Travel question: the best places to stay from Zadar to Dubrovnik

Hi, we are planning to fly into Zadar in late June for approximately 14 nights, working our way to Dubrovnik and flying back from there. Looking for about 6 or more places to stay over on our way down, we will be travelling by bus so don’t want long bus transfers, so could you give me some ideas of some nice places where we could stay or when travelling down, please?

J.P.

14 nights from Zadar to Dubrovnik sounds truly wonderful, lucky you! That’s a great amount of time to see Dalmatia. Travelling by bus is no problem, and I would also actually add some catamarans (or ferries, where applicable) into the mix as this trip would also be a good chance to see and experience some islands. However, I’ll also give you an option to stick to the mainland only if you prefer.

Zadar to Dubrovnik - Trogir
Trogir

Zadar to Dubrovnik – Travelling on the mainland, by bus, only

  • Start in lovely Zadar with so much to explore and enjoy here!
    …1 hour 30 minutes by bus to…
  • Sibenik – a charming old town, with its two UNESCO World Heritage sites (definitely visit the fortresses!), and a lovely harbourfront 
    30 minutes to…
  • Skradin to visit Krka National Park, a gem of a national park with its gorgeous waterfalls and lakes, plenty to explore on a day or two here
    …just over 1 hour to… (N.B. Only one bus a day at 17.30 with Best Line)
  • Trogir – a gorgeous little town, lots of tiny cobbled streets, good restaurants and cafes
    …only 30/45 minutes to…
  • Split – Croatia’s second city, a must-visit on your way down from Zadar to Dubrovnik! So much to see and do here, plus excellent restaurants, bars, shopping, beaches…the list goes on!
    …just over 1 hour to…
  • Makarska – another highlight on this part of the coast, a popular holiday destination with great amenities and rather impressively loomed over by Mount Biokovo
    …2 hours 30 mins/3 hours to…
  • Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic!

So, the above is actually only 5 places to stop off at when travelling down from Zadar to Dubrovnik. I think this is a good amount as you can base yourself in any one place and then make additional bus trips to nearby locations.

I would have liked to add in an extra place between Makarska and Dubrovnik for you, but this part of the coast thins out a little in terms of towns to visit. One place to explore would have been somewhere on the Peljesac Peninsula e.g. Ston but it is only possible to travel there from Makarska (if travelling by bus) via Dubrovnik, which wouldn’t make much sense.

The GetByBus website will help you look up bus timetables and book tickets.

From Zadar to Dubrovnik - Korcula Town
Korcula Town

Zadar to Dubrovnik – Mainland by bus to Split and then by catamaran down to Dubrovnik

Now for the second option. The start is as the above itinerary, for the Zadar to Split portion, and then from there: 

  • Split
    …1 hour by catamaran…
  • Hvar Town on Hvar – a popular island town with great restaurants and interesting sights (the Spanjola Fortress on the hill is a must-see); taking a taxi bro to the Pakleni islands on a day trip is also recommended
    …1 hour 10 mins by catamaran to…
  • Korcula Town – a mini-Dubrovnik, a delightful place
    …just under 2 hours to…
  • Dubrovnik

Or two other islands you could do instead would be Brac (home to the famous Zlatni Rat beach) or Mljet (with its beautiful greenery and nature). Or any combination of two – Hvar and Mljet, Brac and Korcula…

Kapetan Luka and Jadrolinija run these catamarans; there are quite a few sailings on these routes (some – e.g. Split to Hvar – more than others) so the best advice would be to look up tickets on the ferry company websites to see what time the sailings are.

Enjoy your travels from Zadar to Dubrovnik!

Croatian alternatives - Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj

The best Croatian alternatives to your favourite destinations

Whilst some of you dear readers are Croatian newbies, currently actively researching your holidays to Croatia and what to see and do in the country, a lot of you may be old hands on visiting Croatia (I mean that phrase in the politest way!). You may have holidayed in the country several times now, or perhaps some of you go year after year – how wonderful! In which case, this post is for you! Here we present some Croatian alternatives for you to consider visiting this year.

Croatian alternatives – What on earth do you mean?

If you’ve been to Croatia before and have always visited the same one or two places, why not try something new this year? So, essentially, instead of going to X, why not try the similar destination Y?

And “similar” is the key word there – if you always holiday in bustling Dubrovnik in August, we’re not going to suggest the tiny island of Susak instead!

Now, before anyone points this out, most of these alternatives aren’t especially close to the original destination…which is kind of the point. Because if you’re going to try something brand new, why not go the whole hog?

So, without further ado, let’s get started so you can see what new place in Croatia you’ll be holidaying in this year.

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Vis, try Lastovo

Vis is a complete gem of an island, one of Visit Croatia’s absolute favourite spots in Croatia. But if you’ve enjoyed its laidback and tranquil nature you might want to consider moving on…to the island of Lastovo. Both islands, in fact, have a similar history in the sense that both served as military bases in Yugoslavia meaning that they were closed to foreign visitors until the bases closed in the late 1980s. Both islands are the furthest (larger) islands out from the mainland too. That means that both require a longer ferry journey to reach them. (For either island, I would recommend the slower pace of a ferry rather than a catamaran.)

Lastovo
Lastovo

Lastovo, however, is smaller still than Vis with a population of only 1,000 compared to 5,000 and has fewer amenities than Vis. But this may be exactly the kind of thing you’re looking for. There’s only one hotel on the island (private apartments and villas are available, of course) and a handful of restaurants. Really, you’ll spend your days relaxing and enjoying the island’s beaches – and enjoying elements of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park. Oh, and staring up at the sky. As the island has very little in the way of light pollution, it’s one of the best star-gazing places in Europe and is called “the island of bright stars”.

More info: Lastovo Tourist Office

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Zadar, try Sibenik

Zadar is another one of Visit Croatia’s favourites (Visit Croatia has many favourites in Croatia…understandably) and I just love its easy-to-explore Old Town with a fascinating mix of old and modern sights.

But let me present to you Sibenik as an alternative. Sibenik has been getting a lot of press recently as an “off-the-beaten-track” alternative for Split or Dubrovnik, but I think it is better compared to Zadar.

Sibenik is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sights – St James Cathedral and the St Nicholas Fortress (one of several forts here!) and a charming Old Town with an exceedingly charming harbourfront. Ideal for strolling and showing off, or relaxing and people-watching.

Sibenik
Sibenik

There are some great modern accommodation options in and around Sibenik, including the large-scale, family-friendly Amadria Park Resort as well as the D Resort Sibenik.

And why not treat yourself when in Sibenik with a once-in-a-lifetime meal at Michelin-starred restaurant Pelegrini?

More info: Sibenik Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Dubrovnik, try Opatija

Dubrovnik is a gem of a place, absolutely, and with its magical Old Town and myriad other interesting sights and experiences, it’s a top destination for many.

But why not swap it for the “Grand Dame” of Croatian tourism – somewhere that has welcomed visitors far longer than Dubrovnik?

Photos of Opatija
Another view of beautiful Opatija

Super stylish Opatija has a very different feel to Dubrovnik; in fact, it has a different feel to many Croatian coastal towns. But this beautiful town has much to offer from its excellent accommodation options (with a number of very fancy five-star hotels), top dining options, luxe bathing spots and the endless lungomare seaside promenade with gorgeous views. (The lungomare in fact stretches for 12km beyond just Opatija.)

