Some incredible places in the Dolomites require a lot of effort to reach. Usually via a long, uphill hike. That is not the case if you want to visit Cadini di Misurina. With a total elevation difference of about 200 meters, the walk is short (30-45 minutes) and easy.
The trail begins at the Rifugio Auronzo refuge’s parking lot. On your right, you can already see the mountain peaks of Cadini di Misurina. You can go in two directions from the parking lot. Most people will turn left here for the well-known walk around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen. Turn right to get to Cadini di Misurina.
There are no signs directing hikers to the viewpoint. This makes it more difficult to locate. Follow the signs for the Sentiero Bonacossa hike to get there. That is a Via Ferrata walk, in which you climb along rock walls using a via ferrata set and a climbing harness. However, the first part of this walk, to the lookout point, is simple, and you walk on a wide path without needing climbing gear.
It is straight ahead after you turn right at the parking lot. Along the way, you will see many breathtaking views. In the distance, you can see Lago di Misurina and the backside of the impressive Drei Zinnen. It is an enchanting area.
Cadini Misurina’s Viewpoint
After a short walk, you can already see the final viewpoint. You must walk up a narrow path with an abyss on either side to reach the end point. Keep an eye out because the path will abruptly end and slide down into the abyss.
The path to the final viewpoint is adventurous and provides an adrenaline rush. Your heart rate will increase, and the grandeur of the mountain peaks will take your breath away when you reach the top. You are suddenly confronted with the Cadini mountains, with the highest peak being the Cima Cadin of San Lucano (2839 meters). You feel very small in this place. That is the magic of mountain scenery. Believe us when we say that this is the best view in the Dolomites. And it is by far our favorite mountain place ever.
Take in the 360-degree panorama and watch the Alpine crows fly into the valley below.
If you want to walk to the end point, keep the following in mind:
🥾 Many roots stick out on the narrow path, so walk carefully. 🥾 If you have a fear of heights, you should avoid the end point. 🥾 We recommend that you climb the narrow path only in dry weather.
The Dolomites’ hidden gem
You won’t believe it, but the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is (still) a secret! One of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites begins opposite the Cadini Mountains, on the other side of the parking lot: The famous hike around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also known as the Drei Zinnen.
Combining a visit to the viewpoint Cadini di Misurina with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen hike is possible, but certainly challenging. You walk for at least 1.5 hours longer. As a result, many people skip the breathtaking Cadini di Misurina view. Such a pity. However, that is why you may have the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint almost entirely to yourself.
We arrived at 8:30 a.m. and encountered 5 other people. Unlike the hundreds of people we encountered on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen hike.
When should you go to Cadini di Misurina?
Outside of the high season in May and June, as well as September and October, is the best time to visit Cadini di Misurina. Check beforehand to make sure that the weather is good and that there is no snow.
Because the area around Cadini di Misurina is popular for hiking and climbing, it can become overcrowded. Arrive early (before 08:00) to avoid the crowds that form at the toll road gates and on the hiking trails in the late morning and afternoon.
This is how you get to the start of the hike to Cadini di Misurina
The quickest and most easy way to reach the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint is by car. Take a toll road to the Rifugio Auronzo refuge. You can park at the hut and walk for 30-45 minutes to the fantastic viewpoint.
Toll road opening hours
The toll road is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there is no one at the ticket booth early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you can still enter the toll road using the ticket machines.
The toll road’s costs
A toll road ticket is expensive, but parking costs are fortunately included. A ticket is valid until midnight. You must have a ticket for the following day if you want to spend the night at the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen.
Motorcycles: €20 Cars: €30 Camper vans: €45
Note: The prices are from June 2022
Popular places to stay near Cadini di Misurina
The Cadini di Misurina mountain range is located in the eastern part of the Dolomites. The following are the nearest villages:
🏘️ Cortina d’Ampezzo: 40 minutes away by car 🏘️ Innichen: 45-minute drive 🏘️ Auronzo, Belluno: 45 minutes away by car. 🏘️ Sesto/Sexten: 1 hour drive 🏘️ Forni di Sopra: 1.5-hour drive
Combine the viewpoint with the walk to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen
The short walk (1,5 hours in total) to Cadini di Misurina can be combined with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike in one day. This walk takes you around the iconic Drei Zinnen, three massive mountain peaks. The entire walk takes approximately 4-5 hours. You walk from mountain hut to mountain hut, past several lakes and with constantly impressive views of the Drei Zinnen.
Two hikes in a single day
But why should you plan so much in one day and not return a second time for the other hike? That is always an option, but keep in mind that you will have to pay an extra €30 for the toll road and parking.
Istria was previously part of Italian territory. The architecture, culture, way of life, rolling vineyards, and delicious cuisine reflect the region’s blending of Italian and Croatian culture. Part of the population in Istria is Italian and place names are frequently displayed in both Italian and Croatian. Istria is close to Italy, so it is possible to go on a day trip to Venice.
The 5 most beautiful towns & cities in Istria
1. Romantic Rovinj
By far our favorite place in Istria is Rovinj. This picturesque city has a vibrant historic center with colorful houses, winding streets, atmospheric bars and restaurants and magical glimpses of the water around the city.
The best thing to do is to get lost in the Old Town’s maze of charming streets. Then climb the hill to St. Euphemia Church. From here, you can see the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding small islands. Many artists gather in this area of the city to create the most beautiful paintings of Rovinj’s colorful streets. Lovely to have as a souvenir!
Continue strolling through the center, notice the cute balconies and cozy squares, and stop for a delicious Italian ice cream at Gelateria Italiana, which is run by an Italian family. Meanwhile, stroll down to the harbor to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and the bobbing boats.
Finish the day with a cocktail at bar Mediterraneo. This bar, nestled among the rocks on the water, is ideal for watching the sunset. The last rays of sunlight illuminate the waves on the water, and when it gets dark, all of the little lights turn on. Cheers to a fantastic day!
2. Ancient port city Poreč
Poreč is an old port city in western Istria, right on the Adriatic Sea. The crystal clear water here turns several shades of blue. Poreč is vibrant, and strolling through the streets lined with restaurants, wine bars, and boutiques is the best thing to do.
The Euphrasian Basilica is a must-see in Poreč. This stunning basilica, believe it or not, dates from the 6th (!) century. It is no surprise that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enter the complex for €7 per person (prices are from in May 2022). Admire the centuries-old mosaic floors, explore the bishops’ former residences, and climb the bell tower for a 360-degree view of the city’s orange-colored rooftops.
3. Artistic Grožnjan
The hilltop village of Grožnjan is reached via winding narrow roads. This walled city was once an important Venetian fortress. The Italian influences can be seen in the narrow streets, squares, stone houses, and views of vineyards and olive trees. Grožnjan is now the only village in Croatia where there are more Italians than Croats.
Grožnjan is a great place for creative people. It is a cultural hotspot with numerous art galleries and studios to visit. Concerts, festivals, and exhibitions are held here beginning in early May and continuing through the summer. There are also workshops in dance, art, music, and drama led by well-known experts.
The village is automobiles-free. There are a few paid parking spots just before entering the village. You can also park for free here. Grožnjan is a 10-minute walk from this parking lot.
Stop by this viewpoint by car for scenic views of Grožnjan and its green surroundings.
