After writing part 1 & 2 earlier, it’s time to sit down and write this 9 Week Road Trip Report – Part 3. In between finishing the rather long to-do list…. Anyhow, we start this overview in southern Italy, go to Croatia and travel onwards to Slovenia. Enjoy the pictures!!
9 Week Road Trip Report – Part 3
As noted in the previous post(s), a 62 day road trip is a bit much to pack into one post. I split the story into 14-16 day segments, to be followed by two posts about trip finances and Airbnb experiences.
Below is a short summary of day 32-46. We start in southern Italy (Amalfi Coast), drive to Bari (at the Adriatic sea), jump on a boat and sail to Croatia!
Day 32 – Drive to Central Italy
Today we drive off from Amalfi and towards central Italy to stay the night. It’s a very rainy day and actually perfect if you just have to make some kilometers. Still managed to shoot some okay pictures of the Amalfi coastline and the rural side of Italy.
Also, some Airbnb madness today. Check out the amount of cutlery we found in a unit for 4 people. This tweet was also viewed more than 67.000 times!? #Airbnb does miracles 🙂
Day 33 – Drive to Bari and Board a Boat
The drive from central Italy towards Bari brings you along lovely rolling hills and endless olive groves. It was a beautiful day today once again, as the rain had disappeared completely. In Bari we had time to visit the beach before we had to board our (old) boat to Croatia. It was a smooth cruise over to the other side of the Adriatic sea.
We also ended up meeting tons of fun folks today, from Americans living in Italy to retired folks travelling Europe in their RV’s. Great stories all around.
Day 34 – Landing in Dubrovnik
We had an amazingly beautiful arrival by sea into the city of Dubrovnik. Unfortunately it did take some time to get through customs and into the actual city. We had found a place close to the old city and settled right in. Once we got some monopoly money (Croatian Kuna’s), we walked toward the old city and enjoyed the views.
Day 35 – Dubrovnik City Wall Tour
Each day about 2.000-3.000 people arrive by cruise ships into this relatively small city. In total it gets swamped every day by about 10.000+ visitors during peak season. In order to do the city wall tour without being in a human traffic jam or getting issues with heat exhaustion, we started early in the day. It was fantastic! The views are amazing but don’t come cheap at €20,50 pp. (150 Kuna).
Later that day we left the hustle and bustle of Dubrovnik behind and drove towards the small town of Trpanj. Here a ferry goes to the mainland again. In this way we avoided tourists, the Serbian border crossings (2) and were able to enjoy the spectacular country side. This peninsula drive is highly recommended, you can also find the second longest stone wall here after the great wall of China!
Day 36 – Driving towards Krka National Park
In the morning we enjoyed the beach, after which we packed up and drove onto a boat again to sail to the mainland. Next, it was just driving inland towards the Krka national park area and position ourselves for the next day. A travel day indeed.
Day 37 – Krka National Park
The Krka national park is amazing, water and waterfalls everywhere! Take note that you cannot drive into parts of this part, but can walk or take the bus. There is also a limit of 8.000 visitors each day, then the close it off to limit the impact. So get here early in the peak seasons!
Prices also vary depending on when (winter, spring/fall, summer) you get here. In the summer you pay about €28,- pp (200 Kuna) to get in. We got in for almost half that amount (110 kuna) You can also drive to the other sites in the park, which are more peaceful and quiet. These also come with even more spectacular waterfalls and views.
Day 38 – Zaton and Zadar
When driving away from Krka National Park we set course to see Zadar and its sea organ/lights. But before we could get there we drove along the coastline and enjoyed some time in Zaton (small picturesque town with best lunch spot ever) for lunch.
In the afternoon we had time to hit the beach again, this time at Biograd. Later that day we arrived in Zadar. After dinner we went to see the old town, listened to the sea organ and watched the light display. Unfortunately, it was partially broken L, but still fun to see.
Day 39 – Driving towards Plitvička Jezera National Park
From Zadar we drive back land inwards towards Plitvička Jezera National Park. Along the way we enjoyed lakes, mountains and very pretty scenery. There are some great opportunities to do river activities (canoeing, etc.), but we were unprepared for this. Next time perhaps?
Day 40 – Plitvička Jezera National Park
We went to entrance 2 at the Plitvička Jezera National Park, which is slightly quieter and you can park your car under the trees. Which is great when it’s hot and sunny outside. It’s also a shorter walk to get into the park itself and you somewhat go against the flow, which can be convenient as there are shorter wait times for boats early in the day.
Take your time in this park, it’s big and you have to do a lot of hiking. Weather is also tricky as there are frequent thunderstorms in this area in summer. Be prepared for all kinds of weather.
Day 41 – Driving towards Rijeka
Today was a day of driving again. We had to get toward the Rijeka area to allow for a couple more days to relax and enjoy the seaside. Before driving onwards to Slovenia.
The drive from the mountainous area to the coast is rather spectacular when you get closer to Senj. The views are amazing from the last ridge before you drive towards the sea.
Day 42 – Opatija Visit
Sometimes referred to as the local “Riviera”, Opatija is a little coastal town with nice local gardens, seaside and boulevard. We had a great day here, enjoying the great weather and views.
Day 43 – Travel to Slovenia and Skocjan Caves
It was time today to leave Croatia, which is really an amazing country to visit, and go to Slovenia. The first impressions were not great, as the border crossing too ages due to road work. But once that was behind us, it became clear that this country is a gem too! Fantastic scenery, amazing caves and nice villages.
We visited the Škocjan caves in the afternoon, but where not allowed to take pictures from the inside. But believe me, when you could fit the Cathedral of Milan in this underground gorge system, it’s mind-blowing! The old trail system they used for tourists (until the 1930’s) must have been some serious undertaking, you really needed some balls for that one.
Day 44 – Castle in the Cliff & Ljubljana
When we drove off in the morning we first visited the Predjama Castle. But looking at the number of castles we already visited and the entrances fees, we chickened out! Made the picture and moved on to the capital Ljubljana next. Which is a great city to visit. Pretty laid back, nice castle on the hill too, and dragons!
If you can, take a bike to go through the city, it’s perfect for that too.
Day 45 – Waterfall Visit
At the end of day 44 we drove towards the Bohinj area to stay the night. Today we were able to visit the Slap Savica waterfall. Albeit weather was not great, we did not get drenched. Beside the waterfall, we also enjoyed some time at lake Bohinjsko jezero. Oh, and some homemade pancakes in the afternoon.
Day 46 – Enjoying Lake Bled & Travel to Austria
Before it was time to travel onwards to Austria, we spent the morning at Lake Bled. With near perfect weather it was amazing! A very pretty lake and beautiful surround mountains. The pictures speak for themselves I think?!
In the afternoon we drove towards eastern Austria. But more on that in the next 9 week road trip report!
How’s your summer season going so far? Seen and done some great things too?