Resources

Chasing the Donkey (www.chasingthedonkey.com) Entertaining travel blog by an Aussie family of Croatian extraction living in Dalmatia.

Croatian Tourism (www.croatia.hr) Official tourism site; the best starting point for holiday planning.

Croatia Times (www.croatia-times.com) Click on the Like Croatia tab for an information-packed online guide to Croatia.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/croatia) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Parks of Croatia (www.parkovihrvatske.hr) Covers Croatia's national parks and nature parks.

Taste of Croatia (www.tasteofcroatia.org) Excellent and informative culinary website.

Top Tips

  • Croatians have been renting out their spare rooms and holiday apartments to travellers since long before the craze for house-sharing apps. Private accommodation is an affordable alternative to hotels and is sometimes the only option in more remote places. Check out the options on the websites of the regional tourist boards and local travel agencies.
  • Pasta and risotto dishes are listed as starters on most menus, but don't be fooled into thinking you'll get a small serve. They're almost always just as filling as any of the official mains, and usually substantially cheaper.
  • If you're keen to try a traditional spit roast or meat roasted under a peka (domed metal lid), it's best if you call ahead the day before.

What to Take

  • Swimming gear and beach towel
  • A mask and snorkel, or at least goggles – the Mediterranean is much saltier than an ocean
  • Reef shoes to avoid sea-urchin injuries
  • A small day pack
  • European electrical adaptor with two round pins

What to Wear

Croatians dress to impress: both men and women tend to make an effort with their appearance, including a preference for the latest figure-accentuating fashions from across the ditch in Italy. That said, Croatia's coastal towns are quite laid-back and you'll be admitted to most restaurants and bars in tidy shorts and T-shirts. However, you might feel more comfortable if you pack at least one nice shirt and a pair of decent trousers, or one elegant dress. If you feel like dressing up, the best places to do it are in the swankier cocktail bars and restaurants of Hvar Town, Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date
  • Check whether you need a visa to enter Croatia and, if required, apply for one
  • Check the airline baggage restrictions
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company you’re heading away
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance