Hints For A Great Croatian Holiday Without Breaking The Bank
by Saron Lease, Croatia Gems Company Founder & Director, 29th May 2018,
If you're looking to spend some time in Croatia, while watching the purse strings, look at just outside the main season when the beaches and main attractions are not so crowded and accommodation and flights are cheaper. June & September are becoming increasingly popular as you still have the lovely weather, or look at a Christmas break to make the most of the atmosphere in Dubrovnik & Split and also the capital Zagreb which has one of the most amazing Christmas Markets and has been voted best in Europe for the past 2 years.
- DON'T pay in Euro – you will end up paying more because of the conversion rate, the local currency is KUNA. And if you are exchanging money – check out the banks which are open all week including weekends you often get a much better deal than the exchange shops.
- Look for restaurants where the locals eat - outside the main tourist areas – just because a restaurant has a prime spot, doesn’t mean the food is any better, some places get away with serving very mediocre fare for high prices just because of where they are. Dubrovnik old town is a prime example – while there are some amazing restaurants there check out places like Lapad & Gruz port for some great food at half the price.
- Careful with the local taxi’s – it’s the same, everywhere you go nowadays but there is often a two tier system, one for locals one for tourists so make sure you agree the price before you get in use the local buses they are plentiful, clean and usually air-conditioned and if your accommodation offers transfers from the airport it might be worth considering as they are often cheaper.
- Take a picnic lunch if you are visiting one of the national parks. Krka is a good one for kids as you are allowed to swim at the lower lake which has a waterfall. It’s a gorgeous day out and who wouldn’t want a chance to swim under a waterfall.
- Shop at the local markets – Dubrovnik has an early morning market, as has Split; one of our favourites is Trogir – so many vibrant colours from the locally grown fruit and vegetables, with flower stalls and other local produce on sale it’s a feast for the eyes as well as being really reasonable. Throw in some meat from the butchers at the back of the market or the fish market across the road, some fresh baked bread and bring on the BBQ!
- Take a ferry to one of the islands, they are very reasonable and an it’s an adventure for the kids – In Dubrovnik explore the little islands – Kolocep is popular with the locals as it has a sandy beach and Lokrum island has its monastery and botanical gardens and is historically linked to our own Richard the Lion-Heart who was shipwrecked here.
- If you are staying around Split – then it’s easy to hop on an early ferry to Brac as a foot passenger: have lunch in Supetar, enjoy a day on the beach and catch a later ferry back, or Zadar has so many islands your spoilt for choice – take your snorkel and make the most of the beautiful crystal waters.
- Accommodation too expensive? Go camping , Croatia has loads of campsites around its coastline, and most are practically on the beach. It’s one of the best places to camp in Europe, with small family campsites with wash rooms and showers etc., to large organised mobile home sites with swimming pools and entertainment.
- Be flexible – if flights are expensive on the weekend (in the high season, the changeover day is a Saturday, and accommodation, especially villas, tend to be rented by the week only – not many people will accept a 10 day booking), so look for a cheap apartment for a couple of days, perhaps flying out on a Thursday? It could not only save you a lot of money on fares but also cover the accommodation for those extra couple of days .
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