September 29th 2014

The coastline at Dubrovnik WITH a culture as diverse and colorful as its landscapes, Croatia celebrates the best of both worlds as a country on the cusp of central Europe and the Mediterranean. Visiting the beautiful city of Dubrovnik today, it is hard to believe it is the same walls that were blasted by shells in a bitter civil war less than a quarter of a century ago. In typical Croatian spirit, the spilled stone has been rebuilt and the iconic terracotta roofs replaced - it’s no accident that the country facing Italy across the Adriatic is proud to be know as ‘the Mediterranean as it used to be.’ With a heady mix of glamor, antiquity and authenticity, Dubrovnik is the perfect stepping off point; it’s city walls hiding sun-baked squares and tiny streets to explore. Take a boat and cruise to the islands known as the Elaphites, scattered in the sparkling sea. They are perfect hiking territory, as all but one of the islands is a no-go area for private vehicles. The scenic route alongside the coast and its string of beaches leads to the seaside town of Makarska. Take a boat from the pretty harbor to Brac, the largest island in central Dalmatia – the historic region of this part of Croatia - with sleepy villages dipping down to the sea and a dramatic landscape of plunging cliffs and cool pine forests. heading in to Bol Stonemasons took the radiant white Brac stone and used it to build the White House in Washington DC. While the glittering Croatian coast is hard to leave behind, take a ride inland and head down a trail through a gorge to find the remote and inspiring Blaca monastery and learn about the monks who for more than 400 years found spiritual fulfillment here as well as farming and producing fine olive oils, wines and honey from their bees. Back on the mainland, the vibrant city of Split surrounds the magnificent palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who built the shining white – and heavily fortified – edifice as his retirement home. The Old Town produces a host of surprises with a warren of houses, tenements, churches and chapels. Hungry for dinner after a day’s walking? Croatian cuisine will not disappoint. Increasingly recognized as offering some of Europe’s most interesting and delicious food, the mix of cultures brings the freshest of seafood, meat and vegetables with a twist. Excellent wines and oils come from the vines and olive groves that bask in the summer warmth. The Wayfarers Walk Leader Ante Batarelo agrees: ‘We always try to find something which is unique and authentic, something which is very specific for that area and one of the highlights of this Walk is definitely the cuisine.’ Watch our video of Ante talking about walking in Croatia here and visit our website for full Dalmatian Coast Walk details and departure dates.

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