4. Enchanting Motovun
Motovun, located at the top of a hill, has a population of just over 500 people and about as many cats. This charming walled village has plenty to see and do. Explore the medieval city walls, admire the 17th-century Church of St. Stephen, and discover the 27-meter-high bell tower from the 13th century.
What you should not miss is the magical sunset, which can be seen from the many viewpoints in Motovun. You look directly out over the valley, the river Mirna, which flows beneath the village, and the Motovun forest.
The Motovun forest is plentiful in black and white truffles, which are found by specially trained dogs. The world’s largest white truffle, weighing 1.3 (!) kilograms, was found in the Motovun forest in 1999. A place in the Guinness Book of World Records drew foodies from all over the world to Motovun to taste its delicacies. In Motovun, there are several restaurants with beautiful views of the green interior and delicious dishes made with Istrian truffle. You can also do truffle tastings at one of the many truffle shops, get the best local truffle products, or go on a truffle expedition with the dogs and their trainers in the area.
Butoniga, a beautiful water reservoir, is a 20-minute drive from Motovun. Navigate to the Ukotići viewpoint for the best views of the reservoir.
5. Roman Pula
Pula was a bustling trade center during the Roman era, and Roman influences can be found throughout the city. The Temple of Augustus, the Cathedral of Pula, and the Triumphal Arch of Sergius are all impressive sights.
Pula’s main attraction is its well-preserved amphitheatre, which can hold up to 23,000 spectators to watch the gladiator fights. You can go inside the amphitheater for 70 kuna (prices are from May 2022). This fantastic location also hosts concerts and festivals during the summer.
All of Pula’s highlights are close around each other and can be easily explored in two hours.
Visit Kamenjak National Park
Istria’s southernmost part, Kamenjak National Park, is home to tropical bays and beaches, as well as white cliffs surrounded by clear blue water. In all of Istria, this area has the most sunshine hours (2300 hours). You could easily spend an entire day exploring the national park. Prepare for a day of cliff jumping, sunbathing, cave kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, and beach bar hopping. In Kamenjak National Park, everything is possible.
How much time do you need in Istria
To make the most of your time in Istria, we recommend staying for at least 3 to 4 days. This allows you to visit several villages and towns at your leisure and alternate sightseeing with a day in nature.
Best time to visit Istria
Istria has a Mediterranean climate, so temperatures in the summer range between 25 and 30 degrees. Staying here in the spring is also a good idea because of the mild temperatures. That is why the months of May to August are ideal for visiting Istria. Because Istria has a maritime climate, it rains all year, with a higher chance of rain and peaks from September to February. In the winter, temperatures can drop to 9 degrees. So, Istria is not a winter sun destination.
Staying in Istria
Because Istria is a small province, it is possible to stay in one location and explore the entire region from there. In our opinion, Rovinj is the ideal destination for lodging. It is the perfect atmospheric city to return to every evening.
Flying is the fastest way to get to Istria. Airport Pula is Istria’s international airport. Direct flights are available from a number of European cities. Find the most affordable flight.
Traveling to Istria by car is by far the most practical option. This way, you have complete freedom to visit every location listed in this guide. Are you traveling by plane to Pula? Then, to explore the area, consider renting a car. Istria can also be the starting point for an unforgettable road trip through Croatia.
The walled Old Town is in its entirety a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can enter the Old Town through several city gates, such as the Pile Gate or the Ploča Gate.
Stradun is the main street of the Old Town. This is the busiest part of the Old Town. Here you will find many local shops, bars and restaurants.
The best thing to do in the Old Town is to get lost in the labyrinth of dozens of charming side streets of Stradun. A little further away from the busy city center, you will find yourself in the quiet streets, where you can experience authentic Dubrovnik and local life. These are the streets towards the city wall on the sea side.
The narrow streets lead you to impressive squares, small harbors and ancient architecture. Some cathedrals, fountains and towers date from the 14th and 15th centuries. The buildings that you should definitely not miss are the Jewish fountain Onofrio, the Gothic Dominican Monastery, the Dubrovnik Cathedral, Rector’s Palace, the Church of St. Blasius and the Franciscan Monastery.
Across from Rector’s Palace, is a small and cozy square where you can visit the Gunduliceva Poljana market daily in the summer months. Locals sell their local products such as fruit and vegetables.
2. Walk the city walls
The Old Town is completely surrounded by a 2 kilometer long city wall. The walls were built in the 13th century to protect the city and its inhabitants. At some points the walls are 25 meters (!) high and 6 meters (!) thick. You can climb the walls and walk all the way around the Old Town in 1-1.5 hours.
From the walls you have a panoramic view of Dubrovnik and its orange colored roofs, the beautiful buildings, the Adriatic Sea and Lokrum, the island next to Dubrovnik. You will also spot cozy gardens and rooftop terraces.
The walk on the walls is without a doubt the highlight of our time in Dubrovnik. An entrance ticket for the city walls costs 250 kuna / €33 per person. This is a lot of money, but we thought it was worth every euro.
As a walk on the walls is one of the most popular things to do in Dubrovnik, it is definitely worth going early. You can go up the walls from 8 a.m. and it is certainly less crowded at this time slot. And if you go early you won’t be walking the walls in the afternoon during the heat either. There is hardly any shade, so it can get very hot. There are 3 entrances where you can start the walk on the city walls.
💛 Opposite St. Luke’s Church 💛 Next to St. Savior’s Church 💛 At the fortress of St. Ivan
Facilities on the walls
On top of the walls you will come across a few cafes where you can have something to eat or drink. From here you have a beautiful view, but expect high prices.
3. Visit the St. Lawrence Fortress (Lovrijenac Fort)
Save your City Walls ticket as it will also allow you to visit the St. Lawrence Fortress (Fort Lovrijenac) within 3 days of purchase. This fortress is located just outside the Old Town. It is one of the 6 fortresses of Dubrovnik, built on a rock. The fortress offers beautiful views of the city walls and the center of Dubrovnik.
4. Climb Mount Srđ for spectacular views of Dubrovnik
For the best view of Dubrovnik, Lokrum and the Elafiti Islands, go to the viewpoint on Mount Srđ. The sunset here is spectacular! The night we were there it was partly cloudy and that made the sky magically beautiful. The clouds were lined with dreamy pink, orange and yellow colors of the setting sun.
Get up at least an hour before the sun goes down, especially in the spring. Then the sun disappears behind the mountain faster and Dubrovnik will not be lit until the last ray of sunshine.
There are plenty of spots on Mount Srđ where you can relax and enjoy the view all evening. To dine with a bizarrely beautiful view, you can eat at the Panorama Restaurant on top of the mountain.
How to get to the top of Mount Srđ
The top of Mount Srđ can be reached in several ways.
🚡 By cable car: A return ticket costs 200 kuna / € 26 per person, a single ride is 110 kuna / € 15 per person. Check the official website for current prices.
🥾 On foot: From the old town it is a 3 – 4 hour walk in total. From the starting point of the hiking trail it is a 1.5 – 2 hour walk in total.
🚗 By car: It is a 15-20 minute drive to the top. There are plenty of parking spaces. The road up is narrow and has many curves, so the ride can be a challenge.
5. Enjoy a refreshing drink at one of the cozy (beach) bars
We have listed some of our favorite bars in Dubrovnik. It is useful to always have cash (Kuna) with you, because most bars do not accept card payments.
