September 21, 2023


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Condé Nast Traveler

A Road Trip Along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, Home to Vineyards, Oyster Farms, and Sleepy Island Detours

The mere mention of Croatia conjures up illustrations or photos of crystalline blue waters, orange-roofed historic cities, and languid times used island hopping. But traversing the country’s shoreline by automobile, especially during shoulder season, can be just as breathtaking. A travel together the southern Dalmatian Coast will carry you to delights typically overlooked by the masses: spouse and children-run wineries on dramatic sloping hills, oyster farms nestled in quiet turquoise bays, generations-aged villages, and protected lakes and rivers that are perfect for paddleboarding, windsurfing, and kayaking.

Now, with a new bridge uniting northern and southern Croatia, it truly is attainable to see these highlights in one particular seamless road trip from Dubrovnik to Split. The Pelješac Bridge, which opened in July 2022 as one particular of the largest European Union-funded jobs in historical past, permits motorists to last but not least bypass a slender strip of Bosnian shoreline that earlier essential inconvenient (and sometimes lengthy) border checks. For Croatians, the opening of this new framework marks a historic milestone. And for vacationers, it indicates a lot easier street obtain to Croatia’s unsung—and generally a lot less crowded—rural highlights.

“It’s opening up areas that were being beforehand unidentified and sort of hidden from the map,” says Zrinka Marinovic, general public relations manager for Adriatic Luxury Hotels, a collection of impartial luxurious motels in and in close proximity to Dubrovnik, in which she grew up. “In the previous, Neretva Valley wasn’t extremely available since we did not have the bridge. You experienced to cross the Bosnian border to get to it and the relaxation of Croatia.”

Though a straight-shot push involving the two iconic metropolitan areas will only acquire you about 3 several hours, you would be remiss not to end along the way. Beneath, we share our beloved way to commit four times discovering Croatia’s newest street trip route.

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When to go

Croatia’s roads and seashores are at their busiest in July and August, so it is greatest to check out in the course of the shoulder months (September, October, Could, and June) when the warmth and crowds are a lot less rigorous but it’s however warm sufficient to swim and get pleasure from the outdoors.