10 Things to Do in Vodice: Adventure Awaits

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Vodice with Croatia Wanderlust. This Croatian gem is brimming with cultural landmarks, adventurous activities, and hidden treasures.

From the historic Rakitnica Fortress to the serene St. Elijah’s Church and the thrilling kayaking experiences, Vodice promises a unique blend of history, adventure, and tranquility.

So, whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, or a peace seeker, Vodice has something to captivate every traveler’s heart.

Our Lady of Carmel Church

  • Working Hours: Irregular, can be closed for inside viewing.
  • Ticket Prices: Free.
  • Exploration Time: 2 hours (including the climb).

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, perched atop Okit Hill (135m high) in Vodice, is a breathtaking destination. Its origins trace back to the 17th century, enduring destruction during World War II and the Homeland War, only to be rebuilt in resilience.

Today’s church, still under construction, was conceived in 1995 by architect Nikola Bašić, symbolizing fortitude through its unique design. The climb, though steep and possibly daunting, is richly rewarded with panoramic views and engulfing tranquility. A testament to both physical endurance and spiritual reflection, the hillside path is lined with fourteen chapels representing the Way of the Cross.

Each July 16th, the Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a procession and Holy Mass amplify its allure. But, be mindful; while free parking is available at the base, the narrow mountain road is less crowded during off-peak times, and the church may not always be open for interior viewing.

No restroom facilities are present, yet the site remains an unmissable visit for its beauty, peace, and quietude. Despite being a work in progress, this symbol of resilience beckons as a unique place for both exercise and reflection.

Church and Parish of St. Cross

  • Working Hours: Frequently open.
  • Ticket Prices: Free.
  • Exploration Time: Around 1 hour.

Marvel at the beauty of the Church and Parish of St. Cross, a testament to Croatian history and culture. Constructed in 1402 and dedicated in 1421, this Gothic structure oozes charm, with a unique Romanesque-Gothic bowl feature that you won’t find elsewhere in Dalmatia.

The church boasts stunning details, including a baroque rosette and altar dedicated to St. Cross, constructed by notable Sibenik builder, Ivan Skoko. The bell tower, a labor of love by Vicko Macanovic that took 20 years to complete, is a sight to behold. Take a moment to gaze upon the intricate engravings on the stair stones and the arresting artwork on the altar surrounds and ceiling.

During the summer, the church transforms into an art exhibit space, fostering a synergy of past and modern. Remember, though, when you visit: no beach or revealing clothing. Respectfully cover up with provided scarves.

Despite its frequent bustle, the church offers tranquility and spiritual refuge. For the peak experience, visit during a mass, soaking in the inspiring atmosphere. Afterwards, relax in the serene church garden. The juxtaposition of the historic church next to a modern hotel creates a striking visual.

Nestled near the aquarium, don’t confuse it with the Church of St. Cross on the southern peninsula. The church is typically open, making it a perfect spontaneous visit.

Rakitnica Fortress

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7.
  • Ticket Prices: Free.
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 hours.

Imagine standing amidst the remains of a historic Croatian stronghold, the Rakitnica Fortress. This remarkable structure, nestled on a steep hill along the local road that bridges Vodice and Gaćeleze village, offers an unforgettable journey back to the 16th century.

The fortress, originally named Gradina, was constructed in 1509 as a bulwark against Turkish invasions, and echoes of fierce battles between the Turkish and Venetian armies throughout the 17th century still whisper in the air.

Getting to Rakitnica is part of the adventure. Visible from the main road, a side, dirt road provides an even better view. Be prepared for a challenging but captivating climb through olive groves and forests, navigating wire fences. Beware of an occasionally grumpy local dog and remember to respect the private properties on the way up.

Upon arrival, you’ll find yourself within an impressive complex of walls, houses, and towers, some still remarkably well-preserved. A place where time has seemingly stopped, the fortress is nestled among thickets – so expect a few scratches as a badge of your adventure! From this vantage point, you’ll witness breathtaking vistas that no photo can truly encapsulate.

Just a stone’s throw away, you’ll find the old Rakitnica and the Church of St. John the Baptist. Make sure to sample Crljenak, an ancient vine known as the origin of Zinfandel, widely cultivated in this region.

Since the fortress is a historical site, it doesn’t have specific working hours or ticket prices. Take as long as you want to explore, but do tread lightly on these historic grounds.

Prižba Remains

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7.
  • Ticket Prices: Free.
  • Exploration Time: 1-2 hours.

Venture into the hinterlands of Srima and you’ll stumble upon the captivating Prižba Remains. Echoing the mystique of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, these remnants of a dual basilica, or basilica gemina, tell a tale of faith and time. Originally one, the monastery expanded due to an increasing number of monks, resulting in the creation of an almost identical structure.

