Unforgettable experience in Croatia: travel photo journey


Dobar Dan! Croatia is for sure one of the the friendliest countries with complex history and mixed identities. I decided to go there with a friend as we went to our friend’s wedding in Florence. It was nearby and the natural wilderness it offers is irresistible.

We traveled across the Dalmatian coast around the Adriatic sea of Croatia. This is my itinerary with the main attractions and spots I went in each city during the beginning of May 2017, which was perfect timing to avoid the crowds but many places were closed due to low season (even ferries was limited). We went island hopping in these cities:

  • Dubrovnik: walk around old town, take in the city view from the cable car, kayak from Pile Gate to Lokrum island (unfortunately we had bad windy weather that made this impossible)
  • Pelješac Peninsula: climb Mali Ston, eat oysters
  • Korčula: cycle around the island through Lumbarda and wineries. Walk around the famous beaches. I should have stayed more days here to go to Vis island where there are boats towards the Blue Cave (grows fluorescent blue from 11am-12pm on sunny days) and Green Cave or Green Grotto on Bisevo Island.
  • Split: I only made a quick stop here as a transfer point
  • Zadar: see the sunset at the sea organ
  • Plitvice: visit Plitvice National Park
  • Rovinj: visit small towns of Opatija, Bale, and Svetvincenat with political past and buildings affected by the war, take the ferry to Venice for our flight back to Chile

Other places that I was recommended but didn’t have time to visit is the island of Mljet for its beautiful national park and Zagorje for the mountainous northern area.

Screen shot 2017-05-17 at 12.26.18 AM.png
My 8-day trip stops around the Dalmatian coast of Croatia (not all in order) by ferries and car. I went from Ancona, Italy and traveled through Croatia from Dubrovnik to Rovinj.

Photos from my trip:

sunset at Ancona departing for Split
magfinicent view on the ferry
arrived from Split to Dubrovnik early morning
City Wall in Dubrovnik
beautiful orange tiles in Old City, Dubrovnik
Mali Ston, just 1.5 hours away from Dubrovnik by bus, famous for oysters!
start of the great wall of Mali Ston
the great wall of Mali Ston
many karst stones in the mountains by Mali Ston
the town view from Mali Ston in the Pelješac peninsula
beautiful tranquil Lopud island, home to a famous Chilean architect
Lopud Island with beautiful beaches
going for a short walk towards Poluge
abandoned fortress in Lopud
view of Lopud island from the Fortress
Small island of Lopud, so beautiful and quiet that there is no police
waiting for the boat leaving Lopud Island
inside the arboretum in small Trsteno village
inside the arboretum in Trsteno village
may be authentic?
Trsteno village
drank a lot of white wines including posip, malvasia, grk…
Early morning cycling on the mountain in Korcula
the sun is out! passing through vineyards in Korcula on my rental bike
beach all to myself in Korcula
cycling stop in Korcula
Korcula old town
small allies inside old town of Korcula
view of the ocean from a restaurant in Korcula
sunset in port of Korcula
walking through the forest inside Plitviče Lakes National Park
Plitviče Lakes National Park
Mushroom (fossil?) inside the forest of Plitviče Lakes National Park
Plitviče Lakes National Park
Plitviče Lakes National Park
Plitviče Lakes National Park
war torn building in a town on the way from Plitviče to Opatija
bullet holes on inhabited building wall in a town on the way from Plitviče to Opatija
you can see signs of the recent war everywhere (on the way from Plitviče to Opatija)
pretty town of Opatija
town of Bale
town of Bale
little jewel I found in town of Bale: Kamene Priče jazz bar
entrance of Kamene Priče jazz bar
streets of Bale
near the ruins of Dvigrad
Svetvinčenat, Bale
Pula Arena, Istria
Pula Arena, Istria
Istria, our final stop in Croatia

The most memorable places for me personally were Korčula and the little town of Bale, the mixture of nature and encounter with the local people made it that much more special.

The little jazz bar Kamene Priče (it also offers accommodation) in Bale caught my eye, I walked in and curiously asked the young barman if jazz was a popular style of music the locals liked. Since the country is quite new (breakup of Yugoslavia was 1980-1991, and the last war with the Serbs ended in 1995) with a history of various conquests, I thought that most of the people held traditional values and were less inclined to follow foreign music. The young Croatian man was very enthusiastic and happy to share his views of the local values. He told me that the owner of the bar has travelled all around the world and loves jazz, which is becoming popular in the country. Croatia has a very sad history and the older generation went through harsh times. He told me that the elders are so affected by the war and still torn with vivid memories of the war. The young generation, on the contrary, are tired of being reminded of the tragic past and only want to focus on the present, they are encountering identity crisis and tired of politics.

Here is an interesting story of Tomislav Pavleka, the owner of Kamene Priče on how the jazz bar was born: http://www.everthenomad.com/creative-corner/ex-blog/local-voices-croatia-tomislav-pavleka-kamene-price/

One of the most beautiful souvenirs I received on this trip was a catalog of Bale the young man at the jazz bar gave me, it is about the beauty and history of Bale, written and printed by the owners of the jazz bar themselves. This was at the end of my trip and what made this experience more unforgettable. All the Croats I met are genuinely friendly, from Zac the man I met at a restaurant in Korcula who offered me a free ride to cycle in mountains, to the two water taxi drivers I met on the beach in Lopud who told me about their experience diving in the caves nearby, and the charming young man in Bale with valuable insights of jazz and his country. Croatians are very proud of their nation, natural beauty and folklore traditions, and I definitely recommend this country that has everything.


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