After a very successful daytrip to Kotor, we were keen to check out another Yugoslavian country: Bosnia and Herzegovina. We left early to try to avoid long lines at the border, and we definitely succeeded, though maybe because the car navigator sent us through some mountain roads where the border wasn’t even manned. The drive was quite scenic, so we didn’t complain, and we made it to Mostar in less than 2 and a half hours.Continue reading “Mostar and Kravica waterfalls as a daytrip from Dubrovnik”
Looking for things to do around Dubrovnik, I realized we could easily pop over to nearby Montenegro, and even better, to what might be its most famous site, Kotor. We ended up leaving pretty late, because we realized we might need a COVID tests not to cross into Montenegro, but to get back into Croatia. Then we go stuck for well over an hour at the border crossing, so even though it was supposed to be a 2-hour drive, we didn’t make it to Kotor until around 2pm.Continue reading “Kotor as a daytrip from Dubrovnik”
The popularity of Dubrovnik has exploded in recent years, “thanks” to Game of Thrones. But before and beyond that craze, Dubrovnik must be one of the most magical cities in the world. It is a very manageable place, easily visited on foot in a day, though we thought the four nights we spent there were perfect to enjoy it at leisurely pace, plus take some daytrips to neighboring Montenegro and Bosnia.Continue reading “Dubrovnik, a fairytale town”
Despite the tough competition, Hvar might very well be the best island to visit in Croatia. Admittedly, our own choice might not have been based on extensive research, but rather based on the fact that we had a rental car, and therefore our ferry options were more limited. But we loved the couple of days we spent on this island, it packs such an incredible range of experiences.Continue reading “Top things to do in Hvar”
After an epic day in Plitvice Lakes, we drove to Split, our first stop on the Dalmatian coast. Split is a strange city. On the one hand side, it’s the second largest of Croatia, a transportation hub, and the first thing you see when driving in are shabby high-rises. On the other hand side, it’s a historical jewel, a much-deserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of the old town is the Diocletian Palace, and incredibly well-preserved complex from 305 AD. The whole area is pedestrian-only, and packed with charming cafes and shops, directly on top of 2000-year old marble streets and plazas.Continue reading “The best place to stay in Split”
The Plitvice Lakes National Park had been on my bucket list for years, from the moment I saw a picture of the unreal jade and turquoise waters. After landing in Dubrovnik, we immediately drove 5 hours to sleep by the park and be able to access it as soon as it opened. The area has a lot of cheap and nice guesthouse, we’d definitely recommend the one we stayed at: Guesthouse Plitvice Villa Verde.Continue reading “The magical Plitvice Lakes in Croatia”
Aruba wasn’t necessarily on my bucket list. But we were going to Colombia for the Christmas holidays, and decided we wanted an easy, idyllic beach destination for the last days of our trip… and the flights and hotels happened to work out well. Aruba, a little overseas territory of the Netherlands nicknamed “one happy island”, turned out to be exactly what we needed and much more!Continue reading “So many cool things to do in Aruba”
The Tayrona National Park, in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is worth a visit, especially if you find yourself in Cartagena looking for other things to do beyond the beautiful colonial city. But it’s not particularly easy to get to, nor to visit, and it gets packed, so planning ahead is highly recommended (and visiting off-season even more ;)). The main entrance to the park is El Zaino, about 1 hour east of Santa Marta, which in turn is about 4 hours north east of Cartagena. You can either take a public bus to Santa Marta, and then another public bus to the park, and might need to spend a night in Santa Marta in between, or spend $20 to get a shared shuttle straight from your hotel in Cartagena to the park.
Right outside of the walled city, the neighborhood of Getsemani is more authentic and edgier than the old town. If inside the walls it’s all about colonial architecture and colorful flowers, here it’s about street art, street life and Afro-Caribbean heritage. There are still plenty of tourists and charming hotels and restaurants, but it does feel much more real.
Cartagena de Indias is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and regularly tops the list of most beautiful colonial cities around the world. This reputation is well deserved. Cartagena can easily be visited on foot in a couple of days, but it’s also the kind of place where you won’t regret having extra time.