Croatia is one of those odd countries from my travel repertoire. Officially I have been to Croatia 3 times, and to 3 different cities and to no towns or villages! Also, until today I never really wrote about it, in fact I didn’t even have a blog section for it – almost like a forgotten bit of backpacking! All that despite the fact that I loved watching the Croatia national football team in World Cups – Suker and Modric loyal. I guess I wasn’t blown away by its madness at the time and still wouldn’t rank it in my top 5 for Europe but while I reflect, I probably didn’t give the country enough airtime. I visited Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb. If you are backpacking in Croatia here are three tips on things I recommend doing.
1.Explore Dubrovnik’s Old Town
As textbook as it may seem, I also backpacked this one – Dubrovnik. The famous UNESCO listed Old Town of Dubrovnik is worth a look. Be aware that it gets packed on hot days and in recent years, the prices of things have shot up due to the huge influx of tourists. Naked Brits were also given warnings by local peelers and drunken locals have also been known to congregate on the streets at night with a carryout. However, the charm is clear to see. Lots of good bars and restaurants too and don’t forget about the new city too – where modern day Dubrovnik really happens.
2.Go Sailing on the coast
When you look at the map, you cannot help but notice Croatia’s large, long coastline. The country sits on the Adriatic Coast and runs intill the Mediterranean Sea. There are many options for sailing holidays in Croatia. You can charter your own boat, take your yacht there, head on a cruise or there is always the backpacker option…which is just arrive there and do a spontaneous cruise. In the summer, the clear blue waters of the Adriatic are gorgeous. You can get a night cruise with a great feast and a bar. There are also many islands and beaches to stop off at and visit. If you are on a longer cruise you can also check out Neum in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kotor in Montenegro.
3.Explore the capital Zagreb
As a football fan, I first heard of Zagreb as a kid when I saw Dinamo Zagreb mentioned in a football magazine in one of the European tournaments. At the time of course, Zagreb was part of the former Yugoslavia and I knew nothing about it. Zagreb was the third city I visited in Croatia (after Dubrovnik and Split). The main markets area is worth a look as well as the numerous monuments and gardens by the train station. Stop off for a coffee or a beer too – the city is pumping a party beat on weekends.
I also visited Split, another seaside town worth a day or two to explore…