Thursday, 14 September 2017

Lastovo Island, one of the last frontiers

By Budget Travel inc
September 14, 2017

Lastovo, an island that is a ferry ride and a five hour drive from Split, is one of the last pristine, unspoiled areas on the Adriatic. The remote beauty of Lastovo caused the Croatian government to designate the island, and its archipelago, a nature park in 2006. Prior to 2006, the remoteness of the area was largely due to the Jugoslav army having a military base here which made the area closed to tourist for over 50 years.

After Croatia gained its independence in 1991, Lastovo began to reveal its hidden wonders to the rest of the world. It still is not considered crowded by tourist standards like other Croatian islands and coastal towns. Like every other unknown vacation area of the world, Lastovo is fast becoming a popular destination for tourists. Watch out! Lastova has made the British newspaper The Gaurdian in May 2017. The Guardian's expose lists Lastovo as the newest tourist hot spot with pristine, natural beauty with excellent seafood. 

Getting to Lastovo 

There are several methods to get to Lastovo even though it is one of the more distant islands from the Croaian mainland. Go to Split or Vera Luka on Korcula and take a ferry or fast boat to Lastovo. The ferry ride is 5 hours while the fast boat is 3 hours. You may also access Lastovo from Dubrovnik via a fast boat again during the high season of July and August. This trip takes about 4 hours. If you lack a car, a bicycle may be your speed. Some of the ferries permit bikes for a small fee and there are plenty of bike trails on the island 

 What's hot and what's not

The remoteness of Lastovo and the lack of a whole bunch of tourists makes the island perfect of those who wish to explore its natural beauty.

The most populace town on Lastovo Island is Lastovo with a whopping population of 500. This small town is one of the island's... must see. It is hidden quietly in the hills, originally to circumvent pirate attacks. What you need to take in, in this gem of a town, is the large number of renaissance and baroque churches. Two of the more popular ones are Kuzma and Damjan. Bizarrely enough, the island boasts an amazing 38 churches of which 28 are cultural heritage buildings. 

The town of Lastovo is also famous for their fumari. Fumari are decorated, originial chimneys from the 15th and 16th century that adorn every home. 

Another must do is Hill Hum, the tallest mount on the island that is just outside of the town Lastovo. It is a must climb. It is an easy hike with the reward of the view of the inlets and islets archipelago Lastovo and Korcula Island.

After your la-dee-da hike up Hill Hum,  you should definitely take in Zaklopatica Cove. There you will discover the diving center of Ancora. Diving enthusiasts love this place because they are able to explore the underwater world of Lasovo. Two of the more favoured diving spots are the islet of Bijelac and Tejan. Bejelac is just plain beautiful, known all across Europe. Tajan boasts oodles of hidden caves rich in colourful fish and plant life.

 Are you finished your diving adventure? Now is the time to head down to the local family fish eatery. Have nosh of some of the finest seafood anywhere.

Is the summer season your time for a holiday on Lastovo? If yes, you will be in for the wondrous surprise of beautiful pristine beaches surrounded with lush Mediterranean forests that slip down into some of the last clean, clear waters on the Mediterranean. Be ready for a dive. Rent a boat. Tour the Lastovo archipelago by sea.

One sandy beach inhabits Lastovo... Saplun Beach. Saplun is Italian for sand. Saplun Beach is on the islet of Mladine. Rent a boat. Escape to this little beach. Enjoy its remoteness.

On a final note... Lastovo's remote, isolation enhances star gazing. Bring your blanket and gaze away.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The 6 Best Nudist (FKK) Beaches of Croatia

By Budget Travel inc
August 22, 2017

1936 marks the beginning of naturism in Croatia. The king of England, King Edward VIII, sun bathed nude on the beach of Kandarola on Rab Island. The many hidden coves with pebbly or sandy beaches of Croatia are conducive to nude sun bathing and swimming. This is why Croatia has designated several secluded and family oriented beaches as official FKK (Freikörperkultur) naturism/nude beaches. Following are six of the best nude beaches on the Adriatic of Croatia for your next vacation.

