I've long been a fan of family holidays to Croatia; this small but perfectly formed country has so much going for it in terms of history, culture, art…and plenty of the stuff children love as well! The medieval city of Dubrovnik is the ideal base if you're travelling with the family, with a wealth of attractions that are appealing to both children and adults. |
Whether your holidays to Croatia last a few days or a few weeks, these insider tips will give you a head start when planning a child-friendly itinerary.
See, Do, Experience
Walk the Walls: Dubrovnik's Old Town is at the heart of the city and its depth of history is astonishing, but also highly accessible. Because it's all there on show, children tend to soak it all in, and taking an easy stroll around the ancient 12th century walls is an excellent way of contextualising the city's often-turbulent history in a very hands-on way. The two-kilometre distance is easy enough for even young children and you'll be able to take in fabulous views of the ocean and the winding back streets.
A Modern Day Ocean Adventure: To show your children a very different side of the area, kayak excursions along the coastline to snorkel, explore sea caves and visit Lokrum Island make for a wonderful family day out. It's a pleasant, safe way of getting out on the water, and there's room for two children and an adult in each kayak. All equipment is provided you'll have a guide to take care of directions.
Experience an Island Vibe: If the children enjoyed their taster of Lokrum Island, you can take a ferry across to spend some more quality time exploring. After the short, 15-minute ferry ride, you can enjoy a relaxing day on the beach - and the young ones can also make use of the football and volleyball facilities. But the thing I've found that children love the most is the inlet nicknamed the 'Dead Sea', where they can play on the fantastic rope swings and swim right into a sea cave.
Family Fun on the Beach: While you'll have a choice of several nearby beaches within easy access, Copacabana is my pick for the most child-friendly. The water is warm, clear and quite shallow, so even younger children can enjoy safe swimming at the lovely pebble beach. While it does get busy at times, the amount of activities means that the action is pretty spread out. Kids are kept busy with the inflatables, water chutes, banana rides and pedalos, while you can keep yourself entirely occupied as well in one of the cafes or on the beach working on your tan.
Shopping isn't always a pleasurable experience for children, or the parents who dare drag them along, but I've found a few shops in Dubrovnik that youngsters actually like.
• Lega-Laga – This little shop has a great atmosphere older kids will love, but it also caters for younger children. It's choc-o-bloc with t-shirts, bags, fun stationery, and funky souvenirs. • Terra Croatica – A very tactile and aromatic place, Terra Croatica is full of local produce and is the perfect place to take your family to try some local delicacies. Who doesn't like free chocolate samples? • Algoritam Books – Right in the heart of the Old City, Algoritam is a treasure trove of books, picture books, DVDs and games. Children are welcome, and there's a special section where they can sample the books and games.
We all know children are notoriously fussy when it comes to food, and, in my experience, being on holiday doesn't change that! Over the years I think I've tried nearly every eatery in Dubrovnik and I've found these ones to cater particularly well to children.
• Poklisar – Situated on the harbour, Poklisar has a really relaxed ambience, especially if you're seated outside. As well as a huge range of seafood, familiar favourites like chicken and chips, pizza and spaghetti are on hand for less-adventurous young palates. • Kopun – A great place to dine if you're wandering around the Old Town, the varied menu features plenty of child-friendly pastas but also things like truffles and seafood for you. My tip is that is the place to try the local dessert speciality, rozata. • Rozario – For an upmarket dining experience where children are welcome, the ancient stone décor of Rozario (it's actually an old wine cellar) is the perfect complement to the heavily meat-based menu. You can also eat outdoors if you like.
Few can resist the lure of this fascinating city's location, set on the stunning southern coastline of the country. It's the perfect combination of carefree, coastal beauty and intriguing medieval magic – which I think makes for the ideal recipe for success for any family holidays to Croatia.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury holidays to Croatia, Bermuda, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
Related Articles -
Holidays, to, Croatia,