We have travelled extensively through the fascinating mainland and the magnificent islands of Greece and each place has its unique charm. There is one common denominator and that is the characteristic hospitality of this welcoming country. We found Skiathos just as receptive and, even at the very end of the busy season, the locals greeted us like long lost family members. This is also an island blessed with stunning beaches and great food so if it’s a relaxing, indulgent, short break you are looking for, Skiathos is high on our list of recommendations.
It was our second visit to Dubrovnik’s majestic Old Town and we were still very much enchanted by this walled city with its cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, churches supporting ancient bell towers and a feast of historic architecture, overlooking the sapphire blue of the Adriatic. Our first visit was for one day as part of a cruise itinerary and, during that brief encounter, we only had time to walk the wall and a short stop at the beach.
We have a suggestion to add to your bucket list, a visit to the stunning island of Korčula in Croatia. Described to us as a ‘mini-Dubrovnik’, Korčula has all the hallmarks of a fortified medieval city, with historic stone walls and soaring towers, it is more like a Game of Thrones movie set than real life. The town also has a 15th century Cathedral, ancient squares, narrow streets and laneways which today provide sanctuary to small, cosy restaurants and quaint shops, appealing to those with a curiosity for exquisite jewellery, unique souvenirs and fine food.
We sailed into the Croatian island of Hvar to find a small piece of Adriatic summer paradise. The port town of Hvar is a haven for luxury super yachts, sailboats and powerboats and even outboard dingys that you can rent and play captain for a day. We were impressed by the paved marble, traffic-free waterfront that gives the town a sense of historic opulence along with its grand main square and iconic Renaissance Cathedral. The ancient fortress looms high above the old town and the intriguing narrow stone streets are filled with smart, small shops, restaurants and bars.
The coastal resort town of Bol on the Croatian island of Brač is the perfect place to spend a few quiet, relaxing days. We arrived by catamaran from Split, the journey taking about an hour. Don't take the ferry as it lands you on the wrong side of Brač and it is a 70 kilometre bus or taxi ride across to Bol, which is definitely the place to be. We timed our stay in Bol for mid September, when temperatures were around 24 degrees. The water was starting to get a little cooler but the bonus was there were fewer people, no queueing for restaurants, no fighting for sun beds and plenty of accommodation available at a reasonable cost.
Last time we ventured to Split, situated on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, was on a cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation with Pied Piper Travel. This time we are revisiting for a couple of days before taking the catamaran to Brač. We stayed in the old town which we highly recommend. It’s not to be missed, featuring ancient stone buildings, narrow alleys, squares filled with restaurants and bars and, at the heart of this stunning old town, is Diocletian's Palace, built in the 4th century AD.