Island Hopping In Croatia4 Posted by b_puliti - September 9, 2014 - Bike Tour, Croatia, Sights, Travel
From Ancona, Italy, we hopped an overnight ferry across the Adriatic Sea. You have three options when purchasing your ferry ticket: you can purchase a ticket that guarantees you a cabin, you can purchase a ticket that guarantees you a seat, or you can purchase a ticket that just gets you on the boat. You’re probably not surprised by now, but we purchased the ticket with no additional cost. Come nightfall, we were pleasantly happy with our decision. While people who bought seat tickets were confined to sleep in a chair that hardly reclined in a not-so-quiet area reminiscent of an airplane, we took to the top deck and slept on our sleeping pads under the stars. The next morning we awoke just before arriving in Split, Croatia! On the recommendation of our host, we spent our time in Croatia island hopping. First up: Vis, the furthest inhabited island off of Croatia’s mainland. One of the first things we noticed (after the “no camping” signs) was how hilly the island was. With just two main roads, there’s not much of an opportunity to escape the climbing. We were a bit envious of all the people zooming by on 50 cc scooters. Definitely the way to go if you’re not carrying your life with you. On our second day on the island, we hiked down to Stiniva Beach, a white pebble cove with a small area of turquoise water that eventually leads out to the sea between tall cliffs. Justin attempted to rock climb up the cliff from the water, but was quickly discouraged by the sharp-edged rock. An early start to our day meant we were rewarded with being the first ones on the beach! At the other end of the island lies Kozima, featuring pretty red roofs and a harbor where we had lunch on the beach. After two days on Vis, we ferried to what would become our favorite island: Lastovo. This remote island has a limited ferry schedule. We arrived at 10:30 p.m., which is not at all convenient for finding a stealth wild camping spot, so we had booked an apartment beforehand (through booking.com). Unfortunately, we overlooked the 12-kilometer ride inland once we arrived on the island. We rode via headlamp through the dark, and as seems to happen fairly often, were soon pedaling through the rain. An hour after our ferry made land, we were welcomed by the owners of the apartment, who helped carry our panniers down multiple flights of steps… …and had a dinner of fresh-caught fish and homemade white wine waiting in our apartment for us. The next day we discovered our temporary digs even came with a housecat! We fed him tuna from the can and named him “Karlo” after the Croatian beer, Karlovačko, we consistently saw advertisements for (and drank a fair amount of). Either we look as skinny as the stray cat I couldn’t stop feeding, or Croatian hospitality is unlike what we’ve experienced thus far—on our second night in town, the generous owner dropped off heaping plates of food to us yet again. She spoke very little English, but during our conversation we took away that Lastovo is a special little island in that it is made up of 46 square kilometers, features 46 hills, 46 cultivated fields, 46 small churches, and its municipality consists of 46 uninhabited islets. We had a view of these 46 outlying islands when we camped out right next to the water on our last night. Claims that Lastovo has the starriest sky in Europe held true. After two days on Lastovo, we ferried to Korcula. Bigger than the previous islands we visited, it required quite a bit more riding (and climbing). Here, and on the other islands, we noticed a pretty drastic difference between homes on the coastline… We caught our final ferry to the mainland the next day at noon and climbed steeply and immediately from sea level in the hot, hot sun. We eventually made it into Dubrovnik, a medieval walled city that's used today as a filming site for HBO’s Game of Thrones.