Croatia has long been one of the places on my travel bucket list and I am finally able to cross it off. My family and I are doing a short tour of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast by car for spring break, including driving from Split to Dubrovnik. 

We flew into Split, where we rented a car and drove to Dubrovnik. The 155 mile (250 kilometer) drive along the vast coastline, dotted with tiny, picturesque towns, is frequently cited as one of the top drives in the world.  The journey took just over 4 hours, though it could have been shorter had we not continued to stop to take in and take pictures of the absolutely stunning views of the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea on one side, and the majestic mountains on the other. 

One of the towns we passed was OmiΕ‘. This cute seaside village and harbor may be all rainbows and sunshine now, but its history is much more sinister. Located where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea, OmiΕ‘ was an infamously dangerous nest of the pirates from the 13th to the beginning of 15th century. The pirates mostly targeted Venetian ships, ambushing them as the attempted to navigate the Adriatic Sea. 

We also passed Medici, a small village popular for its restaurants and beautiful pebble beaches, and Makarska, a popular tourist destination in the heart of the Makarska Riviera, just at the foot of the Biokovo mountains. 
When traveling between Split and Dubrovnik there is a six-mile stretch of land that crosses into Bosnia-Herzegovina, so we had to go through border control and show our passports. Croatia plans to build a bridge at some point so that visitors and locals, who also have to do this every time they go between Split and Dubrovnik, can bypass this little exercise. But until then, it is what it is, and while the process was relatively quick and painless (but it’s not the busy season), I’d still file it under random. 

We also passed a number of churches on our drive, and each village seemed to have distinctive steeple or bell tower that also serves as a landmark. I would have loved to have taken pictures of each one, but there wasn’t always a convenient place on the road to pull over causing me to resort to “drive-by shooting”, which resulted in windshields and rearview mirrors being prominently featured in my photos.

As evening fell, our journey came to an end. Dubrovnik, with its characteristic orange rooftops and turquoise blue water, was now in view. And while we certainly did “enjoy the journey”, we were happy to have reached our destination. 

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