If you missed it last week, I shared a recap of my recent trip to Italy, where I spent a week in Rome and the Amalfi Coast. Fortunately (for me), my journey did not end there! We packed up our bags and flew to Dubrovnik and spent the next week visiting different cities and islands in Croatia. If you want to spare yourself reading my recap and just look at the pictures, here’s the general overview: it is PARADISE. Heaven on earth. The most amazing country I’ve ever visited (so far). My husband and I are already trying to plan when we can go back next. Here’s some highlights, tips + suggestions from our trip to Croatia:
This is SUCH a cool city! The population is less than 50,000 people (there definitely has to be more tourists than citizens). For that reason, it is super safe and there the crime rate is basically zero. Which, if you have any travel anxiety like me when traveling out of your own country, gives you great relief! Dubrovnik is located on the Adriatic Sea which automatically makes it beautiful and much like Rome, has so much history and amazing architecture to offer.
Where to stay:
I would highly recommend staying in Old Town, which is pretty much where every tourist stays (but for good reason)! It is an area surrounded by old fortresses and ancient stone walls. No cars are allowed inside (another perk) – it’s for pedestrians only. You enter the area via the Pile Gate, which was built in 1537. Basically you walk through and imagine you’re heading to your own palace, and that the drawbridge is lifted behind you after you pass, which I feel like is every girl’s dream. It’s insanely cool. After you enter through the gate, you walk through the Stradun which is FULL of shops, bars and restaurants. The best part is most of them aren’t on the main street but tucked in all of alley ways of Stradun, which also weirdly feels like a very magical experience.
Where to eat:
Anywhere and everywhere! Dubrovnik is full of many different types of restaurants, and we never had a bad meal. Unlike Italy, Croatia branches out a bit more with its cuisine so if you aren’t in the mood for their specialty (Mediterranean), you have much more to choose from here – anything from Mexican to Sushi! They even had a really great craft brewery which we enjoyed.
What to do:
Most definitely walk the Walls of Dubrovnik. They are a series of defensive walls surround the city that date back to 12th century. You get breathtaking views of the whole city and the sea, and it’s just beyond incredible. If you want to read more about it, please do yourself a favor and google more! It was my favorite thing we did there. The following day we spent at Banje Beach, which was a short walk from Old Town. I would highly recommend going here as well! It was a great full service beach (food, drink, towels, chairs) with a fun atmosphere and more amazing views – and of course, the beautiful Adriatic Sea which felt SO refreshing after walking around!
What to pack:
The Boji Blue Maxi Dress was the perfect dress for leisurely strolling around Old Town and also for casual outside dining in Dubrovnik. Bonus that the blue of the dress is complimented by the beautiful sea! I tied the Charcoal Grey Maxi Skirt in the front and used it as a swim cover-up when we went to Banje Beach. It’s lightweight and super comfortable when you need to walk home after!
In Dubrovnik, we rented a car and drove up the coastline to catch a car ferry to Hvar Island. I would also highly recommend renting a car and making this coastal drive. The views are absolutely breathtaking! To be fair, I just sat in the passenger’s seat and basked in the glory of the scenery – my husband did say it was a bit of an intimidating drive. I say… #WORTHIT.
Where to stay:
Once you reach the island by ferry, it’s super easy to navigate the island by car – not nearly as intimidating as the coastline drive! There are many places you can stay on Hvar Island, and I have heard many good things about Hvar Town (probably the most popular tourist destination) and some other places. However, we found an AMAZING Air BnB in the town of Jelsa and I have zero regrets about not making it anywhere else on the island. Jelsa is a town of less than 5,000 people and we fell head over heels in love with the town and the people. We stayed on a winery that overlooked the sea with a private pool; otherwise known as my happy place.
What to do:
Explore the town of Jelsa! There are fresh produce and meat markets, as well as a good number of bars and restaurants. We walked to pick up our own food each morning and made / grilled food at our Air BnB! There are 3 public beaches in Jelsa – but bring your own chairs and towels as the town is too little to have full service beaches. There are also options to rent bikes or boats. The water was super calm and next time we will definitely be renting a boat and enjoying the water!
What to pack:
There’s no better way to live your best island life than in our Palm Print Maxi!
After our trip ended, we already started scheming what our next trip would look like. I am still dying to go to Greece and my husband can’t wait to go see Australia and New Zealand. This trip definitely instilled in us a bigger urge to travel and we’re already eager to plan something for next year! I’m curious to know – what’s on your bucket list or what is your most favorite place you have traveled?! Write me in the comments! Thanks for reading 🙂 Alli