A selection of travel articles on Croatia from 2008.
Chasing butterflies, Croatia
Croatia is the naturalists’ latest darling, and this new group tour, run with the charity Butterfly Conservation, reveals why.
The Guardian, 13th December 2008
The article: Ten best wildlife holidays in Europe
One of the prettiest cities in Europe, Dubrovnik, built from pink-hued stone, is a Unesco World Heritage site. Shops and restaurants cram the narrow streets and the crystal-clear Croatian waters are great for swimming.
The Telegraph, 1st December 2008
The article: Girl’s guide to Dubrovnik
What makes Croatia so appealing is that it appears to have cornered all the best bits of every other European country. The historic walled towns and red-roofed villages of Italy rub shoulders with the quaint harbours of Greece, the dramatic mountains bordering the coast are reminiscent of southern Spain and the marinas filled with expensive yachts are dead ringers for those of Mediterranean France.
Laura Latham, The Independent, 22nd October 2008
The article: Croatia’s Dalmatian coast: Everything under the sun
While we explored the old town with its Venetian lions carved in golden stonework and its proud memories of Korcula’s most famous son, Marco Polo, tour leader Dave researched local cycling routes, and found one that suited everyone: an hour’s ride along a flat coastal road to a small beach and a café, returning via an arduous off-road diversion for the hard core, while the rest pedalled easily home. Dave got us front-row seats for a performance of the island’s speciality Moreska dance – a spectacular son-et-lumière sword fight – and all agreed that our leader had made the best of a difficult day. We felt our holiday had turned the corner.
Adam Ruck, The Telegraph, 15th September 2008
The article: Croatia: A Dalmatian cycling cruise
With its convulsive past and rugged coastline – a thousand islands spraying from it like a meteor trail – Dalmatia offers a dizzying combination of history and sun-drenched beaches. Rocky beaches, true, but with unrivalled settings. Take Bacvice Bay (beach 1) just 10 minutes’ walk from Ana and Miki’s Guesthouse, ideally located in Split’s charming, higgledy-piggledy sidestreets.
Jaime Gill, The Guardian, 30th August 2008
The article: Beach: Bathing by numbers
Everybody’s talking about Hvar. Condé Nast Traveller voted the island one of the 10 most beautiful in the world. The Croatian National Tourist board has promoted it as “the Mediterranean as it once was”. Western journalists, creeping back to Dalmatia after the war in the former Yugoslavia, have deemed it the “Balkan Cannes”. The first word is ill-chosen, considering Croatia’s return to independence and a reluctance to be lumped together with its neighbours. The second, Cannes, relates to escalating prices, a growing exclusivity, and harbours with luxury yachts: Roman Abram-ovich, Bill Gates and Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone among the owners. Hvar has come of age.
James Hopkin, The Independent, 10th August 2008
The article: A touch of the Riviera in Croatia
When Emperor Diocletian was considering retirement from governing the Roman Empire, he shopped around, found no decent rest homes and decided to build his own. And so Split was born. This magnificent walled city palace was built to Diocletian’s exacting standards, and today retains enough original charms to attract visitors by the thousands.
Louise Roddon, The Telegraph, 8th August 2008
The article: Split, Croatia : The perfect break
There are many reasons not to spend your holiday as a volunteer at Caput Insulae, in an old schoolhouse outside the clifftop village of Beli on the Adriatic island of Cres. The dormitory accommodation is spartan. The food will probably remind you of school dinners. The work is hard and backbreaking at times. And you might have to handle a dead sheep. But if that doesn’t put you off, think of the rewards. Staying almost free in one of the wildest, most beautiful regions of Europe. The view of the sea from your window. And, just possibly, the chance to do your bit by helping to preserve one of its most mysterious and vulnerable creatures.
Tony Kelly, The Times, 2nd August 2008
The article: Vulture culture in Croatia
The 900-year-old Croatian beach resort of Petrcane has become the place for festivals this year. Thanks to the Garden Zadar bar which opened in nearby Zadar in 2005, the area has been transformed into a unique dance music destination, without trying to be “the new Ibiza”.
The Guardian, 26th July 2008
The article: Clubbing in Croatia
Zadar may be Croatia’s most underrated destination. This Roman-era city on the northern Dalmatian coast — where a non-euro economy is easier on the dollar — has a youthful zeal, a rich architectural legacy and easy access from various points in Europe, thanks to carriers like Ryanair, SkyEurope and Germanwings. There are dozens of nearby islands to explore, and an hour or so drive from Zadar takes you to no fewer than five national parks, where you’ll find lakes, waterfalls, mountains and secluded wilderness areas.