Although shrouded in mystery, it’s believed that these twin churches played a crucial role in public worship mass and the cult of relics. Close by, two Illyric graves offer another glimpse into the past.

However, reaching this hidden gem does involve a 10-minute trudge through thickets. Not for the faint-hearted, but those who endure are rewarded with a breathtaking panorama and the serene, frozen-in-time ambiance of the silent ruins.

However, caution is advised as the site lies close to private property, with reports of an unfriendly canine. Despite not being well-maintained and some mentions of scratched hands due to the overgrown thickets, the allure of Prižba Remains is undeniable.

Velika Mrdakovica – Arauzona

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7.
  • Ticket Prices: Free.
  • Exploration Time: 30 minutes.

Discover the whispers of ancient civilizations at Velika Mrdakovica – Arauzona, an archaeological treasure chest from the pre-Roman and Roman eras. With over a hundred tombs unearthed, some dating back to the 4th century B.C., it paints a vivid picture of the settlement known as Arausona, referenced by Pliny himself. Delve into history, with tombs from the older layers of the necropolis influenced by the Hellenistic culture, dating from the 3rd to 1st century B.C.

Meander along the same streets that once bustled with life, surrounded by defensive walls built from fractal stone. Marvel at the ingenuity of ancient architects who incised water tanks into the bedrock, collecting rainwater for the settlement.

Perched at Velika Mrdakovica, the site gifts visitors with serene views that stretch out beyond the horizon. Embrace the peace and tranquillity, but beware, it can be quite windy at the top! As you explore, remember to bring plenty of water, especially in the sultry Croatian summer.

St. Elijah’s Church

  • Working Hours: Closed to the public (Special opening on August 20)
  • Ticket Prices: No Fee
  • Exploration Time: 30 minutes

Step back in time as you meander through the quaint stone paths leading to the enchanting St. Elijah’s Church, nestled at the foot of Velika Mrdakovica. This hidden gem, constructed by the noble inhabitants of Pišća in 1298, whispers tales of a bygone era.

Take a moment to bask in its solemnity, as it was lovingly dedicated to St. Elijah the Prophet in 1493. The picturesque oval wall encircling the church holds a secret; the remnants of ancient tombs silently bearing witness to history.

Peer through the small, grated window of this seemingly forgotten sanctuary. The unassuming facade, with a door of rustic wooden planks, belies a treasure trove of architectural wonders within. Feel the sacred aura on August 20, when an annual holy mass breathes life into these hallowed grounds.

Lose yourself in the serenity of this pristine landscape; a tapestry devoid of modern buildings, where the silence is guarded by traditional Croatian stone walls. The cool embrace of the church’s shadow provides a sweet respite from the summer heat.

Take note though, adventurous traveler, the meandering stone paths may challenge your sense of direction! A visit to St. Elijah’s Church is a journey through time that you won’t want to miss.

Pirate’s Candy Ship

  • Working Hours: 7 AM to 8 PM every day
  • Ticket Prices: No Fee
  • Exploration Time: 10 minutes

Brace yourselves, sweet tooth pirates! Nestled slightly off the beaten path, but well worth the extra steps, is Pirate’s Candy Ship, a fun pirate-themed treasure trove teeming with jelly candies and an array of delightful treats. For a paltry sum of 2.70€ per 100 grams, you can indulge in sugary spoils to your heart’s content!

But wait, there’s more! This cozy, well-stocked haven also houses authentic regional products like the exquisite fig jam. Even if candies aren’t your cup of tea, Pirate’s Candy Ship caters to all ages and tastes, with an assortment of souvenirs and even sparkling jewelry.

The friendly and helpful crew are ready to assist in your hunt for the perfect treat or souvenir, ensuring an enjoyable shopping experience for kids and adults alike.

In short, Pirate’s Candy Ship is a must-visit destination for candy enthusiasts, offering a unique, enjoyable shopping experience that is more than just about the sweets.

Kayaking

  • Working Hours: 8 AM – 8 PM
  • Ticket Prices: 15 € – 70 € (Based on the tour and duration).
  • Exploration Time: Depends on the tour.

For a truly unforgettable experience in Croatia, grab a paddle and head out on a kayaking adventure! At Karika Vodice, you can explore the island Prvić, perfectly suited for novices with a fitness level of 2/7. This guided sea kayak tour operates from 8 AM to 12 AM and 4 PM to 8 PM at a starting price of 45 €. 

Activities include sightseeing, snorkeling, and swimming. For those seeking a challenge, venture to the fortress of St. Nicholas. This advanced tour requires a fitness level of 5/7 and operates from 8 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 8 PM starting from 70 Euro.

