Dubrovnik

Camping Solitudo           September 2012

The best thing about this site is its location. It's the only campsite in Dubrovnik itself, on a pleasant wooded promontory, and although it's not within walking distance of the Old Town you can get a bus just outside the campsite. There's a very pleasant shingle beach, Copacobana, about 7 minutes walk away, with beautiful clear water, pedalos, sunbeds and a couple of beach bars. Campers can also use the facilities of a nearby hotel complex, including swimming pool, but as we didn't use them we can't comment. The campsite is only a few minutes' drive from the ferry port.

The site is of medium size and has four separate areas, A, B, C and D. As Camping Cheque users, we were limited to area A, which wasn't very good, to be honest. The pitches were of all sizes and shapes but were very rough. The ground was not only uneven but was actually rocky in places, was rather muddy and some pitches had a lot of awkward shrubs or trees. Another problem was that EHU's were few and far between. However, we did manage to find a relatively level pitch within reach of an EHU. Area B had premium pitches which cost more but were of better quality.

There are two toilet blocks, fairly smart and clean, but during our stay there was a problem with the boiler which meant that on some days there was no hot water. However there is loo paper, soap and hand towels. The washing-up sinks are outside but under cover, and there are washing machines and dryers. There is a good-sized supermarket, a restaurant, and free wifi throughout.

Of the six campsites we stayed in during our time in Croatia this probably had the poorest facilities, but we would use it again because of its location.

Duga Resa

Camping Slapic    August 2012

This is a little gem of a campsite, in Central Croatia 45 km SW of Zagreb. The pitches are level, grassy and a good size. Most have some shade, although there is a newer area which is rather open. The site is on the very pretty Mreznica River, which has many small waterfalls, islands, deep pools for swimming, and shallow rocky pools ideal for children. The water is clear and warm and full of fish. It’s a popular day-trip destination for locals, who have access to the campsite’s playground and restaurant.

There are two smart toilet blocks, one brand-new and one refurbished. Both have loo paper, soap and hand towels and are cleaned several times a day. Showers are locked and each camper is given their own key, presumably to stop the day-trippers using the facilities! The washing-up sinks have plenty of hot water and there are two washing machines which cost 30 kuna. There are numerous water-points all over the site.

The restaurant and bar are very pleasant, with a terrace overlooking the river. The food is good and prices very reasonable. A beer is 6 kuna, as is an ice-cream cone (about 70p. ) There’s no shop but bread can be ordered for breakfast from reception. There are a couple of supermarkets in Duga Resa, 4 km away.

Zagreb is close enough to visit for a day, but during our stay the weather was very hot so we spent all our time in or near the water! It’s a family-run site, very well-maintained, and the staff are friendly and speak English. It’s a welcome change from the huge, impersonal campsites on the coast. We arrived without booking on 18th August and there were several pitches available. Highly recommended.

Krka National Park, Skradin

Camping Marina     May 2016

This is a pleasant, family-run site, with a friendly atmosphere. As the previous review says, pitching can seem chaotic, but Marina herself oversees everything and has it all under control! There are no marked or numbered pitches, and when we arrived she was expecting a group of ten Dutch outfits on an ACSI-organised tour to Albania, so space was limited, but she fitted us all in perfectly.

The ground is gravelled and there are pine trees for shade. There is a small swimming pool and pleasant terrace, bar and restaurant. We ate there one night and had an excellent meal of lamb cooked on the grill.

The sanitary block is clean and spacious with 3 showers with plentiful hot water, 2 toilets and one washbasin in both the men's and women's. There are three outdoor washing-up sinks, and a washing machine.

Minibus excursions to the Krka National Park leave from the campsite every morning. Normally we prefer to do our own thing, but on this occasion we decided to join the Dutch group on a guided tour and had a great day (lunch was included, with copious wine, which added greatly to our enjoyment!)

As well as the national park, the site is also a good base for visiting Sibenik which is a fascinating old city with an amazing cathedral. On the outskirts of Sibenik there are plenty of large supermarkets and a big shopping mall.

