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FAMILY TRAVEL: Croatian Adventures

By Jackie Burrell
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 at 7:18 am in Family Travel.

The Pollaks in Croatia
Forget Hawaii. Put Croatia on your must-see, family vacation destination list, says the Pollak family. This Mediterranean country has something for everyone – gorgeous sights, wonderful food and friendly people. “We had drinks on top of a castle turret under a full moon, and stood on the streets of Marco Polo’s hometown,” they said. “It was a few weeks filled with culture but also relaxation, awe and comfort. Families with kids of any age could really love this place. We did!”

THE TRAVELERS: Novato residents Randy and Cristy Pollak and their daughters Erin, age 22, and Dana, age 18 and a freshman at Cal State Northridge.

THE TREK: “We traveled from Zagreb to Dubrovnik and saw highlights of Croatia over three weeks — day trips to the Pula Coliseum, hilltop towns, lakes and the Dalmatian islands of Hvar and Korcula. It was a spectacular paradise at every turn! History, art, natural beauty, friendly English speaking people, and a good safe feeling everywhere.”

BEST BEDS: “In Rovinj we stayed at Porta Antica in an apartment that overlooked the harbor and boardwalk. The view from our balcony was a delightful dynamic scene all day and night! Yachts, fishing boats, families, couples would pass by and we’d enjoy the sights and sounds while playing cards or painting and drawing in our sketch books when we weren’t part of the scene ourselves.”

“On Hvar we stayed at Pension Oaza as guests of Mateo, who made us dinner every night on his patio – grilled fish and produce from his garden. It was a short walk to the town square. We felt like part of the family and well taken care of there. Each evening he’d bring us schnapps and shout ‘OBAMA!’”

A seaside meal in CroatiaBEST EATS: “Everywhere cafes offered fresh grilled fish. We would usually start with octopus salad or calamari. Pizza every few days and gelato daily, of course, was a must. Probably our favorite (restaurant) was in Dubrovnik on the little Old Port where we got one pot meals like seafood risotto and a huge bowl of mussels and Rozata with a yummy honey, caramel topping (like flan) for dessert at very good prices.”

OUT & ABOUT: “We spent our afternoons soaking up the sunshine on the rocks and swimming in the crystal clear Adriatic waters. Each morning we walked to the open air market to buy produce from local farmers.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must see. It is as spectacular as the travel photos you see with turquoise clear lakes, and the sound of 1000 waterfalls as you wander through the forests of every known shade of green on easy-to-walk paths covered in natural wood planks.

“Since we are theater lovers, we attended a play one night on the island of Lokrum. a short ferry ride from Dubrovnik. The set was on the rocks, with the waves lapping three meters from the actors. We didn’t understand a word, but loved every minute!

The Pollaks in Croatia“The best adventure we may have had was renting mopeds on the island of Hvar and riding to the top, through hillsides covered with Roman walls built for terraced farms over a thousand years ago, with breathtaking views of the Adriatic on either side of the island.”

AND ANOTHER THING… The Pollak family considered a cruise, but ended up planning their trip using the Rick Steves travel guide. “We felt so bad for the for the cruise ship folks,” say the Pollaks. “They always headed back (to the ship) at sunset or earlier, when the towns came to life.”

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Has your family been somewhere wonderful? Share your photos, favorite hotels and outings, and travel tips by e-mailing us. Or click “comments” and share your travel tips right here.
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Looking for more family travel tips? Check out the family travel archives and these blog posts too:

U.S.A. DESTINATIONS
Luges and Presidents on Mt. Rushmore
Kauai with a Toddler
Colonial Williamsburg with the Kids
New York City and DC with a Theater-Going Family
New York City with a Baseball-Loving Family
California Beach Towns
A Midwestern Road Trip with Rollercoasters
Yosemite with the Kids
The Big Island & Volcanoes
Puka Dogs & Ice Cream in Kauai
Lakes & Glaciers in Yosemite

THE REST OF THE AMERICAS
Vancouver with the Kids
Cancun Family Adventures
Penguins in Patagonia

EUROPE
Backpacking to Pompeii with Teens
Hogwarts & London
Greek Islands with Teens
Rome with the Bambino
London with Teens
Paris avec le bebe
Sweden & Norway with Teens
The Cote d’Azur with Teens
Off the Beaten Path in Paris
Family Adventures in Venice

ASIA
China with Children
Myanmar with Philanthropically-Minded Teens

AFRICA
An African Safari with the Family
A Moroccan Adventure

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