry-on. You won’t need many clothes, especially if staying in an AirBnB where you can wash laundry. Once on the boat, space is limited, and hard luggage won’t fit.
  8. Eat lots of local food. It was delicious. Fresh and tasty.

 

Things I’d do differently:

  1. Done more wine research. We’re big wine drinkers and love exploring the local options. We knew of two places to visit, but we got an education at the the first and could have spent two weeks touring the five different wine regions.
  2. Spent one less day in Split, or held on to our car for an extra day to explore Zadar and Trogir.
  3. Bring or buy bug spray for the boat. The mosquitos were ruthless at night.
  4. Budget more for port fees.
  5. Take a side trip into Bosnia and see Mostar
  6. Some how see Istria despite it being along the more northern coast.
  7. Visit the islands around Dubrovnik (which we didn’t visit this time).

xoxo ~dawn

Croatia Day 8: Stari Grad

Happy Father’s Day. As I type, I’m watching Bug and the boys attempt to play in the Adriatic. Apparently, it’s a little cold for David’s liking. 😂

I woke this morning to the sun shining through my berth’s porthole and the sound of breakfast being prepared. When I emerged from my room, everyone except Keegs was sitting down to breakfast. Ben had prepared eggs, cereals, yogurt, and bread for us. 

After breakfast, we set sail for Stari Grad. Ben let Boone steer. 

It took about two hours to get from where we docked overnight to Stari Grad on Hrav. We sailed past Brac and spotted Split in the distance. Of course, when we arrived at port, my phone died and I couldn’t take pictures as we walked around the old town. 

Stari Grad is easily walkable and the major sites seen within a few hours – if you’re going really slow. There are more churches per townspeople, I think. I’m told this is the oldest settlement in Croatia. The stone buildings remind me of the French countryside, and for good measure, there’s two communist-era hotels. 

A view of the harbor:


Ben made us an awesome lunch of antipasta. It was perfect before heading off to the swimming hole. Unfortunately, we forgot our swimming shoes on the boat and the water was chilly, so he hiked back to the boat. 

For dinner tonight, Ben arranged for us to eat at a farm. They grew everything served on the premises, along with beautiful lavender fields. 

I didn’t get a picture, but Boone made friends with a donkey. He kept looking for excuses to feed it more grass. 

Obligatory family picture. 


The view of the restaurant:


And one looking back at Stari Grad:


Tonight, it’s supposed to storm, but tomorrow should be lovely. The plan at the moment is to head to Vis and tour the old military base.  

xoxo ~dawn

Croatia Day 7: I’m on a boat

We finally made it to the part of the trip I’ve been looking forward to the most: sailing the Adriatic along the Dalmation coast. We’re visiting Hvar, Brac, and Vis. Our boat is great, and our Skipper, Ben, a nice 20-something. The boys love him. 

The water is beyond beautiful, but a little chilly, and the coastal towns dot the landscape with terra cotta roofs against a clear, blue sky. I wish I had words for it all. 

We don’t have power unless in port. So my updates will be sporadic since I can’t charge my phone. 

For now, I leave you with this: 


xoxo ~dawn