Spring holidays Balkans
Croatia,  Travel Tips

Spring trip to Balkans – why Croatia?

Spring has finally arrived in Porto and cold winter evenings´ travel destination researches have come to an end. Countdown has started, 1 day until departure. However we are faced with a ridiculous situation when a planned trip can turn into a totally spontaneous one. When planning a trip you have to narrow down your search, by taking  into consideration various factors. I will tell you why we picked Croatia as our travel destination.

Spring trip to Balkans

Balkans is a part of Europe I had never visited and was curious about. When picking the country we various factors:

  1. The season
  2. The affordability
  3. Proximity to mountains, natural landscape
  4. It needed to be in EU (lack of passport)
  5. The diversity
  6. The size
  7. The plane ticket cost (this one failed us)

And the winner is – Croatia!!!!!

I was pondering about this one for quite a while. Actually I wanted to go to Montenegro and see one of Europe´s deepest canyons ( around 1,300 meters). These parameters make the Tara River Canyon one of the deepest river canyons in Europe, it  is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. However the tickets were pretty expensive plus my partner did not have a passport. So I opened google maps and explored the countries. all the attractions I would like to do and landscapes that would fill my soul. Croatia.. what´s that Croatia?…Everyone is talking about it.. is it overrated?…or is it really something?

Summarising my research:

  • The prices had increased since they entered EU, however they still have their currency which is interesting.
  • They also have sea, which makes it twice appealing.
  • They have a stretch of Balkan mountains, they have beautiful historical towns and listen carefully: 8 national parks! Jesus! If you look at the map  – it´s a completely green place on Adriatic coast.
  • They have wild rivers which tend to be full of water in the spring (when water from melting snow is coming down the mountains).
  • The season. Perfect to avoid tourists and warm enough to walk in t-shirt.
  • Cheep flights. Normally around 100 – 150 eur one way, there´s no direct flights from Portugal unfortunately.

So I jumped a bit from country to country until one day, after going through daily kiwi, skyscanner etc. flight searches, I noticed a massive price drop for ryanair flights. With no hesitation we bought two flights (with connection in Brussels-CRL) to Zadar – 45 eur per person. That´s a bargain right? It really is, IF you catch the second flight :D.

Book your flight in Skyscanner!

Lesson gained

So we have purchased a flight through Brussels with a 50 minute overlay (separate ryanair tickets). Weeks passed and I started to check the flights for the return ticket (which was still pretty high – around 100 per person) and I noticed that what I thought was an hour overlay, was actually a 50 min overlay. I entered in panic. I researched, I wrote in forums, I checked the airport webpage – everything to make sure we could actually make it. Nevertheless I had done short connecting flights previously, every situation and airport is different.


What will I do if I miss my flight?

I will go with the flow. If I don´t manage to travel Croatia, I have a plan A, B and C. Which one I will choose, you will find in my next post.
Did I make it? Read the Next Post!

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