Eco-village Vrsine and Inland Marina: Holidays in Natural Dalmatia

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December 7, 2021 – How a small community preserves the authentic sights, scents, sounds and flavors of traditional Dalmatia by providing a sustainable and all-natural vacation in the hinterland. Meet the Vrsine eco-village and the interior marina.

The best of Dalmatia vacation is a gift of nature. Whether it’s sunny days, crystal-clear seas, fresh food on your plate or the scent of lavender, pine trees and herbs. These are the memories of Dalmatia that last. Timeless, inimitable, unique.

And yet, in our haste to discover Dalmatia, we often risk losing sight of these fundamental reasons for being here. Holidays in this part of Croatia are often sold by the stylish design of modern apartments, fully air-conditioned hotels and luxury villas. Here you can choose from 50 different breakfast options and dishes from all over the world.

But, for those who aspire to experience traditional and authentic Dalmatia, the solution is often very simple: enter the hinterland. There you will often find Dalmatia as it always has been and as it should be quite often.

Eco-village Vrsine and interior Marina © Ivo Pervan

This is certainly the case in the small Dalmatian town of Marina. Located less than 10 km west of Trogir, less than 40 km from Split, Marina is not without a classic Dalmatian coastline. In fact, it has a generous expanse of great beaches around Poljica Bay. But, this is only a small taste of what is on offer here.

A short distance north, in the low hills, are villages that hold the true sights, sounds, tastes and scents of Dalmatia. It is a natural landscape, marked by telltale signs of agriculture – rows of vines or olive trees, dry stone walls. Of course, in these times not everyone here is working in agriculture yet. But, many do. And those who do not yet live in harmony with this environment. They might not plow the fields or grow their own food, but everyone in the Vrsine Eco-Village and many in the Inland Marina live in harmony with nature. And that’s how they present themselves as a destination. This is what is offered to you a few minutes from the sea.

Eco-village Vrsine and Inland Marina

ivopervan3.jpgEco-village Vrsine and interior Marina © Ivo Pervan

Learn Mediterranean olive oil from A to Z at OPG Å alov (Å alov family farm)

olives.jpgEco-village Vrsine and inland marina: OPG Å alov

The abundance of sun and gentle slopes make this part of the Dalmatian hinterland an ideal location for olive groves. Three generations of the Å alov family live and work on the Å alov family farm, tending to their 650 olive trees. Some of them are over 200 years old and the family has voluntarily branched out to include 50 different varieties of olives from all over the Mediterranean.

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It is the opposite of intensive farming, a sustainable business that dramatically reduces the farm’s environmental footprint.

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You can visit the farm to learn more about the olive trees and how the family makes their award-winning olive oil. Of course you can try the finished product and in October and November you can even help with the olive picking – everything is done by hand.

You can know more about OPG Å alov here

See superfoods in miniature at the Jakus Family Farm

jakus_4.jpgEco-village Vrsine and interior marina: Jakus family farm

Usually you don’t see a lot of produce from Vesna Jakus’ family farm. Well, the microgreens, herbs, and edible flowers that she grows are very small. And also, they are in great demand.

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You will see leaves and flowers from the Jakus family farm on the plates of some of the most upscale hotels and best restaurants in Dalmatia. They’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and flavors, making them a chef’s favorite.

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Vesna cultivates everything using only organic, non-GMO seeds and all-natural methods. She does not use combustion lamps. Instead, her greenhouse harnesses sunlight, retaining the heat of the day so the microgreens stay warm at night, even in winter. Some of the varieties that she grows are green peas, beetroot, mangold, red radish, beans, adzuki beans, sunflower, and basil, all of which are fed by the rainwater she collects.

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You can find out more about these natural growing methods by visiting Jakus Family Farm and you can find out more about what Vesna does. here.

Reconnect with you on a holistic wellness and yoga retreat

sylvia.jpgEco-village Vrsine and inner marina: holistic wellness and yoga

Brazilian yoga and wellness instructor Sylvia Nunes left behind a high-flying urban career to move to Vrsine, where she lives with her partner Mario. But, before the move, a lot of thought went into relocating and reorienting her life.

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First, she visited ecovillages around the world and learned how they combine community, sustainability and well-being. The result is the holistic wellness program that visitors can experience while staying at Vrsine Eco-Village with Sylvia.

