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krisek Trogir - A travel report by Krys
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Trogir,  Croatia - flag Croatia
7142 readers

krisek's travel reports

One of Croatia's gems. Trogir.

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The UNESCO-listed Trogir is a tiny Mediterranean island-town, packed with small Italianate houses with red roofs dating back to the 1400s. It is picturesque, relaxing and a great place to start and end a journey in Dalmatia.


Trogir island from the air - as a regular airliner approaches the airport of Split/Trogir.
Trogir island from the air - as a regular airliner approaches the airport of Split/Trogir.
It was Wizzair again that took me to the Balkans. They had opened regular connections between London (LTN) and Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik in Croatia; Sofia and Bourgas in Bulgaria; and Belgrade in Serbia. And that's in addition to four destinations in Romania. Many of the routes were available for less than £60 return. Yet, my flight to Trogir (the Split airport is actually closer to Trogir than Split) was moved from Friday to Wednesday, which was not convenient for a person with a regular day job and a limited number of holiday days available each year.

I had already been to Trogir in the summer of 1998, only for a few hours, on the way from Korčula and Hvar to the Plitvice Lakes. This time round, I decided to take it slow and stayed over night. Trogir is a small place and for me to spend an entire day on a tiny island and even stay for the night was a major deceleration. of travelling pace. But when I did it, it certainly felt like I needed it.

Trogir was founded some 2300 years ago. Little remains from that period and the majority of the attractions and monuments that remained when I visited dated back to the 14th and 15th centuries, many of which have distinct Venetian character. The southern seafront, where the main marina was, the remains of the city walls, a great gate and tower, an old but still functioning public school and the little fort as well, saw a couple of visits from luxury yachts. One of them was the famous Grace E, a charter top of the range yacht, whose radar unit was as big as if it was built for a destroyer. Seriously! But this side if the island also boasted a string of bars, cafes, and restaurants, some of which were a rip off, but some were not bad at all. The opposite side of the island, the northern side, also had a few eateries, as well as a couple of hotels, and it was the main gateway to Trogir. A single bridge there led to the main Split - Šibenik road. Right by the bridge was a local coach and bus station with short haul services.

Favourite spots:
San Marco Tower in the north-western corner of the island.
San Marco Tower in the north-western corner of the island.
For some strange reason, I was not exactly sure what it was, I liked the little spot on the north-western tip of the island, where the Tower of San Marco stood. It was a small tower standing at the end of the park, top of which was converted into a cafe. It stood there alone, in contrast to the rest of the town, which was tightly packed and whose narrow alleys would only allow one large person to pass. So, perhaps this strange exposure made the tower appear so prominent despite its size.

The main fort of Trogir, the Camerlengo Fortress, as I have always a soft spot for defensive architecture, was the other place in town that I liked especially. It was a typical Venetian-style little fort, similar to many of such structures around the Mediterranean left by Venice, when it ruled the trade at this seas. It might have seen better days, but it was not a total ruin yet. It was accessible by visitors (not free), who particularly liked the thick main tower for climbing and taking pictures.

What's really great:
Trogir's outer channel, southern end of the island
Trogir's outer channel, southern end of the island
No cars were allowed inside the old town. It would be impossible for them to navigate it. Their layout on the island made mysterious patterns, with many bends and dead-ends. I got lost a couple of times, particularly at night, when I needed to identify the location of my apartment. The ambiance of the maze, as well as the more open seafront, at night, when almost all visitors disappeared was incredible. That could be a set of a medieval film or yet another Harry Potter adaptation.

The fact that Trogir was so small also appealed to me. As the town was packed with significant sights, although small, one had to be very careful not to miss the palaces and residencies. And they indeed stood right one next to another.

Sights:
Camerlengo fortress seen from across the channel.
Camerlengo fortress seen from across the channel.
Camerlengo fortress with large, thick tower and Croatian flag on it was one of my favourite and was one of Trogir's most prominent sights. It did require a little bit more looking after, but I was under the impression that the authorities were actually planning to do something about it.

The other most prominent sight, which dominated the skyline was the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, and its tall belfry, which many visitors climbed for the view.

The list of Trogir's sight was rather long, considering the size of the island. Here are some of the more important buildings, which should not be missed:

The Rector's Palace

The Town Hall (aka Town Lodge)

Palace of Justice

Convent of St Nicholas

Dominican Convent

Palace Stafileo

Palace Statileo

Palace Lucić

Palace Andreis

Grand and Petite Ćipiko palaces

St Mary's Church (ruins)

St Leon's Church (ruins)

St Peter's Church

St Michael's Bell Tower; and the

Tower of St Nicholas.

