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TR - 12 nights Island Hopping Croatia: nature, wine, food

TR - 12 nights Island Hopping Croatia: nature, wine, food

Old Jun 18th, 2017, 02:31 AM
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TR - 12 nights Island Hopping Croatia: nature, wine, food

We spent our 12 night honeymoon island hopping from Split to Dubrovnik. Since I asked for advice/tips here, and since people bookmarked that thread for future ideas, I thought I'd write a report about it.

It may be a bit long, sorry for that. I also promise to finish it, this time. I have an unfinished one from my last trip somewhere... I'm lazy. Also the Lastovo and Korcula bits are also posted on the "other" travel forum, and I'll copy them here. I will however post a full report here.

We are both in our 30s, we like nature, hiking, a bit off the beaten track places, wine tastings, local food, etc. For this honeymoon trip we decided to spend a bit more time relaxing than usual, so we did not hike much. It was also very humid and warm (26-27 degrees Celsius, but very humid). As for accommodation... we are not really "on a budget", but we like more genuine local cheap-ish accommodations over cold big expensive hotels. We also love to have our breakfast in the morning, so apartments are typically not for us unless they offer breakfast.

Our itinerary was as follows:
June 3rd - Fly from Rotterdam to Split, night in Split
June 4th - Slow ferry to Lastovo, night in Pasadur, Lastovo Island
June 5th - Day trip to Lastovo Town, night in Pasadur, Lastovo Island
June 6th - Day trip to Krucica beach/bay, night in Pasadur, Lastovo Island
June 7th - Slow ferry & bus to Korcula Town, evening trip to Zrnovo restaurant, night in Korcula town
June 8th - Wine tour on Korcula island, night in Korcula town
June 9th - Day trip to Lumbarda, night in Korcula town
June 10th - Catamaran to Pomena, Mljet, hike in national park, night in Govedjari, Mljet
June 11th - Explore national park, night in Govedjari, Mljet
June 12th - Explore Mljet island by car, night in Govedjari, Mljet
June 13th - Catamaran to Dubrovnik, explore city walls and town, night in Dubrovnik
June 14th - Wine tasting Dubrovnik, trip to Bosanka and Srd mountain, night in Dubrovnik
June 15th - Fly from Dubrovnik to Amsterdam & back home

So 1 night Split, 3 nights Lastovo, 3 nights Korcula, 3 nights Mljet, 2 nights Dubrovnik.

Will post Split next.
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 02:53 AM
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We arrived in Split airport around 3PM. This was the second time we were here, as last year we made a trip through Northern Dalmatia (including Krka NP and Plitvice) and Bosnia & Herzegovina, flying in and out of Split. We did not visit Split though, which we now know, was a mistake.

We took the airport shuttle (only 5€ per person) to the ferry port and from there walked to our AirBnB accommodation. This was the first and only time we used AirBnB, but we may use it again in the future. We typically book directly with the host via e-mail and don't use booking sites that take a certain %. We had heavy backpacks, but fortunately it was only a 5 minute walk. Ezekiel apartments: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13488657

We had whatsapp contact with Anja, the super friendly host, before arriving, and when we couldn't find it, we called her and it turned out to be very easy. The room was small, and so was the bathroom, but we knew beforehand and this was fine for 1 night. Anja was a super nice host, showing us how to make the most of our WAY too short stay in Split: up to Marjan hill, then down to the old part of the town and to the palace. A couple of restaurant tips, that we did not follow as we went to Bokeria based on it being in the top 10 or so best restaurants in Croatia.

Anyway, Anja loves cooking, and she told us she normally offered guests a gourmet breakfast - BUT since she was having a masterchef type dinner that night and was really overworked, she needed to catch up some sleep. Instead she offered us to taste some little appetizers AND dessert from her masterchef dinner that night. This meant amazing Dalmatian specialties as appetizers and delicious chocolate mouse as dessert, plus wine. All for free, INCLUDED, no extra payment. Pure hospitality. Now that was amazing. We will stay here again for sure, but we'll spend at least 2 nights and will probably stay in the bigger apartment with ensuite bathroom for more comfort.

Split was a nice surprise too. There really is a lot to see, and the palace is a very special and unique thing. We now regret not staying longer, but since it's easy for us to fly to Split for a weekend - we will be back. It was not overrun by tourists at all (especially compared to say Trogir last October, as far as one can compare these two).

