Croatia Full of Life’s 3rd edition of the Epic Week campaign is just about to commence and while coming up with my list for the second year in a row, I sat in my office and reflected on the past 12 months. A year ago I was still fresh calling Croatia my full time home, was still learning about Zagreb as a city and making new friends along the way. Fortunately, the Epic Week campaign was one that started to open more doors for me as a travel blogger in Croatia. Although I had a full time job in Zagreb in 2017, I tried to take as many long weekends as I could to continue exploring Croatia, a country I still can’t believe I call home.
This year is going to be a whole different ball game. I found the man of my dreams, I am about to get married and will be living in Zadar from end of May. Of course, we’ll still have our apartment in Zagreb but already as the weather begins to heat up in the capital city, I’m getting itchy feet and counting down the days until I call Zadar home. My fiancé is already telling me that I’m “Dalmatia’s adopted daughter” but I kind of feel like I’m offending all my dalmo friends if those words would ever come out of my mouth. I will have front row access to the entire coastline and I am so freaking excited about it. I’ll be back on YouTube, I really miss creating video content. I cannot wait to show you the Croatian coastline, where to stay, where to eat and what to do in this magnificent country.
Let’s get back to the point of this post- I looked back on the previous two Epic Week posts from last year and decided to recap on the experiences that I had the luxury of experiencing over the past 12 months.
HEAR THE ROAR OF CROATA’S LOUDEST WATERFALL ・KRKA NATIONAL PARK
I was able to visit Krka National Park last year not once, but twice, both for press trips. The first time I went was last May just before I gave up my blonde hair extensions and cut my hair short! I remember it being still too cold to swim in the waters and a chill in the air. I also remember that it wasn’t as busy as it was later on in September when I visited again. There were literally bodies of people everywhere, on land and in the water. A real big difference. If you’re not too fussed about swimming in the water at Krka National Park, May or till mid June is perfect- it’s not full of tourists. My second video from Krka National Park is one of my favourite videos on my YouTube Channel.
I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll mention it again, the stone in the waters of Krka National Park is soo slippery. Jesus, I look coordinated in the pic above but my good did it take a while to get myself stable. Also, it’s almost impossible to get a shot in these waters without a single soul in the backdrop. Perhaps in May it would have been possible but I was so chicken shit to brave the cooler waters.
SAIL THORUGH KORNATI NATIONAL PARK
In 2017 I did something that not many Croats get to do. I got to experience Croatia from an angle most Croatians never see their country from. Sailing Kornati National Park was a dream come true. The waters were crystal clear and pristine, I even jumped into the water! This is kind of a big deal because I’m not really a water baby. There were so many things to do and see around Kornati National Park, one of the highlights was also visiting Nature Park Telascica on Dugi Otok. Watch the VLOG here.
In Kornati National Park on Island Levrnaka, there’s a top restaurant called Konoba Levrnaka and it’s in my top 3 restaurants in Croatia. I think about this restaurant everyday and cannot wait to go back there again. Read about my full experience here.
Most of you know that I was born in Vukovar before migrating to Australia when I was a year and a half old. I’ve never been back to visit Vukovar up until early April this year! It was one of my favourite press trips to date where I spent the day wondering the City Museum, visiting all the war memorials and the newly opened Vucedol Museum, which was really fascinating. Vukovar is one of the oldest cities in Croatia and was once one of the wealthiest. Sadly today, reality shows another story and many living there are struggling. I really do recommend spending a day or two in Vukovar if you’re after a more cultural tourism experience.
SAIL THROUGH BIRD PARADISE ・KOPACKI RIT
I’ve been to Kopacki Rit many times but never on the boat that takes you through the river. It takes about an hour and costs 80kn per person. I went in early April so there weren’t as many birds as they say there are during summer. There’s also a really well thought out wooden trail that takes you around the nature park with an opportunity for many picturesque moments.
SEE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SUNSET IN THE WORLD ・ZADAR
What a funny coincidence that the man I’m about to marry is from Zadar! What’s one of the first things he did when we started dating? Take me to his hometown, Zadar. Okay, we visited together for the first time during winter but it didn’t mean that the sunset wasn’t any less spectacular. We started to make a habit of getting out of the house and going for a walk each and every sunset and every day I fell more in love with Zadar (& him).
EAT AT THE RESTAURANTS RECOMMENDED BY THE MICHELIN GUIDE
At the time of writing my post on Epic Week last year, Monte in Rovinj was the only restaurant in Croatia with a Michelin Star. A couple of months ago, it was announced that two more, along with Monte have a Michelin Star each. A month before it was announced that Pelegrini in Sibenik would received a Michelin Star, I dined there for my birthday. You can read about it here.
I’ll be visiting Monte in Rovinj next month to suss out the hype but don’t know if I’ll be in dubrovnik to visit 360 Restaurant to report back on. I’m not in any hurry to visit Dubrovnik anytime soon.
Okay, I haven’t been truffle hunting yet, but I’m so happy to announce that I will be during a week long trip to Istra in May! I have been longing to tick this off my bucket list for the past two years and FINALLY I have allocated time for an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. I’m being dramatic I know but unless you’ve been following my travels for the past two years, you won’t understand my obsession with truffles.
If you’re interested in truffle hunting this year, get in touch with Prodan Tartufi.
Scallops + black truffles = perfect Sunday dinner. 😍🍽 Stay tuned – recipe coming soon! 😋📝 . . #prodantartufi #croatia #shareistria #croatiafulloflife #크로아티아 #克罗地亚 #송로 버섯 #truffle #trufflehunting #chefslife #chefstalk #chef #blacktruffles #tubermelanosporum #scallops #truffles #cooking #istria #passionforcooking
What a great year that passed but I am even more excited for the one ahead!