Thursday, March 27, 2014

SUMMER RECAP 2013: Zadar and Plitvice, Croatia

After working on the island of Korcula, I moved up and inland in Croatia to visit a friend in Zadar. I probably wouldn’t have gone if I hadn’t wanted to see him but I am so glad I did. I also knew it was the perfect place to stay to visit Plitvice lakes, which is the most famous national park in Croatia, and a must see for all of Europe.

How to get there:
I took a bus from Split for about 17 Euros, and it took 5 hours and was an easy bus ride overall. There are buses running from split many times a day. There is also an airport there which has really cheap ryanair flights from other places in Europe.


I stayed at The Wild Fig hostel with I adored. As I mentioned before I had a friend who was working there and came because of him but was so happy with my choice. The  rooms were clean and spacious and it has an awesome outdoor patio with all kinds of chairs and fire-pits and more. It was so great for lounging during the day. On Saturdays they had trivia and a cookout which was such a fun night! Inside they had a bar that also served food, and they had a giant kitchen which you could use to make something for yourself whenever you wanted. 

They were about a 10 minute walk from the train station and in a nice residential area which was good and bad. It was good because you could get to nice quiet beaches in less than 5 minutes on foot, but harder because it was about a 20 minute walk to nightlife and such. However, at night if we wanted to go out, the employees would round us up and take us out on the town for the night to hit up a ton of different bars, and clubs of which there were so many with fun and music. 

What to do:

The old town is beautiful, with winding streets and walls. You can walk the marina and all around the water front. There are a few churches in the old town that are fun and popular to visit! There are a lot of beaches that I had a blast visiting and of course. They were rock but really nice and sunny, stretching on all along the coastline. You can swim, and enjoy the sun! Another really awesome thing about Zadar is the sea organ which is along the water and it is an organ played by the sea! Obviously it plays all day long but in the evening it is really nice and people gather to listen while the watch the sunset. It is such a strange, but awesome thing in Zadar. Next to the sea organ is the light-up color circle where the colors swirl and light up at night. Hard to describe but again, so cool!

There were a few nice bars on the beach, as well as a few great bars in the downtown area. I loved the bars with cheap night specials. I don’t remember many names but there was for sure a lot to do. WE also hit up a few great clubs! There are quite a few young people in Zadar. Although it is nothing like Hvar and its craziness, there are still hostels and fun to be had! It was a good relaxing balance for me after going out so much in other spots.

Plitvice Lakes: 
The real reason I went to Zadar was the visit Plitvice Lakes which was SO SO worth it. Sadly, I had my camera stolen after this so I have none of my own pictures from my time there. But I had a fabulous time. The lakes take about 2 hours to get to from Zadar, and my hostel arranged transportation to and from the park for almost nothing. Along the way a guide talked to us about Croatia and gave us a brief history of the regions and such. On other days they had trips to Krka national park as well.

Once we got there, it was about a 45 minute wait in line before we could pay and enter. Then we started exploring all of the different ways we could walk through the parks. There was a great path system and the handed you maps when you entered. 

Sadly you can’t swim at Plitvice which is hard because the water is so tempting. But you can take a boat across the water to make the path through the park shorter and across the water is a great way to see a different view of the lakes. I explored the paths for about 5-6 hours and saw a lot of different areas to explore and see the views. It was a fabulous day all around and I am so so so glad I went to see the lakes. One of my favorite parts of Croatia for sure!

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