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Croatias Best Kept Secret – Kamenjak National Park!

Kamenjak National Park, Croatia. I am pretty sure you have never heard of it. If you have, then I hope you have visited because I’m gonna tell you why it’s a must in this post. When you think of Croatia you probably think of Island hopping off the coast of Split, checking out Kings Landing in Dubrovnik or maybe even checking out Rovinj as it becomes ever more popular thanks to Instagram.

Luckily for us one of our Instragram followers suggested travelling to this amazing location when we got to Croatia. We are so glad they reached out to us because they helped create some of our favourite memories. Kamenjak National Park is on the Southern most tip of the Istrian Peninsula.


Source: Google Maps

You cannot camp in the National Park but you can camp right next to the entrance to the park, so you are within super easy walking distance. There are also plenty of hotels and guest houses you can stay with in Premantura. Booking.com has so many choices (all with really incredible reviews) and if you book through my link you get 10% back on your stay.

It is an absolute nature lovers heaven!! I cannot stress this enough! The water is an incredible crystal clear blue, it is clean as clean can be. There are masses upon masses of wild flowers of all different vibrant colours and varieties coating the coast. The rocky coastline is dotted with idyllic, secluded islands and there are literally hardly any cars around. You can cycle your way around the park (this is what we opted to do on our mountain bikes) or walk and find your own private piece of nature to bask in.

This little piece of Paradise is 100% well worth the visit and detour away from the usual Croatian hot spots.  If you plan on visiting the stunning towns of Rovinj or Pula it’s just a short distance down the coast. You will also be pleasantly surprised with the drive back up on the East Coast. Reminiscent of the coastal roads on the Amalfi Coast past cliff hugging fishing ports. We took a few days out of our schedule to just relax here, riding our bikes along the coast and admiring the views….oh the views! 

We stayed at Arena Stupice Campsite in Premantura, the location of this campsite could not be any better for the views. It’s located next to the sea and you can walk and cycle in to the park from the campsite (if you drive in you have to pay a daily fee). The camping pitches are not the flattest, many are on a slant and it’s very hard to figure out what actually classes as your pitch. But there are plenty to choose from so just take your time scouting out a spot.

HOT TIP: If you camp at Arena Stupice Campsite make sure you pre book your spot online before you arrive. You will get a much better rate and a better site to camp on. We ended up booking online when we were stood in reception as they could not offer the same online rate in person.

Plenty of visitors come here to sail, kayak, fish, hike, cycle and just spend time exploring the coastline. 

We are big cyclists so started our cycling tour on the Dinosaur Trail. Fun Fact – Dinosaurs used to frequent this area in the Cretaceous period. How awesome is that?! Along the path you can explore all of the geological curiosities of Kamenjak.

The path continues around the edge of the peninsula and mainly along the coast. We stumbled upon the quirkiest little beach cafe- in the middle of no where. Imagine turning up to what looks like vegetation on the edge of the cliff with a few wooden structures outside.

You hear the murmuring of voices and make your way into the bushes to find what looks like the Lost Boys camp from Never Never Land. Safari bar is surprisingly busy for somewhere thats completely hidden. Take a visit here just to witness the quirkiness including the giant swing, sea shell dens, roller slide and tiki huts. 

As you walk through the bar to the cliffs edge you reach the most stunning view and cliff jumping hot spot where the water is incredibly clear.

We hopped on our bikes to continue the ride and came across vast empty countryside, empty beaches and incredible views. We stopped to take a dip in one cove we had all to ourselves. It’s that quiet we would turn up to a beach and if there were people there we would just move to the next beach which would inevitably be empty.

A short while later we arrive back at our van in the campsite and settle in to our camping chairs to take in the view. We crack open an Ozujsko Limun, our favourite Croatian tipple and chat about how awesome our day was. All thanks to a fellow traveller recommending Kamenjak National Park. If you plan on visiting Croatia and like nature then make sure you visit here! It’s just incredible.

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What No One Will Tell You About Visiting Dubrovnik

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Dubrovnik is a big hitter when it comes to places to visit in Croatia. As such this means that finding places to park your camper van (if travelling this way like us) for a reasonable price is near impossible. Some campsites charge upwards of 45 Euros per night.

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Using all our resources and after much research we decided to not stay in the main town and booked a campsite in Kupari. You can also find cheaper accommodation like we did by staying outside of the main city. For 15 Euro a night, our campsite was located about 20 minutes down the road. You can access Dubrovnik from here by local bus, but we decided that the more fun way (and also an excuse to make an experience out of it) was to travel by boat.

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Kupari is a really interesting place to stay, it is pretty deserted and this is mainly because the beaches have empty hotels that were used a bases for the army. They were destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence and have not since been inhabited. Covered in graffiti and overgrown with weeds it’s like something out of an apocalypse movie. Imagine sunbathing on the beach as you would in a resort, but turn around and the desolate hotels stare back at you. A little eerie but something really amazing to experience. Unfortunately this was the last year that you would be able to see these hotels like this as the land has been bought by a luxury development company who will be building a Four Seasons hotel in their place. They won’t be in bad company as the 5* Sheraton is located just around the bay, also a 10 minute walk from the campsite.

