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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Pelegrini; the food market; Skradinski Buk; St Nicholas Fortress; Sibenik old town PICTURES: Shutterstock


TRIED &


TESTED


heritage hotel life palace


In a 15th-century palace in one of the old town’s loveliest squares, the four-star Heritage Hotel Life Palace is a boutique hotel with 17 rooms and exceptionally helpful staff. The style harks back to Venetian times, with cream-coloured decor, painted ceiling beams and a judicious amount of gilt. A wellness centre on the top floor has a hot tub, treatment rooms and sauna. Book it: Doubles from €120, including breakfast. Prestige Holidays has four nights’ B&B at the Heritage Hotel Life Palace from £525 per person, including Gatwick flights and shared transfers. prestigeholidays.co.uk


atmosphere, heightened by having two of Croatia’s natural wonders, the Krka and Kornati national parks, nearby. Holidaymakers don’t have to


travel far to discover its pleasing combination of culture, history, top-notch cuisine and breathtaking scenery.


Day one 09.00: Croatians can’t start the day without a coffee, so join them over a leisurely cup at one of the cafes along the Riva waterfront (also known as Obala Dr Franje Tudmana). Neighbouring cafes Lasica, Falarinka and Moby Dick all have great people-watching opportunities.


09.30: A few minutes’ walk from the bus station outside the old town is Sibenik’s daily food and fish market. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are laid out on rows of concrete tables, and stalls sell fresh fish, cheese, meats and locally made olive oil. Down to earth and a bit scruffy, it’s definitely not a market put on for tourists.


60 30 MAY 2019


10.00: Explore the old town’s medieval and Renaissance lanes and alleyways, many of which are connected by stone steps. Sibenik’s Venetian legacy isn’t hard to spot among the creamy stone palaces with green shutters, but Unesco- listed St James Cathedral (Katedrala Sveti Jakova) is in a class of its own. Built during the 15th and 16th centuries, the cathedral has an unusual barrelled roof to go with its distinctive cupola. Look out for the gallery of stone heads decorating the exterior.


12.00: Dive back into the maze of steps and lanes and follow signs to St Lawrence Medieval Mediterranean Garden. This reimagining of a medieval monastery garden is a fragrant place to sit and relax, and there’s a cafe for those in need of a pit stop.


13.00: For a relatively compact old town, there’s a wide range of restaurants. Just off Obala Dr Franje Tudmana is a little square with Bistro Luce & Brigita in the corner. Choose from a good selection of fish


dishes – grilled sardines, octopus, tuna – as well as steaks. In the elegant square facing the cathedral is Gradska Vijecnica, a restaurant built into the Renaissance former town hall and offering traditional Croatian pasta and grilled meat and seafood.


14.30: Standing guard over the old town is St Michael’s Fortress, one of four in the city. This impressive medieval fortification gives sweeping views of Sibenik and the sea below, as well as two other fortresses in the hillsides above the city. Most of the fortress has been turned into an open-air theatre – a magical spot for summertime concerts. There’s more history in store at Barone Fortress, about a 20-minute (uphill) walk from St Michael’s. Built in the 17th century to ward off the attacking Ottomans, the fortress offers a glimpse into those turbulent times with an augmented reality experience.


18.00: As the hour approaches for an aperitif, wander down to the water’s edge along Obala Dr


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