Olive Groves of Modrave

One of the last untouched parts of our coastline is beautiful Modrave region between Drage and Pirovac villages in North Dalmatia.          modraveblog008

Historically, this area belongs to the people of Murter Island (since 1880) and it is known as one of the largest olive groves in the country. However, originally, this was the area known for its vines who were all taken out and olive trees were planted. The area is long 8,5 Km and wide between 750 meters and 3,1 km. It is the only area in the country that has shores on the lake (Vransko jezero lake) and on the Adriatic sea making it a very special and valuable natural preserve.

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Today, only about 5% of the olive trees are cared for of 200 000 estimated trees in the region.modraveblog003

Today, Modrave look like a maze seen from above due to an intricate network of dry stone walls, piles of rock and narrow, ancient trails.

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The area has several small harbors that kept locals safe during the bad weather and the huts were open to all who needed a shelter. They were often used by the sponge divers from Krapanj as well and several of them now are set up for accommodating guests and there is also a small and charming restaurant La Spuž in the largest bay with several buoys.

modraveblog011modraveblog004Aggressive nature of tourism and greed almost moved in heavy machinery to build a resort or, even worse, cheap apartment buildings but that was stopped thanks to the effort of the locals from Murter and Betina aware of the beauty of their heritage.

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Modric Cave Revisited

Caving is one of my favorite activities. Nothing serious, of course. Just simple visiting and exploring. There are thousands of all sorts of caves and pits in Croatia. Karst landscape is extremely porous and active.

One of my favorite caves is Modrič cave near Rovanjska. It has been a while since our last visit so we went in with Marijan again few weeks back. The original article was published in February 2009 but, since then, I did get a much better equipment so I hope the photos are better now. Also, thanks to custom lights on my helmet, I managed to get some really nice shots.

Here is the original article:https://secretcroatia.blog/2009/02/22/secret-dalmatia-adventure-modric-cave/

And here is the gallery from our last visit:

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Calm day with Velebit in the distance
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Entrance
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Briefing
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Yes, it is a rather narrow entrance

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This is one VERY pretty cave!
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New forces!

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Marijan really loves this cave

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We were not alone 🙂

Modrič Cave stays as one of the most interesting adventures for whole families when traveling with us. Of course, it is not for folks who fear enclosed spaces but, for everyone else, it is a lot of fun!

Custom travel planning in Croatia – www.secretdalmatia.com

 

Tasting at Škaulj Winery 2018

This past Sunday I had a pleasure to attend a very special wine pairing lunch at Škaulj wine cellar. This is one of the most important wine cellars of Nadin region of North Dalmatia and is know for a great selection of quality wines.

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Nadin with view of flooded Nadinsko blato valley

Nadin region is known for superb fertile land for millennia and settlements from pre historic times are here to prove it. The main vineyards are located in Nadinsko blato – a depression in the fields that gets flooded in the winter months. While the tradition exists in this region for several centuries, the new breed of winemakers are planting mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot…but also local Plavina and Maraština. Among several producers, Škaulj, Vrsaljko, Odžaković…are best known.

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The event started by a short presentation by Mr. Šime Škaulj and his son Tomislav. All 9 labels of theirs will be offered in 2018. season and they are also creating an interesting surprises. But more on that once the wines are released.

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Mr. Šime Škaulj
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Mr. Tomislav Škaulj

While the cellar is not much, the entire property does offer a lovely learning experience on local traditions and both Šime and Tomislav talk with passion about their wines.

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Here is a great video on their cellar and wines!

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The meal was prepared by chef Vrsaljko, a Nadin local with international experience and all meals were paired with Škaulj’s best wines.

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Chef Vrsaljko

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The menu was superb and well executed.

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Asparagus moose on green apple
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Scampi ravioli
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Swordfish
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Beef filet
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Profiteroli
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Ice cream by Eva from Zadar

The selection of ice cream and sorbet at the end was provided by artisan ice cream place in Zadar called Eve. A MUST when in Zadar!

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Tasting room

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Overall, the meal was great and we made some new friends. Nadin has a great potential when it comes to wines and wine tourism and true stars of the region are its people!

Of all wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is simply superb and an excellent value at just 120 Kuna! Maraština and Rose were also great but they will be more appropriate with warmer weather. Perfect for hot, summer days!