Guide for Travel in Croatia
How and Why to Travel in Croatia
While browsing your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or some other account on the social network, you probably have problem with Croatian photos that often jumps out, its natural beauty, the cities under UNESCO protection, music festivals with world famous DJs and performers, “the best “beach,” the best “this,” the best “that”. Suddenly, your life has become so ordinary, monotonous and you decide to travel in Croatia. But what do you know about Croatia? How to travel through Croatia?
Did you know that the fifth season of the popular “Game of Thrones” was filmed in Kastel Gomilica? The fascinating panorama of the castle “Kastilac” – buildings of Split’s Benedictine nuns from the early 16th century is scene in which hardly anyone could be indifferent.
You should know about…
Firstly, this is a safe country. The country has about 4.5 million inhabitants, the largest city and also the capital, Zagreb (with over a million inhabitants). This is a small country but varied in its nature, it is easiest to divide into continental and coastal par of country. I know, it’s more interesting for you to explore the coast, but let me say a word about the continental part.
Zagreb, the capital, is in the continental part of the country. Last year, Zagreb was named the best Christmas destination in Europe. Zagreb is a city with the most museums per square meter in the world. Urban Zagreb lives every day of the year, not just one or two months during the year. The most beautiful castles hide in Zagorje, and Slavonia is also characterized by numerous castles, palaces, and chapels. Not far from the mouth of the Drava and the Danube lies Kopacki Rit Nature Park, one of the most important, the largest and most interesting intact wetlands in Europe. The most beautiful national park, Plitvice Lakes, are in the continental part, also. Are you still bored?
About coast, you can read all the time. The largest coastal cities are: Dubrovnik, Game of Thrones filming locations; Split has Diocletian’s Palace; Zadar has a unique Sea organ, unique in the world; Sibenik proudly shows its Cathedral, which was built only of stone, no other material; Rijeka is recognized with Observatory and promenade Molo Longo that is long 1707 meters and built in 1888; and Pula has one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, which dates back to the 1st century. Croatia has a beautiful coast, the three of national parks are at the coast: Mljet, Kornati and Brijuni and nearby are Paklenica, Northern Velebit, Risnjak and Krka, not to mention nature parks like Biokovo, Telascica, Velebit, Ucka and Lastovo. Coast has around 2700 hours of the sunshine per year. Yes, yes … This means that is hot and so we come to the most important, the beach. The sandy beaches are along the entire coast, you can choose where you’re going to go because Croatia offers it all. I could write about beauty forever, but I will not, I will invite you to come, see and travel in Croatia. The ancient Romans would say “Veni, Vidi, Vici!“ which means “Came, saw, conquered!”, so what are you waiting for? Have you started with packing?
How to Travel in Croatia
Travel in Croatia will mainly be ok. This is a safe country to travel. The coast is connected by highway A1 and rail and air traffic with the inland as well as with neighboring countries. And there is one of the most used forms of public transport, bus.
The simplest way to come is by plane
Regular flights to Zagreb, from where you can continue toward the coast depart from almost all international airports. Of course, during the summer season (June, July, and August) the number of flights at the Airports are increased, and many charter flights are moving directly toward the biggest tourist destinations, such as Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Rijeka, Pula, and Osijek.
Take the bus
In other European countries travel by train is normal, in Croatia is not always the easiest way to travel. There are no road connections with the South, in Istria is travel with train, also, somewhat limited. The solution is on the bus! With vollo.net application for online purchase bus tickets, this becomes even easier. Your bus trip with Vollo can be envision, very well. Travel at night and thus can save on accommodation while you sleep in the bus. You can, also, plan a trip, so, you can start from Zagreb and get with a bus to Istria and spend an unforgettable day spiced with some traditional Istrian meal with the addition of truffles. Once you’ve visited some of the sights in Istria, be sure to go to Dalmatia. With Vollo you can pass the whole Croatia; you can see where Game of Thrones filmed, eat frog legs in Neretva Delta, get to Peljesac Peninsula and see the Ston walls from 1333, the only of its kind in Europe. Or … maybe you have some idea?!
If you drive, drive carefully
While the bus will drive you where you want, if you want to move more freely, take a rent-a-car. In every tourist city, you can rent-a-car, or you can rent-a-car at the Airports. Do not forget that 90% of Croatians are driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, if you want automatic, don’t forget to ask for it. The price of renting a vehicle depends on the type of vehicle and period covered by your rent. For car rental will usually ask to see the credit card and driver’s license. Oh, I almost forgot, do not talk on the phone while driving, it is punishable in Croatia.
If you’re going to party, take a taxi
Croatia is known for its great music festivals. However, if you are in Croatia for business or pleasure, be a part of InMusic, Ultra, Outlook, Hideout, or maybe even Rijeka Carnival. If you want to meet town and see how the locals live it is best to walk with a map in your hand. But what, if, after a couple of kilometers you are too tired to go back, or, if you chill out with your friends and is too late to go back with bus? Yeah! Right again. You’ll take a taxi. And what, I’m just guessing, if you cannot remember the number to call a taxi? In Croatia, as well as in other European countries there is Uber taxi application. It is enough if you download the app to your mobile phone and you’ve solved the problem (valid for Zagreb). Prices vary from city to city and from service providers, and so, someone will be keen with Cammeo, the other with Uber and someone with a third option. Basically, most of the taxi providers will charge you start 25 KN (about 3.5 EUR), and per kilometer, they’ll charge you about 7 KN (about 1 EUR).
Travel with ferries, and small boats
Of course, if you have already come to the sea, thinking, how nice it would be to visit at least one island of 1,000. Imagine yourselves in a cove with crystal clear water and nature that takes your breath away (Yes, this is possible in Croatia.). And for that, you’ll need a transport to the island. Jadrolinija is Croatian Transport Company and the largest passenger shipping company that maintains the line with almost all Croatian islands. With Jadrolinija you can reach to the island with your own (or rented) car, and if you do not like that, then you can go to some of the islands with a small boat. Travel to your destinations with a small boat has its advantages, you can arrange with the owner when will come for you and friends or where to take you…
And last but not least, hitchhiking…
In many travel groups on Facebook, I noticed that they often ask questions like: “Does anyone know whether safe/effective hitching in Croatia is?”. As I said before, Croatia is a safe country. Hitchhiking in Croatia is safe as well as in any other country. It may happen that the driver is “idiot”, but usually, is a very positive experience. I used to hitchhike when I was a student, it was interesting, I met new people, and reached the destination for free.
I wish you a memorable stay in Croatia!