Nestled between the secluded Sardinian mountains, lined with ancient olive trees and vineyards lies the world-renowned Su Gologone Hotel, an artistic masterpiece. Even if you’re not into art, a walk through the property will surely fester an appreciation for it.
Not only does the hotel reflect the local Sardinian culture, but it is finely crafted with natural elements from the local area, including juniper wood and terracotta. And get this, every piece of art in the hotel was hand-crafted from the owner, Giovanna, herself! Simply incredible.
The property is a lot larger than it looks, yet the spread out design helps it to retain a distinct coziness. There were so many different wings and sections, that you could take a whole afternoon exploring the different areas.
I’m not going to list off the hotel amenities here because I think that’s boring quite frankly. What I will highlight are the aspects of the hotel that really stood out and made it truly a unique place. Ready. Set. Go!
Top 11 Reasons Su Gologone Stood Out from All Other Hotels
1. Art, Art, & More Art
It’s no secret that Su Gologone is an art hotel. The owner, Giovanna and her mother, brought their creative visions to life in this fabulous hotel. Like I mentioned above, staying at this hotel will make you appreciate art a little more, it’s impossible not to!
2. Su Gologone Brings out the Creative in You
They say art stimulates the mind and brings out self expression, and I completely agree! Su Gologone is the perfect place to get away and stimulate the inner creative in you. The hotel offers numerous workshops including painting, sewing, embroidery, origami, cooking, and so much more!
3. Bold Colors Are Easy on the Eyes
I don’t know why but something as simple as color can make me happy. My favorite part of the hotel were the bright hues of color popping out behind every corner. Every little section of the hotel displayed a beautiful color pattern. What’s even more cool is that every decorative item on the hotel property is available for purchase. Score!
4. On-Site Herb Garden
The hotel has its own herb garden with fresh herbs that can be hand picked by the guests and made into an infusion tea! LED lights line the garden at night and it’s really nice to just walk around and admire the scenery. There were also art displays surrounding the herb garden, an unusual yet complementing background for the colorful displays.
5. Secluded Wellness Retreat
The secluded nature of Su Gologone is the perfect setting for a wellness retreat. The hotel has so much to offer to promote fitness & wellness, from the above mentioned fresh herbal teas, to an on-site indoor gym, to yoga classes held on the outdoor terraces, this place has it all! It’s truly a unique place to really get in touch with yourself.
6. My Sweet Suite
“You’ve been upgraded to a suite”. Those magic words we hardly ever hear. I didn’t expect the suite and that just made it more sweet. Ok, I’ll stop. The suite was made up of 2 rooms, and an outdoor balcony with a private jacuzzi. Umm, yes please!
The room oozed with Sardinian character, from the little handmade keychain to the juniper wood beams holding up the ceiling. It was just so adorable. I really liked the little sitting cove overlooking the balcony and I spent most my time there when I was in my room.
7. Nearby Orosei Peninsula
Sardinia is a huge island and everything worth seeing is very spread out. When planning a trip there, you must pick a region on the island and try to stick to that. It would take a month to see all the outstanding beaches on the island, so don’t spread yourself too thin. Su Gologone is in a great spot to explore the Orosei peninsula, one of the most rugged and naturally stunning areas on the island.
I recommend visiting Cala Luna and also Cala Goloritze, one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in my life. Cala Goloritze requires a 2-hour hike down to the beach, but it is well-worth it. I had the whole beach to myself and was in awe of the rich turquoise waters beating against the white cliffs. It was spectacular! But I would only recommend the hike if you’re in moderate to good shape. It’s not easy!
8. Su Gologone Restaurant
The Su Gologone restaurant is a popular dining spot not just for hotel guests, but is frequented from visitors all over the island. Its reputation precedes itself and its a dinner experience you shouldn’t miss.
Not only was the ambiance alone enough for a visit, the food was outstanding. On the first night, I was really tired from traveling so I went to the lobby, ordered from the menu, and had it delivered to my room. I had the homemade fennel ravioli and it ended up being my favourite meal on the island (they even had a homemade gluten free version for me). After that experience, I came back to the restaurant every night for dinner (and sometimes for lunch). The prices were very reasonable as well.