Although popular in its own right, Opatija is less busy than Dubrovnik so some travellers would welcome this change!

More info: Opatija Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of the Istrian coastline, try the North Dalmatian coastline

If you’ve holidayed in one (or more than one) of Istria‘s gorgeous towns – Umag, Novigrad, Porec or Rovinj to name just a few – I’m sure you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful part of Croatia’s coastline. But why not make the journey a little further south along the coastline to North Dalmatia and try its gorgeous towns?

Croatian alternatives - Biograd na mori
Biograd na moru

Consider places such as Biograd na moru, Vodice or pretty Primosten which offer the perfect holiday combo of beaches, plenty of amenities (restaurants, cafes), events, sights and experiences. And this part of Croatia has something that Istria is a little lacking – islands!

There are plenty of islands to make day trips to (Pasman, Ugljan, Dugi Otok), and you might even have your heart captured here…for Galesnjak, the heart-shaped island, is located off the coast near Biograd na moru. (It can only be visited by private boat, however.)

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Brac, try Losinj

If you like holidaying on an island, Brac may be a tried and tested favourite for you. Whilst there are plenty of alternatives in Dalmatia, consider instead of the islands off the Kvarner coastline…and our top suggestion for you would be the island of Losinj.

Losinj is famous for its lush green vegetation and is also cementing its position as something of a wellness isle. (Much of the Kvarner region has a long association with health and vitality tourism stretching back to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.) So it’s the perfect place for a relaxing holiday where you can also enjoy plenty of pampering after a hard day’s hike around the paths of Losinj (or, more likely, a gentle stroll!) and then an excellent, top-quality dinner. The Hotel Bellevue would be excellent for such as holiday.

Croatian alternatives - Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj
Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj

Or if you’re holidaying with younger ones, there’s a good selection of family accommodation on Losinj such as the Family Hotel Vespera.

More info: Losinj Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Plitvice, try Kopacki Rit

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most popular spots to visit in Croatia, and rightfully so. But as one of the most popular places to visit, it may be a little hard to be “at one with nature” in peak season with all the other visitors there too.

Head instead to one of Croatia’s other national parks (there are eight in total) or – better still – one of its twelve nature parks. My top pick to suggest to you would be Kopacki Rit Nature Park in Eastern Croatia which is in an area of one of the largest, best-preserved wetlands in Europe. The stunningly beautiful area is home to assorted wildlife (deer, in particular, and it’s a great place for bird-watching) and is probably best explored on one of the boat tours.

Croatian Alternative - Kopacki Rit Nature Park
Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Kopacki Rit is very close to Osijek, so visiting this nature park would also be a great way of exploring that city and this lesser-visited region of Croatia on one trip.

More info: Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Croatian alternatives – Instead of a festival in Tisno or Zrce Beach, try one of the lesser-known events

Perhaps Croatia for you is all about partying it up at one of the many festivals that take place in Tisno (such as Hospitality on the Beach, Love International or Outlook Origins) or in the clubs of Zrce Beach on the island of Pag (such as Hideout, Barrakud or Sonus).

Why not try something else this year, and head to one of the smaller festivals in a completely different – oftentimes quite unusual – location? Consider psychedelic raving in the forest in Lika at Mo:Dem; bass culture in Sibenik at Membrain; stoner rock at the Bearstone Festival; a party and a retreat all in one at the cosy, week-long Mystic Mountain; or an intimate EDM party on the island of Ugljan at Flows Festival.

Mystic Mountain Festival
Mystic Mountain Festival

Sure, some of these events may be a different vibe than what you’re used to (not to mention the music style may be not what you normally go for), but the experience will be something else. And you can tell all your friends “you were there first”!

Or go the other way – head to the INmusic Festival in Zagreb in late June which is Croatia’s largest open-air rock festival. It’s the perfect way of combining a festival with a city break as INmusic is held on Lake Jarun in the city.

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Zagreb, try Rijeka

I keep raving about how amazing Croatia’s capital city Zagreb is, so I’ll keep it to a minimum here. (But do hop on over to Visit Croatia’s guide to Zagreb if you’d like to read more about it.) Zagreb has so much to offer, and it’s a very interesting and fun place to visit any time of year. But the one thing it doesn’t have? The Adriatic Sea! So let us present to you the Zagreb alternative with the sea – Rijeka!

Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia (behind Zagreb, of course, and Split) and home to the largest port in Croatia. It’s a city with excellent transport connections (bus, train, ferry/catamaran and even its own airport…on the nearby island of Krk) which means it is a breeze to reach.

Korzo in Rijeka
The Korzo, the main pedestrianised thoroughfare in RIjeka – visible is the famous clocktower

Rijeka may have been a bit maligned in the past as a transit point for travellers to pass through on their way to holidaying somewhere else. But these days there’s plenty of things to interest visitors here. You can’t beat a stroll down the Korzo (the main pedestrianised thoroughfare), admiring some of the grand old buildings and structures such as the City Tower. There are some excellent museums here, from the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to the Peek & Poke Computer Museum. And no sightseeing visit to this city would be complete without visiting Trsat Castle above the city. (What views!) There are also plenty of little side trips too – Opatija is just 15km away.

Of course, plenty of places to enjoy for eating and enjoying a night out, and some truly excellent accommodation choices too

More info: Visit Rijeka Tourist Board offers up plenty of information on what to see and do here.

Croatian alternatives…or complements?

Hear us out with this…but to make a proper comparison between the places mentioned, why not consider combining both in one holiday? That you truly can compare your usual spot with its alternative!

October in Croatia

October in Croatia: The best events and more

September seems to have whizzed by and we’re already on the doorstep of the tenth month of the year. If you plan on visiting Croatia in the next few weeks, take a look at our guide to October in Croatia to make the most of your visit to the country.

October in Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes National Park in October

Getting to Croatia in October

If you’re travelling to Croatia from the UK and Ireland, there are still plenty of flights this month. And we do mean plenty!

British Airways operate their London Heathrow to Zagreb flights year-round, and will also fly from Heathrow and Gatwick to Dubrovnik until the end of October.

Simiarly, Croatia Airlines fly from from London Heathrow to Zagreb year-round, and this year will also continue their flights from London Heathrow to Split until early January 2024. They also fly from London Gatwick to Split until mid-October.

Easyjet will continue to fly from London Gatwick to Pula and Rijeka until the end of October, and from the same airport to Split until early November, and to Dubrovnik until (amazingly) the end of November. They will also fly from London Luton to Split; from Bristol to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik; from Manchester to Split and Dubrovnik; from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik; and from Glasgow to Split. All of these flights will continue until the end of this month.

Ryanair from London Stansted and Dublin to Zagreb year-round, with the former route operating daily – great news for those aiming to reach Croatia’s capital. They will also fly from London Stansted to Osijek and Manchester to Zagreb until the end of October, and from Dublin to Split until early November.

Wizzair have extended their service from London Luton to Split and will now operate it until the end of October.

TUI will operate flights from London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Bradford to Dubrovnik until mid-October.

