Photographer Matt Conant recently spent two weeks road tripping through Croatia with his wife, documenting their journey from Istria to Split, over to the island of Vis, and down to Dubrovnik. Hitting the road in a tiny stickshift hatchback with their gear, they slowly made their way down the Adriatic coast, taking in the otherworldly scenery and staying in AirBnBs along the way. During their trip, they tasted wines on the island of Vis; ate fish from the Adriatic sea; toured salt fields in Ston; and visited the many honey producers in Istria. “The whole country smelled like honey. Even the islands,” Conant says.
Seeing Croatia from the road turned out to be the ideal way to experience it, according to Conant: “Driving let us keep a pretty loose plan so we could come and go as we pleased and check out small towns whenever we felt like it,” he says, “or stop at a roadside stand and buy honey or whatever they were selling.” Everywhere they went, they were welcomed into homes and cafés. They showed up at one restaurant on the island of Vis only to find it closed, but instead of being turned away, the owner insisted on opening up shop and cooking them a meal himself. And this wasn’t atypical: “The people we met were shockingly nice,” he says. “Wonderful and very hospitable.”
They left with a newfound obsession with the country, its food, and its people—and an SD card full of stunning photos. Check out some of the highlights from their trip above.