As I said, we had dinner in Bokeria, a wine bar that is listed as a top restaurant - but not too pricey. We were not blown away by the menu, and would have loved to actually eat at the Zinfandel wine bar as that menu had like the most perfect food offer ever (for us at least) - but no luck as it was full. We really liked the food at Bokeria, and they served Posip wine from Korcula. We had traditional pasta with truffles and shrimp risotto - good, but not spectacular. Probably would not go back, but it was nice to try.

After dinner we went to the apartment where as I said Anja prepared these appetizers and dessert for us. She had a family from US eating with her and it was a very nice evening chatting with the family, another guest, and the saxophone player who had lived on Lastovo island for a while. He was surprised to hear that we were going there next, apparently not too many tourists go there (which yeah, we can confirm now ).

Lovely start of our trip. Next morning we arranged our own little breakfast and took the 5 hour slow ferry to Lastovo (with a 40 minutes layover in Vela Luka on Korcula).

Will post Lastovo next.
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 03:04 AM
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Lastovo

June 4th we took the 10:15am slow car ferry from Split. We're foot passengers, but didn't want to wait until 3PM for the catamaran. Maybe we should have done this to get more out of Split, but we now know that Ferries are more comfortable than catamarans anyway, so this was a good choice. It was a long journey with a 30 minutes layover and changing ships in Vela Luka. The small ferry to Lastovo is old and in the inside sitting area it's freezing cold thanks to the aircon + no views on anything. Best to sit on the upper floor with shade and spectacular views on the sea and all the islands.

When we arrived at the Ubli port, Bruna our host picked us up (free/included). We stayed at Bruna apartments in Pasadur. Very clean and spacious apartment with a balcony overlooking the bay and the sea.

At arrival, we walked around a bit and had a coffee at Kokolo bar, a very nice bar with a terrace with shade and nice views on the bay and the sea. Coffee is 8kn, wine is very cheap but not the best. We chose to have diner at Konoba Pece in Ubli - a 30 minute walk each way. You are rewarded with a gorgeous sunset along the way and also at the terrace of the restaurant. We had a schnitzel and fresh fish with sides and a soft drink. Total bill was 256kn which we did not find expensive and it was the best cooked meal we had on the island.

The first morning we were served a delicious breakfast with apfel strudel, eggs, ham, cheese, fresh bread, homemade jams, etc. Very good but way too much for us. Each morning Bruna prepared something different. The other mornings breakfast had other things like pancakes, yoghurt, other sweets and wieners for example.

After breakfast we took the bus to Lastovo town (the bus schedule is on the official Lastovo website and it is real!). Bus driver is super friendly! We had made an appointment with Saric winery (see http://provin-lnt.hr/en/) for a tasting of their wines accompanied with bread and local delicacies like anjovis and sardines. That certainly was one of the highlights of our trip and highly recommended. The wines are very good, we particularly liked the reds and bought a bottle of Plavec Mali for our next day that we'd spend relaxing on a beach. Lastovo is nice for walking etc. but it was very warm so instead of hiking back to Pasadur (which was our original plan) we took the bus back. Bus is 15 kuna each way btw, so about 2€. The ride over the island is lovely, with gorgeous views.

That evening Bruna offered to take us to the highest point of the island at sunset. For free! Wow so so nice of her. Another highlight of our trip. She also stopped at a supermarket and offered to buy fresh bread for us the next morning for our beach day. We had a 4 course dinner at the apartment that evening, cooked by Bruna's mom. This was only 25€ per person including homemade wine (very good, light white wine) which was definitely worth every penny. Bruna told us to take the left overs to the beach the next day for a lunch - so nice!

So the next day we walked to Krucica beach - it looks close on the map but it was actually quite a walk. Almost an hour in total with a good climb towards the end. There are ticks, BE WARNED. I saw and killed 6 of them - one of which was actually on my body - under my foot where I did not actually check and double check at first. The bay was kind of hidden and there are a couple of houses. One family was at their house and a bit later another couple showed up to for swimming and sunbathing. As we do not like to be in the sun too much, we simply had a relaxing day in the shade with picnic and wine. Later we walked back and took another path to a more private beach (rocks) in the shade and tried to go for a swim. The water was COLD though! Once you are in it, it's fine, but damn!

