I felt giddy as I made it off the plane. All I had was just my backpack, so I’m ready to go and start this trip to Croatia with Traverse Journeys! A local taxi driver was waiting for me that was paid for by the company. His English wasn’t so great, but he was nice and used his google translate so we could talk in the car. The nightlife here looked pretty calm and I saw women outdoors, which the driver let me know that it’s safe here. That made me feel good about this place.
Once I made it to our hotel, I was blown away. Usually when I travel, I stay at hostels. So this place was really nice! At the front, they told me I get some food in the dining area. I went to my room in a daze from the flight to drop off my bag in my room, then I headed to the hall. Knots began multiplying in my stomach. I guess I was nervous to meet the other tourists on our road trip. Come to find out, we are an all girl group. This trip through Croatia with Traverse Journeys will be interesting. I was feeling a bit skeptical with all of us ladies, but I tried to stay optimistic. My worry eased as I met the ladies. They all seemed pretty laid back.
I was still in a daze from all the recent traveling I’ve been doing, but I was ready for my first adventure in Zagreb! Since it was already night, our adventures would begin the next day.
My inner clock awoke me at 7am. First, we would meet up for breakfast, then all of the group would go on a walking tour of the town. It took around 2 hours for the informative tour. My head felt like it was going to be overloaded with all the new information.
Croatia has a lot of history that’s painful to many Croatians. Try not to discuss the war with them, since it can bring up a traumatic past for them. I felt a pang of sadness in my heart. So much in the world happens and yet a lot of it goes unheard.
In the center of town, they have a statue standing high of Josip Broz, that’s known as Tito riding his horse. He was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and had taken over Croatia. Many Croatians have mixed feelings about this man. He had passed away in 1980. So it’s still fresh to several natives to the country. Tito’s ruling was seen as a benevolent dictation.
Once our tour was completed, we were given free time. This trip to Croatia with Traverse Journeys excited me! I thought it was great that they give free time and with that, the tourist can go on explorations by themselves. My nerves are on end with anticipation to venture through the town. Two of the girls from our tour decided to come with me. After walking around the town a bit, our tummies began rumbling.
Eventually, we found this quaint place where we could eat outside. So the three of us agreed on the place and enjoyed the atmosphere there. We began divulging our personal stories with one another as we enjoyed one drink after another. My eyes started to get hazy. Ashley, our host, had warned us that tomorrow’s journey would be hikes and start early in the day. So when the next day came, two of the three of us were not feeling so good…
(Use code: MW100)
Bright eyed and bushy tailed was how one of the three partier’s felt the next morning. I was dumbfounded at how quickly she recovered. My head was pounding and it felt like everything was spinning. The feeling came in waves. I looked over at the other party girl over the breakfast table. She had her sunglasses on, blocking any light from scalding her hangover. It was good that I wasn’t the only one feeling it.
Today was the day for the beautiful Plitvice National Park. This place is what really called me to Croatia! Photos of this area have been plastered on Instagram accounts for a while. As we began our trek in the park, the beauty overtook me, and at times, my hangover was gone! The trip in Croatia with Traverse Journeys was going great!
The water glistened a clear teal blue hue. It hummed with life and I kept having the urge to jump in. Everyone in the group went at their own speed. A couple of the girls and I followed a path with less people. Up a staircase, we found an open bat cave! It was spectacular to see the sides were cave-like, but the top was open wide for the blue sky to be seen. Some tourists were coming down from above. That’s where some of the buses are parked.
Another path took you to the big waterfalls. They came crashing down from about 70-80 meters. As I read about the park in the Lonely Planet, I learned why the water was colored. There are upper and lower sections to this park. A lot of the lakes are fed by underground springs. As the water streams through the limestone and other rock formations, it gathers different kinds of minerals and organisms.
This is what makes the colors and why the colors are not always the same. This place felt like it needed a full day of exploring to actually see most of the park. But we were on a time limit. Take in as much as you can!
