CROATIA – THOSE RATHER SPECIAL BARS WITH THE “JE NE SAIS QUOI”/SOMETHING SPECIAL
There’s something about the term “beach bar “ that makes most people smile. Whether it’s because for many of us, the climate rarely permits those six month-long outdoor spots on the beach where a chilled beer or wine goes down particularly well, or maybe it’s the very memory of that summer holiday in Croatia that sticks in the mind. Whatever. Many people returning from Croatia often talk about the joy of a great beach bar and the fun or relaxing times they spent there even when sometimes the place is not much more than a shack. It may be the staff, the candle-light, the unusual location or the quite sensational view: these very special bars are clearly important, whether on the beach, on city walls or in hideaways !Take a look at some of our favourite (and rather interesting) bars, on the beach and beyond:
No longer a secret but still great, Buza 1 cannot be beaten(often called the “hole in the wall bar”) Out on the rocks on the seaside of the city walls (only one in the city in this location) with fabulous views, this simple place has people returning again and again. Sit on the rocks or on the terrace – especially good at sunset. Go up the steps towards the Jesuit church and look for sign saying “cold drinks”.
Cave Bar in the Hotel More. On the Lapad peninsula and just a short walk along the lungomare (seaside promenade) there’s a sign saying “cave bar”. Discovered when the hotel was excavating a way to the beach. Complete with stalagmites and stalagtites (and the sea under glass floor in parts), great place for a drink (or a proposal or dedication by the candelabra!)
Just 20 minutes by bus or 40 minutes by water taxi from Dubrovnik, Beach Bar Little Star is on Kamen Mali Beach (small stone beach). An interesting and long history dating back to 1982 when it was just a straw kiosk, then rebuilt over an Italian World War 2 bunker and now reconstructed to a beautiful wooden building right on the water’s edge. Another place for fabulous sunsets, good food and drinks.
ISLAND OF KORCULA
Right on top of the Zakerijan tower, part of the city walls and the drinks are hauled up by pulley, the Massimo Cocktail Bar is a favourite in Korcula town…even if you only go once. Most people don’t.
Walk up through the Varos district and continue to the top then look for the signs to Restaurant Teraca Vidilica. At the top of the Marjan peninsula, the bar serves drinks and great cocktails with the best views in Split. Rather good restaurant too.
ISLAND OF HVAR
If you want the full Hvar Town vibe but away from the centre head for Hula Hula Bar just ten minutes walk and right on the beach (in July and August serious clubbing atmosphere is almost inescapable) . Best to visit during the day, chill out on beach sunbeds and leave before the younger party crowd arrives around 7pm…
Ask any local on the waterfront for “Club Deep” and they will direct you. Close to the Hotel Osejava, this is a bar within an entire sea cave where you are transformed into another world of mermaids and octopus decor and loud music. All ages welcome and worth seeing if only once.
Beach Bar Bamboo is right on the beach on the Puntamika cape bay away from the centre of Zadar but with great views of it from the bar. Waves literally come up to one side of the place.
ISLAND OF KRK, KRK TOWN
This mini Dubrovnik lookalike has a real treasure in it’s midst. Volsonis Bar, right by the city walls has a whole floor of Roman ruins which were found when excavating the place. The owners left it. Enjoy the fabulous outside terrace after you’ve traced the Roman relics of pools and water systems. Awesome.
ISLAND OF RAB, RAB TOWN
Creep into the garden at Hotel Arbiana (best after 9pm) and beg the staff to let you have a table in the candle-lit, almost fairytale garden there. Hotel guests may be lingering over dinner but well worth a try for a feeling of magic and romance.
The “bar of no name” set up in summer 2018 by a local among the trees right on the seafront and about 30 paces from the Lovran start of the lungomare promenade. Candles in hanging pots and retro memorabilia along with tree trunk seating and some very cool music make this a wonderful spot with the sound of the gentle Adriatic waves trying hard to interrupt your conversation.
The Torre Rotonda (Rotondo Tower) dates from 1474 when it was built as a defence tower and now is a unique bar. Just a few steps from the seafront close to the centre. Climb up a twisting stone staircase (duck!) to sit on the lovely circular rooftop terrace for wonderful views. Inside, there are intimate, curved, candle-lit , stone alcoves.
Zeppelin Beach and Lounge Bar is set out on a pebble and rock beach in Saccorgiana cove near the Verudela area of town. Just a few paces to the sea, there’s a relaxing vibe and chill out music turns a touch techno in the evenings. A Party spot at weekends.