Nationalpark Lake Plitvice. One of my favorite road trips in Europe is Slovenia – Croatia one, including the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, the amazing Croatian Nationalpark Lake Plitvice, and the island RAB and island KRK.
There are so many Croatian islands but since we only spent 4 full days there these two were a perfect choice.
Starting from Munich we decided to spend the night in Ljubljana. Normally it is not a problem to reach the Croatian seaside in 6 hours but before long weekends traffic is insane.
We arrived in LJ already quite late and most of the restaurants were already closed.
Although we started really early the next morning I want to tell you my two recommendations for food:
You can find the best ice cream at Vigo and not far from there is the market Square with lots of local food. Ist close to the river and a wonderful spot in the city center.
Nationalpark Plitvice Lakes
About 3 hours or 178km is Nationalpark Plitvice Lakes.
Honestly, I didn’t know that there is something so beautiful and stunning close to the German border but this place is insane.
Getting there before June 1st means ist still the offseason and the prices are in comparison very cheap and ist not that crowded. Still lots of Chinese and Asian tourists but a big difference. It doesn’t matter where you enter the park – just get your tickets and start the trail – it is around way. It is so stunning!
The next stop is Rab island – we decided to take the road crossing the backcountry and we were able to see lots of abandoned villages, sometimes houses with bullet holes.
Memories of the Croatian war of independence.
This was honestly really scary in a way. So many people left their homes and never came back…
It doesn’t take too long until you can see the sea – and the first islands.
We took the ferry to island RAB, there is no other way.
Since it was my birthday we decided to stay for two nights in the Valamar hotel. It is not the cheapest one but since it was off-season prices were really okay. Although this hotel is really nice. Nevertheless, there are many camping spots all over the island.
From our hotel, we could already see RAB town.
We tried two restaurants I can highly recommend. Restaurant Sniper is in the harbor and you can get really good fresh fish and mussels. The food was delicious and the people really friendly.
Second restaurant is Konoba Kod Kineza. There you can get traditional Croatian food. It a super casual and traditional little restaurant and the couple running the restaurant was super nice.
Make sure to catch the sunset in Rab town with a drink next to the Church of St. Justine and have a look at the narrow streets in the old town.
The next day we drove to the north of the island towards Lopar. I think it doesn’t matter where exactly you stop. Just get up there and hike along the coastline. It is so beautiful. The weather wasn’t so nice in the beginning. The next stop was the peninsula of the other side of Rab town.
Frkanj Beach is a restaurant. If you walk around this one you will find the most amazing little beaches and if you are lucky you will be alone. From there you can also have the most amazing view of Rab town.
The next day we missed the ferry in the harbor in the northern part of the island and since they only ship once every hour we decided to catch the southern one and drive up the coastal street.
Our next stop is Island KRK. We don’t need a ferry to get there – you can use the bridge and just pay for this one.
We stayed more or less directly in Krk.
First, we checked out Baska but I have to admit that it wasn’t my favorite. In comparison to what we already saw, it was crowded and the beach was not so nice.
Go directly to Vela Luka or Stara Baska.
Walk along the coast, it’s worth it. Don’t be surprised if people say “Servus” just focus on the pure and amazing nature – it is stunning!
For dinner, I can recommend Restaurant Kantun.
Ist not only pizza – we ordered delicious seafood pasta!
On our way back to Ljubljana we stopped and visited Predjama Castle, a castle built within the cove. You don’t have to visit the castle from the inside if you are short on time.
It is already so stunning from the outside.
Honestly, I have to say that this road trip was the perfect mix of stunning nature, a beautiful city, two amazing islands with beautiful beaches, and delicious food. If I could change something I would take another day to have a little bit more time.
Moneywise I would recommend trying Croatian food – there are many affordable places and camping spots. You have to pay tolls for the roads & bridge to KRK and the ferry of course.
All in all, it wasn’t the cheapest road trip but it was worth every euro we spent and I can’t wait to be back and see more of beautiful Croatia!