January 27, 2015

Island Hopping....Kolocep

The day before our departure to Korcula, we followed some advice from our friend Bianca and headed over to Kolocep Island for some lunch. She had been to Croatia the previous year and likes all the same things we do when it comes to travel experiences and the really important stuff, like eating and drinking!! Bianca had lots of other great tips for us on what we needed to see, where we needed to go and where we needed to eat whilst we were in the country. She and her fiancé had chartered a boat for their time in Croatia which is the best way to really see the Dalmatian Coast, however we couldn't get a group together to do this so we tried our best to get around relying on ferries and water taxi's.

Kolocep is not far from Dubrovnik, about a 20 to 25 minute boat ride away. We could have taken a ferry over to the island, but the afternoon would have been governed by the ferry timetable so we opted to take a water taxi. It's not the cheapest option, but as we had chosen to stay in more traditional guest houses (which is much cheaper than staying in hotels) throughout our time in Croatia we were happy to splurge a bit when it came to food & drinks. We were picked up from the harbour in Lapad and took off on our journey to Kolocep. It was so wonderful to be back on the water again, which was like a pond, it was so calm.
Leaving the Harbour

Whenever we had mentioned to locals that we were planning on dining at Villa Ruza, everyone seemed to nod their heads and say 'ahh! Villa Ruza, yes!' So we knew we were in for an experience. We arrived on Kolocep at around 12 and had plenty of time to have a swim prior to lunch. The island was much more peaceful and less touristy than Dubrovnik, so it was nice to experience the serenity of island life. As we walked along the path from the jetty we saw holiday makers relaxing on their chairs outside their holiday villas enjoying a drink and watched some local men cooking freshly caught fish over coals as they talked amongst themselves. Kolocep has lots of pine trees and the smell & chatter of the insects around them immediately made me think of Rottnest Island back home, which made me rather nostalgic (but in a good way!). 

Villa Ruza is located at one end of the island, with picture perfect views as far as the eye can see. Our meal was lovely, however the restaurant had a fairly large table in for lunch and as a result, it had a knock on effect on how long we waited for drinks, food, etc. For what we paid for the meal and the experience, the service didn't quite live up to the price but I'm sure if it had been a different day or even a hour or two either side of this table arriving, we would have had a very different experience.

Views from Villa Ruza
After lunch, we walked around to a cove where we could have a swim and cool off. We noticed some words spray painted onto the pavement, FKK and wondered what it meant but didn't think too much of it. 
The infamous warning!

Once we found a lovely, flat spot on the rocks and took in our surroundings, we realised it must have something to do with the amount of naked bodies, all different ages and sizes, around us! These days, after living in Germany we aren't so deterred by this so decided to stay for a swim. A lot of these people were snorkelling sans swimwear too.....which we found rather odd but each to their own I guess! As we later discovered during this holiday, Croatia seems to be a hot spot for nudist colonies and the like (it's a big holiday destination for the Germans) and we didn't make the mistake of swimming in an FKK (free body culture) area again!

We then walked back around to the main stretch of beach and over to the jetty, where we sat in the sun and enjoyed our final couple of beers on Kolocep whilst we waited for our water taxi to come and collect us. A perfect end to a lovely day out on the water. 

Our happy place - back out on the water
We ate at Villa Ruza. If you are planning on going there for a meal, it's advisable that you book ahead.

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