Well it has been about a month since we set sail on our cruise of the Adriatic Sea, so I apologize for taking so long to tell you about it! A LOT has been going on in our world since then! I’ll fill you in on that later. For now, check out this cruise we took!
The first port was in Athens/Piraeus, where I told you Jamie and I spent an extra couple days in before the cruise. We met his parents, Bobby and Debbie, on the boat at the port in Piraeus. We had a great dinner at a restaurant on the boat called “The Grill” where you cooked your own meat on a hot rock! Then we went to the back deck of the boat for some sundowners and watched the boat start to sail!
First Stop: KATAKOLON, GREECE
Katakolon is near the ancient Olympia. We took a bus to the beach and just hung out there all day. The beach sand was HOT, we are talking SPICY!! Wear your flippy floppies all the way down to the water – trust me.
Here is what our info card on the boat had to say about Katakolon: At the of the tree-covered Kronion Hill, in a valley of two rivers, Katakolon is a sleepy place, but one of the most popular ancient sites in Greece. Ancient Olympia was the Sanctuary of Zeus and later played host to the Olympic Games. Katakolon is an ideal place to have a leisurely, Greek lunch and enjoy some time by the sandy beach!
Second Stop: CORFU, GREECE
We visited this tiny, old town and souvenir shopped in the afternoon! Then we had some great, Greek snacks at a little cafe. This place had baked feta cheese…you talk about something good!! Pinterest that, guys, seriously. Great appetizer for parties. We also hiked up an old fortress that had been there for several hundred years, but sadly there wasn’t any information on it. It’s definitely something I keep meaning to Wikipedia.
Corfu town is located about midway along the island’s east coast. This lively capital is the cultural heart of Corfu and has remarkable a historic center that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The town is small enough to walk to every site along the narrow lanes of it’s pedestrian-only quarter.
Third Stop: KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
On this day we took a “Speedboat Adventure” to a Blue Cave where the water was neon blue! We had never seen anything like it! Later we wandered around the old town Kotor before having the best evening and dinner of the trip! Jamie and I hiked up this hill that led to both a church then further up a fortress. We went to the church, but I was not interested in continuing up to the fortress. It was SO HIGH UP!! And it was an old, rock covered “walk-way”, if you want to call it that, that led up to these things. Very tricky – not for people with disabilities in any fashion. Kotor was so cool. Watching our cruise ship navigate through the fjords was a bit stressful, but it made it to the dock with no issues.
That night we had our favorite evening of the trip! In lieu of having dinner on the boat, we found a little cafe tucked inside Old Town Kotor. Amongst the old buildings, string lights and lanterns, a saxophonist played in the background. We enjoyed Montenegrin wines, seafood risotto, fresh steamed mussels and delicious pizza!
Backed by imposing mountains, tiny Kotor lies hidden from the open sea, tucked into the deepest channel of Kotor Bay, which is Europe’s most southerly fjord. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor’s Medieval Old Town is enclosed within well-preserved defensive walls built between the 9th and 18th centuries.
Fourth Stop: DUBROVNIK, CROATIA
Ok, we were really pumped about this stop! Any Game of Thrones fans will know, this is Kings’ Landing complete with Blackwater Bay! Jamie and I attempted a Game of Thrones walking tour, but it turned out to be incredibly boring so we ducked out. We walked up an old fortress that they filmed some scenes of the Red Keep. We got some good arial shots of Dubrovnik there as well as “Blackwater Bay”, which was really small, by the way. After we ducked out of the tour we met Debbie and Bobby at a cafe and had a couple sundowners and snacks. Earlier that day we we on an “Adriatic Sea Adventure”, taking the boat to another blue cave with neon blue waters. We snorkeled there and Jamie and I went as far down as we could underwater in the cave and looked out through our goggles. The water through that perspective was so unreal looking! After that we went to a small island within the archipelago to a beach and had a wonderful seaside lunch.
Dubrovnik is one of the world’s most beautiful fortified cities, surrounded by defensive walls built during the 13th century. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Old Town is a quaint square with clock towers, cafes and shops. Croatia is a place we want to go back as we didn’t feel like we got to see all we wanted. We would like to walk to city walls and see more historical things. Next time!
Fifth Stop: HVAR, CROATIA
This day was a great day on the water! We took a sailboat around the Hvar archipelago, stopped to have a fabulous lunch and take our last swim in the Mediterranean! There were yachts everywhere! I am certain there was a famous person somewhere around us. The water in the Mediterranean is so clean feeling and there aren’t any critters in it to be scared of. However, it is also very salty. Most beaches are rock beaches, so not a lot of sand. When my hair was damp I was running my fingers through it and had this sandy, white stuff on my hands. It was salt! It’s very good for your skin, but still bring a good moisturizer if you spend time in the water here. We walked through this old town, as well, and go some souvenirs before heading back to the boat for dinner.
Sixth Stop: VENICE, ITALY
We spent a few days in Venice to get in everything we could think of: an opera, all the city highlights, the Grande Canal, food, food and more food!
Venice was packed with people, so I wouldn’t recommend going in the summer months. The lines for the big highlights were hours long. Luckily, the excursion we booked through our boat was St. Mark’s Basilica. Since we did it that way, we were given a private tour of the church, after they closed! So the 25 people who took this excursion from our boat were all that were in there! We had a tour guide that was so funny and so Italian it made it such a memory! Our tour guide was the twin of Bill Hader’s SNL character Vinny Vedecci! Hysterical! If you have no idea what I am talking about, YouTube it. **Also, if you tour any churches in Europe, you must have your shoulders covered and pants/dresses that cover your knees.
One thing you should know-before-you-go…lots of walking here. I mean, it seems a given because there are no cars, canals everywhere, etc, but whatever amount you think you’ll be walking while here, quadruple that. My steps meter said we walked 13 km one day and 16 km the second. **Comfortable shoes are a must. When we got tired of walking and thought we weren’t seeing everything efficiently, we opted for a gondola ride! This is a great way to see things, but it is EXPENSIVE! Be ready to fork out 100 Euros or more for a 30 minute ride. We also toured the Doge’s Palace which was INSANE! How that could be a house, I don’t know.
In the evenings we had dinner at the cutest trattorias. One restaurant we went to was outrageously expensive. We asked the hotel to find us a good place and make us a reservation and this was it. Even in the busiest months, you don’t need a reservation. Just walk around and see what cafe or trattoria looks good to you and eat there. Don’t fall into the tourist trap like we did. In St. Mark’s Piazza there were several cafe’s to stop and have drinks (drinks only), but they also have quartets playing throughout the night! So lovely! Definitely would recommend ending your day like that!
Well that’s it!! We had a great time! If you have any questions about traveling here, email me! There is a lot to know!