This was my second time visiting Croatia, and I can confidently say it will not be my last.
I absolutely love Dubrovnik, with its intense blue waters, cobbled streets and friendly local cats. And if I wasn’t in love with Croatia enough already (which I definitely was!), we were so incredibly lucky to have 10 of our best mates meet us in Split where we celebrated our combined 30th birthdays by chartering a private gullet yacht for a week, sailing around the Croatian waters, relaxing in the sunshine, eating all of the fresh seafood, drinking all of the cocktails, and having the actual time of our lives. You know, as you do.
Croatia was always going to be a highlight. And it did not disappoint.
Where we stayed:
In Dubrovnik we stayed in this apartment. Higher up on the hill, it had the most stunning views of Old Town, and from the great sized balcony, we were witness to some absolutely ridiculous sunsets. It was only a 10 minute walk down to the beach and into town, and had a very handy supermarket just down the road where we stocked up on fresh fruit, ciders, and antipasto snacks for our afternoon games of cards overlooking the ocean. Waking up to that view is something I still dream about. I’d book this place again in a second.
What we did:
Relaxed at Banje Beach. Hire a beach lounge with an umbrella for a small fee and enjoy some beach side drinks courtesy of the Banje Beach Club. The beach is made up of pebbles, so whilst you don’t need to hire a lounge, it’s much comfier if you do! Hot tip – wear thongs that you can wear walking out into the water, those pebbles get very heated in the Croatian sun!
Had afternoon Drinks at Buza Bar – a little hole in the wall cafe and bar on the cliffs on Old Town Dubrovnik. This place is a must. Wear your swimmers and jump off the cliffs if you’re feeling brave, or just sit and enjoy the views (and watch other people jump off the cliffs!) It’s pricey and it gets packed, but if you can score yourself a table it’s definitely worth it!
Spent the day at Lokrum Island. This is my heaven. I had talked this place up massively to my husband in the lead up to our trip, as it was my favourite place to swim the last time I went to Europe – so after raving about it since 2011 I was thrilled that it lived up to my expectations from my first visit. We got up early and took the first ferry from Dubrovnik to the Island, setting up on the quietest flat rock section we could find (which we had to ourselves for most of the morning), and just generally had ourselves the best day ever. The Island is set up for swimming, with little ladders sporadically anchored to the rocks making it easy to come and go from the water. It is actually paradise. Swimming straight from the rocks into the deepest, most beautiful clear water is just insane. We packed some fruit and drinks for the day, because food on the island is limited, and after a day of swimming, and bushwalking around the island we caught the ferry back in the early afternoon. It was a very happy day.
Walked the walls of Dubrovnik. Note: it’s better to do this in the morning before it gets too hot. The walls surround The Old Town and have some of the best views Dubrovnik has to offer. You can also do a ‘Game of Thrones’ guided tour if that’s your thing, or otherwise you can just wander the 2km walk on your own, gazing at the rooftops, and over the beautiful cliffs into the sea. There are cafes along the way if you’re like me on holidays and need to stop every 20 minutes for gelato.
SAILING THE CROATIAN COAST
After Dubrovnik we travelled to Split and chartered a Gulet Yacht for a week with 10 of our friends. Classic holiday behaviour. We hired our Yacht through Goolets Croatia, and let me tell you, this ain’t no Sail Croatia! This is the boat we chose. We had a double bedroom and bathroom each. A crew including a bartender and chef for the week. And the best part (besides the fact we were the only guests on board) was that we were in control of where we wanted to go and how long we wanted to stay in each place. We spent the week exploring small coastal towns, swimming from the yacht, eating like kings, and soaking up the salt and the sun. Best. Week. Ever.
Croatia was always going to be amazing. But it surpassed all expectations and truly was the highlight of our trip. I’d go back in a heart beat.
Next stop: London