Please take a look at Kristina’s Hvala Croatia post as well. On our drive from Lyon to Craponne sur Arzon we collated our best and worst of Croatia. I (Ian) was superbly impressed by Croatia. Wasn’t quite exactly as I expected. There is a lot more visible history than I imagined – Roman, Venetian, Austrian, Italian – with both Cities and towns that are very medieval and oozing with history. The coast is super rocky, which means generally rocky beaches (which was expected) but what I hadn’t expected was the fields and hills covered in rock walls and rock piles, painstakingly hand picked over the centuries to allow trees and other plants to grow. In this landscape they produced the staples of Croatia – wine, cheese and olive oil. Didn’t know that either. Apparently the Croatian wine industry was wiped out in the early 20th century by a blight but it is now more established again. The other big impression is how well known and busy Croatia is. Coming from Canada I thought maybe we were going to the quieter part of Europe. Maybe it was the quieter part of Europe but the beaches are full, roads busy and cities and towns jammed. But as someone said last night at dinner. Well this is Europe. We really enjoyed it despite the crowds and did get away from tourist track now and again.
So to our list and then some photos.
I: Vela Luka beach, Supetar. Nice variety of beach, good snorkelling, pretty quiet.
K: Me, too. Vela Luka, the sandy beach in Supetar. Crystal blue water, always a perfect temperature.
N: The second beach near our place in Senj. It was warm, tucked away and not too busy.
A: Lovracina, a sandy beach where you didn’t need to worry about sea urchins
I: Fish platter at the local bistro (Vinotoka) in Supetar
K: Three-way tie: For atmosphere, the lamb peka at the restaurant on the hill in Dol. For deliciousness, the grilled lamb and octopus salad at Vinoteka. For something special, landlady’s treats in Senj: homemade fruit liqueurs, soups, sheep cheese scones.
N: A tie between lamb leg on the grill at Vinotoka, and lamb chops on the grill in Trogir
A: Homemade pasta with lamb sauce (ragu) at Konoba Nada in Vrbnik
I: Plavac Barrique, red wine
K: Plavic Mali Kastel Gosponik in Dol
N: Croatian hot chocolate in Supetar – basically a drinkable chocolate pudding
Least favourite thing about Croatia:
I: Being too hot to sleep sometimes.
K: Crazy rash and some kind of allergic reaction to Croatian mosquito bites.
N: Zlatni Rat (famous beach in Bol). The scenery (see blog post on Zlatni Rat), and it was really overrated. Because really, it was just a beach.
A: The two hikes in Velebit National Park. And the Dolcevita hike on Brac. Too hot.
Favourite place (other than a beach):
I: Premuzic Trail in Velebit National Park. Great views. Crazy terrain. Interesting rocks. Beautiful, well-made trail.
K: Hiking the Premuzic Trail in Velebit National Park. And wandering the tiny alleys in Vrbnic on Krk Island.
N:Trogir, in general.
A: Pletvice Lakes. And the Konzum Super (the supermarket), because you can buy Lego there.
And some photos of recent adventures: Lukovo beach again, Zavratnica (near Jablanac), Rijeka and Trogir plus a few from the last stormy day in Supetar.