I spent my summer holiday on the glorious seas of the Adriatic. We flew in and out of Dubrovnik and stayed in a family friends apartment on the Pelješac Peninsula opposite Korcula for the majority of our visit. We spent most of our days doing day trips or relaxing, with 3 days in Split and 2 in Dubrovnik. I would say that our apartment was pretty far out of it, but we managed to see everything we wanted to see, except Hvar.
The Roads of Pelješac peninsula are terrifying, especially when you are used to driving on the opposite side of the road. However, the scary heights made for beautiful views of some of the, 1,246 islands Croatia has in its portfolio. This peninsula is also famous for wine and for miles you are surrounded by grape crops and homemade wines.
Ston is a little town which really stood out for me. It was so different to the winding streets of the usual Croatian towns. It has a massive hill fort which you can conquer or crawl if you are a baby like me. Even if you are passing through stop and hike up the walls for some amazing views.
Trstenik will always be the home to my favourite chip. This little restaurant on the seafront does garlic chips. Basically chips covered in homemade olive oil with raw garlic in it. Snorkeling after raw garlic was debatably pleasant. The snorkeling here was great. If you are planning on going in the sea in Croatia (duh, why wouldn't you??), take some flip flops or jelly shoes, anything that you can wear on your feet in the sea. Croatia's beaches are rocky, not sandy and there are spiky anemones everywhere on the beaches, after watching a lady pull spines out her foot I really recommend the Jelly shoes.
As we had an apartment on the peninsula we took the car out for a lot of day trips. Firstly, and not requiring the car was Korcula
Korcula is the home of Marco Polo and is the quaintest little town. There is so much to see all around you, especially above, the buildings are beautiful and the streets are lined with green flowering hydrangeas. Korcula is not overly touristy as the majority of tourists would have came from Dubrovnik but it is quite a sail!
Mjet National Park:
For Mjet you will need a car and a ferry and a boat. So worth it. The national park is busy so get there early to scope your place for the day. We spent our day on the island of the Monastery of Saint Mary. This island is surrounded by a large salt lake with warm and crystal clear waters. Make sure you don't miss the last ferry home though!
Road to Spilt:
Now roads are not normally renowned for beauty, but the road to Split from Dubrovnik is beautiful! Stop at some markets on the way for a fruity lunch and admire the mountains and perfectly manicured fruit and grape farms along the way. When you drive from Dubrovnik to Split you will also drive through Bosnia Herzegovina. Bosnia has a very small sea port here and it actually took longer to get through border control than to drive through the town. Make sure you have your passports if you are doing this journey!
Make a detour on your way to Spilt and Brela. I would normally recommend going early but I don't think it would make any difference, this beach is busy, but it is obvious why. It is beautiful.
Old Town Spilt:
Modern Split is nothing to write home about, it is a city but the old town is so charming. I found Split more dominated by tourists than I did Dubrovnik which I was not expecting. Get a taxi for dinner at Dvor, I had a Chocolate lava cake in an olive oil sauce that I am still reminiscing about. The place was terribly cute with views over the cliffs to the sea, it was the best meal I had in Croatia. Old Town Split comes to life at night. Bars are everywhere and the streets come alive.
Blue Lagoon Tour
While in Split we booked ourselves onto the Blue Cave group tour with this company, but on the morning the weather was too rough to go on open water so instead they tailored a more localised tour of the Blue Lagoon, Trogir and the skippers pals' restaurant for lunch. We had a lovely day, admittedly it would have been nice to see Hvar an the Blue Cave but this tour was also very good. If you are spending time in Spilt I recommend doing a boat excursion.
Some boat tours will take you to Trogir, and it is very much worth it. Again, streets upon streets with interesting things to get lost in. As we were on a tour I didn't get to spend as much time here as I would have liked but it was truly beautiful.
Krka National Park
Krka stressed me out. I hate rudeness, I hate pushy people and I get even more intolerant when I am hot. Krka is beautiful, but the tourists suck. I say this being one of the MANY tourists there, I really do feel for the locals. If you go, take money and lunch with you, the only ATM in the car park (a bus ride away) and the food in the park is not good.
To avoid a complete Croatia picture overload I have separated my post for Dubrovnik, I shall publish it soon to dismiss the holiday blues.
With Love from,