Croatia – when can I come back?
What would I do differently? For starters, I believe, like the slow food movement, I am a fan of the slow travel movement. When we travelled to the Czech Republic last year,we virtually spent the entire 10 days in Prague, only venturing out to Plzen once for the Pilsner Urquel Brewery Tour. It was bliss. Every day we filled the hours touring the sights of Prague, never feeling rushed. We compared favourite schnitzel dinners (the monestary brewery up near Prague Castle was given top ranking by both of us), walked in the forest at Petrin Hill and enjoyed all that Prague had to offer. We were laid back and in Prague heaven.
My time in Croatia, while absolutely blissful, felt like I was always on the run….2 nights per town meant a lot of time spent travelling, finding accommodation and packing up to leave again before I knew it! I loved everything I saw, and felt like I was teased for two weeks – taunted as I only skimmed the surface of a gem that is no longer such a secret!
Flying into Zadar was perfect – a small town with a great vibe, I eased through jet lag, got into the groove and was ready to go. Two nights at Plitvice Lakes National Park was exactly what I needed – other than the park, there was little to see and do, but a day trip to explore the park was not enough – overnight was perfect. It was after this point that I began to want more time – so much culture and history in Split, hiking and kayaking, and all those fabulous bars and restaurants – I barely saw any of it as the better part of 2 days was lost on the arrival and departure. Definitely worthy of another visit.
Transport by ferry in Croatia is brilliant and the ferry terminal in Split sits across the street from the bus station – so it was quite easy to make the transition to the islands of Croatia. Look in the dictionary for a picture of paradise, and I am sure you will be looking into the pristine waters, yacht culture and beauty of the Adriatic. I found my paradise in Vis and am hooked. When can I come back? With only 2 nights in the town of Vis, I knew early on that it wasn’t going to be enough. Vis is also known for its agricultural delights – surely worthy of a week as you eat and drink, sampling the island as only a gastonome would do! Spending some time in Komiza – a quieter town on the other side of the island, is also a must. I met a family at the ferry terminal who insisted I promise to come back, and make sure to visit Komiza for it’s beauty is captivating! The island, once a military stronghold, has found itself less touched by tourism – perhaps I should stop extolling its virtues so that it can remain a secret. It is a quieter island than neighbouring party hard Hvar, with a slower pace of life – I could relax here for considerably more than the two nights I gave myself!
With so many islands in the Croatian archepelago, be sure to leave plenty of time to explore – the most popular way – charter a sailboat and set sail in the crystal waters…..I am totally hooked….where can I sign up! I can see nothing more idyllic that mooring at a secluded cove (Vis has 54!), diving off your own chartered yacht, and enjoying the endless beauty of the sea…. The majority of boats docked in Vis were charters. The atmosphere was electric and relaxed at the same time as people mingled on the streets. It was amazing to look at all those dazzling yachts, and dream of life on the water.
That is just one week….we haven’t even begun to talk about Southern Dalmatia and Dubrovnik! Croatia -when can I come back!