They say that 'Island-hopping is an easy and affordable way to explore some of the 400 islands scattered along Croatia's coastline'... so we've given over 3 weeks of our European Roadtrip to try and discover the best islands, the most scenic drives and the best campsites enroute... Today's adventures saw us leave Krk and head for another of the larger islands at Pag. Opting to take the (5 euro) toll bridge with a view of that spectacularly blue water...
The Croatian islands are so numerous it's hard to pick out just a few... but if you're interested in what Lonely Planet had to say then click here for their Top 10 Islands... or for a first hand experience, you can check out our post about island hopping by boat in Dubrovnik. (Lopud, Sipan & Kolocep)
But today's experience involved gently navigating our way down Highway 8. A phenomenally scenic road which hugs the Adriatic coastline, never more than a mile from the shoreline, yet offers amazing secluded coves for family picnics (Our Tip - try exiting Crikvinica and keep an eye out for the almost hidden track on the right down to this small cove)
An enjoyable roadtrip for us, always seems to involve either finding a beach or being perched up a mountain... i think we love a good view whilst we guzzle our picnic grub! And Croatia seems to have it all... the sun on our face, a great view, deserted cove with crystal clear water that reminded us of a similar picnic spot we found near Nice....... just perfect!
After dipping our feet in the water to cool down (and it's only March!)... we headed back up the cliffside and on towards Novi Vinodolski & Senj... this coastline is littered with places to pull over and enjoy the view... whilst the actual view from the drivers seat isn't half bad either! If you love a scenic view, then you might like to check this out (a collection of some of our most enjoyable drives across Europe so far)
Our favourite part of the coastline journey would be between Senj and our eventual ferry crossing to Pag at Prizna..... It's really one of those drives (similar to the Scottish NC500) which just offers one spectacular view after another... Sometimes the sight of small fishing boats suspended in the crystal clear waters of the small harbours, or the 'moon like' appearance of the rocky crags that pepper this coastline....
Perhaps our favourite aspect of 'island hopping' is the sheer spontaneity that you can enjoy... perhaps checking the weather forecast to decide whether to 'hop' north or south to a nearby island... or due to the date of a local fete or festivity.... What's more the transport links make it easy... plus it's cheaper than island hopping in Norway!! (although we did love Norway too!)
So for anyone heading this way soon, the price for us to take the short ferry ride across to Pag was 20 euros (30mins crossing) and it was worth every penny, easily saving us 75mins to get to Camping Šimuni.
This time saved allowed us the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing 'sun downer' on the idyllic beach location that makes Camping Šimuni so famous... It's clearly a winning combination and is sure to find it's way into our 'Top 40 Campsites in Europe'
So would we recommend the route to fellow 'motorhomers' heading down for some summer sun later this year? 100%, it's been a fantastic day, perhaps one of the very best we've had in 18 months of travelling across Europe! Would we recommend it to other families? Yes, Yes, Yes... the smiles on our girl's faces were the biggest they've been for weeks! Picnics, secluded coves, beach-side campsite and a ferry experience... what's not to love!!
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