CROATIA 2016

CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
CROATIA 2016
I knew before we started our 6 month travels through Middle East and Eastern Europe that I wanted to spend a lot of time in Croatia. There's something about this country. Something magical. All these travel shows and Instagram photos - they totally did Croatia justice, painting a surreal beauty of one-of-a-kind waterfalls and well-kept seaside landscapes. I was instantly smitten! I had to go and see these gorgeous wonderments with my own eyes! So I psyched myself up. Waited and waited and waited. Finally, it was the last leg of our Balkan tour. Let's do this.

Fast forward to 3 blissful weeks in Croatia.

And it didn't disappoint! All that waiting - did not go to vain! Croatia really is the stunning Pearl of The Balkans that every traveler we've talked to has hailed it to be. A bit of a pricey country, but utterly beautiful.

Yah, I'mma say it: Croatia is my absolutely favorite Balkan country. For now. (But honestly, this might be hard to beat. Greece, you have competition!)


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// DUBROVNIK //
Our first stop in Croatia! And instantly blown away before we even set foot in the city! The bus ride along the rocky seaside offered stunning views of the Adriatic sea. A perfect set up for the Wow moment that is Old Town Dubrovnik - the iconic giant cluster of orange roofs jutting out into the sea. King's Landing of Game of Thrones!! The entire bus abuzzed with delight. It was a gorgeous sight to behold! Nevermind that we were stuck in traffic to get to Old Town. And that it was stupid crowded once we walked into Old Town. And that Old Town itself is mostly covered with a network of steep stairs. It was all worth it. Even the annoying travel setbacks that we've encountered during our 5 day stay in Dubrovnik. Experienced bed bugs for the first time and caught an unknown respiratory virus that has been spreading around like wildfire. All at the same hostel. Overall, Old Town really is quite pretty and a joy to explore!
>> Hostel Stay: Will remain anonymous, only because the owners were really nice and hospitable.
>> Recommend: Rampart Walk, Cable Car Ride for panoramic views, Ferry Ride to nearby beautiful Lokrum Island for leisure mini hikes and THE IRON THRONE.

// SPLIT //
Another gorgeous seaside city with an equally gorgeous Old Town. Split is easily covered in just a couple of days, with panoramic views from Saint Domnius Bell Tower as one of the city's main highlights. But the real 'jewels' are actually off the Dalmatian coast. Daytrips via catamaran tours to Hvar, Blue Cave, Green Cave, etc., are totally worth it. Also highly recommend checking out the famed Krka waterfalls, only a couple of hours away via bus.
>> Hostel Stay: Tchaikovsky Hostel. $13/night for a 4 bed dorm.
>> Recommend: Day excursions to Hvar island and/or Blue Cave via Catamaran tour packages. Daytrip to Krka Waterfall via bus. Consult hostel to RSVP.

// KORENICA + PLITVICE LAKES //
No trip to Croatia is complete without seeing the grandiose Plitvice Lakes! Easily accessible from Split or Zagreb as daytrips. We, on the other hand, opted to stay in Korenica for conveniency. Korenica is a very small town, but as a base, it's only a 15 minute drive to the lakes. Go early to avoid the crowds! And be prepared to be blown away by the stunning scenery. The surprisingly awesome walking trails through the lakes makes the experience quite enjoyable. But beware, these same trails will be uber crowded if you mis-timed your walk!
>> Hostel Stay: Falling Lakes Hostel. $28/night for a private room.

// ZAGREB //
Ended our Croatian tour in none other than the Capital! I ain't gonna lie, we vegged out hardcore here! Mostly walked around City Centre for a few days until we met up yet another friend of mine from the good ol' Spain days. It was super fun catching up with Bernarda and her boyfriend over late night drinks and finger food. For 5 hours! =D Bernarda happens to be a certified tour guide, so she kindly gave us a tour of her hometown on our next meet up and, wow, I totally see Zagreb in a whole different light now! Hearing personal stories from the Communist era, sharing tidbits of life in Croatia vs USA, receiving good foodie recs - this is why I love getting the local's POV! Thank you, Bernarda, for everything!!
>> Hostel Stay: Hostel Bureau. $14/night for 6 bed dorm.
>> Recommend: Walking tour with Bernarda, City Centre, Funicular, Upper Town, Lenuci Horseshoe, Museum of Broken Relationships, Museum of Illusions, Etien Street Art, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary


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When: Late September / Early October
Temp: 70-75F in the South, 50-65F in the North
Cities: Dubrovnik, Split, Korenica, Zagreb
Stay: Refer to individual cities above.


-jin-