A Croatian Holiday - the Married- with- Children Way

SHORT & to THE POINT | by Heather McCrimmon
A Croatian Holiday the Married- withChildren Way
No Gregory Peck or Audrey Hepburn here more is the pity, but
just how easy (or difficult) is it for a family to arrange a proper
holiday in a region known for a high influx of sun-seeking
tourists? What if you’re not from here, but are instead one of the
growing ranks of the expat? Heather McCrimmon from the
International Women’s Club of Zagreb is at hand to offer her
experiences.
Having lived the rotational life- style of an
expat for some years now, one question I
find I am often asked is why I love it. The
answer is simple - the people and the
travel! But so many tourist offices focus
on the more glamorous locations, which
are not always suitable for young
families, who must often acclimatise to a
new and strange country. Here, in
Croatia, my family was lucky to find the
International Women’s Club of Zagreb
(www.iwcz.hr), which was able to help in
more ways than one, including some
ideas on where to holiday if you happen
to have a car full of cranky children! Here
are my top three recommendations.
The Island of Lošinj Known as the Island of
Vitality, Lošinj is a much sought after familyfriendly tourist destination. Lošinj’s tourist
beginning is linked to health tourism; the benefits
of the climate and vegetation of this island were
first discovered by the Austro-Hungarian
aristocracy. Along with proclaiming Lošinj a
therapeutic resort, they built numerous villas and
summer residences, which have been restored
and today enrich the bright landscape. There are
numerous new hotels, which are continually being
upgraded with new facilities offering Wellness
Centre programmes, swimming pools with
heated sea water, tennis courts, and playgrounds.
Active holiday seekers can enjoy the 220
km long laid-out pathways, which stretch
over no less than five islands of the
Cres-Lošinj archipelago. In addition, the
island is a haven for snorkelling, diving,
sailing, surfing, dolphin watching, water
skiing and recreational fishing. Lošinj also
provides the clearest crystal waters in the
Adriatic, along with beautiful beaches
protected from the sun by pine trees.
Čikat Bay, on Mali Lošinj, contains three
small coves, one with a beautiful stretch
of sand ideal for children. There are tourist
boats and regular ferries connecting these
islands, whilst Lošinj itself is linked to the
mainland by modern car ferry, hydrofoil
and small plane. English is widely
understood and spoken around the
island. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t
try a few words of the local lingo, but you
take everything you can get when your
children are screaming for ice cream.
This is the place for the nature lover in us all! Hiking, boat rides, wooden boardwalks over
rushing water (with no hand rails!)...
Plitvice Lakes National Park This is the place
for the nature lover in us all! Hiking, boat rides,
wooden boardwalks over rushing water (with no
hand rails!), and a plethora of waterfalls makes this
Croatian destination a must. The flora is remarkable,
the air is clean, and the cascading water breathtaking.
While there is plenty of scenery for the grownups to
appreciate, the meandering forest paths and sporadic
caves mean that the children won’t be short of things
to excite them. The park itself is located in central
Croatia, in the eastern part of the mountainous
region of Lika-Senj County, and is the oldest national
park (1949) in Southeast Europe, the largest in
Croatia, and was added to the unesco World
Heritage register in 1979. Plitvice contains a series of
16 connected beautiful lakes, many caves and
2
countless waterfalls over 296.85 km . The best thing
about Plitvice is that it’s suitable as a holiday
destination regardless of the time of year; snow, sun,
it matters little when this sort of beauty is there to be
enjoyed.
Andautonia This Archaeological Park is a 15 minute
drive from Zagreb’s city centre. Today’s village of
Scitarjevo is the site of the former roman town of
st
th
Andautonia, which existed between the 1 and the 4
century, and this is an ideal location for a short trip which
can be undertaken at relatively short notice and which is
unlikely to do anything other than get the rugrats
imagining they’re Roman Centurions defending the town
walls from the invading Visigoths. Visitors can now see
part of the roman town of Andautonia - a roman street,
the town bathhouse and two buildings and can learn
about the Roman necropolis that was situated there in the
1st century, the remains of which were discovered
underneath the buildings. There are several workshops
which take place by group appointment, for example Little
Archaeologists - digging up ceramics in the sandpit area,
pottery, Roman ball games, art workshops with modelmaking and drawing, Roman games with dice and chips.
There is something for everyone, and it all contributes to
making any day spent in Andautonia unforgettable!.
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