When planning our honeymoon, we really couldn’t decide if we wanted to visit somewhere hot, with a nice pool, a beach and cocktails, or if we should go for a city break with plenty of sight-seeing. So we decided to do both.
We booked to go to New York City but decided we would wait until December as we wanted to see it in all its festive glory, just like in the movies. So when we decided to look for a sunny honeymoon for right after the wedding, there was one clear choice for both of us.
Back in 2014 we visited Croatia for the first time. Kolocep Island to be exact. This beautiful, tranquil island was in a perfect location just a short boat ride from the stunning Dubrovnik Old Town. We both absolutely fell in love with the place so we decided it would be perfect to visit again for our Honeymoon.
Kolocep is a trafficless island with less than 200 inhabitants. Kalamota Island Resort is the only resort on the island and is situated right on the main beach with stunning views across the bay. The resort is small but perfectly formed. The rooms are fresh and bright with views of the bay or the gardens. We requested a sea view room which was perfect and meant if we wanted to go back to our room on an evening we could still watch and hear the entertainment from our balcony while enjoying a bottle of wine.
There is a buffet restaurant which serves the most amazing range of food I’ve ever had at an all inclusive resort. There is so much selection and every day is different so you get to try all sorts of delicious dishes. There are also two a la carte restaurants. One is situated by the main hotel restaurant and entertainment area and has great views over the bay, the other, the Culinarium, is a short walk from the hotel and is perfect for watching the sunset. Here you can also enjoy a food and wine paring night which I would highly recommend. The local delicacies are exquisite and the served some of the best wines I had ever tasted.
The real star of the island, however, is Villa Ruza. This beautiful 1930s villa was built on the edge of Donje Celo bay, overlooking the water with a great view of the other islands (stunning at sunset). It has the most beautiful terrace which leads down to the main restaurant which is just the most tranquil setting for a romantic dinner. It is also available for weddings and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful setting. All the seafood on the island is caught fresh and they really know their stuff. I never knew how much I loved seafood until I visited Croatia.
The staff at Villa Ruza always go the extra mile, bringing us homemade bread and appetisers while we perused the menu. They are also great at recommending a good wine to match your food choice and always treat us to a cocktail or two after dinner.
There is so much to do while visiting the island, there are a number of walks you can take to the various churches and beaches or you can take to the sea and do a spot of snorkelling or kayaking.
There are several boats that take you to the mainland or the neighbouring islands. We took a day trip to the island of Lopud which is slightly more populated than Kolocep with a bustling ferry port and several bars, restaurants, markets and even an ice cream parlour/bakery. We stopped at one of the beach front seafood restaurants for a glass of wine and a spot of lunch. The sea bass and the risotto were to die for. I could definitely get used to island life! We also stumbled across a quaint little park tucked away just off the main promenade, it was beautiful and quiet and such a nice little surprise when we were exploring.
The real star of the the show was Dubrovnik Old Town. From the moment you step inside the walls of this amazing place you are totally blown away by how beautiful everything is. For somewhere so busy and bustling it has such a relaxed, laid back vibe.
There are so many amazing restaurants and cafes to choose from, you could stay for month and still not have time to try them all. Even the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants tucked away down the back streets are fantastic. One evening we decided to just pick a restaurant at random and found one called Azur which would have been easy to miss as it was tucked away in a narrow street and just looked like a kitchen with some tables outside. I was a little bit worried that we might be disappointed but how wrong I was. We had two beautiful courses each and the menu choice was so different. It just goes to show there are hidden gems around every corner here.
One of my absolute favourite restaurants in the Old Town was Above 5, a small rooftop restaurant above a gorgeous boutique hotel that overlooks the entire old town. It is so romantic with great food and a fab cocktail menu and is perfect for dinner at sunset but make sure to book in advance as it fills up quickly.
Wherever you go in the old town you will find somewhere to eat or drink. From traditional, local dishes to sushi, tapas or wine bars, there is something for everyone. I strongly recommend spending an evening in the Old Town. The atmosphere is just wonderful and there are plenty of places to sit out with a glass of wine and watch live music. If you get a chance, definitely check out the Troubadour Jazz Cafe, they have some great acts on an evening and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine or two and watch the world go by.
Croatia is definitely an absolute gem that I would recommend to anyone. We would definitely go back a third time to sample even more of the incredible places it has to offer. It has the perfect combination of quiet islands, bustling towns and brilliant nightlife. What more could you want?