Šibenik, the oldest town founded by Croats!

Almost all of the towns and cities on the Adriatic Coast were founded by Ancient Greeks, Romans, Liburnians, Venetians, but NO! not Šibenik! This town was founded by Croatians! Šibenik was first mentioned in 1066 in a royal document issued by King Krešimir IV of Croatia and hence Šibenik was given the nickname, Krešimir’s Town. We planned a visit to Šibenik, with lunch at Konoba Vinko weighing heavily on our minds..and who knows what else we might discover..?

Croatian King Krešimir IV watching over Šibenik County.

During my birthday week, three of us, Susie Vučak, Kathy Đula and myself decided to take a drive from Split to Šibenik. On the way we visited Agrotourism Kalpić. We were greeted like old friends, and within minutes we were sitting in the garden enjoying morning tea with Ivana Kalpić, a member of the Kalpić family. At this ecological resort it’s very possible to have a relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of usual city life, indulging in thr freshest and best garden produce, local cheeses, award winning local proscuitto, stunning wines, and organic fruit and vegetables grown on the estate. You will arrive as a guest and leave as a friend.

With Ivana, (middle) family member at Kalpić Agrotourism

Delightful cottages and gardens at Kalpić Agrotourism

Street scenes in Šibenik..This week the International Children’s Festival is being celebrated. This unique festival has been held for 40 years!

During the Renaissance period, Šibenik was one of the most important cultural hubs. It was during this time that the Cathedral of St. James was built, also several palaces and forts. I have to say though, to be fair, the city prospered under Venetian rule between the 15th – 18th centuries.

The Gothic/ Renaissance stone-masonry of Šibenik Cathedral was carried out 1430 – 1536 during continual attacks by the Turks..a very turbulent time.

The Šibenik region is packed with archaeological sites; astonishing countryside of two very different National Parks, Krka Falls and the Kornati Islands; Impressive forts of St. Michael, St Nicholas, St. John’s, and Subićevac Fort, and the magnificent St. James Cathedral, plus some of the very best Croatian restaurants can be found in the old city, Skradin, and on the Island of Murter. As for impressive vineyards, home of the indigenous Babič variety, here you’ll find some of the finest vintages.

Susie Vućak (Left), Kathy Đula (centre) and Lana Berak (right) at Konoba Vinko

Continuing on to Konjevrate, and meeting the lovely Lana Berak from Island Murter at the infamous Konoba Vinko’s was a real pleasure. Lana was born in Australia of Croatian parents, and together with husband and children has settled extremely well and is completely happy and content to be living here within this slower Mediterranean lifestyle.

Delicious roast lamb and potatoes, a speciality at KONOBA VINKO, and a yummy ‘Šibenik Cathedral’ cake. at YUM pastisserie in Šibenik.

Konoba Vinko, so well known far and wide for it’s homemade traditional Dalmatian style cuisine that we all love so much and we were not disappointed! I’ve heard about this restaurant for a few years, and was so looking forward to a meal of Domestic lamb, beautifully roasted along with potatoes to die for, plus a fresh bowl of mixed salad, all washed down with an extra special drop..a red wine labelled ‘Lasina’, a perfect choice from the nearby Ante Sladić vineyards.

Pupa by Pellegrini’. The famous Michelin Star restaurant ‘Pellegrini’ in Šibenik has opened their new bakery. Here you’ll find delicious treats and sourdough breads.

On the way home to Split via the coastal road, we decided to make a stop at perhaps one of the most picturesque coastal towns, the pretty little islet of Primošten. the girls had never been here before and were mesmerised by the absolute beauty of the whole town. Here you’ll find beautiful pristine beaches and lots of great little restaurants, particularly, Restaurant Mediteran, and Konoba Bracera.

The pretty picturesque islet of Primošten..always a perfect place to take a break.

The drive from Split to Šibenik takes 1 hour on the A1 highway, or 1 hour 30 minutes on the alternative road through the countryside, Solin, Prgomet and Mirlović Zagora. On the way home to Split, we chose the third option, the coastal road passing through Primošten,a really beautiful scenic drive all the way to Split.