Each year Insight Vacations rewards their top selling agents with a Top Achievers trip on one of their itineraries. I was fortunate enough to experience their tour that I sell so much of in a slightly modified/shorter version of the Country Roads of Croatia.
On our modified tour we started in Zagreb and then travelled through to Opatija, Split, Brac and finished in Dubrovnik. Here are some of the highlights of my trip_
We took a slight detour to Slovenia to the World Famous Postojna Caves. I hadn’t seen anything like it and was in awe the whole way through! First you board a train to take you into the caves. (It is very cold in there so make sure you take a jacket). After the train ride you have a guided tour and you see the stunning stalagmites, columns and curtain formations of this cave system.
After our cave visit we made our way back to Croatia to a cute seaside town called Opatija which was our base for the next two nights.
Today we crossed to the heart-shaped peninsula to explore the largest city of Istria, Pula! This city is known for its many surviving Roman ruins. Our local guide walked us through the city and told us stories about the Roman times showing us the city's Roman ruins, finishing our city tour at the well-persevered first century arena. This is the only full circle amphitheatre in the world, holding 20,000 spectators to watch the battles of gladiators. The arena today is used for outdoor cinema, markets and special events or concerts.
If you are a foodie, Pula has Italian cuisine with a Croatian twist. It is also a major fishing port so the seafood here is divine.
After seeing photos of this place online and in brochures I couldn’t believe we were visiting the Plitvice National Park today!
Plitvice Lakes is the largest national park in Croatia, with 16 named lakes and several smaller unnamed lakes which cascade into one another. This place is absolutely stunning, I felt like I was in a fairy-tale as I zigg-zagged my way alongside the lakes, admiring the cascading waterfalls and crystal clear blue green water. I would definitely avoid this place in summer as I can imagine how busy the national park would be. Our tour was in May and there weren’t to many groups which was nice.
After our guided walk through the national park, we took a boat ride across one of the lakes, which was a nice way to take in the scenery without watching your step.
Our last three nights were in Dubrovnik and what a city to finish. If you finish or start a tour in Dubrovnik I would highly recommend extending your time here as there is plenty to see and do.
First up a walk around the famous City Walls. These walls are two kilometres long, it can take a few hours to complete the full circle, however If you aren’t up to the full walk you can get down half way. I would highly recommend doing the walk as the view from up there is pretty spectacular, looking over the old town with the terracotta rooves and out to the shimmering Adriatic Sea. As there isn’t really any shade, I would recommend avoiding the middle of the day and opt for a morning or afternoon walk, definitely take a hat. After our walk we had some free time before dinner, a group of us decided to do a boat tour around the coastline to get a different angle of the walls surrounding the Old Town.
The vibe of this city is buzzing, there are lots of cute little alley ways lined with shops and restaurants, you could wonder around for hours. I will definitely be back.
I would definitely recommend traveling with Insight Vacations. Their coach was clean and comfortable, with plenty of leg room (Business Class of coach touring) and large windows. So no matter where you sit you still have a view. The hotels that we stayed at were all 4.5 to 5 star and in fantastic locations. Our tour director was amazing, she had so much knowledge and was truly passionate about Croatia, she would also go out of her way to make sure we were all having a great time. Even though our trip was short I still learnt so much and can see why Croatia is becoming a hot destination, so if you haven’t yet been I would consider putting it on your list.