Buza Bar I & II
A visit to one of the Buza Bars is wonderfully relaxed. The location is the biggest plus, as the bars are hidden between rocks on the outside of the city walls. The entrance is literally a hole in the wall. The best part is to go here around sunset. Keep in mind that it can be very busy at that time. Besides drinking drinks, you can also cliff jump and paddling, overlooking the sparkling Adriatic Sea.
Good to know is that the sun sets on the other side. Yet this is a magical place where you can enjoy the most beautiful colors from golden and blue hour.
Beach Bar Dodo
Beach Bar Dodo is hidden in the bay of Šulić Beach. It is the ideal place to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy a cold drink. There is also plenty of choice in terms of good food. From the Old Town it is a few minutes’ walk to Beach Bar Dodo. From the bar you have a view of the fortress Lovrijenac, the beach and the sea.
Located on a cliff, right next to Beach Bar Dodo you will find Beach Bar Ala Mizerija. There is a relaxed atmosphere and you have the same beautiful view of the fortress Lovrijenac, the idyllic bay and the clear, refreshing sea water.
6. Relax on one of the beaches for a morning or afternoon
If you decide to take it easy, a morning or afternoon at the beach is the ultimate activity. Dubrovnik has a number of incredible beaches, including Banje Beach. This is the most popular beach just outside the Old Town and from here you have a fantastic view of the city walls. The water is crystal clear and great to cool down. Other nice beaches are Beach Đivovići or Šulić Beach.
Are you traveling through Croatia by car? Then Pasjača Beach is a nice beach to drive to. It is a 35-40 minute drive from Dubrovnik and is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe (!).
Most beaches in Croatia are pebble beaches, so it is very convenient to take water shoes with you to Croatia.
7. Spot the Game of Thrones filming locations
Dubrovnik’s popularity has been greatly increased by the Game Of Thrones series. In Dubrovnik, better known as King’s Landing, many scenes were filmed. If you wander through the Old Town you will recognize a lot from the serie. Organized Game of Thrones tours take you to the various filming locations and tell you fun facts about the production.
If you are going to search for the locations yourself, make sure you go to the places below.
💛 West Harbor (Blackwater Bay) 💛 The Jesuit Staircase at St. Ignatius Church (the infamous ‘walk of shame’) 💛 Lovrijenac Fort (Red Keep) 💛 Pile Gate
8. Active kayaking on the waters around Dubrovnik
Kayaking on the waters around Dubrovnik is a fun, adventurous way to see Dubrovnik and the city walls from different, amazing perspectives. Several local companies offer half or full day tours, or sunset tours. While kayaking, you will go to sea caves, secluded beaches that you can only get to by water or paddle around Lokrum Island.
Keep in mind that you will be sea kayaking and paddling the waves can be quite challenging.
Since your city trip to Dubrovnik will consist of a lot of sightseeing, we chose to take a relaxing day trip to the island of Lokrum. It is a 10-15-minute boat ride from Dubrovnik port. On Lokrum you can expect a tropical paradise. Where you will be welcomed by the most colorful inhabitants of the island, beautiful peacocks!
Lokrum is a small island that you can easily explore on foot. There are a number of special highlights such as a botanical garden, fortress, olive grove, monastery and Lokrum’s own Dead Sea. After visiting the highlights, find a wonderful place to relax. The island is surrounded by clear blue water, nice swimming spots and there is plenty of greenery to relax.
Discover Dubrovnik in a unique way!
How to travel to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik can be reached in several ways.
Dubrovnik has an international airport with direct flights from several European countries. Shuttle buses leave from the airport and will drop you off at Pile Gate in 30-40 minutes, just in front of the Old Town. Tickets for the shuttle buses can be purchased from the driver.
Are you taking a road trip through Croatia? Then Dubrovnik should definitely not be missed on the route! You can fly to Dubrovnik and rent a car here to start your road trip. If you have your own car, it takes 2 hours 45 minutes from Makarska or 3 hours from Omiš or 3 hours 15 minutes from Split to Dubrovnik.
You can also reach Dubrovnik by sea. From Split you sail in 5 hours to Dubrovnik. The Jadrolinija catamaran only sails in high season and once a day. Kapetan Luka’s catamaran sails in both high and low season.
With the bus
From Split there are buses to Dubrovnik. You can choose from Arriva Croatia or Flixbus. The bus journey takes just over 5 hours.
How much time do you need in Dubrovnik?
We recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 days to make the most of your time in Dubrovnik. You can visit the highlights in 1 to 2 days. The rest of the time gives you the space to discover the city at a relaxed pace, enjoy the great atmosphere, relax if it gets too hot during the day for sightseeing and you can also go on a day trip.
Best time to visit Dubrovnik
The best time to visit Dubrovnik is just outside the high season, in the months of May and June and September and October. It is not too busy and not too hot. The temperatures have a lovely average between 20 and 24 degrees. Try to avoid the months of July and August, it is hot and there are sometimes queues to enter the Old Town through the city gates.
Where to stay
The atmosphere in the Old Town is great and there are many nice accommodations to be found. If you don’t travel by car, we definitely recommend booking a nice accommodation in the old city center.
We were traveling through Croatia by car and wanted an accommodation with free parking. Because parking in Dubrovnik is expensive. The Old Town is car-free, so if you want to stay there, you have to park the car outside the center. But there are also plenty of nice places to stay in the neighborhoods outside the Old Town. We found a cute studio with great views of the Old Town and walked there in 10-15 minutes.
If you stay outside the Old Town, keep in mind that you often have to walk a lot of stairs from the suburbs to reach the Old Town.
Hidden in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park is the Italian alpine lake Lago di Braies. For years we dreamed of visiting Lago di Braies and now we have finally been able to admire it in real life. Bucket list thingy; check!! Wow, we were really surprised by this special place, surrounded by the green and mountainous environment.
The best time to visit the lake is in the early morning. When you visit the lake on a clear day, when there is little or no wind and when the sun is still behind the mountains, then the lake transforms into a huge mirror and reflects the rugged mountain peaks in the clear water; a very special sight! Early in the morning, the iconic brown boats rest close to the wooden boathouse on the turquoise water. The overall picture is picturesquely beautiful and just like a postcard.
We visited Lago di Braies on a cloudy morning, causing some mountain peaks to disappear behind the clouds. This created mysterious vibes.
Things to do at Lago Di Braies
Walk around the lake
You can walk around the lake. This walk is 3.5 kilometers in total and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. During the walk you have beautiful views of Lago di Braies from different angles. The walk is suitable for both inexperienced and experienced hikers. It is an easy walking path and is flat for the most part. On a number of parts it is a bit steeper and you have to climb a bit.
Unfortunately we do not recommend people with limited walking ability to walk the whole loop around the lake, because the path is sometimes narrow and rocky(on the left side of the lake).Yet a part on the right side, past the hotel and restaurant further along the lake, ismore walkable.
If you take the walk to the right, you will pass a beautiful little chapel right at the start.
Row a boat across the lake
A fun way to explore Lago di Braies is by rowing. Rent a boat (maximum 4 people) from the wooden boathouse and row towards the gigantic mountains that surround the lake. And the best part; dogs are allowed on the boat.
