Honeymooning in Croatia – part 1

Croatia has been on my holiday wishlist for a long time and I don’t remember exactly what it was that first sparked my interest, but I can thank the location scouts for Game of Thrones for helping me convince Paul that it was the place that we should go for our honeymoon. After initially planning and pricing up a 2 week tour of some of the bigger, more well known islands, we balked at the cost put forward by the travel agent and instead trawled through discount websites to find a more purse-friendly option. We knew we wanted to be by the coast and within a decent distance of Dubrovnik, and settled on a tiny village called Mlini, which has the added convenience of being just a few miles from the airport. Bonus points for short transfers. Although we were being budget conscious, it was our honeymoon and so we rationalised booking a rather nice looking hotel on a b&b basis rather than going self-catering or Airbnb-ing it.

I could write a whole other blog post (and probably will, at some point) about the frustrations of travelling outside the country when you live in the far south west, but let’s skim over the 5 hour drive to Gatwick for now…we arrived after a short 2h40 flight to 27C heat and not a cloud in the sky. Our booked transfer turned out to be just the two of us, and the view that came into sight as we rounded a corner and came on to the coast road looking out over the Dalmatian Coast is one I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Towering mountains on one side of the road, sweeping bays and pretty villages on the other, topped by the bright turquoise of the Adriatic Sea. Our first time abroad in 3 years, and my goodness was it worth every penny.

Mlini itself is tiny and merges into the neighbouring village of Srebreno, with a handful of restaurants and hotels, kiosks, shops, churches and bars. The main attraction though is the perfectly clear, calm, warm sea, which was full from morning til night of adults and children alike. This is not the place to go if you’re not confident in the sea (*looks at self*) as quite frankly, there’s not a lot else to do! But the options are so varied, even I found something to enjoy…

Our hotel, the Astarea, was perfectly fine, even if our room was not quite the ‘superior double’ we’d booked. In fact, it didn’t even have a double bed when we first arrived..but that was quickly sorted. There was an indoor, outdoor, and kids pool, gym,  spa area where you could book treatments, yoga, pilates and aqua aerobics on offer each day, and an elegant (and air-conned) bar area to escape to when 35C got too much. In fact the only thing we really missed was some evening entertainment; while we were thankful to miss out on any over-enthusiastic reps forcing us to agadoo, it would have been nice to have had something going on. Another bonus – the hotel has a shuttle bus service to take you to nearby towns for very reasonable prices, and both times we used it we ended up in our own private car which was very appreciated!

During the day the area is lively with holidaymakers crowding on any available surface to soak up the sun, and moving to the shade of the bars and restaurants as the heat beats down. The harbours at Mlini and Srebreno are constantly buzzing with water taxis, jet skis, kayaks and anything else that floats.

I’ll go over what we actually did in following posts, but for now, here are some tiny photos…

 

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