Saturday, September 23, 2017

Coasting Thru Croatia

This September Corinne and Natascha of VM Travel Adventures introduced 7 of our travel friends to the dazzling coastline of Croatia!  We started in the waterways of Venice and after a 3 hour hydrofoil ride over the Adriatic found ourselves in Rovinj, Croatia. A gourmet meal of mussels, shrimp and even lobster was enjoyed on the rocks of the Puntulina Restaurant.

 The theme of the tour was water and we were never far away from this majestic coastline of the Adriatic Sea. Roman ruins were explored in Pula a short bus ride away. The Sea Organ in Zadar serenaded us early in the morning before we nestled into Sibenik further down the coast. An invigorating day was enjoyed in the KRKA National park - hiking, swimming and lunching with our feet in the waterfalls, copious amounts of wine from our grog mugs added to the merriment at the local tavern.


Our apartment accommodation in Sibenik gave us a chance to relax as if we were at home - laundry, grocery shopping and potluck dinners. The Medieval Day Festival to our enjoyment of this coastal town! From here we headed south to Split for another ferry ride to the Island of Hvar!!
This island known for its lavander and wine is a favourite destination for sailboats! Another magical day was spent in the countryside cooking in a small village with a young Croatian couple and consuming yet more wine at the Tomic winery! We all came away with bottles of Plavic Mali - red wine from the region.  A free day of shopping, swimming and exploring the fort and the islands off shore gave everyone a chance to do their own thing!

Dubrovnik was another 3 hour ferry ride away and we managed to avoid the cruise ship crowds by walking the wall at dusk and catching some shopping time - the handcrafted silver military buttons
were a hit! The Panorama Restaurant on top of the gondola station  treated us to a magical view of old Dubrovnik for our final dinner.
An early morning flight to Zagreb, the nation's capital took us inland to a delightful city of buildings from the Belle Epoque and lushious parks.  Natascha arranged an excursion into the countryside on a local bus to Samabor, home to lead crystal (another popular purchase) and a lunch of local delicacies including wild boar and fresh mushroom soup. Mario, our guide in Zagreb filled us in on the recent history which enabled us to understand Croatia's desire to enter the European Union and make its mark as a tourist destination. Clean, safe and stunningly beautiful are some of our impressions of this 18th most popular tourist destination.  In 2018 VM Travel is looking forward to sharing this delightful tour with more Canadians!