Spending the whole summer on the road is challenging to put it softly for someone as style minded as myself. Why you would ask. It’s summertime, clothes are light, and the swimsuits are one grab away so why worry then? Partly true to be honest, but the major challenge is to account relevantly for all the places and occasions on your travel plan and to stuff the clothes in the very limited space of the camper. As you know the right outfit can make a big difference!
Like I told you before for me feeling fabulous, harmonious and in sync with the environment makes the whole experience worthwhile and complete and I simply panic when being unprepared. Besides, closet organization is my top priority and anxiety grabs me by the throat when trying to accommodate a variety of activities, settings and occasions like sports, family birthdays, beach-ready and city-style looks.
So, let’s dive into the whole trip and see how I managed to reconcile the different needs, my ultimate goal being an easy but exciting style that makes me feel happy and ready for whatever!
In terms of places, our travel plan covered Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece. However, the tricky part was that we targeted places that offered kite-surfing conditions, kids-friendly beaches, water adventures, historic towns and overall island vibes. 🏝☀
Our plan was to start from Istria peninsula, which is basically the largest one in the Adriatic Sea and go all the way south through the coastline of Dalmatia. These two regions are basically overflowing with natural beauty, architectural jewels and rich history so the choices are abundant, and you just can’t go wrong! The medieval towns and the shimmering blue waters are enticing you every step of the way.
We briefly stopped in our favorite transit camp on the lake Rakitje to spend the night before setting on our journey.
Needless to say, I’d created my packing list in La Koketa app simply by adding a new hashtag to all of my favorite summer outfits for travel, sports, beaches, city walks and the special family events on our agenda. 🥳 From there I can easily grab ready-to-wear outfits or experiment with new combos from the available pieces!
Our first stop in Istria was Pula and we just couldn’t have planned it better. The campsite was located on a peninsula covered with pine trees, beaches and magnificent cliffs, while the old town mesmerized us with its ancient architecture, street artists, amazing Tuscany-style cuisine and the spectacular Roman amphitheater with a fully intact wall dating from 1st century AD.
My choice of outfits here ranged from camp chic to street style suitable for beaching, biking, sightseeing, wining & dining. What I did prior the trip was to create compete looks in La Koketa app so I can readily grab them when the time is ripe, e.g., beaches called for shorts and tops, sightseeing for street looks and dinners for dresses, all of which needed to be paired with comfy sandals.
That hat that I dug out from my closet before leaving turned out to be the star in all looks. I used to avoid wearing so feminine accessories and would usually grab a baseball cap instead, but this time I enjoyed the sophisticated look. 👒
I immediately fell in love with Nin, which is a small historic town located in Dalmatia that hosted the birth of the Croatian state and the crowning of seven kings. The old town lies scenically on an island in the middle of a beautiful shallow lagoon with long sandy beaches, which are pretty rare for the Croatian coastline.
The walk from the campsite to the old town enchanted us with gorgeous sunsets along the small fishing marina. The amazing scenery, the cute cobbled streets and the ancient buildings called for an evening look to compliment the backdrop.
Besides the rich cultural heritage and unmatched natural beauty, Nin is also famous for its salt pans and medicinal mud. Naturally, we visited the Salt Works factory and bought all kinds of salt-related cosmetics, food and souvenirs.
Zadar is nestled in northern Dalmatia and it is all about architecture that combines Roman, Byzantine or Venetian examples in a marvelous mix. The old town is basically a city fortress with impressive city walls and a monumental triumphal arch as the main entrance gate that protects the city.
The most unusual sights though are two art installations along the seafront – the Sea Organ that generates harmonica sounds from the power of the waves and the Monument to the Sun that absorbs the solar rays by day and releases colorful light patterns at night.
We decided to bike from the campsite to the old town along the coastline and we totally enjoyed the scenic ride. 🚲
In the evening, we booked a restaurant with a sunset view to revel in the glorious sky since Zadar sunsets were “the best in the world” according to Alfred Hitchcock. Appropriately, I chose an animal print dress that looked unwrinkled even after being stuffed for a while. 😁
We had only one day to explore the place and we were fascinated by the 4-km waterfront walk to the city studded with diners, cafes and souvenir shops along the way. Eventually, we ended in the most amazing fusion restaurant that we had the pleasure to experience during the whole trip. 🍽
At first sight, Viganj didn’t impress me much, but eventually I started to fall for the place. It’s essentially a laid-back surfer paradise with campsites along the beachfront and a few cute tavernas, cafes and a bakery.
