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The deVOL Journal

Croatia Lovin’

7th October 2016

By Emily Thompson

Croatia has been on my list of countries to visit for a while and this year I finally got to experience this beautiful country. We based ourselves in the city of Split, which is on the striking Dalmatian Coast in the south, with great access to idyllic islands and luscious countryside. When we first arrived there was torrential rain and thunderstorms but luckily it brightened up for the rest of the week and we were able to make the most of our time there.

One of my favourite days was spent island hopping on a speedboat captained by a beautiful, bearded man named Marko. We visited the island of Vis, the Green Cave, Stiniva beach, Paklinski Otoci island, and Hvar. Whilst speeding across the ocean from Split to Vis we saw a pod of dolphins swimming and playing which was amazing! All the beaches we went to were absolutely gorgeous and the water was crystal clear.

When we were in Hvar we walked up the hill to the fortress and the views were spectacular. You could see the old town and port below with lots of yachts mooring up for the night’s festivities. There were so many groups of people on yachting holidays and after seeing all the hidden beaches and secluded bays I will definitely be going on one in the future! Hvar was my favourite island and I will certainly be visiting again for a longer period so I can explore the rest of the island and the surrounding islands.

A couple days later we ventured to the Krka National Park near Šibenik to see the famous waterfalls. They were truly spectacular and we were able to swim at the base of the waterfall which was extremely refreshing! There was plenty of wildlife in the park and even a few swans chasing some swimmers in the water. It was more humid in the park and walking through the trails felt like we were in a small rainforest. I would recommend visiting the park but be prepared to see lots of other people as it is a very popular tourist destination.

After walking through the park we headed to the city of Šibenik which has lots of interesting, winding lanes and a very prestigious Cathedral. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and architecturally is the most important Croatian building from the Renaissance. Also, it is built entirely from stone (Limestone and Marble) – of course my ears pricked up when I heard this! It’s a very impressive building and the inside is beautiful. Apparently, the building is so important that there is an entire Architecture course dedicated to this cathedral in America.

The food in Croatia is delicious! As we were on the coast the seafood was amazing and due to Croatia being ruled by the Venetians for a while they also had lots of tasty pizza and pasta. On our last day we splashed out on a three course meal with lots of red wine – the main dish we had was the famous Dalmatian Peka. This is a Baked dish with meat and vegetables made in a pot which is typically put into the embers of a fireplace (or an oven in the case of a restaurant!). It was very tasty and there was so much food that we ended up taking some home for supper.

The Croatian coast definitely surpassed my expectations! The people were lovely and the different landscapes were stunning – I definitely recommend visiting for your next holiday.

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