One of our travel specialists, Tracey, recently enjoyed a small group tour with Back-Roads Touring, exploring Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast - here's her travel diary blog
Saturday 3rd September 2016
Today I woke up early and all excited – I don’t get many chances for myself and the hubby to go away without the children, so it felt like Christmas! One of the best things with Back-Roads Touring is that the flights can be arranged from your own local area, rather than travelling to one of the major airports.
We arrived into Split, where we had arranged a ‘Meet & Greet’ through Back-Roads Touring. We were whisked off to our one night pre-stay at the Hotel Palace De’Rossie in a charming village called Trogir before the Tour and were amazed how quick it was between landing and getting into our Hotel room. The staff were incredibly friendly and couldn’t do enough for you. We started to explore this laid-back village today before starting the Tour the next day.
Sunday 4th September 2016
This morning we had breakfast in the courtyard before meeting our group. We moved after breakfast to the delightful Hotel Pasike, which was 100m away. The group was small with a mixture of Americans, New Zealanders & Australians, couples and single travellers.
We began with a walking tour around Trogir, and then a visit to Split where we visited the famous Diocletian Palace, which was built in the 4th Century, where we had fun with Roman Warriors. The day was eventful and we spent the evening with the rest of the group having a lovely meal tasting the lovely local Croatian dishes with plenty of wine! We all certainly bonded straight away.
Monday 5th September 2016
This was the day I was waiting for – waterfalls and wine tasting!
Today was a full day travelling to the famous KRKA National park where the waterfalls were amazing – it was a simply stunning park with plenty to do, we decided here to go away from the group and meet up with them later so we could go our own speed and enjoy a swim in the waterfalls. After the energetic day, on our route back to Trogir we went to a Winery for some well deserved wine tasting & nibbles to eat. I now know how to grow my own grapes for my personal wine. Onboard the mini bus back to our hotel we went around the bus to tell everyone about ourselves so by the end of day 2 there wasn’t much we didn’t know about each other. The evening was spent at leisure.
Tuesday 6th September – Wednesday 7th September 2016
Today we left Split behind as we took a boat to the charming island of Korcula (known as the birth place of Marco Polo) for a 2 night stay in Hotel Korcula. Our room was overlooking the water’s edge. Our bedroom was a 2 story; upstairs was our bedroom like an inside Treehouse – beautiful. I must say by this point we had been so spoilt with these Boutique Hotels, the selection was perfect. We had a walking tour once we had settled into our rooms. Tonight was fun as Back-Roads Touring had arranged for us to have a cooking class, where we learnt to make our own macaroni & octopus salads.
Our second day in Korcula we had to ourselves, so I arranged a private boat to take us around the small islands and some of the group decided to come with us, and we had local caught fresh fish for dinner on one of the local islands. That evening we climbed up the tiny Bell Tower for the fabulous views & enjoyed cocktails on the roof of one of the turrets. It was a brilliant idea, although my drink was pulled up from the ground in a basket, as there’s no room for a bar up there – luckily I didn’t spill any!
Thursday 8th September 2016
As we say goodbye to Korcula we head back to the ferry for a transfer over the Adriatic waters to the mainland again to travel down the Dalmatian coast to Montenegro. En route we met a family who owned their own Winery/Hotel. It was an amazing place which is where we had lunch today, and NO I didn’t say no to the wine (I was a happy bunny!).
As we travelled over the border south through the peninsula into Montenegro we were greeted by small speedboats, which is how we arrived at the charming UNESCO world heritage town of Kotor - racing through the waters.
After a long day we arrived in the town of Kotor for a tour of the cobbled streets. Kotor is a medieval walled town, and as we walked through the archway of what looked like a fort – WOW – a medieval village, I felt as though I had gone back in time, and straight in front of us was our beautiful Boutique Hotel – The Vardar - for one night. Tonight we went out for a meal with some good friends we had made in the group which was – YES, you guessed right – a FRESH fish meal, while listening to Jazz music in the background. Great food, and a great ambience!
Friday 9th September 2016
Today we left Kotor to travel back up the Adriatic Coastline to Dubrovnik where we stayed one night just outside the centre – Hotel Zagreb. Oh my, this hotel was so pretty!
Before arriving at the hotel, we went into Dubronik centre where we walked along the medieval streets of the Old Town where we saw the Franciscan Monastery, Sponza Palace, the Cathedral Of Our Lady, and, of course, the Old Port before we went on our unforgettable Journey up to the top of Srd Hill on a cable car. The views over the old city were breath-taking. We even had time after walking the cobbled streets to walk the wall – It is a MUST – enjoying more amazing views, and at the end we had a good pint of local beer. Onwards to our hotel where we then got ready, chilled to then depart for a true Croatian Meal at a local family house in the hills. Their food was cooked by coal, the old fashioned way. Brilliant – and, again, plenty of wine and local music. What a brilliant last night to end the trip. We had an awesome group and the Tour guide was so informative and I have kept in touch with her on facebook as well as the rest of the group.
Saturday 10th September 2016
Most of the group were staying at this hotel for another 1 or 2 nights but for me it was my last day, and also it was the last day of the official Tour.
After having a beautiful breakfast we headed to the port for a boat excursion around the local islands. The trip took us to the 3 largest Islands – Kolocep, Sipan & Lopud- and we had a choice of grilled chicken or fish for lunch on the boat.
Our Tour ended back at our hotel which is where we sadly said goodbye to everyone. It was sad as we had all become very good friends and became a extended family looking after one another through the tour – one of the greatest advantages of a small group.
If you want a Tour that is personalised, different, small, and unique, then this Tour is for you. Back-Roads Touring have picked selected Boutique hotels as well as the perfect central areas for you to stay. Everything went to plan, no hiccups along the route. There is a lot of walking involved, but to see this amazing Tour at its best, it’s worth it. My husband and I had an amazing time, and the experience was something I don’t think I will ever forget. I have already planned to go back to Trogir with the family in the future for a long weekend. Back-Roads Touring gave me a taster of the areas where I can go back again myself.
Well Done Melinda & Thank You Back-Roads Touring
If you would like to travel with Back-Roads Touring, book a tour with us today!
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