Visiting Croatia has been on our ever-growing travel list for many years. It is somewhere we have talked about visiting for such a long time, and I am not sure why it took us quite so long to tick it off our list. With a laid back vibe, sparkling turquoise waters, colourful sunsets and beautiful beaches, I would plan a return family holiday in a heartbeat. We spent many an evening researching “the best places to stay in Croatia for families”, the “best beaches in Croatia”, and “things to do in Croatia with kids”… before deciding to stay on the Makarska Riviera for our one week in Croatia. Here are our thoughts on exploring Croatia with kids
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According to The Lonely Planet guide – The Makarska Riviera is a 58km stretch of coast and home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches…and let me tell you, the beaches are absolutely stunning!
Where to stay in Makarska?
We stayed in a wonderful family friendly resort in Podgora. Podgora is a small village in the Makarska Riviera, offering beautiful beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and spectacular mountain views. Described as an ideal destination for families, there is a range of hotels, apartments and campsites perfect for adults and children.
The nearest airport is Split Airport. Looking into hotel transfers, we opted to hire a car for the duration of our holiday in Croatia. We pre-booked our car from the UK before we travelled. Travelling with three young children, we always choose to take all three car seats with us to save on cost, although there is an option to hire car seats.
The roads are fairly straightforward and the drive beautiful – the scenery …well ….it is nothing short of breathtaking. The transfer to our resort took just over an hour from Split airport, and we paid an additional charge to park the car at the hotel.
One week in Croatia
With beautiful beaches, peaceful bays, crystal clear turquoise waters, and impressive mountain views, we found Croatia absolutely breathtaking.
Croatia with Kids – What to do
We didn’t have to wander far to find a beautiful beach. Our resort was located in the small picturesque town of Podgora, in the heart of the Makarska Riviera, and just 10 metres from the beach. The shingle beach was popular with kids, and the turquoise waters as clear and sparkling as I had hoped.
Podgora is a picturesque once fishing village and an ideal destination for families. A stunning beach located just outside our resort, offered a quiet and secluded shingle beach with clear waters, a gentle sea breeze and peace and quiet. A number of restaurants, shops and bars were dotted along the promenade to walk. There are a number of umbrellas and sun loungers *payable and the beaches are clean, tidy and welcoming.
Krka National Park
Krka National Park is an absolutely stunning place to visit. Originally I had made plans to visit Plitvice National Park, but then I realised it was quite a journey from our base in Podgora. Changing our plans we despited to travel to Krka National Park. We set off early and the journey took just over 1 hr 30 by car.
Krka National Park lies approximately 10km inland from Sibenik. Here you will find magnificent waterfalls including the famous Skradinski Buk. You can take a boat trip through the park, walk the various trails, and you can even swim in some areas of Krka National Park. It is beautiful…emerald waters and incredible waterfalls…pictures just don’t do it justice.
We headed to Makarska by car for a day to explore. The beach here does not disappoint with sparkling blue waters and palm trees. We wandered along the long picturesque, colourful promenade with an abundance of blooms, shops, restaurants, cafés and ice-cream parlours. It is has a more lively vibe here, great for families, with many a large inflatable bobbing up and down.
Island hopping: Visit Hvar & Brač
If you are staying nearby, you can take a short ferry trip from Makarska to the islands of Brač or Hvar where you can experience what these beautiful islands have to offer.
Head to Split Croatia’s second largest City for a day trip from Podgora.
We absolutely loved our trip. One week in Croatia – well… it really was not long enough, there is so much to see and so many places to explore.
Would we return to Croatia? In a heartbeat.
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