Going on a long trip during our parental leave, just the three of us, was not even brought to discussion: we knew that we would do it! We were playing with the thoughts of taking Route 66 through the USA or spending two months in Asia (Japan, mostly). Though the pandemic has significantly restricted our choices, we adapted our plans and made the best out of the situation. We went on a caravan trip to Croatia through Austria and Slovenia. We made it in one month to go to Split and back, which is an impressive distance considering a 4-months-old baby on board. Our experiences from traveling with the baby I described in a separate post: LINK.
Our route looked this way:
In Germany, we mostly stayed with our friends and relatives but we also camped five nights in Bayern. Outside Germany we mostly camped, but also spent some nights in an apartment to recover from sleeping in the bus and do laundry.
In this post I collected some highlights from our trip as well as some sightseeing places.
Camping in Bayern
In Bayern, we camped on the Illertissen (23 Euro/night) and Alpen-Caravanpark Tennsee (32 Euro/night) camping grounds.
Alpsee and Schloss Neuschwanstein
The sightseeing stop in Bayen was the place that I probably should have already visited since I live in Germany for a while and this is an iconic place to go, I would even say the most famous castle in the world. No, this is not the Disney castle, but it’s real prototype, Schloss Neuschwanstein. We parked in Schwangau, near Alpsee and went by foot to the Marienbrücke, a simple bridge known for one of the best views to the castle, and then took a walk to the castle. We didn’t visit the castle from inside as the tickets amount was very limited and was already sold online. The castle is indeed gorgeous and worth a visit; I don’t know why I was waiting to go there for so long. So finally I had this bucket list point checked.
The Alpsee is beautiful itself and is a great stop for rest (or a very refreshing swim) after visiting the castle.
Camping in Croatia
In Croatia we camped 8 nights in a row after staying two nights in Zagreb visiting our friends and two nights in Zadar. Here are the campings we stayed at:
- Lasatka: 2 nights 45 Euro*; a wonderful small camping with 15 pitches only; beautiful views of the sea and to the peninsula you could easily explore on foot within 20 minutes (there is also a nudist beach there). A couple of restaurants are in 15-minutes walking distance.
- Camping M: 2 nights 32 Euro; a simple camping ground directly at the beach.
- Pisak: 2 nights 52 Euro; camping under the pine trees very close to the beach.
- Slamni: 2 nights 68 Euro; almost “glamping”, kids-friendly camping with a pool for the children, a beach bar for the parents and a decent restaurant; water was relatively warm in comparison to other places we were swimming.
*The prices included fees for 2 adults, a caravan and electricity.
In all camps the sanitary zones were very clean (thanks, pandemic) and facilities convenient.
Croatian national parks
Plitvice Lakes (https://np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/) is probably the most beautiful national park I’ve seen in my life so far. Already on arrival at the entrance, you are stroken by the gorgeous landscape. When you take a walking path, you are impressed by nature, which looks very much like the one in the Jurassic Park movie: wild and beautiful. Turquoise water, lively waterfalls, abundant green makes you believe you are outside Europe, somewhere in Malaysian jungles. The entrance fee is usually about 200-300 Kuna (26 – 40 Euro), but after reopening we paid only 50 Kuna (under 7 Euro). The walking path is buggy-friendly.
Krka (http://www.np-krka.hr/en/) is another Croatian national park which is extremely beautiful. It was full with visitors, though. I can’t imagine how busy it was before the pandemic. The entrance fee is usually 200 Kuna (about 26 Euro), but as the park was recently open after the closure due to pandemic, we were lucky to pay only 50 Kuna (7 Euro). In the park there is a path for a stroller.
Paklenica (https://np-paklenica.hr/en/) is a national park which you can visit only if you like hiking: you have to go decent uphill. This park is also very popular among mountain climbers Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend enough time there as Mia sleeps in a carrier for some time only and has to be carried around other time. Doing so while climbing the stones was unsafe and too difficult… The entrance fee was about 60 Kuna (8 Euro). Taking a stroller with you on a hike is a bad idea.
Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city; the first settlements trace back to the 9th century BC. The city is known for the Roman and Venetian ruins situated in its peninsular Old Town.
Rovinj is a popular tourist resort and an active fishing port of Croatia. Its charming old city, situated on the peninsula, has preserved its medieval appearance. Before 1763, this city was an island. Getting lost in strolling the labyrinth of cobblestone alleys and narrow stairways is a fairly good idea considering that you cannot really get lost as the old city is small.
Camping at the lake Bohinj in Slovenia (Camp Zlatorog)
A part of the National Park Triglav, Lake Bohinj is the biggest lake in Slovenia. We stayed at the Camp Zlatorog (https://www.camp-bohinj.si/) situated directly at the shore of the lake Bohinj (2 nights cost us 79 Euro which included fees for 2 adults, a caravan, electricity and a tourist tax). At this camp you cannot reserve a pitch in advance, so sometimes it takes time to find a free pitch or find one at all, not talking about one with a view.
Lake Bohinj is a glacial lake which explains its cold and clear water. The length of the lake is about 4 km and the width around 1 km at its maximum width. From the camp, you can go on a pleasant hike around the lake (don’t take your stroller with you as the path is partly wild stones and tree roots) and come back with a ferry (more info about the timetable and prices is here: https://www.bohinj.si/en/experiences/panoramic-boat/).
From the camp you can also take a cable car to the top of the mount Vogel (20 Euro pp) and enjoy the view to the lake Bohinj from above.