I always try to take advantage of long weekends that we get thanks to the public holidays in Slovenia. This time I set my eyes on the Northern Dalmatia and decided to explore some of the most beautiful natural wonders and historical seaside cities of Croatia. Read along for a perfect 3-days long itinerary of the region.
First day of the getaway in Croatia we visited Plitvice Lakes and then drove to Zadar, where we booked a lovely Airbnb for two nights. The second day we visited Krka National Park and Šibenik. The last day we explored Zadar and stopped in Nin on our way back to Slovenia.
Source: Google Maps
“Stunning, breathtaking, gorgeous” are adjectives that I’ve heard describing Plitvice Lakes before my visit. And I don’t know what took me so long to come to this UNESCO world heritage site. It really is one of the most beautiful natural wonders (in Croatia and in the world). The site combines amazing waterfalls, lakes with turquoise water reflecting gorgeous surrounding nature, lush tress and cute wooden paths that you walk on around the site. There are different path lengths to choose from, but you can also take advantage of the boats and trains for a shorter walk. We spent here 5 hours and enjoyed the beauties the “H trail” offered.
Tip for your visit: Go to Plitvice Lakes off season (winter, early spring or autumn) for less crowds and cheaper ticket. And don’t forget to buy your ticket on the National Park’s web page at least two days before your visit.
Krka National Park
Other natural gem of the region is Krka National Park which covers an area of 109 km² of the Krka River and the Čikola River. We started our visit in lovely village Skradin and took a boat to the most known waterfall area named Skradinski Buk. Later we also drove by car to Remetić – to see the Visovac island – and Roški slap. We loved this two areas more, as there were far less tourists here. However, the National Park covers such a huge area there are plenty more sites to see.
Tip for your visit: If you want to avoid long wait for the boat from Skradin to Skradinski Buk (the boat only departs once per hour) drive to Lozovac and visit the area on foot. Also buy online ticket to avoid the crowds at the ticket counter.
Šibenik is the nearest city to the Krka National Park so we had to take advantage of its proximity and went for a dinner after the visit. We had some delicious seafood and renewed our energy for exploring. We walked the Šibenik Promenade, passed the Count’s Palace and enter the old town at the gorgeous UNESCO world heritage site of Cathedral of St James. Then we continued to Šibenik Town Hall, the Church of St. Barbara and admired the cute cobblestone streets with architecture from the 15th and 16th century.
Tip for your visit: For nice views visit one (or all) of four fortresses in the city: St. John Fortress, St. Nicholas Fortress, Fortress Barone and St. Michael’s Fortress.
Zadar’s old town lies on a small peninsula and there you can find historical Roman ruins, cute cobblestone streets, gorgeous medieval churches and restaurants serving amazing food. Admire the history on the Old Town Square, go for a coffee at National square and count the wells on the Trg pet bunara. You also have to walk the seaside promenade to see two unique attractions: the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation. The first one is the wave-powered organ, which produces interesting sounds. The second is a light spectacle that comes alive in the evenings, when the sun sets.
Tip for your visit: Climb the steps of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia’s tower for the best views over the city, Adriatic Sea and nearby island of Ugljan.
Our last stop was the oldest Croatian royal town and the birthplace of Croatian state – a small town of Nin. The town center lies on a small island, which is connected to the mainland with two stone bridges. On the island, among other things, you can visit the world’s smallest cathedral – the Church of the Holy Cross, explore the remains of a Roman temple and make a wish by rubbing Gregor of Nin’s (a 10th century bishop) toe. You can also visit the town’s salt pans. At the outskirts of the town stop at the Church of Saint Nicolas, a picturesque church located on a small hill among the fields.
Tip for your visit: If you visit in the summertime, go for a swim at one of the longest Croatian sandy beaches the Queens beach.