Last summer myself and three friends from uni headed out to Croatia for one week. We wanted to try something a little different so chose to travel around on a boat. I would be lying if I said this was a cheap way to explore Croatia and the company themselves were rather disorganised. For those wishing to do a week like this I would say *be prepared to spend more than you would normally BUT *be prepared for one of the best experiences. Despite a rocky start (my friend got mugged within 2 hours of landing) things started looking up as when we arrived we were told we would be spending our week on boat with four Australian doctors. *eyebrow raise*
Our little boat we would call home for the week was called Knot So Fast and we quickly settled into marine life. Each morning we woke up on the front deck being warmed by the sun, our first view being the blue sky then the glittering sea. The views in Croatia are breathtaking, we spent our first evening watching the sunset, our feet dipped in the sea, it truly sunk in how lucky we were to be there. Our first night was spent in the numerous bars along the marina in Split. Drinks are fairly cheap but I would *suggest stocking up on alcohol and food at local supermarkets to cut costs. Fun titbit, Split is also famous for its lavender so if you’re looking for a easy and cheap present for friends or family this checks all the boxes. Also anytime you’re walking around Croatia, stop to take in the views. I cannot remember a time when the view wasn’t stunning (apart from the view of my reflection after the nights out).
Another one of our stops was Hvar, a beautiful place, *definitely worth visiting the old town and getting lost down all the little alleys full of restaurants and shops. Hvar has become more of a hotspot for partying in recent years and if that’s your scene then put aside time to visit if you want an unforgettable experience. There is an event called *Carpe Diem which takes partiers to an island off to coast, I personally didn’t have enough time to go to this but I’ve heard that it lives up to the hype around it.
If you take anything from this post please please try and visit the island of Vis. Without a doubt one of my favourite places I have even been to. Previously home to a military fort, the island has only been open to the public for 20 years. Because of this it has managed to escape the hoards of tourists and is relatively untouched. If you’re looking for an authentic Croatian town, I would recommend exploring here. Whilst my friends and I were there we *hired mopeds. Again I cannot recommend this enough. Super cheap and easy to drive, you are then free to explore to whole island. We drove up to the highest point and watched the sunset from there, took a cheeky selfie then left. Others drove down to the coves and equally were in awe with their surroundings. Driving around with the wind in our hair, it all sounds so cliche but really felt magical. Mopeds are available to hire on most islands so if you can’t manage it here, other places I’m sure will also deliver.
Also *must do on this island is *George Fort, which is a old restored fort, now home to a restaurant and at night, a club. A taxi is required to get you up to the fort or a official mini bus is available to book onto, so *make sure you plan ahead so you don’t miss out. The night at the fort was one of the best I’ve had, stunning surroundings and again cheap drinks.
And if you’re feeling rather worse for wear the next day there’s a fresh smoothie cafe on the side of the marina that sell a smoothie specifically designed for curing hangovers.
Another thing I want to highlight about Croatia is the people. Everyone there seemed so chilled and relaxed. The perfect place to travel around. Everyone we met was friendly and generous. So if you’re looking for a beautiful place to explore, with new adventures around every corner then add Croatia to your bucket list. Treat this country with the respect and admiration it deserves.
Grace Melville xx