Summertime calls for occasional visits to the seaside or longer vacations. This year we took off for the beautiful Croatian island of Hvar. The island is set in a region called Dalmatia(Dalmacija) and is reachable by a ferry boat from the city of Split. But first we took a detour near Zadar towards the inland of Croatia.
On Saturday, 26th of July, we were all ready and packed to go. The road took us toward Ilirska Bistrica or to be exact the Jelšane border. Dealing with some smaller traffic jams we soon crossed over to Croatia where the highway begun.
We were heading towards Split which is approximately 400 km (250 miles) from the border.
The road ahead was quite long but since we’ve planned to stop midway, it wasn’t that big of a deal. When we got closer to Zadar we left the highway and continued our journey on some quite weird and windy roads toward Kaštel Žegarski. While the road provided us with some great views of the scenery, we we’re quite dowsided by the weather. Some kilometers passed by and we’ve arrived. Our stop point was a small village in the middle of nowhere. You might ask yourselves why. What good does a trip to a god forgotten village do?
Our goal was to reach the Zrmanja river. A beautiful Croatian wonder where hundreds of people descend everyday by rafts or kayaks. Soon we found the entry to the river, but since it was late when we arrived, we’ve decided to paddle the next day. At the entry point we were kindly greeted by a Croatian rafting company called Riva, who let us camp out front for the night. So we did. In the middle of sheep and wild boars we slept through the rainy night.
The next morning we got up early, had some breakfast, said hi to the sheep and went on the river. Zrmanja is an easy river to paddle, suitable for beginners, except for one 11m waterfall which can be done at high water level. We had quite a low water level so sadly the big waterfall wasn’t runnable. We still had a good relaxing time, with a few steps/drops/rapids and very beautiful nature. After about 13km we reached the exit point from which the Riva rafting center kindly offered us a ride back to our car.
After conquering the river we headed for a well deserved beer to a nearby town called Obrovac. The label town is quite mistaken since the place seems somewhat abandoned and forgotten by time. It’s funny how we actually parked in the middle of the town center for free and also almost in the middle of the road. No one seemed to care, moreover it was actually permitted. We sat down at one of the bars where we were the only customers and had a beer. Once we’ve seen the low price, we had another one.
Later on we headed back towards Zadar and on to the highway that took us to Split and eventually we took a ferry to the island. There we spent another week relaxing and enjoying ourselves at the seaside in a good company and great local cuisine. Written by: Marja Čujec