Often I get questions from many travelers that ask me a lot of information about the Island of Hvar. And I don’t blame them for that, Hvar is indeed one of the champions of Croatian tourism, actually a place where tourism in Croatia was born (already in 1868). With the growth of tourism in Croatia and millions of travelers and tourists pouring into the country, these questions are to be expected.
What was the fact that made this island so interesting? Actually, there are many fascinating wonderful things that contribute to the fact that this island is the jewel of the Adriatic Sea. It simply has unique ancient history of harmony between the climate, weather, sea, landscape and hospitality and goodwill of the inhabitants.
People make the difference, and people on the island of Hvar are just great. They love to communicate in a way of Mediterranean vivacity, gesticulate when talking, often loudly! This post is just an intro into the serious of posts about this island. Join me during the wonderful voyage across the sunny island!
Stations of the cross in Trogir Croatia
14 stations of the cross will be submersed in Trogir. The first one was submersed today (Jesus was sentenced to death).
50 statues will be submersed in the course of the following years. First station is on the depth of 4 meters (13 feet), so it could easily be reached by snorkelers and divers. Statue of Christ was made out of concrete and it weights 10 tons.
Tour and Shore Excursions in Croatia
I am writing this article about tours and shore excursions in Croatia. You will probably ask yourself why am I doing this? Well, I am trying to explain the difference between a tour and “on your own exploration” of cultural and historic sites.
“On your own exploration”
When visiting a foreign country some travelers tend to do their own research beforehand. In most cases they rent-a-car, drive around and explore on their own. Some of them are really good at this, most of them have similar experiences from other European countries. However, even if some of them are experienced, they still tend to miss some of the main points of interest. Furthermore, some of them find main points of interest, but they miss important information about them.
I have done exploration of some foreign countries on my own. I have done it in Czech Republic and in Germany. In Czech Republic I had guided tours included in my travel package. I skipped those and explored Prague on my own (especially pubs). When I look at it today, I think I made a big mistake. Furthermore, I even missed guided tour of St. Vitus Cathedral! And I never got a chance to come back to visit Prague.
Since this experience I changed my travel experiences – below you can see my picture with the guide at Pantheon in Rome.
Guided tours vs. “on your own exploration”
Please check the gallery below and tell me what you think about these wonderful Croatian sites?
Of course, you see some nice places, historical buildings, nature, etc… You can make plenty of photos and selfies. However, without a proper information and a true story from the local guide you miss the main point. These sites are only bodies without souls, untold stories of the past times, shells without pearls. Therefore, book a customized tour that will meet your needs. Explore beautiful Croatia with us!
Croatia Travel Blog was designed to offer view of a Croatian Traveler in Croatia! My name is Filip Pogacic. I work as a professional tour guide. In a free time I write this blog and my goal is to describe first hand experience of a local that is exploring his country. And of course I want to share this experience with you!
Croatia Travel Blog – Croatia as a must visit place?
Why is Croatia a must visit place? Great question and there are multiple answers to it. Croatia Travel Blog might help you with the answer.
I would say that most of the visitors will come to visit us since this is a small country for a great holiday. Although size of the country is 56542 km2 (approximately 21851 square miles), our country is extremely rich and known for natural beauties. This is a country with 8 national parks. Most famous national park in Croatia is Plitvice Lakes, a national park that is in UNESCO world heritage register.
Tourism in Croatia
More than 18,5 million tourists visited Croatia in 2017. Profit that Croatia made of tourism in 2017 is approximately 12 billion Euros. So far, this is record year in Croatian tourism industry. I guess there are numerous reasons for this Croatian success. Some analyst will say that this success is so significant since many countries in North Africa and Middle East are having safety related issues. They also say that for that reason many tourists were diverted to Croatia.
I strongly disagree with them. Travelers and tourists simply love to come to Croatia for many other reasons. These reasons definitely include Croatian natural beauties, cultural heritage, great climate – and most of all – genuine Croatian hospitality!
