cook like an Italian – pesto sauce

BasilPestoBasil plant: the flavour of summer, one of the best additions to your summer table and the main ingredient for pesto sauce.

Although traditionally you would make pesto using a pestle and mortar, many people (myself included) use a modern food processer

You can store freshly made pesto in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but pesto also freezes really well, so you can make small batches and keep it in the freezer for times when fresh basil is not available. Continue reading


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Early bird booking at Villa BellaVista

When do you book your holiday?

birdAre you an “early bird” or a “last-minute deal” traveller?last minute

Here at Villa BellaVista we’ve already taken our first booking for July 2015, when we will be welcoming Herman and Annemarie from Holland,
with their kids.
villa rental croatia

We are happily surprised that our guests want to book the villa so early, and are very grateful indeed!
By securing their holiday early, our guests now have something to look forward to. When the winter blues start to set in, you’ll need something to lift your spirits and what better than an upcoming escape to Villa BellaVista in sunny Croatia?

We look forward to welcoming Herman, Annemarie and their girls, who see themselves already in the pool …..


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walking the Walls of Dubrovnik – Croatia

The definitive ‘must’ of any visit to Dubrovnik, the medieval city walls can be explored with a full-circuit, two-kilometre walk along the battlements.

Dubrovnik walls
The walls are on average 24m high and up to 6m thick and date back to the 13th century. Additional towers were constructed in the 15th century, to protect the city against the Turks. (click on images to enlarge)

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We’re still standing….

We’ve survived the worst Croatian storm in years, all the locals say the’ve never experienced anything like this. Our friend Daniel who has been living on the island for many years told it is unbelivable, and even older members of the community can never remember a summer like this.

it's not always sunny in Croatia

unexpected freak storm in Croatia

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what made our Croatian cruise so nice? The People

A petite blonde French lady named Isabelle was the life and soul of our cruise around the Croatian islands.

I say French lady, but when I first met Isabelle, her origin was a topic of great dispute. She had a heated discussion with the ship’s bartender named Mario, who was a pleasant Croatian from Split. Continue reading

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Croatia island hopping cruise – life onboard

So what it’s like to cruise Croatia on board a small vintage ship?
cruise Croatia
Well, first things first, as mentioned in a previous post, you need to choose carefully the type of cruise you’d like to join, or you might end up with the “wrong crowd” – so to speak – so always enquire as to the age group of the travellers on a specific route.

fun and party cruise Croatia

fun and party cruise Croatia

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Croatia Island hopping diary -Mljet national park

our cruise continued southwards and the captain on our MS Vapor took us towards the island of Mljet, where we were to later dock and stay overnight. An obligatory swimming stop was obviously on the menu in the late morning… we’re getting into the habit… ;)
approaching Mljet from the sea

Mljet is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriatic islands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia, and is today a National Park for the preservation of the pristine woodland and the flaura and fauna on the island. Thick green forests of aleppo pine trees cover most of the island.
Ancient Greeks called the island “Melita” or “honey” which over the centuries evolved to become the Slavic name, Mljet.

approaching Mljet from the sea

approaching Mljet from the sea

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Cetina river rafting, and there’s a smuggler on board

After boarding our ship in Split, out Captain started sailing south along the Croatian coast, and we soon got into the rythm of the movement of the vessel, the noise of the engine, the chatting of fellow travellers.

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What to pack for a gulet cruise in Croatia

Now that you’ve booked your gulet cruise in Croatia, what do you pack for your holiday?


Don’t take too many suitcases with you, and pack in soft bags that can be stowed in the boat (usually under the beds of your cabin), no hard suitcases. Towels and sheet are usually provided on the boat, but check with your tour company whether you will need to bring a beach towel.

Cabins are small in gulets, after all they are wooden sailing ships, so you don’t want to trip on your suitcases when you get out of bed!


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We are cruising in Croatia

We’ve been wanting to visit many of the croatian islands, and view the coast from the sea for a long time. With our Croatian house renovation taking months then years, we never really had time for a “proper holiday” but our trips to our island were always “working holidays”.

This year our house is rented to tourists so we decided to take a well-earned break, and cruise Croatia!

all aboard

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my adventure with cancer (twice…)

some of you who read this blog may have noticed an absence of updates for a while, in Our Adventure in Croatia. We’ve recently only re-blogged articles from other interesting travel blogs.

that’s because I have been on another – not so welcome – adventure.