Alex Crevar, The New York Times, 6th July 2008
The article: After 2,000 Years, a Croatian Port Town Still Seduces
Set against the green Adriatic, Dubrovnik’s mighty limestone silhouette unfolds in a pristine rhythm of watchtowers and sturdy defences. This is arguably one of the best-restored walled cities in Europe, with a Unesco-renewed skyline of clean terracotta tiles and well-patched stonework.
Louise Roddon, The Telegraph, 25th June 2008
The article:Dubrovnik: The perfect break
Yet Rovinj could not have been more perfect for a last hurrah. Its steep cobbled streets may not have been ideal for our high heels (as one girl’s sprained ankle proved), but they were beautiful, and they did contain some of the most charming restaurants serving wonderful Italian fare (Rovinj is just a two-hour ferry ride from Venice, and Italian is spoken alongside Croatian).
Bryony Gordon, The Telegraph, 20th June 2008
The article: Hen weekends: Partying in Rovinj, Croatia
The island of Lavsa in Croatia’s Kornati archipelago has a beautiful lagoon, the perfect place to drop anchor. It’s very small and completely sheltered. The important thing about good sailing is to make sure you get off the boat as much as you can, since all sorts of muscles get stretched on the boat. Lavsa was just perfect for that.
Peter Snow, The Guardian, 24th May 2008
The article: Shore thing (Top Beaches)
Strolling into Hvar Town in the late afternoon sunshine, for a moment I feel as though I have arrived in the middle of a tourist board photo shoot. It looks too brochure-perfect; the polished cobbles of the piazza gleam in the rich sunlight, chisel-jawed yachting types and blondes in skimpy frocks curl up on rattan sofas beneath pristine white parasols, sipping cold beers and caipirinhas that come with neat heaps of roasted almonds and a Café del Mar soundtrack.
Annabelle Thorpe, The Observer, 18th May 2008
The article: How Hvar got hip
While the city of Zadar is attractive and special, the surrounding Zadar region is breathtaking. This area is the cradle of Croatian culture and all along the coast you will be amazed by the beauty of small walled towns made rich by salt. This is perfect salt country, given the shallow Adriatic waters and searing summer heat.
David McWilliams, The Irish Independent, 24th May 2008
The article: And finally, God created Croatia
By the early 1990s, while all of the lighthouses still stood solid on their foundations, their keepers had become unnecessary, thanks to automation. But in recent years, keepers have found another reason to inhabit 11 of these historic lighthouses: as innkeepers. Tourists can book the simple but comfortable apartments that were once home to the keepers’ families. They have new, neat bedding, draperies and chests of drawers, and kitchens with refrigerators, stoves and utensils. Guests provide their own food, and for one or two weeks at a stretch, they recreate the isolated life of a lighthouse keeper.
John Bowermaster, The New York Times, 4th May 2008
The article: They Keep the Light on for Visitors in Croatia
‘Oh Hum.’ I had no intention of visiting Hum. Hum wasn’t on the itinerary. As far as I could tell, it wasn’t even on the map. ‘We won’t go to Hum,’ I declared. My friend Julia said I would like Hum. It would be a pity to miss it. It was, after all, the smallest town in the world. Julia was driving. No contest.
Jon Carter, The Mail on Sunday, 14th April 2008
The article: Magical Istria tour
The Guardian featured the Five Best Croatia Islands
5th April 2008
Spanish beaches too overbuilt for you? Italy and Greece too crowded? French Riviera sound too expensive? Maybe it’s time to go island-hopping in Croatia. Located east of Italy across the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is drawing more Americans, about 200,000 in 2007, double what it got a few years ago. It also tied for the No. 2 hot destination this year in a survey by the U.S. Tour Operators.
Sheila Norman-Culp, Associated Press, 9th March 2008
The article: Croatian island-hopping: sunny fun, history and bargains
At six square miles, Sipan is the largest of the Elaphiti Islands, which are tethered in the pristine Adriatic off the Dalmatian coast. Our visit came on the final day of a short adventure-break exploring Dubrovnik and the islands by means of an inspired combination of kayak, canoe and bicycle.
Richard Madden, The Telegraph, 1st February 2008
The article: Just the place for Tintin to take up his paddle
Twenty-five winding miles on, we caught the ferry to Korcula – a miniature Dubrovnik and beloved backpacker haven (Beatles music in the coffee-shops, a hippie internet cafe, medieval alleys, bell-towers, marble steps sized to suit laden donkeys, and a cafe alleged to be where Marco Polo ‘found food and love’.)
Libby Purves, The Mail on Sunday, 28th January 2008
The article: Walking up a thirst in comely Croatia
The Times featured a great 13-page supplement on Croatia in January 2008. Read it online, starting from the link below.
The best of Croatia in 2008
Historic tour or spa cruise? Try a twist on holidays, with our round-up of what’s new in Croatia.
The Times, 26th January 2008
The article:The best of Croatia in 2008