So, please come and join us in this beautiful country. Let’s explore Croatia together!
Lower Plitvice Lakes morning visit
After I’ve spent a night in Hotel Macola (Korenica), it was time to drive back to Plitvice Lakes. Stay at Macola’s was OK, but it was time to move on. I entered the national park shortly after 8:00am (entrance nr 2.) and I was pretty much the first person there.
This is the oldest national park of Croatia. It became a national park in 1949. It is a unique area where there is a possibility to visit the system of 16 lakes that are connected with waterfalls. Therefore, this is one of the most beautiful travertine structures I have ever seen!
Since the electric boats were not operating at that time, I decided to walk along the largest lake (Kozjak lake). Maybe I should have waited for the boats to start with the operation 🙂 I have opted to walk to the other side of the lake in order to visit lower Plitvice Lakes.
I have reached the lower lakes after 50 minutes of walking experience in the cold morning weather (-4 C). But it was well worth it. Lower lakes are located in the limestone canyon (Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluđerovac and Novakovića Brod).
Visit of the upper lakes
On the way back across the lake I took electric boat from P3 to P2 station in order to visit the upper lakes. Since I’ve done so, I had witnessed the views that are really unique and breathtaking!
Often I get the questions about different tours that go to Plitvice Lakes. Sometimes people ask whether is it better to come during the main season or out of season. However – I can just say: “Stop reading and watching – it is time to visit Plitvice Lakes!”.
Rastoke in Slunj
After the visit of Rastoke in Slunj, I decided to drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Before I left Rastoke, I took some additional pictures of this site.
On the way to Plitvice I meandered a little bit and I turned left in Rakovica village, 18 km from Slunj. My plan was to visit Barac caves, and I detoured additional 10 km off the main road. If had checked the calendar I would have known that the caves were closed! They were due to open only on the 1st of April, just a couple of days after my arrival! However, I did not allow this unfortunate fact to have impact on my good mood.
I walked around the caves took some photos and I promised myself that I would definitely come back to explore the caves.
I drove back to the main road in Rakovica and I continued to drive to Plitvice lakes. It took me only 10 minutes to reach Plitvice Lakes from Rakovica (13 km drive). And that was a sight to see!
I entered Plitvice Lakes national park in Entrance nr. 1, coming from Zagreb direction. Over there, there were many East Asian groups that were entering the park. I entered as well and reached the Great Waterfall on the lower Plitvice Lakes. This is actually Plitvice river that comes down to the last of the lakes – Novakovica Brod.
After a long day I was tired and I drove to Korenica (20 km from the Plitvice Lakes) to Macola hotel to have some rest. I planned to continue my tour exploration of the Plitvice Lakes the next day. More to follow….
This March, I drove from from Zagreb to Split. I decided to drive along the old road that connects these two towns. 105 km south of Zagreb I stopped in Slunj town. I drove through here many times, but this was the first time I actually stopped. And it was very worth wile! Natural beauty of Slunjcica river waterfalls, combined with picturesque watermills on the same river were just breathtaking!
I took a walk around the watermills and had an excellent Cafe Latte at the local Coffee place, enjoying the serenity and tranquility of this place! This was a great intro to my Plitvice Lakes visit.
I would like to share my experience of visiting City Museum of Split. I was there yesterday and first of all I have to say that its location is unique – this is actually a palace inside of a palace. Museum itself is located inside Papalic Palace (that palace is inside the walls of Diocletian’s Palace). It is a beautiful venue, because this Palace was built in the 15th century in Renaissance style. Museum itself is fine, the most important exhibit is on the ground floor – that exhibit is mensa (great roman marble dish) that was found in the substructures of Diocletian’s Palace. Most probably it was used by the emperor himself. The rest of the museum is on three floors, exhibiting the history of Split from the antiquity to the 20th century. I think that this museum is well worth seeing, if you are in Split, don’t miss the opportunity! I wouldn’t!