That evening we had dinner at the nearby hotel Solitudo. Price level was significantly higher than the Konoba Pece's, and the food was not better. It was good though, I had seafood risotto which was very tasty and my hb had grilled turkey which was juicy and tasty but no creativity was added. We paid 309kn for this including sides and half liter of red grape juice (cannot really call it red wine as it was cold and did not taste like wine).

We actually thought the price level on the island was fine and not higher than in say Split or other coastal towns we have been to.

The island is beautiful, very peaceful and quiet. The only tourists we saw were staying at the hotel and there weren't many. Public transport and ferry connections are more than fine. You are forced to relax here - there is not too much to keep you entertained, which is more than fine if you go for a relaxing time. The island is also very suitable for hiking and biking, paths are marked and sign posted. We usually hike more than we did now, but it was so nice to unwind and relax. Plus it was quite warm and the island is hilly. We were also extremely satisfied with our choice of apartment - 5 stars.

Will post Korcula next
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 03:11 AM
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Korcula

We spent about 2.5 days in and around Korcula town, with a focus on wine tasting. Information on wine tastings is a bit hard to find, we experienced, so I thought I'd write an as detailed as possible report about our experience.

We are both in our 30s and certainly not experts in wine. We just love wine tastings in this region as they bring you to local producers, who make local products that they are proud of and that you can only find in that place. Good thing that we like wines, but really it is the experience too and the more tastings you go to, the more you learn about wines. In 2015 we stayed at two wine making tourist farms in Slovenia, and got to learn about the wines etc. for the first time. The wines they made were not from indigenous grapes (mainly Merlot, Pinot Noir). Then in 2016 we visited several wineries in Trebinje (Bosnia & Herzegovina), where we tasted more typical wines for the region, mainly Zilavka (white) and Vranac (red). We also tasted Primitivo in Puglia.

Now Korcula. We arrived by ferry from Lastovo Island to Vela Luka, around 1PM. Then took the bus to Korcula town around 1:45PM - good connection with sufficient time to buy a burek for lunch. The waterfront in Vela Luka is very charming. The bus ride is a bit long (slightly over an hour), and the bus driver was super cranky; also lots of noisy school kids, almost full bus. SUCH A CHANGE FROM LASTOVO ISLAND. Like where everyone was chill and relaxed. We were a bit in shock how much of a difference this was, but honestly this is the only instance where we - for a minute - thought staying on Korcula may not be for us. During the ride you can see the interior of the island, we went through villages like Blato and Smokvica, where lots of wineries are located.

We stayed in Marco Polo hotel, probably not the best hotel but we had a spacious room for a bargain. Sea view was blocked by trees unfortunately. Breakfast was a bit iffy, especially the "orange juice" which had nothing to do with orange except for the color.

The first evening we did a Zrnovo Culinary & Walking Tour organized by Korculaexplorer: korculaexplorer.com/zrnovo-tour/4591187533 This was an amazing experience. Frank, the owner of restaurant Belin, picked us up from Korcula and drove us to his restaurant. There we tasted homemade brandy and figs, learned how the traditional Zrnovo pasta is made, and walked through the village listening to Frank's stories. How special! Then we had a fantastic 3 course dinner with local wines (one produced by Frank, the other by a friend of his), and of course the Zrnovo pasta. I'm not a person for desserts, but his dessert was to die for really. Best ever.

The next day, we went looking for a wine tasting tour including visits to wineries. We had looked up some tours on the internet and found them a bit expensive or they didn't give a price at all (hate that). Anyway, first office we entered was Korkyra info, and they had a tour starting in 15 minutes! Wow! (See here: https://www.korkyra.lastminute-hr.co...=1554&izlet=12) Price was 56€, which we found very reasonable, including 3 wine tastings and lunch. Plus the tour would go all the way to Blato, so we'd see and learn a lot about the island at the same time. Tour was a half day tour (4-5 hours), which was perfect too since it gave us time to swim and see more of Korcula in the late afternoon. We were in a group of 9 with amazing people. Driver/guide was a bit quiet, but very nice. Transport was by not so comfortable air conditioned mini van (no leg space at all). I believe they usually have a panorama bus, but because we exceeded 8 persons they used this mini van.

