When one of your favorite brands in the world invites you on a fun adventure, you say YES…before you even know what it is haha. Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of going zip-lining in Omiš, Croatia courtesy of GoPro! Ahhhh, pinch me!
I had been zip-lining before 2 or 3 times in Mexico and the Caribbean on family cruises back in the day. But this was different. This would be zip-lining over the Cetina river between the gorgeous Croatian mountains..in one of my favorite countries in the entire world! So yes, excitement was an understatement when I got word I would be joining in on the fun!
The company I went with was called Splitlicious. I can honestly say this was the BEST zip-lining I had ever done. Not only was the backdrop like from a movie, but we got 8 ropes total to ride. On the other ones I had done we got maybe 2-3 ropes to ride and then we were finished. It was over so quick and left me wanting more.
This zip-lining tour lasted about an hour, but it seemed longer! I’m not going to lie though, when I got up there and saw how high we were, I freaked out a little. But like always, my adrenaline trumped over fear!
The guides were young and fun and it was a great time. One of them even volunteered to hold my GoPro and zip-line about 3-5 meters behind me so he could get a close up of me riding. And you know what? That was actually my favorite clip from the video!
Note: This video was shot entirely with the GoPro Hero 4 Session and I used the wrist strap during this activity.
*A huge thanks to GoPro for sponsoring this activity. I was not paid, nor required to write an article or make a video of this activity. I did it because I truly love GoPro! Expect more GoPro videos in the near future! ♥
Oh Croatia, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. If you’ve been following my travels, you’ll know I absolutely adore the country. I especially fell in love with the coastal city of Split on my first visit in 2013 and I have been going back frequently ever since. It’s a special city and you cannot easily escape the charm.
Did I mention my boyfriend is Croatian? So yeah, I have a thing for Croatia.
When I travel, I swear by using Airbnb for accommodation. But honestly, I have not had the best of luck renting in Split. I find most the apartments I’ve rented in Split through Airbnb are WAY smaller than they look in pictures, the walls are paper thin and you can hear footsteps all throughout the day and night, and the wifi is usually TERRIBLE.
So I decided to try my luck at a hotel and I’m so glad I did! The Radisson Blu Split has set the bar high and I will definitely stay there again in the future.
Here are the Top 9 Things to Love About Radisson Blu Split:
The bad news: the hotel is NOT in the center
The good news: the hotel is NOT in the center
The beautiful Split Riva (waterfront) in Croatia
If you’ve been to Split in July and August, you will notice that the night life is very lively. Fun if you’re into partying, not so fun if you’re trying to sleep. There are usually pros and cons to staying in the center. The obvious being you’re within walking distance to everything. The cons being the noise and the inflated prices. I think the Radisson Blu Split is in a perfect spot, away from the crowds yet close enough to be a part of it if you wish! A bus will get you to the center in 10 (ish) minutes. Walking will take you about 45+ minutes, but it’s all along the coast and you will pass several cute little local beaches so it’s a great way to see some of the lesser known beaches in the area.
Another great perk about not staying in the center? The hotel had excellent wifi, which in my experience, is NOT common in the center of Split.
2. Support for Local Artists
If you walk around and explore the hotel, you will notice a large section of paintings in one of the hallways, beautifully lit by blue lighting. What I learned is that once a month, the art is changed and they display prints from local artists in and around Split. I thought that was really great and it’s nice to see them supporting the local community. It might not seem like a big deal, but I thought that was really encouraging to see.
3. Huge Breakfast Selection
I was surprised at how big the breakfast room was. At first it seemed like a school cafeteria, but the awesome views made up for it. The food selection was huge and even with my gluten allergy, I found plenty to eat. Custom made omelettes, local cheeses, cured meat, sausages and bacon, cereals, fresh squeezed juices, and a porridge station with a variety of nuts and toppings, you name it and they had it. To top it off, they had soy milk for my coffee, which is nearly impossible to find in Split otherwise. It was everything you could have asked for in a buffet breakfast.
