Croatia has so much to offer! Its landscape is wildly diverse with flat and fertile plains in the north, and low mountains and highlands along the coast. Cutting through the country are the Dinaric Alps and the Velebit and Velika Kapela mountain ranges, with the highest point rising to 6,005 ft.
Hiking 6 Miles into the Medvednica Mountains for Lunch
We begin our tour in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital and largest city. Zagreb is located in the northwestern part of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. We found a 6-mile hike in the area that is a local favorite among Zagreb’s city dwellers. The hike up was challenging. Happily, we discover a unique lunch spot at the top of the hill. We hike back toward the city enjoying the easier downhill descent.
Touring Zagreb Cathedral
As planned, we enjoyed a city tour with our favorite local tour guides from Zagreb Tours that included a full course lunch at a restaurant serving local specialties. We covered the main sights of the oldest parts of town while listening to interesting anecdotes of life in the city. We toured the beautiful neo-Gothic style Zagreb Cathedral and visit an open-air market selling handcrafted works from local artisans along with fresh produce and plants.
Stopping at Plitvice Lakes National Park
Our 18-passenger motor coach transports everyone to our next stop, Plitvice Lakes National Park.
As you have already heard, this park is one of my favorite places in the entire world!– Diana Holt, owner of Bikes Boats and Boots
I love introducing people to this beautiful park of many lakes and awe-inspiring waterfalls! Our guided tour took us through the park on a trail system of boardwalks crossing over the lakes with an up-close view of the waterfalls.
Tonight, our modern (designed to look rustic accommodations), include a small farm with baby goats and a friendly Saint Bernard. Dinner tonight was a special order of Peka, a signature dish of the Dalmatia region. This delicious meal is a blend of vegetables and meat drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs, and slowly cooked to perfection under a bell-like dome, or ispod čripnje over hot coals.
Onward to Split and Visit Kraka National Park
We continue on to the town of Split, with an afternoon stop at Krka National Park, another beautiful waterfall park that extends along the Krka River from the Adriatic near Šibenik and inland to the mountains of the Croatian interior. It’s a magical place of waterfalls and gorges, with the river gushing through a karstic canyon 656 ft deep. While both parks are special places and very similar, it is possible to swim at Krka. Both offer stunning views that range from a mere trickle of water making its way to a small lake, to powerful and majestic waterfalls.
Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, is home to the Diocletian Palace dating back to 305 AD. The palace was built for the retired Roman emperor Diocletian. Our accommodations are in the city center and everyone quickly disperses to enjoy the bustling nightlife in Split.
Saturday morning, we are off to board our ship and begin our 7-day cycling tour of the Dalmatian Islands.
So far, our weather has been great! It was a little drippy and chilly in Zagreb but as we continue southward the temperatures have been perfect with sunny days.
More to come…