The first wine tasting in this tour was at the Toreta Winery in Smokvica. The best experience of this tour IMO as we got to taste 5 very different wines with a lot of explanation, plus this was the only real WINERY where we stopped. They mainly make Posip (white), in 2 dry varieties, and a very good Plavac Mali (dry red) too.

This winery was open for individual guests too, as when a couple walked in, they were asked to wait for the tour group to finish and then they got to taste too. So you can basically just take a bus (or drive, but please don't drive after 2 glasses) to Smokvica and visit the Toreta winery. Plus many more wineries actually, as this village has at least 5 or 6 wineries. They all seem to be open for tastings, but we did not check (maybe next time). The website https://guide.get4u.hr/en/ lists a number of wineries - search for Smokvica and you will see that there are several, such as Grosic, Didovinka, Barbazza, Petrusac, Kunjas, and Milina. You can check for opening times, and it seems that you can just knock and visit. Posip is the main wine produced in the interior of Korcula island, so I assume they mainly specialize in that.

Continuing with the wine tour... second stop was in Blato, Blato 1902 dd, a more cafe like setting (not a winery). We got to taste (drink?) 3 different wines. The explanation was minimal. A rose, a white (Posip or Rukatec, I don't remember), and red (Plavac Mali, but not as good as the Toreta one IMO). Then we drove back to Korcula town, where we had lunch at wine bar Chakula. We got to taste 3 more wines, and these were not all from Korcula island. Some were from nearby Peljesac peninsula if I remember correctly. The white and rose were way too sweet for my liking. The red was dry and good. I love the Plavac Mali. That was the tour. Great experience, very informative, great group of people, great winery visit, worth the money. Room for improvement maybe, plus you can probably visit the many wineries in Smokvica by yourself (don't need the tour). It's nice to just sit, relax, and get to taste, right?

The next day we then decided to visit wineries by ourselves, in Lumbarda. There's a bus every hour, you pay 25 kuna (3.5€) for a two way ticket. In Lumbarda they make the white wine Grk, which is only produced by about 8 producers over the whole world. How special! And it is good white too I can say, and I'm more into reds so that means something. First winery we visited was Bire winery, about 5-10 minutes walk from the one to last busstop in Lumbarda. It's open for individual guests between 10am and 12pm, and a few hours in the evening. You really don't want to go there when they are closed for individual guests, based on the reviews. When we were there around 10:15am though, we were welcomed by a super friendly lady. She served us 3 wines to taste (30 kuna per person) and told a lot about the winery and their production. Very nice chat. Two very nice americans who we'd later meet at a second winery came to taste as well. Even though the Grk was special, we just had to buy a bottle of Plavac Mali as it was so good! Bire winery is amazing imo, as long as you visit during opening times. When we left the lady asked what we were going to do next - we said we wanted to visit more wineries. Then she kindly explained where to go, as only 2 more wineries offer tastings.

The other two Lumbarda wineries with tastings are a bit harder to find. There is not as much information as about the Bire winery. Anyway, they are Popic winery and Cebalo winery, and they're neighbours. They are a 15 minute walk away from Bire winery. In google maps, search for Mala Postrana Lumbarda (as that is their address... no streetname, number, nothing...)... it leads your to "Apartments Grk" for some reason. Well, that is where the Popic and Cebalo wineries are. While the terrace of the Popic winery was open and we could enter the place, there was no one really... so after about 15 minutes we left. I'm sure you can taste here though as they had a price list saying 30 kuna for tasting 3 wines if I remember correctly. Cebalo winery nextdoor also offered tasting, which of course we did. Also 3 wines for 30 kuna or 4 wines including snack for 50 kuna (iirc). We particularly loved the Grk here, and bottles were like 20-30 kuna cheaper than at Bire, so we brought one home. Here, we did not get so much information about the wine, it's production, the winery, etc.

Lumbarda is a nice town btw. Very nice for walking, along the beach, through more forested parts, through the fields, etc. We had a fantastic lunch at Salsa Bar, delicious Mexican pizza (best pizza ever?) and Greek salad. A nice change from the typical Croatian offer.