Held during the spring and fall seasons, guests at Sylvia’s retreats will experience many aspects of village life. They will connect with the community and the nature that supports its members. Visitors can participate in tree planting / reforestation programs and other ecological projects at the local level. Before the daily efforts, guided yoga sessions are held in the peace and quiet of the nature of the village.

Discover the scents, flavors and wellness properties of traditional Dalmatian herbs at the Rozga Family Herb Farm

Rozga.jpgBlizna Gornja in the inner marina: Rozga family herb farm

If your time in Dalmatia keeps you in the restaurants on the coast, you might not come across many Dalmatian herbs. Maybe rosemary or parsley on your plate, or the scent of local lavender? But, if you travel further from the shore, to the foothills around the village of Blizna Gornja, many secrets will be revealed.

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Here, herbalist Mira Rozga keeps ancient and localized wisdom alive. Its herb garden is located on the slopes of the hinterland hills and grows many kinds of Mediterranean herbs. These are used not only as flavorings in food, but also in cosmetics and in health, medicine and wellness products.

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You can experience the scents of Dalmatian herbs by walking among the 30 different varieties grown in the Rozga family’s herb garden. And, you can learn their secret properties from Mira herself. For more information, watch here.

Treat yourself to a luxurious but traditional rural stay at Eco Villa Home Sweet Home

eco-villa-Home-sweet-home-Vrsine-1.jpgEco-village Vrsine and interior Marina: Eco Villa Home Sweet Home

If you want to take your time to enjoy the Eco Village Vrsine and the surrounding villages, a longer stay is recommended. And there are few more luxurious choices to do so than at this traditional stone house, renovated with specific eco-village ethics in mind.

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Eco Villa Home Sweet Home preserves the original architecture of a centuries-old Dalmatian stone house. But, it improves its fit in today’s environment using modern innovation. Electricity comes from strips of solar panels at the top of the roof, there is an expansive organic garden, furniture made by local artisans, enough WiFi to work remotely and a swimming pool.

The villa is available for rent all year round and you can find out more here.

Immerse yourself in nature on a camping trip at Robinson Glamping Camp Marta

Robinzonski_glamping_kamp_Marta2.jpgEco-village Vrsine and interior marina: Robinson Glamping Camp Marta

Holiday homes often feel removed from the traditional and natural surroundings. At Robinson Glamping Camp Marta, it’s the opposite.

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You will fall asleep each night surrounded by the scent of lavender and herbs. When you wake up in the morning, your first sight is the olive grove in which your glamping hut is placed.

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The huts themselves are made from all-natural materials – the huts are made of wood and then sheltered from the sun by a canvas tent. The entire 12,500 m2 plot is surrounded by traditional dry stone walls and there is also a covered picnic area and a large swimming pool.

Find out more here.

Taste the full and delicious flavors of traditional Dalmatian cuisine at Konoba Donja Banda

Konoba_Donja_Banda.jpgEco-village Vrsine and interior marina: Konoba Donja Banda

One of the biggest secrets to learn from a stay in Dalmatia – but rarely one of the first – is that quite often the further away from the shore the better the food will be.

Konoba_Donja_Banda4.jpgPeka in Konoba Donja Banda

You will find that the flavor, range, portion size, authenticity, cost, and quality of ingredients and cooking improve dramatically as you venture inland. Whether it’s a trip to the nearby foothills or a hike through a village, town, or urban restaurant in the true Dalmatian hinterland, you’ll find evidence of this time and time again. Taverns have to work a lot harder to build a reputation when the sea view doesn’t sell the meal.

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Nowhere is this more true than the Donja Banda tavern, where Roberto Nedeljko maintains the traditional cuisine of Vrsine and its surroundings. All of their ingredients are locally sourced, including olive oil and all wines. Indeed, many of their vegetables and aromatic herbs come from their own organic garden. Want to try the traditional Dalmatian ‘peka’ – dishes cooked under a hot metal ‘bell’? It is one of the best places in the region.

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You can find out more about the tavern here.

You can find out more about the Eco-village Vrsine and Inland Marina vacation by visiting the Marina Tourism Office website. here. For more Croatia vacation ideas, add the Total Croatia News travel pages here.


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