4. The Amazing Spa
The spa was hands-down my favourite part about the hotel. At 2,000 square feet, it’s the largest spa in all of Split! You could seriously spend an entire day there getting pampered, or just relaxing on your own. Are the treatments pricey? Yes, slightly, but nothing outrageous. And what hotel spas aren’t pricey anyways? You’re paying for convenience.
Indoor pool & jacuzzis. Photo courtesy of Radisson Blu Split.
Even if you don’t want to spend any money, there is a lot to enjoy. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the solarium and jacuzzis, and got some good R&R in during our stay. The spa has a solarium/sun room, a pool, 2 Finnish saunas, steam room, hot pool, cold pool, and 2 jacuzzis. We literally spent a whole evening there and would have stayed longer if we didn’t get kicked out for closing time.
Relaxing spa day with #Bae
Also inside the spa was a gym with free weights, machines, and cardio equipment. It’s another perk for those of you who love to work while traveling (which definitely is me).
5. Views for Days
One thing you will notice right away at Radisson Blu Split is the nice views, which can be seen just about everywhere. All the restaurants, bars, and even the gym had floor to ceiling glass windows with lots of sunlight. All that vitamin D really puts you in a great mood! Ok, maybe it’s just the placebo effect, but hey, whatever works!
Radisson Blu Split Outdoor Pool. Photo courtesy of Radisson Blu Split.
6. Relax on Your Own Private Beach Area
Private lounging area. Photo courtesy of Radisson Blu Split.
A few minute walk down to the sea from the hotel you will find a small private beach for hotel guests. There is a beach bar called Mistral and several day beds for your lounging pleasures (free for hotel guests). It’s super nice to have your own private beach, especially during peak season when most beaches in the area are packed.
7. Nearby Žnjan Beach
Žnjan beach is one of my favorite beaches in Split. For those of you not too familiar with Split, Žnjan beach is a located on the outskirts of the center with a very laid back atmosphere. It is a pebbly beach (as most in Split are) lined with some trendy cafes that are very popular with the local crowds. The beach is more secluded and the water is crystal clear. Žnjan Beach, along with Kasuni beach, are my top 2 favorite beaches in Split and away from the tourist crowds.
The Radisson Blu Split exudes modern luxury, noticeable from the second you enter the large colorful lobby. One thing that immediately caught my eye was the iPad station available for guests with fast wifi. Even though I had my own laptop and iPhone with me, I couldn’t resist playing with a new toy. You always want what you can’t have, right?
The entire hotel is very tastefully decorated with pops of color in all corners of the hotel. Our room had 2 twin beds, a flat screen TV, ample shelf space for unpacking, and a large balcony. There was a partial sea view and a view of the mountains. Although the car lot in between was not the most attractive view we could have asked for, it was still very nice.
The bedding was extremely plush and comfy, which really makes the difference of a good night’s sleep or not. It’s something I have learned not to take for granted when traveling in Europe. Comfy beds are very rare to find, trust me.
9. Because Size Really Does Matter
It’s one of those places that has everything on site, so you never have to leave. But Split is gorgeous and you’re going to want to get out and explore. I’ve been traveling to Europe religiously since 2006 and this was definitely the biggest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. The hotel boosts 250 rooms, a spa and fitness center, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, an outdoor pool, a huge lobby, and 9 conference rooms. The hotel also has an onsite hair dresser, car rental company, and excursion center to help plan your holiday activities. So really, it has everything you need without having to look elsewhere. Convenience at its finest.
Oh, and the Radisson Blu Split is also a popular spot for weddings! Just in case you’re wondering…
Cons (Because not every hotel is perfect)
the bathroom had stained glass instead of regular walls/doors, so it lacked the privacy I like when using the toilet.
the size of the hotel was a plus, but at the same time that resulted in a less cozy feel.
12 euro for parking. I know most hotels these days charge for parking, but since its not inside a busy town and there is plenty of space around, I think parking should be included in the price. But that’s just me. It’s not a huge deal, but just had to mention it (very nitpicky of me, I know).
