Ok so its August, you have no choice, this is the only time you can holiday and you want to go to Croatia. Where do you go that isn’t crazy expensive, busy, loud or all three? This is my secret Croatia guide. First stop Mreznica.

August in Croatia is madness, vastly overpriced hotels, restaurants with lines around the block and people packed like sardines on the beaches. Maybe this is what we have come to expect from our holidays? Maybe you can live with it for the sake of getting some sun? Or, maybe like me it makes you want to swivel on your heels, turn the AC on high, watch cable and order takeaway. It doesn’t have to be like that. Croatia has so many incredible spots, I grew up in this beautiful country and just spent 3 months here doing my research. It’s tough I know but someone had to do it. Over the next few weeks I’m going to tell you where the secret Croatia is. I’m going to sharing my top 5 secret Croatia spots no less. Today I’m going to obsess about Mreznica. It’s totally unpronounceable I know but don’t let that stop you.

Secret Croatia MREZNICA

Easily accessible from Zagreb Croatia’s capital, the river Mreznica is 39 miles long and has no less than 93 waterfalls. The surrounding area is rural and bucolic with plenty of home-made honey stands, mum and pop restaurants oh and beer. There are several swimming spots along the river and one of the best ways to enjoy them is to rent a car and explore. The closest big town is Karlovac, home of Karlovacko pivo (beer) which in close competition with Ozujsko is a pretty good summer cooler. The city also has an annual beer festival at the end of August so you may want to plan accordingly. Check out their great city information site here.  We stopped off here at Duga Resa for coffee and a dip first.

www.mywelltraveledfriend.com Secret Croatia Mreznica
Some of you may not be able to imagine a holiday without a beach and neither could I at first but after a day of rope swings, kayaks and sliding down waterfalls I am planning my return. This is a great place to spend family time. There is a variety of accommodation but most are wooden cabins with outdoor grills and large terraces links and suggestions below. You can find ones that are just feet away from the river although if you do have car then explore away. The waterfalls were a huge success with Oscar. He loved fishing and throwing rocks into the clear bright pools of water without the threat of waves or crabs lol. There are some very strong Pro’s to river vacations in the summer. Here are some of ours.

No sand- I don’t really need to go there, if you have small kids you know this can be a chore!

No waves – again ideal for small children or for less confident swimmers. 

Less sunburn – beaches don’t often offer miles of weeping willows to sit under

No crowds – this was literally my most crowded moment.

So take a picnic, unleash your inner fisherman and buy one of those wonderful rugs you have been promising yourself. Your relaxing, water side holiday awaits you.



www.mywelltraveledfriend.com Secret Croatia Mreznica


www.mywelltraveledfriend.com Secret Croatia Mreznica


Where to stay

Want to do what we do? Use our exclusive link and save on our favorite site Airbnb. Just enter Mreznica and all manner of fancy places will pop up. We also found these awesome chalets a little late but will be trying and testing them next time we visit for sure http://mreznica.com/en/ for more up to date pictures especially of the stunning snow fall check there Facebook page.


Zagreb airport has a ton of car rental stands (Enterprise, Avis, Hertz etc.) however to avoid disappointment do book in advance. I have had nothing but excellent experiences with these guys AutoEurope.

Other activities

Just a two-hour drive away from the iconic world heritage site of Plitvice. We will be writing more about this soon I promise. Its simply stunning all year.

Visit Dubovac and Ozalj castle. Dubovac castle dates back to the 13th Century and holds a medieval fair in May.

Wine tour? Enough said.


We would love to hear about your secret Croatia travels too. There is so much more to Croatia than just Dubrovnik.


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