I just ticked Sibenik off my bucket list after a short two-day trip, and I can’t help but daydream about that magical heavenly place. My short time for relaxing and vacationing went off so fast that it certainly felt like it was not enough.
Sibenik seems to have a magnet at its very core. It’s a sensation that's hard to explain unless you experience it, but once tripped you are surely obliged to revisit and perhaps even stay forever. It's the kind of place that's hard not to become emotionally attached to. Touted as the paradise of all things inclusive, the old town is a remarkable city with beautiful people, breathtaking panoramas, and magnificent placid waters. The stone web of narrow streets and alleys are a joy to explore.
Sibenik is one of the best places to get spoiled with affordable and luxurious apartments because it’s very cheap compared to other big towns in Croatia. I found an apartment relatively quickly -- a cozy place with one room overlooking the cool azure waters. The breeze was heavenly. I instantly fell in love with it.
Here's what I covered on my first day in Sibenik:
As I moved in, I was captivated by the spectacular view of St. James Cathedral. A towering beauty hemmed in by a soaring dome, it is considered the most important monument in the city. The cathedral is entirely made from a stone called Brac (this is the stone that was used in building the White House in Washington). It is exquisitely beautiful! My favorite bit was the 71 sculptured faces of men, women and children around the main entrance and the ceiling of the baptistery. They were so life-like.
Knowing that my priority was to relax and just enjoy being in a beautiful place, I spent quite some time at the monument. Then, just a few minutes stroll from the Cathedral, I arrived at the palace of the late Renaissance Rector, popularly known as the Count’s place. Here, I was taken back to the 15th century with beautiful archeological artifacts including sculptures and coin collections. I didn’t spend a lot of time here, but it certainly made for a beautiful and memorable afternoon.
(Faces on the Cathedral, image from www.flickr.com by Tania & Artur)
St. Barbara Church
I visited three lovely spots without having to spend money on travel expenses. Just behind Sibenik Cathedral is the beautiful little church of St Barbara. I was told that solo building was built in the mid-1600s. It had a small but noteworthy collection of old sculptures and paintings that dated back to the 13th century. As I entered the interior, I was greeted by two unique altars -- one from the original church and the other built to compliment the first one. The entire structure was beautiful and worth sticking around for a few hours.
After having spent the whole evening exploring the hidden gems, my body was literally aching for rest. Before going to my apartment, I stopped at a cocktail bar to sample their wine. Locals at the bar were more than friendly; I made a few friends, and we slurped the relish as we chatted the night away.
A perfect day starts with a great cup of coffee. I strolled down to Cafeteria Espresso, the best coffee place in town. My plan for the day was to stroll through the old touristic city of Sibenik.
(Look of the city and its architecture, from www.flickr.com by Coralie Ferreira)
Sibenik Old Town
Sibenik's old town boasts of a long history. It may not be a big town, but it harbors many interesting facts regarding culture, architecture and life. Having heard so much about bus rides, I decided to try one. The rides here are very interesting and can be gut-churning. Although they can sometimes be very late, the unique adventure is worth the wait. It took me twenty minutes to arrive in town.
But the absolute highlight was Krka National Park, which if you aren’t aware has a lake and a gorgeous waterfall. I had a wonderful time connecting with nature and enjoying the refreshing air. Further ahead, I sat down to watch the majesty of the various birds that graced the beautiful park.
I must take this opportunity to mention the distinctive local delicacy I enjoyed at Marineo restaurant in the heart of the old town. I was presented with a princely serving of fish. Simple, cheap and perfect for a quick lunch.
Of all the cities and big towns that I’ve toured in Croatia, beautiful Sibenik surprised me at how everything was so cheap. From the real estate in Sibenik to the sumptuous dishes offered, my wallet didn’t complain at all. I went back to the cocktail bar for another bottle of wine, to meet some new people and have fun.
If you have Croatia in you visiting plans I warmly recommend you to stop by and check out Sibenik, it is a mesmerizing city and one of my favorites in Croatia.