A Bond girl hen weekend: Island hopping in Croatia
Lying on the front of a speedboat to sunbathe with beautiful blue sky above and sparkling seawater below, before flying across the waves with spectacular scenery in the distance, whilst surrounded by your closest friends sounds like a rather dreamy occurrence.
However, it became a reality when we set off on a recent mission to discover the best destination for a sophisticated hen party or an enjoyable weekend for the girls.
We have heard excellent things about Croatia in recent months and this country has been named as one of the best up-and-coming summer holiday destinations. It has been likened to the early days of the French Rivera and is considered a secret gem by many, where the atmosphere remains tranquil and the countryside is unspoilt. The latter is definitely true and as soon as you land at Dubrovnik airport, you will quickly realise that you are exploring a very pure destination.
Aside from the striking coastline on the mainland, which is not dissimilar to the Algarve with its raw beauty, the architecture is also pleasing to the eye. The terracotta roofing is reminiscent of Tuscany and the neat vines that are trained over every veranda will remind you of the South of France. However, although there are obvious similarities to some of Europe’s other beautiful countries, Croatia has its own identity, which really comes to the fore when you island hop.
While you may choose to base yourself in a villa or hotel near the city for the duration of your stay, Dubrovnik Boats has an impressive selection of yachts and speedboats that are available for charter and they give you the option to spend a day on the water. This is an absolute must.
If you are looking for a James Bond style experience, we definitely recommend that you book a speedboat, which is perfect for a group of about eight people. As soon as you step onto the boat, you are guaranteed to see the best of the area and you will be made to feel like a Bond girl at the same time.
The captains all have excellent local knowledge and they will immediately whisk you away to see some of the secret spots on the coastline. This may include weaving through caves or finding a discreet cove for diving off the boat and swimming in the serene water, which is just as clear as the Caribbean. You will also get the chance to visit concealed beach bars and restaurants that boast stunning views. It is without doubt the best way to explore Croatia.
Among restaurants to visit during your private charter with Dubrovnik Boats is Villa Ruza, which is located on the island of Kolocep. This is a popular wedding venue but it is also open for general bookings and perfect for a long lunch with your girlfriends. Nestled right on the edge of the coast, the private dining area has a picturesque view out to sea and also offers great privacy. The bar is surrounded by olive trees that are hundreds of years old and has a unique setting. The service is exceptional and the fish is the freshest that we have ever experienced.
While the private charter is a definitely a highlight when visiting Croatia, we also loved exploring the historic streets of Dubrovnik – it is not surprising that this is a World Heritage City. Restaurant Dubrovnik is one of the most upmarket restaurants in the city and it is the perfect place to enjoy a special meal.
They are proud of the locally produced wine, especially the rose, and the menu offers the likes of seabass with a truffle garnish as well as impressive portions of meaty tuna fish. Again, the service is impeccable and the team of waiters cannot do enough to help.
For a nightcap, we recommend stopping by at the Pommery Champagne terrace during your hen weekend, which is located on the spacious front patio of the Hilton Hotel. It is a lovely place to spend a warm evening and during the summer months the temperature will probably stay in the high 20s for most of the day and evening.
The adjoining hotel is also likely to prove a good choice when it comes to places to stay if you would prefer a convenient hotel option, ahead of a rural villa.
With a flight time of only a couple of hours, a pre-wedding weekend away in Dubrovnik will prove hard to beat. You will be charmed by a country that showcases the natural world in all its dazzling glory, whilst also providing plenty of old fashioned James Bond glamour at the same time.
Find out more about exploring Croatia with Dubrovnik Boats by visiting www.dubrovnikboats.com or calling +385 98 757 890. You can book Vila Ruza online at www.vila-ruza.com or by calling +38598443382. Visit the Pommery Champagne Terrace at the Hilton www3.hilton.com Book Restaurant Dubrovnik at www.restorandubrovnik.com or call +38520324810