A couple other students and I went on a mini vacation to Croatia to escape the constant rain that Graz has had over the past week! Originally we had just intended on going to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, and Plitvice Lakes. But we added on Zadar after hearing about the beautiful beaches along the Croatian Coast!
Friday, September 22nd – Zadar & Dugi Otok
We took the overnight bus from Graz to Zadar and arrived at 7:00 am. When we arrived we really didn’t have a plan so we wandered around the city center which is located right on the water’s edge! We had heard about a couple of islands near Zadar so we were at 9:30 am we spontaneously bought a ferry ticket that left the port at 10:00 am. The ferry ride to Dugi Otok was an hour and a half and was only 7 EUR! It was my first ever ferry ride! It was 23 degrees, so we sat at the stern of the ship and enjoyed the cruise. We zigzagged around multiple islands until arrived in Brbinj, a small village on Dugi Otok. When we arrived we noted everyone getting onto a bus so we followed and the bus driver said he would stop at the nicest beach on the island, Sakarun Beach! This is the only white sand beach on the island! After about 25 minutes on the bus, we arrived! The beach was located in a little cove on the western coast.
As soon as we arrived we wanted to jump in the water, but we were pretty hungry and we found out the only food that was sold near the beach was fish salad, chips, and liquor. There was a sign pointing towards a pizza place that was 2km away, so we started walking to find the pizza! We ended up in a very small and quiet village called Soline.
The pizza shop was closed… We were heartbroken. Our only option was to head back to the beach and fill up on chips and liquor, so we did! When we got back to the beach we all had mojitos and shared a bowl of chips. The mojito was the best one I had ever had! The bartender even went to his garden to pick fresh mint leaves! We all went swimming afterward, the water was AMAZING! The clearest water I had ever been in… and it was warm! We swam for awhile and then had a nap on the beach.
Around 4:00 pm we had another mojito and an ice cream. The bus arrived at 5:40 pm to bring us back to the ferry which left at 6:30 pm. And we were lucky enough to catch the sunset on the way back to Zadar! It was stunning.
When we arrived back in Zadar we took a taxi from the port to our hostel, located in the city center. We showered quickly and hit the town to find a restaurant for a much-needed meal. Zadar has many alleyways full of restaurants, cafes, live music, and bars! Lights were strung up throughout the alleyways which reflected off the perfectly polished stones. I was delighted by the lively atmosphere in Zadar!
Saturday, September 23rd – Plitvice Lakes & Evening in Zagreb
In the morning, we made our way by bus to Plitvice Lakes National Park! The national park consists of forests, caves, waterfalls, and 16 lakes! We arrived around 10:30 am and the park was already quite busy! The wooden bridges and stairs throughout the park led you upstream to the main lake. We stopped at the main lake for lunch! They do have restaurants and gift shops here. We stopped at the main lake for lunch! We then took a small ferry across the lake. On the other side, you can continue hiking throughout the park or you can hope on another short ferry ride to the bus stop that will bring you back to the main entrance. After a day at the beautiful Plitvice Lakes, we
We stopped at the main lake for lunch! They do have restaurants and gift shops here. We stopped at the main lake for lunch! We then took a small ferry across the lake. On the other side, you can continue hiking throughout the park or you can hope on another short ferry ride to the bus stop that will bring you back to the main entrance. After a day at the beautiful Plitvice Lakes, we travelled to Zagreb! We arrived around 6:45 pm, just in time for supper! After checking into our amazing hostel right in the city center, we went out for supper and also signed up for a pub tour. After supper, we met the tour group in the main square. The pub tour was a great chance for us to check out multiple bars in the city and not have to worry about getting lost! Another perk was that we got to meet other travellers!
Sunday, September 24th – Zagreb – Graz
In the morning we went to a restaurant for breakfast called “EGGspress,” it was EGGcellent! We then walked around the city center and found out that there was a burger festival in the main square! For some reason after a night of drinking, we decided to go to an illusion museum, it was really entertaining, but we weren’t feeling great afterward.
We spent the afternoon relaxing and touring the city before catching our bus home around 9:30 pm! The bus ride back to Graz was fairly short, we arrived home at 12:30 am.
Overall, it was such an amazing trip! The beach day on Dugi Otok was my absolute favourite destination we visited. If you go to Croatia, you must see the sea!