Overall, I had a really nice stay and it was great getting pampered while in Split. It really had all the amenities you could have asked for and the staff was so nice and inviting. This was my very first experience staying in a Radisson Blu hotel and I was quite impressed. They uphold very high standards and I would definitely stay in one of their hotels again!
Happy travels and enjoy Split!
♥A special thanks to Radisson Blu Split for hosting me during my stay. All opinions, however, are my own. I don’t bullshit and would never recommend somewhere I didn’t truly enjoy!♥
Note: Due to my visit during off season, the outdoor pool was drained & the beach area was not set up. Therefore, the Radisson Blu Hotel provided me with a few pictures to supply for this post, as were marked above.
Have you ever Stayed in a Radisson Blu Hotel? Have you Ever Been to Split? How was Your Experience? Do tell!
If you’ve ever been to Croatia, then you probably know how special it is. However, I must admit, over the past few years it has become more and more popular (i.e. crowded). Unfortunately, if you visit in July or August you will be rubbing elbows with many tourists fighting for a spot near the water. Cue in the virtually undiscovered island of Proizd, a secret local hideaway far from the crowds.
Proizd was voted Croatia’s most beautiful beach in 2007 by the Croatian Tourist Board, and it’s not hard to see why. The clean white rocks contrasted with the deep turquoise waters is breathtaking, and probably the clearest water I’ve ever seen in all of Croatia. Proizd is completely off the beaten path and is perfect for a day trip if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
Disclaimer: all of the photos in this post are completely unedited and from my iPhone( or GoPro)…the water really is that color! A fancy DSLR camera wasn’t needed to capture Proizd, it’s so naturally beautiful on its own!
Where is Proizd?
Proizd is located off the West Coast of Korčula Island, one of my favourite Croatian islands. A boat ride from Vela Luka to the island will take 35 minutes.
How to get to Proizd
To get to Proizd, a small boat leaves from the port town of Vela Luka 3 times daily during the summer at 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1:30pm. The boat returns at 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm. Get to the boat 25 minutes early to assure you a seat in the high season. It only holds about 25-30 people. Tickets costs 50 kuna roundtrip (about $7.36 USD currently).
Proizd boat timetable
What to do in Proizd
Ok, there are only a few things to do on this island, but it’s so worth going to. If you love nature and secluded beaches, you will fall for Proizd very quickly.
1. Wander through the woods, pick a trail and let it lead you to a new secret beach
Take the beaten path to get off the beaten path. Makes sense, right?
One you get off the boat and pass the one restaurant near the dock, you will notice a wooded forest that has several different narrow walking paths that lead in different directions. You can’t really go wrong, so pick one, take the short hike, and see where the path takes you!
My favorite view below, after a 10 minute walk through the green forest led to this…
This is the perfect place to take a book, lay out and relax. It doesn’t get more peaceful than this.
That’s the beauty of this island. It is completely devoid of tourists and you will only see a handful of locals around. At any given point, I don’t think I saw more than 10-15 people at a time at one single beach. At some spots, there weren’t any people at all. Keep in mind, I was there in August, in the height of peak season! I can’t even imagine what it would be like in May or late September, but I’m definitely intrigued to go back and find out!
Who wouldn’t want a whole paradise island to themselves?
Where to Stay in Proizd
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Proizd is uninhabited! There are NO houses, apartments, or hotels on the island. Another reason why I loved this island so much!
There is one restaurant and one beach bar, and that’s it! The rest is just you and nature (and a handful of Croats). Staying in nearby Vela Luka is recommended as you can easily catch a boat directly from there.
