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It was time for a much needed vacation from our vacation, and what’s better than a few days on a small island in the Adriatic Sea. Whitney and I had been looking into many parts of Croatia and were trying to decide between the islands of Hvar and Korcula as our next destination to relax. After speaking with a few friends, we ended up making our way to Korcula, a small island about halfway between Split and Dubrovnik. Similar to other islands in the region, there is an old town surrounded by a protective city wall and cobblestone pathways.

Simply getting there took a Flixbus from Ljubljana to Zagreb, an airport shuttle from Zagreb bus station to Zagreb Airport, about an hour flight from Zagreb to Split airport, another shuttle from Split airport to the Ferry Terminal, a Ferry to Korcula, and finally our host picked us up at Korcula’s port to take us to her rental at Mia’s Apartments. After all of that (about 12 hours in total!), we were more than happy to just rest and relax from the moment we settled in to the room, the only problem was we didn’t have anything to eat. With hunger leading us, we found a small seafood shack near old town before calling it a night.

The next morning we awoke to the most incredible sea views and the sun rising over the mountains of the mainland of Croatia. Whitney even stretched out to one of her favorite yoga videos on our private terrace. It was the perfect start to our vacation from travelling.

Soon after, we made our way into old town, about a 20 minute walk, to stroll the narrow pathways. Whitney had eyed out a chalkboard sign showing “American breakfast” when we were in search of dinner the night before, so we knew where we would start our day. After savoring the bacon and eggs that we missed from home, we could finally enter the city walls to check it out. It’s always intriguing to wander through old towns and imagine what life was like so many years ago. One interesting story about Korcula is that they claim Marco Polo was born on this tiny island, which is an unsettled dispute with the people of Venice, Italy where he spent most of his life.

Our good friends Liz and Nate mentioned renting a boat to do a little island hopping when they had passed through this area and encouraged us to do the same. Before we left town we reserved a boat for the following day, grabbed a few groceries and made our way back home for a late lunch. From there we walked down to a tiny beach to catch some late afternoon rays and swim a little in the cool sea. As usual I was in the water within minutes of setting our things down on shore.

Creating a romantic evening, I pan fried a little calamari as appetizer and a tasty fish filet to wind down the night. Had it not been for the mosquitos that were waiting for Whitney, we would have set the table on our terrace, but we still enjoyed dinner looking out the sliding glass doors overlooking the bay.

The next morning I put together another perfect meal while Whitney was making yoga a part of her routine. Avocado toast, mixed fruit, and instant cappuccinos made for the perfect breakfast before heading into town and out to sea on our boat rental.

Nearing the boat rental shop, I noticed the wind was really blowing and the sea splashing onto the docks every few minutes. We ended up waiting a little while for the wind to die down a little and were eventually able to take the boat out for the day.

With a little warning from the rental shop about what to do if stopped by the local “boat police,” we headed off in search of a calm area to anchor. I can’t say the sea was calm yet, but we were able to find an area to anchor hidden from the wind and waves. As soon as the anchor splashed into the water so did I! It was a little chilly, but instantly reminded me we were on vacation from our vacation. Whitney eventually made it into the water before we both laid out on the boat to soak in the sun’s rays.

After the wind died down a little we began to venture around a few of the islands. One island in particular has an old convent on the island as well as a few hiking trails. We tied up there for a bit, considered taking a short hike, but instead followed a huge deer along the shoreline…yes, I said a deer. Actually it was a buck that thought he’d take a stroll past all the buildings and up to an old basketball court. He really paid us no attention whatsoever and seemed content posing for pictures as I did my best to sneak along behind him.

After the deer trotted back into the woods we headed back to the boat to cruise to another island. Cruising along cautiously I noticed another boat heading in the same direction not far behind us. I eased off the throttle and over to the side of the channel hoping that the other boat would cruise on by…little did I know this was the person I had been avoiding all afternoon. The lovely patrol officer pulls up at our side, ties a couple ropes and makes his requests for license and registration.

“Sure…I have the registration papers right here…” I slowly let out. “I think it’s all in here,” I said handing him the yellow envelope from the rental company.

“Ok, and your boating license?” he asked.

Knowing very well what he was asking I provide, “Oh, yeah I actually left it in the hotel room,” with the most honest expression I could. (Mom would be so proud).

He responds, “oh well, if you don’t have a license its 800 Kunas, but if you are telling me that you have one but it is not with you then it is only 50 Kunas…so which is it?”

“Yeah, I have one, but its back in the hotel room. I cant believe I forgot to bring it!”

After we look at each other a moment, he looks down and begins writing the ticket for failure to show a boating license for 50 Kunas (about 7 USD).

As we begin to go our separate ways I inquire, “are there any more of you out here today?”

“It’s only me, you’re good until morning,” he replies before speeding off to stop the next boat.

From there, we were free to explore without hiding from anyone anymore. I cruised out much further and without any fear. It was well worth the small fine.

 

The air cooled as evening approached and we headed home before dark to put together another romantic dinner for two.

For our final day in Korcula we really had no plans. We woke up early to another gorgeous day. I served up another tasty breakfast complete with more sliced fruit than two people can handle and gladly shared the sea views with each other. Yeah, we were off to a good start for sure.

After breakfast, we decided to walk back into old town to wander around again. It was nearly empty on this day which made it even more intriguing as we passed by the array of restaurants and shops. Hoping to have a drink or two on the top of one of the fortress corners of the city walls, we learned that it doesn’t open until mid-afternoon. The unfortunate circumstances of a late opening was easily remedied by the small beach only a few yards away. We are beach bums at heart, so of course we weren’t phased.

Eventually we made our way up to the top of the fortress for a few drinks, but ended up only being able to afford a single cocktail each. I quickly sipped away my virgin pina colada, so good, while Whitney slowly while almost needing to hold her nose tried her best to finish the less than tasty gasoline type cocktail she ordered. It was a nice atmosphere, but drinks not so much.

We headed home from there to clean up before making our way to dinner at a small family owned seafood restaurant our host recommended. It was excellent and located right in the center of old town. It was so good I don’t even remember the name…oops. Either way, it was a perfect cap to the end of our stay.

Overall, Korcula was a very laid back destination. It had the perfect mix of activities for our vacation from months on the road. If we were to return we would still include a stop here; we could have also squeezed in a day trip to the more popular island of Hvar as we had first planned, but at the end of the day we were just too tired and decided to include Hvar next time! Our most enjoyable experience was cruising about in our own boat for the day and would recommend this to any and everyone who has the chance to visit the Croatian islands. Just remember your boating license if you have one!

Back to the mainland now to explore the Old City of Dubrovnik.

-Jeremy

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