Although the calendar summer is almost over, it doesn't mean that we can not extend it. There are many destinations in Europe, where you can enjoy the high temperatures till mid of October. If temperature in Poland drops below 20 degrees, that's obviously a sign that we should rapidly change our climate zone. As you may have noticed one of our favorite holiday destination is Croatia. And not just because of the Mediterranean climate, but also delicious food, thrillingly beautiful parks, azure sea, mountains and a lots of monumental and enchanting towns.
Why do we recommend to visit Croatia in September?
Maybe because there is no longer such a hot weather as during the peak season? And yet not everyone likes to dying for getting tan at the beach.
Maybe because the end of September is a perfect time to without hesitation explore the picturesque towns, free from tourists snapping all over thousands photos.
Or maybe because Croatia (like other Balkan countries) is beautiful place and there is no bad timing to explore it.
We all love exotic places, where sun seems to be more generous and where it's just easier to breathe (unless it's over 50 degrees in the shade). But you don't always need paradisiac beaches and ancient ruins to have a relaxing time. Here we present to you: the Polish countryside. Charming cottages between woods and meadows, where people watch the nature and no one uses Google calendar. We had a chance to visit friends in Roztocze. They grow their own vegetables, they have an orchard and they keep bees - it's like a private supermarket. We picked strawberries (and the sweetest wild strawberries) and green peas, now we're waiting for raspberries and for those delicious honeycombs.
There are countless reasons for visiting Croatia. I don't think anyone needs much convincing. It has everything one might want while on holidays. Sunbathing lovers will appreciate sheltered rocky beaches, turquoise shade of the sea and abundance of sunlight. More adventurous visitors will discover the beauty of wild nature and learn the turbulent story of the country through numerous monuments. Sailors will sail, lovers will take romantic walks in narrow streets of charming towns and everyone else will eat. Eat and drink delectable local wine.
Eating in Croatia
1. Fish. That's stating the obvious. Sea = fresh fish. Restaurant menus categorize fish - there are two or three classes. First class is supposed to be the best (and it is the most expensive), but whatever you'll get will be fresh and delicious. Fish is usually grilled and served simple - with olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, maybe a dash of chopped parsley. You can consider getting fresh fish on the local market (called trznica) and having fun preparing it on your own. What to get? Seabream, sea bass, tuna, amberjack, hake. But there are no bad choices.
2. Seafood. Another observant remark. Sea = seafood. Croatia offers great langustines (skampi), squid (lignje), shrimp (kozice), mussels (dagnje) and octopus (hobotnica). Grilled, cooked with wine or traditional tomato sauce (buzara).
3. Oysters. They deserve a separate mention as oysters from Ston on Peljesac Peninsular are popular with oyster enthusiasts from all over the world. The peninsula is also famous for great wine. And can you imagine a better combination than fresh oysters and chilled wine? Let's just assume that oysters and champagne are predictable and boring.
4. Local products. You should be trying them wherever you are, not just in Croatia. Make sure to eat pršut - a dry-cure pork ham, similar to Italian prosciutto, goat cheese - especially the ones from the island of Pag (paški sir) and ajvar - slightly spicy relish, made with red bell peppers and eggplant. Bring back some home made olive oil.
5. Lamb. Ideally slow roasted under the bell (peka). The lamb, with potatoes and some vegetables is placed in a round baking pan, covered with metal bell and then put on and covered with hot coals, so that it's roasted from both under and above. The meat is soft, juicy and has a unique flavour.
6. Brudet - thick fish stew, traditionally served with polenta. If you don't plan on going to Croatia anytime soon, just make it at home. You can use this recipe.
The story of the city of Dubrovnik begun in the 7th century when a group of refugees from Epidaurum, an ancient Greek colony, destroyed by Avars and Slavic invaders, founded a settlement under the name of . Opposite that location the Slavs developed their own settlement, . In the 12th century the channel that separated these settlements was filled, which allowed them to unite. At first the town was under the protection of Byzantine Empire, later it came under the sovereignty of the Republic of Venice, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary. Owing to skilful diplomacy, the town ruled itself as a free state, the Republic of Ragusa, governed by local aristocracy. The trade routes from Italy towards Anatolia led through Dubrovnik, ships were transporting gold and silver, wool and silk, spices and arms. The discovery of America and change of trade routes led to an economic crisis in Mediterranean shipping. This, together with a fatal earthquake in 1667, started the decline of the Republic.
Despite the earthquake and then shelling of the city in 1991, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its remarkable Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. It's a textbook example of a late-medieval city, with defensive walls and a regular street layout. The entire Old City is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts tourists from all over the world. Recently the "Pearl of the Adriatic" became a popular holiday destination among enthusiasts of HBO's , as many scenes in King's Landing are shot here. Beside stories of the city's foundations and the rise of the Republic, we will hear tour guides talking about Robert Baratheon and the fictional battle of Blackwater Bay.