Croatia, Ukrao Si Mi Srce!

Beach holidays have never really appealed to me – the idea of staying on a resort and seeing nothing but the beach for a week is not my definition of an ideal vacation. That was until we travelled to Croatia at the beginning of June. I am not one for ‘holiday blues’ but Croatia stole my heart and I have been missing it nearly every day since we came back. Edward and I both agreed to go back someday to explore more of this beautiful country (and possibly some of the neighbouring ones).

It all started back in January when we began chatting about travelling somewhere to celebrate our second anniversary… I had my mind set on Greece until I stumbled upon photos of Croatia whilst browsing Pinterest. I was in love with the country before we had even landed. The colours, the language, the food, the history, the sea, the mountains… What is there not to love?!

Dubrovnik from Old Town walls.

We wanted a relaxing holiday away from the touristy crowd of the main cities of Dubrovnik and Zagreb. We opted instead for the calm of Šipan Island and booked a room with Hotel Božica. The hotel was perfect: beautiful room, private beach, cosy lounge and bar area, delightful menu, friendly staff and many activities on offer.

Still, it would have been silly not to visit Dubrovnik whilst we were there! We landed in Dubrovnik mid-morning and our transport was only picking us up late afternoon, which let us well enough time to visit and take in the sights. We mostly just wandered around, marvelling at the colour of the water and enjoying the sunshine, but we also walked the walls surrounding the Old Town – a hike well worth the stunning views of the city and its harbour.

View of Dubrovnik harbour from the Old Town walls.

We didn’t do much for the rest of the week. After being dropped off at the hotel by speed boat – another amazing way to take in the views of the coast – we headed straight to the beach for an evening swim.

Evening swim in Croatia.

The following morning we made our way to Šipanska Luka, the only other village on the island. It’s a good walk – I would say around 16K round trip – but a lovely one. I had decided to take my hiking/running hydration backpack and I was happy I did; it’s the best way to carry water for a long walk in the hot Croatian sunshine and this nifty little bag can hold all the other essentials: sunscreen, snacks, etc.

Šipanska Luka

Šipanska Luka was very quaint – small but charming. We strolled around the harbour for a while and finally found a beautiful secluded beach where we relaxed for a couple of hours before walking back.

We had a delicious dinner at the fancy hotel restaurant – they only use fresh, local produce – before heading out again to photograph the spectacular sunset.

Spectacular sunset over Šipan Island.

The next day started with another hike, this time along the coast and through lush woodland paths. Šipan’s landscape is varied but one thing remains the same no matter where you stand on the island: the fantastic colour of the water. The most beautiful blue I’ve ever seen…

Coastal hiking path on Šipan island.

We started our last morning in Croatia with a sunrise yoga class on the beach. The hotel has a private beach and only a few other people were attending so it was intimate, and very pleasant. The rest of the day was spent swimming, snorkelling and lounging on the beach.

Croatia, and Hotel Božica, was a little piece of paradise and our week there was one of the most relaxing I’ve ever experienced. Croatia, mislim da sam zaljubljena u tebe…

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