Solo Trip To Zadar, Croatia Part 2 Day 3

Leave a comment Standard

Day 3 of my trip here was spent wondering around Zadar’s beautiful old town. The journey was around a 15 – minute bus ride from the Donat Hotel where I was staying. The journey cost me 10 kunas which was around £1.15 in sterling pounds or €1.31 in euros at the time of being there.

What the video if you would like to see this beautiful old town. You will also get to see the sea organ, which was definitely the highlight of the day! It was so fascinating!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Solo trip to Zadar, Croatia Part 1

Leave a comment Standard

If you read my last blog you will know I was feeling a little worried about this trip…. Well, there was no reason to be! I had the most amazing time!

Watch the video below which shows my arrival and first day in croatia. If you want to learn more about where I stayed scroll down to read.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Where I Stayed

I stayed at the Donat Hotel * Please not this is not a paid review*

I found the hotel basic but clean, the staff were very pleasant and helpful, Although, I do have to admit the restaurant staff were extremely miserable!

The food is buffet style with a fairly good selection every day and is served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, all the drinks are not all-inclusive! Red wine, white wine, beer, juices, sprite, coke, coffee and tea are all included in the package, everything else you are required to pay for. Many people were unhappy with this in the reviews, I for one was fine with this however, I did understand why people were disappointed. Correct me if I’m wrong but, all-inclusive usually includes all drinks but exclude champagne or branded drinks in the package.

The Hotel is located on a huge complex along with other hotels. In fact, the hotel has two separate buildings, one where the restaurant is located and the other where the reception and bar is located, this is the one I stayed in. The beach is pretty much on the door step of this building and is less than a 3-minute walk from the other building.

In the reviews people complain of the hotel being situated in a remote area, which is somewhat true to some extent. The surrounding area is quiet, but is rather enjoyable and not touristy. Outside the complex is a restaurant, gift shop, super market, ice cream shop and the beautiful harbour. Also, right outside the complex is the bus stop where you can take a short bus journey into the centre.

I really had no problem with this hotel and would recommend it as a very good choice to stay in zadar, especially if your looking to stay somewhere cheap and cheerful. It’s incredibly cheap! I paid £243 for the entire trip which included flights and airport transfers! *Please bear in mind this was booked for October and prices will vary*

Zadar, Croatia/ Feeling Apprehensive

Comment 1 Standard

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

October 2019, I took a four- day trip to Croatia. It’s a place I had wanted to visit for quite some time, but never imagined I would get there so soon, at the beginning of my solo travel journey. You see, I travel on a low budget which can be restricting, I never really choose the destinations, in fact, it’s almost like the destinations choose me.

How much it cost

I found the four- day package all-inclusive holiday at loveholidays.com for the price of £243. This price also included transfers to and from the airport! Ok, it’s out of season, but regardless it was a fantastic price! I was completely thrilled!

Feeling Apprehensive

I’m always apprehensive just before I’m due to travel, especially if I’ve never travelled to the country before.

A couple of days before due to travel, I began to get a little nervous, which led me to start reading reviews on my accommodation. I had already read some of the reviews prior to booking however, as the nerves kicked in I began to read the reviews extensively.

There were quite a few terrible reviews on the hotel, of course, this lead to me to question what I had actually booked!! I didn’t realise just how many bad reviews there were!

The majority of bad reviews were about how rude, miserable and unhelpful the staff were at the hotel. How the hotel was not all-inclusive as the alcoholic drinks we’re not included except red wine, white wine and beer. People also complained about the location of the hotel, saying it was in an isolated area with nothing around it. Other complaints included the state of the hotel, room size, cold water etc.

After reading all this, I was absolutely dreading it! Nevertheless, I told myself it was only a 4-night stay and surely it wasn’t going to be so bad.

I will share how this trip went on my next post along with more hotel details.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Video: Salou, Tarragona, Spain

Leave a comment Standard

For those interested, I managed to film some clips of my time in Salou and Tarragona over a period of 48 hours.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Hotel Details:

Disclaimer: Prices may vary depending on your party size and the time of the year you plan to travel. All details are based on my own experiences, please do not take all details at face value.

Hotel Best Cap Salou

On the first night, I stayed at the Hotel Best Cap Salou. My one night stay cost £34 which included breakfast, although I didn’t have to pay for this as Onethebeach.com foot the bill due to the hotel mix up. I thought it was a very reasonably priced hotel especially due to its location and the facilities it has to offer. It’s located in a tourist area, however, it’s not a hustle and bustle area, in fact, you will be guaranteed tranquillity as it’s set right on the sea. That being said, there are also good bus links in the area with bus information workers directing you in the correct direction, to the Salou Centre etc.

