Monday, February 1, 2010

Nothing like Croatia to beat the winter blues...



The only thing to take my mind off of the ice, snow, sleet and my salt-stained boots is Croatia. I have been browsing through pictures and I am getting too excited to see the snow disappear and for it to finally be warm enough to go out with just a sweater. Maybe even sandals. But I think those days are little bit further away than I would like. So in the meantime I am looking around at Croatia through other people's travel photographs. There are some really spectacular places to visit there. I have been hearing a lot about vacations to Croatia's Adiatic coast as being heavenly, a real escape, secluded and dreamy. Is this real? It is hard to imagine that a place like this hasn't already been run over by the tourist train yet and completely violated. But then again, I am finding a lot of inspiring places in the Balkans recently that are still well-kept secrets to the rest of the world. With flights as cheap as £60 from London to Dubrovnik, its hard to not book it right now!

Croatia does have a large tourist popular in the summer months. But it is definitely possible to escape the crowds and find a quiet spot along the long coast and relax on the rocky shores. Even the off-shore islands offer unique little getaways and hiding spots from the crowds. These quaint little towns give travellers just a taste of what it is like to live in this sea-side country. Imagine stepping out your door and seeing turquoise waters like those from the Caribbean every day? These waters are a nice contract to the Alps that run alongside them.

Any trip to Croatia should include Dubrovnik, the busiest city along the coast. It is one of Europe's best restored walled-cities, keeping the baroque-styled buildings hidden from view in the harbor. Placa is the main pedestrian area in the city and it is lined with nice shops and cafés. The city and area are rich in artistic traditions, something the museums have carefully displayed and restored. Beyond the city walls are the countless beaches, islands and peninsulas.

Have you been there?