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TRIP REPORT (Split, Trogir, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Mlini, Cavtat)

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I just returned from a trip to Croatia which was from May 1-12. I am in my late 50s and I traveled with a friend of the same age. This was my second trip to Croatia and her first. Most of our travel arrangements were again made through Travel Time in Astoria, NY (www.traveltimeny.com). My husband and I were pleased with their arrangements last year, so I decided to use them again.

We flew from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Cincinnati and then to Frankfurt on Delta Airlines and then Croatian Airlines to Split. (Just a note...Croatian Airlines is serious about their carry on baggage weight limits so be sure to check it out).

In Split, we stayed at the Peristil Hotel (www.peristil.com). It is a great hotel right in the middle of the Palace walls. It only has 12 rooms. They are somewhat small but very well decorated and the whole hotel is just a gem. The staff is very friendly and the breakfast is great! I would not hesitate to stay there again. Last year, we were at the Split Hotel which was fine but not at all convenient.

We only had a couple of days in Split,and we wanted to see Trogir. Thanks to tips from people in this forum, I chose to go to the regular bus station near the harbor and
take a bus. The trip took about 1/2 hour.

Trogir is just a delight! It is a small walled town with a beautiful harbor. If I ever get back to the area again, I think I would stay there because I liked the quiet and the charm. However, if you plan to do a lot of side trips that involve the ferries, you are better to stay in Split.

Split is really nice. The Diocletian Palace is really interesting, the open market is a lot of fun, and the Riva area is great for people watching.

From Split we took a ferry to Hvar. My information about Hvar will be long so I'll try to put it into sections. We stayed in Hvar for 6 nights.

ACCOMODATION

Last year, I stayed at the Adriatic. This year, most of the hotels are undergoing renovation and I spent a lot of time on the internet to find a private accomodation that would allow me to experience living in the old part of town. My needs are VERY basic. I want something clean, comfortable, good location, and I want a cup of coffee the minute I wake up.

I found the perfect place two streets up from the Palace Hotel. It was a studio apartment with a huge balcony. The website for the studio is www.hvar.hr/badoljo. They also have an apartment so keep scrolling down to the studio. It looks just like the pictures with the exception that the balcony is really large (20'x20"?). The kitchen area has a small frig and freezer and the stove has 2 burners. The view from that balcony was great and it was a terrific place to dry the clothes we washed out. Both the bed and the pull out sofa were very comfortable.

SOME TIPS OF PRIVATE ACCOMODATIONS

I have seen many people trying to figure out how to choose a private accomodation. I suspect most of you are looking at www.hvar.hr for the listings. If you look at the address, you will see that some (not all) have names like Gojava, Podstine, etc. in their address. I'll try to give you an idea of where that is:

If you are looking at the harbor of Hvar from the water, the area furthest north is Podstine. This area has some really nice looking apartments (go to www.hvar-for-the-soul). They say it is a 15 minute walk to the center of town, but I'd add to that. Moving east from Podstine is Majerovica an area near the water that is between the Hotel Croatia and Hotel Amfora. Slightly east of there and up in the hills is Zastup. This area also has some really nice and newer apartments but it is UP in the hills. If you walk the road, it has some terrific views overlooking the harbor!

Right in the center of town are the areas of Gojava, Sv. Marak, Sv. Duh, and Groda. These would be in the hills behind the main street that the Palace is on. Turning south at the Palace and still on the harbor are Sv. Mikula and Kriza. Behind the last two is Bukainka an area in the hills and again, newer apartments. Further south and east are Vrisak, Krizna luka and the furthest point south...Krizni rat.

FOOD

I did not have a bad meal in Hvar. All the restaurants post their menus outside and are in several languages. Regardless of your diet, I don't think anyone would have difficulty in finding what they want.

The restaurant we liked the best because of the food, the atmosphere and the staff was the Palazzo Paladini (go to www.sunnyhvar.com and click on restaurants)

Another one with a great staff and food was Konoba Menego (www.menego.hr).

Others were Villa Dinka in the hills just past Hotel Pharos and near Hotel Amfora, Luna, Pleasant Paradise, and Macondo (well rated for their sea food)

One thing on most menus was something called Mangold. Now I'm not big on vegetables so maybe everyone knows what that is but if not, it is Swiss Chard and potatoes. It was really good!

A typical Croatian food is Burek - a flaky pastry filled with either meat or with cheese and can be purchased at a deli near the open market. The larger grocery store also has a deli.

THE 5 KUNA BATHROOM

I usually avoid public bathrooms at all cost but the one near the church is great if you are going to be in the harbor area most of the day. Cost: 5 kn

JEEP TOUR OF ISLAND

The views on this tour were absolutely outstanding! I had wanted to see parts of the island that I would not have been able to on my own. The first four hours of this tour is great. HOWEVER it should only be a half day tour. The rest of the time was spent at a restaurant where you had to buy your own lunch and much of the time in the afternoon was just wasted. I'd go again to see the views but.......

Ferry to Dubrovnik was about 7 hours but the scenery was just wonderful.

We stayed at the Astarea Hotel in Mlini. I stayed there last year also. Mlini is a small village a few miles from Dubrovnik. The hotel is a large tour bus type hotel. It is adequate but nothing special. Mlini, however, is nice....a couple of restaurants, shops, a beach and easy acess to Dubrovnik or Cavtat by water taxi.

Cavtat is worth a trip. It is again a small and charming town with a nice harbor area and lovely paths for walking along the headlands. Good restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere.

I know this is long, but I also know how time consuming it can be to try to figure out a trip so I hope this helps a little.

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