The diamond of the Dalmatian coast.
Croatia has been brought to the attention of the public after several years by advertisements from Game of Thrones. But these filming locations only touch the surface of this beautiful and lesser known country. For anyone looking for somewhere with culture, sun, beautiful scenery and a rich history this is the place to visit. The water is the icon of Croatia as it is always clear, crystal blue.
Since the crash in tourism in Greece people have been looking else where in the Mediterranean to visit. Croatia makes up the majority of the coast line of the Balkans and stretches into the south of the alps. There are two very different habitats that make up the country. The area in the north and around Zagreb is rich temperate forest and south along the coast from Zadar to Dubrovnik is scrub.
Croatia has a lot of islands running down the coast line which are incredibly popular get away for family’s and adults on a low budget looking for a good time. Braĉ (Brach) has the golden horn beach, an amazing feature of golden stones stretching out towards Hzar also known as the party island. These islands are packed with people in the summer but dead in the winter. All are easily accessed by boats with buses available in the winter. These islands also have turtles, blue lagoons and waterfalls but these are only open between March to October.
On the mainland are rivers made up of special sediment which builds up over time to create stunning waterfalls that reach miles up the river. The most accessible are KrKa falls and Plitvice falls. These are natural protected features and highly popular that the parks are limited to 10000 people a day. Tours booked in advanced are the best way to visit these waterfalls. The day trip is worth it and if its hot you can swim in the waters or kayak between the peaks.
For those who like the more historical side, there are several fortresses up the coast including loads of roman sites. Some which are perfectly preserved and hiding their own secrets. Split and Dubrovnik hold palaces and fortresses seen in games of thrones but these can date back further for hundreds of years.
The area has excellent roads but the best way to get around is by boat. There are not any trains and the bus services are not the most reliable or comfortable but it is easy enough to move between locations. Flying is also an option as well. If you get the bus between Dubrovnik and Bosnia you will need to remember your passport to cross the borders.
The country uses the Kuna as its currency which is currently 1 to 8 against the pound. Taxis, food and night life are incredibly cheap especially if you eat in but be warned, people can smoke inside.
The only downside is the increase in tourism makes places like Split and Dubrovnik so busy that there is no where to move and the prices increase exponentially so avoid the busy season. They are putting in restrictions on all off the sites.
Each city has its own secrets and sites which I will highlight in my next post.