Travel To Croatia During 2021 – How Does It Look?
As the sun starts to set on another wonderful summer on the Croatian coast, it gives us time to reflect on what has been an eventful summer of travel! And, while 2021 was a much more fruitful and prosperous year for the industry than 2020, it still looked different and required slightly more awareness and organization than travel pre-COVID.
One question we are regularly asked by prospective travelers is “What is travel like at the moment?” and “How was it when you traveled to Croatia?”
With this in mind and for those gazing longingly at social media stories and photos of friends and relatives adventuring abroad, we thought we would share a recent insight from Nathan, a member of our marketing team that recently traveled to Croatia with his relatives from the USA.
Here he shares his travel diary that lifts the lid on everything from customs at the airport to gourmet dining and which bar has the best view of Split!
Arriving In Split
Having traveled to Croatia on many occasions I was intrigued as to how COVID would impact the arrivals process in the country. It’s easy to read horror headlines of delays at airports due to the new documentation that is required, but my experience was better than expected.
my experience previously entering Croatia and this time round did take a bit longer, but not by much. The security queue lasted around 10-15 minutes and you had to show your vaccination status as well as your enter Croatia form before being waived through. After this, we collected our bags and walked straight through customs with no problem at all. Our pre-arranged taxi, taken care of by Adventures Croatia, was waiting to meet us with our names handily shown on an iPad as we came through customs! The vehicle was spacious, modern and the driver was extremely friendly with an excellent standard of English. All in all, an excellent and efficient start to the trip!
Our first four days were spent in the charming city of Split. Renowned for its delightful balance of tradition and modernity, and for one of the world’s most incredible Roman monuments, Diocletian’s Palace (UNESCO World Heritage Site) the city is a thriving place to explore and relax in equal measure.
What we loved:
- Split benefits from an abundance of bars and restaurants with outside space. For COVID purposes this puts your mind at ease and allows you to enjoy the weather in the warmth of the sun or coolness of the shade.
- Despite being there in the peak summer season during July, the city felt less busy than it would have in previous years due to COVID. This was enjoyable and made dinner reservations and busier tourist spots more accessible.
- The winding cobbled streets are simply stunning and something everyone should experience in their lifetime. Getting deliberately lost exploring the alleyways while popping in and out of local cafes made for a great day exploring.
- You’ll find arguably the best view of Split at Vidilica Cafe/Bar around 10-15 minutes from the old town. Whilst not a particularly long walk, it’s uphill and you’ll certainly feel like you have earned a glass of wine or cold beer when you reach the top. A simply stunning view awaits from the terrace.
Moving On To Hvar
Once our time in Split had come to an end we took a fast ferry from Split over to the island of Hvar. Known for being a vibrant island, popular with the rich and famous, it really had something for everyone.
What we loved:
- We hiked down to Pokonji beach, which was tucked into a beautiful hidden bay. The water was a gorgeous azure blue, sunbeds available to hire at a reasonable cost and two restaurants behind the beach which made for a great spot of lunch.
- Croatia is famous for its winding, whitewashed alleyways and cobbled streets, but Hvar in particular is spectacular for this. Taking an evening stroll around the old town browsing menus before dinner was particularly enjoyable.
- The live jazz music at Central Park Club was our favorite evening activity. Fantastic freshly made cocktails, excellent local wine and craft beer paired with a live singer and piano music as the sun came down was an unforgettable experience.
Our Final Stop In Bol, Brač
For our final stop we hopped back on the fast ferry to Bol on the island of Brač. With both Split and Hvar being equally spectacular, it was rather incredible that Bol was able to raise the bar further. Much more relaxed than both Hvar and Split, it had a very ‘local’ vibe, feeling very accessible and authentic.
What we loved:
- Cocktail Bar Bolero was a real experience. Nestled under a number of beautiful pine trees with a fabulous sea view it was an easy place to spend an evening listening to live music and gazing up at the stars.
- As you arrive on the ferry there are a number of restaurants and cafes dotted in U-Shape by the small port. We dined at a number of them and not only was the food fresh and enjoyable but you can also experience dining just centimeters from the ocean.
- You couldn’t refer to Bol without mentioning one of Europe’s most famous beaches, Zlatni Rat. An awe inspiring spectacle that words will do no justice, but maybe this picture will!
To answer the original question at the start of this piece, travel in Croatia during 2021 was a breeze. If you can fill out a form or two, take a test and wear a mask now and again, the end experience pales in comparison to the small extra effort that is required to get in. A particular highlight was just how friendly all of the Croatian people were that made managing the Covid side particularly easy. From taxi drivers to hotel and restaurant staff, their English was excellent and they were extremely accommodating, friendly and respectful of the unusual time we are living in.
All in all, I can’t wait to go back!