Looking at these photos, you would be hard pressed not to think it was the coast of California, the French Riviera, or even Tahiti. But think again…it is the gorgeous Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, driving along the Adriatic Sea.
We drove the coast north to south in mid-October, 2015. Along the way, we visited the fabulous ancient city of Split and stayed several nights on the island of Korcula, located between Split and Dubrovnik. As we drove, we ooohed and aaaahed over the beautiful beaches and the views of the Adriatic. We said, more than once, how much it reminded us of the French Riviera. We stopped at the beach cafe in the fifth photo for breakfast and felt like we were back in California. It was just spectacular. Lo and behold, when we got farther south, there was a sign proclaiming, End of the Croatian Riviera. We laughed, as we had no idea it was thus named, of course.
We would like to note that traveling in this part of the world, prices are extremely low for just about everything. We rented our car in the capital, Zagreb, for $69 for seven days, and even the Hertz agent asked how we had snagged that rate! (It was simply advance planning.) Looking back at emails we sent during this trip, our full breakfast for two with coffee at the outside cafe amounted to US $6! In our beautiful hotel one night, both dinner and breakfast the next morning were included with the price of the room, a huge buffet with everything you can imagine. The room (with meals for two) cost US $65. And when we bought coffee for both of us with two croissants in Dubrovnik, it was a mind-bending US $1!!!
With the way that Yugoslavia was split into separate countries in 1991-1992, there is one little glitch while driving down the coast of Croatia, just before getting to Dubrovnik. For 23 miles, the road passes through Bosnia-Herzegovina. So yes, you got it…we got slowed down, as we needed to stop at passport control on the Croatian side. It is so delightful that the Bosnians call this stretch of road – wait for it – the Bosnian Riviera! Apparently, Riviera is the name everyone wants for their little stretch of coastal highway, as it sounds so exotic and romantic. You may also know that there is an Italian Riviera. We have found, traveling the world, that any time you are on a road adjacent to an ocean or sea, beautiful vistas will unfold before you. It was no different in Croatia, where we would love to return in the future.