Jet2 meanwhile continue their strong flight network to Croatia into October too! They will have flights from London Stansted to Split and Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Birmingham to Split also until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; from East Midlands to Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Manchester to Split until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; from Newcastle to Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Leeds Bradford to Split until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; and from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik until the end of October. Phew!

What to do in October in Croatia

Well, aside from eat (see the events section below – you’ll see what I mean), there’s plenty to enjoy in Croatia in October. Most amenities will still be fully open although some (such as waterparks) close for the season at the end of September. You will likely still be (just about) able to swim in the sea, particularly if you visit early in the month,

Other attractions become cheaper to visit in October, which is undoubtedly good news for visitors. For example, entrance to the Plitvice Lakes National Park is €23.50 for adults in October, compared to €40 during summer.

Having said that, Plitvice actually celebrates a special promotional week in early October every year – this will happen from 1st to 8th October 2023. Celebrating the 44th anniversary of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, tickets will cost just €10 for adults, €6.50 for students and €4.50 for children aged 7 to 18 years old. More details here: Promotional October Week In Plitvice Lakes National Park!

Best Events in October in Croatia

Gastro Delights

October is essentially gastro month in October! There’s a whole heap of wonderful food-based festivities taking place this month, particularly in the region of Istria. One of the best-known events is Truffle Days which takes place every weekend in October, starting on 30th September and 1st October. Centred around Livade just north of Motovun in Central Istria, Truffle Days is brought to you by the team behind Zigante Restaurant and offers a wide range of truffle-rated fun – as well as plenty of opportunities to taste this spectacular food item and other truffle-based products. To really immerse yourself in this delicacy, board the truffle train to Motovun forest (that sounds rather fantastical, but it’s real!) to take part in some truffle hunting yourself.

If they’re not celebrating truffles in Istria in October, they’re celebrating chestnuts! The 48th Marunada Festival takes place in Lovran on the eastern side of Istria from 13th to 15th October, as well as in the wider region on subsequent weekends. As you will expect, all sorts of sweet chesnut treats will be on offer for you to try, from cakes to liquer event to chestnut beer! There will also be live music as part of the celebration and kids events too.

In inland Croatia, in Ivanic-Grad to be precise (which is southeast of Zagreb), the 19th Bucijada Pumpkin Festival will be held from 6th to 8th October. October is of course pumpkin month for many of us thanks to Halloween…aside from that, it’s pumpkin month because it’s harvest time! Again, there will be all manner of pumpkin and squash related foodstuffs to try, including cakes and pies and (the obligatory) beer. Live music abounds too, and this event includes plenty of fun activities for children for children too. I think the pumpkin-kremsnite eating competition sounds like fun!

Let’s take a look at what you can treat yourself to in Dalmatia now, There will be an amazing offering at Dubrovnik’s Good Food Festival (9th to 22nd October) including special menus at participating restaurants, wine tastings, dessert workshops and more. Enjoy a “bottomless bubbles brunch” at Park Orsula or a rose wine tasting at Love Bar; learn more about Croatian baking with workshops on pastries, baked goods and desserts; have dinner with a Michelin-starred chef…all of these experiences are amazing! For general fun, head to Dubrovnik Beer Company on either Saturday or the first Sunday for good food, beer and live music, or to Stradun on Saturday 21st October to sample all manner of food items and wine (€6 for a good voucher, €3 for a wine one). Take a look at the programme on the Good Food Festival event page for full details of the line-up, and to find out how to book certain events.

And even more amazing Croatian food is on offer at the Taste the Mediterranean Festival in Split from 4th to 8th October. It’s a slightly more specialist event with many items on the programme being invitation only, but we can’t not include it here!

Events for active types

In sports and activities are more your sort of bag – or perhaps you want to get your heart rate going after sampling all that fine food – there are a number of active events taking place in October too. One of the best known is the 31st edition of the Zagreb Marathon which will hit the city’s streets on 8th October. Baska on the island of Krk, will host the Baska Outdoor Festival from the 13th to 15th October; this event includes a variety of activities for active types (such as running, climbing, cycling, and hiking) aimed at different levels of ability. That weekend (on the 15th October) will also see the Ironman Triathlon event take place in Porec.

Other events

Many cities in Croatia host a film festival, and October sees two such events take place.

Split’s Film Festival will be on from 12th to 21st October with both Croatian and international films being screened. Meanwhile, the Dubrovnik Film Festival will be on from 19th to 22nd October; you can take a look at the films that will be screened here.

Live music lovers will be delighted by the Zagreb Jazz Festival taking place in the city throughout the month; take a look at the website to find out which concerts will be taking place.

Finally, the 25th Biograd Boat Show is on in the town from 25th to 29th October; this is Croatia’s largest boat show.

The weather during October in Croatia

Of course, what the weather is like during October in Croatia will affect the happiness of many a visitor – and that’s fair enough! It’s hard to predict the weather for a full month, but general gentle summer temperatures (i.e. not 30C+!) tend to hang on into October. Certainly, it’s been a pretty hot September in Croatia, with temperatures reaching the high 20s Celsius (often more) at times.

The start of October looks to be a few degrees cooler in most places, although that will still bring very pleasant conditions with plenty of sunshine.

Keep an eye on the Croatian Meteorological Service website for 3-day and 7-day weather forecasts for Croatia.

Amadria Park

Visit Croatia Review: Amadria Park Resort, Sibenik

Last year, Visit Croatia holidayed at the Amadria Park resort with her young family. See what she – and the rest of the family – thought in this review!

If you’ve read our review of Jet2 Holidays and the dilemma of choosing a holiday destination, we’ll fast forward to the conclusion that we ended up booking a week’s holiday in July at the four-star Hotel Jakov, part of the Amadria Park resort near Sibenik. Off we set – waaaay too early for a Sunday morning, it has to be said – on our breezy 2-hour flight from London Stansted to Split.

I’m always amazed by how wonderful landing in Croatia is – once you’re in Croatian airspace, the view from a plane is truly spectacular with a gorgeous view of the stunning coastline and the many, many islands and islets and beautiful towns below. And such was the case on a beautifully sunny summer’s day in Split. Whisked through the airport relatively quickly with a bit of time to admire the new airport building, our transfer coach was waiting outside for all of us Jet2 Holiday holidaymakers. On this particular journey, we had a total of 3 stops with Amadria Park guests alighting at the final destination – making it about an hour’s transfer time from the airport.

Amadria Park

Checking In…or not

Now, at this point, we encountered probably the biggest problem of our holiday. Sunday is clearly a big guest turnover day and the lobby was filled to the brim with new guests waiting to check in and be allocated their rooms. The Hotel Jakov is termed a “family hotel” so as well as plenty of adult guests there were many, many children of various ages and in various stages of behavioural boredom. And what with the hotel being full of families, all manner of family-related items were also in the lobby – prams, pool inflatables, bags of nappies, that sort of thing.

Despite the inconvenience, there was an orderly queuing system and the young staff were staying calm in typically insouciant Croatian fashion, managing to cope with the situation. They also placated us guests with glasses of a fizzy little something.

We probably waited over an hour before we were finally able to check in – not at all ideal after a longish day of travelling and a very early morning start. As an apology, we were given a free dinner for our party at the hotel restaurant – which worked out for the first night anyway, with us not wanting to stray to far or think to hard about what to eat.

