Island Hopping In Croatia

Croatia has always been on my bucket list and it did not disappoint. Everywhere we went I repeatedly said ‘Holy shit, that’s beautiful!’My boyfriend (Stephen) and I panned and booked all the accommodation, ferries and flights ourselves pretty easily. We visited two cities and 3 islands. There are more than 4,000 islands in Croatia so if you don’t like the sound of the islands we visited, I’m sure there is at least one out there for you!

First stop – Dubrovnik.

This beautiful city has something for everyone. You can go hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, swimming, sunbathing, shopping, yachting etc etc. We had only planned two nights unfortunately, but you can easily spend your whole holiday exploring everything this city has to offer.

Where we stayed:

Cosmopolitan house.

I can not stress how amazing the owner of Cosmopolitan House was. He picked us up from the airport (he even had a sign saying our names), he told us some of the history of the city and other interesting facts on the drive to the house. On arrival he gave us free Cosmopolitan cocktails and traditional Croatian ‘snacks’. He gave us a free map and told us exactly how to get from the house to the bus, what bus to get and how to buy the tickets. When he was explaining everything, I realised how little we had prepared for this and was so thankful for all his advice and help! We paid a little more to get a sea view, and wow, was it worth it! It made getting up early, pretty easy.  So, book with Cosmopolitan House when you’re next in Dubrovnik!

What we did:

  • Game of thrones and Dubrovnik Tour – The one and only thing I wanted to do was the Game of Thrones tour (Dubrovnik is used for the setting of Kings Landing from season 2 onwards). However, Stephen dislikes GOT so I found a tour that was the best of both worlds – Game of thrones and Dubrovnik Tour.  This tour combined the rich history of Dubrovnik and revisits the scenes of the most famous events in King’s Landing
  • Walk on top of the City Walls – With the tour, we received a 20% discount to walk on top of the city walls. However, if you also have a student card, you can do it for FREE!
  • Take the cable car to Srd Hill – You can either hike up the mountain or take the lazy way up and take the cable car. The views at the top so beautiful and definitely a must-do if you visit this beautiful city!
  • Explored old town – the old town is surrounded by the ancient city walls. The old town is tourist central. Its full of souvenir shops, sight seeing tours, restaurants, shops. If you walk to the other side of the old town, there is a harbor. This is the prefect place to book yourself on a excursion to a nearby island or rent a boat. If you don’t have a boat license, no problem, you can still hire a boat!

 

 

Top Tip:

  • If you can’t climb stairs, reconsider going to Dubrovnik. The city has a grand total of 4,343 steps within the perimeter of the wall.  The city wall has a grand total of 1,080 steps which does include the three entrances.
  • If you are looking to island hop in the high season – BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE BEFORE YOU GO! It gets really busy in high season and there is limited seating in the ferries. Buy them on http://www.krilo.hr/ and http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/ferry-croatia.

Next stop – Mljet

Mljet, beautiful Mljet! Mljet was my favourite island that we visited. It is 90% trees, so if you aren’t a nature lover, Mljet might not be the place for you.

Where we stayed:

Apartment in Sobra, Mljet

This apartment had a beautiful sea view, very clean, perfect for a couple or a small family. The kitchen is perfect to cook yourself your breakfast and dinner so you can keep your cost down. Our host, Anita, was the perfect host! She offered to drive us to and from the national park (for a small price), you do have to wake up early, but its worth it! The only bad thing I can say about this property, is the location. We arrived in Mljet at 7pm into a harbor which was a 30minute drive away to the apartment. We saw no sign of any buses or taxis. A local noticed the scared looking tourist and asked if we needed any help. He told us there were no buses or taxis at that time of the night since it was the low season (just our luck!) Thankfully, his boss let him drive us to our apartment! The scenery to our apartment was absolutely amazing which made up for the location. However, if you are thinking of visiting Mljet, try and stay in Pomena in low season!

 

What we did:

  • Walk/cycle around the salt lakes in the National Park. This is must, if you visit Mljet! In low season its free to visit but there is a fee to enter in high season. There are plenty of places for you to go for a dip in the impossibly blue lakes!
  • Visit the Monastery on St Mary’s Island– there is a free boat to the Monastery that leaves from two spots, or if you see a flag at the side of the road, if you wave it, the waiter from the restaurant will get in his boat and pick you up!!
  • Hike up Montokuc– This is another must do! Montokuc is the highest mountain in Mljet and the hike up is definitely worth all the sweat you produce!
  • Visit Soline – Soline is town in the National park and the only sandy beach we seen!