FFK Beach One: Ostupa Beach (Orebić, Peljesac)

For years, Peljesac Peninsula has been one of the most popular and visited tourist hot spots in Croatia. This peninsula boasts the location of the pebbly beach Ostupa. As well as this very popular beach location, Peljesac Peninsula has the added attractions of Dubrovnik close by, fantastic local seafood, Plavic red wind and many other exciting beaches like Trstenica Beach to while your summer day away. While your summer days are whiling away at Ostupa Beach or Trstenica Beach you are surrounded by rich, lush pine forests to take shade and escape the heat of your summer vacation.

FFK Beach Two: Nugal Beach (Tucepi, Makarska Riviera)

When you have finished visiting Peljesac and Ostupa Beach take a trip over to the Makarska Riviera. That is where you will find the gorgeously secluded beach of Nugal in Tucepi. Nugai Beach is number two of the popular FKK beaches of Croatia. The path to the beach is well trod. It is the pathway that passes through Osejava forest, which connects Makarska with Tucepi.  A good pair of walking shoes is recommended for the trek along this path as the terrain can be tenuous. Also, shade is at a premium at Ostupa Beach. Bring lots of sunscreen and your own shade. The beach may be a wee bit difficult to get to and lack natural shade, but it is worth it. It is very privately secluded and far from all those clicking cameras and goo goo eyes.

FFK Beach Three: Paklina Beach (Bol, Brac)

Pakline Beach in Bol on the island of Brac is located just west of the ever popular Zlatni ratl Beach. This beach is made up of several small and secluded coves that are perfect for swimming nude. There is also an amazing view of Zlatni ratl. When you tire of Pakline Beach you can take a leisurely walk to the fine pebbly beach of Zlantni ratl. Be sure to pack your lunch as there are not any nearby restaurants or retail food outlets.

 FFK Beach Four: Jerolim Beach (Paklinski otoci, Hvar)

Quite near to the city of Hvar, on the Paklinski Islands, is a nudist beach on the small uninhabited island of sv. Jerolim. Seclusion is the operative word here. Jerolim Beach was voted one the top15 nudist beaches of the world. Getting to sv. Jerolim  is easy. Just take a private boat or a water taxi. The taxis depart from Hvar Harbour a few times per day during the high season and the trip is a mere twenty minutes. Jerolim Beach is a full, officially designated FKK Croatian beach with full signage. To further enjoy this secluded island/beach, you have restaurants and convenient showers. When you grow weary of this beach you may consider the nearby beach of Slipanska. 

FFK Beach Five: Sahara Beach (Rab)

The island of Rab boasts several sandy beaches. You will discover almost all of these sandy beaches in Lopar. All the sand on all the beaches of Lopar brings tourists from all over the globe. One of the most popular beaches is Sahara Beach. Yes, it is named after the desert. After enjoying the beach of Rajska, you may wish to venture on down to the Sahara. It is mere, pleasnat 30 minute walk from Rajska Beach.

 FFK Beach Six: Kandarola Beach (Rab)

The FFK naturist beach Kandarola in Palit, on Rab Island, is one of the most gorgeous beaches on the Adriatic. This beach began its international reputation when the king of England, Edward Vlll, took the sun here nude in 1936. There are plenty of things to do Kandarola Beach. There are a multitude of bars, restaurants for the grown-ups. There are water slides and sandy volleyball courts for the younger, more active sun bathers. This beach may be a wee bit crowded in the high season due to its ever increasing popularity with tourists on vacation from all around the world.




Friday, 28 July 2017

The 6 best beaches on Korcula Island, Croatia

July 27, 2017

All 182 kilometers of Korcula Island's coastline has beach secrets for the adventurous tourist. You will discover pebbly beaches on the north of the island while leaving the sandy beaches for further discovery on the south coast of Korcula Island.

Beach One: Proizd Beach on Proizd Island

Proizd Island is a small island that is part of the Korcula archipelago. Proizd Beach took the title of the "best beach" on the Croatian Adriatic in 2017. The vote came in because of its crystal clear water that is a totally unreal turquoise colour. Pine trees and large flat stones surround this sandy beach making it one the more romantic beaches of the world.

Proizd Island is uninhabited making it a perfect example Mediterranean wilderness and nature. You are able to access Proizd from Vla Luka via a 30 minute boat ride a few times per day. Once on Proizd Island, you must explore all the other beaches to fully experience the feeling of running away from all the summer touristy places and relax on this secluded little islet. 

