On our recent Euro trip in October covering three countries, we had expected Croatia to be different from the rest of the European experience and thus we’d decided to visit it last. Croatia has beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic sea surrounded by mountains – a sight we’d never seen before. What awaited us there was a multifaceted experience . Although I’d researched many blogs before our travel but there were a few more things that I feel would be helpful if you’re planning your travel to the pearl of Adriatic:
It’s warm – If you’re traveling in October when the winds in the rest of the Europe are chilly or if you’re traveling in April, when the other countries are still waking up from the slumber, Croatia would be your best bet for Euro travel. The warm weather and plenty of sunshine through the day just feels so good especially after you’re traveling from a prominently cold country.
The Food – Is certainly more flavorful and varied compared to what you get in other European countries. Reason being that theirs is a heterogeneous cuisine influenced by the Greek, the Turkish and the Roman cuisines. When we reached Croatia, we were craving for something that is not “cold meat and bread”. The food surely didn’t disappoint us . Although the sea food is a specialty here but don’t fret if you’re not a huge fan . Almost every restaurant serves a large variety of Pizza and the Risotto which we absolutely loved! The best part is that there are plenty of options available even if you’re a vegetarian.
Very child friendly – We were traveling with my 3 year old son and were bit apprehensive about it. To our surprise, wherever we went, we were greeted with a smile and everyone tried to make us comfortable in the best way possible, be it on the Buses or on the Catamaran or in the restaurants.
Rocky beaches –Now, this is what we should have carefully planned for. My son is fond of playing in the beach sand. We went to Hvar island (from Split) especially to let him play on the beach but most of those beaches (on an archipelago called Pakleni Island) were rocky. The only beach which was sandy would have cost us 500kn through a speedboat transfer so we skipped going there due to the budget constraints. But on our last day in Croatia, we decided to go to Bacvice beach in Split which we’d heard was always crowded and we were not keen on visiting to begin with. But surprisingly, we had a wonderful time there. It was crowded, yes but our son had a great time playing with the sand at the beach.
Uber – We found that there was a good Uber network there which is cheaper than the local taxi by almost 30%. Unlike most of the European countries, the network of public transport is not that great in Croatia so keep your Uber app handy while you travel especially if you can’t walk for long distances and have not hired a car
Game of thrones: Being a GoT fan, this is fondest memory of my Euro trip . If you’re in Dubrovnik, you’ll instantly recognise the “Westeros”. Game of Thrones walking tour is a must for every fan. Our tour guide was superb. She took us through the important locations where the scenes were shot, told us history behind the scenes, the cast etc. and also told us stories about how the local public of Croatia was engaged while shooting the series. The two hours tour makes you feel a part of the show itself! A word of caution : The guided trip involves climbing up stairs and hence is not suitable for prams and strollers
Restrooms: The restrooms don’t tender change unlike what we saw in the other countries. So, advise you to carry local currency Kuna (smaller denominations).
Expensive – Every meal cost us around 250kn (1 EUR = 8kn). Now, because of the Kuna currency being weaker than the Euro, we didn’t expect Croatia to be more expensive but it actually was a big surprise so plan your budget accordingly. Staying in an apartment and cooking one meal can save you some money
Pick pocketing – Like any other country which is flocked by tourists from all over the world, this country has attracted pickpockets and petty criminals too. My wallet was stolen from within my backpack (thankfully not too much cash in it) and that too in broad daylight. Suggest you to always carry your valuables in front and not on back and you’ll be fine.
Our overall experience in Croatia was enchanting and it is one country I would love to go back to very soon. I hope this post was insightful and has added Croatia to your list of travel destinations if it already wasn’t there.