“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Louis Lamour
There were so many days during the past few years that we were not sure what the future of travel would look like. As a nomadic family, travel is how we shape our moments, and it was daunting when all of that came into question during the pandemic. Everything finished, as Louis Lamour penned which made this summer even more monumental.
These past few months were full of new beginnings and the exploration and adventure inherent in travel took on a never before felt fervor. It was palpable in airports, museums, beaches, and landmarks. Post-pandemic travelers have an unbridled appreciation for the opportunity to travel. There is more awe in the opportunity to hear a foreign tongue, ride on a crowded train, and listen to bells that reverberate across distant rooftops. There is more awareness of the passing of time and therefore more commitment to honoring milestones with those we love. For us, with our sons’ graduating from high school and their associate degree programs, we knew this summer would change everything and wanted to celebrate in a big way.
When we string all the adventures together, we have spent almost eight months Eurocamping through six countries over the past eight years. It only seemed fitting this monumental summer would be our biggest Eurocamp adventure yet in a country we have never visited. We partnered with Eurocamp to visit every holiday parc in Croatia. We drove over 2100 miles exploring everything we possibly could during the month of July.
Here is a map of our itinerary and links to the places we visited. The Eurocamp Parc links are below in the regional descriptions but this interactive map will give you an overview of our route.
We spent most of our time in two of Croatia’s five major regions, choosing to hug the coast most of the way.
Our road trip through Croatia started on the Istrian Coast at the head of the Adriatic Sea tucked in near the Italian border. It was the perfect introduction to Croatia without the crowds adorning the southern shores. Istria is often compared to Tuscany. While I understand that comparison given the incredible vineyards, passion for sustainably sourced food, and hill towns bathed in sunshine, Istria deserves its own chapter as a place unlike anywhere else.
From the translucent shores of Golden Cape Forest Park to pastries in Rovinj, there was a feast for the senses around every corner. The town of Poreč was a little jewel at sunset and we got up early for sunrise in the hill town of Motovun. From Hum to Novigrad, the farm stands selling watermelons, garlic, and truffle oil slowed us down for culinary sampling along the way. We traversed this large peninsula from Pula to Zadar, to Porec and Rovinj and we noticed something. Istria, with its rich history of conquests, is still coming into its own. It flew four flags in less than 100 years and while ancient ruins abound, Istria is young in a way. It is discovering the beauty that has been there all along and now able to share it with the world.
We stayed in the following three, holiday parcs in Istria:
Camping Lanterna – This parc has all that a family could ever put on their holiday list from luxury white pebble beaches to evening entertainment while watching the sunset over the Adriatic.
Solaris Beach Resort – Part of a six-hotel resort property, this camp offers customers the perfect balance of hotel resort amenities and the causal, family-friendly Eurocamp experience.
Brioni Sunny Camping – In a very strategic location to explore the rich heritage of Pula and its surrounding area, this parc is perfectly placed.
Dalmatia, Croatia has 3,600 miles of Coastline. We have seen so much of this incredible country and the Dalmation Coast is by far the most popular with tourists. We know why after spending weeks in this region. In addition to glimmering cities like Split and Dubrovnik, limestone cliffs meet the lapping azure waters of the Adriatic dotted with romantic island escapes. Pag Island is an other-worldly landscape while Hvar and Brač offer the vistas island dreams are made of. We jumped gratefully into the sea at every turn, feasting on local cheeses and fresh fish right off the boat. While this area is no longer a hidden gem, there is magic to be found and history to be uncovered in every direction.
We stayed in the following three, holiday parcs in Dalmatia:
Camping Village Simuni – This was our favorite Eurocamp destination in Croatia. Especially with teens, Pag Island has a youthful vibe great for people watching from elegant beach cafes. When we return to Croatia, this parc will be our first stop.
Park Umag – Umag was the largest we encountered but they did a great job of making it feel like a community through their staff outreach, sports, and entertainment programs.
Zaton Holiday Resort – Zaton was a favorite with our teens and we were lucky enough to finish our holiday at this family-run resort. With a never-ending list of activities available each day, we found ourselves running from archery to fitness warrior challenges and everything in between.
Our kids have grown up with Eurocamp. It is what they think of when summer daydreams take hold. As our boys begin to navigate the world on their own in the coming years, we think Croatia was the perfect summer muse. With its complex history, steadfast tenacity, jaw-dropping beauty, and burgeoning identity, it may have been exactly what we needed. After all, it is the evolution not the perfection of a person or a place that draws us in. As Alan Cohen wrote, “Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”
Thank you Eurocamp and Croatia for reminding us that if we hadn’t taken the first step, we would have missed out on this expansive experience. We are just at the beginning of so many things and Croatia woke us up to the possibilities unfolding during this one summer that changed everything …
Below are past blogs we have written about our Eurocamp adventures all over the European continent. While this summer’s adventure was in partnership with Eurocamp, as you can see below, we were huge fans of Eurocamp long before blogger partnerships were a thing.
This was our very first blog about Eurocamp where we talked about our experiences in Portugal, Spain, and France. From the beaches of Normandy to the high Alps and the crashing Atlantic, we were hooked on Eurocamp.
We captured our multi-parc Eurocamp experiences on the Spanish coast in this blog.
We chased the Tour de France in 2017 through Spain and France. This blog is about our multi-country multi-parc Eurocamp adventure.
Our first post-COVID trip was to a Eurocamp in Rome, Italy that we review in this blog.