Korcula in beach holidays travel writing competition
In over our heads, Croatia
We’d been trying to get to an offshore island but were having trouble finding a boat to take us. “We’d like to get to Badija. Can we swim there?” Laughter rippled around the tourist office. “Swim?” The women behind the desk exchanged amusement. “Why not?”
We were in Korcula, a pretty town remote enough from Croatia’s glitzier ports to offer a haven for swimming, snorkelling or lazing under the sun.
At sunset, we floated beneath the city walls while above us diners tucked into inky cuttlefish risotto. Later, we opted for grilled squid on the roof terrace at Adio Mare, the konoba just off the town square, followed by creamy sladoled, Croatia’s answer to gelato.
Korcula makes a good base from which to discover other places off the tourist trail. Wandering the Nikole district, we rounded a corner to discover an old stone monastery and another perfect swimming spot.
And Badija? Realising the joke was on us, we rented a kayak. Shoals of flying fish leapt in front of us as we paddled, and when we pulled up the boat on Badija, tame deer trotted out of the undergrowth. Once again, the locals had taken our measure and surprised us.