Croatia – Part 3

Croatia – Part 3

Swimming in the cool clear water from the boat

Find – Part 1 – and – Part 2 – of Croatia is the last two blog posts.

Peaceful mooring

Like many of our holidays, this holiday was sandwiched around a bit of boating. Our next destination was in the direction of – Zadar – where we were to collect our boat. Getting to the harbour was a minor challenge as the bus driver and his pal didn’t speak a word of English. But we showed them a map and luckily for us they dropped us off on the side of the road next to the harbour at Zadar. Kind as the driver and his friend were, they virtually chain smoked the whole way. Public smoking laws have a way to go.

View from the galley

We were a bit early for our boat handover so we had a bite at the harbour cafe. I’m not a language expert but I recognised a good few Russians at the harbour cafe. I got the feeling Eastern Europeans flock to Croatia for sun and sailing holidays. Once we got our boat, we shopped for food at the harbour supermarket and the next day we left to explore the coast and islands.

Everyone deserves to do this trip. Basically we went off and found island upon island. Some islands have shops, markets and cafes. When we weren’t boating, we swam in the ocean, tanned on the deck of the boat and relaxed with a glass of wine under the stars at night. We slept with the windows and doors open listening to water lapping at the side of the boat. One night we discovered what we thought was phosphorescence in the sea water. I was mesmerised and played with the water in my hands watching it sparkle. It was a magical and relaxing holiday.

Another peaceful mooring

Our favourite island was – Hvar. If you are not boating it is still possible to get to the bigger islands by ferry from the mainland. On Hvar we found a bustling market where we bought lavender oil, honey, fresh figs and yummy cheeses. Some must-sees recommended by other travel sites are – here and here.

There are 1185 islands off Croatia’s coastline. Some islands were smaller and finding food was harder. But then they were so peaceful and the remoteness was a big part of the attraction. We managed to anger a donkey when we dropped anchor next to his patch. He was most upset with us. Obviously not a lot of people came past.

The only advice I will give if you decide to go boating is to make sure you have maps. We didn’t get much from the boat hire companies. Here are links to a few of the boat charterers in Croatia – Bareboat and Sail Croatia

Sunset at Marina Agana

No matter how much time a person puts aside to travel there is always more to see and not enough time. We never got to see the capital Zagreb and the northern inland areas which are very different to where we were in the southern coast. But then we did get to see some of the most beautiful coastline and islands on earth.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

Croatia – Part 2

Croatia – Part 2

Go to last week’s post to read – Part 1 – of this Croatian holiday.


One of the – must-sees – is Onofrio’s Fountains. Naturally, enthusiastic tourist that I am, I took an obligatory sip of water. I looked up afterwards and saw birds sitting on the top of this fountain. I did wonder if I had just ingested bird droppings and promptly decided that fountain water wasn’t for me. Apart from walking the city flat and exploring, it’s also possible to go – kayaking – or laze in the sun on one of their – beaches.

Rubbing Gregory of Nin’s toe

We stayed at a guesthouse just off the cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik our first and last few nights. The standard of this place was good. Breakfast is usually included and I would strongly suggest always having breakfast in-house as finding breakfast on the streets in Croatia is a huge problem. These people don’t seem to have much more than a strong cup of coffee to start the day. I also have to point out that vegetarians can expect to struggle to find food. I get so tired of moaning about the limited options at restaurants and cafes for vegetarians but I have to be honest, Croatia was one of the worst places I have been to in that regard. Atkins, Dukan and Paleolithic diet fans will have no problem.

We moored in Trogir a UNESCO town

After a day in Dubrovnik we took a bus up to Split where we overnighted next. As we got off the bus a hoard of people touting accommodation came rushing at us. We decided to go with a sweet looking little old lady and followed her through winding roads and alleys. She rushed us into a room and before we even knew it – she was gone. The room was dreadful. The beds were basic, the carpets and linen threadbare. The towels were stained. The bath taps leaked and the bath was well worn. We probably should have left but we had no idea where we were, where to start looking and it was only for one night, so we stuck it out. And it’s not like we got a cheap rate for this run down spot. Lesson learned. Don’t ever go looking for accommodation in that manner. Rather book in advance on-line.

Trogir – where we moored the boat for two nights

Split is the second largest city in Croatia. Much like Dubrovnik it has an old town, but it’s also a modern vibrant city. I managed to squeeze in a mini shopping session at H and M. And yes I did stroke St Gregory of Nin’s foot like many other people have. That poor foot is wearing away and is quite thin.
The city is dominated by the palace of former Roman Emperor Diocletian and the waterfront area with cafes and bars. Here – is a list of beaches in split. 

You can also take a ferry to visit one of the many Croatian islands from Split. Find a link to the – timetables. A lengthy list of to-do’s is – here

Next week is – Part 3 – and the final part of the Croatian boating holiday.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.



Travel in Croatia in 2006


Most countries are blob shaped. Croatia is completely different. It has a long narrow strip of coast and then it takes a right turn and has another long thin piece of inland country. Which gives it a sort of upside down tick or crescent moon shape. This means that Croatia has two distinct types of vegetation and climate. Inland the weather is continental. There are lakes, bird filled wetlands and even ski resorts. The coastal area is decidedly Mediterranean and perfect for boating, water sports and working on your tan. Even the cuisine is different. Inland you can expect meaty stews and comfort food. At the coast it’s more like to be seafood, pasta and salad on the menu.

Steep steps to our accommodation in Dubrovnik

Croatia’s history is extremely important in order to get the people. It was previously part of communist Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito, who was a firm dictator. Croatia’s path to independence began in 1991 and culminated in a war that ended in 1995. Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia are Croatia’s neighbours on the coastal side. One of the worst wars in human history happened there. It’s fair to say, people in this part of the world have had their share of hardships. And you can see it in the people. Croatians are not rude but they are reserved and disinclined to engage. English is not widely spoken, certainly not in the smaller places and not by older people. One gets the feeling that this is a country finding it’s feet after years of communist isolation and harrowing wars.

Greenie in doorway to our accommodation in Dubrovnik

The influx of tourists is still relatively recent. We did this trip in 2006 and found Croatia mostly unspoilt, unlike the Portuguese and Spanish coasts where ghastly high-rise concrete developments extend as far as the eye can see. Croatia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth. Many of their old medieval cities are still relatively intact and are UNESCO world heritage sites. We never got to travel inland as we did a boating holiday. The Croatian coast is absolutely stunning. Beautiful blue seas, clear skies and a warm – but not hot – climate.

The capital of Croatia is Zagreb, which is inland. We flew directly into Dubrovnik which is probably their busiest tourist spot and one of their UNESCO heritage cities. It is a walled city and is an attraction all of it’s own. I recommend taking at least a day to walk around the walls, as well as in and about the cobbled alleys of the old town. Dubrovnik reminded me of Italy. Not surprising as Italy is just across the Adriatic Sea. There is a strong Roman influence. And the Romans are still coming. We noticed plenty Italian visitors who catch ferries across to Croatia.

Inside our accommodation in Dubrovnik

If you like historical architecture including squares, fortresses, palaces, monasteries, churches, synagogues and columns, then you will be in heaven. There is so much to see that I wouldn’t dare limit the must-sees. Here are a few recommendations from other on-line sites – meet Dubrovnik and Croatia travel blog.

Read – Part 2 – next week and the final – Part 3 – in a fortnight.

Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.

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