Review Jet2 Holidays - View from Amadria Park Beach

Rooms at the Amadria Park Hotel Jakov

After all the check-in palaver, we were delighted to finally be given the key cards to our room. And a lovely room it was! We had opted for the 31m. sq. family room, which was ideal for two adults and two kids. The room had a smart, modern and welcoming decor and included a small balcony with a view of the hotel grounds.

If you’ve travelled with kids, you’ll likely know that kids and adults and hotel rooms are a terrible mix – no one wants to go to bed at an appropriate time, no one can relax properly and something bonkers like the adults “hiding” in the bathroom whilst the kids try to fall asleep always ends up happening. So a separate space for kids to sleep in is a must…which is exactly what this hotel room had.

With a bunk bed right by the room entrance (where there was also space for a baby cot), the main double bed in the room is down a narrowish hallway – past the bathroom – and well away from sleeping kids. A highly appreciated solution to give the younger holidaymakers and the older holidaymakers some space so everyone can rest appropriately.

Pool Area and Amenities

Although the pool area is nicely laid out with space for a good number of loungers, it did always feel busy. There are two smallish freshwater pools (right next to each other) and a smaller baby pool off to one side. We tended to sit by the baby pool which was a lot quieter and where it was always easy to find some lounger space – and shaded space at that, under sun umbrellas and trees.

The pools themselves were perhaps a little on the small side given the number of guests, and aside from swimming and bobbing around on their own inflatables, kids amused themselves by throwing themselves off a small rocky display next to one of the pools. Kids being kids, and all!

Amadria Park Hotel Jakov Pool
The baby pool at the Hotel Jakov – see, I told you it was less busy!

There was a beach bar where simple snacks (sandwiches and salads), freezer ice creams and drinks could be obtained which was very welcome in the heat. A suggestion to the hotel would be to have an ice cream menu on display – no one ever seemed to understand what we wanted (and everyone spoke English) but an ice cream is an ice cream…right?!

Aquapark Dalmatia

Part of the Amadria Park resort is the Aquapark Dalmatia waterpark, which you can see (and most definitely hear!) if you’re staying at the Hotel Jakov.

The waterpark is fairly small as far as waterparks go, with a lazy river, several jacuzzis, a large rain “fortress” with six water slides, a “kids zone” with smaller water slides and a number of smaller pools ideal for younger guests.

The waterpark cost €26.60 for adults and €13.30 for children “between 90cm and 120cm” in height which we felt was too much for what it actually was, although probably in line with these sorts of attractions! This was a discount from €33.33 and €16.67 for non-hotel guests. (Note: these are all 2022 prices)

A nice touch would have been to give us one free waterpark day as hotel guests. As it was, we weren’t tempted to return later in the week after spending the majority of one day there and given the price.

Note: AquaPark Dalmatia is also open to non-Amadria Park guests

Kids Club and Activities

There was a daily kids club at the Hotel Jakov (shared with the Hotel Andrija) which you could dip into as you wanted with your kids, I believe for those aged 4 and above. Housed in two little huts by the playground, it seemed to be well-staffed by young, enthusiastic adults going through the usual childcare activities of games and crafts. The kids club was included in the hotel price; private babysitting also seemed to be on offer for €33.35 per hour (2022 price).

Hotel Jakov playground
The playground and kids’ club huts

The playground itself was also a welcome draw – reasonably large with a number of fun climbing frames, slides and similar. It certainly drew the kids in the evenings once the temperature was cooler!

A hotel mascot – a bear – popped up occasionally at the hotel, either delighting or frightening children (depending on their temperament). This same bear would also delight/frighten the kids on the daily train parade that ran a route from next to the Aquapark along the main promenade.

There were additional daily entertainment activities, including yoga on the beach, t-shirt/bag painting at Sweet Dreams Cake Shop (for an extra charge), aqua aerobics and aqua fun, and a pirate competition – whatever that may be – on the minigolf course.

Dining

The welcoming, large dining room at the Hotel Jakov is open for a buffet breakfast and buffet dinner. Our booking only included breakfast and we found the breakfast options plentiful – cereals, cooked breakfast, pancakes and sweet treats, fruits, yoghurts, continental cold plate breakfast options, juices, hot drinks…the list goes on.

There was more than enough food supplied and replenished throughout the breakfast session, plenty of seating for hotel guests (indoor and outdoor) and enough baby chairs for little ones.

Dinner was again buffet style – although not part of our booking, we received a free dinner the first night and had the option to pay for other nights if we wanted to. This was less of a hit for us – the choice and portions were more limited, and we never returned after that first night.

So, where else to eat? Well, the Amadria Park resort is huge with a number of other eating options dotted around the resort – from fast food (burgers) to a pizza/pasta-style cafe to more high-end dining. We tried a number of these and although perhaps on the pricey side, all served good food and we welcomed the fact that we had these choices just a short walk from our hotel.

An old stone house in the Dalmatian Ethno Village, Amadria Park
An old stone house in the Dalmatian Ethno Village

In particular, the Dalmatian Ethno Village is a treat for the final night of your holiday – the little village showcases a typical Dalmatian village from many moons ago. The menu as well offers garden-to-plate cooking, and the bread, cheese, olive oil and brandy are all made by hand using original tools. A very tasty meal was had here, with some good wine options too.

We personally also ate off-site a few nights – once at a restaurant just by the resort, another time in Sibenik.

Beach bar
One of the beach bars

Evening Entertainment

Every early evening a kids’ mini disco seemed to spark up by the neighbouring Hotel Andrija with hotel employees doing their best to inject a bit of fun into the location whilst some younger guests played football. (Because of course that’s what some boys do!)

Probably the most spectacular bit of entertainment we enjoyed during our week was a “train” (the resort’s motorised train vehicle) that summoned guests over to the Mediterranean Square, Pied Piper-style. Once there, an actually DJ-controlled disco started – still suitable for young ones – with dramatic disco lights, fantastically dressed dancers and performers including a fire-eating lady. A great atmosphere!

Party train
The party train leading people to the Mediterranean Square disco
Mediterranean Square Disco, Amadria Park
The Mediterranean Square disco

Amadria Park – Family Hotel versus Kids Hotel

As I’ve mentioned, the Hotel Jakov terms itself a “family hotel” in contrast to its next-door-neighbour, the four-star Hotel Andrija which is billed as a “kids hotel”.

What’s the difference? Well, I’d say that the Hotel Jakov is aimed at adults with young kids that want to stay at a nice hotel with pretty decor and great amenities that also caters to and thinks of its young guests.

Hotel Andrija, Amadria Park
The Hotel Andrija – I told you there was kid-focused decor!

From what I could see of the Hotel Andrija – we often went to its outdoor bar for an evening ice cream – that hotel fully targets its young visitors with child-friendly decor and furnishings, and amenities such as a gaming room. (Yes, really!)

Personally, the Hotel Jakov is much more my style!

The Amadria Park Resort as a whole

The resort is huge – but not in a way that overwhelmed us or ever felt too crowded. It is home to five hotels AND a camping resort at one end, plus mobile homes dotted around. There are numerous cafes and restaurants and other attractions such as the En Vogue Beach Club. The resort is so large, that we didn’t even have the time to fully explore all it had to offer!

(It has to also be said, we were not on the kind of holiday where a beach club would have fitted in!)

