Croatia Vacation

Croatia Vacation

Croatia – The land of 1000 islands

Croatia has so much to offer – beaches, historical sites, national parks, great food and their own wine, and GOT sites for those who are fans. And Croatian coast is speckled with islands. They are all different in size and character and it is recommended to go on island hopping.

Vacation in Split Croatia -

Where to stay in Croatia

We stayed in a little place called Stobrec just outside of Split. Split is a beautiful coastal town with an amazing historical old city. And as you may know, Game of Thrones was filmed in Split, among several other places in Croatia. Split has beaches, marina, old town and of course many tourists. Its location makes it super popular. The nearby located islands such as Trogir and Hvar, but also only a few hours drive to Dubrovnik and Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina, makes Split one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia. There are tons of things to do around Split – such as a trip to Blue Lagoon, diving, kayaking, cycling among several activities. If you are a GOT lover you might want to go on a walking tour of GOT locations. To make your planning easier you can find activities and book your tickets HERE. We wanted to do a Blue Lagoon tour and get our tickets on the spot but ended up with nothing, as it was sold out. 

Hotel in Split

We booked our hotel through TripAdvisor – Ark Beach Apartments. This 4* hotel is a family run hotel and has only 15 rooms. Its location is perfect if you want to stay close to the sea. It took about 10 min to walk to the centrum of Stobrec where there were restaurants and few convenient stores. This hotel has also a pool. For a deeper review of the hotel read here.

The pool was nice and it was just a few steps down to the sea. But the best part of the hotel was the host. The hotel is family run and the whole family was really sweet. They go really out of their way for you. If you want to stay out of the worst tourist jam I can really recommend this place. We had a two room apartment with a balcony overlooking the sea. Although you don’t stay in your apartment while on vacation it is lovely to have a beautiful view to wake up to.

Pebble and stone beach

Beach by the hotel

Stobrec used to be a fishing village but is now an administrative part of Split. It had quite a few restaurants in the centrum, a little church overlooking the sea and a sandy beach. It took 5-10 min to walk to the bus station that took us to the city of Split. The bus ride took approximately 10 min.

When it comes to beaches they are different from the ones you are used to in Spain, France or Italy. The water is so clear it’s unbelievable. There were mostly pebble beaches in the area we stayed at and luck of sand is the reason the water is so see-through. If you move a little further out to Podstrana you will find luxury resorts, yacht rentals, and Casino. There is a water activity “park” off the beach as well – which is a huge fun for older kids.

The best part of staying in Stobrec is that you are off the tourist trail, but still very close to everything.

Beach by the hotel

Old town Split

I love old towns and their history and Split old town is perfect. It’s ancient architecture and the narrow streets are amazing. The drawback is all the crowds and heat. If you have the chance to go off-season, do that. There are so many ways you can explore it. See this guide for things to do in Split.

Split is the largest city on the Adriatic Coast and the second-largest in Croatia. Its location made it an attractive target for the Romans, Venetians, Austrians, French, Italian and Yugoslavian empires. Due to the influence of different cultures and religions Split’s old town has an amazing mixture of history and architecture. If you want to go on walking tour in Split Old town you can book your tickets here.. I always try to book my tickets online before I go, that removes the possibilities of trips beings sold out (as I have experienced before).

Old Town Split Croatia

Sites such as Diocletian’s Palace and Mausoleum, the Grgur Ninski Statue and the Cathedral and Bell Tower of St. Domnius justify its position as a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.  Old Town in Split has many restaurants and is a great day trip destination if you stay outside the city.

