Croatia


We Flew into Zagreb, but with only a few days, and dying for some sea-side-sun, we opted to head straight for the coast. We took a bus from Zagreb’s airport to it’s bus station, and then another from the bus station to Split.

An interior portion of Diocletian’s Palace

My favorite thing about Split is Diocletian’s Palace (a UNESCO world Heritage site), which in ruins, now houses a labyrinth of restaurants, shops, and market vendor’s stalls. During the day wander through the market, and when it is lit up at night, it is a great place to grab a drink. There is a surreal juxtaposition of the old palace walls, with its neighboring pedestrian ‘see and be seen’ street, with polished marble sidewalks, and massive futuristic light posts, palm trees, and a sleu of over priced sidewalk coffee bars, all complete with overstuffed white cushions on wicker sofas and chairs.

Split’s pedestrian street. photo courtesy of the Chicago Athenaeum

From Split, we took a quick ferry ride to the island of Hvar, arguably the most beautiful island in Croatia. The rocky ‘beaches’ are overflowing with sunbathers – bikini tops optional – and the many beach bars playing loud music from 10am until around 2am attract people all day. Hula Hula Beach Bar is a good starting point, as it’s relatively close to town, the farther you walk along the coast, the smaller a more low-key the bars become.

Sunning and swimming on Hvar

I really wish that we had more time in Croatia. On my next visit I’ll definitely book a mini-cruise along the coast which seems to be the best way to utilize time. The boats dock at various cities from Zadar to Dubrovnik for swimming and exploration. BusAbout and STA both offer student focused versions of this cruise.

Getting There:
The two easiest ways to get to Croatia are to fly, or take the ferry. There are train routes, but they are lengthly and usually more expensive. A number of low-cost airlines such as fly directly to Croatia’s major cities. Wizz Air flys to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb – and SkyEurope goes to the coastal cities of Zagrab, Split, and Dubrovnik.
The ferry line Jadrolinija runs ferries both within the Croatian islands, and to the Italian cities of Bari and Ancona.

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