Start planning your family vacation to Croatia
Ancient cities, islands and mountains make Croatia a must visit for every family. Go from taking a beautiful hike in the morning to exploring a fortress in the evening or taking a tour of sites from various movies and TV shows that were shot here. Croatia is the ultimate escape for a family vacation surrounded by nature, where you can wake up surrounded by mountains or overlooking the ocean. Stay in Dubrovnik and wander around its cobbled streets, visiting local markets and restaurants or wandering around the city walls.
Best things to see and do in Croatia with kids
What to see as a family
On a family tour of Croatia, your first stop should be Dubrovnik. Here you can relax in any of the many choices of family hotels and family-friendly accommodations, before heading out into the city to explore. Next, head to the Dalmatian Coast; the perfect place to relax on sandy and pebbled beaches, swimming in the sea and going on family boat trips offshore, exploring areas that can’t be reached on land. Croatia’s many islands mean that you and your family won’t be short of choice for changes on scenery on your trip. Visit Hvar, one of Croatia’s most popular summer resorts; an island featuring an amazing hilltop fortress. Korcula Island is another great choice, and is usually less busy for families who are looking to escape the tourist traps. History lovers will never forget seeing the roman ruins on the Island of Vis, an incredibly picturesque place where you can almost imagine the life that the roman people would have lived here, surrounded by sea, sand and nature. Finally, the blue grotto is another unmissable location to see as a family. Catch a boat to take you to this stunning ocean paradise, where you can explore and enjoy several nearby restaurants and bars before heading back to the mainland to explore some more.
What to do as a family
Croatia is a natural choice for active families, so if sitting on a beach all day is not your idea of a great trip, the Croatia is the place for you. Start off in Plitvice Lakes National Park to enjoy the lakes and waterfalls themselves, where you can swim and play, as well as stunning forests, perfect for exploring. Plitvice is covered in amazing hiking trails where you can hike to some of the area’s most beautiful points. You can also explore caves along the way and feel as though you are bona fide explorers, discovering this area for the first time. If you and your family fancy a challenge and trying your hand at something new, then your next stop should be Zlatni Rat, on Brac Island. Windsurfing is the sport of choice along the shores of this white pebble beach and it’s the perfect place for seasoned pros and beginners alike to practise their skills. Krka National Park is perfect for cycling and hiking and you’ll be able to spend your days in constant adventure here. If boating, diving or watersports are what you’re looking for on your family vacation, then there no better place than the Paklinski Islands, a chain of 16 islands with clear blue waters, a great place for snorkeling or sea kayaking before relaxing in the evenings. Parents can even try a spot of wine tasting between adventures. Families should also stop off at one of the waterparks around the coast or the capital for a day trip they won’t forget in a hurry. Spend the day running riot around a huge waterpark for fun in the sun on a scale that you won’t get in many other destinations.
Best time to visit Croatia as a family
Undoubtedly the best times to visit Croatia are during the shoulder season months of May and June and September and October, since all the summer activities are available, with no crowds of tourists in sight. The weather is still hot and sunny and ideal for younger children who may not enjoy the more intense heat of July and August. You will also find that there is much more availability for family hotels and the best hotel rooms, since the demand is less during the shoulder season. If you are tied to school vacation periods, then the peak months are still and excellent time to visit, however, you will need to be prepared to book in advance to avoid any disappointment or raised prices. If you are coming to hike or cycle then the cooler months of March and April are perfect, with spring weather meaning that the scenery is idyllic. Whenever you decide to take your family trip to Croatia, you are sure to make incredible memories.
Family vacation tips for traveling to Croatia
With a little research and knowledge you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your family trip to Croatia, here a few tips and tricks to ensure that everything runs smoothly on your vacation:
- Plan ahead to ensure that you can plan a vacation to suit everyone’s needs. Whilst Croatia is smaller than some other destinations, it is not limited to its mainland and you should factor in some extra time to explore some of its islands.
- Try to learn a few key phrases in the local language. This will be helpful in any situation and even if you never need it to communicate, it can be fun and educational for children to learn about the local language and culture. If nothing else, everyone likes to be greeted and thanked in their native language.
- Bring mosquito spray. In some parts of Croatia, there can be a lot of Mosquitoes which can be an annoyance for younger children. Bring something to spray in your hotel room to prevent the unwanted stress of itchy bites.
- Go off the beaten track when choosing restaurants and food. Local food here is delicious, so try to avoid the tourist options and steer clear of food like pizzas - you can eat these anytime, so pick something more special!
- Trains here aren’t totally reliable and aren’t worth the stress. Luckily, the bus system in Croatia is great and convenient - use this instead. On top of this, taxis here are expensive and so buses are the best option all round.
- Pack water shoes for younger kids. The beaches here are rocky and can be uncomfortable for young feet. This does mean that the beaches are much more exciting, with rock pools and caves to explore.