Red rooftops seen from the old city walls of Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia.
By Emma Pomfret
Published: January 17, 2008The Topline
It’s little wonder that this tiny-croissant-shaped country is fast becoming Europe’s most coveted holiday hot spot.
With miles of pristine beaches framed by dramatic mountains and impossibly clear Adriatic waters, more than a thousand picturesque islands ripe for hopping, and town upon ancient town bursting with faded Habsburg grandeur and dazzling Byzantine churches, Croatia provides a fascinating experience for any visitor.
It's often said that the sparkling coastline is so unspoilt that the stunning ocean scenery from any beachside joint is almost exactly the same view that the Franciscan monks, Roman Emperors and Napoleon himself would have seen when they scanned the horizon for enemies in days long ago.
|Scattered remnants of the civil war in the shape of derelict, burnt out villages can still be spotted in remote parts of northern Dalmatia.|
OP-ED CORRECTION: Croatia and not Crotia
We had landed in Croatia's second-largest city Split and made a quick pit-stop to visit the third century Diocletian Palace, before heading off to the pretty seaside resort of Tucepi.
| The seaside resort of Tucepi.|
In the heart of Dalmatia, the Tucepi coastline is an unbroken series of clean beaches, bordered on one side by the transparent turquoise sea and on the other by a necklace of pine forests, olive groves and cool glades.
Our base was the friendly four star Afrodita Village hotel, set on the leafy slopes of Mount Biokovo.
We explored one afternoon to discover a crumbling marble spiral staircase, grand regal balconies overlooking the hotel's once-private beach, and a faded gilt-edged reception room complete with peeling walls and original bar, once the glamorous haunt of long-departed élites. Away from the hustle and bustle, there is also a quaint old town in the centre with narrow stone-paved streets, a charming main church square with a tiny fruit and flower market, and an ancient Franciscan monastery open to the public year-round.
Here you can wander the steep, twisting streets and alleys of the island's impressive fortified town, gawp at the Romanesque-Gothic cathedral of St Mark, or check out one of many fine seafood restaurants.
Of course, any visit to Croatia is incomplete without a trip to the historic city of Dubrovnik, affectionately dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic", and possibly where Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after a shipwreck in 1192.If you go
- Take an excursion to the Krka National Park with seven waterfalls, and see a dramatic sunrise at the Biokova Mountains.
- Try the local fish delicacy, Dentex, also called Zubatec.
- Visit the historic seaport of Dubrovnik, also known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic".
- Take a boat to the little island of Korcula, which according to some historians is the birthplace of explorer Marco Polo.
Source: http://www.xpress4me.com/life/travel/croatia/20005105.html Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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