Tips for Visiting Proizd
Wear appropriate shoes because it is very rocky (no sand unfortunately)
Bring snacks as there is only one restaurant where the boat docks
Don’t stay at one beach, explore as many paths as you can (I didn’t know about this until it was too late and I was only able to see 2-3 beaches)
One beach is nude, just FYI
Pay attention to boat departure times, the last one is at 7pm! Dont get left behind or you WILL be sleeping on the beach alone (hey, this might not be a bad thing after all)
Where is your perfect secluded paradise island? Let me know in the comments below. I may need some inspiration for future travels 🙂
2015 was a crazy year in terms of travel. I visited 17 countries, 9 of which new countries I had never been. I never expected to do so much travelling, but I can honestly say it was the best travel year of my life! I decided to put together a list of the top 7 travel surprises of 2015. These are all places that far exceeded my expectations and shocked me/blew me away. I have also included a list of my (tentative) travel plans for 2016. Cheers to a new year of travel!
1. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Charming Ljubljana, Slovenia
Never had I before experienced a capital city so charismatic as Ljubljana. I wasn’t expecting much going into the Slovenian capital, as I usually don’t care too much for most capital cities these days. I’d rather visit a smaller, more unique village on the outskirts. However, Ljubljana blew me away! Ljubljana had a small town vibe indeed. The one word that comes to mind when I think of Ljubljana is charming. It was an eclectic mix of elegant/classy and bohemian/hippy, if that makes sense. The cafe culture was alive outside and it was almost impossible not to sit down at one of the trendy cafes overlooking the river. With only 1 day there, it wasn’t enough and I hope to go back soon to enjoy it more.
2. Interlaken, Switzerland (aka “Narnia”)
The ultimate winter wonderland in Interlaken, Switzerland
With only a short amount of time in Switzerland, we had a lot on our lists of things to see. But when traveling, sometimes you realize that plans don’t always work out the way you would like. Me and my friend Carey planned to see Jungfrau and/or Harder Kulm, yet due to the heavy snowfall, the visibility was slim to none and these activities never happened. We were a bit disappointed, to say the least, as the only 2 things we came there to see were closed. So we decided to take a paper map and explore the city. Well, we got lost and ended up walking through a park in the middle of a snow storm. We were literally in the middle of nowhere, with nothing in sight except for white powdery snow. At one point, a man on a horse rode by covered in a robe (a sort of “black knight”)and we looked at each other like, is this real life? We played in the snow and had numerous photo shoots, just the 2 of us. Something so simple brought us so much joy and it ended up being our favorite part of the trip. You know what they say, sometimes no plans are the best plans.
3. Israel and Palestine
Culture shock in Israel and Palestine
It was surreal to be able to stand on the same ground where Jesus once stood and to see his birthplace. The whole visit to Israel seemed like a dream and it’s something I have wanted to do my whole life. And I can honestly say that I experienced the biggest culture shock in all of my travels to date visiting this area. To see young military personnel walking around with guns was something very new to me, yet it’s a normal way of life over there. Also, the clash of multicultural people within the city walls of Jerusalem who were all living harmoniously together was incredible to see. If only those walls could speak. It was truly an eye-opening experience and I’m so glad I was able to witness it. Another huge bucket list item was also checked off for me here-floating in the Dead Sea!
If you’ve ever been to or seen pictures of Cappadocia, I think you can agree that it is like somewhere from a different planet. The landscape is like no other place on earth and the memories made there will last forever. From eating in a local family’s house sitting on the floor, to watching the famous hot air balloons rising above the land at sunrise, these are some memories I will never forget.
5. Rovinj, Croatia
The picturesque streets of Rovinj, Croatia
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Croatia, but visiting Rovinj catapulted this obsession to a whole other level. The fact that I waited so long to visit this area baffles me. The streets of Rovinj were some of the most picturesque streets I have ever seen. The mixture of Croatian, Italian, and German languages spoke in this city really surprised me, until I learned some of the history behind it. The architecture especially had a strong Italian influence and at times I forgot I was in Croatia. How could I not like a city that felt like a mixture of Croatia and Italy, my 2 favourite countries! If you haven’t been to Rovinj yet, you’re really missing out on a hidden gem of Croatia!
This is a place I had been dreaming to go ever since I saw pictures that actually made me think this place was fake due to its stark beauty. Usually when I give myself high expectations I am let down, 9 out of 10 times. But this wasn’t one of those times! Hallstatt might be the most beautiful/quaint/cute small village I have ever seen. The fact that it is set on a breathtaking lake just magnifies its beauty. Visiting Hallstatt was also very special since I went on my birthday and also because I’m half Austrian. Hallstatt definitely did not disappoint.
