A slightly rushed solo meander through Croatia, where I debate the logic of Europe in August.
I spent twelve days in Croatia. The half-plan that I made before I arrived was far too ambitious for twelve days; I knew that at the start really. But there will always be another time.
I started with three days in Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik in August is very touristy and very crowded; I wouldn’t go again. Read more about Dubrovnik here.
Next I went to Split. Split was a lot more laid back and a surprisingly great place to relax. I was three days in Split and could easily have stayed longer. More about Split here.
Next I detoured to Zagreb, which must rank as one of the quietest capital cities. Again I stayed three days; two would have been enough. Read more here about my favourite museum in Zagreb
I spent a night at Plitvice lakes. August is not the best time to do it. More about the lakes here
Finally two days in Zadar.
If I had another twelve days then I would like to get a boat from Zadar to Pula, explore the region around Rijeka and from there go into Slovenia. However Budapest is beckoning and I’m not sorry to be moving on. In truth twelve days felt quite rushed and I would sooner have picked just two of these places visit.
I wouldn’t come again in August; it’s been very crowded and completely overpriced. I’ve exceeded my budget by around 100%, mainly down to accommodation costs (no haggling over price in August).
Croatia is a relatively easy country to travel in as a single woman, although they do seem to find it a bit weird. My landlady in Split kept looking for reassurances (using her few words of English) that I had a husband somewhere.
Outside of the main resorts English is not well understood and certainly not commonly spoken. If you need help my advice would be to ask somebody under 30, as they are most likely to understand or be able to communicate in English; these days they start learning English at primary school.
I travelled around by bus. Buses seem to work reasonably efficiently in Croatia, the only real problem being that there are different bus companies going to the same place, often at the same times, and the quest is to find the right one amongst them all. I found a website to buy tickets. It was a bit of a kerfuffle and you had to register and confirm and such before they would let you buy (quite a feat with my painfully slow internet), but still easier than queuing at the station.
The only place where I felt I needed a car was Plitvice Lakes, where the hostels were cut off and hard to get to on transport, or the ones nearby were expensive (and fully booked). But car hire isn’t economical for one person and, as I said, there is always another time. Booking further ahead would probably have helped me find a room nearer to the lakes, as would not travelling in peak time August.