There are hundreds of campsites across Croatia so how do you choose one that's right for your family? After over 2 months in this stunning country, we've certainly stayed in a wide variety!!! Some are in fantastic locations with waterparks on site, others offer an array of on-site activities and even spas. Others are tucked away on mountain sides overlooking the glittering Adriatic whilst others can give great access to Croatia's national parks... But if you want to see which one was voted Croatia's best campsite in 2016. and has sunsets to die for... then read on to find out what we discovered at Camping Lanterna on the Istrian peninsula.
Having left the impressive aqua park at Lake Garda's 'Piani di Clodia', both girls were hopeful that Camping Lanterna might just have something to match... and they were soon happily diving in and out of the well kept aqua park... but the campsite has more to offer than just aqua parks... The campsite is enormous stretching over 80 hectares along 3 km of coast halfway between Novigrad and Poreč (see map here). The campsite itself is a mixture of beachside and hilly pitches with tall pine trees and oak trees (to provide some well needed shade from the Mediterranean climate)
Once you've settled yourself into the spacious pitches the stroll down the well kept beach will give you a chance to get your bearings. This above pitch is a Luxury Mare, yet there are cheaper pitches (see here for prices) which have just as good views and perhaps even better locations. To be honest, this site will have something for everyone.... just be prepared to bring your bike or a healthy interest in walking miles each day to navigate the site!
The aqua park for example was over 10 minutes uphill bike ride from our pitch.... but as you can see from above, it's well worth the extra bike ride time.... crystal clear blue swimming pools match the brightly coloured loungers and slides... It's been part of a sizeable refurbishment that also includes the central market square... in fact it was still ongoing when we stayed in May! Some might eschew the chance to fly down slides, and they're catered for too... perhaps taking a dip in the 'pool with a view' that overlooks the central bay that the campsite wraps itself around.
Grabbing our bikes was always going to be fun, especially after our recent ride around Lake Garda... but the hilly, undulating roads are great for accessing the site... but you might want to head off down the peninsula for a decent ride... either way it's a campsite for cyclists!!
There's no doubting that Croatia is a beautiful country, and some will prefer the Istrian side... More abundant with vegetation especially olive groves, it certainly packs a punch on the world stage, recently being voted one of the Top 10 places for Olive Oil in the world. In fact the newly renovated 'Central Market' allows opportunities to taste this and local produce at very reasonable rates... You can also book local excursions such as boat cruises, longer day trips to Venice or cave visits...
We're lucky we've now stayed on both sides of Istria at Camping Orsera & Camping Lanterna (Italian facing side) or Camping Marina (Croatia facing side)... starting to see why Istria is so popular.... It's less arid than the Dalmatian coastline around Krk or islands like Pag but has plenty of variety in its landscapes and historical, cultural sites ... I guess it's just a preference at the end of the day but as much as we like Camping Lanterna, we just love Camping Resort Krk!
You can certainly see it would be easy to spend a week or longer soaking up these views above beside the main harbour at Camping Lanterna. The campsite facilities are clean and set in nice gladed locations amongst the trees... perhaps not as glitzy as others we've seen... but more than enough for the average camper.
Camping Lanterna has also give us a chance to extend the girl's 'road schooling' topics too as we've looked into the variety of species that can be found in the Adriatic Sea - from squid, octopus to flounders... Proving itself to be a great place to work on the girls science and to update the website (City Experiences Page & WaterSports Adventures Page)
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