I haven’t even mentioned some of the other features and amenities of the resort such as the entertaining mini golf course, the outdoor cinema on the beach, bumper cars, bike rental, tennis lessons, the sweet shop and the very useful on-site mini supermarket. Or even really talked about the beach!

To rectify that here, the beach (pebbly, of course) offers loungers and beach umbrellas that must be paid for, although of course, you can sit yourself down anywhere else. The shallow, calm waters are ideal for kids, and there’s a lifeguard on duty for safety as well. There is also a large inflatable “fun park” a little distance out which was clearly enjoyed by kids and big kids alike.

Another big draw was the lovely seaside promenade which is the main path along the resort. As well as being the main way to get between the different hotels, restaurants and the like, it was a lovely walk particularly in the evening as the sun was setting.

Overall, I’m a big fan of the Amadria Park resort and I would say it is definitely suitable for a family holiday. I would certainly return for a future vacation!

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post, and Visit Croatia paid for the entire holiday. All thoughts in this review are Visit Croatia’s own and not influenced by any company.

Review Jet2 Holidays - View from Amadria Park Beach

Visit Croatia Review: Jet2 Holidays

Last summer, Visit Croatia sought out a summer holiday for her and her family – totalling two adults and two kids. After umming and ahhhing over locations on mainland Greece, the Greek islands and Cyprus, Visit Croatia decided to go where Visit Croatia knows best…Croatia! Here’s a review of my experience booking with Jet2 Holidays for a summer break in Croatia.

Summer Holiday Research Drives Me Mad

Although the Internet should make these sorts of things easy these days, information overload actually makes it more difficult! Sure, I can browse 20+ holiday booking, travel comparison and review websites, check out all their deals, see the reviews left by other travellers, try and figure out which extras are actually worth going for…but then that just leaves me exhausted!

This 5-star hotel seems a good deal, but lots of travellers have left recent reviews saying its current quality shouldn’t have that star rating.

That hotel looks fantastic, but where is it? *Pulls up Google Maps*, oh a 2 hour transfer? With a baby? Maybe not…

This holiday ticks all the boxes, and look, it’s a great deal on this particular website! But I’ve never heard of this website before, is it legit? Why do I have to call to book?! And why is it telling me the special discount runs out in the next two hours?

That’s where Jet2 Holidays comes in to save the day! Having ditched the “unknown” travel booking websites (too dodgy) and the comparison ones (too confusing) we decided to try the main holiday booking sites. There are a few of course – I won’t mention the others in this review, but I’m sure you know of them. Jet2 Holidays is actually the largest tour operator in the UK. (Helping over 5.8 million Brits enjoy trips abroad.)

Booking the Holiday 

When it actually came to choosing and booking our holiday, I’m giving the Jet2 Holidays website a big thumbs up.

I found it incredibly easy to search for different destinations or multiple destinations at once. Each country they serve is divided up into different areas – Split area and Dubrovnik area, in the case of Croatia – so you can select individual ones as per your preference.

Once I had performed a search and received a list of results, I could filter out certain hotels and apartments by star rating, TripAdvisor rating and by resort name. I could even further filter the results by certain elements of a holiday – access to a children’s club or an aqua park, for example – and by board type.

Two things I’m a bit fan of about the Jet2 Holidays website (and app!) are the ability to “shortlist” particular holidays (so I could easily compare for my favourites, come back to my list at a later date, or even share the list with someone else) and how all the information about a holiday is laid out simply and clearly.

This last point is something that I find crucial and very much applaud Jet2 for! If I’m looking for a holiday, I want to see everything easily or be able to access all the information in just a click or two. As a parent to two little ones, “nice” flight times (i.e. not flights that land at 2am!) are important to me. So, being able to view the flight times on the main screen is a massive plus.

Likewise, transfer times – anything 2 hours or so is a no for me. but I get that that’s a possibility…but tell me and I’ll discount that particular hotel. Holiday companies, don’t hide this on page seven of the booking process! (Jet2 don’t – they show this on the main booking page.)

Another BIG plus is the calendar functionality. Once I had made a choice about a hotel or place of accommodation, I could draw up the calendar which showed me the same holiday and its different prices across all the dates it was/is available. This meant I could easily see if I could make a saving by travelling on a different week…or during mid-week.

Something similar happens when I was actually in the booking process. It’s very clear how much “upgrading” certain elements will cost – choose a different room at the same hotel and the price difference (“+£336”) is clearly displayed. The same happens for different board options, if available.

Oh, and another big hit with me? The fact that all of the basics are included in the price. And this means luggage (as well as transfers.) Jet2 have a baggage allowance of 22kg per traveller, which is part of a holiday booking. Certain other holiday booking sites may proclaim good deals before you realised it might be an extra few hundred quid for luggage. (Luggage basically being a must if you’re travelling with kids!) 10kg of hand luggage is also included.

Review Jet2 Holidays - View from Amadria Park Beach
The beach view from the Amadria Park resort

Changing Our Holiday Plans

Pleased as we were with finally booking after deliberating and researching for weeks (true story), less than 24 hours later we were hit with the realisation that we’d triple-booked ourselves and going away the week we’d planned would have meant missing out on several social events that were important to us.

Berating ourselves for being complete idiots, we thought we’d try calling Jet2 Holidays to see if you could maybe, possibly, somehow change our dates for a week earlier in the summer holidays.

This turned out to be not a problem at all! The very helpful and friendly lady we talked to pointed out that not only would there be no charge (as we were changing within 24 hours of booking), but we’d actually get a slightly cheaper holiday (meaning we’d get a refund) but changing our dates. A win all around!

Review Jet2 Holidays - Hotel Jakov entrance
The entrance to the Hotel Jakov

The Flight and Transfer

Our actual flight was perfectly smooth; really, heading to Stansted was perhaps the more difficult element of it all. Sure, it’s a short-haul flight on a budget airline, but we still found it reasonably comfortable. Apart from being forced to hear that Jess Glynne song multiple times. (If you know, you know.)

Finding our transfer coach at Split Airport was also pretty straightforward, as was the transfer itself. If memory serves me, we made three stops in total with our hotel – the Amadria Park Hotel Jakov near Sibenik – being the last.

Jet2 Holidays during our Holiday

I can’t say we encountered any reps from Jet2 Holidays during our stay, but we also didn’t need them either! Our hotel had a Jet2 book at reception with additional information on excursions and similar, but we were happy with planning our own. (Huh, it’s almost like I run a Croatian travel site…)

We did receive a little welcome pack that told us when and where to meet our reps if we needed them. During the week we were there, they were at a neighbouring hotel twice.

The Jet2 app also displayed information on our holiday, such as displaying details about our return transfer the day before we left. The company also has a 24-7 UK-based hotline should guests need any assistance.

But, as I said, we didn’t need our Jet2 reps during our holiday!

Excursions

Jet2 Holiday generally also offer a wide variety of excursions from their hotels. The ones that could be booked from our resort were an 8-hour trip to Krka National Park or a 12-hour trip to Plitvice National Park. (Both of these excursions ran once a week.) Again, this isn’t something we personally made use of due to the fact we were holidaying with young children, but the fact that we could have opted for excursions right from our doorstep…as it were…was a plus.

Obviously, there were and are plenty more excursions available in the wider area not organised by Jet2 Holidays!