Harbour of Split Croatia

By the harbor of Split

Split Old Town

Narrow streets of old town

 

Split Old Town

Overcrowded

being a tourist in Old Town of Split

Goofing around being a tourist. I tried to pretend I was afraid, but it looks more like I sing opera

Split to Mostar day trip

During our 10 days, we had 2 days of bad weather so we decided to go on a road trip. Split is located about 2 hours drive from Bosnia-Hercegovina’s border which made it easy to go on a day trip to Mostar. Our host at the hotel was very helpful with the car hire. The agency he recommended delivered and picked up our car at the hotel, which was very convenient.

vacation in croatia, day trip to mostar, craotia itinerary

The drive to Mostar was very pleasant and scenic on both sides of the border. Remember to bring your passport for customs as you will be crossing borders. It can take up to an hour to get through the customs depending on the queue. Although it rained a lot the day we went and was only +14C, Mostar was a nice experience and I would definitely recommend it. The old town with its street sellers was very charming and the food was ok.

day trip to mostar, split, croatia itinerary

day trip to mostar, split, croatia itinerary

I love history and architecture and Mostar had both. The city was totally destroyed during the Balkan war but is now rebuild and Bosnia-Herzegovina is becoming a larger tourist attraction. The river under the bridge comes down from the mountains and holds about +7C. The bridge is a huge tourist attraction – be aware of that! During summer you can see free divers jumping off the bridge into the cold water – that’s 24 m down – crazy, but fun for tourists. Since it was raining that day there were no jumpers 🙁

day trip to mostar, split, croatia itinerary

Conclusion

Croatia is still a lot cheaper than its big brothers and sisters – Spain, France, and Italy. But it also has a younger vibe. Croatia produces its own wine, which they are very proud of and the food is amazing. The country has a great tradition of barbecuing the food and it tastes great. There is a lot of meat and fish on the menu, especially catch of the day is always a great surprise. As I mentioned in the beginning – research the stuff you want to do in advance and pre-book your tickets. It makes your stay so much easier and comfortable. Let me just tell you that I learned my lesson, at the price of missed Blue Lagoon 🙁 And if I should mention one thing that disappointed me it was the pebble beaches. Luckily none took a shot of me when I was trying to stumble across the hot sharp stones, moaning like a crazy lady, trying to get to the beautiful clear water. Once I was in the water the stones were slippery and I had to watch out for sea urchins, at least you could see them rather clearly 🙂 So, bring your bathing shoes! (is that even a thing?)

 

Vacation in Croatia

Sunset

Croatia from above

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10 Comments

  1. February 2, 2018 / 7:07 am

    wow. The city of Mostar is stunning – the river, its narrow streets and buildings.

  2. February 1, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    I had absolutely no idea that Croatia had so many islands! I must admit, I always thought of it just as part of Europe with no islands. Oops!

    The view from your apartment is lovely – just look at the colour of the sea! Definitely a great choice of accommodation, if only to wake up to that beautiful view.

    Split looks like such a unique town full of so much culture and heritage.

    Great blog post!

  3. February 1, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    Looks like an amazing trip. I’m going to have to add Croatia to my “must visit” list.

    • Travelletters
      February 1, 2018 / 2:40 pm

      That’s great, Erin! Croatia is beautiful 🙂

  4. February 1, 2018 / 11:19 am

    Just added this to my bucket list. Amazing pics

    • Travelletters
      February 1, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you! That’s cool! I would like to go back, so it’s still on my list 🙂

  5. January 28, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Wow I never realized how beautiful it is there!!

    • Travelletters
      January 30, 2018 / 8:55 am

      It has everything – mountains, amazingly clean sea water, historic sites and great food. The only thing I missed is a sandy beach 🙂

  6. January 28, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    Croatia!!! I love’d how some parts of Croatia is not as crowded as the other cities of Spain. I’ve only been to Zagreb during our stopover trip from Slovenia on our way to Budapest. I definitely agree that Croatia is affordable compared to Germany and Austria which were a part of our Journey that summer. I originally wanted to visit Split but thought that should be a separate trip on its own and not a stopover trip. This post makes me want to book my flight back to Croatia, and fulfill my dreams of seeing the city of Split 🙂

    • Travelletters
      January 30, 2018 / 8:54 am

      And if you manage to go off season you would avoid most of the crowdes and I reckon it would be even cheaper. I would love to go back and maybe stay on an island this time 🙂

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