Our hop around Croatian islands

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Until this year, Croatia was the top holiday destination for Czechs - it's now been trumped by Slovakia. After the eighth or ninth Czech friend told us how much they loved Croatia in summertime, we figured we'd better make our way to the Dalmatian Coast. 

With our severe lack of melanin and inability to lay prone for more than an hour without sleeping, we are not particularly beach types. Yet, Roman ruins and fresh fish sounded enticing, so off we went on an island-hopping adventure posted on Chasing the Donkey, a Croatian travel blog.

Split, our first stop, was stunning. We only had a day and a half, so we spent a lot of time wandering around the old town, purchasing a ticket to see Roman Emporer Diocletian's Palace and hitting up a local beach.

Per BW’s request, we took a gander through the Fish Market and the Green Market. I get a kick out of how eager he is to see local food culture everywhere we travel. I do not get a kick out of a fruit peddler trying to sell me overripe figs for ridiculous prices because I am a tourist.

The first spot off the mainland was the island of Vis, which served as a Yugoslav naval base and was cut off to foreigners from 1950 to 1989. I'd found an AirBnB in a former palace (!) that was being renovated painstakingly by hand by the elderly gentleman owner (?!). We happily slept among piles of dusty old antiques.

Our main activity on Vis was renting a motorbike and finding a hidden beach that we had to scale about a kilometer of rock face to get to. (Smarter people took boats.) We also indulged in marinated sardines, shrimp and cuttlefish brodetto at Pojoda, a fresh fish restaurant.

Whereas Vis was cozy and sleepy, our next destination was high-octane decadence. We boated to Hvar Island with a huge Californian family who was in Croatia on holiday with their 80-year-old patriarch, who had been born on Vis. Hvar was a sight to see - all luxury yachts and party bars and modelesque figures stretched out on cabana chairs.


Calling Hvar expensive is an understatement; a bottle of sunscreen was over 20 US dollars. So we enjoyed the views, ate in and fell asleep to the sounds of the Adriatic Sea and the incessant "dns dns dns" beats of the beach clubs in the distance.

Our third and final island - Korcula - was our favorite, largely because our friend the Serbian and his daughter spend their summer holidays there and they showed us around. We swam and were gluttonous to our hearts' content, and we got to explore an old church and visit with locals.

The night before we were set to go back to Split, I saw on Facebook that my sister's sister-in-law and her husband were in the city, on their way to new jobs in Poland! We were lucky enough to enjoy a walk on the Split Riva and then meet them and an aunt who had been travelling with them for a fish dinner. A serendipitous event!

We'd hop on Croatia again any time.

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