The mere point out of Croatia conjures up pictures of crystalline blue waters, orange-roofed historic cities, and languid days expended island hopping. But traversing the country’s shoreline by car, primarily all through shoulder period, can be just as stunning. A drive alongside the southern Dalmatian Coastline will deliver you to delights normally overlooked by the masses: family members-operate wineries on spectacular sloping hills, oyster farms nestled in peaceful turquoise bays, centuries-outdated villages, and guarded lakes and rivers that are fantastic for paddleboarding, windsurfing, and kayaking.
Now, with a new bridge uniting northern and southern Croatia, it truly is feasible to see these highlights in 1 seamless highway excursion from Dubrovnik to Split. The Pelješac Bridge, which opened in July 2022 as just one of the most significant European Union-funded jobs in history, will allow motorists to eventually bypass a narrow strip of Bosnian coastline that formerly required inconvenient (and at times prolonged) border checks. For Croatians, the opening of this new composition marks a historic milestone. And for tourists, it means easier street obtain to Croatia’s unsung—and usually much less crowded—rural highlights.
“It’s opening up locations that ended up earlier mysterious and kind of concealed from the map,” suggests Zrinka Marinovic, community relations supervisor for Adriatic Luxurious Hotels, a assortment of impartial luxurious inns in and near Dubrovnik, where she grew up. “In the previous, Neretva Valley wasn’t incredibly available for the reason that we didn’t have the bridge. You had to cross the Bosnian border to get to it and the relaxation of Croatia.”
While a straight-shot generate between the two iconic cities will only just take you about a few hrs, you would be remiss not to quit together the way. Down below, we share our preferred way to shell out four times exploring Croatia’s newest road journey route.
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When to go
Croatia’s streets and beaches are at their busiest in July and August, so it’s finest to stop by all through the shoulder months (September, October, May perhaps, and June) when the warmth and crowds are a lot less powerful but it is nonetheless warm plenty of to swim and get pleasure from the outside.