Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Pearl of the Adriatic...Croatia



Have you ever dreamed of a place where the water is perfectly transparent, where the ocean sparkles like fairy dust gone wild and where the sunset are warm, deep and simply amazing?
Why of course you have!?
Did you ever think, however, that Croatia may just be that slice of paradise!?
I didn’t think so…

Croatia is really a paradise. You may not have white sandy beaches, but it exceeds your expectations in every other way. Every town has absolute stunning historical architecture that takes your breath away. Cobbles stones, churches and houses that resemble those out of a Disney fairytale. Spending a week there, hopping islands and exploring the coastline and sweet little historical towns, Croatia has really shown me a magical side that I never knew it had.

September is the perfect month to visit - less tourists decide to travel, yet the weather is nothing less than perfect. A week and no cloud in the sky…A week and a dream has been born. I now dream of owning a cute little place on an island somewhere in Croatia, with a boat, a scooter and no worry in the world.


  
Tips:
  • Take a snorkel and lots of sunscreen!
  • Carry passport when you want to rent something.
  • For accommodation in the shoulder seasons, people will offer apartments when you step off the ferry. Cheap. Try it.
  • Don't bother booking a hotel based on the pool as the ocean is a huge pool in itself.
  • Taking Public Buses between cities?  You’ll need to pay 7-10kns (kunas) per bag, not included in the ticket price. Buy the ticket the day before and make sure you get an air conditioned bus if you drive over midday hours...it gets HOT!
  • Taking a ferry? Note that ferries between islands only operate on certain days. Check with a travel agent or google beforehand.

Our route:
Flew to Dubrovnik. Spent 3 nights there. Ferry to Korcula. 2 nights there. Ferry to Hvar. 3 nights there. Ferry to Split. 1 night there. Bus to Zadar. 1 night there. Flew back home from Zadar.

Verdict? Loved it all. Dubrovnik, Korcula and Hvar were all equally stunning but Korcula is still very untouched compared to the other two, a real hidden gem and I dream of owning a small apartment and boat there one day! Split and Zadar have very pretty historical old towns but they are bigger cities on Croatia’s coastline. Stick to the Croatian islands as much as you can and better yet, do the whole trip by sail boat! Heaven.

Dubrovnik:
  • Stay in the old town
  • Rent a scooter
  • Have a sandwhich for lunch at Skola
  • Swim and sunbathe at Sv. Jakobs Beach
  • Take the cable car at sunset with a good camera!
  • Have dinner anywhere in the old town. Lovely pizza at Olive Pizzeria
  • Have a beer at Buza Bar on Durovnik’s old town wall. Take your swimmers and jump off cliffs




Korcula:
  • Rent a scooter and take the northern coastal road from Korcula Town, heading West
  • Stay in the old town
  • Go skinny dipping at sunset – the water is simply too amazing
  • Check out the beach Pupnatska Luca
  • Have lunch at Konoba Mate in a town called Pupnat - the garlic paste and eggplant is amazing
  • Definitely have drinks at Bar Massimo and try the Yam Yam cocktail for something sweet!




Hvar:
  • Stay at Amfora or close as there is beautiful swimming water out the front and wifi readily available
  • Whatever accommodation you choose, make sure you stay at a place where you get breakfast as not many restaurants or cafes do breakfast in town
  • Rent a boat and drive out to the Pakleni islands, find your own deserted bay and have a picnic -
  • Definitely have dinner at Dalmatino, a family owned quality restaurant with eall affordable prices. I had the Eros Carpaccio and homemade Gnocci, SO good and Grandma’s walnut cake is also yummy. Only she knows the recipe to this cake J
  • Tri prosciutto wine bar in the old town is a great place for tapas and wine
  • Rent a car or scooter if you have more time. Stari Grad is supposed to be the oldest town in all of Croatia and only 25kms away. This is also where the main ferry terminal or Hvar is




Split and Zadar:
  • Beautiful old town but no epic swimming when compared to the islands
  • Stay at Villa Hresc, if staying in Zadar. Modern accommodation, a cute little pool and great food (breakfast and dinner)
  • If going to Zadar, make sure to do an island trip to the islands facing Zadar. They are supposed to be beautiful


Finally, go to Vis! Something I wish I would have had the time for it. The island of Vis is supposed to be amazing for diving and a real gem in itself.

HVALA for reading my post and don't hesitate to contact me on bakedinlove@hotmail.com. I would be happy to answer any questions or receive comments and feedback on my post OR just leave a comment…it makes me HAPPY!

 
Blog Design by Delicious Design Studio