Croatia Trip Report 2011
Firstly, sorry this is a very long report but I have prepared same for us as a keepsake but also for you to read to give an idea of Croatia from our view and also of the prices, as we were keen to know these before we went!
We visited Croatia from Sunday 28th August to Sunday 4th September 2011. In general, we had a fantastic holiday. The weather was amazing, in fact a little too hot for sightseeing at 32-36degrees! As advised by others August is a very hot and crowded time to go.
28th August :
Arrived at a very hot Dubronvik airport at noon. Picked up by our driver (sent from our accommodation for approx £25). The view in the way in is outstanding, with 2 cruise ships on the horizon. Our accommodation was amazing, I would totally recommend this apartment if you don't mind walking up approx 220 steps. I have pictures of the view etc if wish to contact me. The apartment can be found under http://raic.de/ferien/index_eng.htm. The cost was approx £65/night. The apartment was run by Marina, who was very helpful. The apartment has 4bedrooms, 2 at the front, with amazing views, 2 at the back (no view). Unfortunately we had to take one at the back, however, everyone can share the balcony with the view of the Adriatic and of Dubrovnik as there are 4 tables. The accommodation is self catering with all facilities you would require.
After catching our breaths back from the view from our accommodation, we trundled down the steps towards the beach. Not my type of beach - a small pebbled one, however it didn't seem to put anyone else off! There was plenty of activity from jet-skis to banana boats and kayaking. We walked around the harbour/marina - some amazing boats and cruise ships around the port.
We walked around the Stradun area (which is very beautiful) and went for lunch into Knoboa Koloseum. Price for 2 mains of fried squid, pork skewers with French fries and 2 large beers was 180kuna (£23). Afterwards we walked around the town looking for Café Buza which we had heard a lot of good reports about. Buza is the ‘bar built into the walls’. It is in a great location and we enjoyed our cocktails, however they are more expensive than most places at £8/cocktail. There were a few people jumping off the rocks into the sea to cool off. Afterwards we headed to the beach to cool down ourselves, which was most enjoyable!
That evening, we revisited the Stradun, which is even more beautiful in the evening with live music and a great buzz about it. We went to the Klarissa Restaurant (right beside Pile Gate) for drinks as a live band caught our attention playing Dire Straits/Elvis etc. We got 2 double vodkas, a tequila sunrise and a cosmopolitan for £30. Headed onto the Gaffe Irish Bar, which was great craic, good atmosphere and great musician playing. Afterwards headed to a pizza place for some much needed food to soak up the booze for the early start the next morning.
29th August :
Up at 7am to get walking the City Walls as early as possible! We arrived there approx 9am. The cost was 70Kuna each and well worth it. It is true to say the walls get very busy after 10am! Took approx 2hours to walk around (and about 5 bottles of water!). Purchased some lovely baguettes for lunch and sat outside the steps to the concert museum and fed the pigeons our leftovers.
As we’d already seen all of Dubrovnik (from cable car to Old Town, Marina, Stradun, Fountains etc) we decided to get a bus out to Gruz/Lapad area as we were going to be staying in a hotel there later on in the week. The bus was £1.20 each. The scenery on the way was fantastic. We got off at the marina and walked for approx 5miles, up into the mountains (got lost!) but was well worth it to see how the locals live. Walked back towards Hotel Lapad to dip our feet into the sea just outside of it. One of our regrets was that we ddn’t stay in this hotel. I had heard bad reports but the location is perfect! Went for a few beers at Ztinski Bar in Gruz, right beside the sea - approx 25kuna a large beer.
Back into Dubrovnik for dinner – Oliva Pizzeria which was beautiful. We had a Mexican pizza and 2 cokes for 94kuna (£12). Went to supermarket for a few beers (much cheaper here at approx 5kuna each), had a few on our balcony whilst watching the sunset from our balcony.
This was our last day in Dubronvik Old Town – to summarise, in our opinion 2 full days is enough to see everything.
30th August :
6am start for the fast ferry from Dubrovnik to Korcula ‘Nona Ana’. In my opinion this is a bit of a scam/shambles. The ferry is scheduled to depart at 8am, therefore they ask you arrive by 7.30am to purchase a ticket as can’t purchase online/day before etc. Marina’s mother gave us a lift to the port, we arrived there before 7am to a long line of people. When we reached the top we were advised by a very rude employee that we couldn’t purchase a ticket as they were all sold out!! I spoke to her male colleague who explained that there are 200 seats on board but because there are 5 stops they only sell 40 seats for each stop!!! Therefore the only way we could travel was to either pay too little to Mljet in the hope we didn’t get caught or pay extra to Lastovo, the last stop! Therefore it meant we had to pay extra but get off a stop early and most people had to do this!!! Cost 136kuna for us both one way (£17). Journey takes approx 2.5hrs including all stops in between. Travelling this way was fine, big cruiser with some nice scenery (however I did prefer the bus journey home). They do not go directly from Korcula to Dubrovnik after 31st August.
