My Guest post today is from Anja Mutic, a travel writer who also blogs at Everthenomad and takes us to one of the gorgeous islands off the coast of her native Croatia.
Today’s memory takes me back to the five-day solo hideaway on Šipan Island near Dubrovnik in Croatia that I took two summers ago. I had heard about the island through several friends who all brought it up as one of the least spoiled spots along the Adriatic coast. So I decided to see for myself.
During the peak summer season – July and August – sailboats and yachts dock here and tourists from afar drop by for a holiday. Still, the island, which is part of the Elaphite archipelago, has managed to ward off big-scale tourism and keep its authenticity and magic.
Šipan can be easily visited on a day trip from Dubrovnik, as the boat ride is a quick one-hour jaunt. However, I highly recommend an overnight stay in one of two fishing villages – Šipanska Luka or Suđurađ. If you really want to hide away, renting a private room or apartment is the best thing to do. Those are quite affordable but few so book in advance; the tourist office on the island has details (call 020-758 084). The only two hotels on the island, Hotel Šipan in Šipanska Luka and Hotel Božica in Suđurađ are for those with some cash to splash.
Things I loved about Šipan in Croatia: Renaissance villas, fragrant winds (the island is famous for its herbs), clean seas, coastal paths, fishermen weaving their nets and colorful sunsets. Things I could have done without: a tourist or two (was expecting a half-deserted place), the aggressive wasps (the island swarms with them when it hasn’t rained for a while) and the sea urchins (although it’s a sign the sea is clean, watch out for those when getting in and out of water!).
I imagine staying in Šipanska Luka out of season (in late September/early October) and feeling like I’ve stumbled straight into Macondo from One Hundred Years of Solitude. Šipanska is a mythical type of place, full of legends, crazy winds, interesting characters, a long history… If you tune out the chatter and tune into the island’s natural rhythms, you can still feel it.
Many Thanks to Anja for sharing with us some sunshine moments from her homeland of Croatia – do check out Everthenomad for more travel stories.