The Dalmatian Coast is the historical, and extremely beautiful region of Croatia, on the eastern Coast of the Adriatic Sea. Before last week, I knew nothing about Croatia, except that I was going there for a friend’s 30th birthday, and it would take two hours to fly there from London. But when my boyfriend and I arrived in Split we both instantly realized we had just landed in a special part of the world…
The Split airport is tiny and clean. As we step outside we’re greeted by the bright blue waters of the Adriatic Ocean in the distance. A friendly cab driver, welcomes us with a smile and fairly good English. We show him the address of the house that our friend has rented for the week. He says he knows the street so we take off on the small paved road that winds along the coast. It’s warm out – in the 80’s – so we leave the windows down to feel the breeze, and after 10 minutes of driving and 10 minutes of getting lost, we arrive at what is by far the most glorious house on the hillside. Our driver smiles and says “this is the best house around.”
Villa Papilio, (Butterfly Villa) is an impressive estate with glorious views of the ocean and surrounding towns. It has 5 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms (seriously who needs 9 bathrooms?! LOL), a huge infinity pool in front, and an indoor pool. When we arrive the owner of the property Yelka, a very sweet lady who reminds me of my Italian Grandma, is outside preparing a glorious Croatian feast. We meet the other guests and all 14 of us sit down to dinner on the terrace and enjoying fresh fish, vegetables picked from Yelka’s garden, wine and a breathtaking sunset over the Dalmatian Coast. Later that night we head out to the nearby town of Trogir to take in some of the culture and music. We have some drinks and crepes for desert (yum!), and then call it an early night. Tomorrow we are taking a yacht to the island of Hvar. I am so excited I can barely sleep.
We stay at the luxurious Adriana Hvar Hotel Friday night, dance the night away at Carpe Diem Bar, then take a boat to Carpe Diem Island to continue the birthday extravaganza. At dawn, we stumble back to a little boat that take us back to the main island of Hvar. (Side note ladies do not wear heels! Sandals are all you need on Hvar, even for going out at night.) The next day we nurse our hangovers with lunch at Bonj Les Bains beach club, then board our yacht to head back to Villa Papilio… but not without stopping at Brac Island along the way to explore the Golden Cape Beach of Bol.
Arriving at the funny shaped beach, which stretches 500 meters into the sea, is like finding yourself in water sport heaven with literally every type of water sport imaginable. I see kiteboarding, parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and crazy water activities I have never seen before like these little floating “slide boats” with parents peddling them as their children laugh and slide into the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea. I stand on the top deck of our yacht and say a prayer thanking God for letting me experience this wondrous place. My boyfriend and I then jump into the ocean and swim to shore to find gelato. When we reach the shore, I instantly wish we had brought sandals because the pebble beach hurts our feet, but besides that it was magical. I found a little slice of heaven in Croatia, and I know I’ll be back again someday. (See my latest post on Hvar > here.)