HOT TIP – If you fancy a dip in their pool, you may just be able to walk through the lobby and downstairs, grab a towel from the pool boy and lay on the sun loungers for a while and take a swim. Just saying……

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We decided to use Adriana Cavtat, the boat transfer company that our campsite suggested. If you travel to Dubrovnik and want to take the same boat, I don’t recommend using this company. The transfer itself is lovely but they are never on time and often get full from the previous stops so you can’t get on the boat that you have been waiting 40 minutes for. It isn’t worth the hassle and there are other providers who seemed more reliable. The views on the journey are awesome, arriving into and departing from Dubrovnik this way is just magical so I highly recommend getting on a boat at some point during your stay.

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Dubrovnik is by far the most busy city that we have visited in Croatia. It is overwhelming how many people visit, and we didn’t visit in peak season. Also bear in mind that we visited in the middle of May and it was 38 degrees! Even the gelato shop manager was pointing out how hot it was for us,  but nothing compared to the temperatures they normally experience – over 40 degrees.

The reason it gets busy it because:

  1. It is an absolutely gorgeous walled city that is so well preserved you cant help but fall in love and tell all your friends about it so they want to come and visit. The views from walking along the wall are just insane.
  2. Since Game of Thrones came out and everyone realised that Croatia is where it is filmed, and Dubrovnik in particular is Kings Landing then the city has really thrived with this tourism. Tours, merchandise, souvenirs you name it.
  3. Cruise Ships – hoards of cruise ship tours come to Dubrovnik to experience this beautiful city so the streets are filled with walking tours.

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To avoid the busy period – come out of season, like really out of season. Find out when the cruise ships are not docked in Dubrovnik so there will be a massive reduction in tourists. This way you stand a chance at experiencing this beautiful place in a little more peace.

The best part of Dubrovnik – walking along the city walls. To be honest, we didn’t do any research on this but knew it was a must do activity. So we were pretty surprised to find out that the entrance to the walls is 20 Euro per person, for us on a very tight budget this was a major splurge. But it was 100% worth it. The journey will take you a good 1 – 2 hours, mainly because the views are just to die for and there are so many nooks and crannys to discover. But also because it is so busy and wide enough for just one person you end up queuing in places.

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My main tip would be to not walk the walls at midday, there is practically no shade and maybe 1 or 2 places to find refreshments along the way.

Once we walked the walls we headed down in to the town to discover what other treasures there were. There are plenty of amazing restaurants, bars and shops interspersed with old churches and museums. Take a walk along the waterfront and admire the views, or even take a boat ride out to sea to visit an island.

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Have you been to Dubrovnik? What are your tips for visiting?

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Hey Guys,

So earlier this year my husband and I started our 7 Month long European road trip in our camper van that we completely renovated ourselves. It was such an adventure and we returned just a few weeks ago, so now it’s time to upload the goodies from our trip.

Paris was our first main stop and my opportunity to show my husband around as it was his first time. I created a list of our favourite 10 most Instagrammable spots around Paris. I hope this gives you some inspiration for when you visit the city of love.

1. Castel Cafe

5 Avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris . Whilst wandering around the Eiffel Tower we actually accidentally came across this cute cafe and had to stop and take a picture. The main reason I wanted to walk this direction was for spot number 2…….

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2. Rue de Buenos Ayres

Taking an iconic alley way shot of the Eiffel Tower has to make the list. It’s like the French version of the Brooklyn bridge photo that is so infamous. It’s perfect as it is just around the corner from Castel Cafe.

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3. The Trocadero Steps

It might seem obvious but it just has to be done. Not only are the views of the Eiffel Tower just incredible, you can also hang in the park, have a picnic or take a ride on the merry go round. Every time I come here I like to twirl my skirt, so get your twirl on – its fun!

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4. The Arc De Triomphe

Not only is this probably the most crazy place to visit in Paris, it is also pretty awe inspiring. Watching the cars whizz around from any of the 12 entrance roads is a sight in itself, let alone the view down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

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5. Notre Dame

I am absolutely obsessed with Disney and a massive child at heart so will admit my main reason for wanting to visit the Notre Dame was due to the Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. You might even notice that in my about me page I have even quoted from the movie. It’s a stunning sight and incredible architecture. If you like pigeons- theres lot of those here too…..

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6. Musee du Luvre

An iconic place to stop in Paris whether you visit the Mona Lisa inside or not. Also a great place to relax on the benches that surround the museum and is super close to Jardin des Tuileries. Fact – every time I have visited Paris I have never been inside the Luvre.

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7.Jardin des Tuileries

What better way to stop for lunch than in a giant manicured garden directly next to Musee du Luvre. Grab one of many metal garden chairs, an ice cream and take in the beauty surrounding you. TIP: Buy lunch at PAUL if you want to stick to a budget, they do awesome lunch deals to takeaway.

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8. Le Consulat Cafe

18 Rue Norvins, 75018 Paris. This has to be one of the most instagrammed cafes in Paris. A visit to the bohemian Montmartre district cannot be missed. It is full of amazing boutiques and crammed with amazing art history, so take a seat in the alfresco seating at Le Consulat, grab a coffee (or beer like we did) and watch the world go by. You might also be lucky enough to hear the tour groups go by and learn lots of interesting facts like Monet and Renoir used to frequent these joints back in the day before they were super duper famous artists.

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9. Jardin du Luxembourg

Located on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, these gardens were inspired by the Boboli gardens in Florence. The perfect location for a quiet stroll or picnic.

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10. Champ de Mars

If you are looking for the ultimate picnic spot in Paris then I have to say that the Champ de Mars wins hands down. The views of the Eiffel Tower are uninterrupted and there is so much space to spread out and relax. There are also many supermarkets near by to pick up your picnic supplies on a budget. Don’t forget the Champagne!

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