Gate1 Travel……Croatian Trip

This is a vacation that we had booked thru a company called Gate1 Travel, which included all of our flights, hotels, tour guide, bus transportation, free breakfast and a couple of free dinners.  We had several stops along the coastline of Croatia. 

Gateway1 picked us up in Vienna, Austria along with several other passengers and we were off to our hotel in Opatija, Croatia.  This was our first trip booking a bus tour with 42 other people, normally our trips consist of booking on our own, being able to explore and really at our own pace.  This was  different than what we had anticipated but Gate1 did a fantastic job putting it all together.

Our first stop on our Croatia trip was to a little town called Opatija.  The weather was fabulous, we were able to walk around and check out this sleepy little town by the Adriatic Sea, this city is about 3 hours from Venice- which is where we flew into.  We spent 1 day exploring the city and had lunch at a fun little pizza restaurant.

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia was our next stop along the coast of Croatia.  This is such a charming place to visit, has all the old charm that you are looking for in a town.  Has cozy cafe’s and restaurants to people watch along the boardwalk looking over the harbor.  Plan to spend at least 2 nights in Split this town has so much to see, including Diocletian’s Palace which is right in the middle of Old Town.  We were able to visit in the evening which was amazing with all the lighting hitting the old stone and then went back for a tour of the Palace in the daytime to learn more details.  Click the link below to find out more details of how Diocletian ruled Split.

 Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or your favorite espresso and people watch here.  What I like most about Split is that at one time it was a Castle and today people live in certain parts near the castle with bustling shops and cafes, makes you feel like you are a part of this Old Town Palace.

 Split is the largest city along the coastline and you can fly directly into Split, the airport is called Resnik Airport.  This is a major airport in Croatia and various airlines fly into Resnik,  such as KLM, British Airways, & Lufthansa.

 

Everything you need for your trip to

Croatia

Jetlag Relief

Jet lag can cause headaches, nausea, and general discomfort will rob you of valuable time that you could be using to explore and enjoy your destination. I recommend packing jetlag relief for any overseas travel, and any travel with a significant time zone change.

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Travel Pillow

Travel pillow, love this travel pillow when I am traveling internationally.  This one works on a pump system, simply press the button to pump up and release by pushing the black button.  I love this so much, so soft and can easily be clipped to your carryon luggage.

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Water Shoes

If you plan on water activities, these mesh water shoes are a must have. They’re built like active shoes but breathe, drain water/sand, and grip like water shoes. They’re great for hiking or walking on the beach to protect from the hot sand and any rocks or sharp objects on the ground. The non-slip grip is handy when walking around on wet rocks and trails!

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Windbreaker

Having a lightweight waterproof jacket is a must-have for any trip. It comes in handy any time there’s rain, and it is a perfect extra layer for cooler days or for when the evening chill sets in. It’s compact and easy to roll up for storage, so you can carry it with you in your daypack, that way you’ll never be without it!

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

Our next destination was Dubrovnik we passed through small towns like Zadar and Bosnia, with a bus full of tourist counting 42 of us, I’m sure it was difficult for our tour guide Sasha to keep us all in check!!!  Dubrovnik was a great little city with tons of ancient walls and cozy little cafes to find the perfect cup of coffee and order some delicious pizza.  During our visit there we were able to walk along the city walls, you really get a good understanding of how Dubrovnik was protected, this walk takes a couple of hours just due to the fact that the pictures you can take will be fabulous.

 Dubrovnik has a population of about 43K people, the big tourist stop here is visiting the Walls of Dubrovnik.

There are various tourist things to do in Dubrovnik, during our visit we decided to do a tour and visit the Elaphite Islands.  There are tours from getting a private tour of the Walls to visiting Montenegro.  All are fantastic- check out Dubrovnik Deals by Viator

 Again, we visited in the month of October and there were quite a few tourists but nothing like it would be during the summertime.  If you have a choice try and book during the shoulder season ~ April or May,  September or October would be best.

Our amazing views at the

Dubrovnik President Hotel

We had amazing accommadations at this hotel in Dubrovnik, all of the rooms at this hotel face the Adriatic Sea so you can’t have a bad view.  The other thing we realized is that you can do a coastal walk that leads you right into the heart of Dubrovnik with tons of restaurants and bars along the way, we happened upon a fun cave bar that is built of course into the caves, check out all the funs bars and restaurants in Dubrovnik. 

We were really impressed by the size of the rooms as well as a great patio to view the sunset from.  Breakfast was really great as well, a huge wide spread of everything you would need in the buffet, sausage, pancakes, made to order omelettes and my favorite part of the breakfast they had a honeycomb that was dripping that you get for your toast or tea.  What was particularly nice is that this hotel was away from the city center but to get into town you catch BUS 6 right outside the hotel and you arrive in city center in 10-15 minutes.  Cost 2.50 Kuna, very cheap and easy to get around.

Incredible Waterfalls….. 

Krka National Park in Croatia

On our way to Slovenia, we stopped off at Krka National Park, this park has great walkways around the falls with a spot to grab some ice cream which is always my hubbies favorite.

Krka National Park cost for admission is less than $7 USD. Take your time here at the falls, it took us about 25-35 minutes to walk around the boardwalk to see different angles of the falls and its surrounding areas. You can swim in the water but beware of the strong currents. I had read some of the reviews about taking a taxi ride from Split, cost someone $150, you may want to look at maybe staying in a town that is a little closer to the falls to check this out.  Really breathtaking views please do not miss this.

Lake Bled, Croatia

Our last stop on this great vacation was traveling to Lake Bled, Slovenia.  Our hotel was another 5* hotel, Rikli Balance Hotel, felt like we were in a mountain retreat.  Breakfast was great and the rooms were particular nice with a wood paneling in the rooms for accents, very clean hotel and worth checking out. 

We decided that we would rent electric bicycles and ride around the Lake Bled and up to Vintgar Gorge.  It was so nice because we were able to stop along the way and enjoy the lake and all its beauty.

Vintgar Gore is about 4KM or  2.5 miles, so a great side trip to take on a bicycle.  Vintgar Gorge is this beautiful canyon with water running though it as it passes over boulders and around several falls. There is a wooden boardwalk that essentially carves its way through this beautiful Gorge.   Entrance fee is 5 Euros, it is a  1.6Km to walk to the end or approx. about a mile.  Easy walk with incredible views of this canyon, well worth the time and money.  As we researched this before our trip I did notice that quite a few people like to travel in the summertime, if you are there during the summertime expect huge crowds, again we visited in October and the weather was beautiful and no problems getting our photos and enjoying the canyon.

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