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THE MED YOU NEVER KNEW

Discover original travel experiences on the many shores of the Mediterranean and in the sun-kissed landscapes that lie just within reach
PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT HARDING/ALAMY

INSIDER TIP

Beaches further away from Brela town are usually quieter – bring a packed lunch, as they also tend to lack dining and shopping facilities.

BRELA BEACHES

CROATIA

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT THE PLACE?

When it comes to beaches, Croatia’s islands are the big draw, but the coast around the tiny town of Brela is equally lovely and significantly less touristed. Brela itself is an appealing mix of red-roofed houses and waterfront restaurants and cafés – strike out in either direction and you’ll find cove after pebbly cove, backed by scented pine forest (brela.hr). Our top picks are Punta Rata, preferred by families for its gentle slope into the sea, and Podrac Ìe beach (pictured), where the cover of this month’s issue was shot.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY?

A whitewashed stone mansion built in 1881, blue-shuttered Bonavista Brela is in a quiet spot 10 minutes uphill from the nearest beach. Its vine-strewn terrace is ample compensation for the slightly dated-looking bedrooms (from £65;bonavistabrela.com).

HOW DO I GET THERE?

The nearest airport is an hour away in Split, fly direct with airlines including BA, easyJet, Jet2, and Tui (from £150;easyjet.com). There are regular buses from Split to Brela, if you don’t fancy renting a car.

HOW FAR TO THE BEACH?

The Lungo Mare is a shady four-mile promenade connecting the main Brela beaches – you could walk its entire length in just over an hour.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

The Museo Delta Antico opened in a Neoclassical former hospital in Comacchio last year. Its exhibits include cargo from a Roman merchant shipwreck (£5.50; museodeltaantico.com).

COMACCHIO

EMILIA-ROMAGNA, ITALY

WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT THE PLACE?

Often dubbed ‘little Venice’, this lesser-known lagoon town 50 miles south of the big one has winding canals and low-slung bridges in abundance, but a fraction of the original Venice’s visitors. Wander past homes painted in pastel shades to visit the waterfront Palazzo Bellini and Comacchio’s 17th-century fish market, where the catch of the day is unloaded from traditional ‘batane’ boats. Eels – yes, eels – are a local speciality; try them grilled at tucked-away trattoria Da Vasco e Giulia (meals from £16; vascoegiulia.it).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - August 2018
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