Salona – the ancient capital of Dalmatia

Driving into Split on the main road from Trogir, you pass by what appears to be a large municipal park with some ruins. This is what’s left of Salona, Dalmatia’s largest and most important city two thousand years ago. You’d hardly credit it, even walking around the park, as it’s all very low-key, most visitors seem to be locals walking their dogs. On the day we visited, there were few other tourists, and it’s possible to enjoy the place in peace, connecting with its ancient past.

In through one door… and out through another

The word for a door in Croatian is vrata, which comes from the old Slavic word vorta. It’s always plural, in the same way that trousers or pants are in English. And vrata means both the opening, and the object we use to close it up. Now that may be a wooden door, glass door or wrought-iron gate, inside or outside, in the house or garden or field – vrata covers all types.

A very atmospheric wine tasting experience

Wine tasting in Ivo Duboković’s magical cellars in Jelsa

One of the finest wine-tasting experiences on the island of Hvar has got to be the magical cellars of Ivo Duboković. The outside world is suspended, as you step down into his konoba, piled high with barrels and casks on all sides. This is a working winery, where it all happens. Tucked into a corner…

Fresh season's growth on old vines

Lunch and a vineyard tour at Carić winery on Hvar

We always love to visit Carić winery, not just for their excellent wines, but also for the friendly chat and a chance to catch up with owners Ivana and Ivo Carić. Theirs is a small, family run operation with a growing reputation both within Croatia and internationally – in fact their Bogdanjuša wine was recently…

Dalmatian shutters – stylish and so practical!

Where I grew up, in Edinburgh, only the older stone houses had working shutters, and those were on the inside of the windows to keep out the cold in winter. In much of southern Europe, houses are shuttered in the summer to keep out the heat. I also really enjoy the ability to close out the world when it gets cold, dark and wet in winter, especially when there’s a bura blowing! It’s all terribly convenient, and so much cheaper than extra heating or air conditioning.