DON’T TRIP! is a new series in which I aim to provide straightforward answers to your travel-related woes.
I’m hoping to go to Croatia in the third week of May. I’ve researched Split and Dubrovnik as the beaches and buildings look nice, but any other city recommendations would be lovely. I’d also appreciate any advice on accommodation for two (something nice and well-located, that won’t break the bank) plus chill things to do, places to see and a decent vegetarian restaurant would be great!
First off: nice call on Croatia. With its clear waters, perfect weather and historic cities, it makes for a pretty perfect holiday destination. The hard part - as you’ve clearly found - is choosing which part to visit. Both Split and Dubrovnik are beautiful port towns, but the latter is smaller and more quaint, albeit with a lot more cruise-shipping tourists. If you opted for Split, you could take a boat to the gorgeous neighbouring islands of Hvar and Vis, while Dubrovnik offers stunning ancient architecture and access to the picturesque Dalmatian coast - try a day’s boat trip to nearby Brac Island while you’re there. I’d also look into the northern peninsula of Istria, which has a wealth of amazing restaurants, medieval towns, and a very chic city in the form of buzzy Rovinj. Decisions, decisions…
Luckily, there are lots of affordable places to stay once you’ve made your choice. In Dubrovnik, consider self-catering in the stylish Bijele Apartments, which are located right in the heart of the Old Town. In Split, the super-cool Divota Apartment Hotel offers a mix of studio apartments and well-appointed rooms, many of which come with their own terrace areas and balconies.
If you visit Hvar then try to spend a night in trendy Hvar Town, which is dotted with hip hotels like the Amfora offering luxury resort-style accommodation at budget boutique prices. The theme continues in Istria, where you could stay at the five-star design hotel Lone - pictured above - for well under £100 a night.
Now for the food predicament. Finding dedicated vegetarian restaurants in such a meat-loving part of Eastern Europe will be a struggle, but if you do opt for Dubrovnik then be sure to check out Nishta, where a Swiss-Croatian couple serve up inventive veggie fusion dishes at very reasonable prices. Given Croatia’s mediterranean climate, there’s likely be an abundance of fresh vegetable side dishes on most menus, as well as vegetarian-friendly Croatian specialities such as the swiss chard pie Soparnik. If in doubt, head to one of the many local markets and bakeries to stock up on your own fruit, vegetables, bread and cheese for beach picnics and snacks (this is actually a good thing to do whether you’re a vegetarian or not!)
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