Croatia joined the EU Monday, July 1 with celebrations across the country. Thousands gathered in the town squares for midnight fireworks and singing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Croatia is still off the beaten path for most travellers — but not for wealthy Italians, just across the Adriatic, who’ve summered there for generations.
We’ve welcomed travelers to lovely Croatian towns and villas for years. And, as always, our Local Hosts provide our unique hospitality. In fact, just a few days ago we received a letter from Dorothy Whelan, a repeat Hosted Villas guest, following her return from Villa Spalato. Here’s what she had to say:
“First, WE LOVE CROATIA. I am so glad we visited. The Dalmatian coast is jaw-droppingly beautiful, especially the islands. We visited Brac and Hvar, and had some truly memorable wine tastings, especially in Brac. I’ve never been to a wine tasting where the winemaker provided an abundance of food that she had made herself (bread, cheese, tapenades, etc.). Amazing and humbling. We were not able to visit Vis this time around because the sea was too rough. However, we definitely want to go there in the future.
Petra (local host) is a gem. She took very good care of our group, especially when she improvised the trip to Brac at the last minute when we were unable to go to Vis, as originally planned. The skipper she hired for the boat trips (Tony) was great, as were the guides on Brac and Hvar. The chef, Tatjana, prepared a memorable meal for us on Sunday night. Wow. I look forward to reading the article in Saveur about her when it comes out.
Villa Spalato is a beautiful house in a great location. I don’t ordinarily choose houses that are so elaborate. However, this was a special occasion and the house worked well for our multi-generational group. Most importantly, it gave everyone the opportunity for private time. And it was lovely to be able to look out onto the sea every day.
I think more people, especially Americans, should consider visiting Croatia and discovering for themselves how beautiful it is. On the other hand, I hope that an influx of tourists doesn’t change it so that it starts to look generic—St. Tropez east filled with expensive boutiques. That would be a real shame.”
The verdict is in: Croatia is the future of Mediterranean travel.