What to see in Croatia

What to see in Croatia in 8 days

Stop for a moment! Think about it, we’ve been running forever. Setting out on a journey means stopping. I observe, I smell, I taste , I respect the timetables but there are moments when I stop. And I stopped despite moving continuously during the 8-day trip to Croatia that began in Bol, on its seafront in the evening.

People were walking slowly, walking tired of the day at the beach, absentmindedly enjoying what I, sitting on a bench with a cigarette, was instead carefully “experiencing”.

It seemed like one of those films where everything around you freezes, you carry out your actions at normal speed, while the rest is slow, slowed down with a fade. The light was yellow. The blue sea. The stones of the yellow houses, the shaded boats. My pure white perceptions, ready to be imbued with all the senses and colored as they dictated. The sounds were confused, essential background sounds for this My Moment.

The smell of seafood delicacies, cooked with skill and caught by men with hands worn out by nets to embroider, nets to weave to capture your senses, another, taste.
You associate certain smells only with certain flavors and here there are some to discover. Of smells and flavors. Of resin attached to the bark welcomed in the immense pine forest, of salt water that dries on the white pebbles, of mint in the mojito, of Pag cheese , of hair covers of old ladies who observe you from their gardens hidden by the hedges, of ham Dalmatino served with simplicity as if to say, I don’t embellish the dish you have to savor it!, of white alleys and small churches overlooking the sea, of a palette of pastel colors that colors the aqua green of the sea during the day, of silence.

Once I finished the cigarette, I turned and found smiles, free of charge, as if someone had been watching me for a few moments, in that My Minute which seemed to last the entire holiday. Smiles, children of a typical friendliness of this country: Croatia .

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Croatia

What to see in Croatia in 8 days – Itinerary day by day

Day 1/5 – Split and island of Bol

In 40 minutes by bus from the airport for 30 kuna (€4) you get to the center of Split, from the port for 33 kuna per person take the ferry to reach the island of Brac (pronounced braCH, not BraK). 

Ferries leave every hour and take 50 minutes to get to Supetar, a nice little destination where you can eat before taking a taxi or bus to Bol, Vallo della Brazza . Although it takes half a day to reach Bol, the effort is absolutely worth it!

Bol is a small, very well-kept town, recently renovated and westernized with lounge sofas everywhere but frequented by all kinds of people. The center overlooks the port and looks like a postcard.

The buildings are made of white stone which at sunset casts rosy, romantic and fascinating colours. The stone comes from the Island of Brac and is the same with which they built the White House in Washington DC . Everything is within reach, everything is easy to find and then the friendliness of the Croatians is sincere and not just for convenience.

There is a long pine forest, where you can rent bikes (I recommend it) and overlooks large hotels with spas on one side and fantastic pebble beaches on the other. If you follow the entire pine forest you will arrive at the famous Zlatni Rat beach (that white strip with crystal clear sea on the left and right which is somewhat of a tourist symbol of the whole of Croatia). They say it is the most beautiful beach in the whole Adriatic and the most romantics call it the golden horn .

We stayed in Bol for 3 days because it is a fun and relaxing little jewel, very well connected to the nearby islands, such as Hvar , the best known (read with the aspirated H not Kvar).
To travel by sea, there are also Taxi Boats , real sea taxis that travel short distances and let you see everything from the coast, everything from another perspective, at a very low price.

Alternative Island: Korcula 

Korcula is further away but like Brac it allows you to visit other islands on daily tours and is an excellent alternative to the more famous islands Brac and Hvar.
For more information read: Korcula Island, little Dubrovnik. I recommend this island especially if your final destination is Dubrovnik.

