CROATIA

Croatia is renowned for its long coastline, dotted with peninsulas and small islands as well as its crystal clear, turquoise blue seas. The country, lying across the Adriatic Sea from Italy has had a long and varied past that provide it with a rich history. Like neighbouring Slovenia, it has been at times part of the Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, before Communism in more recent times. Throughout your visit to the country, you will see Roman ruins, impressive cathedrals and immense castles and city walls. Inland, Croatia is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful natural wonders, with lakes, caves and stunning scenery. It is definitely a destination not to miss!

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
• Passports
Your passport should be issued within the last 10 years and be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. Please be sure to fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport. EU/EEA citizens can enter Croatia with a passport or an identity card, both valid for the duration of stay and exit from Croatia.

• Visas
Since 1 April 2013, the Republic of Croatia has been applying the European Union’s Common Visa Policy, according to which all third-country nationals who are holders of valid Schengen documents, as well as national visas and residence permits of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania do not require an additional (Croatian) visa for Croatia.
The Schengen Agreement allows U.S., Canadian, Australian and European citizens to enter the countries of the Schengen Agreement for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.
All other nationalities must check the visa entry requirements before your departure. You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. Further information can be found here: http://www.mvep.hr/en/consular-information/visas/visa-requirements-overview 

• Consular Information
There are a number of major international embassies located in Zagreb, including those for the US, Canada UK and Australia. However, embassies for other countries, including New Zealand are located in other European cities, offering coverage to Croatia. Please check with your relevant government for the relevant contact details.

N.B. Please note, visa and entry requirements, regulations and restrictions can vary on a regular basis. Please ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.

HEALTH, INSURANCE AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
• Travel Insurance
It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to travelling, to include but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the travelling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.
The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least 6 weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number and take these with you on tour.

• General Health
Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs.
Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour.
We recommend you carry a simple travellers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints.
If you do need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort.

• Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility
The Croatia Tour is an Activity Level 2 tour and will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable to you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.
If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.
• Medical Conditions and Personal Medication
Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
Important:

  • Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.
  • Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.

• Vaccinations
There are currently no vaccination requirements for international travellers, but please consult your doctor before travelling for the latest immunisation information as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.

• Travelling with CPAP or other Medical Machines
Please inform The Big Journey Company that you are travelling with such a device as early as possible, and well before you travel. This is especially important in places where there may be issues with power supply, such as on safari or smaller cruise ships. Also,

  • Check that you have the correct electrical and voltage adapters for the country and accommodation you are visiting;
  • Check with your airline that they allow your device to be carried as additional hand luggage and ensure that your device is easily accessible and properly labelled as medical machinery;
  • Always carry a letter from your medical practitioner prescribing its use for you;
  • Ensure you have details of your machine separately in case of the need to secure repairs/replacements whilst you are travelling;
  • Check with your medical practitioner about the use of tap or bottled water in the event that distilled water cannot be sourced in the country you are travelling to.

Please note, if you require distilled or ionised water, you must inform The Big Journey Company of this at least two weeks ahead of travel, so we are able to make preparations with our ground agents. There will be an additional charge for this.

• Special Dietary Requirements
Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.

LUGGAGE
• What to Pack and Wear
We would recommend comfortable clothes and shoes for this tour. Feel free to include a smart-casual outfit for dinner if you wish, however there is no pressure to follow a dress code.

The weather should largely be warm and sunny throughout the journey, however it is always good to be prepared for every eventuality, so make sure you pack a light jacket in case of rain and the fact that it may be cooler in the evening.

Insect repellent and sun cream are also essential items. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards.

• Luggage Allowances
International airlines are often strict about the size and weight of checked in baggage and carry-on luggage. Prior to your departure, please contact your airline or visit their website for specific luggage requirements, as size and weight limitations may vary according to the airline and destination.

Porterage
Luggage handling is not included in our Croatia tour. It may be available at the hotel for a local charge.

Laundry
Laundry services may be available in some hotels on the tour.

LANGUAGE
The main language of Croatia is Croatian. English is spoken widely in tourist destinations across the country, especially by younger generations.

TIME ZONE
The time zone in Croatia is GMT+1, 1 hour ahead of London GMT.

WEATHER
The weather in Croatia in summer is generally very hot, with temperatures often soaring above 30C. In summer months, most days will be sunny with little shade and temperatures dropping only slightly in the evenings. Temperatures are more pleasant in Spring/Autumn. Spring brings the mistral winds across the Adriatic and in Autumn, the sea is a great temperature for swimming.