In the evening, we had diner at BARic, a new place serving Croatian tapas style dishes, in Korcula town. It is a bit high end, not cheap at all, very special. They serve about 8 different dishes, they're all like starters. So we each took 3, following the chef's recommendations. It was probably our best meal, albeit the most expensive (750 kuna). The wines served were excellent. Rose and a red both from Peljesac Peninsula. See, there is our destination for a trip in the future. Where Korcula is about whites, Peljesac is about reds. They probably have the best Plavac wines, even better than the ones we tased on Korcula and Lastovo.

Sorry this was so long... a few summarizing notes regarding wine tasting:

- Korcula is perfect if you are into wines and wine tastings, in particular white wines (Posip and Grk mainly grow here and nowhere else).

- You can take tours to either the middle of the island (Smokvica, Blato), and there's also tours going to Lumbarda. Just sit, enjoy, taste...

- You can take a bus (or less preferred: drive yourself...) from Korcula town to either Smokvica, where about 5-6 wineries may be open for tasting, or to Lumbarda, where 2-3 wineries may be open for tasting.

We were only here for 3 nights, but I could have stayed a couple more. There are so many good restaurant options, so many wineries, there's just so much to see on Korcula and nearby peninsula. Korcula may be the perfect place for a holiday, with something for everyone, we loved it.

Next is Mljet...
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 03:42 AM
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I forgot to mention ^^, sunsets on Korcula are... wonderful. Don't miss them!


Mljet

We took the 10:10am fast catamaran from Korcula town to Pomena. The catamaran was not a nice experience. It was a Saturday, so it was probably more busy than usual. It arrives from Hvar town, and smelly party people (I assume?) lay everywhere, with their bags on the seat next to them, keeping seats reserved for others who are on the outside (small) deck, etc. Tourists can be pigs. It was just very hard to find a spot where we could both sit next to each other with all these people taking up to 4 seats... so rude.

Fortunately that only lasted half an hour, but this catamaran is more like a bus or a plane than a ferry as the windows are hard to look through and it's just uncomfortable. Arriving in Pomena, we got a ride from our apartment host to nearby village Govedjari, in the middle of the national park. It's about 2.5 km from touristic places Pomena and Polace. Both have mini supermarkets and restaurants, Govedjari has nothing. We did not have a car, but were prepared to walk quite a bit.

We stayed at Boutique Accommodation Mljet, in a very nice and charming apartment. It had a kitchen (that we never use when on vacation but nice to have) and it was very spacious. The owner was running two businesses at the same time, on his own (accommodation + shop), so he was hard to get a hold of at times / he was unable to offer us breakfast 2 out of 3 days which was unfortunate. We loved staying there though and the owner was super nice and very hard working.

In total we had almost 3 full days on Mljet, as we arrived so early that Saturday. We went for a "walk" to see a bit of the park, which then became a 6 hour hike. Fortunately we were wearing our hiking boots, in fact for the first and only time this vacation. We made a lot of stops for coffee, lunch, relaxing, photography, etc. and really enjoyed the park and the mountains around it. We walked up the highest hill and had amazing views from the top. It was very warm, but there were some clouds so after all this was not so bad. We came back very exhausted, in particular that last hill to our accommodation was painful! We took a shower and then had to go for dinner... another 30 minutes walk, and back! Ouch!

We had dinner at Konoba Dalmatino in Pomena. It's a bit off the main tourist strip, and prices are a bit lower. Small menu, but extremely large portions, best food on the island, friendly waiter/owner. We both had a salad as a starter (extremely large, serves a family), and then one main course to share (which could have served 3 really...). Grilled chicken, french fries, potato, vegetables... all delicious. This was so good that we went back the second night, and ordered chicken under the bell (you have to order it at least 2 hours in advance). This was also really good.

The second day we explored the more lower parts of the national park, so we did the boat tour to the island (included in ticket price; also forgot to mention, when you stay in the park then they make your ticket valid for the length of your stay and you will only pay for 1 day!). We were much in need of a coffee since we did not have breakfast, and wow that coffee was of course more than double the price of a normal coffee as it was in a tourist place. We then walked around the little island and it was nice... could have done without it honestly, but we then took the boat to the other docking and walked around the small lake. It was nice. In the afternoon we just relaxed.

The third day, well... we had seen the lakes, so we rented a car in nearby Polace, at Mini Brum (the only place on the island that rents cars). For like 50€ we had an automatic car (Fiat something), but no aircon (we forgot to ask). We drove all the way to the other end of the island (Saplunara), went for a walk, stopped at some bays, had lunch, etc. It was all very pleasant, but the island is not very spectacular in our opinion. In the evening we had dinner at Stella Maris in Polace, since that's where we dropped off our car. It was really ok, they had the best table wine we tasted during our trip. The food was ok.

