KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

CURRENCY: Croatian Kuna.  Croatia is not on the Euro.  Most places will take a credit card but it is helpful to have cash for tips and street vendors.

LANGUAGE: Standard Croatian is the official language.  English is widely spoken as well.

WHEN TO GO: Peak season are the summer months: July and August.  Keep in mind these will also be the warmest months.  Consider the shoulder seasons: April-June or September-October  for cooler weather and fewer crowds.  This is a seaonsal destination and places might be closed for the winter months.

GETTING AROUND: We rented a car for our time in Croatia and our drive up the coast.  Parking is difficult around the walled city.  Consider a taxi or hotel transportation to visit old town Dubrovnik.

WHAT WE DID

Oh family vacations. Always an interesting time. Will it be fun? Or will everyone argue the entire time? Will there be laughing or crying? Screaming or singing? Adventure or anxiety? Maybe a solid combination of all of them. My family decided to test our luck on a family vacation to Croatia. We focused our trip on the Dalmatian Coast, a narrow belt along the coast line of the Adriatic Sea which proved to be one of the most gorgeous and scenic car rides one could experience.

We flew into Dubrovnik, spending a few days in this amazing city before driving up the coast to Split. After checking into our hotel, the kids walked towards old town. We stumbled upon a trail leading down to the water where locals were laying out on the rocks and finding cliff jumping spots along the water’s edge. We continued on towards the walled city and the narrow streets of Old Town Dubrovnik. Wandering through the city, we were on a mission to find Buza Bar, a bar built into the side of the cliff on the outside of the town walls. Finally we found the secret door through the city walls and enjoyed a drink at one of the cliff side tables to watch the dare devils jump from the cliffs into the Adriatic Sea.

On our first full day, my family charted a boat through Dubrovnik Boats and it was one of the best days of our visit! Our guide Mato was knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. Given this was a private boat tour of the surrounding area around Dubrovnik, we were able to spend extra time in Lopud, stop for cliff jumping, and slowly cruise along the famous walls of Dubrovnik for pictures. Be warned, the water is much colder than it may appear but worth a swim!

Day two, we had arranged for a private tour of the city starting with finding the best views of old town Dubrovnik. We drove to the top of Srd Hill and man were the roads narrow! Our driver was backing up to let another car pass near the top of the switch back road and went too far. The back right tire was hanging off the side of a very steep hill! The tire was physically not touching the road! Clearly anxious but trying not to show how nervous it actually made him, the driver revved the engine to pop the tire back on the road and continued slowly and carefully up to the top. He immediately got out of the van once we reached the top and light a cigarette with shaky hands. You can also take the cable car to the top of Srd Hill for some of the best views of the city. Enjoy a drink or snack at the Panorama Restaurant & Bar.

We finished the tour with a walking tour of the walled city. First question our guide asked was did we watch Game of Thrones which we enthusiastically answered yes! Not only did we learn about Dubrovnik’s history including the recent Bosnian War of the 90s, but the guide also took us to Game of Thrones filming locations throughout the city.

When our time was over in Dubrovnik, we drove the Dalmatian coast up to Split (around 130 miles). All 5 adults piled into our rented station wagon for the drive. It was like a game of Tetris trying to fit all of our luggage in the trunk! We chose to take the scenic route along the coast line versus the new highway. Even though this way was longer (around 4 hours total travel time), the views did not disappoint! At almost every turn, we wanted to stop for a picture. We could see people hiking down to the beach, kayaking along the rocky coast or enjoying a boat day on the water. You will also briefly pass through Bosnia on your way up the coast. Be prepared to show your passports at the border crossing.

We decided to stop for lunch in Makarska on our drive down the Dalmatian coast in Croatia and what gorgeous views Makarska provided! The mountains on one side and the clear turquoise sea on the other. Makarska is a port town often used as a connection point for ferries to Brac and Hvar Islands. The town also offers sandy beaches, a seafront promenade and nightlife. We ate lunch at a quaint restaurant by the harbor and walked down the promenade before hopping back in the car to head to Split.

On our first full day in Split, we drove to Krka National Park, about an hour outside the city, to explore the park. The wooden trails wind around streams filled with fish and provide overlooks to the Krka River and its many waterfalls. The water is crystal clear and the river opens to a natural swimming pool at the base of the main falls. Bring a bathing suit and towel! Swimming is allowed.

On our second day, we explored Split. Hike to the top of Diocletian’s Palace bell tower for sweeping city views. Get lost in the streets of old town. Have dinner on the Riva Promenade.  Dance to the music along the waterfront while enjoying ice cream for dessert. Your day will be complete!

On a return trip, we would love to spend time on Brac or Hvar relaxing on the beach. Considering adding one of the many islands to your itinerary.  

Welcome to Mullen it Over!

Hi, we’re Amanda & Kai!

An every day couple trying to see the world and cross off our ever expanding bucket list.

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