I was delighted to be back in this beautiful country for the first time since 2019. And for my ninth visit, I was keen to visit some previously unexplored places.
I had briefly visited Bol, on the island of Brac, on a previous cruise and remembered being very impressed, so it seemed the ideal place to start.
We flew to Split and transferred to the ferry terminal for a 50-minute trip to Supetar on the northern side of the island, followed by an hour's drive over to Bol. Although it may seem like a fair amount travelling, it was very pleasant, and a ferry ride provides an opportunity to see many of Croatia’s beautiful uninhabited islands.
There is also a catamaran service that operates from Split to Bol Harbour on certain days which we took for the return journey to the mainland.
If you have yet to experience Split, a few nights here would be ideal before heading out to the islands, and if your holiday doesn’t include a stay in Split, it is easy to visit several of the islands by ferry.
I had been drawn to the small boutique Bol Hotel, just a 10-minute walk downhill to the harbour where there is a delightful selection of shops, bars and restaurants - all overlooking the waterfront.
The hotel's restaurant only opens for breakfast, which was not an issue with plenty of excellent dining out options close by, and most evenings we ate in this perfect area, right by the water. It was lovely to stroll along the front post-dinner admiring all the boats that had arrived in port for the evening.
Various excursions are available from Bol, with the most popular being a day trip over to the island of Hvar. It’s a lovely 15–20 minute walk from the harbour area along the waterfront, through the pine trees, to Zlatni Rat beach (Golden Cape).
The beach stretches out 500 metres into the sea and changes direction depending on the currents. In the opposite direction, you can follow the coast, walking past small coves and beaches to the Dominican Monastery, which has a beautiful position with views along the coast.
We spent four days on Brac, just the right amount of time for exploration and relaxation by the hotel’s fabulous pool. I cannot speak highly enough of the Bol Hotel and its fantastic staff. Their motto is to do all they can for their guests, exemplified by the breakfast waiter ensuring more of our favourite chocolate croissants were cooked if he saw there weren't any on the buffet. The hotel was perfect; our room was delightful with a balcony, the pool area was serene and a gym and sauna were also available.
We headed back to Split but having previously spent considerable time there, decided to head west to the small traditional coastal town of Seget Donji, just along the coast from Trogir, where the Hotel Ola (tagline " A new hotel dimension”) was our choice for the next four nights.
This adult-only design hotel is built on the side of a hill with 50 rooms - all with large balconies - offering stunning views overlooking the sea and Trogir in the distance.
It boasts an incredible rooftop infinity pool with a great area for sunbathing and an indoor pool and spa for those wet days with treatments and detox programs, even offering Paleo programs. I passed on these and despite the hotel being keen to support guests with a healthy lifestyle, there was plenty of food that would certainly be on the naughty list!
Seget Donji has some great authentic restaurants and a pretty promenade with plenty of hidden coves for swimming and sunbathing.
Trogir can be reached by water taxi, bus, or a 40-minute walk, which we decided upon after overindulging in all the local food. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and is home to several historical sites. One of the best is the Cathedral of St Lawrence, an amazing piece of architecture built back in the 13th century.
In the southwestern part of the Old Town, is the Fortress Kamerlengo, built in the 15th century to serve the army of the Republic of Venice.
The palm tree-lined promenade is a wonderful vibrant area full of bars and restaurants, plus a good place to watch all the small cruise boats coming and going. Despite trying hard, I am still not sure that we managed to see everything within this beautiful medieval walled city.
Fun fact: There are no canals in Trogir, no gondolas, and no bridges over meandering waterways, but it’s still nicknamed “Little Venice” which I imagine is due to its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets.
Even if you stay in Split you can reach Trogir within 30 minutes so it can also make for a perfect day trip.
Many people head to Croatia for sailing holidays, especially in September when the water is warm from the summer sun and perfect for swimming.
We treated ourselves to an afternoon speedboat adventure with a skipper to explore some hidden bays that would have been difficult to find ourselves. We did make a stop at the Blue Lagoon, which as the name suggests is the most exquisite turquoise bay for swimming or snorkelling.
The food in Croatia was certainly as good as I remember it - plenty of seafood and fish, with local squid on most menus served with blitva, which is Swiss chard with potatoes and garlic. Ice cream, well gelato, is a must for me after most meals and I may just have sampled a few flavours.
It was another great trip to Croatia, and I know it may sound like I work for the tourism office, but I simply just love this country and all it has to offer.
There is culture, national parks, stunning coastlines, welcoming hosts, and amazing food. It has a bit of everything.
As a travel agent, I know the importance of being looked after by a reputable supplier and I booked this personal holiday through Prestige Holidays with whom I work very closely when sending clients to this wonderful destination.