Croatia— the picturesque Mediterranean nation that gently hugs the Adriatic Sea, has become the ultimate destination for party-goers, enthusiastic travel bloggers and digital nomads looking to dive into their work while immersing themselves in the unexplainable beauty of the Balkans.
The draw for the twenty-something party crowd is clear; beautiful beaches, cheap drinks and Instagram-worthy yacht parties. But what about nomadic professionals?
Kastela – A New Hub For The Digital Nomads
Droves of digital nomads are flocking to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, in search of one of many quiet yet colorful “towns,” one of them being Kastela.
Nestled between Split and Trogir, Kastela is surrounded by steep hills to one side, and the gentle Adriatic on the other. In the 15th & 16th-centuries, local lords built castles to defend themselves against the Ottomans. Today, the town is a charming set of villages that are developed around the castle for which it was named.
While they sit tucked away from the crowds of Dubrovnik and Zagreb, Kastela offers a calm ambience that fits perfectly with the town’s historic churches, narrow stone streets and small beach that intertwines along the waterfront promenade, running the entire length of the bay.
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Now imagine waking up in a bright apartment with a direct view of the lapping waters of the sea. The sun is golden reflecting off of the tide, and you know that the day ahead is going to be spent investing time in your work, but more importantly devoting time to your own well-being.
It’s easy to get trapped in the everyday gridlock of life. Often times you don’t make decisions because they make the most sense— but because it’s the way things have always been done.
Paying astronomical prices for rent isn’t the wisest choice, but city dwellers everywhere from San Francisco to London do it. Why? Because you can’t simply get up and move, right?
Well, according to the hundreds of thousands of digital nomads and remote workers, that’s exactly what you can do! Work from your laptop, seek out different cultures, salivate over exotic food and allow yourself to get lost in the impressive sights; hopefully, for a much cheaper price tag.
In Kastela, you can rent a seaside apartment for around €350 per month. It’s simply unbeatable. The money you save in living costs, you can use towards actual life experiences.
After a morning of online meetings, client updates and project brainstorming, you’re going to want to break away from the computer and go out and immerse yourself in cultural happenings and explore the hidden gems and major hotspots that are speckled along the region.
You can take the town by foot and you will quickly learn that there’s no shortage of architectural masterpieces that will transport you to other times… and maybe even other realms.
Kastel Gomilica, also known as the floating castle, sits along the sea and is filled with narrow alleyways that lead to cosy vantage points. Most notably, this site sets the scene for the city of “Braavos” on season five of the epic-drama, Game of Thrones.
When walking the weathered streets becomes too much, order an Uber! Unlike other countries, you can rest easy knowing that in Croatia, drivers have to be licensed professionals with full coverage insurance. You’ll also be happy to know that an Uber ride from Split to Kastela is only going to run you around €7.
By the afternoon you could find yourself noshing on snacks while basking under the Croatian sun. Krespo Bar serves up a variety of sweet and savoury pancakes, a warm atmosphere and strong coffee. Mingle with the locals and kick your feet up for a little while.
Apart from day to day life in Kastela, there’s always a packed schedule in the wider region. If deadlines and invoices are weighing heavy on your shoulders, know that you can escape in an array of cultivated events.
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From October to December, you’ll find an influx of abstract thinkers moving through Split. Splitgraphic’s 8th International Art Biennial makes a statement with contemporary ideas, workshops and exhibitions. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a budding art fan, you’ll appreciate the creations from this talented bunch.
If you enjoy the work of talented musicians, you’ll want to head to Solin for the 5th International Classical Guitar Days. From November 5-7, classical guitar fans can delight in a few days of collaboration, instructional workshops and melodic tunes.
With so many compelling places nearby and a calendar packed with a colorful variety of events, you’ll be impressed with how much there is to do in this seemingly sleepy area.
On the weekends, rent a car (offseason for about €20 / day) and experience majestic backdrops that have stood tenaciously since the 10th-century. Only an hour drive away from Kastela, the Topana Fortress reigns high over the city of Imotski. The fortress offers panoramic views that show another angle of beauty to this vast and complex country.
If your type of weekend consists of curated cocktails along the beach, you could travel to the Makarska Riviera. With 2,750 hours of sun every year and €2 domestic beers, the Makarska Riviera is revered as one of the most popular destinations in Croatia, and for good reason. With beach clubs, cultural sites and exquisite natural wonders, there are possibilities for everyone.
Adventurous types might also like the chance to trek across the Biokovo Nature Park, which is nestled against Makarska. Here you can journey to the top of the summit, or simply enjoy an easy walk around the calmer trails.
Nomads who come to this region are rich in options. A “normal” day at work can quickly transform into an inconceivable collection of possibilities.
It’s easy to understand why so many people across the globe are relishing in a new outlook on life. You might come to Kastela for the beyond-reasonable price of living, but you’ll stay for much more.
So, where will your nomadic lifestyle take you next?