fbpx

JOIN our family travel Facebook community run by travel experts – helping you to navigate Covid & holidaysJOIN NOW

An Amazing 2 Centre Family Holiday in Croatia

By Sally Bendall – 7th August 2021
2 centre family holiday in Croatia cavtat

An Amazing 2 Centre Family Holiday in Croatia

 

My youngest, Mack, had a smile a mile wide as he steered the boat around the headland and navigated us along the beautiful Brač coastline to a mooring outside the Konoba Vala restaurant in Bobovišća,  The harbour-master threw him down a rope, helped to get us moored securely and we hopped off for a spot of lunch.

Perfect, and a memory that will last a lifetime.

Our two-week, two-centre family holiday in Croatia was cram packed with amazing memories.

 

We really weren’t sure what to expect from a holiday in Croatia, but we fell in love with the place almost as soon as we stepped off the plane.

For many of us, the name Croatia may evoke ideas of a country that emerged, relatively recently, from a devasting conflict, and all the ugliness that is left behind after a hard-fought war, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Croatia is so completely, naturally beautiful that it takes your breath away! Pine forests run into hills and mountains, reminiscent of the north of Italy. Ancient walled cities with winding paved streets leading down to clear blue seas that have to be seen to be believed, with barely a McDonalds, KFC or Starbucks to be found!

 

As a first-time visitor I was smitten!

We had a two-centre holiday, one week self-catering in an apartment on the island of Brač and one week in the Hotel Croatia in Cavtat near Dubrovnik.

Brač

The white rock island of Brač is absolutely beautiful, and just a short ferry ride from the airport city of Split.

 We Stayed    Milna, a beautiful fishing village with lots of funky little bars and family run restaurants and the most amazing views from the Villa Milena apartments set on the hilltop looking down over the village and out to sea.

We Loved   Beach bar AURO, a funky beach bar with live music, and a bit of an Ibiza vibe, at Zlatni Rat. The cocktails were delicious, if a little on the pricey side, but coffees and soft drinks are about what you’d expect for such an incredible location, right on the beach.  As a customer you can freshen up in their private facilities, rather than use the public beach toilets.

Kids Favourite  The inflatable playground in the sea at Supetar.  Play all day for a few euro, relax on the loungers with an ice-cold drink from the kiosk. It’s also the perfect spot for a picnic and a good starting point for a walk around the headland and the unexpectedly beautiful mausoleum (bit weird I know, but it really is beautiful!)

Family Favourite  Hiring a boat for the day and sailing along the coastline, stopping to swim and picnic in the crystal clear waters

Don’t Miss Catching the ferry to Split for the day

 

We had our base in the idyllic fishing village of Milna, to the west of the island.  A picture postcard location, with lots of family run bars and shops, mooring for beautiful yachts, and some of the most amazing food served from waterside restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by.  It was a great base for exploring.

Zlatni Rat pebble beach near Bol was much recommended, it’s easily accessible using the bus service, but if you really want to get around the island, I’d recommend hiring a car.

Zlatni Rat is also known as the Golden Horn, a photo you probably recognise from Croatia travel adverts. It has a lovely relaxed feel, plenty of parking and an al fresco food court nestled into the pine trees with food stalls to suit everyone.  Add to that a handful of water sport opportunities and live music at the beach bars – recommend AURO – and you’ve got everything you need for a brilliant day out.

Among the other treasures that the island has to offer, the kids really enjoyed the inflatable play area on the beach in Supetar.  You can play all day for a reasonable price, and, in the way that most things seem to be on Brač, Renta Roberts is a super-friendly family run business.  It was the manager here that suggested we hire a small ‘licence not required’ boat for the day.  It turned out to be the highlight of the holiday!  It was a beautiful day and we spent our time whizzing up the coastline of the island, stopping to swim in tranquil bays along the way, eating our picnic and generally having a great time. With 3 kids at very different ages, it’s a rarity that we find something to suit everyone, but this seemed to hit the spot perfectly!

