Maybe it is your first time visiting this small country with stunning nature and the clear blue Adriatic sea? Or have you been so fascinated with your first visit so now you just want to be sure to get the best out of your family holidays?
If it is your first time visiting Croatia, find out more general information about it here. Of course you want to be prepared before arriving with your family. If you have already found the perfect, cosy villa from the My Istria offer, now you are surely looking forward to making plans on what to do with your loved ones under the warm Croatian sun.
If you are travelling with children, we can offer you a few tips on what to do and see in Croatia, along with some clues we already presented to you in our previous article
. Maybe you will learn together something new about our culture, enjoy the nature and have fun on your relaxed holidays! Here are some ideas on how to spend a safe and amusing family time:
Visit a film festival with a children's movie program
A lot of famous film festivals in Croatia offer a special program for children and teens. Many of those festivals take place in the summer in numerous cities in Istria and along the coast or on islands. We can recommend you some: enjoy movies under the starry night in the Roman amphitheatre at the Pula Film Festival (13-19+ July 2019), the famous film festival in central Istria, on the hill at Motovun film festival (mid July or end of July) or at the special edition of Buzet film festival for Teens - Buzz@Teen festival (19 - 23 July). If you are spending your holidays in the southern part (Dalmatia) we can recommend Brac film festival (in a small town Supetar on the island Brac, usually takes place at the beginning of August) and two other film festivals which mostly do not have a special part of program of screenings for children, but maybe you will find something interesting there as well (at least for teens)! There is the Mediterranean film festival (usually at the beginning of June), as well as the Split film festival (18- 25 September).
Visit the International children festival in Sibenik
Every summer for the past 50 years, there has been a festival that celebrates culture (theatre, dance, music), and art for the youngest. The festival will take part from 15 to 29 June 2019 in a charming Dalmatian sea town- Sibenik, 50 km away from Split and 68 km from Zadar. Its program is rich and includes 3 main categories -children groups programme (dance, theatre, singing etc.), workshops where children are directly and publicly included in many creative actions and the educational part in which parents can learn a lot, too. There are symposiums that handle different issues like the aesthetic education of children. It's a funny, lively festival dedicated to children, and we are sure everybody will find something interesting.
Stroll through the touristy, car-free city centres
The best way to have a safe sightseeing with your family is by choosing one of the old city centres like in Dubrovnik or Split (around the Diocletian Palace) or on some islands (Zlarin, Silba…)
Croatia is a great country if you enjoy spending your time next to the clear, blue sea and love a good fish meal, maybe you should try fishing in one of the rivers or in the sea. Keep in mind that both recreational and sports fishing are prohibited in harbours, small ports and public beaches from 1st May to 1st October, as well in special nature reservers and estuaries of some rivers (Dragonja, Mirna, Rasa, Rijecina, Zrmanja, Jadro, Zrnovica, Cetina, Neretva, the Lim channel, Medulin bay and Klimno on Krk island).
Have a family picnic
If you enjoy spending your time in the nature, take some snacks and fresh fruits and go to the nearest park, garden or forest. But, since this is in the nature, take care of ticks! Wear protection spray and long pants to avoid them and enjoy the greenery surrounding you. For more fun make sure you bring a card game along, or a set of badminton rackets.
Visit caves and pits
If you are an adventurer who likes exploring and sightseeing the amazing underground world, Croatia is the place to be with its 1200 caves and pits. 53 of the pits are deeper than 250 m and 52 caves longer than 1000 m. Not all of them are available for touristic visits and most of them are located in the region of Gorski Kotar. The most famous is Lokvarka “Vrelo”, 3 km away from Fuzine or “Biserujka” on Krk island, ideally to visit if you choose one of our holiday homes in Istria or Kvarner! But if you go south, you don't have to miss out on the amazing caves on the islands Mljet (Odisej cave) or Bisevo (Modra spilja/ Blue cave).
Visit a zoo, botanical garden or aquarium
This is the best way to learn about the flora and fauna and wake the curiosity of the young guests. The best aquariums to visit if you are staying in Istria are in Pula, Rovinj and Porec. The best zoos are located in Split, along with the Safari park on the Brijuni island (which is also one of 8 National parks in Croatia). If you are staying in one of our beautiful villas in Dalmatia, be sure to visit Split's Zoo, which is also a Natural History Museum, located on the forest-park Marjan. Find out more about it, and the city Split in our previous article!
Visit a farm property
Is there a better way to catch some fresh air on the fields, surrounded by domestic animals, tasting the products from a local farm? Here you can try home-made cheese, milk, sausages, olive oil etc. We are recommending you some farm properties open for tourists in Dalmatia (agro museum of olive oil “Skrip” on the island of Brac, Podastrana “Adventure Zagora” in Hrvace, an eco-ethno village close to the NP Krka, 25 km away from Sibenik and Trogir - Rajcica dvori “Kalpic” property and many more) and (central) Istria: (agritourism “Bratulici”, “Sterle”, “Dol”, “Spinovci”-near Motovun, “Ograde” near Pazin etc.)
Relax on a nice beach, ideal for kids, too!
When you think of Croatia, probably the first thing that comes to your mind are beaches and sun! You are right, we have a lot of nice beaches to offer - pebbly or sandy. Here we will give you some tips on which to choose if you are travelling with your kids and family. The most beautiful beaches are located on islands, surrounded by breathtaking nature and the deep blue, clear Adriatic sea. Check out following island beaches, we can fully recommend: Baska (Krk island, 2 km long beach with a little water park), Cres and Losinj (with lots of family-friendly campsites next to the beach), Crveni otok (“Red island” near Rovinj with soft, pebble beaches), Lopar on Rab island (called “the island of happiness”, offers shallow, sandy beaches ideal for toddlers) etc. In Dalmatia we propose the wonderful Makarska riviera spreading on 53 km with little, charming coastal towns. Some places can be quite crowded but the lure of Makarska riviera are small, almost hidden, natural beaches under the Adriatic highway.
Do you know that Croatia has proud 2400-2700 sunny hours a year? The most sunny island is Hvar. This is why we recommend to wear enough sunscreen to avoid getting sunburnt. Most of the beaches are pebbly and there is one thing you should take care of, especially at “wild”, natural beaches - sea urchins. They are not harmful but stepping on them can be a bit painful. To avoid all of that, we highly recommend your children to wear sea sandals to run free in the shallow waters on the shore.
Treat your curiosity and try out a panoramic flight by airplane or a hot air balloon
If you like your head to be above the clouds with a breathtaking view on the amazing city underneath you, go up in the air and share your experience with a different perspective from a 800 meters height. Enjoy panoramic views of the cultivated fields and curving rivers, historic forts, wooded peaks, tranquil lakes, unbelievable archipelagos and the deep, blue sea. Make nice memories together with your family, have a view that you will never forget.
Safety-tips for your holidays
Did you know that Croatia is the 25th most safe country in the world? According to the Global Peace Index in 2018, it is ranked better than some other European countries like Spain or Latvia on the list. Still, there are details you should take care of to fully enjoy your holiday. Like in each big(ger) city in the world, we warn you about pickpockets. Take care about your belongings and do not let it unattended (especially while you are at the beach). Never carry large sums of money with you.
If you are an active family enjoying walks in the nature or hiking, please be sure to wear solid shoes and have enough water on you. And the most important thing - stick to the drawn hiking paths in order not to get lost! If you happen to need any kind of help (police, ambulance, mountain rescue services) there is a universal rescue number you can always call- 112.
Spend your vacation in one of our villas in Istria
and have a wonderful and safe family vacation!