Feeling like a princess at the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle
If you’ve ever traveled in Europe, you come to realize that extravagant castles appear to be the norm there. Once you’ve seen a dozen, you start to become immune to their grandeur. However, Neuschwanstein Castle is the epitome of a fairytale, and in my opinion it was the most spectacular castle I’ve ever seen. This was also part of my birthday trip so it was extra special. But when I arrived, it almost didn’t happen. Due to the weather, the lookout bridge with the best view of the castle was closed. But of course that didn’t let it stop me. I jumped over the fence and decided to go anyway, as many others decided as well. As a tried to take the “easy route” against my boyfriend’s wishes, I slipped on ice ad fell hard on my left shoulder. I then grabbed the bottom of the fence with my right arm, as my feet were dangling off the mountain. My boyfriend ran to my rescue and grabbed me by my left shoulder to help me up. The rest of the trip I could barely move my arm, but it was well worth it for the amazing views! I certainly felt like princess on my birthday.
Where Am I going in 2016? That’s a very great question! So far, I only have a short trip to Reykjavik, Iceland and Bergen, Norway booked for Winter 2016. The rest is up in the air for now! However, I have a tentative plan that I hope will get put into full effect. Here it goes:
Spring 2016 wish list:
Summer 2016 wish list:
Fall 2016 wish list:
I can’t afford to go to all these place, so I will probably pick just one or 2 out of this category. It’s such a hard choice!
*As with most travelers, plans can always change and new destinations will be chosen last-minute (which is what happened with Israel and Egypt last year!)
So, here’s to not knowing exactly what my plans are and the fun part of figuring that out. Happy New Years to everyone and I’ll see you in 2016!
WHAT WERE YOUR 2015 TOP TRAVEL SURPRISES? AND WHERE WILL YOU BE HEADED IN 2016? DO TELL!
After a life-changing sailing trip on the Adriatic coast one year ago, I knew I had to return to this captivating country. What attracts me to Croatia is not just the delectable food, the fascinating history, the laid-back culture, the crystal clear waters, or the people. It’s about the way Croatia makes me feel. And for that very reason, I was extremely eager to get back to one of my favourite countries in the entire world! For my next trip there, I decided to visit the island of Vis.
While doing research on which Croatian island I should visit next, I remembered a place called Vis that a local had mentioned. After google search upon google search, I didn’t seem to find much information about it besides some basic demographic statistics. Well, how is that going to help me with my decision? But then I stumbled across something very interesting. Tourists were not allowed on the island of Vis prior to 1989, as Vis was the site for the military base for the Yugoslav National Army! I also learned that Vis is the farthest island from the Croatian mainland and the least developed, resulting in even less tourism. That’s all I needed to hear, I was sold!!
After a pleasant 3 hour ferry ride, I had arrived on the island. I noticed a quiet port town displaying traditional old stone buildings, quant narrow streets, and best of all, no tourists! YES. I knew in the first minute that I had made the right decision. I was quickly greeted by my apartment host who picked me up and escorted me to the guest house I would be staying in. After 10-15 minutes of navigating through windy roads, we had arrived. I had hoped for something secluded, but little did I know I would be staying in the middle of nowhere!
I shortly found out that the wifi only worked at the top of the driveway, and that the closest store/ restaurant/attraction was not even within walking distance. My first reaction was, how would I function for 2 days without wifi and without transportation? But then I remembered, wasn’t this what I came here for?
Getting Around the Island
After settling in, the host invited me up to the main house for some delightful fresh fruits, cheese, and salami. She then offered to let me use one of her bikes to explore the island, to which I happily agree. On the top of my agenda was visiting Stiniva Cove. As a captivating picture can often be the sole motivation for my decision to visit a destination, it is safe to say that a picture of Stiniva Cove single-handedly lured me to the island. The only thing standing in my way of seeing it was a mountain bike and 4 kilometres. When asking how to get there, I was given the seemingly typical foreigner response: “go right out of the driveway and when your see a church, turn left, then after 500 meters, turn right”, and so on. So without a map in hand, I was on my way! This should be fun.
