Croatia - General Information

Passports/Identification

If you or any member of your party is not a British Citizen or holds a non-British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the country to or through which you are intending to travel. 

Please note it is a requirement in Croatia to carry your passport at all times, and this must be produced immediately if requested by the police or judicial authorities.  You should be prepared to be accompanied by the police to collect your passport if this is not in your possession. Your passport is the only officially recognised form of identification in Croatia. We also advise you to keep a photocopy of the data page of your passport in a safe place as this will be required to apply for a replacement passport if you lose your original.

Currency Information

The currency in Croatia is the Kuna (HRK), which is widely available in the UK.

You will also be able to exchange Sterling when in Croatia. Please bear in mind that Croatia charges high commission when exchanging Travellers Cheques. We also recommend that you inform your bank/card company of your trip, in order to avoid any problems when withdrawing cash from ATM’s; as a security method on your behalf, banks occasionally stop withdrawals in the event that they are being used fraudulently abroad.

Means of Payment

When travelling outside of the UK, you should take more than one means of payment with you (cash, debit card, credit card). Make sure you have enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays. 

Tipping

Tipping has not been part of the British way of life but it is a common practice in most holiday destinations. It is a way of saying thank you to someone who has given good service or for a job well done. It is also an important source of income for people working in the tourism industry, whether it is the driver, local guide, hotel staff or in local bars and restaurants. Your local Tour Manager will be able to advise you of what an appropriate amount is and when to give it. 

Generally tipping in Croatia is not expected, however it is appropriate to tip between 10-15% in restaurants if you have received excellent service.

Tips or gratuities are not included in the holiday cost and are totally at your discretion.

Duty Free

Travellers are exempt from customs duty for goods of a non-commercial nature which they carry in their personal luggage up to the value of 300 Kn. In addition, the following items may be imported into Croatia by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco.
  • 1L of wine and 1L of spirits and 2L of liqueur.
  • 250mL of eau de cologne or perfume up to 50g.

Climate & Clothing

Croatia has a varied climate, with continental climate conditions inland and Mediterranean influence on the Adriatic coast. We recommend checking the weather forecast a few days before you travel.

You can expect plenty of sunshine from April to October on the coast, with July and August being the hottest months. April/May and September/October are the best months to travel holidays that involve activities and sightseeing, as the heat remains moderate and there are fewer crowds.

Lightweights and beachwear (including sun protection) are recommended for the spring/summer months. Medium weights are recommended for winter with heavy, warm clothing for inland areas. It is a good idea to pack waterproofs at any time of year. Comfortable shoes are a must as there can be a lot of walking involved on some excursions.

As Croatia is such a large country with such varying temperatures it is best to check weather forecasts yourself just prior to travel. Information is readily available on the internet.

Food & Drink

Eating out in Croatia is a joy. There is a huge choice available, from the smartest, sophisticated restaurants to the simplest of cafes and bars. There is something for everyone whether you want a sandwich, snack or a full meal.   

The Adriatic coast is renowned for its variety of seafood dishes, and Italian influences are found here as well as in Istria. You’ll find exquisite cakes and desserts all over the country. Croatia produces plenty of wine, with the best reds generally coming from the Pelješac peninsula on the coast, and the best whites usually produced in eastern Slavonia and in Istria.

There are many local specialities found throughout Croatia and such dishes include;

  • Pršut i paški sir (air-dried ham similar to Italian prosciutto and sheep's cheese from the island of Pag) - platters are served as an appetiser.
  • Salata od hobotnice (octopus salad) - this is made from octopus, potato, onion, chopped parsley, olive oil, crushed garlic and lemon juice.
  • Crni riýot (black risotto) - this is made from cuttlefish cooked in its own ink.
  • Janjetina (roast lamb) - this is popular all over Croatia, and it’s not unusual to see whole lamb roasting on a spit at roadside eateries.
  • Tartufi (truffles) – these feature heavily on the menu in Istria.

Below are a few national drinks you may like to try;

  • Dingač – the most celebrated red wine producing area, on the Pelješac peninsula, featuring the Mali Plavac (little Plavac) grape.
  • Malvazija – a very good to excellent white wine from Istria.
  • Medovača – a type of rakija (a very strong local spirit) with the edge taken off by the addition of a touch of honey, particularly popular in Istria. Other types of rakija include travarica (made from distilled grapes and flavoured with herbs) and Å¡livovica (made from distilled plums).

Voltage

The electricity supply is similar to the rest of Europe and 2-round pin sockets operate on 220 volts AC. Please note that travel electrical equipment such as kettles or irons should not be used in your hotel room as they can be a fire hazard. 