🚣 From 20.05.22 to 18.06.22 you can rent a boat from 10.00 – 17.00
🚣 From 19.06.22 to 04.09.22 you can rent a boat from 07.00 – 19.00
🚣 From 05.09.22 to 30.10.22 you can rent a boat from 09.00 – 17.00
To be sure, always check here in advance whether other or different opening hours apply
🚣 30 minutes: €25 🚣 1 hour: €35
Note: Prices are from June 2022
Take a dip in the lake
Bring your swimwear, as it is possible to take a fresh dip in the lake. The water is freezing cold, but perfect for cooling down on hot summer days.
Hiking in the area
As mentioned earlier, Lago di Braies is part of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. So you will find plenty of hiking trails in the area that make it possible to explore the fantastic nature here.
Enjoy the magical alpine lake in peace
Lago di Braies is one of the best known and most impressive places in the Dolomites in Italy. And because it is also easy to get to, the world-famous lake is busy every day (completely understandable because of the beauty of this place). Yet it is certainly possible to enjoy this gem in peace. Early in the morning, before and during sunrise, you share this bizarrely beautiful place with a handful of other tourists, mainly photographers who are ready with their tripod and camera to capture the photogenic lake at its best.
We visited Lago di Braies on a weekday in June, in low season. In June, the sun rises at 5:30 am, early! But believe us, getting up early is well worth it. During the sunrise, wait for the magical golden alpine glow to illuminate the peaks of the mountain.
The first tour buses arrive around 9:00 am. We therefore recommend to be there before 9.00 am to escape the crowds and to get the most out of your visit to Lago di Braies.
How to get to Lago di Braies
Visiting Lago di Braies in the summer months
In the summer months, extra measures are taken to coordinate the crowds towards the lake. From mid-July to mid-September, the last few kilometers between 09:30 and 16:00 can only be reached by public transport, on foot, by bicycle or if you reserve a parking space in advance.
Reserve a parking space
There are 4 parking spaces near Lago di Braies. In the summer months (from mid-July to mid-September) between 9.30 am and 4 pm it is only possible to park in one of the parking spaces with a pre-booked parking space. You can easily reserve a parking space via the official website. If you visit Lago di Braies before 09:30 or after 16:00, you can continue without reservation.
P1: From P1 it is 5.5 km to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P1 costs €11. P2: From P2 it is 800 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P2 costs €18. P3: From P3 it is only 200 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P3 costs €18. P4: From P4 it is only 100 meters to Lago di Braies. A day ticket for P4 costs €20.
Note: Prices are valid for 2022
Reserve shuttle buses
It is possible to reserve a spot in one of the shuttle buses (lines 442 and 439) from parking spaces (P1 + P2) located further away. The shuttle buses only run in the summer months (from mid-July to mid-September) between 8.30 am and 19.30 pm. The departure times and prices for both lines can be found on the official website, ‘bus shuttle’. Dogs are allowed on the buses for a fee and with a muzzle.
Note: Prices and departure times are valid for 2022
Visiting Lago di Braies in low season
Outside the summer months you can visit Lago di Braies by car at any time of the day. Then come early, so that you are assured that you still have a place in one of the 4 parking spaces. It is only a 2-minute walk from the nearest parking lot (P4). It is not necessary to book online and you do not need a day ticket. The photo below shows the parking costs* from P4, outside the summer months.
Note: Prices are from June 2022 * The parking costs for vans are €25
The viewpoint Miradouro do Ponta da Ladeira is by far the most beautiful spot to watch the sunset on Madeira. This place right on the coast can be found in the northwest of the island near Porto Moniz. From the parking lot you walk a few meters on an adventurous, narrow unpaved path, right next to the abyss and through the reeds. Walk a bit down to a small plateau where you can enjoy the last sun rays of the day.
You look far out over the Atlantic Ocean and if you look down you can see the isolated small farming area of Fajã da Quebrada, with a number of huts. The farmers come to this region to work on handmade products.
You can visit the remote area Fajã da Quebrada. For only €5 you buy a return ticket and the steep cable car Achadas da Cruz takes you down 600 meters in 5 minutes. The views from below are spectacular.
The impressive viewpoint Miradouro do Véu da Noiva is located right along the road. Here you look out over a huge waterfall that pours straight into the ocean. Be amazed by the jagged coastline with steep green cliffs, the deep blue ocean and hear the wild waves crash against the cliffs. To enjoy this special natural phenomenon, it is best to park your car in this parking lot.
3. Pico do Areeiro
Pico do Areeiro is one of the highest mountain peaks (1818 meters) on Madeira. And offers the most beautiful viewpoints to watch the sunrise. If the weather conditions are perfect, you will be high above the clouds here. That must be so special! We drove to the top twice at sunrise,but ‘unfortunately’ they were two clear mornings, so there was not a gigantic cloud cover to be seen. But even then this point is very magical to see the sun illuminating all the surrounding mountain peaks.
There is a parking lot near Pico do Areeiro. If you want a spot, get here as early as possible, because Pico do Areeiro is the most popular place on the island to watch the sunrise. Most people watch the sunrise from this spot, right next to the road and parking lot. We recommend you to walk for about 15-20 minutes to the viewpoint Miradouro do Ninho da Manta. It is quieter here and we think the view is much more remote and special.
4. Magical views of the Ponta de São Lourenço Peninsula
Ponta de São Lourenço is a 6 km long peninsula in the easternmost part of Madeira. There are several beautiful viewpoints here and you can make an incredible hike. The first time we came here, we stranded during the golden hour at the viewpoint Miradouro de São Lourenço with beautiful rock formations. We were treated to a magical show where the sky turned into warm and dreamy colors. We stayed here for a very, very long time until it got dark.
A few days later we returned to the peninsula Ponta de São Lourenço to do the PR8 Ponta de São Lourenço hike and we think this is definitely a must do when you are on Madeira. During the hike you are constantly surrounded by panoramic views. Over the coastline, jagged cliffs, colorful fields and a moon-like landscape.
The end point of the hike is the viewpoint Miradouro Ponta do Furado. After a short but tough climb you are treated to a beautiful view of the very last part of the uninhabited peninsula. The colorful landscape contrasts perfectly with the blue Atlantic Ocean. From this point you can also see the neighboring island of Porto Santo in the distance.
Note, Miradouro Ponta do Furado is the only view in this blog that takes a lot of time to get there. You reach this point after about 1.5 hours of walking.
5. Cristo Rei Viewpoint
On top of a hill, on the edge of a gigantic cliff, stands the imposing 14 meter high statue Cristo Rei. It is the oldest of the 3 most famous Cristo Rei statues (in Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon and Madeira). The statue was built in 1927 and there are several stories about why it was built. One of the reasons would be to welcome strangers with open arms who are traveling to Madeira via the ocean.
Not only the statue is impressive, but also the view you have from here is spectacular. Look around you and spot the Atlantic Ocean, the bay of Funchal and Caniço and if you look down, there is a beach at the bottom of the cliff, Garajau, which you can walk to via a winding path. The path is quite steep, another alternative is to take the cable car down.
The Cristo Rei viewpoint is very accessible. Next to the lookout is a large parking lot.
6. Miradouro da Vigia
In the northeast of Madeira you will find many beautiful and still undiscovered viewpoints. Here you are guaranteed to stop your car continuously. In our opinion the most beautiful view in this part of the island is Miradouro da Vigia. You look out over the huge cliffs, the rough ocean, colorful flowers and the lighthouse of Ponta de São Jorge.