What you should also do:

  • Visit the cave at Babino Polje
  • Sun bathe on the ‘sandy’ beaches at Saplunara

 

Next Stop – Korcula

Korcula is a very different island from Mljet.  It has an ‘old town’ like Dubrovnik which is surrounded by a wall and one of their towers has been turned into a roundabout. If you are a “fan” of Macro Polo, you would love Korcula, since this this is his birthplace. the island is full of Macro Polo shops and museums.

Where we stayed:

Korcula’s Secret Apartments & Rooms

The apartment was a 5minute walk from Korcula’s main harbour which was great! The apartment was lovely! We booked the double room with a shared bathroom but because we were the only ones in the apartment, we had the bathroom all to ourselves! The host was very helpful and there was lots of leaflets and maps about Korcula available to take and read at your leisure.

What we did:

  • Explored the town
  • Went on a semi-submarine– this underwater tour is great fun! We were the only two on the tour which was great! It is definitely aimed at children but we loved it!
  • Eat dinner at Cupido – Cupido is one of the many restaurant that lined the city walls. Out of the 20+ that is situated on that promenade, we liked the view there the best. I ordered pork chops and Stephen ordered chicken wok and OMG it was amazing! I don’t know what they did to make the food taste amazing, but tasted goooooood.

We only had one day here so the rest of the time we just chilled on a rocky beach!

 

Next Stop – Hvar

Hvar is one of the biggest party islands, so if you love to party, this is the island for you! However, if you are like us and not a big fan of clubs, don’t worry, Hvar has still got more to offer!

Where we stayed

Hostel Marinero

This hostel was a two minute walk from where we got off from the ferry. We stayed in a 8-Bed Mixed Dormitory Room with Private Bathroom. It was very clean and had everything you want from a shared bedroom! The receptionist was great! We often sat down beside her on the stairs (the only place you could get WiFi) and exchange stories. I really recommend staying hostels to meet new people and please ignore people that say anything bad about hostels; hostels are full of young exploring the world.

What we did

  • Rented a Dune Buggy – You can rent absolutely anything if you have a driving license! We decided that a dune buggy was the coolest! It is the perfect way to see the whole island and all the small fisherman villages, vine yards and lavender fields while having the time of your life!
  • Cliff jumping – we met of with few people from our hostel that new a place to cliff jump. I didn’t personally join in but if you love a adrenaline rush, I really recommend to ask a local where to go cliff jumping!
  • Hiked the mountain up to the fortress– It is hard to miss the fortess ontop of the mountain when you arrive into Hvar. There is a small fee to enter the fortress; however if you go at low season and be there early, you could get lucky like us and sneak in for free but shhh don’t tell anyone else that!
  • Kayak tour– We loved this! If you ask in any tourist shop that advertise excursions, ask them about the kayak tour! It costs around £35 per person for 3/4 hours including dinner and snorkeling equipment. If you are there at low season, the restaurant may not be open so its cheaper and ask for the snorkeling equipment because the instructor won’t think to bring them since the sea is pretty cold.

Top Tip:

  • EAT AT DALMATINO! This is the BEST restaurant I have ever been too! The service is incredible! Before each course, they give you a FREE shot. Before the main course they gave us a piece of carob fruit (it’s a fruit that tastes like chocolate!) and a shot of carob brandy (best brandy I have ever tasted!), before dessert we got a sage brandy which was pinky/purpley (pretty good too!) and after dessert you got to taste cherry wine! Good food, good service, free alcohol…. what else can you ask for?

Last Stop – Split

We only had a few hours in Split due to our trip being cut short. But I think we packed a lot in, in those few hours! Split is a different kind of city from Dubrovnik, the whole city is touristy unlike Dubrovnik. Split has kept a few ancient artifacts such as the bell tower and parts of city wall.

What we did:

  • Climbed the bell tower– the view is worth the scary climb, trust me!
  • Shopped – Split is full of high end shops so it’s great to go shopping in!
  • Visited froggyland – This is the FUNNIEST museum! It is filled with over 500 stuffed frogs posing in real life situations like at a party, in a courtroom or a circis! It is so funny and worth a visit!

 

So basically, what I am trying to say is, go visit Croatia! It was one of the best holidays I have been on and I definitely will be going back!

Peace out my wanderers,
Lisa

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Feel free tell me about your experiences of Croatia and any other comments below.

 

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