After exploring Greece we headed to Croatia, a place I had heard so much about and was so excited to visit. We drove through Albania and Macedonia to get there, and that part of the road trip was so breathtaking! The landscape changed every hour, starting first in lush farmlands in Albania (it felt like we had gone back in time, with people riding in horse & carriages and small family run farms along the road) to high curving mountains in Albania to historic buildings and magical ocean views in Macedonia, it was unforgettable.
Driving into Dubrovnik was eye opening as well...we came in and could see the Old Town (where they shoot Game of Thrones) from above...it was so neat to see it from that angle! It was especially neat when we headed into the Old Town the next day to have seen it from above. I recommend either driving up to the view point or taking the Gondola that you can catch in Old Town to see the view, it is worth it!
Dubrovnik is the perfect mix of beach getaway and historic adventure. I could have spent so many days there! We stayed at the beautiful Valamar Dubrovnik President Hotel which was right on the water and had an insane beach...the water was turquoise blue and so clear you could see fish swimming without even wearing goggles, and it had the best dock to jump from.
We spent a couple of afternoons and into the evenings in Old Town- There was so much to see, I could definitely spend more time there! There are some really great restaurants inside the Old Town - Restaurant 360 is wonderful if you want a good view (make sure to make a reservation, though, it fills up!) and although the name is questionable (they even have a statue outside, fair warning!) Lady Pipi has the most delicious seafood around (make sure to get there right when it opens, there is often a line to get in)
We also headed up to the wall of the Old Town where you can walk all the way around - it was an amazing place to really get a view of the terracotta rooftops and look out over the ocean. We also noticed a little restaurant that hung out over the water along the wall, and there were tons of spots to stop and have a drink or ice cream and take in the view. We even spotted the new TV Show Knitfall being filmed!
It was so much fun exploring Dubrovnik, and you can read more about my experience in The Dubrovnik Times here.
From Dubrovnik we heeded to Split, which was another stunning city! The Old Town was absolutely beautiful, and I had so much fun wandering the tiny streets and exploring the historic sites. It is so lovely because it too is right on the water, so you can pop out from the winding streets to palm trees & ocean - so nice!
We ate at the very best restaurant, Bokeria...The space is beautiful inside and they have plenty of tables outside as well and the food is absolutely mind blowing. They stop serving for an hour between lunch and dinner, so if you can make a reservation for dinner - they get busy as well!
From Split we caught an overnight ferry back to Italy...Rome coming up next.