IT’S only a few days following my return from Croatia that I realise why I’ve been feeling so restless.
After a week of being lulled to sleep and gently woken by the sound of the Adriatic Sea stroking the pebbled beach outside my window, I was suffering from some sort of withdrawal.
That unerring rhythm did not stop for seven days and nights. It became a relaxing backdrop to an afternoon with my new book in the sun, or a romantic soundtrack to dinner on the hotel terrace watching yet another great sunset.
For all the comfort of the rooms, quality of the food and sweet release of the expert massages, it could be that the sea is the Tui Blue Adriatic Beach hotel’s greatest asset in its quest to soothe your cares.
Tucked in below Croatia’s second-highest mountain, but with easy access to the breathtaking beauty of the Split, to Dubrovnik coastal road, Adriatic Beach is ideal for a peaceful and pampered couple’s getaway.
It is an all-inclusive adult-only resort and sits directly on a beach with the island of Hvar a short jet-ski ride away across a narrow strait of crystal-clear azure water.
Spotlessly clean throughout and with staff who are unfailingly welcoming, the resort promises to relax and recharge you, be it in your own space on a peaceful beach free of squealing children, or in the pristine spa offering everything from hot-stone massages to anti-ageing facials and good old-fashioned manicures.
A quality buffet restaurant has a menu that mixes traditional Croatian flavours with more familiar fare, and rounds this off with a scandalous selection of desserts. This ensures you never bore of meal times.
If your conscience can’t take that kind of indulgence day after day, the hotel does put on morning fitness and yoga workouts — and there is a gym if you are feeling guilty.
But perhaps the best way to avoid piling on the extra pounds is to explore the stunning coastal path on which the hotel sits. To the north, about 30 minutes’ walk past quaint harbours and remote beaches, is the village of Igrane.
Here you can find a sports bar showing English football, affordable restaurants and also water sports such as paddle-boarding and kayaking — or boat hire if you fancy taking charge of your own trip.
The seafront walk to the south is breathtaking as you wander past quiet hamlets on the fringes of a forest.
The scent of the pine trees during an early-morning walk or run can be intoxicating (take trainers because the paths are rocky and steep in parts). In 45 minutes you reach the quiet, sweeping beach at Blato.
There are neither sunbeds nor a hatch serving that all-inclusive Tui beer. But it’s a quieter stretch of the coast, with loads of space for bathers and a handful of cafe bars.
SCENT OF PINE
All the beaches along this coast are pebbled, so don’t expect to be lying on soft sand. Invest in some sea shoes if you’re planning to take a dip in the water.
Croatia is a country with much to see, so it would be a crime to travel all this way without venturing out from your resort at least once. One option is the harbour town of Makarska, 30 minutes’ drive away, with a daily shuttle bus running from the hotel.
Here you can find a promenade with restaurants and bars, backstreets with cosy shops, and — if you can handle the walk through the rugged Osejava Forest Park — the stunning Nugal beach hidden away at the foot of imposing cliffs.
Makarska is the closest taste of real nightlife. As well as the lively bars on the promenade, tourists flock from miles around to the nightclub Deep — inside a cave.
A taxi back to the hotel will cost about 250 kuna (£30). If you want to go further afield, there are excursions available to book through the hotel.
The stunning waterfalls of Krka National Park, tours of Split and Trogir to the north, boat trips to the nearby islands of Brac and Hvar and — a must for any Game Of Thrones fans — a visit to Dubrovnik can all be booked, with prices starting at £53.
But if you are booking the Tui Blue Adriatic Beach, scrambling around the sights of Croatia probably isn’t your main priority. It’s more about chilling out and having some intimate “us time”.
The rooms are simple, sleek and comfortable. If you fancy pushing the boat out, you can book a “swim-up” room with its own mini-pool.
And if for any reason tensions develop between you and your beloved, well, you can always tune them out for a while by giving your full attention to the sweet sound of the sea. It really is the best therapy.
GETTING / STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 4H TUI Blue Adriatic Beach is from £625pp, based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick on May 2, 2022 and transfers.
To book, go to tui.co.uk or download the Tui app.
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