Expats.cz sits down with Jay Ternavan, the American founder of JayWay Travel (www.jaywaytravel.com), to share his insights on travel to Croatia and his company.
Why did you select Croatia as a destination for your guests?
I have lived in Europe for about six years, studying in Spain as well as living in Germany and most recently here in Prague for the last two and a half years. During this time I have traveled extensively across Europe from the UK to the Ukraine. Over the last few summers I have spent quite a bit of time on the Croatian coast and I must say it has everything I look for in a destination. It has an amazing combination of history and culture, beautiful nature and breathtaking landscapes, delicious food, warm weather, friendly and welcoming locals and plenty of recreational activities, as well as exciting nightlife.
I believe is one of the only places I have found Europe which caters to every type of traveler. It can keep the most active traveler busy with an abundance of sights and interesting places to see. For the person looking to get away and relax it is an ideal beach, sun and fun holiday. Noteworthy is the fact that word is getting out and Croatia is receiving numerous accolades from travel experts. For example, “National Geographic” named it destination of the year for 2006.
Where in Croatia do you suggest to visit?
I have visited several parts of Croatia but one region in particular sticks out as the highlight for me as well as many friends and fellow travelers. The southern coast of Croatia known as the Dalmatian region is not to be missed and should be the first stop for anyone who plans to visit Croatia. This region is truly representative of Croatia capturing the best the country has to offer. There are endless gorgeous landscapes and the coastline wit its crystal clear blue water will take your breath away. What people don´t realize is it is so much more than just beaches. The history and culture is fascinating. During my stays here I have eaten some of the most amazing food, including mouthwatering seafood caught straight from the local waters, as well as juicy fruits and fresh vegetables.
There are two locations in particular within Dalmatia that I highly recommend. The first is the city of Dubrovnik which I put in the same category with Prague and only a couple of other select cities in Europe because of a magic to the city and vibe in the air that is unexplainable. Dubrovnik is known as the pearl of the Adriatic and deservedly so. The Old Town of the city is made up of Venice style smooth marble stoned streets that connect small alleyways with spectacular architecture and historical monuments around every corner. The Old Town itself is enclosed by towering city walls that jut out into the crystal clear blue sea surrounded by beaches and neighboring islands. Your first glimpse of the city will certainly be something you will never forget.
The second location, Hvar, is an island located off the coast and reached by ferry. One of the most reputable travel magazines, “Conde Nast Traveler”, rated Hvar “one of the top ten most beautiful islands in the world”. Once you set foot on the island you will immediately see why it has received such acclaim. I would suggest staying in Hvar town, the island´s top overnight location of the same name. Hvar certainly has some history to it with palaces and churches adorning its central white marbled square along with the island´s fortress hovering above the city. However, it is a nice contrast to Dubrovnik as it is more known for its natural beauty and beaches. This is an ideal place for a traveler looking to relax or enjoy water activities as well as excellent dining and nightlife options. Hvar has been dubbed as the new St. Tropez with magnificent yachts docked in its port and beautiful people throughout. Don´t let this scare you off as Hvar is not just reserved for the elite and is a place any traveler can enjoy.
What options can JayWay offer to someone who wants to travel to Croatia from Prague?
JayWay is able to arrange tailor made packages for guests catering to their every travel need. JayWay can help with all aspects of travel whether it be assistance finding an accommodation, booking a flight, transportation within Croatia or planning day trips and activities for their stay just to name a few of the services. Traveling from Prague to Croatia is convenient during the summer as there are good connections from Prague to two Croatian airports, Dubrovnik and Split. For the summer season I will be in Croatia to assist JayWay travel guests, advising them during their stay and showing them the best Croatia has to offer.
Why should someone travel with JayWay?
I realize people´s holiday time is valuable so I want to make sure they make the most of their travel time. Throughout my travels across Europe I have often made travel arrangements on my own which can be time consuming and generally “hit or miss”. I can not begin to tell you how many times at the end of a trip I have said to myself what if I had only known what I know now when I arrived. This has often led to my making a return trip to a city just to get it right. JayWay gives our guests the guidance and direction they need to get it right the first time and to maximize their travel experience. Another important aspect of traveling with JayWay is the personal touch guests receive which is lacking in most travel agencies. JayWay is able to organize tailor made trips based solely on traveler´s needs and not on what the travel agent thinks they want.
JayWay is available to guests before and during their stay in a location. As mentioned I will be in Croatia for the summer season to assist guests. This presence provides guests a foreign perspective with local knowledge which is an invaluable resource unavailable in most destinations. We will provide each group of guests with a mobile phone linking them directly to me as well as putting them in touch with a number of local services such as taxis, restaurants and emergency services. In terms of accommodations we have personally visited and stayed everywhere JayWay offers guests so they can be assured high quality. JayWay also offers a number of day excursions allowing you to experience the cities and surrounding regions, whether it is a day trip from Dubrovnik to the bordering countries of Montenegro and Bosnia or to the neighboring islands from Hvar.
JayWay guests certainly get added value for their money while traveling at an affordable price. Many of the services JayWay offers are in a sense priceless and after an amazing travel experience I am sure guests will agree the trip is worth every penny.
How does someone go about organizing a trip through JayWay?
You can find out more about JayWay and what we offer by visiting www.jaywaytravel.com. Feel free to send your ideas and requests to email@example.com or contact us anytime within Europe at +44 20 7150 8133, our US number +1 914 595 4540 or on Skype at username jaywaytravel. Someone is always available to speak to you and tailor a trip to meet your individual travel needs.
What can we expect from JayWay in the future?
JayWay will be continually adding to its list of destinations. Croatia is primarily a summer destination making it available more or less six months of the year. In the next few weeks JayWay will add a few destinations considered more year round destinations including Prague. We will also include Krakow and Budapest which are ideal weekend trip from Prague. From there other city destinations will be added in the countries of Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland with plans for expansion to other Central & Eastern Europe countries down the road. We will continually seek to update our offering with new destinations for the Prague based traveler to explore and enjoy!