We would like to introduce you to Cheryl-Lynn Wee, she is a lifestyle, portrait & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia. She loves creating images and writing stories of people and places that take you on a journey. Photographing and writing for lifestyle magazines, blogs, businesses, shooting portraits and places, documenting stories is her dream. She has created a piece of work on two old cities in Croatia, which are Dubrovnik & Plitvice. Enjoy as Cheryl- Lynn takes you through her travels of the old cities in Croatia.
Despite what friends may tell you, nothing can really prepare you for the beauty of Croatia. We had heard of lush green landscapes and Mediterranean water clear as crystal shimmering with the deepest depths of blue. Our expectations were high and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
Even though we had arrived during the night the quaint limestone buildings and the friendliness of the people immediately impressed us. Our accommodation in Dubrovnik was set in a convent situated on the north side of its square courtyard. As Denis showed us the apartment, a resident cat we nick-named Garfield followed us inside. In the morning, we were spoilt with a leisurely, peaceful swim in the cool waters of our private beach.
Dubrovnik’s beauty lies not only in its Mediterranean waters but the old, limestone architecture embraced with colourful bougainvillea wrapping its flowers around niches in the walls and its red-roofed houses. Time seems to have stopped here. Local bakas (grandmothers) hang out their washing on lines that stretch high over the trees from one building to the next, residents gossip in their courtyards as they share local delicacies, gardens filled with the scent of oranges and tangled with fig trees. Climbing the city walls of Old Town was like sneaking a glimpse into what makes Dubrovnik so special. There are sweeping views of the Adriatic and a jaw-dropping bird’s eye view of the city.
The food was equally good and our favourite, as it seemed for everyone else, was Konoba Kamenice in Old Town’s main square. Plates of fried sardines, octopus salad, and squid-ink risotto were on the menu and good value. Closer to the port, Italian-style pizza lived up to expectations at Carpe Diem.
A six-hour drive north along the Dalmatian coast would take us to the Plitvice Lakes where the densely forested landscape is dotted with Swiss inspired tourist accommodation. Here, we spent a full day exploring the eight km string of sixteen lakes that make up the Plitvice National Park. Wandering through this national park is like a paradise on earth where mesmerising turquoise lakes abound with shoals of rainbow trout that hang on the surface of its glimmering water. This unique attraction is owed to the travertine, calcium-rich material carried by the river and dropped downstream over many years. Standing at the lake’s edge the water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom where freshwater crayfish congregate to feed.
We ended our weeklong visit to Croatia travelling south to the Dalmatian town of Split where we stayed in the nearby beach side town of Podstrana. A morning walk along its pebbled shoreline is magical as the pink and orange hues of the rising sun gleam over the satin surface of the still Adriatic waters. It is a contrast to Split – a town that exudes modern elegance mixed with old world charm. The Croatian town of Trogir has a seductive charm as getting lost in its rabbit warren of narrow stone paved streets reveals an ancient town bursting with antique courtyards, jutting belfries and palaces with third century Greek origins.
Croatia is a magical place made special by its luxuriant Mediterranean waters, seductive coastal towns and fusion of old world charm with modern elegance.
Apartment Mediteran, Pile, was a fabulous place to stay whilst in Dubrovnik. It was close enough to be a stroll away to Old Town yet away from the hustle & bustle of the tourists. Located in a convent for girls, the owner, Denise Kakarigji, owns a row of self-catering apartments on the ground floor of the convent’s courtyard. Clean and beautifully furnished we were pleasantly surprised to have direct private access to a stone-pebbled beach.
House Tina, near Plitvice Lakes, is owned and run by Ljubica Vukovic, who named this quaint accommodation home after their disabled daughter. They’re a lovely family and provide fabulous accommodation both inside their home and outside in two purpose-built log cabins. Breakfast was definitely the highlight; served outside on the patio in the chill mountain air with everything baked fresh for the morning.
Once inside Pile Gate, Dubrovnik, stop by Onofrio's Fountain to re-fill your water bottles before climbing the city walls. [a] Luža Sq, Old Town
Climb Dubrovnik’s city walls and walk around the perimeter of Old Town [a] Off Put Iza Grada, Brsalje, Old Town [hr] open daily
The Trsteno Arboretum was once the summer residence of Dubrovnik’s patrician family, Gucetic, established over five centuries with its Gothic Renaissance and Neo-romantic garden architecture. [a] 20233 Trsteno, Croatia
Cathedral of St Lawrence dominates Trogir’s main square. Its architecture includes Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance sculptures the most attractive of which is Radovan’s two lions, Adam and Eve sculpted into the main portal during the 13th century. Climbing the 17th century bell tower is a bit of a hair-raising experience but you are rewarded with 360° views of Trogir. [a] Trg Ivana Pavla II, 21220 Trogir
Plitvice Lakes National Park was worth the six drive from Dubrovnik and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park covers 300 square kilometers consisting of 8km of turquoise lakes. [a] HR 53231 Plitvice lakes, Croatia (halfway between Zagreb and Zadar)
Šperun’s quaint chequered tablecloth setting was better than its food. Although we noticed that there were a few returning tourists so perhaps it depends on what you order. [a] Sperun 3, Split, Croatia
Restoran Marijana was one of our favourites as we ate there twice. The outdoor barbecue wafts tempting smells as seafood is grilled to order. Matije Gupca 12, Trogir
Konoba Kamenice was perhaps our favourite. Good value for money and the seafood delicious as demonstrated by the queues of customers waiting for a table. We ate the octopus salad each time we went back and the boys couldn’t get enough of the fried sardines [a] Gundilićeva poljana 8, Dubrovnik
Locanda Peskarija is situated on the portside of Dubrovnik’s Old Town. A nice atmosphere and pretty much the same seafood on the menu as most places in Dalmatia. The interior is suitably atmospheric and from the outside tables you can watch the boats come and go over a glass of good local wine. [a] Na Ponti bb Dubrovnik.
Restaurant Marko around the Plitvice Lakes area offered substantial servings of meat and veg style dishes. Hearty food suitable after a day of hiking in the national park. [a] Oštarski stanovi bb 47245, Rakovica, Croatia
For the dreamer - For the adventurer