While on our epic European Summer Road Trip, we spent almost two weeks exploring various places in Croatia. In addition to the time we spent in the world class cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir (more on those in future posts), we explored a few other areas of Croatia.
Due to a last minute change of plans (which happened when we realized the non-air conditioned place we booked in the countryside would NOT be very pleasant in the middle of summer in Croatia), we ended up spending a night in a cute little town called Samobor, just across the Slovenia/Croatia border. Because we were leaving the EU Schengen zone, the line to get back into Slovenia was SUPER long, and we joked that if we made a wrong turn in this border town, we might just accidentally end up in the hours-long line to get back into Slovenia.
The town of Samobor was pretty cute but compact and we enjoyed walking around. We had an okay dinner then stopped at a cafe for ice cream for the boys, and a famous cream cake for me. The cream cake was delicious, but A and L both found little bugs in their ice cream cones. C didn’t find one in his, but you know what that means…
Plitvice Lakes National Park
After our night in Samobor, we headed south to our next stop where we spent one night outside the very famous and heavily visited Plitvice Lakes National Park, a beautiful park full of waterfalls. The park has two sides, and though you could theoretically visit both sides in one long day, we figured a better way to beat the crowds would be to do one side the first afternoon we arrived, after some of the day’s crowds left, then tackle the other side first thing the next morning.
Our plan was fairly successful. The first afternoon we visited the lower lakes, and though it was pretty crowded, it wasn’t unbearable. We did one of their prescribed loops, though we actually did a bit of backtracking because (in my opinion!) one of the directional signs wasn’t very clear!
The next morning, we headed first thing to the upper lakes. We followed their prescribed E program, and it worked out wonderfully. Since we were some of the first people there and on the same path everyone else was taking, we were ahead of all the crowds, and only walking with a few fellow early risers.
I liked this section the best (maybe it was the lack of crowds), and we enjoyed seeing waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. At the end of the loop, we took a park bus back to the starting point, and then we really saw all the crowds everyone was talking about. We usually move pretty fast, not being big on stopping to smell the roses, so we finished the 2-3 hour loop in about an hour and a half. By the time we got back to the entrance at 9:30, the crowds were OUT OF CONTROL!
My strong recommendation would be to come as soon as the park opens, or head here to visit off season! It is a pretty cool place just full of waterfalls, but not worth the hassle of the crowds on those narrow walkways if you go at prime time.
Seaside Campsite on Pag
One final adventure in Croatia was a little change of pace – 5 days in a seaside campsite on the island of Pag. We didn’t do much except swim in the sea (usually twice a day). It was really fun, but we aren’t huge beach people in general, so I think after those five days, we were ready to move on.
Next up, we hit the big seaside cities of Croatia. Blog posts on those to come!