The Croatian coast has emerged from years of political turmoil and too-close-for-comfort warfare to become one of the most desirable resort areas in Europe. With prices far below the stratospheric heights of the Italian Riviera or Amalfi Coast and similarly gorgeous vistas, there's plenty of potential here. The architect Steven Harris and interior designer Lucien Rees Roberts demonstrated the potential of the region's real estate last year, when they renovated this 15th-century limestone structure into a stylish summer getaway. Situated on a high bluff on the island of Lopud, the house has a clean white, grey, and black interior and incorporates the original stone walls, which combine to form one seriously desirable escape. Sadly, not all Croatian pads have received such a high-brow renovation, but let's take a look at some with potential.
? For something close to the Harris-Rees Roberts starting point, this 15th-century stone manse is also set on Lopud, with plenty of outdoor space, views of the water, and a traditional red tile roof. The listing for the 2,100-square-foot unpolished gem doesn't list a price, but is sure to remind potential buyers that the Sunday Times called Lopud "one of the top ten secret Mediterranean islands."
? Located near Dubrovnik in southern Croatia, this waterfront "Captain's House" was built back in 1872, but might require even more work than the 15th-century version. The 12-bedroom pile doesn't reveal its interior in the listing—which is almost always a bad sign—but the ivied patio offers a little encouragement. The coveted waterfront and quay must be responsible for the $1.22M asking price.
? Zaton might sound more like a distant star system than a seaside resort town, but this quaint village serves up some pricey properties. This $2.38M villa has been renovated, but the next buyer might want to correct some of the less-than-stylish snafus. That price includes plenty of space though, with seven bedrooms and two guest apartments.
? Located in Diocletian’s Palace in the city of Split, this apartment has the potential to be a royal pain in the ass. It's in need of a complete overhaul, including basic plumbing, electric, and heating, but the loft-like space has some serious potential if executed properly. Sorry, there's no sea view, but this historic property is cheaper as a result, at $668K.
? This last one is a move-in ready modern masterwork on Bra? island for those too timid, or simply too busy, to conduct a renovation in a foreign country. The price is only available on request, but with an infinity pool, waterfront location, and a tasteful, if not distinctive, design, it will probably command a hefty premium.
· Villa San Spirito [Steven Harris Architects]
· Historic Villa, Lopud [Savills]
· Waterfront Captain's House [Savills]
· Villa with Pool, Zaton [Savills]
· Palace Apartment, Split [Savills]
· Superb villa, Bra? island [Savills]