Visit Croatia – Vanlife Diary 1

Croatia – 1st Entry from Montenegro

We first entered Croatia on the 1st June from Montenegro. We went to join some friends we made in Albania on the Prevlaka Peninsula, which is an old abandoned military base which overlooks Montenegro.

Prevlaka Peninsula
Prevlaka Peninsula

The border crossing went smoothly, they only asked for passports not the v5c or the pet passport, albeit they didn’t see Alba. But we have crossed this border quite a few times now as we have visited Mike’s brother who has just bought a plot of land in Montenegro and he is setting it up to be an eco-retreat next summer. There’s some more information about that in this link.

Prevlaka Peninsula

Prevlaka Peninsula

Is the entry point to the Bay of Kotor, which came under Austrian Empire rule in 1813 where they built a fort, which you can un-officially go in. Then Nazi Germany took over during WW2, you can still walk through the communication tunnels today! (It’s incredible, take a head torch).

We left here and went to top up some water at a nearby tennis court. Two minutes around the corner from here is a beautiful water garden. There is a little car park and a tranquil looking restaurant, the water garden follows the man made streams into and around the flour mills. There are some information boards in English and it is the perfect spot for a picnic. 

Kupari  Bay of Abandoned Hotels

Still heading north we decided to visit the abandoned hotels of Kupari. We had heard about these from a couple who are also travelling in their van, @weboughtavan, and decided to take a trip there. We arrived at night and even though we had our head torches we decided to wait until morning to explore, one because I was worried about what would be on the floor and we had Alba’s feet to consider, but two, I was a little scared in the dark! 

I found out that these once exclusive hotels, built in the 1960s (except The Grand, built in 1920s) were used by the elite of the Yugoslav military where it became a place you could only get a booking if you knew someone. All seven were then destroyed during the 1990s Croatian War of Independence. They are only about 10km from Dubrovnik and you can park up here for free, exploring these hotels is a must do – but watch out for the broken glass if you have a dog with you. 

Dalmation Coast

We stayed at Ploče on the windsurf beach which was fab. After driving further north, we had thought about having a beach day but changed our minds seeing how busy the coast was already (beginning of June), so many German vans! We shopped at Lidl where the car park was pretty easy for the camper, before heading to Cibača Pizza Trica for dinner. You don’t get a normal size pizza here, they are all ‘jumbo’! We got one each and then had a takeaway box so we could have the leftovers for lunch the next day. I would highly recommend this place. The parking is a little limited, but there is a sports pitch just down the road which I think would be worth parking at and then walking up about 100 meters or so. 

As the coast was too busy for us we found a spot on Park4Night which was up a rather steep mountain side near Bast, the road was really made only for 4x4s however we made it up, just! Up here there was a mountain spring and some climbing pitches. We didn’t have any climbing gear with us at this point so we couldn’t make the most of this location. I would say it is worth going if you have a 4×4 and take supplies for the duration of your stay. 

Self-build campervan conversion insurance

We then decided to head into Bosnia at Gornji Vinjani Border and out again at Granični prijelaz Izačić on the M5. We only stayed in Bosnia a short amount of time because a message came up on the dashboard saying ‘Engine will not restart in 300km’. We knew there was an engine light and worked out it was the N0X sensor which needed to be sorted so just incase the 300km was a mistake and meant 30km, we thought it would be best to get the work done in Croatia where we have loads of data on our phone to get us out of trouble if needed. 

Read more info about Bosnia here.

Read the next instalment of Visit Croatia – Vanlife Diary 2 here.. COMING SOON

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