Where to sleep in Bol

  • APARTMENTS PINA – Apartment equipped with everything needed for cooking and air conditioning, with patio adjacent to the garden and sea view. a splendid sea view.
  • APARTMENTS MILENA – Central and well equipped, with equipped kitchen and small terrace. An excellent value for money.
  • Apartments Villa Jadranka – Very comfortable and equipped apartments in a villa with garden and swimming pool (ideal for those traveling with children). The apartments are small but well organised, an ideal choice for those who want to cook and relax outdoors.
What to see in Croatia

Day 3 – Hvar Island

At 9.00 we boarded an elegant and modern boat from the port of Bol to reach the island of Hvar . They are organized trips from 9.00 to 18.00 with two options: the basic cost is 160 kuna return, then if you want to have lunch on the boat and be taken to the nearby coves you have to add another 160 kuna. We preferred to use the boat as a means of transport and not for cruising.

To organize this trip we did nothing but ask at the information desk located at the port.

The journey took an hour and a half. We spent it sunbathing on the bow, and observing the island of Hvar in its entire length, so virgin, green, harsh and barren, without any sign of tourist or local civilization.
There is no one all along the coast, only flocks of seagulls perched on the rocks sunbathing en masse.

Hvar is the name of the island but also of the well-known town. Once we arrive we immediately realize that it is large, rich, clean, and very popular, even with super rich people who moor their yachts to make us speechless, perhaps while walking along the seafront you eat one of the typical savory cakes, based of ricotta or with ricotta and meat, they are called Burek and you can really find them everywhere. They wrap the whole segments of the savory pie, lukewarm and a little greasy.

Before arriving on Hvar, book a small boat or taxi boat that can take you around the most suggestive coves. There are also small dinghies that can be rented for a whole day with a skipper on board who accompanies you where, when and for how long you want.

The visit to the town is worth at least 3 hours, necessary to get lost in the farthest, nameless alleys. The Spanish fortress
is also located here , perched on a hill a hundred meters high from which you can enjoy the view of the Pakleni islands. From the main square where the Sveti Stjiepan cathedral is located you will soon realize that everything seems to recall Venice, it is no coincidence that the maritime republic dominated it for almost 4 centuries. The lions and the bell tower of San Marco, combined with the annoying pigeons, will make you feel right at home!

It is no coincidence that 30% of this population speaks Italian correctly. An Italian very similar to the ancient yet Venetian dialect in use.

 Day 4 – Pag Island

We decided to return to Split to rent a car, it was really complicated (this is why I recommend organizing it before departure, cheap-car-rental offers several options starting from €40 per day).

Map in hand we ventured along the Croatian roads/highways until we reached the island of Pag, which is called Island but is actually connected to the mainland by a bridge, so, at least this time, no ferries!
After about two hours on recently built highways, the toll cost is 60 kuna, we arrive at a lunar and decidedly particular landscape.

After reading some reviews we decided to head towards Novaljia , but it didn’t take us long to realize the mistake. A sort of Ibiza, a place of leisure and wild entertainment for very young kids where the spotlight is on discos and beach parties.

Nothing could be further from what we wanted. For this reason we quickly headed towards Zrce beach which, although it has been equipped as a disco for the night, is also a really beautiful beach.

Despite the disappointment, the road that took us to Pag was very panoramic, on one side the sea, on the other endless arid lands with the famous “dry stone walls”, made exclusively of stones placed and set dry, and lands dedicated to sheep farming and from which the delicious and well-known Pag sheep’s cheese is produced.

Along the same road you can see small islands emerging from the sea and then oyster crops . Numerous huge black circles, one next to the other, which emerge from the water, are the cultivation fields of another delicacy of this land, to which I also add the truffle considered one of the local DOC products.

On the same road, before arriving at the Pag bridge, there are the ruins of an ancient fortress which watched over the coast to control ship traffic. It is called Fortica and the rocks with which it was built blend into the landscape which here becomes lunar again, almost white.

The town of Pag , despite being made up of just 4 intersecting streets, is delightful. From this intersection, white and shiny paved paths wind their way, dividing the historic center into 4 small neighborhoods. In the place where they reunite stands the Gothic basilica of Santa Marija . The little shops are very cute, including a clothing store set up in a small deconsecrated church.

