• Fokke Baarssen

Croatia 12 day road trip, Pula ,Rovinj, Krka,Zagreb

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

If your Mediterranean fantasies feature balmy days by sapphire waters in the shade of ancient walled towns, Croatia is the place to turn them into reality.

Pula

Pula

We left from Rotterdam airport to Pula Croatia with Transavia for only 50 euro and with 1 hour and 15 minutes getting off in Pula. People often ask me ow we can travel so much? this is way, search a half year before your travel date for your ticket and you will find a huge discount most of the time. If you wait until 2 month before, the airline will already sales 50/60 % of the tickets so they bring up the price and you pay 3 times the 50 Euro I payed so book 4/5 month ahead!!!


After our rental car picked up, which is always very fast, always have full cover so no hassle after the time, we drove to our hotel complex just outside the city directly on the bay at. Park Plaza Istria Pula.

We had the idea to go to the blue caves around Pula the next day, but the bad weather prevented us from going on a trip in the wild ocean, the weather in eastern Europe can be 30/35 degrees one week and a week later 20 and stormy with thunderstorms. The next day we stayed half the day in the hotel waiting until the weather would be better and in the afternoon when the weather camls down we drove around National Park Kamenjak what is located just 15 min drive from the hotel and a really amazing park to drive around or just chill for the day.

National Park Kamenjak


It′s the wild rugged beauty and end-of-the-world vibe of this small peninsula just south of Pula that earned it cult status among Croatian beach goers. An undeveloped protected nature reserve, Kamenjak showcases a carpet full of health plants, shurbs and wildflowers criss-crossed by a maze of dirt tracks running through it all. It′s fringed by a string of peeble bays and secluded rocky beaches, surrounded by crystalline blue-green sea. Its get busy in summer but there′s always an empty beach to escape to, plus a fun beach bar for socialising.Lonely Planet, 20 June 2012.



We make some stops alongside the ocean and watching the sun goes down in the ocean.

The must-see attraction is, of course, Pula’s Amphitheatre and after just walk around the old town and you will see a lot of beautiful spots. That's ow I most times explore a city just go to the old town and walk around and you wil past all the great spots.


Pula’s Amphitheatre

Pula’s Amphitheatre

Pula’s Amphitheatre

Square old town of Pula

Streets of Pula

After 3 days in Pula we drive to Rovinj a small beautiful colorful town in Istria its my 3th time in Rovinj and I always happy to be back in the colourful town.

On the road we like to stop somewhere we never been befor and just go and look around, so we see a place called Farzana and stop the car there and walk around make some pics and drinking coffee at the harbor, just a typical sleeping village in Istria.

On the road we like to stop somewhere we never been befor and just go and look around, so we see a place called Farzana and stop the car there and walk around make some pics and drinking coffee at the harbor, just a typical sleeping village in Istria.

Fažana is located in the southwestern part of the western coast of Istria in the Fažana channel. It is the starting port when traveling to the Brijuni Islands - a National Park with attributes of heaven. Fažana is also called the pearl of the west coast of the largest Croatian peninsula. The local population has always been fishing and farming.

harbor of Fazana

Fazana

Rovinj I been here before and sure I will come back another time , the old town never disapointed me. e are staying outside the village at 5 min drive at the Resort Amari a family hotel with camping and bungalows directly at the beach with some swim pools and every morning a lovely breakfast with a look at the ocean. We are staying at a bungalow with is own cooking stuff, so we can go to a market and buy fresh fish and vegetable and cook fresh local products to taste. From the hotel there is a peddle boat between Rovinj you take the boat and you don’t have to worry about parking your car in Rovinj, it can be busy at night in Rovinj.

Rovinj is a stunning little city in Croatia filling every inch of a peninsula bordered on three sides by the Adriatic Sea. The core of the old town is mostly Venetian and built with pale limestone that glows in the sun, containing exciting fragments from every stage of its turbulent history.

Rovinj I have nothing to say I think just look at the pics its beautiful and for sure I will coming back this area again.You can easy walk around a couple hours and enjoy the views and drink a coffee at the many bars and restaurants at the old harbor.


