It seems almost impossible to take a road trip without stumbling upon yet another wonderfully scenic journey in Austria.... a country we've enjoyed visiting, especially our time in Vienna. However 'stumbling' might not quite describe it accurately... as the wonderful Gerlos Alpine Road website conjured up some exciting images that meant we simply couldn't miss a scenic drive through the raw, rugged natural beauty of the Austrian Alps.
So with much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the backseats, we've packed up the vans and headed northwards through Croatia and into Slovenia. We've yet again loved the opportunities that Croatia presents to families, and would return in a heartbeat given half the chance! But we're equally pleased to be able to show the girl's grandparents one of Europe's most iconic sights - Lake Bled. This small lake (only 2km x 1.4km) is heated due to it's nearby thermal springs... so swimming is an option for active families. There's also the iconic island and a medieval castle clinging to the cliffs with the backdrop of the Julian Alps to enjoy too!
Croatia has so much more to offer than just the established tourist sites such as Dubrovnik, Split or hidden gems such as Korčula or Rovinj. With the region of Zadar fast becoming the newest member of Croatia's tourist elite due to the beautiful cities (Zadar or Sibernik) and wonderful countryside, explorable islands and coastline. There are endless tracts of wild mountain paths to explore, as well as some spectacularly beautiful stretches of coast between the pebbly beaches. So how better to explore this diverse countryside than on horseback....
Seemingly scattered among the waves by the gods themselves, the Croatian Islands surrounding Zadar were made to be seen by boat. You’ve probably seen their quaint villages and azure waters a zillion times on postcards and travel brochures, but even the greatest images are no match for the real thing. Think Kornuti Islands Archipelago or beach paradises like Dugi Otok.
So a chance to explore Zadar's islands with skipper Milan & his authentic 1932 'ZvizdaMora' boat gave us sight of a side of Croatia you’d otherwise miss. An opportunity to see where history (and myth) happened, meet the present-day inhabitants, and, of course, soak up as much sun as we could get. (just check out his Trip Advisor reviews and you'll know why we chose his boat tour! - click here).
They say you should visit Croatia in late spring or the end of summer to explore the inland National Park of Krka or the Velebit mountain range. Considered a great hiking country you'll find plenty of opportunities in Croatia on the islands such as Korčula, whilst others might prefer to sail the archipelago of the Kornati islands National Park.
But have you ever considered a Buggy Safari? No? Well, nor had we until we until we chanced upon Buggy Croatia's fantastic 'adventure tour' at Vransko Jezero, Biograd. So if you fancy a day filled with views of emerald lakes, azure blue seas, islands galore and a little adrenalin filled fun... then read on!
Zadar was recently elected Best European Destination 2016. Winning the prestigious title over more established rivals such as Athens, Plovdiv, Nantes, The Azores Islands, Paris, Novi Sad, Brussels, Kotor, Milan, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Madrid and Nicosia.
So where better to discover more about Zadar's wealth of attractions than Zaton Holiday Resort just outside Zadar, another of the fantastic campsites that fall under the banner of Europe's Leading Campings.
Ever felt like it's time to hit the open road in your motorhome? What's your favourite scenic drive in Europe? Here's a few of ours ( click here )
But we reckon you could pick pretty much any coastal drive in Croatia and be satisfied. It may not be an alpine pass where you see the whiteness creeping into your knuckles on each vertiginous hairpin bend... but those coastal landscapes are sensational! So here's a few pictures from our journey south from Camping Šimuni to the Leading Camping's site of Zaton Holiday Resort.
Apparently the new buzzword is ‘3G’, with three generations of a family holidaying together – grandparents, parents and kids. But could 'Camping Šimuni' offer enough activities to suit everyone’s holiday needs alongside a chance to relax together as a family? It certainly impressed us on our first visit in April but what would it be like with more people to please (see our first blog post on Camping Šimuni here)
Experiencing Europe by motorhome, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite driving routes (click here) So as we meandered southwards enroute to another visit to Camping Šimuni, we spent the journey south discussing which routes could possibly better 'Highway 8 (E65)' alongside the Croatia Dalmatian Coastline. So if you also love gripping the steering wheel that little tighter as you enjoy some stunning natural coastal scenery, you'd love this blockbuster drive. Taking you past sleepy seaside forts, 'picture perfect' islands, national parks teeming with wildlife or long stretches of isolated bays/headlands where your feet are the only ones in the crystal clear waters. It's worth grabbing some dash cam footage from (We used a Nextbase 512G which has proved brilliant all trip)
It wouldn't be the first time we'd visited Vrbnik with friends or family, having seen this charming hillside town with AussiesonTour (Jess/Dillon). But it's that spectacular that our re-visit to the island of Krk with the girl's grandparents had to include a trip to Vrbnik. Well, who couldn't resist a chance to see themselves inside the 'narrowest street in the world'?
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