Tag: Balkan region

Croatia – A Picture-Perfect Coastline

After visiting Slovenia, another Balkan region, Croatia, with a side-trip to Montenegro, was on my travel agenda this summer. The Dalmatian coast, with its many small bays, rugged rock formations and the green-blue Adriatic sea, is stunningly beautiful. Countless islands dot the waters just off the almost 400-kilometer-long coastline. The back country, in contrast, is as monotonous as the coastal landscape is impressive. After hours of meandering past wide valley meadows, rocky, scrub-covered hills, the occasional lone cypress and a few scattered villages, we decide to stick to the coastal roads. It’s difficult to get around in Croatia without a car, especially if you want to drive the back roads and not only to the next bay or nearest city. There are buses and they do have timetables, but this these are rarely adhered to and standing room in the overcrowded public transport is the norm. So rent a car – a small one is will do just nicely. On foot we check out all of the local rental companies in Dubrovnik, where our flight from Munich had landed the previous day. Ultimately we find what we are looking for at Sixt, which offers the most reasonable rates (275 € per week incl. insurance). Now we’re independent and mobile. By the way: Although it is part of the EU, the means of payment in Croatia is still the national currency (Kuna) as opposed to neighbouring Montenegro. It’s worth noting that since the mostly two-lane coastal roads are narrow and winding, journeys by car can take quite a bit longer than distances in kilometers would suggest. Hotels and their Star Ratings It pays to do a lot of research before choosing a hotel. Unless you’ve booked into a luxury chain such as the Hilton or Radisson, the star ratings aren’t much to go on. We opted for a four-star hotel in Zaton, about 9 kms from Dubrovnik. A big mistake! There was no minibar in the room and if, as was the case three times that week, the group of Chinese guests had attacked the buffet like a swarm of locusts by 7 a.m., there was no (at the best of times very meager) breakfast either. Things improved after a chat with the manager but even then, for a week we felt like we were in a training camp for hotel staff: Please try to clean the bathroom floor without leaving a smeary film; please replace the used up shower gel and soap (there was nothing else anyway), and in the mornings, no riding up and down in the lift with the staff on their various cleaning days.… weiterlesen

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