GRAB YOUR CROAT; TRAVEL; Great Getaway Ideas and Travel Tips You Can Trust at Mirror.Co.Uk/lifestyle/travel; Claire Murphy Enjoys Her European Holiday with a Difference on Croatia's Coast

The Mirror (London, England), March 18, 2017 | Go to article overview

GRAB YOUR CROAT; TRAVEL; Great Getaway Ideas and Travel Tips You Can Trust at Mirror.Co.Uk/lifestyle/travel; Claire Murphy Enjoys Her European Holiday with a Difference on Croatia's Coast


Byline: edited by NIGEL THOMPSON

One look at the spectacular coastline of Croatia tells you why it's worth visiting. There are dramatic pinetree covered hills like Greece and the turquoise and navy blue seas of the Med. And once you've found a hotel as lovely as the one I stayed in, there's a relaxed vibe like rural France, while the food is as delicious as in Italy.

You're in Europe, but it's like you're not. The currency is the kuna, not the euro, so you feel it is a properly foreign holiday.

You can pretend to be an explorer, trying somewhere new, yet with an all-inclusive package everything has been organised so all you do is turn up and enjoy yourself each day.

If you want to truly get away from it all, Thomson's adults-only Sensimar Adriatic Beach is as good a place as any. It's an hour from Split airport, on the Makarska Riviera.

After a refurb, the hotel boasts a large pool and two a la carte restaurants, as well as a mojito bar with panoramic seaside views that serves pre-dinner drinks and lateevening cocktails.

What you do with your time off is taken seriously here. There is a full programme of events, with a dedicated sports and wellbeing team offering classes and activities such as yoga and Nordic walking.

The hotel spa offers a line-up of treatments, and Balinese day beds are dotted around the grounds. While the back massage was more vigorous than I am used to, the result was blissfully de-stressing.

You can just spend your afternoons by the pool or sea, then, in the evening, enjoy the restaurant's options or the Culinarium - an a la carte dining experience designed for foodies.

You'll also have the option of evenings of food and theatre such as murder mystery nights and, for couples, romantic candlelit dinners under the stars. Same-sex couples and friends are welcomed here. If after time spent doing nothing you feel like exploring, the hotel organises excursions.

The shallow waters of the Istrian Riviera and Dalmatian coast are ideal for beginners to learn scuba diving, while deeper waters in the south offer the more experienced the chance to explore coral reefs, caves and shipwrecks.

We visited Split - the buzzing hub of the Dalmatian coast. At the city's centre is the third century Diocletian's Palace, once the retirement home for a fearless Roman emperor and one of the world's best Roman monuments.

Within its walls there are shops, bars, restaurants, and even a couple of cathedrals. Outside you can take in the views with a coffee from the smart Riva promenade before departing for the tiny town of Trogir and its Unesco-listed old quarter, stacked with 13th century palaces and churches, and an impressive Romanesque-Gothic cathedral (PS35).

We ate in Tragos, an atmospheric restaurant with vines covering the ceiling, set in what seemed like medieval arches (tragos. …

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