Croatia: The Most Underrated Country?

dubrovnik old town travel europe croatia

Croatia is hands down the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited. That’s not a phrase I use lightly.

From it’s miles and miles of unspoilt coast, to it’s culturally rich towns, bright blue sea and serene natural parks, Croatia is absolutely gorgeous. I was lucky enough to visit the country three years ago, when I went travelling, and I’m counting the days until I get chance to return.

For me personally, when I travel I like my destination to have three things: beautiful beaches (or general scenery if not coastal), great food and to be unspoilt. There’s nothing worse than benidorm-esque coastlines with sky high hotels and not much else, NOPE.

I’ve been to several places in Croatia, although some were passing visits as we waited for connecting transport.

Dubrovnik Old Town

Dubrovnik is of course just beautiful – a personal highlight for me was sea kayaking as the sun set. Although heads up, it’s quite the workout. We *might* have been trailing behind the rest of the group because LOL got no muscles.  The time I spent in Dubrovnik consisted of lazy sunbathing on the beaches, paddling in the waters, walking the old town walls and eating some amazing food. Oh and making friends with a tortoise.

This year the prices seem to have rocketed for hotel stays, as more and more people catch on to how wonderful it is. I stayed in a lovely guest house run by a local couple, who couldn’t do enough for us. It was a great way to explore the town, as we got recommendations on restaurants and activities from locals, it was a short walk from the Old Town and it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg.

Croativa Plitvice Lakes

The second place I visited in Croatia was The Plitvice Lakes. A national park, The Plitvice Lakes consists of 16 (you guessed it) lakes, connected by various footpaths and bridges. The water is unbelievably blue. UNBELIEVABLY. Honestly until I saw it for myself, I thought there’d been a LOT of editing going on in the images I found on google.

It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the day we visited was so so peaceful and calm. Until Danny ran off from a wasp, chucked the camera in the lake, had to dive in after it, stripped out of soggy clothes and then spent next 6 hours getting bum chaffing due to lack of boxers. Still not tested the camera to see if it broke or not, and that was three years ago. Oops.

Bum chaffing aside, The Plitvice Lakes is somewhere I’d definitely recommend. You can go on a coach trip from Zagreb, or stay in one of the local guest houses. Unfortunately the guest house we stayed in had a case of the old bed bugs, so I won’t recommend it. There’s plenty of others in the local area that hopefully aren’t bed bug ridden thoughOne thing, however, is getting buses is quite difficult as they don’t seem to fancy sticking to the timetables. Instead they turn up whenever they like. And nope, we’re not talking England’s late buses… we’re talking hours late. With no indication of if/when they’ll show up. Still worth it though, just look at those lakes!

plitvice lakes croatia

Split was a destination I visited in passing, stopping twice on the way to/from Dubrovnik. A gorgeous coastal town, it has amazing restaurants, beaches, and a marina. We visited on market day, and like a lot of European towns it was lively and vibrant. Split definitely has an air of sophistication about it, and I can’t wait to return properly.

Croatia had never been on my radar, but as soon as I visited I knew I HAD to go back. It’s so unspoilt and full of character – a far cry from other tourist cities overrun with Irish Bars and English football LADS.

Have you ever been to Croatia? What did you think? Is there anywhere you’d recommend going?