The national park is nice... worth your time... but honestly, 3 days Mljet was a bit too much. Having been to Krka NP, Plitvice NP, and Lastovo (which is a nature park, rather than national park), Mljet doesn't really add much. It's a bit taken over by cruise tourists, day trippers from Dubrovnik, and really the park is beautiful and everything but it's just 2 lakes and a lot of trees. It's missing the beauty of Krka and Plitvice, and it's missing the peace and soul that is so unique to Lastovo. We are happy we went here and really enjoyed it, but would have added a day to Korcula and subtracted one from Mljet based on our experience.

And finally Dubrovnik...
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 04:20 AM
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Dubrovnik

Again took the catamaran, now from Pomena to Dubrovnik. Fortunately it was not as busy since it was on a Tuesday. We arrived at Gruz port around 12:30pm, about half an hour later than planned which seems to be normal. Then took an Uber taxi to our apartment. That was only about 4€, very cheap - but Uber may be illegal in Croatia (I'm not sure).

We stayed at Baltazar Apartments, all the way up the hill overlooking the Adriatic sea and Dubrovnik. About 400-500 steps up. That may be a problem for some actually, but Dubrovnik is all about steps... and one way streets. To go from the old city to the accommodation, we used Uber twice, walked up the steps once, and walked down from Srd mountain another time. All very doable, and, Baltazar Apartments was really something different and so worth staying at.

Ivo, our host, welcomed us with a welcome drink, a long nice chat, and showed us how to get the most out of our stay in Dubrovnik - telling us about the must see places. Within minutes we felt like we were at a friends place, he really cares about his guests and treats them as friends. Such an example for other hosts! The apartment was very spacious, clean, with a modern kitchen and a wonderful view from the window and balcony. Later that evening we had another nice chat, and a drink, and same the next evening... and lovely breakfast both days. This was really hospitality 2.0. Ivo loves to take care of his guests and loves to get to know them. His wife Marija is also super nice and was there for drinks the second night.

Anyway, that was just the accommodation, but we were so blown away and would go back in a heartbeat, if only for staying at this apartment.

The first day we had lunch at Taj Mahal - a Bosnian restaurant. Beforehand we questioned its authenticity, but really the food was excellent. We were just disappointed that they did not serve Vranac wine from nearby Trebinje (even though Vranac is officially Montenegrin). We walked the city walls (around 5PM, it was still hot, but not super hot) - that of course is the number 1 thing to do in Dubrovnik. And it will not disappoint. Great views all the time, over a very special town with a lot of history - won't find this anywhere else! It was not too crowded this day, as there were no cruise ships. The next day would have over a 1000 cruise ship tourists, and the day we'd leave would have over 7000 cruise ship tourists. We were lucky. We visited some churches/cathedrals too. That evening we had dinner at the Arsenal restaurant. One of the best spots in town, and you of course pay for that - but it wasn't too expensive. The food was good, just good. Wines were very expensive. The next day we watched a film about the 90s war and saw bombs falling close to the restaurant and realized this was a very special place.

The next day we did a little "off the beaten track" tour of our own. We saw on the internet that there was a winery in Lapad, close to the Gruz harbor, named Skar winery. At first we thought this had to be a wine bar, but it turned out to be an actual winery where they make wine using grapes from their vineyards on Peljesac peninsula (where they are known for the best reds). They have opening times and they'd be open until 1PM, so we went there around 11AM. It was a not so nice 30 minute walk (busy ugly streets), but there are also buses.

At the winery, you can taste (drink, actually) 3 wines and one of their brandies for 100 kuna (14€) per person. You get 3 glasses of wine. These are not tasting portions that you normally get, they are glasses. So after the second wine (which is a very red colored rose, which is probably the best rose I ever tasted!), you are starting to feel like you had alcohol. Then comes the red wine, again a big glass. Then the brandy... and this at 11 in the morning. In total we spent about 2 hours here, having a very nice chat with the owner about wines, the winery, tourism, and just everything. Totally awesome experience that I recommend everyone - but you will leave half drunk. We really felt the alcohol and needed FOOD.

