Why Croatia and Slovenia? Croatia has long been on both our travel bucket lists. The initial motivation stemmed from Pat falling in love with pictures of Plitvice Lakes National Park several years ago, where canyon-constrained electric blue lakes are interconnected by spectacular waterfalls. Not long after, the epic Game of Thrones tv series pointed us towards the Pearl of the Adriatic, the walled medieval seaside old town of Dubrovnik, known for its famous collection of baroque buildings on marble streets and for providing dazzling views of the sea. Although these two highlights were enough to convince us to start planning a trip, we were enthralled to learn that Croatia as so much more to offer: endless coastlines along the Adriatic; a highly foodie corner of country -Istria- specialized in truffles and wine, in addition to often referred to as the Croatian Tuscany; and can serve as a strategically positioned gateway to other former Yugoslavian countries, such as Montenegro, where we visited the spectacular Bay of Kotor.
Although the idea of adding Slovenia to our itinerary initially began almost as a throw-in add-on, following the recommendation of friends and because flights were significantly cheaper into Venice than into Croatia (Slovenia being in between Italy and Croatia), it turned out to be quite the gem. In fact, Isabelle’s “coup de coeur” was the Lake Bled area, in northern Slovenia, which offered spectacular scenery, great restaurants, and easy access to great hiking trails and the increasingly famous Vintgar gorge. We also found Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana to be both very lovely and charming. Finally, because we arrived in and departed from Europe in Venice, this offered us the opportunity to explore this unique and popular tourist destination.
We visited Croatia and Slovenia in September 2016.