Croatia was a really pleasant surprise — an all-around great experience. We traveled mainly on buses, which are comfortable and plentiful, but also spent a lot of time on ferries (more on that below). Click on the following link for all our posts re: Croatia:

http://www.travelingbones.com/?cat=155

Here are a couple of maps of our route through the country:

Our route through Croatia

Our route through Croatia: Arrival in Split, followed by a bus ride to Trogir, another bus ride to Zadar, another bus to Plitvice Lakes, and a final bus transfer to Zagreb. Buses rule in Croatia. Trains are not the best means of transport. Click on the map for a bigger image.

Day trips from Split

Day trips from Split. While the town of Split is rather touristy and congested during the summer, it's perfect for day trips to neighboring islands like Bra─Ź. We also took a bus to Brela, which turned out to be our favorite village in Croatia (and the beaches are fantastic -- though a little rocky).

While buses were our preferred means of transport for going from town to town, we also took our fair share of ferries. They have tons of ferries in Croatia, and they’re incredibly cheap. They don’t always get you where you want to go when you want to go, though, so you need to check the schedule ahead of time. Some boats only come once a day, usually headed in the wrong direction!

As for pictures, here’s a few of our best shots:

Split's main tower

Split's main tower in Diocletian's Palace.

Water around Brela Beach

Turquoise water around Brela Beach.

Sunset off the coast of Zadar

Sunset off the coast of Zadar.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The "Sun Salutation" in Zadar.

The "Sun Salutation" in Zadar.

St. Mark's, Zagreb.

St. Mark's, Zagreb.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Try to avoid flip-flops in the old coastal towns (Trogir, Split, etc.) as they are paved with old, worn stones. The stones are incredibly slippery!
  • If your bus leaves at 4:00, go to the bus stop at 3:30. Buses leave terminals on time, but stop times along the route are only an approximation. We were lucky to catch buses that were sometimes 25 minutes ahead of schedule.
  • If you’re going to the beach, bring a Therm-a-Rest pad (or equivalent). The beaches can be rocky and a simple towel just doesn’t do the trick.
  • No need to worry — everyone under the age of 40 speaks English very well.
  • “Toast” often doesn’t mean toasted bread in restaurants. It probably means a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. So if you’re wondering why toast costs $4.00 for breakfast, that’s why. Try asking them for “grilled bread”.

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Croatia (June 23-July 4, 2011)

  • Europe