AirBnb is a wonderful thing for digital nomads, giving you access to high quality accomadation across the globe, but, while it you might end up living in a neighbourhood with more locals than tourists, it is still far from "local" experiance it promises. The majority of owners we have rented from seemed to be semi-professional operations, and lock boxes mean we rarely met our hosts even to pick up the keys.
Zagreb however, has been a little different. We had the fortune to book an aparment with some lovely hosts who, not only met us at the airport, but also invited us to stay with them in their house on Krk island one weekend. We were delighted to take them up on their offer, and so made the three hour bus journey to get there on Friday evening. The motorway passes through endless forest and tiny hamlets, before spilling out into a rocky bay.
Krk is Croatia’s largest island, and is connected to the mainland with a bridge. There are a few towns on the island, and we were staying near the largest - Krk Town. Largest is a strong word though. The town little more than two main streets, with a string of hotels and campsites along the coast either side. We visited in mid-July so the tourist season was in full swing, with Hungarian, Austrian and German visitors. Most of all however, the people were from Croatia - Krk is the closest island to Zagreb, so is a popular holiday home spot for city dwellers.
We spent two marvellous days exploring Krk’s beaches. They are of the pebbly rather than the sandy kind, with crystal clear water. The ones close to the town were full of people with their beach umbrellas, tents, inflatable flamingos, towels, dogs, snorkelling gear, deck chairs, hammocks, cool-boxes. If you don’t mind a crowd you can spend hours people watching. Instead however, we walked down the coast until the roads turned into narrow paths in the pine forest, and the beaches were smaller and quieter.
We spent the evenings with our hosts, listening to the cicadas chirping in the olive trees, drinking Croatian wine and plum brandy. If Zagreb feels like Vienna, Krk feels like an Italian beach resort. Our hosts told us that for the most beautiful coastline, you need to venture further South, but for an easy weekend escape from the city, it was the perfect place to go.
- There is a direct bus service between Krk and Zagreb with Arriva busses
- Bring beach shoes if you have them - the rocks can be rough!