For more about Rovinj read my other blog

Sunset Rovinj

Streets of Rovinj

harbor of Rovinj

restaurants at waterfront Rovinj

The best views (and photos for instagram) of Rovinj can be had from the city’s port. From this perspective you can see those beautiful painted houses that crowd the waterfront



beautigful views

Best things to do in Rovinj:


  1. Old town

  2. Sunset boat trip watching the Dolphins

  3. St. Euphemia Cathedral

  4. Lim Fjord

  5. Rovinj Port

  6. Rovinj Town Clock

  7. Local beaches

  8. Diving

  9. Pula

  10. Lone bay the most visited beach


Around Rovinj are a few interesting places to visit first there is Limb bay just outside the village 15 min drive,You can reach this natural wonder by road or by boat from Rovinj’s port.

It is described as both a fjord and a canal, but really it’s a 10 kilometre-long river canyon guarded by steep wooded mountainsides that soar to 100 metres.

What really makes this scene and gives it the appearance of a fjord is the width of the river, up to 600 metres in places.

On land you can hike or bike through the mix of deciduous and coniferous forest and stop by at the restaurant at the mouth of the canyon. Here they serve seafood such as oysters and mussels farmed in these waters.

Limb bay

Vineyards of Istria

Motovun

At 1 hour drive there is the small town of Motovun bould on a hill

Motovun is a medieval town with the best preserved town walls in Istria, you have to park your car downside the hill and drive with a bus or walk upstairs the hill to reach the village.

The arrival on Motovun is spectacular. You have a view of the hills and vineyards that make the reputation of Motovun, a high-perched village with a tradition of very good wine and food. Motovun is one of the most visited places in Croatia. Many people come here to enjoy truffles.

As you will see everywhere in Istria, there is a strong influence of Italian culture. Moreover, the street names are often written in Croatian and Italian, it is true that we are close to the borders of Slovenia and Italy.

Motovun

old town of Motovun

local shop at Motovun

Novigrad

On the way back we drive to Novigrad famous for is colorful umbrella`s its a half hour drive from Motovun or 1 hour from Rovinj. Situated halfway between Porec and Umag, Novigrad is often overlooked by tourists. Novigrad kept its charm of a fishing town with its fishing boats lined in the town harbor Mandrac.The city walls have for centuries embraced and protected Novigrad’s rich history.

. I’ve read about a few places that have suddenly become quite popular because of their colorful umbrellas. Agueda in Portugal is one of those places.

Novigrad’s is maybe not as spectacular but they add a lot of colour to the town while also providing a lot of shade. Who doesn’t like the novelty of umbrella-covered streets?


harbor of Novigrad

colorful umbrella`s of Novigrad

colorful umbrella`s of Novigrad

After some sightseeing here and taste the best and cheapest frozen joghurt ever we drive back to Rovinj and on the way stopped at the town of Porec because I read about it before and we passed it so why not stop here. Also a beautifull town but when we arive there was somse festival around and very busy we decided a fast sightseeing around and go back out ofthe crowed town. The village of Porec just doesn`t feel the same as the other old towns around Istria.

Porec

The next day we relax at the hotel and in the afternoon we watching the sunset in Rovinj

Sunset Rovinj

Sunset Rovinj

We Always have some really slowly days between the travel days so you can relax and reloading the batery. In the evening we do a boat trip with Stupica exursions a family run boat consisting of five members. Family atmosphere, nice food, clear water, beatiful view, who can refuse that?


After days of sightseeing you can also park yourself next to the calm Adriatic Sea, which looks especially tempting on those hot days in July and August.

Within just a few kilometres up or down the shoreline there are 13 beaches. Few of these will resemble the traditional image of a big sandy bay; Istria’s beaches are either hidden coves with rocks that you can dive off, or small arcs of white shingle.

Sunset tour with Stupica exursions Rovinj

Sunset tour with Stupica exursions Rovinj

Sunset tour with Stupica exursions Rovinj

So that was Istria I think we realy enjoy and sure we come back here.The next day we drive to Split this is about a 5 hours drive from Rovinj we staying at Tribunj a village and a municipality in Šibenik known for its peaceful waterfront cafes. Not far from the village are the famous waterfalls of KRKA a 20 min drive, we decided to stay in the village of Tribunj for peace and tranquility because we do not want to stay in cities for too long . On the way to the waterfalls you will past the bridge of Sibenik

Sibenik Bridge

Sibenik Bridge

Tribunj

So at Tribunj there is not much around just chill and enjoying the good life here.

