Camper's Paradise in Croatia
Camping in Croatia 2020
Our Family Croatian Camping tale
Having lived in Croatia for nearly seven years, I’ve visited a good portion of the beautiful Adriatic coast. Typically, we’d reserve an apartment using AirBNB and then walk or drive to visit the lovely beaches nearby. Most frequently, we travelled to the Island Murter, visiting the beach, Kosirina. At this location, there was a pretty large campsite directly on the coast making its way inward up the hills. I immediately noticed the people camping were not all Croatians; they were mainly from just about every other country in Europe.
Croatians Camping: An Oxymoron?
I often wondered why there weren’t as many Croatians enjoying this wonderful experience. I asked Anela why this was so, and she replied something to the extent featuring words like bugs and cleanliness.
I remember as a child I was lucky enough to have experienced camping in an RV (camper van), and these memories have remained vivid to this day. It was such a rich time, opening up a young imagination and enjoying simple things. Most importantly, the time camping was quality time – we spent actual time together with no distraction.
Where to rent a camper in Croatia?
So in the year 2020 A.D., we finally decided to try the old camper van route. The camper we rented was absolutely fabulous – personally, I could live in it 🙂 Camper.hr, the company we rented the van from, took great detail explaining how to use the camper – their customer service was absolutely fantastic!
I think one thing that scares people away from camping is they think it takes special skill or knowledge (or maybe they think it’s a lot of work). Well, the truth is, you don’t have to be Robinson Crusoe, as Anela would say. Camping in Croatia is extremely intuitive, easy, and fun for the whole family! It was so easy in fact, Anela drove the camper from start to finish, maneuvering the camper through the small roads of Krk like Mario Andretti. The camper van, itself, had everything we needed and even more.
Croatia, of course is filled with so many beautiful places, making it really hard to choose where to go. We honestly didn’t take much time to consider where we would travel. Simply put, we wanted to go somewhere close and by the sea. We also had thought about going to Camp Plitvice, but who would want to spoil the opportunity of a camping summer by the beautiful Adriatic Coast.
We (meaning Anela) then narrowed the choices to some camps situated on the Croatian Islands Pag and Krk. It was then I put my foot down and decided Krk the better option for us (meaning myself). We had travelled to Pag last year, taking the family to Zrće (which is actually a great location during the day for families because the beaches are almost completely desolate).
three. two. One - And we're off!!
So after having retrieved camper van (HYMER TRAMP 578 “60” edition) at Camper.hr located in Zaprešić, Anela followed me back to the house which happened to be a big mistake. I think we circled the Zaprešić area two or three times before finding the right path back home. I, of course, did this intentionally so she could have a bit of practice before hitting the big roads 🙂 All our things had already been packed by Anela of course – I think she thought we were vacationing for a month having packed so much stuff!
We loaded the camper van with clothes, food, snacks, drinks, a tablet for the kids, our dog Bella, and of course, my guitar. So around 21:30 we made our way to the coast.
The kids were extremely excited – Liam was bursting with joy being in this new house on wheels. Hanna was strapped tightly in her car seat entertained by Netflix. It was very convenient having placed our tablet on the dining table behind us. Both kids fell asleep watching The Smurfs during our short trip.
Entering Camp Glavotok
After making our way through the windy roads of Krk, we finally descended down a path leading to the entrance gate of Camp Glavotok. We pulled over after entering, and Anela got out to check in. The check-in went quickly, and we then navigated through the camp to our lovely spot by the sea.
Setting up our camp site
Finally reaching our wonderful spot, we first got out to absorb it all. We were right on the water and the view was beautiful. We could smell the salt from the sea and the trees atop provided some good shade. The pool was literally 15 meters to our left, and honestly, that’s where we spent the majority of the time.
We then hurried to get settled in. The camper was very easy to unpack all the utilities. We first, put the ground cover, table and chairs, and extended the awning. The kids were playing around our pitch – Liam of course begging to go to the pool. Finally, after having set up camp – we just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the cool breeze and sound from the sea.
This campsite is simply fantastic. Everything we needed was of course right within the camp except for my specially designed cigarettes 🙂 I think this really changed Anela’s view of camping entirely. Everything at Glavotok was extremely clean including the bathrooms – I couldn’t believe it!
Our spot as mentioned was very conveniently located because the restrooms, pool, cafe bar, and restaurant were all located 20 meters from our camper. We spent much time at the infinity pool – where we taught Liam to swim for the first time! That alone made the trip extremely sentimental for me.
Camp Glavotok Restaurant
We had a really great experience at Camp Glavotok’s restaurant. The food was simply delicious. Moreover, it was so expensive. For example, we often ordered the best Seafood Risotto and pasta we’ve ever tasted (of course second to Anela’s south beach pasta and shrimp), and I think it costed around 65 hrk, which is cheaper than in Zagreb. The kids ate pizza and fried calamari. Everything was simply scrumptious!
Grilling out on the adriatic
So of course we ate mostly things we had packed in our camper. That is one of the wonderful things about camping, and you can save an incredible amount of money just in food if you do so smartly. Furthermore, all what is left over, you can take back with you – at a hotel or apartment you usually have to leave all perishables.
So we took advantage of our wonderful gas stove and grill. I personally, cooked all dinners this trip – two in total. The first using the gas grill. We brought batak home chicken ćevapi. Anela made a cucumber and tomato salad and we all had a wonderful dinner by the sea!
The Whole Camping experience
The thing both Anela and I realized about camping is that the time spent together is QUALITY time. There aren’t as many distractions tv’s in a hotel room. Most of the time we spent was outside. When the kids went to bed, we lay in our hammocks gazing up at the moon and sea. It is so different, but especially for the kids. It creates such a unique experience that they will cherish and remember forever. I am sure Liam will.
The simple things in life are always best best. Camping forces you to somewhat partake in these simple things – the things of nothingness! This trip of only four days gave us a chance to really enjoy each other’s company. Being actually present to me is a priceless experience. We really look forward to doing something like this again, and I am sure the kids can’t wait!