A little weary of the fact that I’m a little directionally challenged to say the least, I must admit I was a little hesitant. And by hesitant I mean scared to death I would never make it back to that secluded guest house! As I slowly strolled my bike out of the driveway, the sound of gravel echoing beneath my wheels faintly reminded me of my childhood bike riding through the woods. Suddenly, I started to feel a little at ease. After 30 minutes of traversing steep hills and windy roads, the wooded area finally opened up into never-ending immaculately harvested vineyards. Had I died and gone to wine heaven? This is paradise! My legs were sore and shaking, and my bottom was numb from all the riding, but for a few moments, I didn’t feel a thing, except for the warm, blazing sun reflecting off my body. All I could think of was the taste of crisp white wine on the tip of my tongue. But that would have to wait!
View from the top of Stiniva Cove
After the intense 4 kilometer bike ride, I finally ended up at the top of Stiniva Cove. I heard it was a tough hike, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that rugged! I inched my way down, sliding on the slippery rocks and shifting pebbles. A grueling 40 minutes later, I finally made it to the bottom, drenched in sweat and parched from the heat. My eyes enlarged as I witnessed one of the most beautiful and angelic things I had ever seen. I was standing inside a partially enclosed crescent-shaped cove, with the deep blue sparkling Adriatic Sea peaking though an opening. Forget what I said before, this is paradise! Behind me I was surprised to see a little hut where a local was serving cold drinks. I sat for a bit and drank some pear cider, as I resumed to chat with the local for some time. I then proceeded to bask in the sun and lowered myself into the shallow water.
I thought to myself, how is somewhere so perfect and etherial so empty? Then I remembered, I’m on Vis, the raw, authentic, underdeveloped island. And then it all made sense! Vis is a slice of heaven!It is here where I really came to appreciate the lesser-known, unique places, with a true sense of the local culture. Vis left an impact on me. I sat there in the serenity and quietness, and just let myself soak in my surroundings.
Komiža is a small fishing town on the west coast of Vis island, framed by the Hum Mountain in the backdrop, some 600 meters high. Historically, the fishing industry was developed in Komiža in the 16th century, and this is the site of the first fish cannery on the Mediterranean.
From afar, this town looked a bit ritzy, giving off a French Riviera type vibe with all the beautiful boats lining the port. However, from the minute I stepped foot onto the marina, I fell in love with this place! There was something just so charming and genuine about this town. Beautiful stone buildings, narrow alleys, alfresco cafes, and orange rooftops is what caught my eye. It was so old and ancient, yet so alive. And as if for the first time, I witnessed the Croatian people in their natural habitat going about their everyday lives. I learned a lot about their culture. I learned that they are very simple people, and don’t require much to be happy.
In the late evening, I was fortunate enough to watch the Croatian soccer team in the World Cup with a bunch of locals. That in and of itself is a whole new experience! The passion that they have about this sport, and about their country, was incredible to watch, and the energy was quite contagious!
Final Thoughts on Vis
Vis embodies everything I love about Croatia, and so much more. It’s quiet and quaint, it’s genuine and authentic, it’s isolated and peaceful, it’s simple yet extraordinary, it’s filled with jaw-dropping nature, and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
There is something about Croatia that will always have a hold on me. Croatia is a special place. It leaves an impression on you that is everlasting. And for that, I am always destined to return.
Komiža port from afar
Make sure to visit Stiniva Cove by car or bike and hike down from the top (the boat tours only take you inside the little cove from the sea just briefly and you will not get the spectacular view from the top).
Dress appropriately for the hike, the rocks can be slippery (no sandals please!).
Don’t miss a visit to the Blue Caves at nearby Biševo (which unfortunately I didn’t have time for and am still kicking myself for missing).
