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Stefany by the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Stefany, Croatia Specialist

As a first generation American with Serbian roots, my earliest memories of travel include long summers in Serbia, family trips to Montenegro and Croatia, along with exploring Hungary, Austria and Greece with my sister. My most recent travel experiences include living in Australia for a year after I had earned my bachelor’s degree in communication studies and then returning to Serbia for three months after my Australian adventure was over.

Since joining Audley, I have continued to explore my Balkan roots visiting Bosnia, Montenegro, Slovenia, and most extensively, Croatia. From the inland capital Zagreb to the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia’s rich history and range of cultures and experiences has completely captivated me. Highlights of my most recent trip include dolphin watching in Rovinj, visiting the national parks of Brijuni, Plitvice and Krka, touring Konavle by bike, driving around the island of Solta, and tasting Croatian wines and olive oils from different regions.

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Cathedral of Saint James, Šibenik

I recommend visiting - Šibenik

Compared to other parts of the Dalmatian Coast, Šibenik is a relatively undiscovered gem. The historic city is set around a natural port and its restored medieval core is easy to explore on foot. There’s a UNESCO-protected cathedral in the heart of the old town and four fortresses along the hillside, while the nearby islands and national parks can be explored by ferry or water taxi. Despite a recent increase in visitor numbers, life in Šibenik seems unchanged with its jumble of narrow laneways and steep steps a thriving, lived-in community unadorned for the tourist market.

Meneghetti Wine Hotel, Bale

I recommend staying at - Meneghetti Wine Hotel

Deluxe

A very picturesque property to relax at, the Meneghetti Wine Hotel is a country retreat surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Choose from a rustic room in the original 19th-century stone house or opt for more contemporary style in new addition. Then sample the local Meneghetti wine over dinner at the fine-dining restaurant before strolling along the peaceful vineyards and taking a dip in the property’s heated pool. The hotel is set on the Istrian peninsula between Rovinj and Pula, so there are plenty of options for day trips, and the beach is only a mile away.

I'll never forget when…

One moment that sticks out from my most recent trip to Croatia was during a leisurely boat cruise around Rovinj. We’d spent our afternoon cliff jumping and swimming in the clear blue water and were just back on board when we spotted a pod dolphins alongside. It was the first time I had ever seen dolphins in real life and it was riveting. The sun had just begun to set and we watched as the pod showed off, every time we thought they had gone, more fins peeked out of the water. I was completely smitten.

Photos of Stefany

  • Stefany in Bohinj, Slovenia Stefany in Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Stefany in Hvar, Croatia Stefany in Hvar, Croatia
  • Stefany at Stari Most Bridge, Bosnia & Herzegovina Stefany at Stari Most Bridge, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Stefany in Omiš, Croatia Stefany in Omiš, Croatia