Our first day was spent finding our feet and involved an awful lot of walking – probably a good thing after our sugar-laden breakfast! The plan was to spend the first half of the day at the beaches on the east side of town but, upon arrival, we were greeted by hundreds of children and uncomfortable sunbathers sprawled across unappealing concrete slabs – the decision to trek back across town to Marjan Park was, therefore, a quick and easy one! Five miles, a Lion Bar and two bottles of water later, we arrived at a smaller, quieter beach that was far more inviting.
After a couple of hours snorkelling and sunbathing, our stomachs were crying out for food so we packed up once more and headed back into town, where the day took a turn for the better. Taking advice from the host at our guesthouse, we sought out Zinfandel, a lovely tapas and wine bar. It was the perfect spot for a late lunch with gourmet burgers, charcuterie and seafood, as well as lots of people watching opportunities. Satisfied and merry, we reluctantly ventured off to explore some more and this time found ourselves on the northern side of Marjan Park, where we found a small beach/bay that seemed to be used exclusively by locals. With some old ships floating nearby and a car park just behind, it wasn’t the prettiest but it was perfect for an atmospheric sunset swim.
Our evening was spent exploring Old Town, which is made up of lots of beautiful medieval streets, hidden alleys and busy squares. Unfortunately, the dinner that evening was rather disappointing but we did discover a delightful wine bar that’s sister to the tapas restaurant just across the street, UJE Oil Bar. The owner was incredibly smiley and little touches such as nice glassware (I’m a sucker for a fancy beer glass) and sweets served with the drinks made it a great spot to conclude the day.
Tip: Skip the beaches on the east side of town and instead head to Marjan Park, which you can walk or cycle to from the centre of town. Besides the beaches, the pine forest itself is worth exploring and it is a great spot for a bike ride.