I hope that I can describe our holiday at Valalta without it sounding like an exaggeration but at the same time I need to give Valalta the credit that it deserves, so here goes:
It would be unfair to compare Valalta with any other resort, so I am just going to mention our one week holiday at Valalta. We flew to Prague in Czech Republic and our friend, Michal was waiting at the airport for us. We spent a day and a half at Michal’s lovely home catching up on sleep because neither Amanda nor I had managed to sleep on the plane. Funny enough, Czech Republic is the same time zone as South Africa but the first difference we noticed was that in summer there, the sun starts rising at about 4am and only sets at about 10pm.
We decided to leave at 5am on the Saturday, because we had arranged an 8am meeting in Austria with Sieglinde Ivo, the President of the International Naturist Federation (INF), who also happens to be the President of the Austrian Naturist Federation. We wanted her advice about a number of matters but our main aim was to attract international Naturist Tourists to South Africa.
When we woke up, it was raining cats and dogs and with wet weather and driving on the right side of the road, we tried to relax but we were very excited and nervous at the same time. Luckily both Michal and Martina are very good drivers and better still they are great hosts so they went out of their way to make us enjoy our holiday. The meeting with the President in Austria went well and we were given INF golf shirts, key rings, stickers etc. Thank you so much Sieglinde!
We were thrilled with our meeting but as we entered Slovenia and then Croatia, Amanda and I were like two little kids, smiling, winking at each other and squeezing hands like naughty teenagers. We had heard all about Valalta and for a few months it was “min dae” (in English “few days”) but at this stage of the trip it was not just
a few days but down to a few hours and then a few minutes. We arrived at Valalta at about 3pm.
There are a number of “House Rules” at Valalta and Michal had been there on numerous occasions so we already knew most of the rules. We had to “cover up” when in the reception/office area, in the supermarkets and in the restaurants (only at night). Normally Michal is the first to strip, closely followed by Amanda and Martina and I am normally last but we arrived fully clothed and went into the Reception Area.
I can only compare the reception area to a City Lodge or Holiday Inn except better and more staff. We were welcomed in German but the friendly lady soon realised that we speak English and she quickly switched to English. They were “on the ball” had all the paperwork ready, took all of our passports so they could register all of us in their own time and within less than 5 minutes we had the keys for the chalet and with a map clearly marked in pen, we had directions to our accommodation. By the way, in the reception area, there is a foreign exchange clerk, 2 ATMs, an information clerk who also controls the Wi-Fi and about 6 computers on line for visitors and she also hands out DVDs of Valalta, maps, house rules, brochures, information about Rovinj, the nearby town and things to do etc.
This “on the ball” way of doing business is evidently influenced by the many German speaking naturists and this strive for perfection is very evident. This is not easy when you consider that Valalta is 121 Hectares and has a capacity of 7,500 visitors/naturists and 400 staff. There are 2,600 camping/caravan sites and 1,231 apartments. The day that we arrived (28th June), there were 4,300 visitors there but that would increase daily as school holidays started in various countries and they were expecting to have over 7,000 visitors by the end of July. Visitors are mostly from Germany, then Austria followed by Italy and then a few from other European countries, we soon got to learn by the car number plates, which country the car was from.
Each chalet has a number (thank heavens not a tree, animal or bird name LOL) and the same number appears on the allocated parking place which is under shade cloth. So with 1,231 parking places plus a lot more for day visitors, they are in rows next to the tarred roads and not close to the chalets. The chalets are in a type of a maze and only bicycles enter the maze – not cars. That reminds, me, you can hire bicycles but most of the visitors from Europe bring their own bicycles and I am not exaggerating when I state that a few thousand bicycles were there. Valalta has paved paths for pedestrians and some for bicycles only so we had to read the signs or we would have been in trouble with cyclists.
The two bedroom chalet which we shared with Michal and Martina was better than we expected and even had a dishwashing machine. The cleaning lady did not wash dishes but she did clean the house and made up the beds every morning. Of course, all 400 staff wear clothes but nobody has an issue with that. She wore neat light blue shorts, a white golf shirt and sneakers (takkies). Even though they greeted the guests, they were always busy doing their job, never smoking, never sitting around and never over-friendly.
There were 2 teams of Security Guards each made up of two men, wearing black boxer shorts, white golf shirts and sneakers (takkies) on bicycles and each with a two-way radio. There was also a golf car with two guys patrolling the resort. One of the security teams would pass the beach area, where we would be tanning,
approximately every 30 minutes.
So belonging to Valalta, apart from 3 large swimming pools (2 heated), jucuzzis, saunas, a Spa offering massages etc, a pharmacy, a fruit and veg shop, a typical beach shop (clothes, flip flops, buckets and spades etc), 2 supermarkets (like a Spar), which sell lots of beer, wine, freshly baked bread and rolls, 5 restaurants, 3
entertainment stages, 13 ablution blocks (you got to see to believe), 5 beaches, its own marina for boats, a soccer field, 3 tennis courts, 2 bowling greens/Petang courts, a few tables for ping pong/table tennis, 3 minigolf courses, 3 volleyball courts in sea sand, numerous trampolines, lots of floating inflatable “obstacles” for
youngsters to have fun on and about 12 floating Pontoons (wooden decks with stairs) used for tanning, Valalta recently purchased 2,000 new plastic tanning beds and over 1,000 thatch umbrellas. The “beach” has small pebbles and sea sand in places, all brought in by the resort. There are about 30 outdoor showers to wash off
the sea water.
As if this did not impress us enough, we discovered the most important difference between the sea in Croatia compared to the ocean in South Africa: NO WAVES, hardly any difference between low tide and high tide, water so clear that we could see the bottom 10 meters deep and then to crown it all, the water was about 30
degrees. WOW! Take all of the above and add 4,300 naturists and you have “Heaven on Earth”.
Michal and Martina cycled a lot but Amanda and I decided to walk a lot and as early morning people, we started our walks at about 5.30am each day. The attached photographs were taken during our early morning walks when most of the guests were sleeping. We were afraid to take photographs when thousands of people
were around. The walks were very enjoyable but we could only manage about 20% of the perimeter per day.
There are 2 wooden towers which gave us a nice view of Valalta as well as the nearby naturist resort called Koversada which evidently has over 3,500 naturist guests in summer. Wow, within a 3 km radius, there are
over 10,000 naturists in July/August each year!
Michal is a qualified Skipper so we managed to hire a small boat to take us to see Koversada, which is less than 1 km away from Valata by sea, however, by road it is a drive of over 10 kms because the drive goes via Rovinj and around the channel over a bridge and back to the coast. After looking at Koversada from the boat, we went up the channel for a while before we returned to Valalta. We noticed that floating buoys with ropes clearly separates the swimming area from the boating area so it is unlikely that a boat will drive over a swimmer. At night, there were 3 bands playing each night at 3 different venues within Valalta and there was entertainment for kids as well. There were fish picnics on large boats and all sorts of fun things to do on the programs.
The week at Valalta went past way too fast and I would like to suggest that you place Valalta on your bucket list. It was not as expensive as I thought it would be.