Probably the cutest little town on the coast is Skradin. Only 20 or so kilometers from Šibenik, this town is the “capital” of some other Dalmatia. Relaxed, easy paced, traditional… Although many things are changing and the modern elements like the new building of Krka National Park headquarters are ruining the picture perfect feeling of traditional Dalmatia, here, more than anywhere else, the old facades still shine with that sleepy feeling of easy life in the distant provinces. No hustle and bustle despite the thousands that board the boats to the waterfalls right here, only few dozen meters away from the city center.
If interested in history, plenty of links on the web will tell a tale of once important stronghold of Romans, medieval Croatian nobility and the times when this was the seat of a bishop of Skradin – a powerful figure of it’s time.
You can also learn about the recent war that hit Skradin hard as it was very close to the first lines of fire in the nearby Velika Glava and Rupe villages…
But for me, Skradin was always about easy living, good food and wine and charming traditional architecture.
My aunt was married to a local guy, my uncle Božo. They are both now in the shades of the cypress trees… Left us too early.
Both were very colorful characters who run one of the most prestigious local restaurants “Zlatne Školjke” – still a favorite to many.
I still remember my late aunt Marija preparing grilled meat for us while my father was taking tourists to the waterfalls of Krka… The fishermen would bring fish and eels, sea shell and squid, and my uncle would take care of all that while running the rest of the place that was always filled with tourists. The times have changed and there is a lot of competition in Skradin nowadays but “Zlatne Školjke” still keeps the tradition going as one of the most reputable restaurants in the region.
Skradin was an important harbor in the Roman times since the fertile hinterland was producing some of Empire’s finest olive oil along with great wine, honey, fish, sheep and cattle… The rich town became an important stronghold nicely positioned on the banks of Krka river. It stayed that way up to the Turkish conquest in 1492. Everything after that was just a sad history Skradin shared with many places in Dalmatia torn between Venice and Turkey and staying a provincial little town till the early 1900s…
Now, Skradin is waking up. A center of local gastronomy with it’s famous risotto, great olive oils and wines…Although Skradin is an “entrance” to very popular Skardinski buk waterfalls, part of the success owes to the marina that attracts hundreds of tourists and hardly any mega yacht comes to Croatia without making it’s way through a very scenic Krka canyon at Prukljan all the way up to the very town. Even bill Gates visits every time he is around. This year again.
It is simply a beautiful place worth visiting and definitely don’t leave without eating at local restaurants or at least having a glass of Bibich Riserva at lovely Alante wine bar on the main street…
Something to remember for good!
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