|Map of Croatia courtesy of worldtravels.com|
Despite majoring in European History in college, I remembered only a little about this mysterious country. I knew that in 1991, a war broke out between the Serbs and the Croats when Croatia declared its independence from socialist Yugoslavia. The Serbs wanted to keep the nation one unified state, and for several years, the Serbs and Croats fought over Croatia's independence. After the conflict died down around 1995, it took the next decade for Croatia to regain its reputation as a beautiful (and safe) place for tourists. Besides my shallow knowledge of the conflict in the nineties, I knew very little about Croatia's robust and complex history. To read more about its history, check out this entry on Croatia from Wikipedia.
Brief history lesson aside, the Dalmatian Coast is one of the most spectacular places I've ever visited. We started our voyage in the southern most point of Croatia, Dubrovnik. This breathtaking port city is called the "pearl of the Adriatic," and for good reason. Boasting countless pristine beaches, more than 20 amazing museums, a gaggle of breathtaking churches, and art, music, and culture galore; it really is a mecca of sorts for the avid explorer.
|Dubrovnik: The "Pearl of the Adriatic" (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)|
|Korcula courtesy of Wikipedia|
Next on our journey was Hvar. This is the Croatian hotspot that attracts the world's flashiest super yachts, bringing travelers to sample the nightlife in Hvar. This little gem was one of our favorite stops in Croatia. Our favorite spot was Carpe Diem (visit here) which is located right on the waterfront and was constantly buzzing with some of the world's most beautiful people. We spent two nights bar hopping in Hvar--ran into several friends and acquaintances from the US--and I would definitely put Hvar on a must do list if I were planning another trip to Croatia.
After Hvar came Brac and Split. Split was another favorite spot, and we spent several days engrossed in this gorgeous city. Split is the second largest city on the Damaltian coast, and much like Dubrovnik, has countless museums, churches, galleries, and several large sporting arenas. We were in Split while Croatia was playing in the World Cup (in Frankfurt, that year) and we watched several World Cup games with locals at gorgeous outdoor cafes in picturesque courtyards.
|We spent time watching the world cup in outdoor cafes in Split|
|The walled in city of Trogir|
|Aerial view of Trogir (courtesy of omisonline.com)|