Arrived at our accommodation ‘Villa Depolo’ at 11am. Rezi (wonderful host) showed us to our room, which was fantastic given the price of 290kuna/night (July/Aug) and 250Kuna (rest of year). I have written a report on same under Korcula accommodation and cannot rate this place enough for the value/views/spacious balcony.
The town of Korcula is beautiful, very quiet and quaint. Went looking for fishing bait for husband and took a trip to the marina/harbor and also beach for him to do a spot of fishing whilst I sunbathed. He was happy to catch a Garfish and Yellow Stripped Bream. Went to Tramanto Pizzeria for pizza and drinks = 78kuna; Went for a walk around the walls, home to get changed and out for dinner/drinks. Went to Konoba Balun (near Marco Polo Hotel) for dinner. I was a little worried as it didn’t look the best but the food was actually tasty and in a great location overlooking a saltwater pool. Heard a live band playing whilst walking by Tramanto Cocktail Bar, so stopped for a few tequilas, which were 49kuna each. This bar is right beside the marina, therefore enjoyed watching the ‘rich and famous’ coming and going in/out of the bay on their amazing cruisers and private yachts.
31th August :
Headed to local bakery for some pastries for our hangovers! Went to visit the Liburnia Hotel (very good) and walked out towards Bon Repos. Went swimming in the sea/spot of sunbathing/hubbie fishing and caught a Bandit Bream with the help of a friendly German.
Went for lunch in centre of town and to marina where hubbie caught some whitebait.
Headed to Konzum supermarket for 10 beers/mosquito cream/soft drinks = 80kuna (much cheaper then drinking out).
Few beers on balcony then went to an amazing restaurant right by the old walls by the sea. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of same, as some lovely Italian men kept us talking so much!
I had pork medallions with rice and creamy mushroom sauce, hubbie had fish dish and was approx £40 (which included double vodka each).
1st September :
After 2 days in Korcula we’d saw everything, therefore went on a boat trip to Lumbarda. Cost 50kuna each return on water taxi. Very good trip, met some lovely people and scenery again was fantastic.
Wasn’t too much to do in Lumbarda, so dips in sea, sunbathed, some good food etc. Went to Leni Restaurant for lunch, which I would recommend. Went for an ice-cream sundae and some frappes. Got taxi boat home at 4.45pm.
Purchased our tickets for the return trip to Dubrovnik the following morning (188kuna for both, £24). Home for 6ish with a bit bottle of Smirnoff (99kuna in supermarket). Chilled on balcony watching sunset then went to Step Bar and Restaurant to see the same band as the first night. Had some great Strawberry Colads at 36kuna and beers 20kuna. Went to Bulldog for cheeseburgers, fantastic! To bed early as up at 6am again for ferry/boat from Korcula to Orbejic and back to Dubrovnik.
Summary : Korcula is very beautiful and relaxing but not suitable for those looking for any nightlife as bars shut at approx 11pm-12am.
2nd September :
Up at 6am and down for 6.45am ferry to Orebic (mainland). The ferry was pleasant, and could get off the bus to go for something to eat/toilets etc. Ferry only takes 15/20mines. Back onto bus and headed over the Peljesac (wine region). The views here was amazing, totally stunning. I enjoyed travelling back this way via Ston, Slano, etc due to the view the whole way back. Mountains/sea/islands etc. The bus leaves you at Dubrovnik Bus Station (in the Gruz area) 15mins away from Old Town. We had lunch across the road at Ghatto (not very nice) then go taxi to Neptun Hotel in Babin Kuk. The hotel was great, see review. I had booked this hotel at the end of the holiday to do not much bar relax so that’s what we did for the day! Had meal in hotel that evening. As advised on the review, the hotel was absolutely dead come evening, only us and another couple about!
3rd September :
Hotel brekkie, not great! Sunbathed few hours at hotel then went into Gruz for some hubbie fishing time, caught few mullet whilst I sunbathed and read book. Went for lunch in Gruz and back to hotel for some relaxation. Watched a Croatian wedding which was interesting! Dinner in hotel again that evening.
4th September :
Brekkie at hotel, caught bus which comes every 1hr from hotel to Dubrovnik Bus Station, thereafter bus comes every ½ hr to airport at cost of 35kuna each. Nice journey back.
In all, we had a great time, would recommend Croatia to all for great weather, relaxing times, with some sightseeing thrown in, however wouldn’t recommend for those wishing to mingle with people or for nightlife as there really isn’t much to do. I think the next time we will go to Split/Hvar/Plitivice Lakes.. I’m already planning!!! Enjoy