Every day, the tightly knit surfer community would be on a standby for the wind to start and then would plunge promptly in the wide streak between the Pelješac peninsula and the Korčula island. The beach was rather modest with only one launch pad for kite surfers that housed a round bar to watch the pro performances with a drink in hand. 🍹
We practically lived on the beach and took kite-surfing lessons during the day, then strolled and biked along the waterfront in the evenings. The vibe was amazing and the street basically transformed into a beach promenade at dusk with everyone hanging out or moving on all kinds of rides. That’s why we were a bit saddened to have to leave Viganj so soon!
I was fascinated the first time I went to Dubrovnik more than 10 years ago by the magnificent fortress that used to protect this mighty sea-faring republic.
However, this time we were totally stressed out by the touristic crowds especially after spending chillout days on a surfer spot. We made it on the first evening to the Old Town and we saw marching throngs along the limestone paved Stradun, the main pedestrian street. Hence, we hurriedly had a mediocre and overpriced dinner and off we went away from the hustle and bustle into the privacy of our camper.
Oblivious of what to expect though, we were eager to explore the Old Town and we styled for a grand catwalk appearance. 🙈 Hope to see you in a better light next time, Dubrovnik!
Kotor in Montenegro is another dramatic medieval town with preserved fortification walls winding up impossibly steep slopes of San Giovani castle and framing the Old Town that overlooks the sparkling Bay of Kotor.
I really enjoyed the strolls along the cobblestone maze of hidden passageways, churches, squares and cute restaurants. We even managed to steal a romantic lunch with the LOML on a hot afternoon by the ancient wall of a fine diner. Again, the hat made the whole look refined and in sync with the medieval vibe of the town.
Our next adventure took us on a speed boat trip around the bay to swim in picturesque coves and to explore the new luxurious marina Porto Montenegro, the old Yugoslavian submarine bases, and the picture-perfect town of Perast.
Before our transit drive through Albania, we made an overnight stop at the Long Beach, which is basically the longest sandy beach in Montenegro stretching for 12 kilometers and housing many campsites along the way.
I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing beach spots for campers where we had a intimate candle-lit dinner before hitting the road again. I sported pastel colors for the dinner and bright tones for the sun.
Oh, Lefkas and the turquoise Ionian Sea! 🏝 Definitely one of my favorite islands for sailing, kitesurfing or just spending a family vacation there because it has so much to offer and feels like home every time we go there.
We enjoyed quality family time with magnificent sunsets, intimate dinners, windy beaches with stunning kite surf performances, a very special and well-celebrated birthday party, peaceful city walks and existential reflections over a glass of wine and a glorious vista.
My outfit arsenal was expanded for the evening city strolls and repeated for the beach and surf activities. But hey, I had everything crammed in a tiny closet! 😁
I equate Lemnos with freedom. Freedom to challenge yourself, freedom to do nothing, freedom to let the kids explore on their own, freedom to make new and catch up with old friends.
Even though my first encounter with the island was a slight disappointment, eventually our relationship developed, and Lemnos captivated and grew on me. As they say every now and then you need time to appreciate the essence of some moments. ✨
Lemnos usually enjoys steady winds over the summer, which makes it perfect for wind sports and hence our infatuation with the island. However, this time our luck eluded us, and we had to plunge bravely into new adventures and adapt the agenda as we go.
We took up SUP and utterly enjoyed the sea serenity at sunset. Ohm! 🧘♀️ This outfit I happened to borrow from my daughter, but it served me well and totally corresponded with my style.
For the most part beach style was overruling except for a few special occasions that needed to be honored with glam looks such as our daughter’s birthday party at a sunset beach.
Another unique discovery we made this time was the Gomati dessert, which is practically the only desert in Europe and features amazing sand dunes created by natural erosion caused by the prevailing sea winds.
Before I go
All good things must come to an end.
I felt anxious when venturing on this road trip, but gradually as mileage increased and places changed, this started to feel like a lifestyle you could embrace for longer.
The trick is to let go and enjoy the ride! Make sure you are outfit-ready though to complement the beautiful settings with a gracious look.