There are as many bars and restaurants here as you want. They recommended the Tovrnelle restaurant to us .  The best of the whole holiday!

The starter could not include Pag sheep’s cheese and sliced ​​Dalmatino : a kind of smoked speck typical of Dalmatia… it is the land starter they are most proud of… and they have every reason to!

After a nice walk to digest we return to the apartment and we realize that we don’t have the key to lock the door of the house, we call the agency but they explain to us that it’s normal… in Croatia it seems that crime really doesn’t exist… they’re sleeping with open houses without problems!

Day 5 – Surroundings of Pag

As for the beach, we asked around and instead of going to the crowded and well-known ones we decided to look for particular ones.

Once we have crossed the Pag pier (where the best-known, long and sandy beaches are), instead of going up the road towards the mountain towards Novaljia we follow a small road on the right where there are numerous areas of holiday homes and guest houses.

We park and cross some uncultivated fields, suddenly finding ourselves on a cliff of brown earth overlooking the sea.
To go down we found a rather rusty and unsafe ladder, but the “risk” was worth it. There was only us.

In front of us in the distance the white and rounded lunar hilltops, above our heads slabs of land dripping with drained water, the calm sea as if it were a lake, a myriad of small fish.
So we decide to venture out walking through these small caves that the collapsed terrain creates, finding a lot of slate and clay, it didn’t take us long to decide to do the mud baths!

About 20 coves start from here, one after the other, one more beautiful than the other, which are often reached by dinghies and boats but by venturing you can also reach them by land.

pag beach, croatia

In the middle of the day we decide to move, we take the car and go up the road to Novaljia . We park in a wonderful pine forest, halfway between Simuni and Mandre . Here too there is a magnificent panorama, a rather wide white pebble beach with kiosks on the beach and the possibility of renting (for the first time) a sun lounger.

Pay attention to the portions you order because Croatians have no sense of measure when preparing dishes…the quantities are exaggerated!

Here the day was really pleasant: clear beach, crystal clear sea and behind us a very fresh and fragrant pine forest.
The area is also suitable for camping, in fact there are several well-equipped, large and well-kept ones. To return to Pag we made our first stop in Zadar .

Al Bodega , a wonderful venue on one of the main streets of Zadar behind the church of San Donato , the Forum and Sant’Anastasia.
3 of the different wonders with an all-Italian charm that give Zara a romantic twinning.

We decided to move away from Zadar to find a quieter place to sleep and Petrcane was our case . Only 14 km away from Zadar. A very small village inhabited by many Croatians.

Alleys between white houses overlooking a small port. The beaches around are all very beautiful. In fact there is not much in this town but it is located in a strategic and quiet position. Happy with the choice.

There is no sign of a vehicle, the village dogs walk calmly, it seems like we have gone back in time, to Italy, 40 years ago.
Where the gentlemen, a little happy with wine, arm themselves with guitars and sing songs in dialect…who knows what those ditties were about…?!

Day 6 – Krka National Park

After having breakfast on a beautiful terrace of a bar, overlooking the sea with a small oven for croissants and sweets next to it, next to the Konzum supermarket, we set off towards Krka National Park .
Perhaps not surprisingly but this park is something enchanting and wonderful. You can’t miss it! It is in this park that the highest waterfalls in all of Croatia are located.

You park your car outside the village of Skrodin , cross it and reach a building with dark glass, a modern building, at the end of the main road. The entrance ticket costs 110 HRK per person .

With ticket in hand you begin the second queue which generally starts next to the building and arrives at the ferry boarding which takes you to the park entrance in 10 minutes.
It is the most beautiful way to reach the waterfalls , otherwise there is the bus. Less scenic, less expensive.
The ferry leaves every 30 minutes, in August every 20. To fully enjoy the entire panoramic route it takes an hour’s walk. At the end of the path you return to the starting point: the waterfalls. First you run alongside them and then you dive in!

