Traveling in Croatia with kids

Traveling in Croatia with kids


What does Responsible Travel recommend?

Croatia is for water babies. But water babies who have grown up a little, as enjoying this never ending aqua adventureland is what most vacations in Croatia are about with kids. When they are tiny this can be stressful. When they have got their swimming badges safely sown onto their swimsuits, however, this is bliss. Pick an island or two, pack your cossies, flip flops, water shoes for rocky escapades, a load of sun protection and chill.
 
In a world where kids are timetabled around the clock, Croatia is somewhere to not only feel like you have gone back in time, but forget it altogether.

Health & safety


TRAVEL SAFELY WITH YOUR KIDS IN CROATIA

Health


  • If you are camping or hiking in summer, be wary of ticks. Carry tweezers so you can remove carefully, apply a deterrent and then suncream afterwards.
  • Tap water is top quality in Croatia, so you can ease off on the bottled stuff.
  • A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will allow you to access Croatian public healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. Extra insurance is always handy.
  • Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Croatia, so avoid touching animals.
  • It gets seriously hot in summer, so ensure you stay hydrated and wear a hat. The wind is deceptive on the coast and some don’t realize how hot they are getting.

Safety


If you are sea kayaking or sailing, always wear a buoyancy aid and ensure it is fastened properly. Especially with children, who can slip out of them easily.

If you are hiking, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.

Since the end of the wars in 1995, there are still thousands of landmines in Croatia. Not in tourist areas, thankfully, and areas which are suspected to have mines are marked with mine warning signs. So, talk to a local if you are going off the beaten path

Watch out for Bura wind warning signs, mostly in the Velebit area and in the winter months.

The coasts are very rocky, so rubber shoes are a must, and also carry antiseptic spray and plasters to the beach, as cuts do happen.

Activities with families in Croatia


What to do with little ones

Bliss out on a car free island for a few days and go with the flow. You will feel like you are Swiss Family Robinson, with the children able to get a bit feral, but with plenty of good local food at the end of the day to fill those hollow legs. Or just catch your own every day.
White water rafting may seem like every mother’s nightmare but team up in an inflatable, going down the white waters of the Una River which forms a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia, for example, will beat any theme park trip you have ever had.
Visit the Roman amphiteatre in Pula not only for the historic aspect, but also because it makes for a memorable day of climbing where kids are concerned. This is the sixth largest amphitheatre in the world, so there is a lot of room to run here. And underneath too, with spooky caverns where the wild animals were kept hungry before their human dinner.

Traveling in Croatia with kids


responsibletravel.com asks the experts

Xania Wear of Wear Active:
"Some of the bigger cities are difficult with families. Split, for example, is not really that family friendly as it is more of a hub to get to and from the islands, rather than being a place to do things as a family. "
Tomi Coric of Viator Travel: “Some people think that they can visit everything in seven days. But especially on the coast, you can't see it all in one trip. Especially with kids. It is much better to concentrate on a small area, and not try to do too much”
Marijana Filipovic of Cycling Croatia:
"if you can visit outside July and August, the prices of everything are less inflated, including restaurants. And you can get around more easily as a family, because the streets here are narrow, so try and avoid the busy times. The last week of August is not so bad as a lot of local schools have started their new year."
Photo credits: [Top box - family fun: Oleg Sidorenko] [Activity 1 - car free: Michele Benericetti] [Activity 2 - rafting: Tours in Croatia] [Activity 3 - Pula amphitheatre: Andreas Marz] [Tomi quote - 2 children holding hands: Remus Pereni]
Written by Catherine Mack
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