Croatia … the trip of a lifetime!

our travels Oct 17, 2018


When I told my husband Dan that I wanted us to go on a “dream trip” to Croatia, he basically told me I was out of my mind.  Especially knowing that it would take many hours for the flight to get there and Dan, being a long-legged 6’4”, has difficulty staying comfortable on long flights.  After a lengthy discussion, sharing with him the information I gathered, and showing him pictures that depicted the beauty of Croatia on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, he agreed to make the trek. 


- Day 1 -

On June 14th, 2018, we departed from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and headed for Croatia for an 8-day and 7-night vacation. After about 10 hours of fly time, we arrived in Vienna, Austria and then boarded a connecting flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia.  After a flight of a little over an hour, we arrived at the airport in Dubrovnik where we had arranged to meet a mother and her daughter from the United States (Montana).  They were with the same tour group as we were and staying at the same hotel in Vela Luca.  They had rented a car and agreed to let us ride along with them to the hotel in Vela Luca. 



We left Dubrovnik and headed to the town of Orebić where we boarded the ferry which ferried us and the rental car to Korčula Town located on the Island Korčula.



From there we headed to Vela Luca.  After a lengthy and somewhat interesting ride, we arrived at the Hotel Korkyra in Vela Luca.



As you can see from the above picture, Vela Luca is a quaint town nestled along the inland waters of the Adriatic Sea.

After checking in at the Hotel Korkyra, we attended a Welcome Reception at the hotel with complimentary dinner and choice of drinks.  After dinner, we headed to our room for a much needed good night’s sleep after all the exhausting travel time.  We also wanted to get rested up for our first full day of activity in Vela Luca.  


- Day 2 -

After a delicious Mediterranean style buffet breakfast, we met up with our tour guide and went on a garden walking tour around Vela Luca, featuring presentations on wild herbs and traditional soap making, and the opportunity to enjoy tastings of local products and olive oil. 


We were then able to spend the afternoon at our leisure and decided to attend a Mediterranean Style cooking class held at our hotel.  Each day during our stay at the Hotel Korkyra we were treated to breakfast and dinner, Mediterranean style.



- Day 3 -

After breakfast, we met up with our tour guide and tour group in the hotel lobby and boarded a bus which took us to the ancient Korčula Town for a full day tour.  When in Korčula Town we met up with a local tour guide and had the opportunity to stroll through the ancient streets and see famous sites such as the House of Marco Polo and St. Mark’s Cathedral.  An interesting topic of conversation and debate is the belief that Marco Polo, one of the greatest explorers and merchant travelers in history, was born in Korčula Town rather than Venice, Italy. 


We then departed Korčula Town and transferred to Smokvica where we toured an old wine museum.  We then departed Smokvica and transferred to Blato.  While there we visited Etno Kuca "Barilo", a folk museum which showcased approximately 3,000 objects once used in the everyday lives of families in Korčula, including everything from cookware, pottery, and agricultural tools to portraits, homemade clothing, and furniture.  We also enjoyed a tasting of homemade products, including marmalades, olive oil, and my husband tried the brandy and liquors.                    




- Day 4 -

After breakfast, we met up with our tour guide and tour group and boarded a boat which took us to picturesque Proizd Island.  The island offered beautiful beach scenery and crystal-blue waters.  We enjoyed some free time on the island swimming and exploring a number of nearby beaches.   We then had lunch at the island’s outdoor restaurant overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  The menu included grilled chicken, fried potatoes, salad, and ice cream and fresh fruit for dessert.  



- Day 5 -

This was a full day of leisure.  We slept late and spent the day with a fun couple we met from South Africa site-seeing around Vela Luca.  After dinner, we retired early in anticipation of a full day of touring the next day.     


- Day 6 - 

A full-day tour of Dubrovnik.  We departed our hotel in Vela Luca by bus and after arriving in Korcula Town, the bus boarded the ferry to Orebic.  From there we made a short stop in Ston and then continued by bus to Dubrovnik.  Our tour bus stopped just outside of Dubrovnik where we had the opportunity to view and take pictures of the famous Franjo Tudjman Bridge, an architectural and engineering marvel. 



When we arrived in Dubrovnik, we were met by our guide who took us on the tour of the city.  We saw many interesting sites while in Dubrovnik, such as the third oldest pharmacy in all of Europe and one of the oldest pharmacies in the world still in use today. Afterward, we were treated to a delicious lunch at one of the local restaurants.  



After lunch, we were free to further explore Dubrovnik at our own pace.  We then departed Dubrovnik and returned to our hotel in Vela Luca.  



After dinner, our hostess surprised us with a cake for our wedding anniversary!



- Day 7 -

This was a full day of leisure.  We spent the day relaxing and preparing for our return journey.  We got a chance to say farewell to our new friends from South Africa before we traveled back to the airport in Dubrovnik where we would board our flight back to the U.S.                        



We stayed overnight in Dubrovnik before our flight back the following morning.   Take a look at the pizza Dan made!  Just ignore the take-out box...




Blog photo: Aerial Panorama of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Credit to: Chensiyuan, resized and cropped. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.


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