The dangerous area where the water has a very strong pressure and generates current, is delimited by ropes and there are often “waterfall lifeguards” who whistle at you if you are doing something inappropriate.
I recommend wearing the usual rubber shoes otherwise you risk cutting yourself on the stones under water, due to the current… It won’t be a relaxing bath, that’s it… but it’s an experience worth trying!

Menacing and powerful, yet so beautiful surrounded by rainbows. Lost energy can be recovered by delighting in fresh fruit that the elderly ladies with their well-ordered stalls and headscarves sell to you with a smile.
We found fresh grapes, blackberries, figs and then there are glazed almonds and other dried sweets to eat in cone-shaped foil.

In Krka you spend the whole day there, and you don’t even notice. Just remember that the last boat that takes you back to Skrodin passes at 6.30pm !

Krka National Park Croatia

At sunset as we return to the car park we find many farmers on the street selling the vegetables picked shortly before.

They are improvised stalls, so the offer is 2 peppers (small light green ones, they are like that in Croatia), 4 courgettes, 6 tomatoes… basically whatever they picked that day!
And then there is honey, and oil, Dalmatia is rich in oil.
But the strange thing is that the one put on the table in restaurants seems to be sunflower because it is transparent…so, ask for the extra virgin one.

Returning home we just couldn’t resist, we had already seen, in recent days, on the provincial roads, these enormous metal barbecues that housed whole pigs skewered in a tube that rotates them for slow and continuous cooking.

We were intrigued, it seemed like something typical that we hadn’t read anywhere. It’s a bit macabre to look at but for non-vegetarians it’s a real treat! And our curiosity was satisfied. 
Depending on the season, in addition to pork, sheep and lamb are roasted in these enormous spit ovens called Peka . Cooking begins in the morning and in the evening the meat becomes soft and delicate, often accompanied by a spicy sauce made with ground red peppers and chard.

As a wine we took Malvasia which is also present in our Sicily. The prices for the bottles are high, take the house ones which have always pleasantly surprised us… the prices will be slightly lower.

Finally we taste Maraskino , a typical black cherry liqueur. With a very full stomach we return to Petrcane, a beer under the house with the usual Croatian ditties and rest!

Useful information Krka National Park

The Krka Waterfalls National Park is located 13km from Sibenik, 80km from Zadar and 54km from Trogir.

The park is open all year round and can be reached by water, road or on foot following one of the numerous routes available.
There are 5 entrances:

  • Lozovac ***Main entrance (8am to 6pm)
  • Skradin (dalle 8 alle 18)
  • Laskovica (9am to 5pm)
  • Burnum/Puljani (dalle 9 alle 15)
  • Kistanje/Monastero Krka

Entrance ticket for adults: Jan/Feb/Mar/Nov/Dec: 30 Kuna – Apr/May/Jun/September/Oct: 110 Kuna – July and August: 150Kuna
Official site: Krka National Park

Day 7 – Trogir

Breakfast at the usual bar with terrace overlooking the sea and this time we decide to stay in the area. We headed towards the beach early but the mistake was to get too close to the Falkensteiner hotel complex . Gigantic, luxurious glass buildings surrounded by English lawns that have nothing to do with the surrounding landscape.

We paid for the entrance to the beach, something that had happened to us nowhere else and after seeing the sand we left, preferring the usual rock where the water best expresses all its blue!
This area is all luxurious, there are entire pavements closed even to the passage of dogs, a truly discordant note. So with the worsening of the bad weather we convinced ourselves to go and visit Zadar a little more .


The historic center is a small peninsula, the walls surround it and it can only be accessed from two sides: from a pedestrian bridge overlooking the sea entering Porta Marina or from land, passing through Porta di Terraferma .

