Lyn and David from Port Macquarie, NSW, have recently returned from a tour of the Dalmatian Coast.
If you’re thinking about heading to this spectacular part of the world, their insights will be invaluable.
- TRIP: Jewels of Dalmatia
- TYPE: Small group tour
- COMPANY: Bunnik Tours
- DURATION: 21 days
- COST: From $9,185pp
LYN AND DAVID’S RECOMMENDATIONS
The one thing you can’t miss …
“Croatia is a mixture of history, culture, & fabulous scenery. Consequently, it is too difficult to choose just one memorable experience in Croatia, so I have picked my top three.
Dubrovnik, on the South Coast, with its ancient walled town on a rocky outcrop jutting into the beautiful turquoise Adriatic Sea, was really spectacular.
Walking around the town on the top of the wall dating back to the fourteenth century, we were able to enjoy views of the treasure trove of historical buildings inside as well as the rugged coastline outside. It was easy to understand why UNESCO in 1970 made Dubrovnik a World Heritage Site.
Travelling north along the Dalmatian Coast, we found the town of Split to be a fascinating place (not just because of its name!). Another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, the seaside town of Split is built around the remains of the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, a very interesting period in Roman history.
Further north & inland a little, we came to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a spectacular contrast to the rest of the country we had been visiting.
Yet another World Heritage listed site, this park comprises 16 terraced lakes interconnected by a series of stunning waterfalls & surrounded by thickly wooded hills.
We were able to stroll along pathways beside the lakes & on boardwalks over rushing water. The lakes are renowned for their constantly changing colours – azure, green, or grey – depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water & the angle of sunlight. A relaxing & most enjoyable day admiring the natural beauty of this part of the country.”
If we had more time, we would have …
“Our tour company allowed us 2 nights in most stops & free time most afternoons to explore places at our leisure. Thus I had no desire to spend more time in these locations.
However, if I had not been on an organised coach tour, I would have liked to investigate the possibility of a cruise along part of this spectacular Croatian coastline.”
The best resource we used for our research was …
“I used the internet to find information about Croatia, especially the Dalmation Coast which we had heard from several people was incredibly beautiful. They were right! At our age (both in seventies) we prefer organised tours, & I found this tour after “Googling” “Tours of the Dalmatian Coast”.
Our travel agent provided us with valuable detailed information about all the facets of travelling in Croatia. Another special resource was my husband, a retired history teacher, who was able to provide me with any historical background I needed.”
We thought the value for money there was …
“Compared to the cost of living & travel in Australia, Croatia was a relatively cheap destination – more expensive than our travels in Asia, but less expensive than Western Europe.
It is difficult to give specific details, as we were with a tour group where most of our expenses were included in the total cost. When we travel we do not seek exclusive restaurants but are happy with snacks at small cafes.
My husband did, however, enjoy several meals of mussels – probably cheaper than in Australia.”
The best hotel experience we had was …
“Although all our hotels were 3 or 4 stars, the hotel in Dubrovnik, Hotel Kompas, was outstanding. Freshly renovated & refurbished, this hotel tumbled down a cliff overlooking a beautiful bay.
Our room had a balcony with a spectacular view of the sea & wooded hills in the background. We needed to take a bus to visit the Old Town, but the hotel was a peaceful refuge from the crowds of tourists who were there. We enjoyed walks in both directions around the bay. A copious breakfast was included in our accommodation, but we had lunch in the Old Town & dinner at a little neighbouring restaurant where the prices were more reasonable than in our elegant (5 star, I think) hotel.”
In terms of personal safety, we’d say it’s …
“We felt perfectly safe at all times, although we must admit we did not venture far after dark. At no time were we advised to avoid no-go zones.”
Wish we’d known this before we left …
“Although I knew little about Croatia’s history before I left, I am finding it easier to understand now that I have seen the place & heard the commentaries of our excellent tour guides. My history teacher husband is still available to answer any of my questions.
I wish I had thought of combining this tour with a river cruise from Hungary to Amsterdam. However, we visited the Cinque Terre & then France after the tour, & one cannot do everything in the one holiday.”
If we went again, we’d …
“I most probably will never go back to Croatia. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit, but there are so many places to see in the world, & so little time left to see them. Our tour was called “The Jewels of Dalmatia” & I don’t think we missed any of the most precious jewels of Croatia.”
If we had a top 50 destinations list, we’d rank this about …
“I would probably rank Croatia at about 35. If it had been my first overseas adventure, I would have been more generous. However, we have travelled to many countries in the world & Croatia, though beautiful & interesting, has some very fierce competition.
Countries such as India, China, Vietnam, appeal to us because their culture is so different to ours in Australia. We have always been interested in Western European countries because they play a more significant role in world history as it affects us. Moreover, as a former French & German teacher, I find it hard to resist placing these countries near the top of my list of favourite destinations.
Three years ago we visited Israel & Jordan. Considering my Christian beliefs, I found this experience quite overwhelming. I have to place The Holy Land at the top of my list.”