CityLove: Day Trips from Dubrovnik

Day trips to take from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons: Mario Fajt

Dubrovnik, for all of its beauty, is a small city. While there are plenty of things to do in this gorgeous Croatian seaside town, if you’re planning on spending more than a few days, I always suggest taking some day trips. While it is easy to simply spend time lounging at the beach, dining on fresh Croatian dishes and exploring the Old City, there is so much more which awaits outside the city walls. It is near the islands, Bosnia, and Montenegro, making it is superb launching point to go and venture out to other spots nearby.

So, head out from your Durbovnik hotel and get exploring! My favorite day trips from Dubrovnik:

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Daily Wanderlust: Split from above

It’s been nearly four years since I started d travels ’round. In that time, I have traveled much of Europe, parts of Africa, SE Asia and have become an expat in Thailand. To say four years flies by is a HUGE understatement.

Today, I want to pay homage to the town that started this life of mine, Split. This gorgeous Croatian town is where I had my Adriatic enlightenment and decided to live my life for me, by my set of rules, rather what society told me was right.

Four years ago, I was in Split at this time. Wandering through Diocletian’s Palace, climbing the many, many stairs of the bell tower, and being treated to views like this. Standing at the top of the tower, gentle sea breeze kissing my face, made me feel so tiny in this world around me. But, it also awakened a passion in me that I always knew I had, but never had the bravery touch upon.

What a difference four years makes.

Want to experience you own enlightenment?

The view from a top the bell tower in Split, Croatia.

Destinations

Daily Wanderlust: Alleyway graffiti in Zagreb

Before I officially hit my 30-Life-Crisis, I headed to Croatia for a holiday. My first stop in the magical and life-changing country was Zagreb, the capital of the country.

I’m a bit unconventional in terms of what I desire out of visits to foreign places (I’m so churched out!), so I popped in my headphones and took a proper wander through the historic city. Down one little alley near in the Lower City, I came across colorful tags adorning the the old European buildings.

Photo of Zagreb, Croatia

Destinations

Daily Wanderlust: Island paradise in Croatia

Croatia is one of those countries that holds a very special spot in my heart. It’s the place where I opened my mind to others and was enlightened; was witness to the kindness of strangers; met one of the most remarkable women in the world; and was where I learned about love, life and loss when my grandmother passed away.

It is also home to the Adriatic Sea. This crystal, clear sea and I have spent many, many weeks together. I’ve relaxed on warm rocks along the coast. Bopped along on a little boat through the flat surface. I’ve even gone skinny dipping in the inky black waters at night. The sea, to me, is one of the most gorgeous I’ve ever had the opportunity to dip my toes in, and one I dream of returning to regularly.

When my grandmother died, I took a stone from the sea to bring back to America and place at her grave, that’s how special this country is to me.

This photo is along the shore of Solta, a tiny technicolor island that is largely untouched by tourists.

Destinations

Escape of the Week: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park, located in Croatia, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the priviledge to explore.

Seriously.

The park, which is the perfect (and gorgeous) day trip, features 16 stunning bright blue lakes packed with waterfalls rushing down cliffs.

Blue-green lakes, which change color depending on what’s going on in the water, pop against the bright green foliage, creating amazing photo opps.

Even the clear water astounds, mixing above-the-surface life with below.

Sadly, the park is not without sad history. In 1991, it is where the tragic Yugoslavian war began. Here, rebel Serbs took control of the park’s headquarters, killing a Croatian police officer. The hotels in the park were converted into barracks. Four years later, the park once again opened its doors to tourism.

Travel tip: Allow for an entire day at the park. There are plenty of paths to wander. But, be sure to stick to the paths. The eco-system is fragile.

Skip forking over the money for a high-priced hotel room at the park. Instead, book lodging in either Zagreb or Zadar. Wear comfortable shoes, there are miles of hikes to enjoy. And, be sure to bring water and snacks. If you are traveling with luggage, hotels at the park offer storage of your items.

Getting there: Hop a bus from Zagreb or Zadar. Both trips take about 2 1/2 hours.

Destinations

Daily Wanderlust: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia was my the first stop in my 30-th Birthday World Tour in September, 2009. It was also the city which reinvigorated my love of travel, re-introduced me to crazy backpacker antics courtesy of some Aussies, let me believe (for a moment) in Hollywood endings, and eventually, began this crazy journey I am on today.

My first day, I simply wandered with my camera, shooting photos of daily life in this mesmerizing city that blends old with new.

Destinations