Croats use the word fjaka to describe the neutral state they adopt to tackle noisy, unwanted thoughts.
I suggest that Korcula, known as one of the most relaxing islands on the Dalmatian coast, is the perfect place to find it.
With its atmospheric titular old town steeped in history and generally regarded as the most beautiful settlement in the Adriatic, plus the surrounding countryside that produces some of the best wines in the country, Korcula (at 29 miles long and four miles wide) only starts the to attract attention.
Enchanting: the old town of Korcula is steeped in history and is generally regarded as the most beautiful settlement in the Adriatic
Like the fairy-tale citadel of the island, a confection of medieval, Italian and stone houses with shutters surrounded by 14th-century walls and watchtowers, a steep peninsula from the Adriatic emerges, my ten-year-old daughter, Agatha, is agog. "It's like one of my snowglobes," she exclaims.
We are met at the quay by Aldo, who, with his weathered face, silver ponytail and denim shirt, looks more like a veteran roadie for the Eagles than an employee of the only luxury hotel on the island, the Lesic Dimitri Palace.
He tells us: "Korcula is the birthplace of traveler Marco Polo. Your room is opposite his old house. & # 39;
& # 39; How long have you been on the island? & # 39; I ask him.
"Longer than Odysseus, who fell in love with Circe and stayed for a year. Me? I came here 30 years ago and never left.
"There are five suites in the hotel, each named after a stage on the Silk Road: Ceylon, China, Arabia, and Venice. . . & # 39; Says Aldo, opening an antique door, & # 39; India & # 39 ;.
Imagine: a cave of Aladdin with tiled floors, ceilings with wooden beams, couches and huge beds.
The former home of an 18th-century bishop, the hotel opened ten years ago, after seven years of renovation.
On our first morning, my 15-year-old son, Finn, and I go canoeing with Pacho from Korcula Outdoor. The water is so tempting cyan, it looks like it has been airbrushed.
Raise a glass: the surrounding countryside produces some of the best wines in the country
Our destination is Vrnik, a beautiful wooded island, where we go to the art club, a former school building – converted into a gallery and restaurant, to enjoy salty octopus and juicy fried squid.
After three nights at the Lesic Dimitri Palace, we head a few miles west of the old town of Korcula to our new excavations, Tara’s Lodge, a Hockney-like dream of cube-shaped buildings curved around a swimming pool. "Our mantra is & # 39; eat, sleep, beach, repeat & # 39 ;, & # 39; says Aussie owner Jane Bell Bandack while we chat in the restaurant.
The private beach with a view of the silky bay is a tonic for the soul.
Finn grabs a paddle board while I return to the citadel to restaurant Aterina, to meet historian and guide Toni Lozica.
About a bottle of Posip (a dry white wine) he tells me about Domagoj Jakopovic, a journalist who, in memory of his son's tragic death, has started a gigantic 50-island swim to raise children's awareness that there is more to it life than video games and social media. "You just missed his dive to Korcula," he says.
He returns me to Tara’s Lodge with some wise advice: "Go find some fjaka."
And so I walk to the beach, dive my feet into the crystal clear water and do exactly that.
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