Dutch Tour Escorts Hans and Sylvia Lagerweij tried out our new Croatia Walking Tour a couple of years ago and they gave a us a helpful insight into what you might expect from this tour and the amount of walking involved.
We started the tour in Moščenička Draga, a quiet campsite close to the beach. Just outside the campsite we had a welcome dinner in a family restaurant.
We travelled by coach to the starting point of the walking excursion to Lovran which follows the seaside promenade ‘Lungomare’. The walk covers approximately 5 miles (3 to 4 hours including a short lunch break) it was a peaceful walk passing beautiful country houses and small-scale hotels on one side with the Kvarner (sea) on the other. After lunch on the beach we took the boat back to Moščenička Draga. The captain welcomed us on board with a glass of schnapps or wine. After an hour of sailing we arrived at the harbour and walked back to the campsite (15 min).
On the third and last day at this campsite, we set off inland on a long walk of 5 to 6 hours.
In Trebisca, a small authentic settlement, we stopped to enjoy our packed lunch. There was an eco toilet available above a (dry) river bed.
We set off to the island of Cres and the campsite in Mali Losinj, which we reached by ferry. After the crossing there was a 81km drive to the large and well maintained campsite, where we stayed for 7 nights. The site had a large swimming pool, which may not be open in May, however you can enjoy the beach which is directly adjacent to the campsite.
We took a bus to Osorščica to start a 12 mile hike, with a mountain guide. We stopped at a mountain cabin for a simple but cosy lunch. Afterwards we walked on a stone road to a radio tower where you can pause to enjoy the spectacular views. There was an option to climb a little bit further to visit a chapel for those who wanted to. At the bottom of the mountain near Nerezine the bus was waiting to take us back to the campsite.
On day 6 we had a half day excursion, and some time to relax. At 10 o'clock we walked to the harbour (about 20 minutes) from where we had a 30 minute sail on a pirate boat which took us to the island of Susak. This island consists entirely of sandy soil and we had an hour and a half to look around the island. At around 12:30pm we had lunch on board the boat of pork or mackerel with bread and sauerkraut. The mackerel was particuarly tasty and some previous trip participants found this to be the most delicious meal of the whole trip! After lunch we sailed back to the quay and then had the choice to either walk back to the campsite, following the same route we had taken in the morning, or take a stroll along the boulevard before returning to the campsite.
We had another guided walk to the island of Losinj (approximately 11 miles) where we walked along the quiet, beautiful bays. At the beginning of the walk we enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace of a cafe. The restaurant where we had lunch was again simple (as always in the mountains) but quite large with clean toilets. There was also a drinking water supply so bottles could be filled from a tap. There were two walking options to choose from to return to the campsite, a shorter but more intense route or back along the same outward route that we took in the morning. We decided which route to take after lunch, taking weather conditions into consideration. We then enjoyed two days at leisure which were very welcome after a busy few days.
Day 8 was a leisure day and we enjoyed a folklore evening with youngters dressed in traditional costumes. A few supermarkets, chemists and other stores were within cycling or walking distance of the campsite. It is worth noting that the route is downhill on the way but there is a climb back up to the campsite on your return. You could also enjoy shorter walks in the area by yourself or simply relax and swim at the pool or campsite beach.
Day at leisure.
On our last day at this campsite we took a coach to Cres and then transfered to smaller minibuses for the last part of the journey. After lunch the group was split into smaller groups and we visited an information center of the witkopgier. The tour was very interesting and you could see beautiful photographs and videos. There were then three options:a boat trip to spot the white-headed vultures, a minibus trip to the harbour with a guided trip on a small open boat (with a roof) around the rocks or a walk through the village which has beautiful views over the sea. A little boy (there were not many children in this village) explained how an olive press works. It was possible to participate in all three mini excursions. We then returned in the minibuses to the point where the coach was waiting for us. Its worth noting that different coaches were used for the outward and return journey so personal items needed to be taken with you.