Safety

Croatia has a low crime rate and therefore the majority of visitors to Croatia experience no difficulties. However, we would warn you always to be careful of your personal belongings and not to carry extra cash, credit cards etc unless necessary.  These should be left in a hotel safe where possible. 

Excursions and activities

We recommend you do not purchase excursions from hotels or street vendors as these may not have been safety checked, may not meet required local standards or have adequate insurance cover.

If you choose to partake in an activity you should ensure your travel insurance covers you for that specific activity.

We recommend you heed any additional advice specific to your destination, given to you by your Tour Manager or Local guide.

Immunisations

There are currently no compulsory vaccinations for travel to Croatia; however we strongly recommend that you consult with your General Practitioner or Practice Nurse who will assess your particular health risks before recommending vaccines. This is also a good opportunity to discuss important travel health issues including safe food and water, accidents and insect bites. Many of the problems experienced by travellers cannot be prevented by vaccinations and other preventive measures need to be taken.

Mosquito Advice

As you are travelling to a region where mosquitoes are present, we strongly recommend you are adequately prepared before you start your holiday. While the risk of you becoming infected by a mosquito is extremely small, we would not want your holiday spoiled by a nasty bite or illness that is easily preventable with some simple pre-cautionary steps.

We therefore advise (subject to consultation with a qualified pharmacist or your doctor) you purchase high performance mosquito repellent before your trip and apply this regularly during your holiday, including when you go to bed.  We would also suggest that you take with you a ‘plug-in’ mosquito repellent device for your hotel room as an extra measure. These, along with DEET based repellents, are available from most pharmacies.

The National Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention recommends using DEET based repellents with a concentration of over 20% as these give a longer duration of protection than other types currently available.

Repellents with a concentration of 50% DEET have the longest duration of protection and require fewer applications per day. It is extremely important to re-apply throughout the day, particularly in hot or humid conditions or after swimming.  When both sunscreen and DEET are required, DEET should be applied afterwards.

Mosquitoes are active close to any open water, but their biting habits vary between species, so it’s best to assume you are at risk of being bitten at any time throughout the day or night. Remember to adequately cover your arms and legs – long trousers and sleeves are definitely a good idea. You can also spray your clothing with DEET products, but their effectiveness is shorter on clothing than on skin.

If you are bitten by a mosquito and develop a high fever for two consecutive days, you should seek urgent medical assistance.

Medical Treatment

The UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements with Croatia, if you are visiting Croatia and you need urgent or immediate medical treatment, it will be provided at a reduced cost or, in some cases, for free. The reciprocal healthcare agreements do not cover the cost of return travel to the UK (repatriation) or the routine monitoring of pre-existing conditions.

The range of medical services in these countries may also be more restricted than those provided by the NHS. Therefore, always ensure that you have a valid private travel insurance.

Accommodation & Bathrooms

You will find that in some hotels in Croatia there is not always uniformity of rooms, so size and shape may vary a great deal. We cannot therefore guarantee that all rooms for our customers will be the same in each property. 

Please also note that Croatian hotels do not usually provide tea/coffee-making facilities in their rooms.

In some Croatian hotels you may find there is no shower curtain or screen, in which case please be extra careful in case of slippery floors. Bathmats are not always provided.

Tap water

Tap water everywhere contains some bacteria and different minerals. You are used to the tap water back home but when you travel, the water is different and it may upset you. For this reason it is safer to drink the bottled water. It is safe to clean your teeth with tap water, but it is advisable to ask for drinks without ice.

Air Conditioning/Heating

In Croatian hotels which are equipped with air conditioning, the period in the season and times of day when it is operational are at the discretion of the management.

Swimming Pools

Where hotels have their own swimming pools, please arrange to take your own towels, as some hotels do not provide these. Also note that many pools in Croatia do not have depth markings, so always familiarise yourself with the pool before swimming. Diving is not recommended.

Coaches

Some coaches used on our European holidays may be equipped with wc and washbasin however this cannot be guaranteed.

In all cases, regular comfort stops will be made to ensure a relaxing journey. Please note that smoking is not permitted on any of our coaches.

Extra charges

Please note that payment for any extras such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls and meals other than those included in your tour price, must be made directly to your hotel prior to departure.

Lost property

We will endeavour to trace any lost property and provide you with contact details in order that you may recover your property.

Shopping

Many of our tours take in local shops and markets and some will visit factory shops or outlets, selling a range of goods.  However we cannot accept responsibility for the quality of the goods you have purchased or for any costs you may incur in having them delivered to your home address. 

Please ensure you have a clear understanding of the price you have agreed with the vendor and the conversion rate of local currency to sterling pounds, before signing for the sale either in cash or using your credit card.  Please exercise care when using your PIN number abroad making sure it is not visible to others.