Croatia (11 – 13 August)

After spending the night in the hotel beach in Montenegro we continued our way towards Croatia. There was not much to go til the border so we arrived well before noon. However, since it was the weekend there were many cars already waiting to cross the border. So we had to wait about 30-40 minutes til we managed to get to Croatia. Jaanus spent this time to upgrade his cap

We choose the routing following the Croatia coastline. Our first stop was Dubrovnik, however, it turned out to be just a quick tour in the city with the car, because the city was just too crowded and it was impossible to find a parking place. We had a quick look at the walls of Dubrovnik, found a nice hidden beach outside the town to have a quick swim and some rest, and took the direction toward Split. Driving by the coastline itself was like a vacation. There were far too many many picturistic views.

We also had to drive through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a very short sea border cutting the Croation into two. Fortunately, there were no long queues at these borders coming from the south. The other way around, there were queues up to many kilometers to cross the border. Thereby Croatia is a very popular destination for tourist.

During our drive, we were rerouted because of a forest fire. We were rerouted to the mountains, where again, we needed to manage very narrow roads. As this time Kaija was the one driving, there were quite a lot of hairpin turns, which were just too narrow for our Passat. Luckily we managed to get back to the main road, but thanks to this rerouting, we know that there is a great rafting river near Split. 

Kaija wanted to do some kayaking inorder to explore the coastline from the sea so we started to look for possible options. We read that Crotia has been just recently discovered by kayak enthusiasts and for that reason many rental places were only offering guided kayak tours.  They just considered kayaking without the guide too dangerous. We didn’t find any suitable place same evening so we decided to spend the night near Split, hoping to find a kayak rental next morning.

The place we found for the overnight stay was again by the beach, literally some meters from the sea. We made a dinner on the small pier and enjoyed the sunset.

Next morning we visit few places which offered kayak tours and they gave us directions to the nearby Kasjuni beach where they also rent kayaks without the guide. Getting to this Kasjuni beach was no problem, but getting the kayak was quite a hassle. We arrived at the beach at around 10 o’clock. The kayaks were laying next to the beach. First, we were told by the people who run the bar and rent the sunbeds, that the guy who rents kayaks comes in 15 minutes. Then we were told 1 hour, and after we had waited for an hour, we were told that we can not rent a kayak before 2 o clock. One “really nice” girl told us, that the guys who rent kayaks, comes only after 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Kaija was already about to make a scene… but finally, we managed to convince them that we are there only in the morning and they just had made us wait for nothing over an hour, one of the bartenders softened and asked the “nice girl” to just give us the kayak. That did the trick and we rented the double kayak for 2 hours. It was quite expensive though – 40 euros.

They know how to ask lot of money however it seems they do not know how to do business – customer is deffinelty not a king in Croatia 🙂

Nevertheless the kayaking was nice. The coastline was beautiful and since there is a nice park Suma Marjan, there were a lot of rocky mini beaches were people were sunbathing between the cliffs. We were so surprised how the hell did they get to these places – some people were even there with their bicycles. We did not manage to find out how the people could get there, but certainly we know why people were there – you would most probably want to be sunbathing between the cliffs if you are nude. During our kayaking, Jaanus found two villas, which he imagined to own and live in some day. The villas had small harbors and mini beaches, with a great view to the sea. The harbours and villas seemed also empty, so maybe they are on the market…? If yes, then could someone give us many millions to buy a villa by the Adriatic Sea? Many thanks already in advance!

In the afternoon we continued on our way and decided we will drive as much as we can and find again some nice place by the beach to stay overnight. We were still following the road along the coastline and the views got only better and better. There were many many small bays with little villages inside that bay. In every bay, there were boats and yachts. Jaanus wanted to stop to take some pictures and enjoy the views but it was difficult because there were not many places you could stop, and if there was then you could not see those little villages from there. However, we got one picture but this is far from the best which we saw. 

Thereby if you happen to go to Croatia, make sure you drive along the coastline to experience some of the most spectacular views. This road was also popular among many motorbike enthusiasts.

We started to seek some camping places for our last night in Croatia. By googling some, they seemed very expensive. So we decided we will visit some of those and check on site how much it costs. It turned out to be true that camping in Croatia is expensive. The one we visited cost about 30 euros to park the car and 2 people spending the night in the car.  So we politely declined and turned our car around and decided to find some free beach like previous nights. Soon we saw another camping and we turned in. This, however, seemed to be free – at least there was nobody to collect money in the evening nor in the morning. This place seemed not to have any facilities like shower and toilet anyway so no wonder. It was more like a public beach with a bar. We were lucky, because the best parking places next to beach were free. So we again parked less than 10 meters from the sea and spent the night by enjoying the sound of the waves and looking at the stars. At midnight we saw someone swimming in the sea with a headlamp, it seemed that he was with a snorkeling mask and trying to catch something in the water. It was quite an entertaining show.

Sometimes Google maps think this is the fastest route through Croatia. Probably because we have set to use the toll-free roads option. 

Overall, Croatia was a beach vacay. We saw many many different kinds of beaches with the most beautiful views to the sea and the small islands. You can find beaches for every taste. Though, the beaches we went to, were not sandy beaches. Nevertheless, all of them were homes to small boats or yachts. In some beaches we spotted sea urchins – so you would need to be careful when stepping into the water. All the beaches had such light blue water we had not seen before in the Mediterranean. When going to Croatia, at least for an Estonian, it is more expensive as you would expect. But with a car, driving along the coastline and camping on the free beaches – it is also possible to do a budget trip.

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