The mere point out of Croatia conjures up images of crystalline blue waters, orange-roofed historic cities, and languid times put in island hopping. But traversing the country’s shoreline by auto, specially throughout shoulder time, can be just as stunning. A drive alongside the southern Dalmatian Coast will provide you to delights normally ignored by the masses: loved ones-run wineries on remarkable sloping hills, oyster farms nestled in peaceful turquoise bays, generations-old villages, and safeguarded lakes and rivers that are fantastic for paddleboarding, windsurfing, and kayaking.
Now, with a new bridge uniting northern and southern Croatia, it is probable to see these highlights in 1 seamless street excursion from Dubrovnik to Break up. The Pelješac Bridge, which opened in July 2022 as a single of the largest European Union-funded tasks in record, will allow drivers to eventually bypass a slim strip of Bosnian coastline that beforehand required inconvenient (and in some cases prolonged) border checks. For Croatians, the opening of this new construction marks a historic milestone. And for travelers, it implies less difficult highway obtain to Croatia’s unsung—and normally significantly less crowded—rural highlights.
“It’s opening up regions that had been beforehand unknown and form of concealed from the map,” claims Zrinka Marinovic, general public relations supervisor for Adriatic Luxurious Lodges, a assortment of unbiased luxurious resorts in and around Dubrovnik, wherever she grew up. “In the previous, Neretva Valley was not incredibly accessible simply because we did not have the bridge. You had to cross the Bosnian border to get to it and the relaxation of Croatia.”
While a straight-shot generate in between the two legendary metropolitan areas will only acquire you about three several hours, you would be remiss not to halt along the way. Underneath, we share our preferred way to shell out four days discovering Croatia’s newest road vacation route.
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When to go
Croatia’s roads and beaches are at their busiest in July and August, so it is finest to go to throughout the shoulder months (September, Oct, May, and June) when the heat and crowds are less intense but it is continue to heat more than enough to swim and appreciate the outdoor.