Reservations are required, even for hotel guests, especially during high season. A restaurant that is booked up every single night speaks for itself! #yumm
9. Terraces To Die For
There are terraces….and then there are Su Gologone terraces. Each decorated in a different theme with a splash of bold green, purple, and pure white, the 3 main terraces were to die for. Each had an amazing view of the property and/or landscape and were the perfect places to relax and get a suntan, or sip on a glass of wine…or both.
I found my fav spot for the sunset..
The Terrace of Dreams was decked out in purple and held once a week stargazing sessions (with telescopes) free to guests! How cool?
10. On-Site Winery (enough said…)
The only thing that could make this gorgeous property any better would be an on-site winery. Are you kidding me? The property has its own winery with tastings and two cellars. Complete heaven if you ask me! I didn’t partake in a tasting, but I had local Sardinian red wine at dinner every night and it was the perfect mixture of full bodied and a touch of sweetness. Just the way I like it!
11. Other Activities Offered
There are literally too many to list and I didn’t have time to try all of them. But what stood out for me was the cinema under the stars, the plethora of outdoor activities on offer nearby such as horseback riding, rafting, nature hikes, and the outdoor pool overlooking the country landscape. There was just so much to do on site of this hotel, that I almost forgot there was a whole beautiful island to explore!
The One Downfall (also a Catch 22)
The one downfall in this hotel was the wifi in the rooms, as it was very weak. I had trouble getting the wifi to work on my iPhone at all until the last day (it worked fine on my computer). It was also a little annoying that the code they give you only lasts 24 hours, so I found myself coming down to the lobby in my PJs late at night asking for a new code. The wifi in the lobby was excellent if you really needed it.
It’s also a catch 22 because this hotel is designed to be a wellness retreat, a secluded place to get in touch with yourself and disconnect with the world. Normally wifi is a huge issue for me because I need it to update the social media as part of my job, but hey, this is one time I let it slide and was actually at peace with it. It’s healthy to allow yourself a break every once in a while.
Overall, this hotel blew me away and I encourage those exploring Sardinia to visit here, even if it’s just to drop by and admire the beauty. The setting deep into the country, the focus on authentic Sardinian culture, the fabulously displayed art, the relaxing terraces, the creative workshops and wellness activities, I can see why this hotel is world renowned and has gotten so much media attention. I can honestly say it’s the most unique, artsy/funky hotel I’ve ever had the pleasure of staying at. This hotel made it to my top 3 favorite hotels ever!
Have you been to Sardinia? What was your favorite part? Do tell, I need some tips for my return!
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♥A special thanks to Su Gologone for hosting me during my stay. All opinions, however, are my own. I don’t bullsh*t and would never recommend somewhere I didn’t truly enjoy!♥
If you’ve ever been to Croatia, then you probably know how special it is. However, I must admit, over the past few years it has become more and more popular (i.e. crowded). Unfortunately, if you visit in July or August you will be rubbing elbows with many tourists fighting for a spot near the water. Cue in the virtually undiscovered island of Proizd, a secret local hideaway far from the crowds.
Proizd was voted Croatia’s most beautiful beach in 2007 by the Croatian Tourist Board, and it’s not hard to see why. The clean white rocks contrasted with the deep turquoise waters is breathtaking, and probably the clearest water I’ve ever seen in all of Croatia. Proizd is completely off the beaten path and is perfect for a day trip if you’re looking for some peace and quiet.
Disclaimer: all of the photos in this post are completely unedited and from my iPhone( or GoPro)…the water really is that color! A fancy DSLR camera wasn’t needed to capture Proizd, it’s so naturally beautiful on its own!
Where is Proizd?
Proizd is located off the West Coast of Korčula Island, one of my favourite Croatian islands. A boat ride from Vela Luka to the island will take 35 minutes.
How to get to Proizd
To get to Proizd, a small boat leaves from the port town of Vela Luka 3 times daily during the summer at 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1:30pm. The boat returns at 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm. Get to the boat 25 minutes early to assure you a seat in the high season. It only holds about 25-30 people. Tickets costs 50 kuna roundtrip (about $7.36 USD currently).
Proizd boat timetable
What to do in Proizd
Ok, there are only a few things to do on this island, but it’s so worth going to. If you love nature and secluded beaches, you will fall for Proizd very quickly.
1. Wander through the woods, pick a trail and let it lead you to a new secret beach
Take the beaten path to get off the beaten path. Makes sense, right?
