7 Reasons to Stay a While in Trogir
Have you ever been on a vacation and wished that you had stayed in one or two places just a little longer?
Trogir is one of those places.
Why tourists choose a typical fast-paced holiday
Visitors often come to Croatia or even just Dalmatia with the intention of visiting an ambitious list of towns and islands. Many feel as if they need to experience as much as possible within a short period of time.
I can relate, and this is a good way to get an overview of the region. I get it. Sometimes it’s exciting to get out of the house or flat and explore. Travel itself can be exhilarating, especially if you see the same place day in and day out.
Other reasons why many are drawn to fast-paced, multi-destination tours include:
• A phenomenon called FOMO (fear of missing out) This includes wanting to capture every moment on camera in order to show, or prove, we have been somewhere, either to ourselves or others.
• Lack of time, and lack of funds. This can lead to a strong desire to get more for your money regardless of whether or not you actually have a good time.
• Unfamiliarity with a region. While we may understand the impracticality of trying to do too much in our own territory, it becomes tempting to fall into the trap of reading a map as a tourist who doesn’t have a sense of a particular region.
This is why driving to every city in Europe in 2 weeks seems like a great idea. (But generally is not such a great idea)
These are common reasons why Americans, who are also unfamiliar with the geography of southern Europe, opt to try to cram in too much into a stay in Croatia.
How Long “Should” I Stay and Where “Should” I Go?
One of the main questions tourists in Croatia ask is where to visit and how many days they “should” spend in a particular destination. When this question is asked, there will be as many answers as there are travellers. It can be a bit overwhelming.
My advice: Relax, take a deep breath, and read on..
Dalmatia on a Deeper Level
For many, a week or 2 in Dalmatia just doesn’t feel like enough. A few days in each destination will allow you to skim the surface, but not really experience it on a deeper level, on its own terms, outside of the context of tourism.
With a packed itinerary, it’s also all easy to become weary of the “chores” of traveling, such as waiting for transport, hauling luggage, sitting in traffic, checking in and out of accommodations, packing and unpacking, and the travel itself. Some are even a bit unrealistic about how many places they can visit in a week or two.
For veteran travelers, the actual “traveling” is something we may prefer to keep to a minimum.
For this reason, even for a stay of only a week, I’m a big fan of staying in one place for more than just a few days.
For your first trip to Croatia, an overview or “sampler” may be perfect. After that, it’s common to feel an intense desire to return and order the “full course.” It’s also a good feeling to be free from of spending too much time in transit. Who wants to spend half of their holiday in traffic in Split or an inefficient day spent waiting for boats?
Indeed, there’s something about Dalmatia that draws you back in. I couldn’t wait to experience it on a deeper level, at my own pace.
Craving a truly “authentic” Dalmatian experience?
You probably aren’t going to get a TRUE authentic experience on a whirlwind tour of the area. The pace here tends to be more relaxed, and more about “seizing the moment” rather than planning an itinerary down to the last detail.
I like to feel like I’m at home, and for me, this is best accomplished by staying as long as I can.
My top 7 reasons for staying in Trogir for more than just a few days:
1. Feeling “at home.” For some, the thrill of travel is a nice change of pace from the mundane. For others, (myself included) the pace of life can be a little stressful. The fact that so many decisions need to be made on the road (and that many things can go not quite as planned!) can make for a holiday or vacation that is more stressful than everyday life.
It’s wonderful to be able to “settle down” for a bit while still enjoying your adventure away from home. At Pape, you get this feeling. It really is like a “home away from home,” and is just like staying with a Croatian family.
2.Relaxing into the natural pace of Dalmatia, and enjoying it on its own terms. Your perception of time may change to match the pace of life here. If you truly want to escape the frantic pace of our modern lives, I recommend staying a while.
It can be deeply restorative to forget what time it is and to “reset” our natural rhythms. This takes time, certainly more than a few days.
Trogir has plenty of opportunities to relax into the natural pace. Whether it’s a walk in the old city, a trip to the market, or some time just relaxing on a beach, it’s easy to get used to the relaxed way of life here.
3. There is less pressure to enjoy. It just comes naturally. Have you ever gone to a place and found yourself feeling pressured to enjoy it while you can? You get off the bus, take a few selfies, stare at the place knowing that you have just an hour to take it all in before you need to get back on the bus, car, or boat to get to the next destination
I know that every time I visit the old city of Trogir, I find something new. I’m completely in the moment and not worried about where I need to be in the next hour or day
4. Less is more: You may actually miss out on more by moving around so much that you don’t have time to notice the things that really matter. For example, many tourists confess that their European vacation felt like a “blur” of historic sites, churches, and castles. These are all wonderful things, but there’s something about just absorbing the “vibe” of just one or two places that can create lasting memories on a whole new level.
If you are the type who likes to see what lies around the next bend or what interesting things may unfold by being curious and lingering for a while, you will probably find a richness and depth in your stay here that perhaps those who go at a fast pace will miss.
5. Serendipity and a chance to explore. even though Trogir is know as the city of a fleeting happy moment, these moments often happen when we slow down enough to allow them to happen. You can’t force it.
It’s when I haven’t been in a hurry that I meet someone who turns into a good friend or discover something new. You never know when these moments will come, so you have to “make room” for them!
6. It’s good for your health. Stress, whether directly or indirectly, is one of the main, if not THE main, contributor to disease and early death in our culture.
It may sound trite but I can attest to the magic of the Adriatic and the seaside lifestyle. I have never felt or looked better than when I had time to spend just relaxing, going for swim, meeting a friend for coffee, catching up on some reading, and eating a healthy dinner. And repeating this a few times!
At Pape, you can truly unwind and immerse yourself in a healthy lifestyle during your stay. Healthy, often organic food is available (including vegan, Paleo, and gluten-free) and the short walk to the beach for a swim is the perfect exercise.
Did you also know that learning a new language can keep your brain healthy? Taking the time to practice your Croatian skills will also open doors to a whole new level of experiencing Trogir. (And the rest of Croatia, too, of course!)
7. You can learn something new. Sign up for a class at Pape! Immerse yourself in Dalmatia by signing up for a painting workshop. Trogir has plenty of beautiful places to create your masterpiece! Or treat yourself to a Croatian cooking class or Creativity Workshop. (See what’s on the calendar this season)
So what’s the magic number of days to stay? That’s up to you and your own intuition.
Croatia has really captured my soul. It is becoming a home of sorts, and you too, may be drawn back to this place and want to stay a while.
Julie Odler is an American writer, digital marketing consultant for T&W marketing, and a former acupuncturist living in the Split/Trogir and Belgrade. She loves Croatia and writes about her experiences in her own blog, The Balkan Nomad.