Danny's Nice Town

Croatia keeps getting better and better

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Croatia keeps getting better

In my article, Visit Croatia, Opatija, I wrote about the awesomeness of Croatia and how easy (and inexpensive) it is to enjoy your vacation in Europe. I am just back from my 5th Croatian vacation and Croatia keeps getting better. I read in Croatia Week online magazine, Croatia broke a record this year, with more tourists visiting the country than any previous year. The word is out!

New beach!

I promised I would review the new beach in Opatija. Well…I didn’t actually go on the new beach but I did take some pictures so judge for yourself. It’s the Royal Beach, associated with Hotel Royal. The beach looked great for families with small children. As you can see, there’s a concrete walkway, that sort of blocks the sea, so parents can keep on eye on their kids. The cost of 2 lounge chairs and umbrella is 230 kuna (about $35) which is pretty fair.

 

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Royal Beach, the long view

 

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Royal Beach

The beach is fairly close to a marina so you can watch the boats arrive and sail away!

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View of marina, top right of photo, from Royal Beach

Love Lido Beach

We spent all of our time on our beloved Lido Beach. It would have been like cheating on Lido Beach had we gone to another beach in Opatija.

view from lido beach bar

View from Lido Beach Bar

When you’re sitting on Lido Beach, you feel like you’re on a yacht sailing the open sea. It’s easy to fall asleep on the cushioned lounge chairs or read a good book with the beautiful Adriatic Sea beckoning you to swim in her therapeutic water.

Nice Stems

Nice Stems!!

 

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View from Lido Beach

 

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We have seen up to 20 boats anchored near Lido Beach

Beware the old, mean German woman who will steal your lounge chair if you’re not on time. She’ll grumble at you as she walks away, “I know where you’re from”. I’m not sure what that means. My wife is Croatian!

Tasty Bakery

We finally found delicious burek in Opatija! Way better than Konzum burek. My wife discovered Kroasana bakery, located close to the big Market, just off the main street and up a few steps.

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Kroasana Bakery

The Market has some great shops.

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Market sign

Less time in the bank, more time on the beach

It’s now faster than ever to exchange currency at the bank in Croatia. In past years, the teller had to write down every single serial number from every bill you handed her. This process used to take what seemed like hours and you would need a coffee and tooth picks in your eyelids to stay awake during the ordeal. Now Croatia banks have a bill counting machine the teller uses to capture the serial numbers. Croatia keeps getting better! Your bills still need to be clean and crisp with no writing on them in order to exchange for kuna (Croatian currency).

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Croatian Bank

 

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Croatian Bank

You get the best exchange rate in a local Croatian bank, better than you’ll get at the money exchange kiosks at the airport. The US Dollar is pretty strong currently and you’ll get about 6.5 Kuna to 1 US Dollar. The best exchange rate is probably through your credit card but paying in cash is so much more fun.

Odds and ends

Looking to buy your vacation home? We recommend Ivera Real Estate. Their office is located on the main street and easy to find.  They are experienced, hardworking and courteous.

Ivera

Best Real Estate Agency in Opatija

The movie, Jason Bourne, was released just before the start of our Croatian Vacation. Lucky for me (I am a huge Jason Bourne fan) the Open Air Theatre in Opatija plays newly released first rate films. The Open Air Theatre has a bar and it’s awesome to be able to have a drink and sit outside to watch a great movie.

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Open Air Theatre

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Sign for Open Air Theatre

Opatija is filled with flowers and gardens.

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One of several Opatija Gardens

Where we purchased our Croatian chocolate.

Kras

Where you buy Croatian chocolate

One of our favorite restaurants, Istranka, opened up a new space just across the street from the original. Istranka Grill has mostly simple meat dishes including, of course, cevapi.

Istanka

Istranka

 

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Istranka Grill across the street from original

Casa Tua has become our favorite pasta restaurant in Opatija. If you like your spaghetti spicy, this is the place for you.

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Casa Tua

Opatija is very nice to trees. Look close and you’ll see metal supports for the heavy tree branches. Very nice.

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Happy Trees

The view of the Lungomare (the seaside promenade) in front of Bevanda. The water was pretty rough that day.

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Lungomare near Bevanda

Hotel Milenij is a great place to have a coffee, glass of wine or a sladoled (Croatian ice cream).

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The side of Hotel Milenij

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Front Door to Hotel Milenij

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The back of Hotel Milenij

The Lady by the Sea

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Lady by the sea

We just missed Robert Plant…damn it to hell!

Croatia has the most interesting shaped trees I’ve ever seen.

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Cool looking trees

My wife got a fantastic haircut in this salon just up the hill a little way from the main street.

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Best Hair Salon in Opatija

Robert Plant

Robert Plant poster

Avoid Autotrans

We did not have a good experience with the bus service, Autotrans. We purchased tickets online from Opatija to Zagreb. No bus showed up. We took a taxi to Rijeka, the nearest city with a bus station. In Rijeka, we were able to board a bus to Zagreb but not much leg room for a 2 and a half hour bus ride!

Autotrans legroom

No leg room on Autotrans bus!

 

 

 


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