There is a place in Europe that is so beautiful yet hardly known. Growing up I spend many summers there, because my family leaves nearby. Opatja is a small town on the Adriatic coast. It has changed hands frequently in the past. It has been part of Italy, former Yugoslavia, and now it is part of Croatia. Because of its history it has an Italian look and feel to it. That is what gives its flair. These pictures were taken in 2000, when I took my husband and then 2 year old son on their first trip to Europe. I dug these pictures out of my closet today and I am reliving the memory of this special trip.
Opatja sits right on the Adriatic sea and has pebbled beaches and pedestrian walk ways all along the shore. I have fond memories of walking, walking, and walking (it’s a European thing), for miles, passing hotels, restaurants, and even an open air movie theatre. Here is the beach more known to the locals.
After all that bragging about walking, here we are in a water taxi (a first for me). Taking in the scenery a little faster. Behind my husband is the center of Opatja, with the big hotels, where most of the tourists hang out.
A local church in town.
A local woman selling hand made lace, something Croatians are known for. Traditionally women wear black for one year when they mourn the death of a parent or spouse. I don’t remember my grandma ever wearing anything but black.
Here is the center where local vendors sell merchandise, or local artist draw tourists. Everything is within walking distance from here: Shops, restaurants (do try the local filled pastry called Burek), coffee shops, galleries, parks, etc.
What do you think? Will you add Croatia to your itinerary on your next trip to Europe? I highly recommend it. People are very friendly, and they try to speak your language more than in Italy or France.
Do let me know when you are going, I will have a shopping list for you.