For more flexibility, Bluewind Adventure offers a wide selection of kayaks, with the nearest island only 20 minutes paddle away. A single kayak costs 10 € for 1 hour, 25 € for 4 hours, or 40 € for 8 hours; a double kayak costs 15 € for 1 hour, 40 € for 4 hours, or 50 € for 8 hours. 

They provide you with everything you need: a map, a life jacket, a waterproof bag, and a paddling lesson. The rental service is fast and efficient, communicating best through SMS or phone. 

The kayaks are of high quality and the tour guides are knowledgeable about the area. Always remember to wear sea shoes due to the stony beaches and sea urchins. Happy paddling!

Scuba Diving

  • Working Hours: 8:30 AM – 8 PM
  • Ticket Prices: €25 – €980 (Based on the type of dive and package).
  • Exploration Time: Depends on chosen dive/dive package.

Immerse yourself in the incredible underwater world of Vodice, a hotspot with a whopping 27 diving locations, from fascinating wrecks to intriguing walls and caves.

Dive right in with “Vodice Dive”, a center renowned for its cheerful vibe, knowledgeable instructors, and exciting dive trips. Their offerings are vast and varied, including diving expeditions to historical wrecks like a WW2 Junkers bomber and an Italian navy tug!

Dive packages are aplenty, catering to every level from beginners to Dive Masters. They range from 25 € beach dives to 75 € Discovery boat dives, with package deals from 190 € (6 dives) to 980 € (24 dives). Equipment rental is available starting at just 2 €. Language barriers? Not a problem! Their well-rated courses are taught in English.

Vodice Dive is not just a center but a whole experience. With its large comfortable boat, professional-grade equipment, and custom-tailored schedule based on weather, it’s no wonder they come highly recommended. Perfect for beginners and experienced divers alike, you’re sure to dive into an unforgettable journey!

Čorić Tower

  • Working Hours: Open 24/7
  • Ticket Prices: No Fee
  • Exploration Time: 30 minutes

Strategically situated at Mirka Zore 19 Street, in Vodice, you’ll find the captivating Čorić Tower. A monumental testament to history dating back to 1533, this tower is a wonder to behold, with its stones sourced all the way from the island of Brač.

Once a place of residence that frequently changed hands, it sadly doesn’t welcome tourists inside anymore due to its condition. But fret not, as it remains a picture-perfect backdrop for those memorable holiday snaps you’ll love sharing with your friends back home.

In the summer months, the courtyard of this majestic structure magically transforms into an open-air cinema under the starlit sky. So, make sure to bring your picnic blanket and immerse yourself in this unique cultural experience.

While there is no ticket price as the tower is not open for interior exploration, make sure you carve out some time in your itinerary to swing by, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a movie under the stars!

Enhance Your Vodice Stay Even More

After familiarizing yourself with the various ways to reach the picturesque town of Vodice, it’s time to immerse yourself further into its captivating allure.

Start with a Day Trip to Vodice. This journey will take you through the town’s hidden treasures, allowing you to experience its vibrant culture and rich history firsthand. Wander through its cobbled streets, visit local markets, and soak in the ambiance of this Croatian gem.

If you’re looking to broaden your horizons, consider the Day Trips from Vodice. These excursions venture beyond Vodice, introducing you to nearby towns and natural wonders. Each trip promises a unique experience, from exploring ancient ruins to hiking through lush landscapes.

For those who find solace by the sea, the Best Beaches in Vodice article is a must-read. Dive into the pristine waters, bask under the sun, and let the gentle waves lull you into relaxation. Each beach offers a distinct charm, ensuring that every traveler finds their slice of paradise.

Accommodation is a crucial part of any trip, and Vodice doesn’t disappoint. The Best Hotels in Vodice guide provides insights into the top places to stay, catering to various styles and budgets. Whether you’re seeking luxury or a cozy nook, you’ll find the perfect place to rest after a day of exploration.

Lastly, if you’re still planning your journey, the How to Get to Vodice guide is an invaluable resource. It offers detailed information on reaching Vodice by land, air, or sea, ensuring your travel is as smooth as possible.

Dive deeper, explore further, and let Vodice unveil its stories to you. Your Croatian adventure awaits!

About the author

Tomislav is the main contributor and creator of Croatia Wanderlust. With a deep appreciation for his homeland, he dedicates his time to sharing detailed stories and insights about Croatia's rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historical landmarks. His writings aim to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of what makes Croatia a unique and must-visit destination. Through his articles, Tomislav hopes to inspire travel enthusiasts and curious minds alike to explore the beauty of Croatia.

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