Podstrana

6th May 1st June 2016

Podstrana is a small tourist town located only 8km from Split.  You can catch the number 60 bus into Split in about 20 mins and in the other direction head to Omis for a day full of adventure..

Podstrana has lovely pebble beaches that stretch for 9km gently lapped by the crystal clear ocean. We were a little early for the summer season so beachside cafe’s hadn’t opened but were being readied, we were swimming every week and enjoyed temperatures averaging in the mid 20’s.

Our local beach

Such a pretty beach, with an amazingly clear ocean, the water was actually easy to get into as well, a bit of a bonus for me and Jacob who are wusses when it comes to the cold.

Marina

Beautiful yachts, Luxury Hotels and expensive Restaurants….Totally worth a look and a drink just to admire the rich life…

Golf Course

Podstrana also has a little 6 hole golf course that has golf clubs to hire out and is relaxed about footwear and attire. (Note golf courses are very rare in Croatia!)

Podstrana Town and Beach

This is where the majority of the restaurants can be found, also along the beach they have play grounds for little children along with basket ball hoops and areas to kick a ball, although some of the football areas were closed.

Day Trip with Jani our Host

We had a fantastic day out with Jani, he mentioned when we first arrived that he would take us one day to the castle, we tried to pick a day that wasn’t going to be too hot, the day ended up being pretty hot but not unbearable.

First Jani took us to Klis Fortress, Klis is an ancient ruin, which was used as a set for Game Of Thrones city of Mereen, being huge GOT fans this was a big bonus..

Meereen is the city that Khaleesi conquers with her army of the Unsullied, bringing it down from within.

It has a steep incline to the entrance and plenty of steps making this a good work out for the legs.

If you head to the top of it, it gives you the most amazing view of the mountains and Split.

Klis Fortress was a highlight of our stay in Podstrana for us, it really made us feel like we were back in time, and then Jani took us even further back in time to the Amphitheatre.

Klis Fortress (Film Location for GOT)

After Klis Fortress Jani drove us to Salona’s almost 2000 year old amphitheatre, The Roman site of Salona, is an expansive complex of ruins with good information boards.

It’s a 2nd century amphitheater, which was believed to have a capacity of up to 20,000 spectators. Unfortunately, Venetians destroyed the amphitheater in the 17th century, stripping it of marble to use for their palace.

Salona’s amphitheate

Lastly from the amphitheater we walked down a roman road to the Episcopal centre, where we watched a bride and groom have their wedding photos taken, what a stunning backdrop.  Sometimes these ruins blow your mind, whilst there you need to take a minute to remind yourself what it all must have looked like back then, the history…it’s incredible and also very interesting.

Episcopal centre of the Salona

 Brac Island and Zlatni Rat Beach 

Jani drove us to the ferry terminal in Split for us to pick up the 12.45 ferry to Brac, the cost was 28kn per Adult and 14kn per child (up to 12 years).

The ferry ride took about 40 mins, it was a bit of a slow draggy journey, once there we got a taxi to Zlatni Rat beach, the taxi’s charge either 50kn per person for an 8 seater car, so they do try and make sure the car is full before taking off…this car ride wasn’t particularly nice, especially if you suffer with car sickness, the roads were very windy and the driver was in a bit of a hurry,…it was a little scary…

When we arrived we went straight to the really pretty restaurant to have lunch and settle our stomachs.

Once you see the beach you know it was all worth it, the beach is stunning, the views down to it are totally picture postcard, you just want to stand there taking it all in…every now and then if you look down you get a view of the nudest beach and see more than you needed to…:O

Zlatni Rat is all pebbles, but I am starting to love these Croatian pebble beaches, they are what makes the ocean look the way it does.. small round pebbles on this one, perfectly comfortable to sit or lay on, and no sand in your clothes etc.

Restaurants

Restaurant Leonis

This Restaurant is by the Marina, if you walk down to the local beach and head left you will walk past the Luxury Hotel Le Méridien Lav. You will enter the world of the rich and probably famous, this restaurant is not cheap, but the seafood was pretty good and just sitting there looking out at all the Yachts, dreaming of which one you would choose if you had the money was worth it for 1 night.

Kavana Orbis, Pizza Restaurant, Stobrec

We went to this Restaurant on our 1st night here, the food was a lot better than we were expecting, infact Grant ordered tuna steak which I don’t really like but it was cooked to perfection, so I would totally recommend either the tuna steak or the Sea Bass, the boys had Pizza and said they were really good..

Restaurant Epetium in Stobrec

This was our favourite restaurant, we only went once but the fish was divine, we had one large fish to share between Grant and myself and it was plenty big enough, the lady serving us seemed a little harsh to start with but warmed to us really fast and ended up being really friendly and even joking with us…

We were entertained by a traditional musical duo who livened up the evening for a large tour group singing folk songs, later on they were singing American songs and the table were singing along.  I liked it, it made for a fun evening.

Great family restaurant, excellent service and above everything, perfect food.

 

Soparnik (Other names are Soparnjak, Zeljanik or Uljenjak.)

It is the most famous speciality of the dalmatian region Poljica between Split and Omiš.

We were lucky enough to get to try this delicious traditional dish thank you to our host Jani.

What is it?

At first we thought it was spinach and garlic in a sort of pancake..

It’s actually a flat vegetarian pie filled with swiss chard, garlic and parsley that are baked in a komin (a type of outdoor fireplace/bbq). A fire is created in the komin and when ready, the fire and embers are pushed aside allowing the Soparnik to be cooked on the hot stone where the fire once was. Also, some hot ash and embers are placed on top of the Soparnik.

This is a unique food from Croatia, the flavour is mainly garlic and pastry with a very subtle hint of the fires smoke, it is well worth trying, we totally loved it.

Apartment

IMG_3147Airbnb Apartment – Podstrana

Our apartment had 3 bedrooms, 2 with large double beds and 1 with two single beds.  It had a good size lounge, with a kitchen and dining area, again a lot of balconies one from the living room, one from the kitchen and 1 from each of the double bedrooms.  There was a fair size hill down to the beach and the road that takes you to town, which meant you got there pretty fast but getting up was a little hard but great for the legs :).  Our hosts were wonderful, Jani and his wife were so friendly and there wasn’t anything that they wouldn’t do for you…Jani picked us up from Kastel Stari (where we were staying before) and took us into town often, he also took us on a day trip to see the Castle and old amphitheater .

Cost $1219 NZD for 28 nights (£581.10)