My adventure with breast cancer.

For all the women out there, breast cancer is a scary thought. It’s a very common illness, they say. The statistics say one in 8 women will get it.

As you walk down a busy street, as you step into a cinema or a restaurant, as you wander into a large shopping centre, a supermarket or you go to your hairdresser, there will be women there who have – or have had – breast cancer. A lot of us have friends or family members who have had breast cancer, it’s really that common.

But you always hope that the “one in 8″ will never be you.

Well, this year, that “one in 8 women” – was me. Continue reading


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After 85 years, Grgur gets the full spa treatment!

Originally posted on View from the Riva--Split Croatia:

In 1929, Ivan Mestrovic, Croatia’s most famous artist and world-renowned for his powerful religious and secular sculptures, unveiled “Grgur of Nin”, who many feel is Croatia’s most iconic piece of art.  Commemorating the 10th century bishop who argued to the Pope that religious services should be in the Croatian language instead of Latin (not only was the answer NO, but his Bishopric was abolished and Grgur was sent packing to Skradin for even daring to ask!), the statues is dear to all Splitcani.  Not only because Grgur is the embodiment of courage, but for his magical toe, which when rubbed is said to bring good luck to all who believe.

Earlier this month, a major restoration was initiated by the city of Split and the Conservation office to do a thorough cleaning and repair of this masterpiece.

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers are busy making Grgur good as new

Surrounded by scaffolding, workers are busy making Grgur good as new

The project…

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Salona – the ancient capital of Dalmatia

Our Adventure in Croatia:

What to do near Trogir? visit the ancient Roman city of Salona

Originally posted on Go Hvar:

Driving into Split on the main road from Trogir, you pass by what appears to be a large municipal park with some ruins. Most people are probably too busy watching the traffic to pay much attention. But these ruins are what’s left of Salona, Dalmatia’s largest and most important city two thousand years ago. You’d hardly credit it, even walking around the park, as it’s all very low-key, most visitors seem to be locals walking their dogs. On the day we visited, there were few other tourists, and it’s possible to enjoy the place in peace, connecting with its ancient past.

Salona - old city walls

Salona – old city walls

Salona was originally a fortified Illyrian settlement on the shore of a wide bay, where the river Jadro flows into it. Behind, the coastal mountain range rises steeply, protecting from any land attack. The Greek colonists from Issa (Vis) established a trading post nearby…

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Country of coffee drinkers- Croatia

Originally posted on Mysterious Croatia:

How about a cup of coffee?

“Coffee is far more than a beverage. It is an invitation to life, disguised as a cup of warm liquid. It’s a trumpet wake-up call or a gentle rousing hand on your shoulder … Coffee is an experience, an offer, a rite of passage, a good excuse to get together.” ― Nichole Johnson


Morning coffee, lunch coffee, afternoon coffee, sometimes even evening coffee…There is no bad time for drinking coffee, there is only bad coffee and bad coffee friends. Locals have perfected the art of “taking a coffee”, as it is called, often making a single coffee last for hours. This is mostly because the experience is not really about drinking coffee, but more about socializing.
Tourists descending upon Croatia, especially the coast, are quite often surprised when they see how relaxed the atmosphere is and how eagerly the citizens of Split for example…

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Sailing in Croatia 2014

Originally posted on Flojohn Travels:

Hvar Town, Croatia

Hvar Town, Croatia

Having now sailed part of the coast of France, quite a bit of Italy, Croatia, some of Greece and Turkey, our favorite cruising ground remains the Dalmation Islands. Situated in the middle of the Med along its northern shore, Croatia has great weather, excellent facilities, and is wonderful for short or long trips. Nearly everyone seems to speak English and they are friendly, good-looking people. We certainly want to come back, still a lot to explore here, even after three trips. Sailing in Croatia is enjoyable as there are plenty of islands which provide numerous protected coves and bays because of their ink-spot shapes. As well, the shore drops off steeply so it is easy sail close and moor close to shore.

Croatia is great for sailing for a number of reasons:

  • There are over a thousand islands to explore
  • The food is really good, exceptional actually
  • They have both excellent red and…

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13/07/2014 · 8:35 PM