The Salou Pacific

The second hotel was the salou Pacific (my original hotel booked).

Cheap!!!

This hotel is a cheap budget hotel. I tend not to stay in the 4 and 5-star hotels as frequent travel will be costly unless of course, you have millions in the bank, which I don’t! Also, I do not like the idea of staying in a hostel, not that there is anything wrong with its just personal preference. I like my privacy.

The hotel cost me €109 for a whole 7day stay!! It was well located, had all the facilities I needed and most importantly was clean. What more could I ask for? Oh, wait! Free-Wifi which isn’t available, but nonetheless everything else was absolutely fine.

No cleaning Service

The hotel does not offer a cleaning service it’s basically like just renting an apartment. I actually preferred this! There was no bother of having to think about the housekeepers coming in. I brought my own cleaning products for €4.50 and kept up with the cleaning myself. Some people prefer not to have to do anything on holiday, but I clean up even when there is a service of housekeeping so it made no difference to me.

Clean Towels

You can get clean towels at the reception in exchange for your used ones

Deposit and rules on leaving

There is a €50 per person deposit on arrival this is given back on check out after a quick inspection.

To get your deposit back you are required to clean the apartment. By this, I mean to ensure the kitchen area is cleaned, wash the dishes put them away and wipe the sides down. You do not have to spring clean it as it will be cleaned after you leave, you just need to tidy it as you found it.

You also need to take your rubbish out to the bins, which are directly across the street. (Do not leave any rubbish whatsoever).

Do all this and you get your deposit back 🙂

The hotel is in a fantastic location with excellent links to Cambrils, Tarragona, Barcelona and is only a 15- 20-minute walk from the promenade (or bus it and get there in 5minutes). I would highly recommend this hotel for the budget traveller.

Thanks for visiting:)

A Day In Tarragona/ Catalonia, Spain

Comments 11 Standard

Tarragona is a port city situated in north-east Spain on the Costa Daurada Although, it only sits 100 km to the south of Barcelona, It is by far less known. It’s full of well-preserved medieval and roman charms and is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

The majority of tourists visit Barcelona and the more popular locations such as Madrid, Seville and Valencia. It’s surprising how many people have never heard of Tarragona here in the UK, especially since it is located only 11 km from Salou, the hugely popular British tourist destination.

Now I have to admit, I had never heard of it myself until I was searching for a city to visit on my 6th day in Salou. I come across it on trip advisor and was completely blown away by the pictures and reviews.

That morning I made the 15- 20 minute journey by bus for €2.50, I was so delighted I did! It was full of wonders!

I got off the bus at Tarragona bus station, google maps directed me to turn right and to walk straight ahead.

After 5 minutes of walking, I arrived at the beautiful port.

I was then lead slightly to the left off the port to this bridge.

I could see the views of the Amphitheatre as I walked further along the bridge.

Tarragona Roman Amphitheatre

This Roman amphitheatre built approximately in the 2nd century sits on the coast just of Rambla Nova. Initially, it was used for battles of the gladiators and fighting and hunting of animals. Later on, it was used for undertaking executions of people who were sentenced to death.

Circ Roma

Directly across the road from the amphitheatre was the Circ Roma (Roman Circus). Circ Roma is the underground open-air ruins of the 1st century where horses and buggy racing took place.

Admission is €3.30, free for children under the age of 16 years. €1.70 for groups of over 25 people, pensioners, students and one parent families.

Inside is spectacular! Full of dark underground tunnels. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked but here are a few.

I made my way up the building, stopping to admire the contents inside until I reached the rooftop. The views from the rooftop were stunning!!

A 10-minute walk from here is the Roman walls and the cathedral.

The Cathedral

The cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church from the late 11th century and was declared a monument in 1905. The architecture inside is truly astonishing!

More wandering

I found a little people square surrounded by shops and cafes where I stopped to refuel. It was the perfect place for people watching and taking in a bit of the culture, as many locals seemed to be here with their dogs.

After here I wandered into the centre and browsed through the shops, whilst also wandering down the side streets.

I was entirely fascinated by this little cosmopolitan city, it completely took me by surprise! There were lots of little hidden gems everywhere! I could go on and on but then this blog would be far too long. I would highly recommend visiting this place, it’s especially worth visiting if you’re in Salou, Barcelona or any of the other nearby destinations.