Moscenicka Draga

Autocamp Draga      May 2016

This campsite, and resort, is an absolute gem. It's on the Opatija Riviera, which is on the other side of the Istrian peninsula from Pula, Rovinj and all the large, most popular Croatian sites. The scenery here is reminiscent of the Amalfi coast, or perhaps Lake Garda or Maggiore. Wooded hills plunge down into the sea and there is a spectacular corniche road linking a series of picturesque little resorts. Moscenicke Draga is the last and prettiest of these, with a white pebble beach and a huddle of Italianate houses above a little harbour. There is a seafront walk with plenty of restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours (70 kuna, or about 80p, for a one delicious scoop in a cone. )

The campsite is quite small, terraced and nicely landscaped with plenty of flowers, shrubs and trees for shade. There are a number of permanent pitches with the touring pitches dotted randomly about among them. The pitches are of various shapes and sizes but all are quite large with a gravelled area for the caravan/campervan, with ample grassed areas on either side for chairs, tables etc.

There are three sanitary blocks, a little dated but very clean and with ample hot water. Washing-up and laundry sinks are outdoors but covered, again with hot water. The reception staff are helpful and speak English. It's a 5-minute walk to a supermarket, a minute further to the seafront with bars, cafes etc. There's a post office and a couple of souvenir shops, and a bus service to other towns along the coast.

It's 17 euros with ACSI (2016), and even in May most of the facilities were open, and the weather is lovely!

Plitvice Lakes

Korana Camping     May 2016

The site has a drive-by reception at the entrance, which was a bit off-putting as there was no opportunity to pick up any information leaflets. However, we later discovered there is a large, well-equipped reception/tourist information office further inside the camp site, near the bar. It has plenty of information about visiting the lakes, and also serves as a wifi hotspot, with tables and seating. (Wifi is not widely available across the whole site. )

As the previous review says, the site is huge. In fact it's more like a country park than a camp site, very undulating, with lots of trees, and very attractive. We were there in May so only part of the site, and one toilet block, was open. The concrete areas mentioned in the previous review are large enough for about half a dozen units, depending on their size. There are no numbers or markings in these areas and we found that people tended to squeeze in, meaning it got rather cramped.

The toilet block was very good, with toilet paper, soap and paper towels at the washbasins, and good hot showers, although there wasn't much hanging or changing space. There are washing-up sinks on the way in to both the men's and women's - we wondered which one to use if we both went over together to wash up!

As well as the restaurant, the burger bar and the cafe/bar were open. The latter is another useful place to access wifi in pleasant surroundings. The drinks were very reasonably priced.

It's not an ACSI site and is quite expensive, but that's to be expected in such a popular tourist area.

Punat, Krk

Camping Pila      September 2012

This is a fairly large site, but it’s not one of the huge “all-singing all-dancing” type that is common in Croatia. It’s simply a pleasant site with good but simple facilities. The pitches are fairly large, level and shaded by pine trees. Some pitches have sea views. There are some superior pitches for an extra 5 kuna a night. In addition there are quite a lot of permanent pitches which can be busy at weekends.

The four sanitary blocks are of a good standard, clean, with loo paper, soap and paper towels provided. Showers are push-button with controllable temperature. There is plenty of hot water for the washing-up and laundry sinks. There is a laundrette but it’s service-wash only – however at 40 kuna it’s good value.

The bar/restaurant is informal with good, reasonably priced food and a wood-fired pizza oven. There’s also a small bar with TV near reception. The supermarket is also near reception and sells all the basics, but there’s a larger supermarket just across the road from the campsite, and various kiosks, including a baker and one selling fruit and veg, on the seaside “prom” just outside the site. For kids there’s a playground and games room. There’s no swimming pool but it’s right on the sea so this isn’t a problem.

The surrounding area is very attractive. Krk Island is quite large and is easily reached from the mainland by a bridge, toll 46 kuna for a car and caravan. The main town is also called Krk and is 8 km from the campsite. It’s a picturesque old place with a nice harbour, a ruined castle and narrow little streets. Camping Pila is on an enclosed bay, rather like a Scottish sea loch, just opposite Krk town.