Review of Jet2 Holidays: Overall

Another impressive factor for me is that Jet2 Holidays is the Which? Travel Brand of the Year 2022, and is also a Which? Recommended Provider. Not only that – Which? has also declared them the best airline. (I’m a big reader of Which? and trust what they say!)

They offer free child places, and all infants under 2 go free. I relish any chance we parents can save on summer holidays.

It’s possible to purchase a holiday on a pay monthly or part pay (as and when) basis which is another big plus.

So overall? A big thumbs up from me! I’m already looking at deals for this year’s summer holiday!

Note: Visit Croatia paid for the above holiday herself and was not compensated in any way or asked to write this review by Jet2 Holidays. All views above are Visit Croatia’s own.

The best ways of getting around Croatia

Croatia doesn’t lack transport options or decent infrastructure in any way, but here are a few helpful hints and tips you should know for the best ways of getting around Croatia.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Bus

We’ll start with perhaps the best one! Croatia’s bus network is very, very extensive and far more so than the train network (more of which later). Buses connect all the major towns and cities in Croatia, and plenty more places besides; there are also normally local buses operating on routes in and around major cities – for example, with the city buses in Split you can reach Trogir or Omis, whilst the Dubrovnik bus network can take you to Cavtat or Dubrovnik Airport to the south or Ston and the Peljesac Peninsula to the north.

Bus travel is relatively cheap, although there’s no option for anything like a ‘bus pass’ allowing unlimited travel, which might be handy. Having said that, there are many bus companies operating in Croatia – see our Bus Travel in Croatia page – and it’s very unlikely you’d want to limit yourself to just one company anyway. You can normally make savings if you book return tickets (if you’re making a return journey, of course!) and some companies give savings if tickets are booked online – e.g. Autotrans.

A bus crossing a bridge near Zadar

Some bus routes even utilise local ferries so you can use them to get onto the islands – for example, if travelling from Dubrovnik to Korcula. Other islands are connected to the mainland by bridge – namely, Krk and Pag – so bus travel is often the best way of getting to these places.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Train

Travellers to mainland Europe often have quite a romantic notion of train travel and the classic gap year/young adult pursuit of interrailing. Which is completely understandable – travelling around a large territory such as Europe is fun! Not to mention that certain countries – France, Italy, Germany, and Spain – now have some rather speedy rail services that will zip you from city to city in just a few hours.

However, you can’t really say much of this for Croatia! The rail network has been underfunded for many years now (the road network, in contrast, has been built to provide modern motorways) and, by and large, it is not very extensive. Zagreb is the main rail hub and there are services stretching out from this city to some of the main towns and cities (Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Varazdin) but not all that much in between other locations.

There are also very, very few services along the coast!

Croatian Train
A train in Croatia

Additionally, some routes will be quicker by bus which utilises a motorway route rather than on the slow rail network – Zagreb to Rijeka is two and a half hours by bus but four hours by train. Zagreb to Split can be as fast as four and a half hours by bus (it really depends on which bus you take and how many stops it makes) but it’s six and a half or eight and a half hours by train.

If you did want to undertake a train route in Croatia (and didn’t mind the extra journey time), we would recommend Zagreb to Split…or vice versa. It is a very scenic route!

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Flying

Flying is obviously the quickest option for getting around Croatia, there’s no disputing that! The country’s main airline, Croatia Airlines operates flights connecting Zagreb with Pula, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik and Osijek, and even the tiny airport by Bol on the island of Brac.

There are also flights connecting Pula with Zadar and Osijek, Split with Pula, Rijeka and Dubrovnik and Rijeka with Split and Osijek. If there are no direct flights for the route you want, you should be able to travel by connecting in Zagreb. Take a look at our Flights in Croatia page for the full timetable for this year.

Best ways of getting around Croatia - Flying
The gorgeous view when departing from Split Airport

Charter airline Trade Air also operates in Croatia, and you can book their flights on the Croatia Airlines website as well.

Understandably, flying is the most expensive way of getting around Croatia but the cost may be worth it if you’re looking to travel quickly. But don’t forget to factor in the time (and cost) required to travel to and from airports.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Ferries

Well, for the most part, you can hardly escape travelling by ferry (or catamaran) if you want to get onto the islands…right? (Putting aside islands such as Krk and Pag which are connected to the mainland by bridge.)

Catamarans are of course faster than ferries but there are few routes on which both a catamaran and ferry operate. One exception is Split to the island of Vis – to show you the comparison in journey time, by catamaran it takes 1 hour 25 minutes whilst by ferry it is 2 hours 20 minutes. (Both of these routes are run by Jadrolinija.)

Similarly, Split to Vela Luka on the island of Korcula takes 2 hours and 5 minutes and by ferry, the journey takes 3 hours 30 minutes. (Again, both routes are run by Jadrolinija.)

Best ways of getting around Croatia - by ferry or catamaran
Ferries and catamarans at Split port

Having said this, ferries tend to be a far more scenic mode of transportation. Almost all of them allow you to sit up on the deck and watch the beautiful Adriatic and its islands go by. Catamarans have little in the way of outdoor space (if any!) and can also be rather noisy.

Catamarans tend to run on some of the longest coastal routes – for example, Split to Dubrovnik and Pula to Zadar. Sadly the once long-running coastal ferry from Rijeka to Dubrovnik stopped operating a number of years ago.

Ferries will absolutely be your chosen method of transport if you’re travelling with a car. Catamarans only accept foot passengers!

Take a look at our Croatia Ferries Map to get an idea of whether catamarans or ferries operate on the route wish to make!

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Road

Renting a car when in Croatia undeniably gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, and to set your own route for wherever you’re trying to get to – and allowing you to go “off-plan” whenever you want!

However, renting a car can be the most expensive way of travelling around Croatia and you will also have to factor in paying tolls (if you make use of motorways) as well as parking charges when visiting towns and cities.

But if you’re sharing the rental with someone else (or a few of you), it can work out to be relatively reasonable. And you’ll be able to schlep all your belongings around without any effort at all!

Best ways of getting around Croatia - by road
A winding road on the island of Pag

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Taxi

We obviously wouldn’t suggest taxis in Croatia as a mode of transport for long distances! But they’re a reasonable way of getting around a small area if you don’t have a rental car and don’t want to rely on public transport.

Almost all towns and cities have a good selection of local taxi companies who you can call to book a taxi. Ask at your place of accommodation for a recommendation.

Riding-hailing apps such as Uber and Bolt exist in Croatia and are a super-easy way of getting a taxi. If you haven’t used them before, you may end up getting a small discount as a first-time user.

So what is the best way of getting around Croatia?

The best way of getting around Croatia probably depends on how much time you have for travelling around the country, and what your itinerary specifically is.

If you’re happy with renting a car, we’d say this is probably the best way of getting around Croatia as it gives you the most flexibility!

If you’d prefer to go down the public transport option, we’d suggest getting around Croatia by bus. The bus network is very good and bus travel is relatively cheap.

Catamarans or ferries will of course be the way to go to get to the islands!

Why not combine some of the above during your holiday? Rent a car for a week (or a portion of a week) to explore a certain region, and then rely on public buses or ferries for the remainder?

