This was our first time in Croatia, and I don’t think it will be our last.
We didn’t have the time to go all the way down its long Adriatic shoreline to Dubrovnik, nor did we visit any of the islands, but we got a real flavour for the coast in our drive down the winding and hilly A8. It hugs the sea all the way down to the historic, and picturesque towns, of Zadar and Nin.
We then moved inland to the capital Zagreb, a city whose beautiful old city centre buildings certainly need a bit of a facelift, but which has a real feel of being a place that’s on the up. So much so that Lonely Planet has just voted it the place to visit in 2017.
Finally we left the country through the largely rural east into Serbia.
It was a stay that was all too brief, but hugely enjoyable, not least for the Croatian beer Ozujsko which has become my favourite tipple after a long (or short) drive.
Here, we offer some basic information about the places we stayed along the way, as well as a few more subjective opinions, with our usual disclaimers.
The listing represents the order in which we stayed at each place as we travelled, not any sort of ranking.
The prices are the ones we paid (using our ACSI discount where possible), and may not necessarily be available in the future. ‘All services included’ means you don’t have to pay any extra for electricity, wifi or showers – though (almost) everywhere charges extra for their washing machines.
We have just arrived in a campsite in Budapest, where the washing machine is free!
Autokamp Selce, Selce
N 45.153889, E 14.725.
€17 per night – all services included.
Some pitches gravel, some grass.
This is a large, hilly site, with some, more expensive, pitches near the sea – these are unavailable on the ACSI discount – but all users have access to the beach and the site’s many other facilities. It is only few minutes’ walk into the harbour town of Selce itself.
Good wifi, decent facilities and a fine spot to stay if you want an alternative coastal site to those further down the Adriatic (which, admittedly, we haven’t seen!).
Selce is a typical seaside resort town, and none the worse for it.
Hotel Zagreb car park, Karlobag
N 44.529129, E 15.069179.
€10 per night – pay at hotel reception. No services included, rubbish bins available.
A space for 10 or so campers in a dedicated part of the hotel’s car park. We didn’t test whether it is possible to use their toilets!
The car park is on the edge of the small coastal town of Karlobag, and is also right next to the hotel’s beach facilities.
As the only (legal!) camperstop on this part of the coast, it is perfect for an overnight stop, and we had great food at the nearby Restaurant Susanj. Susan also discovered the delights of bambus, Croatian red wine and coke.
Camping Peros, Nin
N 44.23, E 15.172222.
€17 per night, plus €0.90 per person per night tourist tax – all services included.
Pitches are grass with some added gravel.
This is a medium-sized site with very helpful and friendly staff. Good wifi.
It’s a 15-20 minute walk to the bus stop for the ancient town of Zadar, or a further couple of minutes on foot into the heart of the equally ancient and fascinating town of Nin.
We can highly recommend a visit to both.
N 45.78197, E 15.97774.
150 Croatian Kuna per night (approximately €20). Payment has to be made in cash, in Kuna, at a machine onsite.
Fee includes wifi, electricity and waste services. Bins also on site.
The site is secure, if a bit neglected, and the location is superficially unattractive, surrounded by empty factories and waste ground (some of which was occupied by fairground rides while we were there – thankfully, not very noisy!).
But the bus stop into the city is just a couple of hundred metres away, and it takes less than 15 minutes to get to the heart of this fascinating, vibrant capital.
Farmhouse camperstop, Ratkovica
N 45.2313, E 17.7299.
€8 per night for parking, water, waste disposal and electricity (depending on where you park and if your cable is long enough).
There’s a small shop across the road – otherwise the village is fairly isolated.
The camperstop is in a small farmyard, next to a holiday house let by the owner on Airbnb. There is room for perhaps four vans if nobody is staying in the house.
When the house is vacant, guests are offered the use of its toilet, shower, wifi and outside space for no extra cost.
The owner is very hospitable, and it is recommended that visitors phone her in advance (she speaks only French, no English) – details are on the Park4night app.
- According to Lonely Planet, Croatia has perfect beaches, glittering waters and picture-perfect towns. It has!
- Zagreb, Croatia’s capital is full of 19th century buildings, and has a vibrant night life.
- We loved Zadar and Nin, both towns are quirky and beautiful in parts. Their history stretches back to Roman times.
- Ozujsko lager is Croatia’s leading beer, it is named after the month of March.
- Selce is a seaside village on the north Dalmatian coast
- Bambus – a mix of red wine and coke – tastes much better than it sounds. Honestly.
- Park4night is a great site/app with information about sites/camperstops all over Europe