A View With a Room
The spectacular coast of Croatia is studded with centuries-old lighthouses. Eleven of them have vacation rentals that allow guests to play keeper for a week.
That night, I ditched the slimy gray fish and cooked the John Dory in a butter sauce with a dash of the black truffles I'd bought in Motovun. The meal was so rich that not even bottomless-stomached Nick could finish his. I half-joked that we leave the leftovers for the ghost.
"OK," Nick said.
We set the fish on a clean plate in the middle of the cleared table. The next morning I was a little disappointed to find it still there, gelatinous and untouched. It was only after I'd thrown it away and brewed a couple of cups of coffee that I realized there'd been no clattering the night before, and indeed, things remained quiet for the rest of our time at the lighthouse.
Booking a Croatian Lighthouse
In 2000, Plovput, the national lighthouse authority, began renting out 11 lighthouses in order to raise funds to maintain these and the country's 37 other coastal beacons. All but three of the tourist lighthouses are on islands, and most are accessible by scheduled ferry service. At the more remote spots, visitors must cart in their own provisions. Plovput is also the central booking agency (011-385/21-390-609, lighthouses-croatia.com). Its website has information on each of the lighthouses, including details about transfers. Reserve at least nine months in advance for a stay in the high season--from June through mid-September, rentals are on a weekly basis--although if you have your heart set on a specific lighthouse for a particular time, it wouldn't hurt to inquire a year ahead. Prices range from around $525 a week for a four-person apartment in the low season to $1,700 per week for an eight-person apartment in the high season.
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