7. Viewpoints in Câmara de Lobos
In addition to the extraordinary nature on Madeira, there is another nice side of the island to discover. Madeira has many picturesque coastal villages. Our favorite one is Câmara de Lobos which is about 10 minutes drive from Funchal. Câmara de Lobos is an authentic fishing village, hidden in a cove of rocks, where colorful fishing boats bob on the blue ocean. The village is surrounded by dramatic cliffs, green vineyards and banana plantations. The location and surroundings offer fantastic viewpoints!
8. Miradouro de Terra Grande
If you are touring on Madeira with a car, you will certainly drive through the Terra Grande valley a few times. This area is almost the center of the island and from here you can go in almost all directions. As you drive through the valley you will encounter epic views every time. There are often widenings along the road where you can stop the car for a while. Enjoy the green valley, the vineyards and the small villages built between the hills of the valley.
9. Miradouro do Paúl do Mar
Paúl do Mar is a town on the southwest coast of the island. The old coastal route that you can drive from Ponta do Pargo, Lombada Dos Marinheiros towards Paúl do Mar and ending in Jardim do Mar is one of the most beautiful roads to drive on Madeira! It can be a challenging road to drive at times. You drive a steep winding road that leads you through narrow old and unlit tunnels that take you directly through the cliffs to the most beautiful viewpoints. The viewpoint Miradouro do Paúl do Mar is also located on this route. It is definitely worth parking the car along the road to fully enjoy this view.
10. Viewpoints in São Vicente
In a vast valley in the north of Madeira lies the picturesque village of São Vicente. Here you will find the chapel Nossa Senhora de Fatima on top of one of the hills. The 14 meter high bell tower protrudes above the hills and is therefore a real eye-catcher. Climb up for a breathtaking view and to get a closer look of the remarkable chapel. From the top you are surrounded by peaks and the green plateaus of the valley, where the typical houses with terracotta colored roofs are built on the slopes.
11. Miradouro dos Balcões
In 1.5 kilometers you walk to the beautiful view Miradouro dos Balcões. From the ‘balcony’, which is located in the middle of the Natural Park Parque Natural da Madeira, you look out over the green valley Ribeira da Metada. With clear weather you can see the three highest peaks of the island; Pico do Areeiro (1818 m), Pico das Torres (1851 m) and Pico Ruivo (1862 m).
This viewpoint is the perfect place for bird watching. Bring some nuts, seeds or fruit and wait patiently. Then they will fly to you for a snack.
1. Discover the diverse nature during a beautiful hike
Madeira is a paradise for both inexperienced and experienced hikers. You will find more than 100 easy and challenging hiking routes all over the island. On foot you will discover the spectacular nature and diversity of Madeira. From enormous mountain landscapes, an impressive coastline, huge waterfalls to a dense jungle and beautiful views.
The most popular hikes are the levada hikes where you walk along the old irrigation channels of Madeira that make it possible to explore the rugged interior and valleys of the island.
On the north coast of the island you will find Praia do Porto do Seixal (Seixal Beach). It is one of the few sandy beaches on Madeira. The special thing about this beach is that it has black sand and owes its color to the erosion of volcanic rocks. Seixal beach is surrounded by green cliffs, rocks and the wild ocean and is the perfect place for surfing.
Be careful if you want to swim here, the current can be strong.
3. Swimming in the natural pools at Porto Moniz
A little further than Seixal Beach are the impressive volcanic pools of Porto Moniz. Between the black rocks formed by lava, you will find pools filled with seawater. The water is always washed in by the rough waves. There are two options for visiting the baths. There are paid baths with supervision and facilities such as changing rooms and showers. A little further on you have the free volcanic baths, with no facilities in the middle of the untouched nature. Here you have to watch out for sharp rocks and unpredictable big crashing waves.
4. Discover Funchal; the bustling capital of Madeira
Funchal is the bustling capital of Madeira and is the perfect base from which to explore the island. Surrounded by mountains, Funchal is located on the sunny south coast of the island. The center is full of cozy bars and restaurants where you can taste the typical drinks Ponchas, browse the local market full of tropical and colorful fruits or visit the beautiful botanical gardens of Monte by cable car. Funchal is not only a lot of culture and admiring unique sights, but also the perfect destination for adventure. Organized dolphin and whale watching tours depart daily from Funchal harbour. And that is definitely an activity for your bucket list!
Madeira is a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This is an ideal and safe habitat for many cetaceans. There is a good chance to spot these special animals all year round, but the species you encounter depend on the season. Discover Madeira’s wildlife through responsibly organized tours. Do you want to know what to expect from such a trip? Then read our extensive blog about dolphin and whale watching in the waters around Madeira with tips that will make this experience unforgettable.
6. Get lost in one of the last laurel forests in the world
Millions of years ago, laurel forests were still common in parts of Europe and North Africa. Many laurel forests have disappeared due to the ice age and other climate changes. Fanal Forest is one of the last laurel forests in the world and is therefore a unique attraction on Madeira. If you visit Fanal Forest with foggy weather, the forest turns into a mysterious, fairytale place. The old laurel trees all have a different shape and are covered with several layers of moss. The trees seem to dance because of the twisted branches. The best part is to park the car nearby and get lost through this special forest.
7. Overcome your fear of heights with the Achadas da Cruz cable car
On the north side of Madeira, the steep Achadas da Cruz funicular takes you down 600 meters in 5 minutes. At the bottom you walk a short path and enjoy beautiful views of the wild ocean and huge cliffs. Local farmers work here on handmade products and agriculture.
A return ride with the cable car costs €5 per person. The last ride back up is at 6:00 PM. If you are afraid of heights, it can be quite exciting. But know that the amazing views below are well worth the effort.
Good to know: There are no facilities on the bottom, so make sure you bring enough food and drinks with you.
8. Drive on a winding road above the clouds
One of the most beautiful experiences on Madeira is to watch the sunrise or sunset from Pico do Areeiro. With a height of 1,818 meters it is one of the highest mountain peaks on the island. If the weather conditions are perfect, you will be high above the clouds here. That must be so special! We drove to the top twice at sunrise,but ‘unfortunately’ they were two clear mornings, so there was not a gigantic cloud cover to be seen. But even then this point is very magical to see the sun illuminating all the surrounding mountain peaks.
9. Visit the authentic coastal villages of Câmara de Lobos, Ponta do Sol and Jardim do Mar
Our favorite villages on the island are the coastal villages of Câmara de Lobos, Ponta do Sol and Jardim do Mar.
Câmara de Lobos
Câmara de Lobos is hidden in a bay of rocks, where colorful fishing boats bob on the blue ocean. It is one of Madeira’s most scenic and authentic villages, surrounded by dramatic cliffs, green vineyards and banana plantations. Experience local life, see how the fishermen successfully return with their catch and spot the most beautiful art on the doors of the houses in the narrow streets.
Ponta do Sol
Ponta do Sol is the village with the most hours of sunshine. It is small, but worth visiting! In Ponta do Sol you will find one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset, you walk over an old bridge, through an arch, along the huge cliffs, looking out over the ocean. Park your car in the center of Ponta do Sol and walk to this spot.
