Multi activity Croatia family vacations

Family multi activity vacations


DIPPING AND DIVING

Like it or not, we all become multi-taskers as parents or carers. It is just something that happens to us from the minute we clamp the cord. Vacations are meant to be a break from all of juggling of course, and yet ironically multi activity vacations, where you are jumping from one adventure to the next, are the ultimate in switching off. Because everything is organised for you. All you need to do is turn up, jump in, laugh a lot. Jump in, laugh a lot. And then, when in doubt, jump in and laugh a lot. Here are a few of the FAQs most travelers have before going on a multi activity family vacation in Croatia.

What sort of activities will we be doing?


Croatia is an aqua adventureland. So many of the activities are water based, from sea kayaking and wind surfing on the blissful island of Vis, to paddling around the Elaphiti Islands just off Dubrovnik. However, there are exciting water activities inland too, with the Rivers Cetina and Mreznica both favourite white water kayaking and rafting spots. There are endless waterfalls to go in search of and soak under in Plitvice Lakes National Park, not to overlook its 16 lakes. But because activity vacations are for everyone, most tour operators will include a day of hiking or biking into some of the islands’ forests or through the karst limestone valleys of Paklenica National Park. And then there is canyoning, most kids’ favourite, in which you navigate your way downriver using just your body, a bit of courage and ] ecstatic screams. Most importantly, on multi activity vacations, the vacation company will discuss your ages and interests before going there, try and match you up with similar families, and keep everyone happy.

Are they centre based or in different places?


Most inland multi activity vacations are based in one place, such as Trilj on the River Cetina or in the village of Licko Lesce on the outskirts of Plitvice Lakes National Park. On the coast, you may base yourself on one island, such as Lopud or Vis, or spend a few days on the mainland in Dubrovnik and then hop over to different islands and spend the rest of the trip there. This is popular in Istria too, where Porec is a perfect base to take kayaking trips out to islands of the Rovinj archipelago. Always check with your vacation company if the trip is centre based or moving from one location to another, as it might affect the way you pack.

What are the age minimums on these vacations?


Well, this is Croatia and really a country for water babies. But water babies who have grown up a little. When they are tiny this can be stressful, but when they have got their swimming badges safely sewn onto their swimsuits, however, you can relax a bit more. Multi activity vacations tend to be for older children, usually eight and above, but this varies with each vacation company. And some specialise in teenage groups, where you can get a big of yoga in while you wait for your kids to wake up and get ready to play. And yes, those days do come.

We were thinking of bringing grandparents? Is this a bit crazy?


Grandparents are far from grinding to a halt these days, with everything from triathlons, kayaking clubs and swimming clubs as much the terrain of over 60s as anyone else. We think that multi activity vacations and multi generations make a happy marriage. You just need to get your tour operators’ advice, but there is never a maximum age when it comes to these vacations as long as you have a good level of fitness and an even better sense of adventure.
A few more thoughts from Maria Budimir-Bekan, from one of our Croatian family activity vacation companies. You can read more the full interview with her here.
"Most kids say that the white water rafting is the best bit of the trip. Or mini rafting, which is in smaller boats and in smaller rapids. Plus in mini rafts you are a skipper in your own boat. Parents always love the canyoning because of the scenery. And also the cycling day, which has a bar at the end of it, the dads often say that is the best bit. For me personally, there is one rock on the canyoning trip, just before you exit the canyon, where you can see the river really calm on one part, and then beyond the rock where you are standing, it turns to rapids. This is on the last day, and it is as if we are saving the best moment for the last day.”
“We had a grandfather on the trip this year, with his grandson who was around 12. The grandfather, John, who was 67, was brilliant at all the activities too. John phoned because he was a bit worried that he might not be able to do all the activities. But as soon as I knew he was outdoorsy, enjoys nature and has done some kind of sport, I knew he could do it. I reassured him that if at any stage he felt uncomfortable, that we have professional guides and support, so he could step away and the guides would help out his grandson. So he decided to come, and fair play to him. The best part is that he was a really lovely man, and he had amazing stories to share with everyone, and everyone enjoyed his company, from the teenagers to the mums and dads.

When the cycling day came, he was worried, and I told him there was a support van if the heat got too much for him or anything. But do you know what, he was probably the best on the cycling day. He did everything on the trip, and canyoning and white water rafting were his favourite activities. At the end of the week, he gave our guides a gift, and told them 'You know, if you need some help next year, I can come to help you!' So, age means nothing really. It is just a number.”
Photo credits: [Top box: ] [What sort of activity: NH53] [Minimum age: Andy Powell] [Maria Budimir-Bekan mini rafting: Green World Vacations]
Written by Catherine Mack
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