Dear Croatia, I cannot contain the excitement of seeing you again. I know addressing an inanimate country might be strange, but after my first visit I discovered that behind all those towering fortresses lies a whole lot of life and soul. Seven years ago we had the pleasure of meeting, and while you probably don’t remember me, one of thousands of tourists, I remember you as vividly as if it was yesterday. Such was the mark you left on me that I was magnetically drawn to come back again.
Deemed one of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean, Croatia feels untouched and unspoilt. Although now highly developed and part of the European Union, this country still preserves its rustic charm and centuries’ old traditions. All holidays in Croatia are a bite of history washed down by tons of sweet and cheep wine.
And once again, I decided to follow the unwritten law that holidays in Croatia should not go without visiting Dubrovnik. Once you have walked the walls of the Old City you will understand perfectly what I’m talking about. For around 20$, you get to delight in a unique panorama of impressive medieval architecture, golden rooftops and turquoise Adriatic sea. And now that I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, I cannot wait to discover all the filming locations in real life.
But besides history, Dubrovnik is also rich in ways you can unwind. After you’re done strolling the marbled streets, you can catch your breath at a quiet beach on a nearby island like Lokrum, Sipan or Mljet. And after all that swimming you can quench your hunger and thirst in one of the many tavernas serving delicious seafood and local wine.
After all that exploring in the sun, it’s refreshing to catch a glimpse of nature. And oh, what breathtaking glimpses Plitvice Lakes Natural Park offers. Imagine an Amazonian-like experience in the heart of Europe, stripped of any dangers lurking in the actual Amazon. Sixteen crystalline lakes lie hidden within this thickly forested national park. You can experience their beauty while walking 18km of wooden footbridges that snake along the a pristine freshness of water and greenery. The series of rumbling waterfalls and cascades tumble into each other and create a fairytale landscape. And believe me when I say that the 6 hours it took me to walk it from one end to the other, actually left me energized as opposed to tired.
These are just some of the highlights of my previous holiday which I look forward to seeing again. But every new trip is an opportunity to discovered something you might have missed. This time I also want to focus on some spots I’ve overlooked such as Split, Torgir and Hvar – small towns but with a dynamic nightlife, cheap markets, and popular art scene. Or perhaps travel deeper mainland and get to discover some larger and booming cities such as the capital Zagreb. There are so many things to do in Croatia, let’s see where my adventurous spirit takes me!