Zagreb is already an established European metropole with a number of airlines flying to it from European capitals and those destinations who are a hub, linking North and South America to Croatia via Zagreb. As a result, I would suggest you start your tour from Zagreb. Aim to get to Zagreb in morning, so that you profit from sightseeing The Upper and Lower Town. If you are coming as far as Asia and Australia, I would suggest that you spend your second day in Zagreb by a day outing in a nearby hamlet of Samobor or you go on a daily tour of Zagorje so called Green Riviera and visit Trakoscen Castle. From Zagreb you would normally proceed to Plitvice, which are a must visit. This magical National Park of cascading lakes and waterfalls is a true natural wonder and a
day well spent.
From here you are descending down to Split and after spending a day here sightseeing you either go to islands Hvar then Korcula, Mljet and end up in Dubrovnik or you choose the road route via sleepy yet interesting villages of Makarska Riviera to Dubrovnik. Personally, I prefer to get on a sea route to Dubrovnik, because this tour is really is a true opportunity to explore Croatia by both road and sea. Once you reach and explore Dubrovnik it is advisory you book one of DLT’s one day shore excursion from Dubrovnik to Mostar or from Dubrovnik to Kotor so that you can visit neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Srđ Portolan smiled at me as I posed this question to him but Srđ did not hide the fact that there is a great friendship between the natives of Dubrovnik and Split. Portolan adds that the element of friendly rivalry brings actually people together. They both live in what is known as Croatian province of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik celebrates its patron saint; St Blaise, Split on the other hand celebrates St Domnius. Both cities have churches devoted to their patron saints. Split’s Old City is not as stunning as that of Dubrovnik but in a sense it is much cosier and it does have this element of Roman past as Diocletianus palace is a well preserved monument. Srđ Portolan continues to add that in a same way as Dubrovnik has its Srđ hill, after which he and many Dubrovnik natives were named, Split does have its Marjan hill, which is covered in dense pine tree forest and it is ideal for running and cycling activities. Srđ Portolan tells me that names like his and that of Blaise which in Croatian translates as Vlaho are unique to Dubrovnik in a same way as the name of St Domnius or Duje in Croatian and that of Lovro are typical Split males names. Unfortunately this falls short of the EU Commission policy on gender equality,Srdj Portolan says jokingly, but it is a reminder of Croatia’s patrimony legacy. Srdj Portolan says that the reason why is Split becoming more appealing to tourists is because of its cultural, natural beauties and the entertainment factors. We have explained the cultural factors, Split’s Old City Peristil and Diocletianus Palace. Split is also known as a hub city for visiting Croatian islands of Ciovo, Brac, Hvar and Vis. In our previous blogs we have sung praises to Hvar’s beauty and rich night life and Vis’ Blue Cave phenomenon, undoubtedly the best diving spot in the whole of the Adriatic. Srđ Portolan further adds that Split is in within easy reach of the natural parks of Krka and Plitvice and if you are after adrenaline rush you can always raft down river Cetina.Split has also hosted a second year in a row Urban House music festival. For the lovers of luxury accommodation and all those yachting tourism enthusiasts Split does have two luxury five star hotels Le Meridien Lav and Marjan with their own small marinas where you can moor your “pet”. Last but not the least if you want your son to become the next Marin Cilic, the winner of the US Open 2014, just send him to Split. It is here that he moved from his home town of Medjugorje and Split is a home town to almost all Croatian world recognised tennis stars, Goran Ivanisevic, Mario Ancic,Iva Majoli,Mirjana Lucic just to name the few concludes Srđ Portolan.