Last year I had the great opportunity to visit Croatia for the first time and, given the coverage I’ve provided on this site, I think it’s obvious that I fell in love with the country. Croatia surpassed my expectations in every way, from the food to the people and of course the stunning scenery. I’ve thought a lot about that trip and how much I’d like to return and delve deeper into the culture, learning even more about the history, people and traditions that have shaped Croatia into the country it is today. Well, soon I’ll have that precise opportunity.
Starting Tuesday I, along with a few other bloggers, will spend a week road tripping through Croatia, seeing what we can discover, meeting locals and just living the country to the fullest. The goal is to see how easy it is to drive around the country independently, stopping off at cool areas and points of interest whenever the desire strikes. It’s how I prefer to travel and I’m eager to see how Croatia lends itself to this kind of exploration.
Of course I do have a loose itinerary, starting off in the capital city Zagreb where I will revisit favorite sights, discover new ones and eat a lot of amazing food along the way. There are always festivals going on during the warm, summer months and hopefully I’ll be able to stumble on one, enjoying music and good times with friends as the sun sets in the evening. Since I’ve already been to Zagreb I’m interested in learning more about the history and culture of the city. Did you know the necktie was invented in Croatia? Yeah, me either, but I’ll be tracing its roots in the next few days, along with discovering local candies and how regional artists make some of the famous crafts for which the region is so well known.
Jumping into the car, I’ll head towards one of my favorite cities anywhere – Zadar. I discovered this under-the-radar town last year and am extremely excited to once again be within the city walls, walking along the cobblestone paths and witnessing what has been called the best sunset in the world. As nice as Zadar is, it’s also well located near some incredible natural sites, including Pag (cheese!) and national parks like Paklenica, home to the largest and best-preserved forest complex in Dalmatia. Rock climbers from around the world descend on this park (or ascend as the case might be) and from my own personal experience I can attest to just how beautiful the landscapes there are.
The final part of the road trip through Croatia is concentrated on the coastal cities and smaller towns and villages not far from the water. Sibenik, Skradin and Split are all special in their own unique ways, from amazing views of the sea to fun activities like falconry, hiking and kayaking. Most importantly, I can’t wait to see the scenery driving through this dramatic part of the country.
The adventure ends in the most popular tourist spot in Croatia, Dubrovnik. I devoted a fair amount of ink to this city since I visited last year, and with good reason. Sure it’s touristy, but there’s a good reason for that- it’s amazing. The warm sun radiating against the stone of the ancient walls is mesmerizing, as are the narrow alleyways through the old town hiding tiny cafes and restaurants that are nearly impossible to find more than once. Dubrovnik is a special place and I’m excited to get slightly off the tourist trail there and learn more about the city from a local’s point of view.
This is a road trip and while some things are planned, many are not. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing and seeing during my time in Croatia but I do know I’m going to love every minute of exploration and discovery. So starting June 17, please follow me and my fellow bloggers (@Bloggeries, @TravelBlggr & @AdventurousKate) by keeping tabs on the #ExploreCroatia hashtag on all platforms, but especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we share with the world what it’s really like to road trip through Croatia and what we discover along the way.
Do you have any advice for me before I start the road trip?
This campaign was created and sponsored by Croatian National Tourist Board in partnership with iambassador. LandLopers retains all editorial control of what is published and as you know, I never shy away from honest commentary.