Our drive from Montenegro up the coast into Croatia was pretty short, although a big line at customs held us up a little. Not sure what the purpose of the checkpoint is, the guy didn’t even take our passports just waved us on. Guess we’ll take that to mean we look trusting.
Our first night we stayed at a campsite a few km south of Dubrovnik. We got there with the afternoon ahead of us so got a taxi boat into the Old Town. The first thing we did was take the cable car up the hill to get a great view across all of Dubrovnik and the sea beyond it. Couldn’t have picked a better day for it.
We also wandered around the Old Town for a while but it just felt like it was packed with Aussie, US and English tourists and it just didn’t feel as nice as the other Old Towns we’ve been to.
It didn’t seem like a single Croat actually lived there. It was also a bit of a shock to see the prices of food /drink etc, much more expensive than Montenegro.
The buildings are beautiful and the location right on the Adriatic is perfect but we decided pretty quickly that we didn’t want to spend long here, so after a nice sunset boat ride back to the campsite and a night in The Goo we ventured off again.
We got the car ferry to Mljet Island which has a National Park covering the top 1/3 of the island. Our campsite was a little remote, a few km round a hill on another 1 lane road, in a beautiful bay. We had to take the opportunity for a swim off the small beach.
The main attraction on the island is the 2 salt water lakes which are a beautiful spot to relax and have a swim in the clear water.
This was by the big lake but we also walked around to the small lake which seemed more popular for people swimming in the shallow water. This is where Matt tried to hone his Lleyton Hewitt impersonation.
After a drive to the south tip of the island we stumbled upon a sand beach which was a welcome change to the pebble/stone ones we’ve seen so far.
From Mljet we got another car ferry to Korcula. Another great little town with plenty of character.
We had another great site for The Goo, parked in amongst trees 20 metres from the water.
You could get by with never leaving the campsite, like many in Europe they have a grocers, pizza place, grill bar and are joined to a hotel which has a cafe/restaurant and wifi. The cafe did well out us enjoying their apple strudel and coffee a couple of days.
We’re really glad we invested in snorkel gear and a fishing rod from the market in town even though we haven’t caught anything on our fishing outings.
Next stop was Hvar Island, with yet another cute Old Town that is obviously one of the stops for the Sail Croatia trips.
Lots of boats tied up together overnight. Great place for a magical sunset.
We opted to hire our own superyacht for a day.
We got off to a bit of a bumpy start due to a windy morning but once we got amongst the shelter of the islands we were fine. Had a fun day fishing and having our picnic lunch with the wasps.
We also walked up the the fortress above the town, great views of the smaller Islands.
We decided it was time to get back to to the mainland so back on the car ferry.
Zadar was our next stop, we enjoyed looking around here even though our sightseeing was interrupted by a couple of thunder storms. The town has plenty of locals around so it feels a bit more authentic than the likes of Dubrovnik.
One of the cool things to see/hear is the sea organ. The water hits the steps with strategically placed holes and produces sounds like an organ. The sound is best when the wake of boats hits.
Pag Island was a great place to visit, we couldn’t turn down the chance to sample some of the worlds best sheep cheese so did a full tour/tasting at the Gligora factory.
It was a lot of fun and an interesting place to look around, smelt amazing.
We go to see the whole operation but the storage fridge was the best. So many different types and ages of cheese in there.
Our only issue with the tasting was that we liked too many of them. We decided in our three favourites; 100% sheep, mix of sheep and cow and 100% cow. We didn’t like the goat cheese so much.
The sheep cheese is the world’s best because of the winter winds that bring salt to the island and the wild herbs that the sheep eat while in their stone walled paddocks.
In the end we left the island with about 1kg of cheese – Good job we were catching up with friends Eric and Pip so they could help us out eating it.
We met them at Plitvice Lakes, a collection of lakes joint by waterfalls.
Being Croatias No. 1 tourist attraction there were lots of tour groups but once we got on the walkways further away it was actually a really beautiful peaceful place to be.
It was great to have a couple of nights catching up with friends, stayed up after 9pm being the latest nights we’ve had in ages, it was good for us.
The best thing about Croatia was being in the water – super clear and great to swim in. We found the landscape a little barren in many places we visited, the food average and perhaps overall just lacking character compared to other places we’ve visited.
Well ok the sunsets were pretty good.
Next stop Italy which is definitely not lacking in character and the food is way above average.