Sunday, September 13

Holidaying in Croatia

A four day long weekend provided the perfect excuse to take some time off and spend a week in Croatia, chasing the summer sun. My Dad is visiting at the moment, so the three of us headed off together last Saturday. It was the first time that any of us had ever visited Croatia. The Dalmatian coastline is spectacular. We rented a terrific house in the hills above Makarska, a popular tourist town about an hour from Split and two hours from Dubrovnik.

MakarskaWe spent the week taking day trips (Dubrovnik and the nearby islands), heading down the hill for a swim at the beach, lounging about on the terrace, reading, playing cards and watching the sunset.

One of the highlights for me was our short drive to the nearby Biokovo National Park. I was expecting us to just park the car and go for a short hike in the pine forest, but when we arrived, we found the park consists of the highest mountain road in Croatia: 23kms of terrifyingly narrow, steep road that took us up to the 1,762m mountain peak. It was an incredible drive and I was grateful to complete it without scratching the hire car. In some places, the two-way road was barely wide enough for one car! Well, that may be exaggerating, but it was a challenging and exciting drive. This video of cyclists making the downhill run gives an impression.

Overall, I really enjoyed the holiday in Croatia, but for a region that relies upon tourism, they could a better job of some things. The food was disappointing and the tourist information was either non-existent or overwhelming. We wanted to buy a nice momento, but struggled to find anything beyond rows and rows of tourist trash markets. However, the people were lovely and the weather was gorgeous. If you like watersports and don't mind pebbly beaches, it is a very affordable and worthwhile holiday destination.

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