Thanks for reading 😉

Salou, Spain: Part 3

Comments 4 Standard

My trip to Salou has been far by the most challenging up to date. You can read more about this in my blog Nightmare in Salou part 1 and part 2 nonetheless, I still managed to make the most of the few days where no dilemmas transpired.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

Salou is located in Costa Dorado in the Catalonia region of Spain and is the most popular in Costa Dorado. It has two main beaches Playa Ponent which is the biggest of the two is a sandy beach along Catalonia with a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. The other is Playa Llevant which sports a gym, volleyball and children’s play area. Both beaches offer a number of water sports activities.

Spain’s top theme park PortAventura is just next door, as well as a number of golf courses and a world-class water park.

Salou sets a vibrant pace for nightlife offering a number of bars, clubs and restaurants. And those who want a change of scenery Barcelona is only 90 minutes away via train. Then there’s Tarragona, a city declared a world heritage city by UNESCO in 2000.

This is a tremendous family destination with something for everyone of all generations. But, just how did I spend my time here as a solo traveller?

Day 3

It’s the third day in and the first day I’m actually able to enjoy the holiday. I don’t really have a plan other than to explore the local area.

It’s around 12 noon by the time I leave my apartment. I’m staying at the Salou Pacific Apartments in a self-contained apartment. I would definitely recommend these apartments for low budget travellers.

The sun is beaming down on me from the moment I step outside. It was beautiful! just what I needed! I walked and walked just taking in the scenery. It was definitely that typical British tourist destination. Don’t think I have ever been to a holiday destination surrounded by so many British accents. That being said, it felt rather comforting after everything I’d been through.

It wasn’t long before my stroll brought me here.

Salou Promenade

It’s was so beautiful and seemed like an endless abundance of palm trees, waterfalls and monuments.

Avenida Jaume l

Cambrils

My roaming walk brought me to the small town of Cambrils.

Cambrils Habour

Cambrils is a coastal town, a quieter alternative to its more full-on neighbour, the resort of Salou. It is more low key and is regarded as a foodie place due to its wonderful seafood restaurants and local ingredients.

I enjoyed the quieter beach, the harbour, strolling through the back streets, a fine bite to eat at Denver Restaurant (highly recommend) before heading back to Salou.

On my back through Salou, I come across some interesting architecture but one that struck me the most was the stunning Xalet Bonet.

This wonderful private home was built by Ciriac Bonet in 1918. The architect for the piece was Domenec Sugranyes I Gras disciple and colleague of Antoni Gaudi.

The house is not open to the public but, it is extraordinary just to admire, even if it only from the exterior.

Xalet Bonet

Day 4

This day consisted of more exploring locally around Salou.

Again there were no plans, I just wondered around. This time my wanders took me to Parque Municipal de Salou, a beautiful quiet park in the centre of Salou.

Parque Municipal de Salou

It was such a quiet, relaxing place with only the sounds of the waterfalls and birds twittering away. The ponds had small fish and I’m pretty sure I saw tiny turtles (I think)

The park also had a cafe, a small child’s play area and an outdoor gym, which was pretty cool.

After here arrived at the beach. I walked pretty much the whole way around admiring all the beach bars restaurants, and the beauty of the sea.

Levant Beach

On the way back to the hotel I opted to walk on the street that runs parallel to the beach to avoid the crowds. This meant I was walking up the steep streets, which was rather exhausting after a while. Just a few steps ahead was a sign that read Koko Beah Bar, in need of rest I was grateful to see this. I really needed to sit down, my legs were like jelly, I’d been wandering around for so long.

To my surprise, they had the most remarkable terrace with the most incredible views over the sea.

Views from the Koko Bar

If I hadn’t of wandered down this street I would have never found this place. I was so delighted to have come across it! Not only was it a great place for relaxation and to watch the sunset. It served a great selection of drinks, cocktails and delicious gourmet dishes all at reasonable prices, given it’s the location.

My time in Salou was mostly spent relaxing on the beach. It was a trip with quite a whirlwind of events and emotions, so I needed a lot of time to recharge. Having said that, I did, in fact, make the journey to Tarragona whilst here. Tarragona is an extraordinary place which deserves a blog of its own. I’m super excited to share the place with you, so I will be doing a write-up on this Shortly.

Thanks for reading 😁

My Nightmare in Salou, Spain Part 2

Comments 4 Standard

Hi all!! Welcome back!

This blog is a follow up from my last blog Nightmare in Salou Part 1. If you have not read it yet, maybe have a quick read before reading this one.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my Disclosure page for more info.*

So, it’s been 5 days since my awful arrival, I’ve put it all behind me and I’ve been having a great time. I will share these nice few days with you in my next blog but, for now let’s get all the negative stuff out of the way.

Fraud!

