Finally, Croatia

Zdravo! That’s how you say “hello” in Croatian and I said it a lot. Also “Hvala!” which means thank you. It was my mom’s dream to visit Croatia but the opportunity kept moving farther away (because, pandemic). Finally, we were a go for launch. Since we first started planning, I became an actual, on-paper, certified Croatia specialist. This resulted in the perfect trip. 

What do the textbooks not tell you about Dubrovnik? How steep it is! Stairs for days. 

I was concerned about the physical challenges presented to our group of older(ish) women, but they were absolute champs. Also, despite having eaten my weight in bread and drinking the equivalent to a barrel of wine, I lost a couple of pounds on this trip.


Dubrovnik became huge with tourists as a major shooting location for Game of Thrones. And yep, you definitely feel like you’re in King’s Landing. Despite the many stores where you can buy GoT stuff, the locals are quick to say, “No, I do not live in King’s Landing”.

We found it beneficial to make Dubrovnik our home base while exploring other parts of Croatia and Montenegro. It was like a cruise, where we got to unpack once and really felt like “home” for a week. We had an outstanding Airbnb.  It was spacious and roomy – and had a million stairs. Bring on the bread. 

Croatia is an emerging wine region. The European Union (of which Croatia is a newer member) provides economic support to countries to “level them up” economically to other countries. A huge influx of EU cash helps Croatian wineries get the tools they need to compete on an international scale. We sampled many, many wines. Wine with every lunch. Happy hour. Wine with dinner. (Thanks, stairs). 

Andreo, one of my favorite guides of all time, took us on a wine tour of Pelješac. I’ve taken a lot of wine tours around the world and this one was exceptional. It’s an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik to the Peljesac peninsula. It starts with the town of Ston, known for its ancient walls and salt production. And oysters! 

Possibly my new, favorite winery visit of all time (!) is Mikulic.  Our guide, Melissa, is incredibly passionate about the wine and her job. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and it only got better from there. Every wine offered to us was exceptional. Pošip (white) and Postup (red) are made here.

Antonio, the grandson of the original winemaker, Josip, was around to help us enjoy the wines. I will try to move (literal) mountains to get this wine imported to the US. There is a small wine museum in the back of the winery that shows the production of wine from long-ago Croatia and how labor intensive it was. This is a must-stop for wine fans and those into agricultural history. 

Back “home” in Dubrovnik, you can sample many local wines at the D’vino Wine Bar in Old Town. It’s a tiny and sweet bar where you get to know the wine guys, Tony and Kenny, and make friends from around the world.

A day in the “big” city! Split. It’s a long drive from Dubrovnik – 3 hours. It’s a nice opportunity to relax and enjoy the coast. We got to visit another country for 10 minutes. To get to Split, one must pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina. A bridge is nearing completion that will bypass this detour. Unfortunately, it didn’t result in a stamp in the passport, just a nod and a wave.

Dubrovnik is tiny with only 35,000 people. Split has 175,000 and feels like a city. It’s bustling, has a university and that “edge” that larger cities have. More graffiti on everything. Sexier boutiques and a lot more fancy booze stores. The overwhelming highlight of Split is the Diocletian Palace. He was a benevolent Roman Emperor who believed in term limits and built this as his retirement palace. It’s also where Mother of Dragons kept her dragons (always with the GoT in this country). 

Croatia is one of those places that you visit that stays with you long after you leave. When you’re home, you miss the church bells that awaken you every hour, on the hour. The familiar faces you see when you step out of your townhouse for the day. Wine at lunch. Blue water everywhere. 

I’d like to tell you more about the seafood, boat trips, day trips to Montenegro, Irish pubs where you can watch American sports, and more! Want to travel to Croatia? Comment below, email me or fill out the travel questionnaire

Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram to see more pictures of this journey and upcoming ones! 


Off You Go, Then!

1 Comment

Lynda · June 2, 2022 at 2:57 pm

One of the best trips ever. Lysa did not miss a beat in her wonderful recap

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