We parked in front of the pier (it’s all blue stripe) crossing the pedestrian bridge suspended over the water. Between souvenir shops selling the typical lavender bags and walks through the shiny alleys we skirt the entire external quay and arrive at the sea organ.

You only have to do one thing. Arrive in time for sunset and don’t be in a hurry .

Let yourself be lulled for half an hour by this wonderful sound that the sea can produce with its waves. 5 chords and seven tones is the music that the 35 organ pipes placed invisible under the platform play. Depending on the intensity and motion of the waves. The sound comes out from circular holes sunk in the floor of the white platform.
Photos, time lapse and sunset shots. Now we start again with a nice cob made hot on the carts in the street … towards Trogir for the last day!

View of Trogir in Croatia

Dove dormire a Trogir 

The historic center of Trogir is pedestrianised, so if you choose to book an apartment in the centre, remember to ask for a parking card , because you cannot enter by car.
You can park outside the city, cross the pedestrian bridge and get lost in the alleys of this majestic and simple town. Enchanting. All composed and cheeky!
Below is a selection of facilities in Trogir at affordable prices and for everyone with excellent value for money.

Central and 5 minutes from a car park, ideal for those who want to discover the city centre. Clean, comfortable rooms with excellent quality/price ratio.

Completely renovated studios in the center of Trogir. Equipped with all the necessary comforts, an excellent solution that combines design and comfort.

Dormitory bed in a lively, central hostel and meeting point for travelers from all over the world. An ideal solution for those traveling alone.

Day 8 – Departure

We would have liked to get to Dubrovnik but time is running out!
Before departure we dedicate the last hours of our stay to wandering around the stalls eating Surimi made in the shape of a giant squid with a spicy sauce of chilli, herbs and oil wrapped in paper, and treating ourselves to a last walk along the beaches adjacent to the old part of Trogir .

On the road that connects Trogir to Split airport, we see this garden which gave the idea of ​​fresh and relaxing and a mill, the Konoba Milnice.
The place is very special, the mill is in operation and in the room below the large dining room there is a real museum. Another dining room has part of the transparent floor, right above the powerful jet of water that the mill spits out, sucking up the little river that surrounds the whole garden, where swans and ducks frolic in peace.

A final gift that Croatia wanted to give us, and we sadly bid farewell to it from this evocative and unexpected place.
Bye Bye Hrvatska!

How to get to Croatia

If you book your plane ticket a couple of months in advance you pay very little, we’re talking about 70 euros per person return with Easy Jet .

Having booked so close, we spent double (even if it’s not much)… Croatia is very cheap overall.
The closest town to Split airport is Trogir, only 5km away , while Split is 25km away. Keep this in mind if you have an early morning flight home.
To find flights from Italy to Croatia search on traveljourn.

Alternatively, a cheaper solution that also allows you to bring your own car, and therefore save on the cost of this during the holiday, even if the journey will obviously be longer (between 10 and 11 hours, traveling at night) are ferries.

Useful information

  • The official Croatian currency is the Kuna, it is advisable not to change at the airport but to do so in exchange agencies. Today the exchange rate is 1 Euro = 7.6 Kune. 
  • There are 7 airports in Croatia , so if you plan to do a touring trip you are spoiled for choice. Trieste is also very close, practically on the northern border. From where it is possible to rent a car with Italian companies and go down from Istria to Dalmatia.
  • If you take the plane, the fundamental thing is to rent the car before departure. On cheap-car-rental you can rent cars starting from €40 per day.
  • Roaming works in Croatia and you don’t need a local card.
  • For the documents you just need to have a valid identity card for the European Union. Always remember your health card!
  • The first thing to buy once in Croatia: rubber shoes for entering the water. The Croatian sea is gorgeous but there is little beach and a lot of rock. Sometimes it’s difficult to get into the water without it. So don’t leave without it (or buy them locally).
Read also: 9 trips abroad you can do instead of buying an iPhone X

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