Jardim do Mar
Jardim do Mar is a whole of narrow steep streets that lead to squares and the impressive boulevard. A walk on the boulevard is a must. You constantly have beautiful views over the surrounding cliffs and the deep blue ocean, which is loved by many surfers.
10. Drive your car through the natural car wash at Ponta do Sol
Cascata do Anjos is a waterfall that pours in the middle of the road. This unique waterfall is a free car wash; close the windows, turn on the windshield wipers and let’s go! Navigate to this point to get there by car. The route to the waterfall is already impressive. An old narrow coastal road takes you along the beautiful coastline and several spectacular views of the waterfall. When it’s not busy, you can stop the car at one of the road widenings to enjoy this special nature phenomenon.
11. Taste the unique Madeira Wine
Madeira is rich in vineyards where the delicious local Madeira Wine is made. It is a dessert wine and characteristic is the sweet taste and the strong alcohol percentage (between 16% and 22%). Madeira wine is different from other wines. This is mainly due to the different maturation process, which was discovered ‘accidentally’ at sea. Portuguese sailors took wine with them on long ship journeys to get extra vitamin C. The wine left over after the long journey tasted different. This was because they kept the barrels on the ships in warm rooms where the wine was heated repeatedly. This change was so popular that it was the beginning of the unique Madeira Wine. From then on, shipmen took extra barrels with them so that they could sell the wine on their return.
Madeira Wine is available in every supermarket on the island. But it is a wine with an interesting history, so how nice is it to learn more about it through a wine tour. In collaboration with Madeira Atlantic Tours we went with the Private Madeira Halfday Tour. Through this tour we not only learned more about the Madeira Wine, the production and the different variations, but we also learned a lot more about the island.
In a vast valley in the north of Madeira lies the picturesque village of São Vicente. Here you will find the chapel Nossa Senhora de Fatima on top of one of the hills. The 14 meter high bell tower protrudes above the hills and is therefore a real eye-catcher. Climb up to get a closer look at the remarkable chapel. From the top you will be surrounded by mountain peaks and the green plateaus of the valley, where the typical houses are built on the slopes.
13. Walk the glass plateau at the Cabo Girão Skywalk
Challenge yourself and walk on the glass plateau at Cabo Girão. During the skywalk you walk 580 meters above the ocean. Visit Cabo Girão Skywalk on a clear day. We could see the depths below us, but the rest of the view was unfortunately hidden behind a thick layer of fog.
14. Make a stop at the most beautiful viewpoints
A road trip across the island takes you straight through the mountains, past constantly changing landscapes and coastal routes overlooking the blue Atlantic Ocean. Every ride is unique and you are treated again and again to the most beautiful viewpoints. You do not always have to make a long hike for this. Many lookout points can be found along the way.
In the east of the island is the narrow 6 kilometer long peninsula; Ponta de Sao Lourenco. It is the very tip of Madeira. The moon-like volcanic landscape here is completely different from what you see on the rest of Madeira. You can explore the area via the 7-kilometer PR8 hike, which takes you past amazing views, unique rock formations and colorful fields.
16. Madeira’s Traditional Cottages in Santana
The traditional houses of Madeira, Palheiros, are triangular with thatched roofs. Palheiros usually have red, white or blue painted accents. You can see the houses all over the island and some are still inhabited. Here in Santana you can see the houses from the inside and get an idea of how the locals used to live here – and still do. Some cottages in Santana have been transformed into shops and are today a popular tourist attraction.
The subtropical climate makes Madeira a good place to stay all year round. The island is also known as the island of eternal spring. In the months of October to March there is more rain. Even then it is a great idea to visit Madeira. The waterfalls are at their most powerful then and the moody vibes are more often present, which suits the island perfectly!
Madeira is also known as the flower island. If you want to see madeira in bloom, the spring months April to June are the best time to go.
How to get to Madeira
Madeira has an international airport, with many options for direct flights from all over Europe. The airport is located in Santa Cruz, in the east of the island. From here it is about a 15-20 minute taxi ride to Funchal, using a taximeter. Another option is to go by bus. Shuttle buses (€5) run between the airport and Funchal. This is a cheaper option, but takes much longer.
Traveling around Madeira
We have been on Madeira for a month and rented a car for a few days. The rest of time we traveled by public transport or did tours.
The most ideal way to discover Madeira is with a rental car. This way you can get the most out of your trip. The highlights are spread over the island and with a car you have the ultimate freedom to see all the beautiful sights. Madeira is beautiful to drive around and you are guaranteed to often park the car along the road to enjoy spectacular viewpoints.
Tip: If you have booked a trip to Madeira, try to arrange a rental car immediately. Prices can rise significantly if you book last minute.
Driving on Madeira is not very different, you may just have to get used to the winding roads with sharp bends here and there or the few extremely steep roads in the villages or high in the mountains. The locals generally drive quietly and the roads and tunnels are well maintained.
To make it a bit easier for yourself to drive in the mountains, we recommend renting an automatic car. You don’t need a 4×4, all roads are passable. A car with a stronger engine is nice, but not necessary.
Traveling by public transport on Madeira is a cheap option, but not always easy. Good preparation is therefore good, so that you do not have to figure out a lot while on holiday.
Our best tips are: 🚌 Always keep the bus times in mind, because there are only a certain number of buses per day, sometimes there is even only 1 option back. If you miss a bus, it may be the last bus running that day. 🚌 You can only buy a bus ticket with cash. You can buy a ticket from the bus driver. 🚌 Departure times are not always clearly indicated at the stops, not even on the websites of the different bus companies themselves. We often used the Rome2Rio website. The times were generally correct, but it is sometimes difficult to find the stop where you have to get on. 🚌 ‘Paragem’ means bus stop. There are several bus companies, on top of the bus stop is a sign that indicates which company stops at that bus stop.
Book one of the fun island tours
Do you not want to rent a car on the island and do you not want to be dependent on public transport neither? Then you can also explore the island through tours. There are a lot of great tours that take you all over the island. The nice thing about a tour is that you will learn a lot about the island. It is therefore also very educational and interesting. Keep in mind that it is not the cheapest option.
Where to stay on Madeira
If you only want to stay in one place during your trip to Madeira, Funchal is certainly a nice base for your entire trip on the island. Madeira is not that big and Funchal has a central location. From here you can easily discover the beautiful places all over the island. Funchal is also the ideal place to stay if you want to travel a lot by public transport. Many buses depart from Funchal.
Another reason why we loved staying in Funchal is because of the many restaurants and bars and the bustling vibes in Funchal. If we have been out in nature all day, we think it is nice to be in a bustling place again.
Not only Lago di Sorapis is insane, the whole hike to the lake is already spectacular. There are two routes that take you to the lake, route 215 and 217. Route 215 is ‘easier’, but even this route we found quite intense. Route 217 is even more challenging and we really don’t recommend it if you are an inexperienced hiker. In this blog you will only read our experience about route 215.
Route 215 is an adventurous 12.5 kilometer hike and takes 4-5 hours to complete. The hike incline is around 300-400 meters. So prepare yourself for steep parts. Along the way you will be treated to breathtaking panoramic viewpoints and you will be surrounded by many mountain peaks. In the distance you can spot the impressive peaks of the Tre Cime / Drei Zinnen.
