September 23, 2017

mljet island, croatia

Being back in drizzly England whilst editing holiday photos always gives me major post sunshine blues. I'm already mentally planning next summer to get me through the winter.

Mljet island takes just under an hour to reach on a speedy catamaran from Dubrovnik, with boats going every day and to both ports at each end of the island. Whoever reads this post is being let in on a close guarded secret, as the island is completely unspoilt by tourists and you're left feeling more like one of the locals. The island is said to be the greenest in Croatia, and by some the whole of Europe, which I can absolutely get behind.

We stayed at Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, run by a traditional Croatian family that make you feel as if you're being welcomed into their home from day one. I ended up making best friends with their little girl and wolf-like dog which kept me entertained on most evenings at the beach.

Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet Saplunara Beach, Croatia
Saplunara Beach, Croatia
Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet


Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet

As the apartment is set up for self-catering, we stocked up on vegan essentials at bio&bio in Dubrovnik beforehand. This made the stay a trillion times cheaper as we cooked rather than eating out for most evenings. We even made the genius move of cooking up hotdogs and getting fries to go with them from the cafe bar up the road. 


Hiring a car is essential if you want to explore the island properly. There's just one main road that goes from one end to the other taking around an hour or so, and you barely pass another car along the way. We hired a Suzuki Vitara jeep from Mini Brum, the only car rental place on the island, for five days which came in at around £220. There's no extra deposit fees or insurance costs to pay which is ideal if you're short on cash. 

Mini Brum Car Rental, Mljet
Mljet Island, Dubrovnik
Pomena, Mljet
Pomena, Mljet
Mljet National Park, Croatia

POMENA

Mljet National Park, Croatia
Mljet National Park, Croatia
Mljet National Park, Croatia

MLJET NATIONAL PARK 

Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet


Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet
Boutique Pine Tree Apartments, Mljet

Until next time Croatia!
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September 20, 2017

hotel kompas, dubrovnik

Close proximity to Dubrovnik, check. Next to the beach, check. Chic minimalist design, check. Indoor spa and outside pool, check. I bring to you Hotel Kompas. At check in, we were treated to a room upgrade and spent the first evening indulging on truffle pasta, french fries and beer. That's when you know you've arrived. 

We'd booked a classic room at their lowest rate, and ended up with a superior sea view room instead. Kaching. The room has a spacious yet cosy feel and plenty of storage to keep two week's worth of clothes in. The beds are soft and doughy, which in combination with the blackout curtains make for a glorious mid-afternoon, too much sun and over indulged on pizza nap. 


The rooftop bar serves delicious cocktails throughout the day and night, and is the perfect place to chill out watching sunset. There's also a bar area on the ground floor if you like to watch the world go by. 


I would most definitely visit Hotel Kompas again and recommend checking it out if you're thinking of taking a trip to Dubrovnik. We paid around £240 per night as the weak pound ended up boosting up the price by 10% from the time we booked earlier in the year to when we arrived. I'd still say that's pretty good value and would be happy to pay that same rate again, room upgrade aside. 

My final holiday post all about Mljet island is on the way soon! 
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September 08, 2017

dubrovnik, croatia

Earlier on in the year, I had decided that after not going on holiday last summer I couldn't let another pass by without a trip away. If only for the sake of a golden tan. Back in 2015, I visited the north of Croatia (blog post here) for the first time and fell completely in love with the country so returned to the south this time around. I'll pretend my Game of Thrones obsession had nothing to do with sparking the idea to visit Dubrovnik, and that I'm far too cultured to be swayed by a tv series. 

I booked with Expedia earlier on in the year and as I'd saved to pay up at the hotel was stung by the weak pound, to the tune of around £200 additional costs just for accommodation. Now I know to always work conversion rates into my budget. 

We spent five nights in total at Hotel Kompas in Lapad, a short bus journey from the city centre of Dubrovnik. It costs a mere £3 to hop on the bus and back and as they run constantly we never had the need for a taxi. This gave the option of either having a chilled day by the pool and beach, or heading into the city to explore. 




FRANCISCAN MONASTERY | VEGAN NACHOS AT NISHTA


An hour before sunset is prime time to visit the cable cars, the crowds have died down and the heat goes from uncomfortable to soft and warm. If you're trying to up your step count, you can get a one way ticket and opt to walk up or down the mountain, on either side of the trip. 




On one of the few hazy mornings we encountered, we hired a private yacht with crew for four hours. It came in at £180 but as we split the cost, worked out at really decent value and meant we could pick where to go and for how long. I've been on my fair share of booze cruise type boat trips so was more than happy to eat cheap here and there to make up the difference. 





Have you ever visited Croatia? Let me know!