Authentic Croatian experience
Still wondering where to go in Croatia? Or what it means to have an “authentic Croatian” experience?
From having coffee to odd adventures, from simple pleasures to honestly enjoying being a tourist in the best sense of the word, I’m going to start sharing with you what this means to me.
But ultimately, it’s up to you.
All of my authentic, cool, mundane, wonderful, playful, adventurous, and unusual things to do in Croatia. Some may be secret or exclusive, but some are completely accessible to all and free or at very low cost.
It will change from season to season.
This month (October) I’ve experienced, and want to share:
• Late season swimming in Čiovo, (Okrug Gornije) with the hardcore locals
• Enjoying the (relatively) empty streets of old cities again, and some delightful off-season sightseeing in Trogir
• Trogir Cathedral
• St. Dominic monastery in Trogir
• Getting lost in the old city of Šibenik
• St. James cathedral in Šibenik
• Klapa music
• Photography and capturing meaningful moments
• Babić wines
• Grilled food, Dalmatian style.. at home.
..and I admit it, some great photo ops for Game of Thrones filming locations in Croatia, which sounds super touristy, but in reality, is kind of fun! I did it all without a tour, but who knows, in the future I will be looking for some good tours to check out.
Let’s start with..
It’s also the perfect place to hang out with a special someone. See? This place isn’t just for oddballs like me.
You may also be in for another treat, if you are on a guided tour or are willing to have a coffee in the square. Unfortunately I didn’t capture the moment, but there was a group of singers performing traditional Klapa music at the end of each tour on the day I visited, in the main square. Klapa music is the essence of Dalmatia, which traditionally, features an acapella group of singers.
There are newer bands that blend popular music with traditional Klapa. I’m becoming a fan.
I was surprised by some of the negative reviews about this place.. that it “wasn’t all that” and that it was under renovation. Personally, I saw a peaceful and beautiful place, with evidence of the past right there, where I could touch it. You simply can’t compare the beauty of a humble monastery with a gothic cathedral. They are both beautiful in their own way.
I visited at the very end of the season, and saw maybe one other person. I’m not sure about peak tourist season. It typically closes in mid-October.
Come and see for yourself, and perhaps linger for a bit before or after you make your obligatory daily cafe visit.. without it, you simply cannot have that authentic Croatian experience!
Here I also found the most striking image of the Virgin Mary I have ever seen, and another surprise.. I almost don’t want to spoil it, but there are a few “pets” in the monastery that I could have watched for hours.
Afterwards, you can have a coffee and watch boats on the Riva and take in more of the Venetian architecture afterwards.. or walk towards the Kamerlengo Castle.