We spent most of April 2022 in Croatia, where we road tripped from the capital of Zagreb to the truffle region of Istria to the beautiful seaside town of Split to the historical gem of Dubrovnik, while also spending the night in the countries of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. Yes, we had a pretty jam packed itinerary during our 3 weeks there and it was absolutely wonderful!
We flew from San Francisco to Zagreb, and spent several days in the capital to get a feel for its history and culture. Through a bike tour with a local guide, we cruised through the historical streets and beautiful sites around the city while learning about a myriad of subjects from WWII to architecture to the history of neckties. We love doing bike tours in a new city, particularly during the first couple of days upon arrival, because it helps us get geographically oriented and we’re able to cover so much grounds in just a few hours. A really good bike tour will also include rest stops where you’re able to grab a drink and engage with your guide on a more personal level.
Another fantastic tour we did was called the Communism and Croatian Homeland War Tour, a walking tour to learn and discover how the people of Zagreb lived during the turbulent years of its recent history. We got to visit the former Synagogue of Zagreb, see the WWII underground tunnels and the basement used by locals as a shelter during the air raids on Zagreb in the 1990s. It was no doubt a heavy, intense tour but it was full of important knowledge that we needed to gain and I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting Zagreb! I always feel that when we visit a country, we’ve got to be intentional in not just absorbing all of its beauty through tourist sites and neighborhoods, but to dig deeper to understand its historical context.
Besides the two tours that we did, we also explored on our own around Zagreb. We loved the old town, which was full of charm. We walked through the vibrant and colorful Dolac Market, wandered amongst the many cafes and restaurants on Tkalciceva Street, and sampled one too many liquor in the shops, lol!
We also dined at the Michelin-star restaurant Noel, and was blown away by the remarkable dining experience there! The highlight of the meal was a “liquid bread” that we had….you’d think drinking yeast is pretty gross but they created an extraordinary concoction for us!
Zagreb was a good landing spot for us for this road trip. On our last day, we picked up our rental car and began driving southwest to the truffle region of Istria!