Tribunj is a typical Dalmatian town and harbor on the peninsula, with its narrow streets and densely built houses, located 4 km west of Vodice and known for the cleanest sea in the Adriatic. The local residents live mainly from tourism, agriculture and fishing. The old part of town is located on an island which is connected to the mainland by a stone bridge.

harbor of Tribunj

Sunset on the hill of Tribunj

harbor of Tribunj

KRKA national park

Krka National Park lies about 10km inland from Sibenik in this part of Dalmatia. Named after the Krka River, the Park covers an area of just over 142 square km and includes two thirds of the river itself. The top attraction of the Park are its magnificent waterfalls, including the famous Skradinski Buk falls which are one of Croatia’s most famous sights.

Best of all, it is possible to swim in some locations in Krka National Park! (To be sure to bring your swimming costume or trunks along!)

Going there in the afternoon when the crowed of people moving home and the beautiful light will come give you the space for make incredible photo`s of the waterfalls.

Krka park is no that big I think you can walk in 1 hour around , when you take the bus to the waterfalls directly you can reach it in an half hour. The most people stay at the waterfalls and swim or picnic there .




Plitvice vs. Krka

I visited the Plitvice Lakes two years ago . I do think both national parks are worth visiting if you have the time. But chances are you’ll have time for only one, and if that’s the case, you should know what you’re getting.


Plitvice is an iconic destination within Croatia – there’s no doubt about that. This place is magnificent and I think Plitvice’s Lower Lakes are home to the most visually spectacular waterfalls in Croatia. This park also has UNESCO World Heritage designation, while Krka does not.Plitvice is also much bigger and more tourist buses full with people visite here during day time so you have to wake up early to be there before the crowed.We do a 5 hour hike starting at 07:30 until 13:00 out the park. The park is much more bigger then Krka so you need your time here while you can visit Krka in just a couple of hours.

Plitvice you can not swim while in Krka you can swim by the waterfalls.


If you love waterfalls, Croatia is a fantastic country to visit. Thanks to a jagged coastline and mountains flush with rivers, waterfalls thrive in this beautiful nation.


waterfalls of Krka National park

waterfalls of Krka National park

waterfalls of Krka National park

waterfalls of Krka National park

waterfalls of Krka National park

Sibenik

The next day we visited Sibenik just 15 min drive from Tribunj with the Cathedral of St. Jacob was enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritrage list in 2000.

Šibenik is also an important access point for Krka National Park and the Kornati Islands.

The city located on the Croatian coast some 80 km north of Split. As it is positioned in the deep bay. It`s one of the most naturally protected harbors on the Adriatic coast.

Sibenik is the city less known to tourist than Dubrovnik and Split, although it has it’s own personality and some great things to see and enjoy. The atmosphere in Sibenik is youthful and lively. Little streets lead to attractive squares where modern shop windows unite really nice with the fine and stylish architecture of the vanished centuries.

One of the things not to be missed in Sibenik is Sibenik’s cathedral – Cathedral Sveti Jakov, built back to 1434, is an important architectural Renaissance building in Croatia that is listed by Unesco World Heritage. The cathedral lies just underneath the fortress walls of the town in the old area of Sibenik .

Sibenik old town

Cathedral of St. Jacob

Sibenik square

Zadar

We drive back to Zagreb to fly back to Amsterdam from there. But first we stop on the road again at Zadar here you can wander quiet streets of marble.Zadar is a city monument, surrounded by historical ramparts, a treasury of the archaeological and monumental riches of ancient and medieval time, Renaissance and many contemporary architectural achievements such as the first Sea Organ in the world.

Zadar

Zadar


From Zadar to Zagreb is another 3 hours driving we stay at the old central of Zagreb so we can reach everything easy by foot.

Although it’s the capital of Croatia, Zagreb is sometimes overlooked as a destination.

Which is a real shame, because it has plenty to offer! Sure, it doesn’t have the Adriatic sea or beaches, but it has many fine sights, plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars, lots of entertainment and regular events, a huge selection of accommodation (with something for all budgets), some decent shopping and is very easy to reach from elsewhere in Europe.

Watching the sunset from the upper hills of Zagreb is a great way to end your vacation in Croatia.

The next morning we do some sighseeing and shopping before we fly back to Amsterdam on our way to Greece.

upper hill of Zagreb

upper hill Zagreb

St Mark's Church Zagreb

Street with restaurant and bars Zagreb

So I hope you all enjoy and see you at my next trip and feel free to ask


#Travel #Croatia