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8 Reasons Why I Love Croatia

I was looking through my holiday photos the other day, sighing with sadness that travelling has become such a difficult thing to enjoy these days, but also smiling because I have so many memories to be grateful for. Last summer I spent a week in Croatia with my best friend and it was one of the most picturesque and cultured places I've ever been. There's so much I love about Croatia but I'll narrow it down to eight reasons why I do...

Dubrovnik Old Town

There are many different parts of Croatia that attract tourists year-round; the capital Zagreb,  Split, and of course Dubrovnik. I stayed in a quieter part of Croatia called Babin Kuk but conveniently it was only a 10-minute drive from Dubrovnik.

There is a lot to see in Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town, so I’d recommend spending two days to really make the most of it. The moment you arrive in the city you straight away notice the massive stone walls that encompass the Old Town and the mix of Baroque and Gothic buildings. It’s really quite striking and makes for many photo opportunities. 

We had a tour guide to tell us the highlights and most interesting parts of the city. We had a stroll in and out of the old walls, walked down Stradun, and saw Rector’s Palace, Church of Saint Blaise (picture above), and Sponza Palace.

Now, I’ve never watched Game of Thrones in my life, nor do I want to because I really am just not the biggest fantasy genre fan. However, taking photos in the famous filming locations, like the Jesuit stairs, is super Insta-worthy.

Onofrio's Fountain

My favourite part of Dubrovnik has to be Onofrio’s Fountain. I just love the history behind it… it was buit in 1438 to ensure there was always a sufficient supply of water in the city. What I love even more is that it’s still fully functioning today. All you need to do is put your water bottle up to the tap and you have a fresh supply of water. I just think the communal feel of this is great.

Pirate ship cruises

Pirate ship cruises in Dubrovnik are incredibly popular and easy to book. It’s best to pre-book rather than turn up in the city and expect to get a place though, so just bear that in mind! We were greeted with a glass of champagne when we stepped on board, which was a nice touch of luxury to prepare us for our sunset cruise. 

Later on, a jam-packed buffet was laid out on both sides of the ship in a ‘help yourself’ style. There was all sorts to choose from… pasta, cheese, meat, potatoes, fish, and plenty of Croatian favourites. We ate, drank, listened to music, and watched the sun make its descent for around two and a half hours. After dark, the Old Town walls are illuminated by different eye-catching colours. Once again… a great photo opportunity!

Cats everywhere!

I’m definitely more of a dog lover but there were SO many cute cats everywhere in Croatia. You do tend to find there are a lot of strays abroad and they’re so hard to resist. Put it this way, if there were spare chips on my plate the cats definitely got them. 

Amazing cuisine

I got halfway through this post before I mentioned food… I’m quite proud of myself. One of my absolute favourite parts about travelling anywhere is trying new food. The only way I can describe the food in Croatia… it’s just exceptional quality.

I had everything from pasta and risotto to steak and seafood. Everything was always so well-presented, flavoursome, and just the best of the best. A steak was a good steak and seafood was just delicious. 

My favourite restaurant in Babin Kuk has to be Restaurant Komin. We discovered this place on the first night of our holiday and ended up eating twice here throughout the week. I think what really makes this place is the atmospheric outdoor seating area. 

I ordered steak with gnocchi and we both shared a massive bottle of red wine – bigger than your average! Every bite was just amazing. I’ll remember that meal forever.

Coral Beach Club

Coral Beach Club is nestled directly on pebbly shores, with non-obnoxious music playing, and stunning decor. It’s the perfect setting to spend an entire day drinking prosecco, cocktails, and ice-cold rose. Which is exactly what we did because I was turning 24 when I was here. Personally, I wouldn’t have enjoyed turning 24 any other way.

The people

I also just like everyone in Croatia. Every single person we came across was friendly and approachable. The hospitality was fantastic and everything was served with a smile. The locals were pleasant and seemed like generally happy people. 

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Day trips to Montenegro

We got to experience two countries in one during our holiday in Croatia. We had our passports, so we decided to book a day trip to Montenegro.  Why not?!

It took a few hours by coach to reach Montenegro from Babin Kuk but the beautiful scenery made the time pass much faster. The longest part of the journey was waiting to get through border control as they obviously had to check all of our passports.

It is unbelievably hot in Montenegro – just a forewarning. Every step I took or way I turned there would be a brand new bead of sweat trickling down my face. 

Our fantastic tour guide took us to visit the small artificial island of Our Lady of the Rocks and also the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon. I found that the history here was fascinating and everything was so picture-perfect. I particularly loved the striking ceiling inside the church on the island of Our Lady of the Rocks; it told such an amazing story.

I’d really love to go back to Montenegro at some point in the future. Maybe actually stay here for a holiday… I’d definitely need to take SPF50 and a hand-held fan with a lifetime supply of batteries though.

 

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