I love beaches. I love the ocean’s ebb and flow—how it brings ocean life to land and takes a little bit of land back to the ocean. I love the roar of the waves crashing, knocking you off your feet, reminding you that you’re a guest, not only in the water, but also on the earth. These are my experiences of Florida’s Atlantic coastline.
A few years ago, I learned that not all beaches are the same, even in Florida. For example, on the Gulf of Mexico side, it’s so quiet, you can hear others’ conversations in the water, while you’re sitting on the sand. Conversely, if you visit the Keys, it’s almost impossible to swim in the water due to the seaweed; it covers the ocean floor like a thick, slimy carpet.
The purpose of this long introduction is to say…I know my beaches. But nothing could’ve prepared me for the experience Dwight gave me for my birthday—visiting Croatia’s beaches.
Like the Keys, Split is a port city and includes a group of islands. On a small strip of the Adriatic Sea, cruise ships and other commercial and personal boats line up for passengers to embark and disembark. Across the street, there are shops, restaurants, and bars. This part was familiar.
What’s different is that Split is surrounded by mountains. The surrealness of the mountains resembled a backdrop you might choose for a photoshoot. I’m not sure if it’s because of how the sky hits the mountains, how the peaks and valleys convex and concave, or how the trees intersperse with the rocks, but the mountains have a one-dimensional, unreal look. No cellphone or professional camera I used could capture what I saw.
Split is a European city, so it has palaces, cathedrals, and ruins. However, the city has capitalized on one of the palaces (and now ruins). Inside, Dwight and I enjoyed a couple drinks, and around eight at night, there’s a dance party a few meters away from the Mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.
Remember, Split is a port city. You go there on your way to somewhere else. Our “somewhere else” was Hvar, one of several Croatian islands. To get there, we had to take an hour-and-a-half, car-ferry ride.
After the ferry ride, and after a twisty-turny, night drive through the mountains, we arrived at our resort: Podstine.
The view of the Adriatic Sea from the Podstine was picturesque. It was literally something you see on the travel network or on websites. The sea was a crystal clear, cobalt blue, with rocks of varied shapes and sizes. It was inviting. But it was cold. As a Floridian, I know that seventy-degree weather is not beach weather. I was also looking for the ease into the water situation that Florida’s beaches offer. You know…a little bit of sand that eventually turns into water, that eventually leads to a deeper part of the ocean. But there was none. European protocol is to dive off a rock or slippery metal ladder. I wasn’t up for either one of those choices, but day one, I did dip my toes in and watch others enjoy their dives and swims.
The next day, Dwight and I found a quaint, local, family-style beach called Soline on Vrboska, an island approximately twenty minutes away. Again, the water begged me to get in. The mountain view was idyllic, but there was a new problem. Croatian beaches are not sandy; they’re rocky. Rocks line the beach. Rocks lead into the beach. Rocks are in the water. And it was still cold.
Two things happened that allowed us to enter the water: first, I saw a couple of women who kept their Birkenstocks and water shoes on. Duh! I thought; next, a friendly bartender helped us.
“Put your legs in, then your torso, then your arms. The back is the worst part,” he warned.
I kept on my flip-flops; Dwight followed the bartender’s instructions; and we successfully enjoyed the Adriatic Sea for fifteen minutes…because it was cold!
If you’re able to visit this area, I’d suggest booking a tour to see the Blue Caves and the Green Caves. Apparently, it’s the thing to do here. Due to the windy weather, our tour was cancelled. I’d also recommend coming during July or August, which is a warmer season, because whether you dip your toes or your entire body, you want to be able to get in the water.
Overall, I’m overjoyed about this experience. Visiting these beaches allowed me to see how people do things in another part of the world, even if it’s just understanding that everyone doesn’t mean the same thing when they say, “go to the beach” 😉
2 thoughts on “Croatian Beaches”
Your pictures are beautiful! That ocean blue is so bright! Also I would be scared to jump off a metal ladder or rock too . My last time I jumped off a rock was near one of lakes here , and ai was like why did I do that 😂.
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Who said I was scared 🧐 just kidding. I was scared af 🤣🤣🤣 it looked like an awful idea.
And thank you about the photos. I think one of them is a stock photo, but the coal and looks just like this.
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