Beach two: Pupnatska Luka

It has been decided. Pupnatska Luka Beach is on of the most beatiful beaches on Korcula Island. The water at the beach is so clear that it appears almost transparent. It is totally surrounded by lush green forests. The green of the forest and blue of the sea immediately creates this wonderful fairy tale contrast. This picturesque beach is approximately 15 K distant from Korcula Town and is accessible by a quaint old world bumpy road. In spite of its seclusion there is still a small restaurant for earthly treats.

Beach three: Banje Beach in Korcula Town

Korcula Town offers a variety of accommodations. Once you have checked into your hotel, pension or apartment, you may wish to take in a refreshment to escape the heat of the summer. This is the perfect time to stroll down to the promenade to Benje Beach. It may be a wee bit busy during the summer tourist season, but this beach has plenty of things to do for families with wee ones.

Beach four: Vela Przina Beach

This delightfully sandy beach in Lumbarda and is a mere 15 minutes from Korčula Tow. Its sandiness, proximity and exclusiveness makes this beach one of the most sought after beaches in Croatia. Here too, it is a little crowded in peak tourist season. You may find it better to enjoy this very popular beach with an early morning swim or a cool swim in the dark of the moonlight.

Beach five: Istruga Beach

The therapeutic healing mud of Istruga Beach in Lumbarda gives this beach its popularity. If you are not into the healing mud you will still enjoy it here among the shade of the pines on its sandy shores. If the mud, the shade of the pine trees and the sandy beach are too much for you, you may enjoy a Croatian seafood nosh at a local restaurant.

Beach six: Bilin Zal Beach

Another sandy beach in Lumbarda is Bilin Zal Beach. It is very popular with families and children. Make sure bring your sun screen, sun gear or rent a beach umbrella as there is no natural shade at Bilin Zal Beach. This beach is a great beach for the whole day for the whole family because of the local cafe, the nearby restaurant and the small super market.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

A lighthouse vacation in the Adriatic

July 09, 2017

Spending your holiday in a lighthouse is an extremely unique way of vacationing. Croatia takes the cake when it comes to a lighthouse vacation. They are secluded and far from city noise. They are surrounded by nature and breathtakingly, haunting sunsets. You will feel rejuvenated.

Istria, formerly called Histria, is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. This peninsula is located at the top of the Adriatic Sea between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Gulf. Istria is shared by three countries: Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia.

It is oldest lighthouse in Croatia (built in 1818) and is easily accessible. It is 9 kilometers from Umag. You are able to get to the lighthouse by car and park for free. This lighthouse has 4 apartments. There is a stone beach a mere 20 meters from the lighthouse, while the more adventurous will be able to go windsurfing.

Also on the peninsula of Istria, is the Marlera lighthouse, which is located 4 kilometers from the town of Ližnjan. The large number of beehives in the local area has given this lighthouse the nickname of "Honey Lighthouse". The picturesque view at the top of the lighthouse encompasses the magnificent Velebit mountain and Lošinj and Cres islands. If you enjoy luxury, this is the lighthouse for your family. At your disposal is an outdoor kitchen with barbecue, a 1500 m2 garden, plus three bedrooms. Part of all this luxury is the ability to hire a chauffeur and / or a chef for special occasions. The lighthouse also offers free parking and is very pet friendly.

Sveti Ivan na pucini
On the little rocky island of Sveti Ivan na pucini is located the Sveti Ivan (Saint John) Lighthouse. 20 minutes by boat from Rovinj gets you to the lighthouse. This lighthouse is made up of two apartments with 4 beds each. There is hot and cold water, electricity and drinking water. It comes with a pebbled beach nearby with a short shoal. Swimming is recommended far away from shore because of strong currents near the shore.

This lighthouse is located on a small, rocky island two kilometers away from Pula. Porer is part of the archipelago belonging to Rt Kamenjak, which is a protected nature park. 15 minutes by boat from Premantura will get you to this lighthouse. Porer Lighthouse is comprised of 2 apartments. It has drinking water, electricity and a GSM signal. There is a local quote that states that Porer is located between heaven and hell. This is because of the extreme differences between the heavenly view from the top of the lighthouse during nice weather and strong storms and winds during the winter.