It’s the morning of day 5, I’m still lying in bed thinking of how I’m going to spend my day. I pick up my phone to google a place to visit and notice a text message from my bank. The text message read something along the lines of, it’s the fraud team, you need to contact us immediately. I felt extremely anxious!

Due to unexpected expenses and over spending my budget I had nothing but €1 left! I planned to withdraw some more today using my card. This was not something I needed to hear! All sorts of thoughts started to run through my head. What if my account has been cleared? What am I going to do? Panic started to kick in! My first instinct was to check my bank balance, which I did. Not noticing anything had been taken, just absolutely thrilled to see money in it, I ring the bank.

The bank inform me almost £200 had been taken from my account and there were companies still trying to take payments, which they blocked. I didn’t recognise any of the four companies they mentioned. I just couldn’t understand how and why this was happening to me!

The bank had to blocked my card!

The lady from the bank informs me, she needs to block my card immediately. Well, I can not even begin to describe the panic that overcome me at this point. I asked her if she will give me some time to go and withdraw some money. She begins to tell me it’s irresponsible on their behalf to leave an account unblocked, after having knowledge of fraud. I tell her my situation of being abroad, having no money and the card being my only access to money. She starts asking me if I can lend money from a friend or whoever I’m with. After telling her I’m alone, she allows me time to go and withdraw some money but, not without informing me the danger of my account being cleared. She went on to explain, if one of the companies slip under the net, they would not be responsible for any money taken. Great!! Just what I needed to hear!! As if it wasn’t frightening enough!!

One last attempt before the card gets blocked!

In a frenzied hurry I run down to the cash point, luckily enough it’s just outside the hotel. However, in such a poor state of mind I managed to tap in my pin number incorrectly twice!! I get memory block! Now I’m left with one more attempt!! I’d never felt so anxious in my whole life!

I can’t use my card for Cash back in this country. My only option is to try again! I’m hyperventilating and I’m too scared to try again in case it’s wrong. I just want to cry! But given the fact I look like a crazy lady, in my pyjamas with a huge messy afro currently covering the whole of Salou, I don’t want to draw any more attention to myself. All I can think is my bank account could be cleared right now!

I try again

I sit on the wall for a while to try not to think of anything because, to think would make me over think. Instead, I people watch in the hopes of my pin coming back to me subconsciously.

I have the number in my head but, for some reason doubting myself a little. I go with it and bingo! It’s the correct number! Nothing else has come out the account, I was able to withdraw cash and ring the bank to have the card blocked.

You couldn’t write it!

After the fraud incident I was able to enjoy the last couple of days of my holiday but, disaster strikes again!!

It’s the day of leaving, I’ve been told my coach will collect me at 6.50pm outside my hotel. I decide to sit on the wall outside the hotel at 6pm to catch the last bit of sun also, so I don’t miss my coach.

It’s 7.10pm my coach has still not arrived, I ring the transport number. The lady on the other end tells me the coach has already been! I was quick to correct her it had not been. She apologizes saying the driver informed them 20-minutes ago, to say I wasn’t there. Then tells me I will have to find my own way to the airport, then claim it back through my insurance. I was furious! After a few heated words for her to deliver to the dishonest driver before hanging up. I go back to my hotel to ask reception if they knew how much a taxi to the airport would cost. They discuss with each other in Spanish, then say around €25 however, they seem a little unsure. This made me feel uneasy nonetheless, with €30 left, I have them ring me a taxi.

Whilst waiting for the taxi a guy shouts over in a Scottish accent. “Did they forget you?” I nod at him, and tell him I’m waiting for a taxi. He tells me to take the number 5 bus from the top of the street because, it will cost at least €45 in a taxi. I realise he actually works at the supermarket and seems to have great knowledge about the buses. He explained how the last one was at 7.30pm and tells me to run because, it was 7.30pm now. With not enough money to take the taxi I listened and ran to the bus stop.

It’s 7.45pm, my plane’s departs at 9pm, it takes at least 40 mins to get there and there’s no sign of the bus! To say I was frantic, would be an understatement.

It’s been! I’ve missed it! I’m going to miss my plane! I’m going to be stranded! What am I going to do? And just as I was about to go into a melt down, the number 5 arrives! I could not believe my luck!

I made my flight with 2- minutes to go! 😂🤣😂

Although, these bad experiences happened, I’m actually thankful they did and now take extra precautions in the event of things going wrong. I will be writing a blog on these precautions on a later date, hopefully it helps others.

Thanks for reading :))

Have you been through anything like this? Or have you any thoughts? Would be great to hear.

Thank you so much for reading x