Holidays to Zaton Mali should come with a do not disturb sign. Dubrovnik may be just around the corner, but this pretty village shuns the limelight for the quiet life.
Quaint doesn’t even begin to describe Zaton Mali, a picture-postcard village on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Just 15 minutes’ drive from Dubrovnik, it could well be a million miles away. Its stately old stone mansions are just metres from the edge of an eye-catching bay, framed by pine-clad hills. Once the summer homes of well-to-do Dubrovnik sea merchants, they’re the perfect escape from the stresses of modern life.
A place in the sun
Dotted around the bay are rocky coves, jetties and bathing platforms, so you can either get straight to work on your tan, or dive headfirst in to the translucent waters. If you walk around the headland to Zaton Veliki, the next-door village, you’ll discover a small pebble beach. It’s ideal for children, and it’s right by the harbour when you’re ready for some lunch.
The quiet life
Between Zaton Mali and its pint-sized neighbours, Zaton Veliki, Stikovica and Vrbica, there’s a post office, a couple of supermarkets, and a handful of restaurants that take their seafood deliveries directly from the local fishermen. You can sip Croatian beer and watch the yachts drift across the bay at the harbour in Zaton Veliki. Or, if you want to stretch your legs, there are great hiking paths that zigzag across the surrounding hills.
Close to Dubrovnik
When you want to up the tempo, Dubrovnik’s in striking distance. George Bernard Shaw got it spot on when he called it the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and it has a succession of Medieval churches, monasteries, and palaces. But it’s also got a cutting-edge feel, with innovative restaurants, high-end boutiques, and some great nightlife and live music on the main boulevard, Stradun.
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