Hi there, Matt and Jana here. You may have met us on here a month ago, and now, one month later, we are still in Croatia! If you’ve missed our intro, we’re on an epic expedition to become to first on the planet to visit all UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
Our Croatian part of the Expedition started on the 12th of April, and we have just celebrated our first monthiversary road-tripping this beautiful country.
We arrived in Croatia by bus from Prague in the Czech Republic. A full-day trip passing through both Austria and Slovenia. It was pretty cool seeing 4 countries in one day.
We’ve had a lot of people asking what it’s like to travel during a global pandemic – it was surprisingly easy. There were only about 10 passengers on the bus, the time flew by, and before sunset, we arrived at the bus station in Zagreb. We only needed to show our negative Covid-19 tests, and that was it. Croatia is welcoming tourists, and we have definitely felt welcome everywhere we’ve visited so far.
There are 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia, and we’re planning to visit all of them. Two of them are actually located in the same city – Šibenik, so let’s start there. We absolutely adored this charming Dalmatian town! You guys get comfy, and we’ll take you with us on this adventure, starting with our impressions from Šibenik.
We started our day there with a guided tour of the Cathedral of St. James, the first UNESCO site in Šibenik. You might be wondering what makes a cathedral so special that in the year 2000, it was added to the list of World Heritage sites? The cathedral was built between the 15th and 16th century, and the entire structure was built only using stone! Even the dome is built entirely from stone, which makes it a thoroughly unique construction technique. It is also a beautiful blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It’s a gorgeous building inside and out; we were especially blown away by the baptistery, which is just beautiful.
After the tour, we spent a good chunk of time just wandering around, getting lost in the charming streets and exploring hidden corners, one of our favourite activities in any city we visit. Our tour guide recommended a lovely local restaurant tucked away in one of those hidden corners, grandma-style cooking, which we love.
We also popped into Civitas Sacra – a playful, fun, and interactive museum explaining the story of the Cathedral. Upstairs they have a restaurant with stunning views of the city; you can stop for a coffee or a bite and relax there.
In the evening, we hopped on a boat and headed to visit our second UNESCO site in Šibenik – St. Nicholas Fortress, one of the most important Venetian fortifications. Built in the 16th century to defend the port of Šibenik, which was at the time the most important port on the east coast of the Adriatic, from the Ottomans. The unique triangular fortress, accessible only by boat, makes for an exciting visit. We loved exploring the underground catacombs and prisons and imagining what life must have been like back then.
The boat took us through St. Anthony’s Channel, which was once a canyon of the Krka river, such a beautiful area full of biodiversity and the film location of Braavos in Game of Thrones!
Taking the boat back gave us a stunning panorama of the city, it’s really beautiful to see it from the sea.
It was a bit crazy exploring the empty city, empty because of the pandemic, not because it’s not an exciting place, quite the opposite. We fell in love with Šibenik, its beautiful location on the coast, its historic centre, its 2 UNESCO sites, and its proximity to Krka National Park, where we spent another amazing day soaking up the beauty of nature and marvelling at waterfalls!
This city has a special energy, and we hope you could feel at least a glimpse of it through our eyes. Now it’s time for you to pack your bags and see it for yourselves! And in the meantime, follow us at @GuideVenturous for daily updates from our Croatian adventure!
To learn more about Sibenik, check out our Total Croatia page.
For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.