We look at what makes Croatia a family adventure holiday destination. A deep dive on safety, food and adventure activities for yourselves and your kids or teens.
- What is food in Croatia like for kids and teenagers?
- How is Croatian nature for kids?
- History secrets
- Can kids practice English in Croatia?
1. Is Croatia a safe place for kids and families?
Croatia is an absolutely safe place to bring kids for adventure travel. We compare it to Morrocco, Cuba and Peru. Croatia as a country is very safe. There is little crime, so travellers, particularly on the coast, are very much a part of everyday life.
When you deep dive into micro-locations, you will find many idyllic places where everyone knows everyone and after a week spent there, you get to know people there, too. This is particularly the case in small fisherman villages on smaller islands in Dalmatia. Your kids can explore the villages, nature and local culture safely. Island Molat is an example of one of those places.
2. What is food in Croatia like for kids and teenagers?
A Large part of the adventure is how you nourish your body. It is a ritual and highlight in the life of a Croatian. The part of the day where your kids will be at ease but also intrigued. One the one hand there are fresh ingredients, familiar dishes like pasta, risottos and stews. On the other hand, there are exotic dishes that will spark the curiosity of you kids: octopus seems to be interesting (particularly if prepared under the bell – peak) dish for travellers from northern countries. Then there are rare recipes like cuttlefish soup, different fresh fish or meat specialities. At the end of the day, you can easily get grilled chicken with french fries.
3. How is Croatian nature for kids?
The coast is centred around the sea. Crystal clear waters and occasional sandy beaches are an inspiration for younger kids. Rocks for exploration walks (or hopping) with little surprises washed up on the shore by the sea, or adventure activities spark the teenagers.
We have experience with families and kids from age 10 until 20 and we've learned that sea kayak is by far the best platform to bring a family adventure to live. Access to beaches, coves, cliffs, military tunnels and shipwreck keeps the kids engaged. History of the area (in short, executive summary-style format) adds a perspective for the teens. Then there are micro adventures and opportunities for healthy competition between brothers and sisters, fathers and sons and ad the end of the day – learning news but ancient skills of kayaking.
SUP is a great challenge for adults and young ones making it an ideal activity for a family adventure holiday. Paddling skills on the board fully engage both teenagers and kids. It provides a challenge and definitely drains their energy, promising a relaxed evening wth a glass of wine over another Croatian delicacy.
While touring SUP itineraries between islands are ideal for experienced paddlers, we recommend using shorter SUP outings to do a day break a longer week long kayaking trip.
Kids and teenagers are looking for tangible rewards for their effort. This is where short hikes with great views on islands are a great way to add depth to a multi-day trip. See from high up where the submarines and warships were moving. See on the palm of their hand where they have been paddling. Or just learn about the traditions as you pass a sheep or walk through an olive field.
Look at a fisherman village. Then look at the fisherman village from sitting on top of a bicycle. Much more interesting. Hopping from one village to another becomes an adventure and another family team building the moment. Luckily Croatia abounds with cycling trails or small countryside roads ideal for cycling trips.
Below the waterline is a completely different world in Croatia. Something that kids and teens explore with passion. Seeing a sea urchin, a sea star or perhaps an octopus is a memorable and educational moment. Snorkelling is a fundamental part of a family kayaking trip that adds a new perspective to the holiday.
9. History secrets
It is true that teens won't listen to more than 30 seconds of history. Kids will probably last even shorter. But, when you bring it alive through a military tunnel, a submarine cave or a shipwreck - it becomes one of the highlights of the trip. Maybe even squeeze in a fossil hunting walk on the rocky shore. Another reason why Croatia is a great Family adventure holiday destination.
10. Can kids practice English in Croatia?
Absolutely. Most people in Croatia will speak English. Having your kids exposed to that environment is priceless. They need to ask for what they need themselves, building their self-confidence and their language skills. We've learned that it takes a bit of time for kids to establish a connection with the 'new people' and open up. Spending time with the same guide is a great way for kids to feel safe and speak up. This is where week-long adventure trips are ideal.