Eat Seafood! This is the birthplace of the fishing industry after all, they must be doing something right!
Talk to the locals, they’re always there to help and give good insider tips!
Take a ride through the countryside and marvel at the wineries. And stop at one or two if you’re feeling keen.
Bring cash, as most places do not accept credit cards.
* A special thanks to Total Croatia for publishing my article on their awesome website!
Have you been to Vis island and had a similar experience? Do you have any other tips to share? I would love to hear them!
Croatia is a breathtakingly gorgeous Eastern European country resting across from Italy, bordering Slovenia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and lined by the crisp, deep blue Adriatic Sea on the West. With over 1200+ islands and islets, 3,500 miles of coastline, and 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites, it’s no wonder why Croatia has become the new hot spot for adventure seekers looking to explore more unique travel destinations. A blend between beautiful pristine coastlines, numerous desirable islands, fascinating historical landmarks, ancient villages, and mouth-watering food, Croatia has much to offer and should be on the top of every traveler’s bucket list! If your’e planning a visit to this amazing country, act now! Europe’s best kept secret is surely becoming the “it” destination soon to be highly overcrowded by tourism.
1. (Relatively) Cheap Prices
Unreal colors of the Adriatic Sea
Although Croatia joined the European Union in July 2013, they have yet to adopt the Euro currency of their Western European counterparts. The local currency in Croatia remains the Kuna, and the current exchange rate is 6.7 Kuna to $1 (at the time of this article’s publishing). With the dollar being so strong at the moment, your money will go a long way there! To get a feel of the prices, a coffee costs about 8 Kuna ($1.20) and a roundtrip catamaran ticket to Hvar and back costs about 80 Kuna ($12). As you can see, Croatia is extremely affordable and this just adds to its allure.
Croatia is well-known for sailing, and this is the absolute best way to explore the islands. As the location of the infamous “Yacht Week”, Croatia has fast become the prime spot for sailing trips in Europe. With over 1200 islands throughout the coast, one could spend weeks exploring and never get bored. At the forefront of the tourism boom, these 7-day sailing trips attract more and more tourists every year eager to explore the fabulous Adriatic coastline. Most boats depart from Split or Dubrovnik and navigate to 4-5 islands within the week-long trip. A mix of partying, culture, site-seeing, exploring, great food, theme nights, and numerous swim stops, the sailing experience is one you will never forget. From personal experience, I can go as far as to say this was the best week of my life!
Sailing the Croatian islands
3. Local Food and Wine
Fantastically fresh and flavourful seafood straight from the ocean to your plate, local olive oil, and family owned wineries producing the finest Croatian wines will leave your taste buds craving more. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, some white wines from a little town called Trstenik are even imported to the White House. Additionally, and of an honourable mention, Split boasts some of the best gelato I have ever tried! Coming from someone who’s been to Italy 10+ times, that’s a bold statement.
Mussels in tomato sauce-yum!
4. Sunsets, Sunsets, and More Sunsets
Words cannot do them justice, so I’ll let the pictures speak. But can I just say something? Perfect. Sunsets. Every. Night.
Just a casual stroll down the Split Riva, and BAM! No filter..
Sunset over the marina
From the hike to Hvar Fortress
Walking up to the Hvar Fortress, and what do you know…there’s that infamous pink sky!
In Croatia, there’s never any rush to get anywhere. As a whole, they are a laid-back culture unbound to time constraints and really know how to enjoy every moment of life. So when you’re there, do as the locals do, relax, have a cocktail, and set your clock to “ish time”. Why not? You’re on holiday!
Bonus #6: Numerous Game of Thrones Locations
If you are a huge GOT fanatic like me, you will understand that being able to visit the actual filming locations is like a dream come true! As you may know, Dubrovnik is the major backdrop and filming site for King’s Landing.
King’s Landing in Dubrovnik
Numerous scenes are also shot throughout Split and the surrounding area (Diocletian’s Palace and Klis Fortress), as well as nearby Šibenik. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to sneak a peak at a live filming!! Jon Snow stalker alert!!!