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Croatian Islands – Underpiced and On the Rise Destination

Press on CroatiaIn today’s issue of USA TODAY , in its travel section, Croatian Islands are featured among some other European destinations . The text is titled “Underpriced and on-the-rise European destinations” , written by By Christine Sarkis of  SmarterTravel.com. Other destination featured are Montenegro, Lisbon, Ljubljana and Riga.This is an excerpt from the article:

The Croatian Islands

Already a summer destination for Europeans, Croatia is well on its way back to being the hotspot it was a decade ago, before the violent conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. And though they’re farther off the beaten path than major cities such as Dubrovnik, the islands that dot the Adriatic coast of Croatia are on the radar of Italians, Germans and an increasing number of North Americans, who have discovered the islands’ Mediterranean beauty and affordable prices.

The islands make a major impression, even from the mainland. Jim James of San Francisco remembers the thrill of driving the coast and seeing “hundreds of islands, some so close you could swim to them.” SmarterTravel.com Contributing Editor RaeJean Stokes, who spent her vacation time as a Peace Corps volunteer on the islands of Hvar and Korcula, was struck by the natural beauty, great food and good weather she and her husband found.

Ferries regularly travel to many of the islands, but some nautically minded travelers prefer to rent boats and explore the islands at their leisure. Researching islands to find those whose popularity has not yet overtaken their appeal—islands such as Solta and Korcula—is key to making the most of a trip. Though most accommodations remain relatively affordable in the high season, better deals can be found while the weather is still nice during the late-spring and early-fall shoulder seasons. In smaller towns, inexpensive guesthouses offer excellent value and make up for the lack of hotels. Accommodations rates often start between 20 and 50 euros per night.

Croatia is a candidate for the EU, but isn’t yet a member, and that may be part of what will keep prices affordable, at least in the near future. Stokes points out that the country is “definitely cheaper and less touristy than destinations like Italy.” And though it’s more expensive than it once was, Stokes says, “It’s still a comparative steal. And the beach is free.” “Prices are a fraction of much of the rest of Europe,” James agrees.

Zagreb is generally the least expensive of Croatia’s airports to fly into. Airfare from New York costs $700 to $900 in winter and around $1,200 (including taxes) in summer. If prices from your departure city to Croatia seem too steep, consider flying into a larger and busier European airport and taking one of the low-fare airlines that serve the country. Just remember to factor in the cost of getting between airports if your transatlantic flight comes into one airport and your European low-cost carrier flies out of another.”

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