Our first stop was the inland National Park of Plitvice, a worthy diversion from the shimmering sea roads. 18km of wooden footbridges and walkways weave through the lakes, giving you a ducks-eye view of the magnificent waterfalls and cascades, close enough to leave splashes on your sunglasses.
We headed South, the road clinging to the coast and traversing every curve and turn of the natural coastline. With the forested Velebit Mountains on our left side we cruised through quite, uninhabited stretches and sleepy fishing villages.
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A few days stopped at Zadar gave us our first taste of urban life on the coast; a thriving amalgamation of old and new; narrow lanes in the medieval old town and roman ruins with lively streets full of restaurants, cafes, bars and music.
A visit to Zadar would not be complete without witnessing the eerie Sea Organ and the wonderfully playful Sun Salutation at Sunset.
An inland diversion at Sibenik took us to Krka National Park, another stunning system of lakes, rivers and cascades. The area was made even more impressive by the recent heavy rains, creating thundering waterfalls with rainbows arched above.
A short ferry crossing from Korcula to Orebic and you are back on the mainland. The landscape adjacent to the coast has now become a rocky, mountainous ridge, descending sharply to the sea with just a ribbon of road cutting through the sheer rock sides.
Choose your timing wisely, arriving at the tail end of the season we witnessed tourists’ en-masse in several places, this burek-devouring plague dispersed by the middle of September when the still sunny country quietened dramatically.
Driving etiquette could be improved considerably; speeding is universal, tail-gating frustratingly common and basic courtesy is severely lacking. Don’t let that put you off- most of the smaller, coastal roads are much quieter than the main routes.