Dalmatia is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria. Dalmatia is a narrow belt of the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, stretching from island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south

Veli Rat

The Veli Rat Lighthouse on Dugi Otok was built in 1849. It is one of the most popular lighthouses on the Adriatic. Visitors are compelled to reserve years in advance because of this popularity. Veli Rat is not as secluded as the other lighthouses in Croatia. It is surrounded by luscious green vegetation, a pebbly, sandy beach and a few small towns. It is easily accessible by car or boat. It is connected to the mainland land by the ferry line Zadar – Bribinj and is only 9 kilometers from Bribinj by car. This lighthouse has two apartments with a grounds keeper. There is a nearby ship wreck for those who would like to a little diving.

On Prisnjak Island, not far from the west coast of Murter Island, is the location of Prisnjak Lighthouse, which was built in 1886. It is on the southwestern coast of the islet. It is 15m from the sea and its light is 19m above the sea.There are plenty of islands and islets in the local area. This lighthouse is surrounded by pine trees and is the ideal destination for a quiet, relaxing holiday far, far away from the bustle and hustle of city life.

Prisnjak Lighthouse is a mere 10 kilometers away from the magnificent National Park Kornati. You can get to Murter across the bridge that connects it with the Mainland, and then it takes another 20 kilometers until you reach Murter village. From Murter village it is another 45 minutes by boat to get to the lighthouse. There is just the one apartment with 2 bedrooms with 2 beds in each room. Drinking water, electricity, and GSM signal is available. Fortunately or sadly, it depends on how you view it, there is no lighthouse keeper.

Guests are prompted to explore other local beaches on the island, which are not really child friendly.

Sveti Petar
Sv. Petar (Saint Peter) Lighthouse is just 800 meters away from the center of Makarska, a popular port for tourists on the Croatian Dalmatian coast. There is one apartment with 4 beds plus one extra bed. Drinking water, electricity, and a GSM signal is supplied. There is no lighthouse keeper and the lighthouse is pet friendly. Guests are recommended to take full advantage the rocky beach just below the lighthouse.

Plocica Lighthouse is situated on Plocica Island between Hvar and Korcula. You can get there by boat from Prigradica on Korcula. There is accommodation for larger groups because there are two apartments. One apartment can sleep 6 and the other while the second can sleep 8. It also has drinking water, electricity and a GSM signal. The island is well suited to divers due to the abundant sea animal and sea plant life.

Susac Lighthouse is located on a deserted island 24 kilometers west of the island of Lastovo. Because of its 100 m elevation it is not recommended for people with respiratory problems. There are 2 apartments with 4 beds each. It has drinking water, electricity, a GSM signal and a lighthouse keeper.

On Lastovo, one of the more distant​ Croatian islands, ​there is another very impressive lighthouse, Struga L​ighthouse. It s​u​round​ed with a hundred year old pine forest and still fascinates​ tourists​ by being located at​ the edge of a 70 m cliff.

You are able to get there by the ferry Split – Ubli and then drive by car to the lighthouse. Drinking water, electricity and a GSM signal are supplied. There are 4 apartments in the lighthouse and guests have a secured parking space.

This lighthouse is also a divers delight. The sea that surrounds the lighthouse is chucked full of copious quantities of various fish species and very large crabs. In the 19th century, a 18 kg crab was caught. This area also boasts the largest coral in the Adriatic weighing in at over 45 kg.

Palagruza is a small, remote Croatian archipelago in the middle of the Adriatic. It is made up of of one large island, called Vela or Velika Palagruža, and one small island.

High atop a steep and picturesque hill of 90 m is the lighthouse Palaguza. It is composed of two apartments with 4 beds each. Drinking water, electricity, and GSM are provided. 

Do not hold your breath if you are looking for any kind of beach nearby. There are none. The closest nice pebbly beach is about 6 hours away. It is 3 hours from the lighthouse by gliser to get to Korcula. From Korcula it is a further 3.5 hours by car to the nearest pebbly beach. Good luck. Palaguza
​ Lighthouse is ideal for the persons who wish to be Robinson Crusoe.​

In the beautiful old stone house on a private island is your new home where you will experience the full tranquility, peace and harmony, watching the blue sea merges with the sky or in one of several different beaches which surround the isle

The lighthouse was built 1873rd on the islet Host at the entrance to the port of Vis. It consists of a small octagonal stone tower and a ground-floor building total area of 80m2. The apartment is luxuriously furnished and has 2 bedrooms (16 and5 m2 - each with its own bathroom), kitchen (15 m2), living room (18 m2).