One you get off the boat and pass the one restaurant near the dock, you will notice a wooded forest that has several different narrow walking paths that lead in different directions. You can’t really go wrong, so pick one, take the short hike, and see where the path takes you!
My favorite view below, after a 10 minute walk through the green forest led to this…
This is the perfect place to take a book, lay out and relax. It doesn’t get more peaceful than this.
That’s the beauty of this island. It is completely devoid of tourists and you will only see a handful of locals around. At any given point, I don’t think I saw more than 10-15 people at a time at one single beach. At some spots, there weren’t any people at all. Keep in mind, I was there in August, in the height of peak season! I can’t even imagine what it would be like in May or late September, but I’m definitely intrigued to go back and find out!
Who wouldn’t want a whole paradise island to themselves?
Where to Stay in Proizd
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Proizd is uninhabited! There are NO houses, apartments, or hotels on the island. Another reason why I loved this island so much!
There is one restaurant and one beach bar, and that’s it! The rest is just you and nature (and a handful of Croats). Staying in nearby Vela Luka is recommended as you can easily catch a boat directly from there.
Tips for Visiting Proizd
Wear appropriate shoes because it is very rocky (no sand unfortunately)
Bring snacks as there is only one restaurant where the boat docks
Don’t stay at one beach, explore as many paths as you can (I didn’t know about this until it was too late and I was only able to see 2-3 beaches)
One beach is nude, just FYI
Pay attention to boat departure times, the last one is at 7pm! Dont get left behind or you WILL be sleeping on the beach alone (hey, this might not be a bad thing after all)
Where is your perfect secluded paradise island? Let me know in the comments below. I may need some inspiration for future travels 🙂
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MY TOP 5 RECOMMENDED TRAVEL GEAR:
1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!
2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.
3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.
4. LifeProof NUUD Waterproof Case (iPhone 6): this helps protect my phone from water, sand, dirt, and the numerous drops that incur while I travel. I love it!
5. GoPro Hero 5 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! This is an essential item when you’re traveling solo to get all your cool shots (and of course underwater pics). Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂
After a life-changing sailing trip on the Adriatic coast one year ago, I knew I had to return to this captivating country. What attracts me to Croatia is not just the delectable food, the fascinating history, the laid-back culture, the crystal clear waters, or the people. It’s about the way Croatia makes me feel. And for that very reason, I was extremely eager to get back to one of my favourite countries in the entire world! For my next trip there, I decided to visit the island of Vis.
While doing research on which Croatian island I should visit next, I remembered a place called Vis that a local had mentioned. After google search upon google search, I didn’t seem to find much information about it besides some basic demographic statistics. Well, how is that going to help me with my decision? But then I stumbled across something very interesting. Tourists were not allowed on the island of Vis prior to 1989, as Vis was the site for the military base for the Yugoslav National Army! I also learned that Vis is the farthest island from the Croatian mainland and the least developed, resulting in even less tourism. That’s all I needed to hear, I was sold!!
After a pleasant 3 hour ferry ride, I had arrived on the island. I noticed a quiet port town displaying traditional old stone buildings, quant narrow streets, and best of all, no tourists! YES. I knew in the first minute that I had made the right decision. I was quickly greeted by my apartment host who picked me up and escorted me to the guest house I would be staying in. After 10-15 minutes of navigating through windy roads, we had arrived. I had hoped for something secluded, but little did I know I would be staying in the middle of nowhere!
I shortly found out that the wifi only worked at the top of the driveway, and that the closest store/ restaurant/attraction was not even within walking distance. My first reaction was, how would I function for 2 days without wifi and without transportation? But then I remembered, wasn’t this what I came here for?
Getting Around the Island
After settling in, the host invited me up to the main house for some delightful fresh fruits, cheese, and salami. She then offered to let me use one of her bikes to explore the island, to which I happily agree. On the top of my agenda was visiting Stiniva Cove. As a captivating picture can often be the sole motivation for my decision to visit a destination, it is safe to say that a picture of Stiniva Cove single-handedly lured me to the island. The only thing standing in my way of seeing it was a mountain bike and 4 kilometres. When asking how to get there, I was given the seemingly typical foreigner response: “go right out of the driveway and when your see a church, turn left, then after 500 meters, turn right”, and so on. So without a map in hand, I was on my way! This should be fun.
