Hi everyone! It’s time we started to share somethings about our 10-day trip to Croatia. Before we get too far into this post, we would like to dedicate it to one of our biggest fans throughout these last two years, who we lost yesterday evening. We love you Grammy Cupcake, thanks for your endless love & support. This one’s for you.
Croatia is something we had been planning since returning back to Spain for our 2nd year. We knew we wanted to have one last hoorah after we finished teaching and Croatia was a spot we had both set eyes on. And let me tell you: it did not disappoint.
After saying some difficult goodbyes to our students, we flew to Barcelona (slept in the airport) and then boarded our connecting flight to Zadar! Even though we arrived to Zadar very early in the morning, we were excited because a beach was walking distance from the bus station. (To get from the Zadar airport to downtown, check out this link). We left our bags in a storage locker, changed into our bathing suits at the bus station and were beach bound!
Our first impression of the beach–WOW! The water was crystal clear and we had the entire beach to ourselves (mostly because it was so early). We were able to sleep a bit more on the beach, swim in the water and relax before it was time to check into our Airbnb. We definitely recommend this spot for anyone visiting Zadar, it was less than 20 minutes to the old town and about 10 minutes to the beach-no complaints there!
After taking a well-deserved shower after our long night/ day of travel, we were very excited to get into Old town Zadar and start exploring! We didn’t have too many expectations for our first leg of the trip but Zadar was beautiful! We visited St. Donatus church and checked out the roman ruins around it. We also climbed to the top of the tower for a great view of the city and sea!
Since I’m afraid of heights, it was a struggle to climb the church tower, but I made it! We treated ourselves to some well-earned gelato afterwards, which our Airbnb host recommended to us: Slasticarna Donat.
After our snack, it was time to head off to check out the famous Sea Organ! We had read a lot about this before going to Zadar so we were eager to see it for ourselves. As the waves crash against the shore, pipes underground play different sounds. It’s definitely not a melody, but it’s fun to hear how the ocean sounds! The windier the day, the crazier the sea organ! It’s great when a boat would go by and cause some waves. We spent some time sitting on the steps by the sea organ, watching locals swim. Our favorite local (an older man and his little brave dog) were playing catch. The dog would jump off into the water as his master threw him the ball. A few times he caught it and he never seemed to run out of energy.
When the dog and his owner left, we headed out in search of some dinner & drinks. We ate some pizza in the old town at Teta Feta (also recommended by our Airbnb host). The slices were huge and the prices were reasonable. We were lucky enough to snag a table outside along the small road.
One of my favorite memories from Zadar was watching the sunset! We made our way from dinner back to the water to watch the sun go down. It was picture perfect. A lot of people watch the sunset from the sea organ, but if you walk down a little ways there’s a dock that jets out. We sat on the dock and had a view that wasn’t blocked by anyone!
Since we had missed almost an entire night’s sleep, we crashed after watching the sun go down. Our next day we had plans to visit Plitvice National Park, which is known for it’s beautiful waterfalls. It was such a great day, we decided to dedicate an entire post to it. Stay tuned for our next blog about it, but here’s a sneak peak of the amazing views we enjoyed!
Since the majority of our day was spent visiting the National Park, we really only made it back to Zadar in time for dinner. Our Airbnb host recommended another great place to us: Bon Appetit and she offered to make us reservations as well. Although we were on a tight budget in Croatia, we decided to treat ourselves to one nice dinner in each of the cities we visited. Mark had the walnut ravioli & I had the Zadar truffle pasta dish. The restaurant had a beautiful outdoor terrace along the water, and we were able to enjoy the last bit of the sunset. We also tried their house-white wine, which was made locally and very good!
After dinner, we made our way down to see the Sun Salutation. This is next to the Sea Organ and is a solar powered circle that gains energy throughout the day from the sun and then lights up at night for a show. It’s definitely a cool concept but nothing to write home about. When we got there, most of the people were standing on the circle, so it was hard to see what exactly the lights were doing. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in Zadar but nothing to plan a whole evening around.
The following morning we snuck in another hour at the beautiful beach we had enjoyed the first day, before heading to the bus station to head off to Split, our next destination. In the end, we hadn’t realized how Zadar was going to be but it exceeded our expectations! If anyone is planning a trip through Croatia, Zadar is definitely worth a couple days.
Check out our video blog about our time there, and stay tuned for our next post about Plitvice!