The night before, we made it to a cozy hotel in Zadar, Croatia. This is a nice little town. The feeling I got here was welcoming. Throughout the town, there are some Roman ruins that show the history of the place. A few medieval churches stand tall within the town as well. For being such a small town, it had a lot to see!
Free time came, so I began wandering. As I neared the water, I heard a peculiar sound. Then I realized I had found the sea organ and next to it, the sun salutation. It left me in awe at how amazing nature can be. The lighted floor, which reflects the sky on its lit glass, is the sun salutation. The locals say, when the sun is rising or setting is when the magic happens with the lights.
The next day, I arose with giddiness. Today was a free day, which I enjoyed! Before wandering out, I checked the Lonely Planet book and google. Their town square sounded interesting as they have 5 wells there. So can you guess its name? It’s 5 Wells Square.
Clouds began rolling in and the sky was becoming gray. I though about turning back, but a park covered in trees intrigued me. This pace is right next to the square and it’s called Ledana Park. It has stairs that are spread throughout the park that can lead you to the top. This area felt like a sanctuary in the tiny town and next to it, at night, is a hangout place for party goers.
Once we made it to Split, Croatia, it was time for our walking tour. There’s so much to see here and such amazing historical buildings. A woman from Green Sail gave us the wonderful tour. Our plan for the next day would be to meet up with the organization and help them with cleaning up a beach. This group is about saving the environment, especially the oceans.
As we were on the walking tour, we saw a plethora of things. Many of the buildings stand side by side in the middle of the town surrounded by or apart of the old walls.
(You can use google maps to find these places)
My mission was to walk up Marjan Park for the sunrise. With each step, I could feel the nature surrounding me. A few locals passed me, as if this was their daily workout in the mornings. The path had steep steps at times, but I made it in about an hour to the top.
The view was well worth enduring the stairs. On one side, you could see the water and on a clear day, an island or two in the distance. On the other side, talks mountains overlooked the town.
If you’re a die hard Game of Thrones fan, then Split, Croatia is the place to see. Fortress Klis is where they shot for the town Mereen and of the mother of dragons. It’s about a 30 minute Uber ride away from Split. Or you can take a bus. Once you’re there, your mind will be blown by its structure and views.
Next on our agenda was to ride to the east of Croatia. But first, we had to go through Bosnia. Mountains sprawled on each side as we drove in Bosnia. We passed by pristine lakes that looked like great relaxing getaways. We were given a couple of hours to explore Mostar, Bosnia before traveling onward to Croatia again. Cobblestones covered the busy streets and shops lined up one by one.
The icing on the cake for this trip was Dubrovnik, Croatia. Many shots of Game of Thrones was filmed here. This is where the actual King’s Landing is. There are islands that surround this city, and one of them, has the Iron Throne. If you have time, you can venture to it a get a photo!
Our group strolled through the town together, then went our separate ways. A few girls and I decided we wanted to walk the city walls, which use to defend this place. It took us about two hours with all the stopping we did for photos. But it was epic! To think, back in the day, guards would walk these walls. There were only a few ways to get up the walls. In some of the views, it looks as though the water goes on forever. Other parts, you get great views of the red roofed buildings.
A great place for a spectacular view would be SRD viewpoint. You can either walk, take a taxi, Uber, or even a cable car to see the city in a different perspective. Besides that, there’s a restaurant above, where you can eat and enjoy the view. They have a cross here, where some may give their goodbyes to a dearly loved one.
All the things we explored and saw in such a short time was well worth it! Plus, our group bonded through this trip to Croatia with Traverse Journeys and it felt as if we had known each other for a while now. Since our group had this feeling, it made everything even more fun! The tours with small groups sure can be the best.
If you enjoy the outdoors and wonderful nature, check out hiking in Sweden. That’s a country filled with nature and lakes galore! You can learn about “freedom to roam”, the law they have in Sweden. Or find out more about the wonders of hiking within Sweden. Check it out!
All of the links are affiliate links, which means I can make a commission. But don’t worry, it doesn’t affect your price. Your price will be the same