Many families dream of taking a vacation in Italy, however Croatia its neighbor to the east offers some of the same experiences at a fraction of the cost. For families that are looking to have a great family travel adventure but are on a tighter budget, considering what Croatia has to offer makes sense.
Family Travel in Croatia: Perfect for Water Lovers!
With over 5,700km of coastline, over 1,000 small islands, more than 30 rivers, and dozens of lakes, Croatia is a water lover’s dream come true. For families with small kids canoe rides and swimming in the Mreznica River or at Plitvice Lakes National Park could be all that is needed for the perfect vacation! It’s entirely possible to canoe down one of Croatia’s river, camping along the way and purchasing food from local farmers.
Have older kids? Why not try sea kayaking through remote caves and bays? Snorkeling, scuba diving, and bike riding are all readily available throughout the country. Sea kayaking on the Adriatic Sea is especially appealing for families with children because of the water quality. It is clear and pristine and there are very few strong tides. With so many small islands there are dozens of inlets and small spaces larger vessels can’t get to, adding to the appeal of the kayak.
For families who want to learn how to sail or just enjoy the activity it can also be done in Croatia. Because of the relatively calm waters, it’s a great place for beginners. You can take classes or hire someone to sail for the day. Pack a lunch, sail to an outer island and enjoy while swimming in the waters or hiking.
Many parts of the country are not accessible by car; you’ll need to hike or take a bicycle. There are more than 80 cycling clubs in the country and hundreds of rental agencies to get a bike for a day or a week. Many ferries will carry your bicycle – why not island hop? You can get the best family travel experience of land and water this way!
Things to Consider for Family Travel in Croatia
- The ages and ability levels of your children will make a difference when choosing which activities to do. Find out ahead of time if there are any restrictions on age and activities. For example our 10 year old is a great quad racer and has driven his own bike from a young age however, when traveling most rentals require riders to have a valid driver’s license. There may be insurance policies in place that limit ages and you should double check to make sure!
- Croatia is beautiful year round but in the winter months many seaside towns are virtually shuttered. Travel in the shoulder season to get the best rates (May, September, and October). Summer will have the best weather but also the most tourists and highest prices.
- Mix it up. This is a relatively small country and it’s possible to spend one day in the city and then a few days in the country. Plan an itinerary that will appeal to everyone in your family! Chasing the Donkey is a great resource for family travel in Croatia.
Have you ever had a family travel adventure in Croatia? What was your favorite part?