So you want to see all of Europe, but you can't afford to drive there and eat all the food you want while still seeing every site! Well CAMPING is the answer!!! Buy a tent, blow up mattress, sleeping bag and maybe some other essentials and you are all set. We have been doing it all summer and have been able to see so much on such a little budget.
Our trip started off great, we found a perfect camping site in Austria called Weinland Camping. It was perfect for a quick night stay and only cost us 20 euros. There was a nice pizza place on the pond and a waterslide into the water for a quick dip. Perfect for the kids and the adults.
Driving through Slovenia was a slow process. We did have to stop and purchase a vinette before entering the country. Most of the road had construction going on but it never came to a stop. Once we reached Croatia the speed picked up. There are lots of mountains along this path and few roads to choose from in this country. We took the Autobahn heading straight south. Be prepared for lots of tunnels where the speed limit slows down to 100 k/h. They did have tolls along the way but they take credit card. Remeber they use a different currency than euros. You normally take a ticket when you enter the road and pay when you exit, so you didn't have to stop that much.
Before we reached the wonderful campsite, we had to drive through a small sliver of Bosnia. All it requires is a quick passport check and then you are on your way. Keep in mind you go through two checkpoints, entering and leaving. We spent a total of 15 minutes driving through it.
We stayed just outside the town of Orebic, in a campsite called Adriatic Holiday Resort. It was a perfect paradise to relax, camp, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, and eat great food. The resort had a restaurant that was open for lunch and dinner. The staff was amazing! Just next to it was a small beach, perfect for everyone! Be sure to bring good water shoes; pebbles line the water in all shapes and sizes. There was also a breakfast area for a small price. We normally made eggs and sausage every morning on our small camping skillet.
Just a short drive into town, there was a harbor with a few shops and lots of restaurants. We often went to the grocery store and cooked at our tent. The resort has a large fridge where you can rent a locked shelf. We even took the ferry over to the island of Peljesac, home town of Marco Polo. This town was great for visiting. Lots of history, food, picturesque streets and more. If would have been nice to stay there as well, but we didn't know how easy it was to get over to the island. The ferry leaves numerous times during the day and the tickets were very easy to purchase. Almost all signs were in English and every one spoke it.
The resort offers scuba diving. There is a wrecked ship just a few hundred meters from the campsite that allows those with a license to check out. For those of you without a license you may do a dive just in the blocked off area. Still a fun time and see through the clear waters.
Bring your goggles so you can go swimming, even in some deep water just close to shore! We had our kayaks with us so we were able to venture the coast line as well as some small islands in the area. The resort has them there if you want to rent some. I would say take a day and just venture out. We found some great coves to jump off rocks and sunbathe.
In all, it was a very relaxing trip. We spent 9 nights here and only spent 250 euros total! That would have normally lasted us maybe 2 nights for a hotel. There are tons of campsites along the Croatian coastline and they are all affordable and family-friendly.
Things to do: Swim, kayak, wine tasting, boat day trips, scuba dive, snorkel, ferry to Peljesac, Marco Polo Museum, submarine ride.
What to eat: Homemade macaroni(pictured below), olives, smoked ham, caprese, WINE, Beer, fish, shrimp, calamari, anything from the sea!
What to Bring: Sunscreen, large thick blanket for beach, floaty, water shoes, bug spray (if camping), umbrella, be ready for lots of heat in the summer. Cash for tolls, they do take credit card.
Here are some of our photos from the trip!
Have any questions, comment below!!
After traveling to a few different countries this year I found the best option for not having a working phone but still needing to use my maps function. It's a great FREE App called City Maps 2Go Offline Maps. It's offered for both Apple and Android. It allows you to download all major city maps before you get there. Once it's downloaded to your phone, you can view a working GPS that shows where you are, pin your hotel/attractions before you get there so you know your plan of travel. It shows you how far away something is from where you are standing. There is also a working search bar, just type in the attraction/place/bar/street that you want and it will find it for you! I'm in love with the app and it saves us from buying data in a new country.
We were finally able to make it to the Rhine River. With its rolling hills covered in vineyards and barges passing through, it was a beautiful scene. We stayed in a nice hotel in the town of Bad Bresig, just north of Koblenz by 20 minutes. It was a beautiful hotel with a great breakfast buffet. The only problem we encountered was that the water was too low. The day cruise ships weren’t stopping at our dock, unless we stood out there and waved them down. (that didn’t seem like something I wanted to do)
We drove there, so it was perfectly fine to not take the boat system. There was also a train that rain right alongside the river. If you wanted to venture to Cologne and Koblenz, we stayed in the perfect location. If you want to only see the castles along the river, I would recommend staying south of Koblenz or even in Koblenz. We made it work though.
Our main objective was to see castles. We were able to make it to six castles all together and more from just driving around. Four the first day and two the second day. The upside to driving was we could park much closer to the castles than if we took the train or boat. If you are with people who do not like to walk up steep grades, a car is the better choice.
We also stopped by the Maria Laach Abbey. It was a beautiful Abbey and is still used today by monks. When we were there, they were begining a ceremony. We got a little nervous because we thought we were locked in for the whole ritual but they just locked one of the entrance doors. Just be aware that they are actually using the Abbey daily and be courteous to their space. There were beautiful gardens, hotel and shops. Park across the street.
We ended the night with dinner by our hotel. There were a long line of amazing restaurants just beside the river. Hotel Ankler was the name of where we ate and we had Jagar snitzel, steak and cordon bleu.
The Travelin' Jones
My journey in life.