ELECTRICITY
In Croatia, the standard voltage is 230V and the frequency is 50Hz. You will need a European plug adapter, and/or converter depending on which electrical appliances you bring with you.

MOBILES & INTERNET COMMUNICATION
Croatia has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone/mobile phone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. In populated urban areas, there should be good mobile signal but as we head into rural areas, signal may fluctuate. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas and most hotels and restaurants provide free WIFI. Please check data roaming charges for Croatia with your service provider before leaving home as these can quickly become very expensive.

MONEY
• Currency
The currency of Croatia is the Kuna (KN). Credit cards are widely accepted at mid-high range establishments, but it is advisable to carry money in cash with you as well. Smaller restaurants and cafes are likely to be not accept cards. ATMs are widely available in cities, but not so in smaller villages.
Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards however many places do not accept cards such as Diners Club or American Express. If you intend to use any of your debit or credit cards whilst away, please make sure that you contact your bank before you leave to inform them that you will be travelling in order not to cause any problems using your cards or whilst on the trip.
Important Note - European countries use chip-and-pin credit cards, so cards with magnetic strips on the back (commonly used in North America) may not work with certain automated machines. You might want to carry some extra cash in your wallet to use in these situations just in case. You may be asked to provide ID if you cannot pay by chip and PIN.

• Budget
Croatia is still relatively inexpensive compared with Italy across the Adriatic, but prices can be higher in tourist hotspots.

• Bank Opening
Banks in Croatia are usually open 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, opening on Saturday mornings too.

• Tipping
Based on feedback and experience of previous groups, tipping collectively as an entire group is easier, stress free and potentially offers us better service throughout our itinerary. Furthermore, it will be one less thing to worry about! Gratuities will be offered to the local Italian tour guides, bus/ transfer drivers and hotel and restaurant staff for group meals.
Prior to departure, we will inform you the suggested gratuities package for the entire trip. At the start of your journey, we ask for you to place your gratuities into an envelope clearly marked with your name(s) and hand it to your tour director. They can then pay out the gratuities on your behalf to everyone who plays a part in the smooth running of the tour and provides any form of service to the group at the various locations throughout the trip.

FOOD
Along the coast, Croatian cuisine is often likened to Italian cuisine, inevitable given its closeness and history. You will find an abundance of seafood, pasta-style dishes as well as dried hams and cured meats. Venturing inland, the influences of Austria-Hungary seep in, with paprika and stews making their mark.
Some meals are included as part of your tour – please check your individual departure for the relevant meal inclusions.

WATER
The tap water in Croatia is generally of good quality. Unless otherwise advised, you can drink the local tap water. It is not advisable to drink the tap water on board boats. Bottled water can be bought at supermarkets, kiosks and many shops.

SHOPPING
Croatia offers a wealth of souvenirs for visitors to buy. In addition to the hams, cheeses and other local delicacies, you will find many examples of local handicraft along the way.

• Opening Hours
In the cities and towns, most retail shops are open from 8am to 7pm on weekdays and until 2pm on Saturday. Most shops are closed on Sundays, with the exception of certain grocery shops and souvenir shops and some retail shops in the summer tourist season.

• VAT/Tax Refund
Numerous shops in Croatia offer a VAT refund when leaving the country. Please ask the salesperson whether tax-free shopping applies to the shop in question.

SAFETY & SECURITY
Crime levels in Croatia are low. However, there’s a risk of petty theft, particularly in airports in popular tourist attractions and on public transport, especially in and around Dubrovnik where the streets are narrow and crowded. Please take sensible precautions to protect your belongings, particularly your passport, money and credit cards.

SMOKING
Smoking is banned in most indoor public places, but there are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke. Smoking is prohibited on all means of public transport.

RELIGION
Croatia is mostly Christian, however there is a small percentage of Muslim Serbs living to the south and east of the country.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Croatia offers photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries and a spare memory card!

ARRIVAL IN CROATIA
Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability.

TOUR HOTEL INFORMATION
Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information attaining to your tour departure.

LINKS TO OTHER COUNTRIES ON TOUR ITINERARY
For those continuing their stay in Italy and Slovenia, please check the relevant Travel Tip pages for information on these countries.

FLYING & TRAVEL HINTS
• Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
• It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as camera, toiletries, reading material etc.
• Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
• Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
• Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination, most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.

If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: info@thebigjourneycompany.com

Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained in the website.

Updated November 2019

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. VAT number: 290797457. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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