During our stay we made sure to spend a day in the ancient walled city of Split, easily accessible from the island as foot-passengers by ferry. A great place if you enjoyed Game of Thrones, as it was one of the filming locations, and there are plenty of tours and memorabilia for the dedicated fans.  Even if you’ve never seen an episode, the walled city with it’s winding streets and maze-like markets is a fascinating place.

I’d recommend a stay on Brač to anyone wanting to get away from it all and enjoy a relaxed holiday in unspoiled surroundings, and I would love to return sometime soon!

 

Cavtat, Dubrovnik

The time came to leave our little island paradise after a week and head to the second destination of our family holiday in Croatia; Cavtat, Dubrovnik. Just a short 230km drive down the coast, and through Bosnia & Herzegovina.

We Stayed  Hotel Croatia, a huge luxury hotel that describes itself as an ‘idyllic, design award-winning base from which to explore the regions historic charm’. The hotel is absolutely breath-taking, an impressive building set on a hilltop, looking out to the Adriatic on one side and the village of Cavtat on the other.

We Loved  Nishta, a funky little vegetarian café on Prijeko, towards the back of the walled city of Dubrovnik. This is a such a hidden gem, we had the most amazing food, even our meat eaters were happy and it was a wonderful spot from which to watch the rain! I’d recommend the bean burger with smoked tofu, it’s dreamy!

Kids Favourite. Jetski hire at the hotel, Jetskis are a great way to get out into the bay and great fun, adult supervision required.

Family FavouriteA day trip on the ferry into Dubrovnik, to pick up some souvenirs. May I recommend Atelier Peridot for cute trinkets and handmade jewellery made from the white stone of Brač.

Don’t Miss.  The farmers market in Cavtat, it’s a bustling hive of activity and a great place to sit and watch the world go by with a beer, or my choice, an ice-cold Sommersby Watermelon cider! I have it on good authority that the pancakes sold here are ‘AMAZING’ – Mack, aged 10.

 

We had chosen Hotel Croatia as a relaxing setting to lounge by the pool and soak up the sun, with only one planned excursion – a boat trip into Dubrovnik for the day. Hotel Croatia is absolutely perfect for that.

The breakfast setting is an airy dining hall, although if you time it right you can get a table on the outdoor terrace overlooking the town, a lovely way to start the day!

There is a well-designed outdoor swimming pool as well as an indoor pool that opens out onto a bar area. The hotel has so many terraces and verandas with loungers and parasols, it’s a sun-worshippers paradise!

For me, the jewel in the crown of this fabulous hotel is the ‘beach’ on the Adriatic side. It is not exactly a beach, but a purpose-built platform for swimmers to get into the water. The platform is accessed by walking down the stone steps carved into the steep side of the cliff, (this is not accessible for wheelchair users or those with difficulty walking). Every five or ten steps, there is a little ledge carved out of the stone, or set in concrete. Each of these platforms has two or three chairs and a beach umbrella which gives you your own private spot for sunbathing overlooking the sea. In times where maintaining a social distance is so important, the little areas are just perfect and the views are absolutely spectacular, particularly at sunset! A note of caution, this would not be ideal for toddlers or very young children, as there is only a rope fence along the edge of each platform.

The hotel runs a shuttle service down the hill to Cavtat, and from there we took a boat excursion to Dubrovnik. We arrived by boat at the city walls – fans may recognise it as the location for ‘Kings Landing’ in Game of Thrones, a very dramatic start!  Through the gates into Luža Square and from there we wandered the beautiful stone streets and alleyways packed with shops, bars and cafes and worn smooth from centuries of feet.

I really feel like I could have spent a lot longer in Dubrovnik, every corner seemed to have another fascinating building or church, even dungeons and underground chambers! Nonetheless we had to leave, we caught the last boat back to Cavtat and Hotel Croatia having had a wonderful day.

I was sad when the time came to leave Croatia, it is such a welcoming place with a fascinating history, and I hope to return in the not-too-distant future.

Thanks for reading,

Sally x

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

girl about leeds sally bendall
Share it on your own social media channels or with friends

JOIN OUR WOMEN-ONLY TRAVEL CLUB

Become a Girl About Travel Club member and benefit from our travel concierge service, itineraries, rewards, offers, discounts, resources, retreats and more!

Featured Articles & Sponsored Posts