Croatia: could anyone share their thoughts/experiences ?

(31 Posts)

Looking at a villa holiday in Croatia with dcs (will be 9 & 7) - but no idea whereabouts to look, and am tying myself up in knots looking at various options.

Had initially thought of going islands, but looks like those will be very busy peak season - plus adds ££. Any recommendations for good locations/areas? Ideally with stuff to see (ancient/wildlife), nearish to the sea, ideally not too busy...?

Or, any other hints and tips at all, really!

Bunbaker Sun 20-Jan-13 01:04:49

We stayed on the Makarska Riviera, in a place called Baska Voda, 3 years ago when DD was 9. It was one of our best holidays ever.

Thanks namara, that's helpful. A Bosnian mate has said she's happy to do some googling for us, as she was shocked how much the prices went up once the sites were in English wink

narmada Thu 17-Jan-13 23:28:21

The beach in Dubrovnik will be rammed.... ish.

Korcula not too sure.... hmmm. I don't think the Lumbarda beaches will be heaving - one is a narrow strip tho the other one is much wider.

Check out places like Viganj and Orebic. There are a fair few villas and apartments on the major sites like owners direct ect.... I would avoid large agencies as they seem to charge ridiculous amounts.

If you are not bothered about luxury there are always reasonable rooms (sobe) to be had in Croatia - Google 'privatni smjestaj' ( private accommodation).

OK, will check out Cavtat too. Are the sandy beaches not very busy, Korcula? My two go down to Devon a lot, so they aren't too fussed by sand, so I was planning to keep away from the few sandy beaches on the assumption everyone else would be there smile This is so helpful, thanks everyone!

oohhh, just seen all these new posts, thank you everyone! We had wondered initially about one of the islands, but so far I haven't found anywhere that looks nice & isn't too spendy - would rather be on a smaller island, but then want somewhere with a decent restaurant/bar or two...

hillyhilly, you're selling it so well I now have a little pile of montenegro bookmarks. Do you mind if I ask where you stayed?

narmada Thu 17-Jan-13 22:00:09

I would second cavtat. Great place for a family hol. Failing that you could try Korcula- which has fab sandy beaches at Lumbarda. Somewhere like Peljesac peninsula will probably be a bit quieter and from there you can do visits to korcula.

Bay of kotor also v lovely. I liked Perast. I think Kotor might be fairly busy in peak season - it is a small town.

ggirl Thu 17-Jan-13 13:47:21

Have only been to Dubrovnik for a weekend and stayed at Hotel lapad...wine was fantastic but food was appalling.

hillyhilly Thu 17-Jan-13 13:41:33

Kotor bay - breathtaking scenery, fabulous weather, amazing safe sandy beaches with lovely cafes, comfy loungers, and the sea is incredibly calm and doesn't get deep till about 100m out (seriously), you could lie on a Lounger while the kids (5&7) played in and out of the water in complete confidence of their safety. (This particularly was plav horizont ie horizontal beach), the old town at night had a huge choice of restaurants and looked stunning - all cobbles and little squares with old churches and beautiful buildings.
We had a car, the driving was easy, good roads and polite drivers.
They have great bread shops and butchers that cook your meat for you. Lots of mini marts and also big supermarkets available.
Despite kotor being a place where lots of cruise ships dock it was never tacky or too busy.
The weather was incredibly warm even in the evenings.
I'm sure there's more but hope that's gone some way to selling it to you!

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 13:12:59

We got the ferry from Split to Dubrovnik - which takes about eight hours I think and it was gorgeous, called at all islands on the way, scenery was stunning. You can get inside cabins but if you don't mind (sheltered) heat the deck seats were pretty cheap.

Absy Thu 17-Jan-13 12:56:39

We went in May, and it was lovely. Flew into Split (was cheaper than Dubrovnik as it's not as popular), stayed there for day and a half, then drove to Dubrovnik (the scenery on the way is incredible and technically you pass through Bosnia-Hercegovina), then to Dubrovnik for two days, then to Makarska to get the very to Brak (I think). The place we stayed was lovely, the beaches were okay - a bit pebbly. Then we went back to Split.

Split was my favourite - most of the city used to be contained in Diocletian's palace, which is very interesting and my favourite thing was doing a tour of the basement (weird but true) which still has rooms mirroring what was above, and lots of interesting history.

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 12:51:27

Don't be put off by busyness even if you are by ££. It's not "busy" in the same way other Med places are. I've been to Dubrovnik in August. The old town was pretty crowded, but the beach bit of town where we were staying (Lapad) was just nicely full. Lively, but very relaxed and certainly not hordes of 1000s in nightclubs or anything, the whole place is on too small a scale for that. We had no problem getting beach loungers, seats at restaurants etc. We went out for a drink to a beach side bar one evening and were the only people watching a fabulous sunset, and the only people having a swim at night. It's mostly Italian and German families there as far as we could tell.