The site is right on the seafront, where there is a long, narrow promenade with a number of beach bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Immediately in front of the site there is a concrete bathing area with steps leading down into the sea. Five minute’s walk in one direction leads to a series of small shingle and rocky beaches. In the other direction the prom leads to the small resort of Punat which has a large marina and all sorts of water-sports and boat excursions. A small land-train runs the length of the prom.

Other interesting places to see on Krk are Baska, a pretty resort at the southern end of the island which has an Italian feel to it; and Vrbnic, a quaint old town with narrow streets built on the side of a hill above a harbour.

To sum up, Camping Pila is a nice, relaxing site in lovely surroundings.

Rovinj

Camping Amarin    August 2012

This is a very large holiday complex with plenty of facilities but not much character. As well as the camping area there are numerous other types of accommodation for rent. The pitches are numbered but not divided in any way, but are quite a generous size, and most have at least partial shade from pine trees. The surface is a bit uneven in places and some pitches are sloping. Some of the roads in the camping area are not surfaced and are very rough. At night the lighting was poor. The area is so large that it’s quite easy to get lost, and it’s quite a hike to get to reception from almost anywhere.

There are 13 toilet blocks of varying standards. The best ones are those closest to the sea, but even these are not particularly good. Shower cubicles are quite cramped with very little changing room and not enough hooks. The frequency and thoroughness of the cleaning left something to be desired, and the upkeep and maintenance was poor. For example, the shower trays had a tendency to get blocked, as did the washing-up sinks. Further back from the sea the toilet blocks become quite basic – semi-open, with cold water only in the washing-up sinks. There were no water points anywhere so drinking water had to be obtained from the washing-up sinks.

There is a circular swimming-pool with a water-slide, and all sorts of sporting facilities and organised entertainment, which takes place around the pool and restaurant area. The latter is very large and rather lacking in atmosphere. There are a couple of smaller refreshment kiosks along the seafront and a café near reception, where wifi is available (but rather expensive. ) There is quite a large supermarket, which is a branch of the Konsum chain, three souvenir/beach goods shops and a newspaper/sweets kiosk. There’s even a hairdressers, which I found very useful and extremely cheap at 60 kuna for a shampoo, cut and blowdry (about £7. )

There is an extensive seafront with a shingle and rock beach, and the campsite has its own pier where you can get a water-taxi to Rovinj.

The reception office was always exceptionally busy which made it difficult to just pop in and ask questions. When we arrived they kept our passports and ACSI card for the duration of our stay.

The best thing about the site is its position – there are lovely views of Rovinj from the beach area, and it’s also well-placed for visiting other interesting towns in Istria such as Pula and Porec. However its size made it very impersonal, and it’s definitely not the place to go for peace and quiet!

Split

Camping Stobrec      September 2012

This is a medium-sized campsite on its own sandy beach in the small seaside area of Stobrec just a few kilometres from the historic Old Town of Split. The pitches are large, level, on sandy ground in the shade of pine trees (although the ones right on the beach front don't have much shade.) Pitches are numbered and divided by large stones and saplings.  Our pitch, pictured, was right on the beach, just a couple of yards from the sea.

There are three sanitary blocks which are bright, modern and clean, with loo seats and paper, and soap and paper towels for the washbasins. Showers are coin-operated and cost 20 kuna. At first we were a bit annoyed by this but it's only 20p, and for that you get 7 minutes of good hot (controllable) water, in roomy cubicles. As the site is open all year (unusual for Croatia) one of the blocks is fully enclosed and heated in winter. There is a launderette with 2 washers (36 ku) and 1 dryer. There are numerous water points around the site. Wifi is available throughout for a reasonable charge.

The large bar/restaurant is on a terrace overlooking the sea, and does a good range of reasonably-priced food. In high season there is a large beach bar but this was closed at the end of September. There's a good supermarket selling all the basics including fresh bread, and 2 other supermarkets within walking distance of the site.