We then took the bus from Gruz harbor to the Pile gate, and there (mini) bus number 17 to Bosanka. This is really off the beaten track. You drive out of Dubrovnik, then up the mountain to the small village that looks kind of authentic and cute. No tourists. There is a very nice restaurant with very low prices and super friendly service there. Just the bus ride is an experience in itself, but also the restaurant was great. We had a lovely greek salad and chicken filled with cheese and ham, both with a soft drink. No wine anymore!

Then we walked (about 20-30 minutes, a bit uphill) to the cable car station at the top (so we didn't actually take the cable car - bus to Bosanka and then walk is much cheaper, more authentic, and very nice!). We visited the war museum/exposition. That was impressive and saddening, that such a beautiful city was damaged in such a way. So sad. It is good to see and realize what they have been through and puts things in a different perspective.

Then around sunset we made our way down via the zig zagging path. Amazing views over Dubrovnik, amazing views over the islands, plus the sun going down - just spectacular. Good for us that at the end of that walk down the mountain, we were only 100 meters from our apartment. We took a bath and later went for dinner in town. We ended up eating at the main tourist spot, restaurant Klarisa, where live music was played. Almost everyone was just having a drink (very overpriced of course), but we wanted a meal and found the steak reasonably priced for its location. It was pretty good and just the ambiance and the live music was very pleasant.

That was about it... the next morning we tried to go into the city walls again, but there were so many boat tourists that there was nowhere to walk and we were afraid of not being able to get out of the city walls due to heaps of tourists coming in. 7000 cruise ship tourists...

Dubrovnik is very special, and we loved our accommodation. Would go and stay here again and would maybe take some day trips. We chose not to do an island cruise or pay a visit to Lokrum, as we had been to 3 islands already. We wanted to do another wine tour, but it was not available on a Wednesday (or way too expensive).

All in all, this was a great honeymoon that we thoroughly enjoyed. The islands are awesome, and while we are not into towns/cities/architecture so much, Split and Dubrovnik were worth every second. Plus the local wines... yeah... we love them.

If anyone has questions or comments, please let me know!
FlyDriveHike is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2017, 06:35 AM
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Great report...thanks so much for posting! Croatia (and maybe Slovenia again) are on my radar for next year so this is so helpful, especially the Korcula part as I have also found there isn't too much out there about wine tasting and things to do there. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 09:56 AM
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You’ve posted a wonderful report with a definite wine theme! I totally agree with the great taste of the plavac mali grape. We’ve had Dingac wine which is made from that grape, and from Peljesac peninsula. They are good, weren’t they? On your next trip to Dubrovnik, I can recommend the D’Vino wine bar for wines, wine tasting and wonderful appetizer plates. They serve Dingac and other wines with the plavac mali grape - as well as many other wines! It was a memorable experience for us, and you may enjoy it too.

You might also want to consider a wine tour to the Peljesac peninsula on your next trip. It’s a very appealing tour, though the ride up the mountain in a mini-van on a very skinny road was scary, especially when passing a vehicle going the opposite way. We were docked at the little port village of Trstenik on the peninsula and took the wine tasting tour from there, as part of our small cruise. But I’m pretty sure there are wine tours from Dubrovnik to these wineries and wine region.

Again, thanks for posting about your trip, especially your wine adventures!
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 11:24 AM
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No problem at all, glad you like it! I'm so thankful for all the help I got planning this trip. Hope I can help others in return.

When writing this, I realized that instead of crossing off places from our bucket list of places we'd love to visit, all it did was adding places to that list lol. Now I cannot wait to see Peljesac, Hvar and Vis, and I also feel like we have "unfinished business" in Split, Dubrovnik, and Korcula.
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for such a detailed and terrific report. We've been to Croatia 3 times and hope to make it back next year. We love Dubrovnik but need to figure out how to plan our visit to avoid the cruise ship disgorgement as much as possible. We've been to Hvar--and really enjoyed it--but hope to get to Korcula next year. Your information will be really helpful to us. we've enjoyed the wines of Croatia but not done them real justice as you have. Thanks for all the information. Can't wait to put it to good use.
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Old Jun 19th, 2017, 07:03 AM
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I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed Lastovo! I also spent my honeymoon in Croatia and have returned three times--it was nice to relive the hospitality.
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