The major islands were less full even than that - and if you fancy a bit of proper solitude you can get boat trips to smaller islands, either chartered or organised. We went on an organised day trip, and I know those words are making you think thousands of flabby tourists descending from a coach into a packed square - think more along the lines of about thirty people strolling up a wooden jetty to a twenty-house, two-bar seaside village. You could wander off and be the only people going to look at, say, a pretty white church up a pine-clad slope...

Ah, I'd go back like a shot! Think I would stay on an island this time.

CailinDana Thu 17-Jan-13 12:47:06

We've been to Dubrovnik a few times. We always rent an apartment from a local in the Old Town, which usually ends up being really cheap and means you're at the heart of everything rather than out in the middle of nowhere at one of the hotels (there are no hotels that mere mortals could afford in the Old Town itself). The beach isn't fantastic but the water is lovely and clean and there are places in the city walls where you can get out to deeper water (if you have older children - not suitable for smallies) or you can take the boat to Lokrum which has a nudist beach (!) and a few other non-nudist places that are lovely for swimming. There are constant boats trips from the harbour to loads of different places, but we rarely leave Dubrovnik itself, we absolutely love it. Gorgeous town, great restaurants, plenty to do. By far my favourite place to go on holiday.

planestrainsautomobiles Thu 17-Jan-13 12:45:05

We went to Croatia about 8 years back and had a wonderful holiday. It was expensive but pre-kids! We flew into Split (fine for a day or so, but wouldn't recommend as a holiday destination) then a ferry out to Hvar. Lovely marina with cool bars (pre-kid days!) but not sure its a great family destination. We stayed at a hotel right on the coast with terraced sunbathing areas - very relaxing. Then we went to Dubrovnik - which is absolutely stunning. Stayed at a stunning hotel here. A wonderful trip!

We've been to Croatia twice and lived it (esp the food!). Dubrovnik is fantastic. We were near Split the first time and went on day trips to a couple of the islands. The second time we stayed in Makarska, which was a lovely town and most of the other tourists were Italian/Croatian/German etc and we heard/saw very few British people around. We took daytrips to the islands. Brac is lovely. We spent a couple of nights in Dubrovnik too.
When we went in July it was VERY hot, but I think that was a bit of a freaky heat wave.

TaggieCampbellBlack Thu 17-Jan-13 12:30:27

Cavtat.

10 minutes from Dubrovnik airport.

Lovely little holiday town. Massive gurt big yachts to lust after. Lots of lovely little bars and cafes around the marina. Nice shingle beach. The sea is amazing. Boat trips to beautiful islands and Dubrovnik. Good pizza and icecreams (lots of italian influence). Music concerts in the old monastry. Lovely walks.
Near to montenegro for day trips (we didn't get round to it).
We had a lovely holiday there.

Went to Hvar, a small island ferry ride from Dubrovnik.
Terrible food. Terrible accommodation. Some of the filthiest beaches I've seen. The most miserable beautiful people imaginable, smoking everywhere.
People talk highly of it though.

Fluffy1234 Thu 17-Jan-13 12:19:57

Wherever you end up staying try and find the time to take a ferry to one of the beautiful islands for a day trip. I stayed on the tiny island called Kolocep in 2010 and it's really lovely. No cars, just one hotel and three restaurants and unusual for Croatia...a sandy beach. Just 25 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik.

Hummm, no I'm not planning on a DottyP shopping trip...

FergusSingsTheBlues Wed 16-Jan-13 23:05:12

Dubrovnik beautiful although i was gutted to see it has a feckin dorothybperkins and a subway. Kinda ruined it for me!

Humm, everyone seems to be trying to tempt me out of Croatia wink.Will look at Slovenia too, kd73. In what way was the food bad, Porto? My sister went to a few places along the coast (although not Zadar I think) & the food was one of the things she raved about.

Portofino Wed 16-Jan-13 22:54:31

We went to Zadar fpr a long weekend. Cheap ryanair flights. It was lovely - gorgeous scenery, cheap accommodation. The food was awful. I could not have stood more than a week.

kd73 Wed 16-Jan-13 22:51:45

I had always wanted to go to Croatia and went a few years ago stayed in Rovinj (nice coastal area but very commercial) and plitvica (very beautiful with the national park but accomodation limited and weather very poor). Travelled over to Slovenia which was surprisingly beautifu, better weather, more relaxing, and cheaper! Worth looking at Slovenia smile

TameGaloot Wed 16-Jan-13 22:35:15

My parents go to Montenegro (they live in Kosova) and reports are its lovely. Kosova is also amazing but its not coastal

Thanks needa. Anyone else...?

Needalifeagain Wed 16-Jan-13 22:09:23

Was busy in August think continental holidays but roads were quite good and easily manageable.

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