9 Things to love about Croatia

This morning I’m sitting in our airport hotel room (in our large white lost luggage t-shirts given to us when all our bags bar carry on were lost and still not located somewhere between Split, Dusseldorf & Heathrow) already feeling a million miles away from the sunshine and crystal clear water of Croatia. That’s the thing about holidays isn’t it? They have to end at some stage. Lucky for me I have approximately 4582 photos to look back on and remember every little bit of it.

I fell in love with Croatia. The people. The food. The beauty of the place. The history. All teamed up with all my family there to share it with me made it a once in a lifetime holiday. Here are some of my very favourite things about it.

The water

Nothing will compare to the colour of the water that I saw on the islands off Split. We hired a boat for a week while we were there for exploring and water sports and it was an added level of fun. The water is clear, deep, warm and filled with not much other than the odd fish or octopus) so was perfect for swimming in. Of course getting in isn’t always easy with the rocks lining everywhere but it’s worth it once you are in. Best swims I’ve ever had.

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The food

Of course my heart skips a beat whenever I smell pork fat dripping onto hot coals but this place REALLY knows how to cook over fire. From the home made peka, to the most delicious crispy and crunchy pork belly I’ve ever had the joy of eating to the fresh seafood, salads swimming in vinegar…I was in food heaven.

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The baked goods

Speaking of food, the baked goods of this fine country deserve their very own accolades. VANILLA SLICES. Almost 10 cm tall with a layer of mock cream at the top with crispy, flaky pastry. Strudels. Apple cakes. SAUSAGE ROLLS. Sausage rolls that were filled with some kind of cheese that was delicious. Lamingtons. LAMINGTONS! They were every where. JAM DONUTS. I ate at least 2 a day.Sweet corn bread. BREAD, so much bread. DEEP FRIED BREAD. Needless to say, I’ve put on quite some weight. And I couldn’t be happier.

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The back streets

In Korcula, Hvar and Split especially I just adored the rambling back streets. The steps that climbed to the back parts of villages lined with homes, restaurants and hole in the wall shops. The pavers worn smooth from walking. The plants and washing hanging. The ancient roman palace walls of Split that have seen so many things in their time. All just so pretty.

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The love of concrete

You all know my love of sweeping and the tiled surfaces in this fine place meant that I was right at home sweeping every surface I could. I embraced my inner Croatian Baba and swept morning and night and loved the use of concrete and tiles everywhere. Got a rocky path to the water? Throw some concrete on it to make it smooth! Concrete was everywhere!

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The pine trees

Given that we are surrounded by them at home I have a natural love for pines. The smell of them, their needles, the sound they make when wind blows through them. I was in love with the fact that they were EVERYWHERE. Coastal pines! Pretty as a picture.

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The people watching

Whether it was the young kids on Daddy’s super yacht in Hvar, the locals walking down to the village for their shopping, the kids playing football, the old Baba’s going for their daily swim in the ocean, the people watching was SPECTACULAR. The locals were all beautiful – Croatian men so tall! AND HANDSOME. The women beautiful clear eyes and so many blondes! The older people looking so healthy. The Australian/English backpackers in Hvar? Not so much. So many tatts. SO drunk. Not doing us any favours! I love observing people and I love even more being able to do it somewhere I’ve never been before. It makes the world a smaller place. People the world over really have simple needs. A little sun on our backs. Something simple to eat and drink. Our families around us. That’s it!

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The beer

Very drinkable.

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The sunsets

I always get a thrill seeing the sunset into an ocean. It never gets old seeing as we never get to see it. The light that comes around 7.30pm at night is the most beautiful I’ve seen. Needless to say, I have a few photos of it.

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Have you been to Croatia?
What did you love?

Comments

  1. cecily maher says:

    Age 21 visited Split ! by accident as my friend and I took a turn in our backpacking journey , best time I ever had , now age 47 you have revisited so many great memories for me, so great to read all about your trip .

  2. Christy says:

    That was the most wonderful recap Beth, and really brought my own memories of Croatia flooding back. Did you make it to Mjet? Swimming in the lakes there was my absolute highlight of Croatia, but the food and scenery of Korcula and Dubrovnik were a very close second. What a spectacular place đŸ™‚

  3. Yep, 5 years ago, I was living in the UK and went to meet some friends there and was lucky enough to meet my partner who was also and Australian living in the UK on holidays in Croatia. Still together! Last November we went back backpacking through the Balkans and ended our trip in Croatia just for old times sake, but doing the north, so very different to the coast…and life changing, parts that still look as they did after being damaged in the war 20 odd years ago.

  4. I think I need a holiday…gorgeous photos Beth. This sounds spectacular x

  5. I’m in Croatia at the moment on holidays too and I’ve loved following your journey!

  6. No I haven’t but all I now know is that I want to go! x

  7. Belinda says:

    My husband and I must have missed all the places to visit when we were there in 2008 – all i have is bad memories of cats & kittens in restaurants, bad beaches, bad food and seafood extender in the shape of prawns & instead of prawns! Your pictures were everything I hoped Croatia would be for us

  8. I travelled around Croatia on honeymoon. Fab memories!
    My father is Croatian and I spent some time in his boyhood hometown. All the old men looked like him, and all the young women looked like they could be my sisters! I felt like I really fitted in, I just loved it.
    And yes, the food and the beer!

  9. Yes many moons ago and always said to hubby I wanted to go back with him to share the experience. Thank you for reminding me of such wonderful memories. It was not yet an iphone world, so my minimal picture taking was old school and now buried in a box somewhere. You make me want to go find them!

  10. You’ve spoken directly to my part-Croatian heart with all of your photos, Beth. I simply must – NEED – to go there. x

  11. Oh we weren’t in Croatia very long, but I have to go back. And not only is the beer drinkable, but it’s so CHEAP!
    I found the people in the Balkans so friendly and so hospitable. And yes, the backpackers don’t do us any favours.

    Next time you go to that part of the world, visit Slovenia – OMG, just the best little hidden gem of a country I’ve ever been.
    Loving all your photos. xx

  12. The tales and pics of your trip have cemented my desire to visit Croatia it is at the top of my list, what a beautiful place.

  13. We were there at this time last year, and LOVED it. It really is beautiful and a perfect holiday combination of European sightseeing/history/food etc and lovely warm beach weather and swimming. And yes, that water! Those islands and their little stone harbour towns are lovely. We plan to go again sometime and see even more of the country. Thanks for the memories, loved seeing you love it.

  14. I completely agree with the Australia backpacker scene in Croatia…. So easy to spot them: Havianas, singlets, lots of tats, generally drunk or hungover and RUDE! It’s actually embarrassing…. I’ve been twice now in the last 3 years and they were worse last year when I was there so Im sure you seen a whole new level!

    Besides that though I LOVE Croatia…. So much so I took my new husband there last year for our honeymoon! Will never forget the colour of that water!!!

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