Croatia has been number one on my list of places to visit from the day we landed at London Heathrow over two years ago. We've attempted to book a trip several times, but in the end have always felt that airfare was beyond what seemed reasonable (compared with fares to other European countries).
Tip #1: Book Croatia in Advance
This past January I got my act together in enough advance to book a reasonably priced flight over the late UK May bank holiday. We'd fly into Dubrovnik and out of Split, and fill in the detail later.
Tip #2: Visit Croatia in the Summer
We've found that it can be advantageous to visit many places across Europe in the off-season; their charm maintained, and even heightened with a chill in the air. Visit Croatia in the summertime. The ocean is too beautiful to not snorkel; the sea too perfect to not sail. Everything about being in Croatia made me want to be near the water, bikini clad with snorkel gear in one hand and a fresh summer cocktail in the other.
We spent our first two days in the city of Dubrovnik, at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace; an absolute piece of heaven, cascading 7 floors down the side of a cliff, overlooking the crystal clear blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. Beautiful views, terraced outdoor restaurants, poolside bars and a jacuzzi overlooking the ocean, this hotel leaves nothing to the imagination! We could have easily spent a week in this hotel, without straying far from the property.
We spent a couple of hours one day walking the Ancient City Walls, which provided stunning photo opportunities of the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea.
In Croatia a fresh seafood meal is a dime a dozen, with loads of options for fresh shellfish and other delicacies, but we dined with one restaurant particularly worth mentioning. Restaurant Pantarul sources all of their ingredients by local farmers of Dubrovnik and the food is absolutely incredible! The best bit is that despite how high-end the menu is, the ambiance is cool and casual. No need for fancy dress attire!
We travelled from Dubrovnik to Split via bus; the one piece of our trip that I would not recommend in the summer, as this three hour journey up the coast was equipped with little to no air conditioning, and it was HOT.
We spent the remaining two days in Split, Croatia at The View Luxury Rooms. Although the name is a bit illusive as the accommodations are fairly standard, the rooms were cozy and in a decent location between the old city and the stretch of restaurants on the beach front.
We spent a full day in Split sailing the open seas, with Split Sailing. The crew was extremely friendly, whipped up an incredibly tasty seafood lunch, and all for an excellent price for private hire!
The nightlife is incredible in the old town, with loads of restaurants offering various types of cuisine to numerous bars and clubs if you fancy a nightcap afterwards. We ventured out to To Je Tako for Mexican food, under the good recommendation of our sailing captain, and it was just what this Texas girl needed. Being our last night on holiday, we went for it and hit the streets for a night of dancing and loads of laughter and fun in this vibrant and beautiful city!