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

Reader Comment on Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

Now that Croatia has joined the Schengen Zone, visitors are limited to staying 90 days in any 180-day period in the country and the rest of the Zone combined – which makes it harder to travellers to easily stay in Croatia and this part of Europe for longer periods of time. We were recently contacted by one of our readers regarding extended tourist stays in Croatia – who had the following to say:

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia – Is The Tourism Ministry Missing a Trick?

Since the UK controversially left the EU, those British citizens who have cruising boats and holiday homes in Croatia have faced a problem. Like other third country nationals, their stay is limited to 90 days in 180 on a rolling basis. British subjects don’t need a visa to visit Croatia but, to extend their stay, they need to apply for a permit to cover any additional weeks. For a stay of more than 90 days each applicant must have a certificate to demonstrate they have no criminal convictions and proof of financial independence. That might seem reasonable, but the bureaucracy is anything but clear.

Enquiries made to the Croatian Embassy in London are simply referred to the Ministry of the Interior which responds by referring people to lengthy legislative documents in the Croatian language. Google Translate can help of course but, for a nation that relies heavily on income from tourists, and has policy to broaden the tourist season, couldn’t the procedure be made simpler and clearer?

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

It does seem odd that a person with criminal convictions can visit Croatia for up to 90 days but those who have invested in property in the country and are happy to contribute to the Croatian economy for the duration of an extended summer season are required to prove otherwise. A clear statement of requirements for applying for an extended tourist permit from the Ministry of Tourism, and an explanation of the procedure in English would be most welcome and could encourage more longer term tourists to visit the country. Will it happen?

Have you encountered the same problem? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!

Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

In the works for a number of years now, and finally confirmed on 9th December 2022, Croatia joins the Schengen Zone on 1st January 2023. Find out what this means for your future travels to the country below.

Croatia joins the Schengen Zone

What is the Schengen Zone?

Currently made up of 26 countries – with Croatia joining as the 27th member – the Schengen Zone is an area of Europe without any border controls or passport checks. Largely, most EU countries (23 out of 27) are part of the Schengen Zone with the exception of Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland. Additionally, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are part of the Schengen Zone despite not being part of the EU.

Travel to Croatia with a Schengen Visa

Although travellers to Croatia could previously visit the country if they were in possession of a Schengen visa (as long as it was a dual or multiple entry one), they were not able to obtain one from a Croatian visa centre or embassy. Additionally, obtaining a Croatian visa did not allow the visa holder entry into the Schengen Zone.

This all changes from 1st January 2023 when obtaining a Croatian visa will no longer be possible – visitors will need to obtain a Schengen visa instead. And this visa will of course permit the holder to travel to the rest of the Schengen Zone too.

Border checks

The main purpose of the Schengen Zone is the lack of border controls between member countries. If you have ever driven from one Schengen country to another you’ll have noticed the absence of a border or controls of any kind. (There are of course signs denoting the new country you’re entering!) This will now be the case for Croatia as well whichever way you enter the country – by land (car, bus or train), sea or air – if you are travelling from another Schengen Area country. But of course, Croatia will now be the “last” Schengen country in this part of southern Europe, so if you are travelling from one of Croatia’s non-Schengen neighbours – such as Serbia, Montenegro or Bosnia and Hercegovina – you will go through regular border checks/passport controls.

In the case of air travel from another Schengen country, airport border controls will still temporarily be in place during a short transition period. These are expected to be fully abolished on 26th March 2023. Again, airport border controls – or a lack of them – are only the case for flights originating from other Schengen countries. If you are flying from a non-Schengen country to Croatia – from the UK, for example – you will absolutely still have to go through passport control upon landing in Croatia.

90-Day Schengen Zone Limit

Visa-free travellers to the Schengen Zone are permitted a 90-day stay in any 180-day period. This means If you stay in the Zone – whether that’s in just one country or several – for 90 days, you must leave for the next 90 days before being allowed to return.

Before joining the Schengen Zone, Croatia had a similar “90 days in 180” limit – but by being outside of the Zone, travellers could swap between the Schengen Zone and Croatia (or other non-Schengen countries) to remain in Europe if they wished. This is obviously no longer the case, so please be careful with your travelling time limit when visiting Croatia and the Schengen Zone. (You may well get into “trouble” if you overstay the 90-day limit.)

Make sure your passport is valid!

Your passport must have been issued in the previous 10 years and you must also have three months of validity remaining on it after your departure date from Croatia.

More info

For news coverage on Croatia joining the Schengen Zone, take a look at Croatia To Join EU’s Schengen Zone In January, Bulgaria And Romania Rejected (Forbes, 9th December 2022) and Schengen and Eurozone. Nothing is the same for Croatia in 2023 (Croatian Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs, 1st January 2023).

For Croatia visa advice, see our Visa Requirements for Croatia page.

Take a look at the UK Foreign Office’s advice on Croatia’s entry requirements.

Euros in Croatia

New currency from 1st January 2023: Euros in Croatia

On 1st January 2023, Croatia will become the 20th European country to adopt the Euro as its currency – and of course, from that date the Kuna will be no more. Find out what this all means for travellers here.

Euros in Croatia

Goodbye to The Kuna

Croatia introduced the Kuna as its currency back in 1994, following use of the Croatian Dinar in the country for three years following its independence from Yugoslavia. (The Yugoslav Dinar was the currency in that country.)

If you have any Kunas lying around at home, it is unlikely that foreign exchange offices in your home country will still accept them to change. However, should you visit Croatia in 2023 (or beyond), bring them with you to exchange in a Croatian bank. Or hang on to the Kuna coins for a souvenir!

Euros in Croatia

Since the announcement that Croatia was the join the Eurozone, the Euro-Kuna conversion rate has been fixed to €1 = 7.5345 Kunas. From early September 2022, prices of items in shops have been displayed in both Kunas and Euros, and this will continue into 2023 as well. Croatian citizens have been able to purchase a small package of Croatian Euros from 1st December 2022, although these can only be used as payment in Croatia and elsewhere in the Eurozone from 1st January 2023, of course. And for the first two weeks of 2023, cash payment can be made in either Euros or Kunas although change will only be issued in Euros.

Given the Euro already exists as a currency in a pretty widespread fashion across much of the EU, there’s not much preparation that visitors to the country need to undertake. Simply obtain your Euros as you normally would – from your preferred foreign exchange office or bank – and use them in Croatia! Alternatively, you may prefer to wait to travel to Croatia to withdraw Euros from ATMs (which are very common in the country) or simply make use of a debit or credit to pay for goods and services.

As before, we’d still recommend that you travel around Croatia with a small amount of cash rather than relying on card payments for everything.

What do Croatian Euros look like?

Croatian Euro coins began to be minted in July 2022 and the coins contain four different designs. The 2 Euro coin depicts a map of Croatia on the reverse; the 1 Euro coin shows the animal the kuna (pine marten in English), of course a nod to the previous currency; the 50, 20 and 10 cent coins show the Croatian-born inventor Nikola Tesla; and the 5, 2 and 1 cent coins show Glagolithic script, the first known Slavic alphabet.

You can see the designs of the Croatian Euro coins below.

Croatian Euros
Credit: Hrvatska Narodna Banka/Croatian National Bank

Will anything else change after Euros in Croatia are introduced?