We travelled to Baška on the island of Krk, and the journey included another ferry crossing. We stayed on a beautiful campsite with new washroom facilities. There was a quiet road to cross to access the beach. Baška has a beautiful long boulevard where there is plenty to do.
Day 12 is a day at leisure and you can enjoy the beach or take a trip to Krk. This city has beautiful old streets and is also on the sea front where you can see a red submarine.
On day 13 we walked to the ‘Moon’, a special part of the Krk island. This walking tour is so named because, for the end part of the walk, it looks like you are crossing a lunar landscape, which is fascinating. From the campsite you walk along the boulevard, go up some steps to a church and from there walk between the trees to the lunar landscape. This walk was approximately 4 miles. In the evening there was a dinner in a local restaurant which was a 15 minute walk from the campsite along the boulevard which also looked very pretty in the evening.
Day at leisure.
Today we had a walking excursion towards Vela Luka. The walk followed the boulevard along the edge of the forest and then into the mountains. There was a steep descent to the beach and we then retraced our steps back up in to the mountains and along the boulevard to the campsite. There was the option to take a taxi boat back to the campsite which you would arrange yourself.
We left Baška and travelled back to the mainland to Starigrad / Paklenica. A bridge crosses from the island of Krk to the mainland where there was no toll when you leave the island. We arrived at a very different kind of campsite bordering the Paklenica National Park. The campsite had a wooded area and was fairly small. There was a food shop just outside the campsite as well as an accompanying hotel / restaurant where you could eat well. The hotel also had a swimming pool that campsite guests can use if they put on the bracelet that they are given on entry.
On day 17 we had a coach excursion to Ṧibenik where we enjoyed a walking tour of the city. The tour ended at the cathedral where we had a short time before taking the coach to a campsite restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was nicely decorated, the food was of good quality and a couple of drinks were included which is unsual for lunch. In the afternoon we took a guided coach tour through the National Park to the Krka waterfalls. The scenery was breathtaking and there were plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos. We also visited the old power generation machines in the park. On this walk there were plenty of places to refill water bottles and use toilet facilities.
Day 18 is a leisure day, to rest after the busy schedule. You could do some shopping or take a dip in the pool.
On day 19 you had the option to do a half day walking excursion (approximately 4 hours). Travelling by minibus we entered the Paklenica National Park. We were accompanied by a guide from the campsite and a ranger from the park. We passed a former residence (very large) of the Yugoslav army and had a look around inside the building. Then we walked to a hut where we enjoyed a warm drink. It was very basic but fortunately there was an outside toilet. We then walked back to the minibuses and saw mountaineers at work.
The last campsite was located in Plitvička Jezera. To enter the campsite we went through a gate and then we were free to choose our camping space; there were no marked pitches and there was some uneven ground but we have found this to be a very pleasant stay. There was a restaurant just outside the campsite where you could withdraw money - in Croatia many things are paid for in cash. It is also possible to exchange currency here and there in food and souvenir shops.
On the last day a group bus arrived for those that wanted to join the Tour Escorts on an excursion to Plitvice Lakes. All tram rides and a boat ride are included in the excursion and whilst there are many restaurants we found that they were not always well located so we recommend that you bring plenty of your own food and drink. In the evening there was a farewell dinner in the campsite restaurant to mark the end of a wonderful journey in a beautiful country!
Our final day, we said our goodbyes and prepared for our journey home.
Our top tips for this tour:
Some of the areas visited are quite remote and you are unlikely to meet other people on your intinerary walks which makes it all the more enjoyable to share your experiences with fellow tourers in your group.
Having an experienced guide with you ads an element of reasurrance, whether you are on a shorter walk or one of the longer day excursions.
Longer walks can last between 5 to 6 hours
Whilst lunch and drink are often included on the longer walks it is advisable to pack enough food and drink for the shorter walks.
It is worthwhile participating in all of the walking excursions, however if you feel like you would like to opt out of one, then of course that choice is yours.
If you would like more details about our new Croatia Walking Tour visit our tour page.