For inexperienced hikers it is a tough hike and climb. When it gets extremely steep, steps have been made to make it easier to climb. The hike is a challenge if you are afraid of heights. On the route you come along narrow paths with deep abysses, for safety you can hold on to steel cables on these parts.
The enchanting Lago di Sorapis
Lago di Sorapis is the spectacular end of the hike and has a WOW effect. After a 2-2.5 hour hike, this view is worth all the climbing. Lago di Sorapis is surrounded by the Gruppo del Sorapis mountain range, which provides dramatic backdrops of rugged peaks. The blue water is like a mirror in which the reflections of the mountains are clearly visible. Lago di Sorapis is the perfect place to relax and have a nice picnic.
Do you have any energy left? Then we recommend taking a walk around the lake. This way you can watch the lake from different angles. From the other side you have completely different views.
After enjoying this dreamy place to the fullest, you can walk the same way back to the starting point.
The origin of the light blue color
The light blue color of Lago di Sorapis creates a very special sight. This unique color of the water is caused by fine grit from the mountains that ends up in the lake via meltwater from the nearby glacier. If you visit the lake on a sunny day, the blue color will be even more intense. To keep the beautiful blue color and the ecosystem, it is forbidden to swim in the lake.
The best time to visit Lago di Sorapis
The hike to Lago di Sorapis is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites. It is therefore best to do the hike in the low season. Or make sure you start early (before 8:00 AM) to avoid the crowds. As it is a narrow trail, it can get overcrowded quickly and you won’t be able to walk at your own pace. We visited the Dolomites in June and started the hike at 6.00 am. Besides being very quiet, we could also enjoy a magical sunrise!
The trail head
The starting point of the hike is located here. You only have to walk through a wooden gate and from here follow the signs with the route ‘215’. Along the way, the route is often indicated by ribbons and white-red stripes on trees or stones.
How to get to the trail head
Are you traveling by car? Then navigate to this location. There are not many parking spaces. If the parking lot is full, you can park your car next to the road.
It is also possible to travel by public transport. From June to early September, a number of buses (line 30) run from Cortina d’Ampezzo per day. In 20 minutes you travel to the starting point of the hike.
Skradinski Buk is the largest and most popular waterfall in Krka National Park. With a width of more than 100 meters, the water falls through 17 smaller waterfalls. Impressive!
In the surroundings of the Skradinski Buk waterfall you will find a diverse walking route along nostalgic houses, water mills and waterfalls. You walk over wooden bridges and clear green pools where you are surrounded by beautiful nature.
Along the way you will encounter different wildlife. There are signs that tell you which animals live in the area, such as frogs, turtles, foxes, otters and over 200 bird species. Something that makes this trip more adventurous are the snakes that also live here, 2 of which are poisonous! But don’t worry, the chance of encountering them is very small.
On the way you can already see the Skradinski Buk waterfall from different angles and at the foot of the waterfall you walk close to the waterfall via a bridge. Here you will experience the power of nature at its best.
In the area you will find several eateries where you can relax and look out over the waterfall.
Most tourists come to Krka National Park to visit the Skradinski Buk waterfall. The waterfall is therefore crowded. Do you want to be ahead of the crowds? Then come early in the morning when the park opens.
How to visit Skradinski Buk waterfall
You can visit the Skradinski Buk waterfall in different ways.
Through the main entrance Lozovac
The first entrance can be found near the village of Lozovac. Just in front of this entrance is a large free parking lot. From April to October, shuttle buses run from here every 15 minutes and take you to the Skradinski Buk waterfall and drop you off at a parking lot (this is also the place where they pick you up to go back to the entrance). The bus ride takes 10 minutes. For the shuttle buses you pay a small amount extra. If you decide to walk this part yourself (about 2 – 2.5 hours in total), you have to take into account a steep path of about 900 meters in length. The views are beautiful!
Note: In the winter months there are no shuttle buses and you can drive the route with your own car.
Through the Skradin entrance
The second entrance, with a paid parking lot, can be found at the village of Skradin. From May to October you can take a boat from here to the Skradinski Buk waterfall. The boat departs every hour and the trip takes about 25 minutes. From the point where the boat drops you off, it is a few minutes’ walk to the Skradinski Buk waterfall. For the more adventurous ones, a 4 kilometer long walking and cycling path starts at the entrance to Skradin towards the Skradinski Buk waterfall.
Manojlovac waterfall is the highest waterfall in Krka National Park and is located in the north of the nature reserve. It is about 40 minutes drive from Skradinski Buk waterfall. Here you will find a free parking space where you can walk to a spectacular viewpoint in 5 minutes. Watch the two layers of the Manojlovac waterfall from above and have a panoramic view of the canyon and the Krka River.
But the best is yet to come! If you like adventure, you can climb to the bottom of the Manojlovac waterfall and admire the waterfall up close. But be warned, the hike is quite intense. You can walk to both layers of the waterfall via a winding path. The walk takes about 1 – 1.5 hours in total. Here you go off the beaten track and you will encounter few other tourists.
To get to the first layer you have to squeeze yourself between two narrow rocks and you end up at a beautiful place. With clear green water, the waterfall as a beautiful backdrop and dense nature. For a moment you imagine yourself in the lush jungle of Croatia.
To get to the second layer, maneuver through a dilapidated house. The route gets steeper and steeper after this and you have to hold on to the roots of trees to get down safely. It’s intense for a while, but this hike can be done by anyone (even Danique who had her boots on and was totally unprepared for this).
After a good focus you reach the bottom of the impressive waterfall and that is so refreshing and rewarding after the intense hike. Here you will see how big and beautiful the waterfall really is. It is possible to swim here but we wouldn’t recommend it.
The Krka River flows in the area of Roški Slap through a gigantic gorge. The water is brought through dozens of layers, also called mini waterfalls, to the 15 meter high Roški Slap waterfall where the water pours directly into the Visovac lake.
The multiple layers give a magical sight and can be viewed from a number of viewpoints. Our favorite viewpoint is the first steep path on the right after the entrance (before the climb to the cave a little further). The path is made of rock and you can hold on to the wooden railings.
The climb to the viewpointis tough, because you have to climb uphill on a steep path with slippery rocks. So put on shoes with extra grip and bring enough water with you. At the top you will be treated to an amazing view and you will soon forget the intense climb of about 20 minutes.
If you visit Krka National Park by car, we definitely recommend driving to this viewpoint during sunset. Here you can expect pure magic! From here you look out over the lake and the layers of mountains in the surrounding. On the lake lies a small island with a beautiful monastery. It is possible to visit the island by boat during the day.
If you do not visit the park by car, then there are also organized boat excursions to Lake Visovac from the entrance at Skradin.
Have a drink at Alte Mühle Kristijan
Close to the Roški Slap waterfall you will find the unique restaurant Alte Mühle Kristijan hidden among all the greenery. Where you literally sit in a waterfall with your table and both feet. And yes, that is quite cold! That is why we chose another table on the terrace. It is the perfect spot for lunch or a drink. Take cash with you, because you can only pay with cash here.
Entrance tickets Krka National Park
You can buy entrance tickets at both the entrance Lozovac and Skradin. The entrance tickets are valid that day and with that you can visit all the sights in Krka National Park. You can also buy entrance tickets in advance via the official website.
Best Time to Visit Krka National Park
Every season has its own charm and it just depends on what you prefer. The waterfalls are at their most powerful in spring and autumn. In the summer the park is in bloom and in the winter it turns into a fairytale world full of snow and frozen waterfalls.