With a spacious stone terrace that surrounds the lighthouse overlooks the sea and the harbor of Vis, a special attraction are the sunrise and sunset. Lighthouse keeper is not present, therefore the guests have maximum privacy. On the north side of the island lies underwater archaeological site, and the configuration is attractive for all kinds of underwater sport activities. Boat dock is on the west side where a footpath leads through pine woods to the lighthouse.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

4 Reasons To Visit Vis Island, Croatia

By Budget Travel inc

Vis Island is a remote Middle Dalmatian island and is extremely unique. It was the military base of the Yugoslavian army for almost 50 years and was closed to tourists. It is geographically isolated and takes two and a half hours by ferry from Split to get there. The natural settings and wildlife of Vis Island remained almost untouched by mass tourism as a consequence of its remoteness and history. In 2003, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), designated Vis Island as one of the 10 most pristine, preserved Mediterranean islands. 

Following are 4 reasons that make Vis Island the ideal destination for a summer vacation:

1. Stiniva Beach

This uniquely formed pebbly beach - surrounded by high cliffs on its right and left sides was awarded the designation of "a most beautiful beach" in 2016 by European Best Destination. Stiniva Beach is located at the south side of Vis and one half of it is always in a shade because of the surrounding cliffs. The beach may seem secluded, but it is not. The expectation of privacy ii interrupted by the frequent boat tours of Stiniva Beach and the clicking of cameras from the tour boats.

Stiniva Beach is not the only gorgeous beach on Vis Island The eastern coast of Komiža canal is home to numerous pebbly beaches like Gusarica, Nova Pošta and Velo Žalo. Take a swim on the pebbly city beach Prirovo when you visit the city of Vis. If you have children, you may also enjoy the sandy beaches of Vela Smokova, Milna, Zaglav and Stončica coves.

2. The Blue and Green Cave

On the south side of Vis Island there is another Croatian island delight... Biševo Island. Biševo is an island in the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. It is situated in the middle of the Dalmatian archipelago, five kilometers southwest of the Island of Vis. Its area is 5.8 km² and it has a population of 15. The eastern side of Biševo Island boasts the world famous Blue Cave. The cave is dark blue making it rather mystical. This phenomena is created by sunlight reflecting off the cave floor which colours the water deep blue while leaving objects in the water silver, another oddity of the Blue Cave.

To see the unique blueness of this cave you should visit it around noon by boat from Komiža that sails several times a day.

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After you enjoy the Blue Cave you should also take in the breathtaking Green Cave on the southwest side of Ravnik Island. You can get there by frequent boat trips from the Rukavac cove on Vis. This cave derives its name from the green reflection made from the green algae that live at the bottom of the cave.

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3. Authentic Dalmatian laid back lifestyle 

Leave all your fast paced lifestyle, stress and fast food behind when you come to Vis Island. There you will be bathed in sunshine and invigorated with homemade seafood. These will charge your batteries. Try out some of the local delectable octopus patties, lobster, marinated grilled fish and Vis bread. Follow these tasty and fresh dishes with a nice chilled glass of Vugava (Vugava is a white grape varietal primarily cultivated on Vis Island. Vugava is often compared to the Viognier and might be its ancestor). If you prefer red wine, try the world renowned Plavac Mali (Plavac Mali, a cross between Crljenak Kaštelanski and Dobričić grapes, is the primary red wine grape grown along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.)

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4. Rich historical heritage

Vis Island has a distinctively rich history considering it is a small island that has been far removed from the usual tourists. It was first a Greek colony and then a Roman colony. The Venetians ruled Vis Island for a period. The British and Austrian rulers fortified the island. Their fortresses stand today as a monument to Vis' stormy and diverse history. Vis Island's checkered past also left its mark on its language, which is barely understood by other Croatians. In the Vis Island language you will find a number of words borrowed from Italian, German, English and Hungarian. 

History lovers should visit the Archeological museum in the city of Vis, which is housed in an Austrian 19th century fortress. The museum keeps a collection of over 600 Greek amphora and the bronze head of the Greek goddess Artemis. After you take in the Archeological museum, you may also wish to visit the remains of the Greek colony of Issa. This is situated below the Gradine Hill, on the north side of the island. There too, you will discover the laid back lifestyle of Vis Island.


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