A little weary of the fact that I’m a little directionally challenged to say the least, I must admit I was a little hesitant. And by hesitant I mean scared to death I would never make it back to that secluded guest house! As I slowly strolled my bike out of the driveway, the sound of gravel echoing beneath my wheels faintly reminded me of my childhood bike riding through the woods. Suddenly, I started to feel a little at ease. After 30 minutes of traversing steep hills and windy roads, the wooded area finally opened up into never-ending immaculately harvested vineyards. Had I died and gone to wine heaven? This is paradise! My legs were sore and shaking, and my bottom was numb from all the riding, but for a few moments, I didn’t feel a thing, except for the warm, blazing sun reflecting off my body. All I could think of was the taste of crisp white wine on the tip of my tongue. But that would have to wait!
View from the top of Stiniva Cove
After the intense 4 kilometer bike ride, I finally ended up at the top of Stiniva Cove. I heard it was a tough hike, but I wasn’t expecting it to be that rugged! I inched my way down, sliding on the slippery rocks and shifting pebbles. A grueling 40 minutes later, I finally made it to the bottom, drenched in sweat and parched from the heat. My eyes enlarged as I witnessed one of the most beautiful and angelic things I had ever seen. I was standing inside a partially enclosed crescent-shaped cove, with the deep blue sparkling Adriatic Sea peaking though an opening. Forget what I said before, this is paradise! Behind me I was surprised to see a little hut where a local was serving cold drinks. I sat for a bit and drank some pear cider, as I resumed to chat with the local for some time. I then proceeded to bask in the sun and lowered myself into the shallow water.
I thought to myself, how is somewhere so perfect and etherial so empty? Then I remembered, I’m on Vis, the raw, authentic, underdeveloped island. And then it all made sense! Vis is a slice of heaven!It is here where I really came to appreciate the lesser-known, unique places, with a true sense of the local culture. Vis left an impact on me. I sat there in the serenity and quietness, and just let myself soak in my surroundings.
Komiža is a small fishing town on the west coast of Vis island, framed by the Hum Mountain in the backdrop, some 600 meters high. Historically, the fishing industry was developed in Komiža in the 16th century, and this is the site of the first fish cannery on the Mediterranean.
From afar, this town looked a bit ritzy, giving off a French Riviera type vibe with all the beautiful boats lining the port. However, from the minute I stepped foot onto the marina, I fell in love with this place! There was something just so charming and genuine about this town. Beautiful stone buildings, narrow alleys, alfresco cafes, and orange rooftops is what caught my eye. It was so old and ancient, yet so alive. And as if for the first time, I witnessed the Croatian people in their natural habitat going about their everyday lives. I learned a lot about their culture. I learned that they are very simple people, and don’t require much to be happy.
In the late evening, I was fortunate enough to watch the Croatian soccer team in the World Cup with a bunch of locals. That in and of itself is a whole new experience! The passion that they have about this sport, and about their country, was incredible to watch, and the energy was quite contagious!
Final Thoughts on Vis
Vis embodies everything I love about Croatia, and so much more. It’s quiet and quaint, it’s genuine and authentic, it’s isolated and peaceful, it’s simple yet extraordinary, it’s filled with jaw-dropping nature, and it’s absolutely gorgeous!
There is something about Croatia that will always have a hold on me. Croatia is a special place. It leaves an impression on you that is everlasting. And for that, I am always destined to return.
Komiža port from afar
Make sure to visit Stiniva Cove by car or bike and hike down from the top (the boat tours only take you inside the little cove from the sea just briefly and you will not get the spectacular view from the top).
Dress appropriately for the hike, the rocks can be slippery (no sandals please!).
Don’t miss a visit to the Blue Caves at nearby Biševo (which unfortunately I didn’t have time for and am still kicking myself for missing).
Eat Seafood! This is the birthplace of the fishing industry after all, they must be doing something right!
Talk to the locals, they’re always there to help and give good insider tips!
Take a ride through the countryside and marvel at the wineries. And stop at one or two if you’re feeling keen.
Bring cash, as most places do not accept credit cards.
* A special thanks to Total Croatia for publishing my article on their awesome website!
Have you been to Vis island and had a similar experience? Do you have any other tips to share? I would love to hear them!
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