And all of them can be visited in a couple of hours!

Accommodations:
The apartment at 16 Ribarska Street.
The apartment at 16 Ribarska Street.
As I was arriving in Trogir relatively early in the morning, I did not book accommodation. There was going to be enough time to browse around. And I could not find anything interesting online the night before I departed.

Already in Trogir, I stepped at the Portal travel agency, which middle-manned accommodation and tours. They found me 'an apartment' for rent on the island. I was allowed to see the goods and also could drop my bag at their office until the property was ready for collection (they spoke English). The room was located right inside the old town, at 16 Ribarska Street. At HRK300 (€40) it was not cheap, but it was spacious, had its own toilet/shower room and relatively clean. The bed was king size and the corner sofa was very large and was accompanied by a comfy armchair with a foot rest. It was completely independent, as if it was a one room hotel with no lobby and reception. In fact, it was a studio without a kitchen. Basic toiletries and towels were provided.

Nightlife:
The John Paul II Square at night with the Corte's bar and tables.
The John Paul II Square at night with the Corte's bar and tables.
At night, one of the bars at the John Paul II Square, the Corte, pulled in a bar onto the square and a gifted bartender started throwing and joggling bottles in the air. Right by the old Town Hall! Lounge-come-swing-come-samba-come-dance music played loud and it definitely felt like an open air club. The temperature of the air dropped considerably and long sleeves were surely a good idea. But at the same time it was great sitting there under the open skies, sip red Croatian wine and watch people walk by and admire the bartender's skills.

On certain nights, a band would put their instruments right in the middle of the square and play covers of well known hits spanning all types of music. People would then dance and shout out their song requests.

Hangouts:
The John Paul II Square with the clock tower and the tables of the open-air cafes.
The John Paul II Square with the clock tower and the tables of the open-air cafes.
The John Paul II Square in the heart of the old Trogir, below the cathedral, one side of which had the entry to the museum, was a great place to sit down and relax. Half of this small square was covered with tables and parasols, a perfect spot for a glass of refreshing Croatian white wine, writing postcards and watch people. Well, mainly tourists, who kept throwing back their heads in order to see the their fellow travellers, who managed to climb the Venetian style bell tower of St Lawrence's Cathedral. I did the postcards there, by the way.

The waterfront, where luxurious yachts parked and where an exceptionally pretty public school stood, was my other spot to chill and see the world go by. And it was hysterical to see how the very noisy and mobile kids kept flowing onto the waterfront boulevard on their breaks, disturbing an ambiance that the luxurious visitors might have expected otherwise. Five or six open-air cafes and restaurants there provided seats for this spectacle.

Restaurants:
The Porat Restaurant by the large gate.
The Porat Restaurant by the large gate.
About 12 years ago, when I was in Croatia for the first time (and when I jumped from banjee), I had the best spaghetti frutti di mare, ever. It was not in Trogir, but on Hvar, but as I was strolling in Trogir this time round, I thought I ought to try the same dish, wondering how good it was going to be. The Porat Restaurant, right by the Tower of St Nicholas, was not particularly funky, but it was busy. This is usually a good sign, but this time it was rather deceiving. The HRK55 (€7.55) portion there was way below average. The pasta was slightly overcooked, the seafood came from tins and/or from frozen and the traces of sauce were almost tasteless. I do not like to waste food, so I suffered a little. Fortunately, their tap beer, Ožujsko, was cold and at HRK20 (€3.50) for a pint seemed reasonably priced, for Croatia of course.

Other recommendations:
Konoba Ponara, the interior with the bar.
Konoba Ponara, the interior with the bar.
After this somewhat disastrous meal, I had to pick another eatery for the next meal. It was the Konoba Ponara serving traditional Bosnian easy but filling dishes; mainly rolls of minced meats, tiny sausages, or flat minced 'burgers' - all in flat bread. Very reasonable prices ranging from HRK20 to HRK59 made it an excellent value for money. Their tap beer Karlovačko was a standard HRK20 for a pint. And it was nicely cold.

Trogir was much closer to the airport than Split, although it was officially the Split airport. A taxi from/to the airport cost HRK100, and was not negotiable. However, a regular (yet somewhat infrequent bus) linked Trogir with the airport for about HRK20.

Intercity and international coaches did not stop in Trogir (with few exceptions) and for other places in Croatia and the region, one had to go to Split. The most convenient and pleasant way to do that was by boat which took exactly as long as a bus, and which stopped very close to Split's train and coach stations.

Published on Monday October 18th, 2010


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Mon, Oct 18 2010 - 05:24 PM rating by horourke

All the usual excellence of your reports but the detail, the praise of quietness, awareness of history -whew!!!!

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