We started our trip in Zagreb, Croatia. Zagreb Airport is pretty small and easy to get around. Driving in Croatia is easy, roads and highway are very good and with a decent GPS you will have no problems getting to your destination.
From Zagreb we drove to Split with a stop in Plitvice where the famous National Park is located. Driving time from Zagreb is 2 hours. It is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe and perhaps the most beautiful natural wonder in Croatia. This park is known for its lakes arranged in cascades. You can choose from several different paths around the lakes ranging in both time and difficulty. In addition to the numerous waterfalls, wildlife can be seen, including fish, frogs, snakes and a variety of bird. Special attraction is the Veliki Slap, a 100 foot waterfall surrounded by nearby boulders to which tourists have access. You can easily spend entire day In Plitvice hiking and enjoying its views.
In the afternoon we left Plitvice and drove to Split. The drive time is 2 ½ hours. Again easy drive; first through local roads and then highway.
Split is a town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and second largest city in Croatia. It is known for its beaches the fortress like complex at its convenient access to islands of Brac, Hvar or Korcula.
Split is a relatively easy city to get around for sightseeing, especially as many of the top sights are within short walking distance of each other, mostly in or nearby the Diocletian’s Palace area. Top sights are; Diocletian’s Palace; Peristyle which is an open space in the palace surrounded by a colonnade of six columns to the eastern and western sides and an arch, decorated with garlands; Cathedral of St. Domnius; The bell tower of the Cathedra; and also not to be missed statue of Gregory of Nin is one of the most visited sights in Split. The big toe on the statue of Gregory of Nin’s left foot is most noticeable since it is a very shining gold color due to years of believers rubbing it in hopes for good luck.
Le Meridien Lav has a beautiful setting featuring a private of beach, gardens landscaped by award-winning designer, and fantastic sea views overlooking the city and the surrounding islands. The hotel includes Casino and the adjoining nightclub, the Diocletian Spa and Wellness center, small marina as well as recreational venues such as Tennis Academy with four championship courts, and the Water Sports Centre, which offers scuba diving, waterskiing, sailing, rock climbing.
Our room was a corner room with balcony from two sides and garden view. Not the largest room but functional with good size bathroom. Le Meridian offers three restaurants to choose from, Pivnica with casual dining, Spalatum serving modern Mediterranean cuisine and 7 Palms Bar and Grill located next to the beach which offers freshly grilled meat, fish or seafood,
If you prefer to dine in the city the resort offers shuttle service to the city center every hour, taxis are available as well. If you would like to feel like a local, there is public transportation next door to the resort.
One of our day trips from Split was a visit to city of Mostar in Bosnia and Hercegovina. We left the resort early in the morning, drove east by the sea toward Makarska and turned inland, crossed the Mountains where views are spectacular. The drive is easy and from Split, approximately 2 ½ – 3 hours. Crossing the border to Bosnia was easy as well. Once in Bosnia we stopped for breakfast in one of the local bakeries (local name Pekara) and had a traditional Bosnian pie called Burek, you can have one with cheese, meat or spinach. Very tasty!
Mostar is extremely beautiful. Unfortunately, its original old town was destroyed during Balkan war in 90’s. It was restored to its previous glory after the war. The historic town of Mostar is located in a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as Turkish Ottoman town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar is known for its old Turkish houses and Old Bridge, Stari Most! One of the traditions in Mostar is for the young men of the town to leap from the bridge into the Neretva River. As the Neretva is very cold, this is a very risky feat and only the most skilled and best trained divers will attempt it. Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.
Once in Mostar, a stop for a traditional Bosnian coffee in one of many cafes is a must!