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Weekend getaway in Croatia | 5 top destinations

Print Published: 09/02/2018

If you're out of ideas for your next short trip, Croatia is a great choice. The Adriatic coast is an amazing host for an unforgettable weekend by the sea.
Croatia is full of different places that will take your stress and worries away. Make the most out of your 48 or 72 hours in Šibenik, Zadar, Pelješac, Split or Paklenica National Park. The best time of year for your weekend getaway is spring or fall, at the very beginning or the end of the season, when crowd and temperature levels are not as high as in July and August.
Keep on reading to get to know your next destination.

1. Šibenik

2 days in Šibenik: what to see and what to do?

The third biggest city in Dalmatia has an exquisite historic and cultural heritage in store for its guests. It is encompassed by four edifices: St. Michael, Šubićevac, St. Nicholas and St. John. These four will give you an amazing overview of the city and the surrounding islands.

Another impressive sight we recommend not to miss during your stay in Šibenik is the Renaissance St. Jacob's Cathedral (on the UNESCO's world cultural heritage list) which has a characteristic look and heads of dignitaries from the time curved in its outer walls.

Close to the cathedral, there is the St. Lawrence Monastery Garden that is so beautiful in spring when its flora is in full bloom.

For an even more enjoyable experience, have a cup of coffee or tea at the cafe in the garden and just take in the view.

If you manage to explore this Renaissance city in a day, we suggest you spend the next one at Krka National Park.

One of the most beautiful national parks in this part of Europe will surprise you with its untouched beauty, 7 waterfalls, beautiful walking tacks, archaeological sites and unique panoramic views of the surroundings.

Make a stop in Skradin where you'll find the entrance to Krka National Park. When it comes to cultural sights, we recommend paying a visit to the St. Spiridon Orthodox Church, The Fortress of Turina above the town and the Skradin Town Museum which holds a small but important collection of exponents from Skradin's interesting and rich history. When you get hungry, make sure to try Skradin's traditional risotto in one of the local restaurants. The risotto was praised by the world renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. Wine lovers can stop by Bibić winery and taste exquisite red wines.

If you're in the mood for a one day island adventure, sail off to Zlarin, Obonjan or Prvić where you can relax completely and take the sunshine in on one of the beaches.

Where to stay in Šibenik?

apartments with sea view
apartments 100 m away from pebble beaches
pet-friendly apartments

2. Zadar

2 days in Zadar: what to see and what to do?

Zadar is just as beautiful Split and Dubrovnik, and its history is just as interesting, but somehow it managed to stay outside the spotlight for quite a while.

However, during the last few years, there has been a noticeable change, especially after the Sea Organ and The Greeting to the Sun were built. In 2016 Zadar was named the best European destination.

Zadar is specific because it is a unique blend of different architectural styles, from the Roman Forum and St. Donat's Church built in Byzantine style to Renaissance edifices from the Republic of Venice times. A weekend will suffice to explore Zadar's cultural and historic sights.

Take a walk along the main street, Kalelarga, enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and just take in the everyday life of the locals.

Stroll down to the old Foša port where you can see the impressive Land Gate built in 1543. The Greeting to the Sun and the Sea Organ that plays music thanks to the waves await on the west coast, the Coast of Istria.

Take a break from sightseeing at the lovely Queen Jelena Madijevka Park which dates back to 1829 and have a drink at lounge bar Ledena.

If there's any time left, we recommend visiting Dugi Otok where you'll find a charming bay, Telašćica Nature Park.

Dugi Otok will welcome you with salty lakes, high rocks and, if you're lucky enough, dolphins! You can get to Telašćica from Sali or by boat.

Where to stay in Zadar?

apartments and houses with pools
apartments 100 m away from pebble beaches
apartments and houses with sea view

3. Paklenica National Park

One-day trip to Paklenica National Park: what to see and what to do?

Paklenica National Park
s the second oldest national park in Croatia. This area was declared a national park in 1949, just a couple of months after the Plitvice Lakes.

Paklenica is simply a must for active vacation enthusiasts. The most popular sports among the visitors are climbing, hiking and cycling.

Take a break from daily activities at a restaurant in the vicinity of the entrance to the park, close to the sea. If you get there by car, you can park at the south parking for a fee of 10 kunas (1.35€).

In high season, the ticket is 50 kunas (cca 6€). Have in mind that Paklenica National Park holds the right to change the prices so be sure to check them upfront on the Park's official website.

Climbing enthusiasts will surely enjoy visiting Paklenica in April when the International Climbers Meeting takes place.

In addition, do visit the cave Manita peć, the only cave on the Park's territory opened for visitors.

A guide will meet you there and give you a tour of the cave. But to get there you will have to hike for an hour and a half, so we recommend sitting this one out if you're not in shape.

Make sure to dress appropriately because the temperatures go as low as 10°C.

You can stay at Starigrad, a unique and picturesque combination of sea and high mountains. If you're there in late spring or early summer, take a swim on one of the beaches.

Paklenica national park is only 45 minutes away from Zadar so, if you get tired of hiking and walking, take a trip to Zadar.

Where to stay near Paklenica?

apartments 100 m away from the beach
apartments with sea view
affordable private accommodation near Paklenica

4. Split

2 days in Split: what to see and what to do?

A visit to Split is not complete without taking a tour of the legendary Diocletian's Palace, which is more than two thousand years old.

The old city center hides charming cafes and restaurants where you can taste delicious Dalmatian specialties.

If you're up for an unusual experience, visit the Room Escape near the Marjan Forest Park.

Omiš, a city only a 30 min car ride away, is an ideal choice for a day full of activities – from zip line over river Cetina's canyon to rafting on the river.

Hop on a ferry or a catamaran in spring or early summer and visit the islands of Brač, Šolta or Hvar. Spending the day swimming and chilling in the sun is always a good idea.

Where to stay in Split?

apartments with sea view
pet friendly apartments
best buy apartments

5. Pelješac

2 days in Pelješac: what to see and what to do?

Pelješac semi island is situated in South Dalmatia only an hour away from Dubrovnik by car. This 70 km long semi island is full of little villages surrounded by the crystal clear sea. It is an ideal destination for relaxing from everyday hustle. While driving and admiring hills and green vineyards, make a stop at one of the beaches in Pelješac.

Pelješac is specific because it is home to some of the most beautiful sand beaches in Croatia. We recommend the one in Prapatno bay, Pržina beach and Žuljana beach in Žuljana.

You can also go back in time if you visit the Walls of Ston built after the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) claimed Pelješac in 1333.

At a certain point in time, the Walls of Ston were even 5.5 km long which made them one of the longest buildings in Europe.

After the decline of the Republic of Ragusa, the Walls of Ston lost its military function and were neglected for a long time.

The City of Dubrovnik and the Republic of Croatia recognized their touristic potential, renovated them and opened to the public in 2009.

Take a walk along the Walls of Ston in sunset, and have dinner at one of the Ston's restaurants afterwards. Don't forget to try the clams and Postup red wine.

Not far from the Walls of Ston there's the Solana (saltworks) of Ston, one of the oldest saltworks in Europe.

If you want to know what the traditional way of harvesting salt looks like, pay a visit to Solana which produces more than 2000 tons of salt a year.

Where to stay in Pelješac?

apartments 100 m away from sand beaches
private accommodation with sea view and WiFi
Robinson Crusoe style apartments and houses



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