Why would I go there?
Something for everyone and by European standards, it’s still quite cheap. But really it’s because of the untouched beauty. It may seem like they haven’t built anything in 50 years, but the place is just manifest with great beaches, diving, pristine water, you name it. Hvar and Zadar are the places for parties. But we went in shoulder season when it’s absolutely dead!
For nerdy types, there’s plenty of archaeology, roman ruins, museums, churches, art, culture. Most towns, especially Hvar, Rovinj and Korcula are very big on art too.
What’s the weather like?
Bloody hot actually. You will get burnt in the sun. Those of you from Australia will know that other countries can get hot, but you don’t get sunburnt. You will in Croatia, so take care.
How much money do you need?
Including B&B accommodation perhaps 600 to 800 Kuna (say $150-200 AUD) per day if you’re travelling as a couple. More if you’re drinking! Less if you’re staying in backpackers.
A decent restaurant lunch with beer for two would cost well under 200 Kuna (approx $45). Dinner a little more, maybe 250 Kuna. If you went to a supermarket and bought some sandwich meat, bread rolls and fruit, you may spend about 60 Kuna ($15 AUD).
A slice of pizza (you can get that anywhere) and a drink would be about 20 Kuna. You will tire of pizza very quickly. In Zagreb, you can get a quarter of a pizza for 9 Kuna from the bakeries! Very tasty!
Spirits and mixed drinks are a bit more expensive. Perhaps 30 Kuna a drink.
Is it worth renting a car?
Definitely. But it’s left hand drive. So if you haven’t driven LHD cars before and you don’t have a travelling companion don’t! You definitely need a navigator and someone to help keep your wits about you, otherwise it will make your holiday very, very stressful.
With Economy Car Rentals, we were about to get a reasonably decent size hatchback for around $60 AUD a day fully insured. They were by far the cheapest and we have no complaints.
Petrol costs around $2 AUD a litre. All the highways have lofty tolls as well. Which are well and truly justified by the smooth 130 KPH speed limits.
What’s it like driving there?
Croatians are excellent, courteous drivers – compared to the Italians! Be mindful that the highways are quite new, and if you intend to go inland, to Bosnia, or especially Montenegro, it will cost you more money. Mainly because the roads are skinny as hell and very poorly surfaced indeed. Stick to the main roads and highways within Croatia and you should be right.
What about scooters and motorbikes?
Highly recommended and a great way to get around the beach towns. Highlight of our trip was spending a day on a scooter in Korcula and finding beaches all to ourselves!
50CC scooters are everywhere in Split, Hvar, Korcula and Rovinj and all beachy places. It costs about 150 Kuna a day ($40 AUD?). If you want a four stroke 125CC scooter or bigger, you will need a motorcycle licence. There’s not much on offer in between.
Escpecially in Hvar, we noticed plenty of bikers ride in from as far away as Sarajevo. Roads are very bike friendly!
Any places to avoid?
Rijeka is a bit of an industrial town you may have to drive through. If you’re only interested in beaches, partying and cruisy resorts, stay between Split and Dubrovnik. Because it’s a lot colder up north.
Sadly Zagreb was a bit of a disappointment. I wouldn’t say don’t go there, but I wouldn’t recommend it either. It’s a bit beige.
More to come as I think of it. If you have any questions about the place, let me know and i’ll see if I can cover it here!