We chatted with G Adventures employee Gabriela to ask her what she thought of her time in this Balkan country and she couldn’t be happier to encourage people to visit. Read on, and maybe you’ll want to make it your next holiday.

Maybe Croatia is one of those places that’s never really crossed your mind as a vacation spot. Turns out, it should be!

Q: What made you choose to visit Croatia and why a Local Living tour?

A: After my experience, the better question is “why not Croatia?”

I was looking for a relaxing journey with beautiful landscapes, great food, nice people, but mostly a local experience. Since we have the Local Living travel style, that helped me narrow down my options. G Adventures carefully chooses locations and places where you can have that authentic local experience, and when I saw Croatia, I thought “let’s try it!” And I’m so glad I did. It gave me everything I was looking for and more.

We stayed on a property located in the Konavle region, just 45 minutes from Dubrovnik, in a beautiful valley surrounded by green fields. The villa itself was incredible and made you feel right at home from the moment you stepped into the building, which was also helped by the welcoming owners.

The property belongs to the Mujo family; Grandma Mujo, her sons Ivo and Đuro, and their wives Katarina and Nikee. The entire family is involved in all of the villa activities, from cooking meals to biking around town, and are always more than happy to be cultural guides! Their family tree started back in 1536 and listening to their history was one of the highlights of the trip.

Here Đuro is offering a warm welcome with local liquor and of course we had to learn our first Croatian word: “živjeli”- Cheers!

Q: Sounds like you had the right people to give you that local experience and the right place for relaxation. So what about the great food you were looking for?

A: The food was definitely another highlight. Meals were always our favourite time of the day. Everything served was fresh and delicious and it was an opportunity for Katarina and Nikee to teach us about local products. Almost all of the ingredients for our meals came directly from their garden. They produce their own sausages, cheeses, and sweets and it simply tastes like home.

One amazing experience offered to us was a cooking class with Grandma Mujo. The family is proud of their traditions and they love to share them with their guests. They taught us about picking ingredients in the garden and the different cooking techniques they use, and since we were in a small group it allowed us to interact with everyone and share this meaningful experience together. You can even volunteer to milk a goat! Goat cheese is one of the delicacies of the region, after all.

One of our favourite corners of the house, where we tried homemade liquor, wine, and sweets made with local fruits.

Q: Mmmmm… goat cheese is my favourite. You also mentioned that the Mujo family would be biking guides for you. Where did you end up going?

A: Yes, well of course we needed a little exercise after all those delicious meals. We had the chance to do a 20km bike ride to discover the rural life of Lovorno. It’s mostly flat roads with stunning farm landscapes views.

Our activities didn’t end there. Throughout the week we had time to enjoy lots of experiences. We saw the Adriatic Sea by boat — the more adventurous of us jumped directly into the water! We visited Molunat, a small fishing settlement with sandy beaches where you can try the catch of the day. And a visit to the Sokol Grad fortress gave us an opportunity to hear about the history and wars in the region.

This journey also allowed me to discover Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most perfectly preserved medieval cities — its Old Town remains almost unchanged since the 13th century!

Q: You’ve convinced me! Is there anything else you think people should know about Local Living in Croatia?

A: Yes! This trip features local business and services and uses G Adventures’ Ripple Score which evaluates the economic impact of tourism on all their tours. Local Living Croatia has a Ripple Effect of 100 which means 100% of the local expenses stay in the community. Part of those services and experiences are wine and olive oil tasting, all small family businesses. It’s always a good idea to get local souvenirs directly from the people that make them!

At the end of my journey I felt complete gratitude for the connections I made and for discovering a place that made me feel at home. I had renewed value in my own family traditions. Travel is an opportunity to learn and respect others and I was grateful to witness the good travel can do when managed responsibly. Give yourself the chance to experience Croatia through the eyes of locals and make a positive impact while you enjoy the beauty this region has to offer.

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