Opening hours Krka National Park
It is important to know that there are only opening times for the Skradinski Buk waterfall, Roški Slap waterfall and the Kistanje monastery. The other sights can be visited at any time of the day. Check outthis page of the official website for current and opening times.
How much time do you need to discover Krka National Park
Our advice is to plan 2 days to discover all the beauty of the Krka National Park at a normal pace. We did all the sights and hikes in one day, but that was actually way too much. Do you want to enjoy all the unique, undiscovered places and take multiple walks? Then two days is ideal. You only need to buy an entrance ticket for one day, with which you can visit the Skradinski Buk waterfall and Roški Slap waterfall. On the other day you can see the Manojlovac waterfall and the Visovac lake, you do not need entrance tickets for this.
How to visit Krka National Park
The best way to visit Krka National Park is by car. This way you can easily drive to all parts and highlights. Šibenik is the ideal base to visit Krka National Park. It is a very nice town to stay in and it is about a 15-20 minute drive to the entrance at Lozovac.
There are several cities from where you can go to the Krka National Park by bus, such as Split, Šibenik, Zadarand Zagreb. Click on the city from where you want to go, to see the latest timetables and prices. The bus stops near the entrance of Skradin, where the boat departs from May to October.
With a total length of 105 kilometers, the Cetina River flows through the interior of Central Dalmatia. The beginning of the Cetina River is the special source Izvor Cetine, which is also called ‘the Eye of the Earth’. This karst spring, which colors all shades of blue and green, resembles a dragon’s eye from above and is an infinitely deep hole in the earth. It is the most fascinating and unreal place to see in all of Croatia. The source is located at the foot of the Dinara Mountains. Further inland it creates a fast-flowing river that flows the last part through a gigantic canyon and flows into the Adriatic Sea at Omiš.
Ziplining, an unforgettable experience
The best way to discover the canyon and to get the best views of the Cetina River is by ziplining. The zipline trail starts in the middle of the canyon, 3 km outside Omiš. In 2-3 hours you descend the canyon by 8 ziplines with a total length of 2100 meters. Sometimes you hang up to 150 meters above the canyon!
The meeting point is at the main office in the center of Omiš. With a bus you drive to a higher point in the mountains which is the starting point of the ziplines. You get your equipment here; a harness, gloves a helmet and a tool that you can use on the steel cables to accelerate and slow down. Then you hike to the first zipline hidden in the forest. At this ‘baby’ zipline you practice how to move forward and brake and experience what it feels like to hang on the zipline. You can ask all your questions to the two experienced instructors and you will learn everything you need to know to descend independently.
When everyone is ready, you hike to the first zipline in about 10 minutes. This is immediately the longest (700 meters) and the highest (150 meters). You start with the most intense zipline, so there is little time to get used to ziplining. Seeing the instructor disappearing in nothingness with 60 – 70 kilometer per hour (depending on the wind), we wondered what we have started. And when I saw Abel’s worried face, I almost regretted always dragging him into my crazy ideas.
Full of adrenaline and with a fast speed I crossed the canyon. The views from here are spectacular. At this point, going back was no longer an option for Abel and he soon followed me. Super brave, because Abel has fear of heights. So he has really challenged himself with this exciting activity.
And guess what, it was so awesome and we both liked it. We looked forward to the next ziplines. Shorter ziplines followed. Some were steeper, went straight through the woods and with 2 ziplines you literally fly over the Cetina River, very spectacular. Along the way you can enjoy the beautiful nature. Watch here our video of our zipline experience.
Ziplining in Omiš
We recommend this unforgettable experience to everyone. We felt safe and the professional instructors introduce you to ziplining in a fun way and with a lot of humor. At each zipline, one of the instructors demonstrates the descentand stands on the other side to signal when to go faster or slower and to catch you. The other guide stays with the group to secure everyone to the zipline. If you find the experience a little bit too scary, there is a possibility to descend together with the instructor.
This activity is not sponsored.
Would you dare to go ziplining? Book a tour by appointment through Zipline Omiš. Check the website for current pricesandavailable times. Transport to the zipline location and back to the main office and equipmentis included in the price.
Helpful tips for ziplining
Wear comfortable (sports) clothing.
Do not bring too many loose items. It is possible to carry a backpack.
It is useful to attach your phone to a cord. There are two ziplines that go a bit slower and where it is possible to take photos and/or videos. That way you can not lose your phone in the abyss.
Bring plenty of water. It is a bit of a climb every now and then.
With a total length of 105 kilometers, the Cetina River flows through the interior of Central Dalmatia. The river’s origin is located at the foot of the Dinara Mountains and the river flows through a gigantic gorge into the Adriatic Sea at the coastal town of Omiš. An adventurous way to discover the gorge and the river is by rafting or ziplining.
The source is a hidden gem in a beautiful setting. It is surrounded by a hilly landscape and on top of one of the hills you will find a beautiful old church.
The mysterious thing about this blue hole is that it has never been possible to measure exactly how deep it is. Divers and the Croatian Institute of Nature have taken measurements and reached a depth of 155 meters, but that was far from the bottom.
The water of the karst spring of the Cetina River turns different shades of blue and green. Through the crystal clear water you can see that it is infinitely deep. Beforehand, we doubted whether the content we had seen from the source was not extremely photoshopped, but this place is exactly like the photos and videos in real life. So insane!
When you stand in front of the source you see that the water is carried away via a small stream. So special that this is the beginning of a gigantic river that flows through a large part of Croatia.
The view from above
To see the blue-green dragons eye from the perspective on the photo below, you need a drone. From the air you have the best view of this special phenomenon. Photography and filming tip: Visit this place on a sunny day so that the colors of the water pop out in the photos and videos. And photograph and film with a polarizing filter, this filter removes reflections and glare from the water so you can perfectly capture the depth of the water.
Even without a drone this place is definitely worth a visit. From a higher platform you also have a great view, from where you get a good idea of the different colors and the depth of the source.
Take an adventurous dive in the source
Because it is not known how deep the water is, it can be creepy to swim here. There are stories that there are creatures living in the depths. But because of the cold water you will soon forget that you are swimming above an infinitely deep hole. The water is ice-cold groundwater that rises from the depths of the earth. The water temperature varies between 4 to 8 (!) degrees Celsius. Brrr. Still, taking an ice bath in Izvor Cetine is definitely an activity to put on your bucket list. It is a challenge, but certainly an unforgettable experience.
During your visit, animals will also pass by to cool off from time to time. The cold water clearly doesn’t scare them off.
How to get to Izvor Cetine
To visit the fascinating Izvor Cetine you need a car, as it is quite hidden in the interior of Croatia. This is the exact location of the source. For this you have to type ‘Izvor Cetine’ in Google Maps, otherwise you will be led to another place.
A visit to this place is a real must do during a road trip through Croatia. The source can be visited from several popular holiday destinations. It is 1 hour 10 minutes drive from Šibenik, 1 hour 25 minutes from Split and 1 hour 45 minutes from Omiš. It is quite a drive, but the route to it is beautiful. You drive through authentic villages, where time has stood still, past several fortresses and untouched landscapes. Once you have arrived at the source, you can park for free next to the nearby church. From the parking lot you only have to walk a short path down.
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