Apart from generally making travellers’ lives easier – especially those who travel to Croatia from Eurozone countries – a switch to the Euro in other EU countries has often seen concerns regarding an increase in prices, whether substantially or simply rounding up when prices are converted. It’s hard to gauge whether this will be the case for Croatia at the moment – this will be cleared in the coming months.

More info

For general Croatian currency advice, take a look at our Money in Croatia page.

Coronavirus in Croatia Autumn 2021

Coronavirus in Croatia Autumn 2021 Update

Many had hoped that by this time in 2021 – almost a year after the first vaccinations were being distributed across the world – coronavirus would be a relatively distant memory and we’d be back to normality. Whilst many of us are seeing some semblance of normality in our day to day lives – with lockdowns not currently in operation in many places, travel, entertainment, work, education and more all possible – unfortunately case numbers remain high in many countries. This is certainly true in Croatia where in early November, the country recorded its highest ever daily case number today (over 7,000 new cases) ever in the whole pandemic. As such, we thought we would publish a Coronavirus in Croatia Autumn 2021 post to update you all on case numbers, the current vaccination rate and any new restrictions that come into effect.

Unfortunately, the vaccination rate in Croatia has been quite low compared to other European countries with the country having about the third or fourth lowest vaccination rate in the EU. This may well be one reason why case numbers have now jumped up some considerably this autumn.

Coronavirus in Croatia Autumn 2021

Coronavirus in Croatia Autumn 2021

Latest updateToday, 20th December 2021, 367 new cases have been announced. There are presently 19,570 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (4,663 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (2,566 active cases) and then Zagreb county (1,668 active cases). Sadly, there have been 12,043 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 16th December 2021, 3,765 new cases have been announced. There are presently 24,082 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (6,086 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (2,980 active cases) and then Zagreb county (2,139 active cases). Sadly, there have been 11,825 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 13th December 2021, 453 new cases have been announced. There are presently 21,581 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (5,732 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (2,308 active cases) and then Zagreb county (2,011 active cases). Sadly, there have been 11,666 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 10th December 2021, 3,797 new cases have been announced. There are presently 26,824 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (7,127 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (2,747 active cases) and then Zagreb county (2,611 active cases). Sadly, there have been 11,516 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 6th December 2021, 728 new cases have been announced. There are presently 25,567 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (7,069 active cases), followed by Zagreb county (2,655 active cases) and then Split-Dalmatia county (2,445 active cases). Sadly, there have been 11,269 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 2nd December 2021, 5,341 new cases have been announced. There are presently 32,603 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (8,569 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,435 active cases) and then Zagreb county (3,191 active cases). Sadly, there have been 10,826 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 29th November 2021, 1,031 new cases have been announced. There are presently 29,891 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (7,869 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,023 active cases) and then Zagreb county (2,839 active cases). Sadly, there have been 10,826 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 25th November 2021, 6,246 new cases have been announced. There are presently 34,953 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (8,915 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,692 active cases) and then Zagreb county (3,181 active cases). Sadly, there have been 10,569 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 22nd November 2021, 1,327 new cases have been announced. There are presently 29,725 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (7,460 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,000 active cases) and then Zagreb county (2,630 active cases). Sadly, there have been 10,376 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 18th November 2021, 7,270 new cases have been announced. There are presently 39,034 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (9,438 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (4,306 active cases) and thenPrimorje-Gorski Kotar county (3,534 active cases). Sadly, there have been 10,113 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 15th November 2021, 1,135 new cases have been announced. There are presently 34,062 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (8,270 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,765 active cases) and thenPrimorje-Gorski Kotar county (2,985 active cases). Sadly, there have been 9,936 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

UpdatedToday, 8th November 2021, 1,242 new cases have been announced. (As it’s a Monday, case numbers are always lower than maybe expected due to the weekend.) There are presently 29,265 active cases in the country. Most active cases are currently located in the City of Zagreb (7,258 active cases), followed by Split-Dalmatia county (3,257 active cases) and thenPrimorje-Gorski Kotar county (2,692 active cases). Sadly, there have been 9,546 deaths in total in Croatia since the pandemic began.

News and data on coronavirus cases in Croatia Autumn 2021

The Koronavirus.hr website (in English) publishes daily updates about new case numbers every morning. That same website also displays a map that shows active cases by county, as well as the total number of cases since the pandemic began.

To compare Croatia’s figures to the rest of the EU, take a look at the website of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This website shows the 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 for all EU countries. You can also take a look at the ECDC Map which shows a colour-coded map of Europe based on test positivity rates. (This map is updated every Thursday.)

Coronavirus vaccinations in Croatia Autumn 2021

Latest update As of 19th December, 2,242,791 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 2,090,818 have received both doses or a single dose vaccine. That means that 65.87% of the adult population (or 55.27% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 12th December, 2,227,358 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 2,039,788 have received both doses or a single dose vaccine. That means that 65.42% of the adult population (or 54.89% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 5th December, 2,207,786 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 1,981,397 have received both doses or a single dose vaccine. That means that 64.89% of the adult population (or 54.4% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 28th November, 2,176,068 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 1,931,878 have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine. That means that 63.9% of the adult population (or 53.6% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 22nd November, 2,125,514 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 1,896,361 have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine. That means that 62.5% of the adult population (or 52.3% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 15th November, 2,048,628 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 1,859,418 have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine. That means that 60% of the adult population (or 50% of the total population) of Croatia have been vaccinated.

Updated As of 7th November, 1,948,738 people in Croatia have received the first vaccine dose, and 1,820,138 have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine. (An additional 121,725 people have received a single dose vaccine.) That means 58% of the adult population of Croatia have received one dose, and 58% have received both doses.

You can track vaccination statistics in Croatia on the Croatian Institute of Public Health website – they now have an interactive map which show vaccination rates by municipality (in Croatian). You can also see the rate of vaccination in Croatia compared to other European countries on the Our World in Health website.

Current Restrictions in Croatia

Travel Restrictions

Latest update As of 26th November 2021, due to the new omicron variant of coronavirus, there is a complete ban on passengers entering Croatia from the following countries (or if you have been in one of the following countries in the previous 14 days): South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Hong Kong. If you are a Croatian citizen or long-term resident, then you are permitted to enter Croatia but you must quarantine for 14 days. This measure is in effect until 15th December 2021.

Restrictions in Croatia

Some new restrictions have come into effect on 6th November 2021. These include:

  • Indoor events of more than 50 people are prohibited, unless attended by people with a covid certificate – but masks and social distancing are mandatory
  • Outdoor events of more than 100 people can be organised if all participants have a covid certificate
  • Events must finished by midnight (cinema screenings can run until 2am)
  • Weddings are permitted to run until 2am, providing everyone attending has a covid certificate
  • Congresses and conferences are permitted to be held, providing everyone attending has a covid certificate and masks and social distancing are mandatory
  • Indoor sports gatherings are permitted providing all those attending have a covid certificate and wears masks
  • Outdoor sports gatherings are permitted; covid certificates are again required but masks are not necessary
  • School students in some years must wear masks when moving around the school

From 16th November 2021, all workers and visitors to government institutions must present an EU Digital Covid Certificate or be tested.

The use of covid certificates may also be implemented for venues such as cafes, restaurants and gyms should the number of new cases increase.