Monday, 12 September 2016

The Caribbean of Europe - Travel Review and Advice


Trogir Island


Epilogue                                                                        Croatia

Leap of Faith Travel Review

What can I say about the absolute brilliance with the country of Croatia?

It was full of adventure and discovery as I went into Croatia not knowing what to expect. I found it hard to love at first but once I expanded my exploration, it turned out to be a place of tranquil beauty with the feeling of freedom being out at sea. The sunrise and sunset were just phenomenal too with the most perfect setting of Croatian hills and sea. I thought that Croatia didn’t have something to live up for as Italy with there Ferraris, food and culture; it felt as though Croatia was just laid back and chilled which I absolutely loved. The food and drink were exquisite loving everything that was put down to me. My favourite though were the octopus dishes and tuna steaks. Bosnia was a real gem too with so much history unravelled on a single trip. The best way I could think of Croatia’s Dalmatia coast would be that it was the Caribbean of Europe; a truly fascinating place which is why I named the title after my thoughts. 

Hvar

Out of all the places I have been too Croatia is definitely one of the best.

The Places I visited throughout my trip were:

·       Trogir
·       Split
·       Orkrug
·       Krka National Park and Waterfalls (organised excursion)
·       Skradin (organised excursion)
·       Sibenik (organised excursion)
·       Primosten (organised excursion)
·       Mostar and Medugorje  – Bosnia and Herzegovina (organised excursion)
·       Komiza (organised excursion)
·       Blue caves of Vis Island (organised excursion)
·       Hvar (organised excursion)

Trogir is a most beautiful little place which has everything on its very small island which I thought was a great central point to start exploring outwards. Trogir can be explored within half a day but if you take your time through the maze like marble streets, you will begin to find little treasures hiding around each corner you make. The south harbour of Trogir is truly special as it has everything you need such as ferries, restaurants, information centres, entertainment at night, excursion stalls and market stalls selling novelty and art items. To the north of the island and across the bridge there is the majority of market stalls selling a lot of bakes, fruit, vegetables, novelty items, artwork and lavender products. There is also a small fish market just across the road too along with a supermarket. I was so happy I picked this little island to spend my week on as again everything was there if I needed it; plus the fact it was only 3 mile away from Split airport.

Trogir
Narrow Streets of Trogir
Trogir Harbour

The only trouble I had with Trogir was its bus service and station. I found it very confusing as I tried to get to different areas of Dalmatia district and it caused frustration on that day; although I did spend the day relaxing on a beach with not a care in the world. 

Sunrise at T

My accommodation was at a place called Villa Ruzica situated within the maze streets of Trogir Island. It was also a room only basis which is perfect if you are on a budget; the food was extremely cheap. As for my room it did feel as though I was in a hotel room with the comforts of home. They have twin rooms and double rooms; I was in a twin room by myself on the top floor room. The view from my room I thought was good as I was level with the orange rooftops with a view of run down buildings around me feeling as though I stepped back in time. What I loved the most was the shear peace in the morning as I opened the wooden shutters with the odd person showing now and again along the maze like streets.
7 nights at Villa Ruzica in a twin room for single use on a room only basis only cost £264.

Villa Ruzica
View from my Room

There were many options to get to Split from Trogir but none of them I thought would best the Bura-line Ferry. Though it seemed like a long time to arrive in Split, going along the sea to a destination felt like a discovery and I loved every moment on these ferries. The ferry runs all day from 8am until 6pm and for a one way ticket it costs 24 Kuna (£2.40)

Bura-Line Ferry

Excursions were brilliant and very easy to organise as like mentioned before, Trogir had a row of excursion stalls with plenty to offer to give you a Croatian experience. The excursions are very good for their price too as nothing I did was deemed expensive. You can either pay in full at the stalls receiving a fully paid ticket or you can pay a deposit and pay the rest to the driver that works for the company; I put my trust in the stalls and paid in full. Remember, don’t lose your ticket.

I urge you to visit the places I did as it was truly an adventure and discovery especially when you don’t know much about a place. Park your car at the small town of Skradin and take the ferry to the majestic national park. The nature was incredible in Krka National park and waterfalls and the feeling of recharge I had felt when I swam in the river was outstanding.

Krka National Park and Waterfalls
Take a trip to the beautiful Mostar and discover the heart breaking story of its past and understand what it took to rebuild from such a tragedy. I loved this place very much especially knowing that different cultures and religions coincide with each other. Of course there is the famous and beautiful Mostar Bridge to which divers will jump for the 22 metre drop into the river. This is a must see place along with a quick trip to Medugorje which I thought was a very religious place. 

Mostar
Medugorje

The best excursion for me had to be the island hopping on my last full day in Croatia. I booked it through a company called ‘Providenca Charter and travel’ and it was absolutely fascinating; there was never a time I was disappointed. The people who steered the boat were incredible and down to earth providing everyone with a great day. We set off from Trogir and Split to the island of Vis where the Blue caves are located. A trip to a picturesque fishing village called Komiza along with a trip to a couple of secret coves and bays that we could swim around or relax in. what was great about this was that we were provided with very good snorkelling equipment providing us with a greater experience of life under the Croatian Sea. A trip to the Blue Lagoon area with beautiful clear water and hot sun and a final trip to the breathtaking place of Hvar with its fortress set on the hill and its party life within the old town. Another great thing that happened on this trip was the opportunity I had to steer the speedboat. What an incredible feeling I had racing along the sea hitting waves along the way and enjoying life. A most perfect sunset ended the day as we raced along back to Trogir with the warm wind blowing in my face. I had never felt more free and happy than that moment and I urge you to have that feeling with this experience. 

Sunset on Boat

Providenca Charter and Travel

The flights I thought were quite cheap too as a return trip with Easyjet from Newcastle to Split with 1x luggage with single supplement cost me £313. As Trogir was only 3 mile from the airport I did not need to worry about prepaid transfers or looking for my name in a crowd; I simply walked up to a taxi and paid a very cheap journey to my home for the week.

Again I urge you to join in with many people discovering this beautiful place so full of wonderful treasures and wonders with so much to offer you. If you can’t afford that expensive Caribbean cruise then head to Croatia’s Dalmatia coast and finally witness the breathtaking Caribbean of Europe.

Sunset in Croatia

Live life to the fullest
It’s the best way
Live every moment intensely
Because life is too short
And the moment comes when we are going to die
And we’d have wished to do so many things we didn’t
That is why we have to enjoy every moment
One must enjoy life
Try not to acquire so many things
But instead have experiences
Accomplish everything you want to do
No matter the effort it deserves
Life is too short and one must relish it

Author: Shaun Davison















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