Visa type: Short term visa in France, Travelled from France to Croatia on same Schengen visa
Transport: Croatia has a wide range of transport amenities to indulge in the country’s impressive panoramic views. However, careful planning is needed to travel to different destinations and islands. If it is between major cities, choose to take flights as we found flights are cheaper than other transport facilities. For intercity transport, buses are comfortable and regular but make sure you look up on bus timings as the frequency changes during night. There is eurail croatia pass for travelling in trains in three to eight days within a month period but the value of this service totally depends on the places you travel. however renting a car would be a great option for meticulously planned island hopping and road tripping. You can also choose to experience ferry travelling although it might be a little tricky to find a flexible schedule and ports due to their distant location from the city. With some detailed planning, Croatia is a great country to explore via the various modes of transport available there.
Place not to miss: It is a little difficult to choose from among the many breath taking islands in Croatia. If you really have to visit one city and one place, I would suggest Dubrovnik for its history and splendid views of city walls. Do consider accommodation inside city walls or around the Stradun to enjoy the nightlife of Dubrovnik.
Food recommendations: The fusion of different culinary cultures in Croatia is seen right from landing in the country. I found a nice assortment of Italian, Mediterranean and the best sea food during my stay. However, if you wish to experience local Croatian food, do try Peka (ipsode peke), a Croatian meat style of cooking or sea food under the bell shaped lid on charcoal. In addition to it, do include popular Croatian stews like Pasticada-a beef stew, Brodet-fish stew and Duvec-tomato based stew. Also, do try fritule-small donuts for desserts and the popular Croatian cheese-prsut or pag cheese before leaving Croatia.
Day tours from capital: Zagreb, the Croatian capital offers a mix of Austro-Hungarian architecture and hosts good day tours around Croatia and its neighboring countries. If you love National Parks, you cannot miss “Plitvice Lakes National Park”, a UNESCO heritage site within 2 hours from Zagreb known for its turquoise streams and landscapes. In addition, Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital is also a good choice by car or public transport.also check out travel companies offering day tours to Ljubljana and Lake Bled from Zagreb. In addition, do consider escaping to Italy for a weekend to get the best out of your travels. We chose to travel to Italy from Dubrovnik and it’s not a bad option either.
Best season to travel: Spring and summer
Croatia is beautiful to visit in any season however it is ideal for swimming and outdoor activities from May to September when temperatures are warm. I would say peak summer is best season to enjoy water sports with a bonus of popular music festivals in splendid views of Croatian islands.
Personal insights: Our Croatian travels were mere luck. We had no clue of this country and its beauty until we visited. The very first sight of those lovely red roof-tiled houses with scenic seascapes took my breath away. It was so awe-inspiring to see such unique natural landscapes in Europe. I had no clue why Croatia was overlooked in past European travel itineraries but now with growing travel bloggers and GOT publicity, I am so glad Croatia is a hot destination for many nature lovers. It is an absolute pleasure to stroll around those blissful views and historic places. Who knows one may also end up seeing a popular public personality? We did. We got an opportunity to see the current German chancellor, Angela Merkel and other European leaders at the Leaders meeting held in Dubrovnik during our travels.
In Bonus, i also found Croatians to be warm and wonderful people. Our host at Airbnb was very nice to share some GOT stories. Best part of Croatia is that people speak English as most of them work in tourism sector. Along with marvelous islands, wonderful beaches and friendly Croatians, no traveler could ever think to not include Croatia in their European travels.