The staff are friendly and there are plenty of them, busy keeping not just the loos but the paths, flowerbeds, beaches etc tidy. There are three beaches, but when we were there(late season) only one had sunbeds, pedaloes etc. The beaches are quite shingly but as soon as you get in the sea it's sandy, and shallow for quite a long way out, so very safe for children. There's no swimming-pool but you're never more than a few metres from the sea so it's no problem. There are a couple of children's playgrounds and an entertainment and activity programme in high season, including aquarobics in the sea.

Split is a lively port and an interesting and historic old town, full of Roman buildings which are still in use. We loved the area and the campsite.

Zagreb

Camp Zagreb     May 2016

This is a small, relatively new site (opened in 2014) with an unusual layout. The gravelled pitches are arranged like the spokes of a wheel, radiating out from a central area where the shower blocks are. These are state of the art, smart, spacious and luxurious, with soap and airblade-style hand dryers.

There is a separate washing-up room and a laundry room with 2 sinks and commercial-size washing machine and tumble dryer.

The camp site is situated on a lakeside in a quiet, semi-rural area about 30 minutes' drive from the centre of Zagreb and in high season there is a shuttle bus. The lake has a small beach for swimming and boats for hire.

There is a pleasant restaurant and bar beside the lake, which is open to the public. There are bikes for hire, and horse riding is available - the horses are in a field adjacent to the site and are a great attraction for children!

The reception staff are friendly and speak good English. There is a very good small supermarket within walking distance of the site.

Because the site is new, the trees which have been planted are still fairly small so in hot weather there isn't much shade - but this will improve with time. The pitches are quite narrow but are surrounded with ample grassy areas for sitting out or putting up awnings. It's a peaceful, green oasis so near to a major city - a great place to relax after a hard days' sightseeing. One of the nicest sites we've stayed at.

Zaton

Autocamp Peros     September 2012 and May 2016

First visit

This site is as unlike the huge, holiday-camp type of sites that people associate with Croatia as possible. It has about 50 pitches, a small swimming pool, a bar that also does pizzas, and that’s about it. The pitches are roomy and shaded by trees, there are open views on one side across to the tiny Byzantine church of St Nicholas, and it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the beach.

The toilet facilities are new, smart and very clean. The washing-up area is reminiscent of Caravan Club sites in the UK, with dish-draining racks, scourers and J cloths provided. The lady in reception is friendly, speaks good English and provides useful information and maps about the surrounding area.

This part of Croatia is interesting and rather different. For one thing, there are sandy beaches, which are unusual! The sea is warm and shallow, so you have to walk out for a fair distance before it’s deep enough for swimming. However this makes it ideal for children.

Zaton itself is a very small resort with a couple of restaurants, beach bars and a tiny supermarket. The only fly in the ointment, IMO, is the presence of one of the above-mentioned huge campsites which broadcasts noisy 'entertainment' that can be heard all over Zaton at times.

A short distance from Zaton is the tiny walled city of Nin, surrounded by water. It has what is said to be the world’s smallest cathedral, Holy Cross, which probably holds about a dozen people, but is no longer used, having been replaced by the much larger St Anastasia’s. Another must-see is Zadar, 15 km away, which is Croatia’s fourth-largest town. Its main attraction is its fortified old town with the sea on three sides. There are Roman ruins, a Byzantine church, Venetian palaces and numerous restaurants and shops.

Second visit

It’s four years since we were here, and it’s still a very pleasant little site with a friendly atmosphere. There have been a few changes - the reception area has been renovated, as has the bar, and renovations were still under way during our stay, but should be completed by high season. The biggest change is that 20 new mobile homes have been installed in what used to be a field adjoining the campsite, with their own swimming pool. This shouldn’t really affect the touring part of the site, although guests might use the bar.

All the basic needs are catered for within easy reach of the pitches – ehu’s, water, bins for recycling, washing up, and washing machine, which is more than can be said for some larger sites we’ve stayed at! The shower block is clean and functional, with loo paper, soap and hand dryer.

The surrounding area is ideal for cycling. Zadar is still one of our favourite places - Alfred Hitchcock called the sunsets the best in the world, and they're even better now accompanied by the other-worldly sounds of the Sea Organ, followed by the hypnotic light patterns of the Greeting to the Sun! And with the best ice-cream outside of Italy at 80p a cone, what's not to like?