Croatia In August – 2009 Update
As Croatia heads towards its peak summer season it’s a good time to review what Croatia has to offer in August.
Croatia Online last reported on Croatia in August back in August 2006 and re-reading that posting it’s surprising how little has changed. Here’s our update for August 2009.
In 2006 we were already referring to global warming but that’s a factor all over the Mediterranean to a greater or lesser degree. What’s changed since 2006 is the ever increasing number of venues with air-conditioning, even though Croatians are expert at building accommodation aimed at keeping the August heat at bay. Like any other Mediterranean country you’ll get the odd thunder storm and rain in August and, on some days it will be very hot. However you’re never very far from the cooling waters of the Adriatic, and if you want even more cooling waters, head to the banks of one of Croatia’s rivers, the Krka or Cetina for example. For a complete change of scenery and temperature, head inland over the mountains, perhaps to Livno or Kupres in Hercegovina, for the cooler air of higher altitudes.
Since our last posting, Croatia’s islands, islets and reefs have been scientifically recounted and the official tally is now 1,246 instead of 1,185. That’s a result of greater scientific precision, rather than any new eruptions, since the last proper count back in the 19th century. Architect Nikola Bašić responsible for Zadar’s innovative public space installations – Sea Organ and Greeting To The Sun – has a new venture, The 1246 Project, which aims to plant a commemorative plaque on each one. Whatever the official count, Croatia has an island for everyone in easy reach – whether its the glitz of Hvar, the variety of Brač, the olive groves of Šolta, the parties of Pag, the stunning wilderness of the Kornati Islands, or the special history of the time warp that is Vis. Check out the Croatia Cruising Companion for one of the most comprehensive sources of information on all of Dalmatia’s islands.
The Sea and SceneryNo change there - the scenery is still breathtaking and relatively unspoilt. Unlike Spain and other eastern European destinations Croatia has controlled building along the coast quite tightly and the sea remains as crystal clear as ever. You’ll just find a few more facilities now.
Cities like Split, where there was once a shortage of good hotel accommodation, has now rectified that with plenty of good quality new hotels. Once just viewed as the gateway to the islands, Split has finally come to terms with its incredible cultural heritage and is now showing it off to the max. In Split you can get the best of both worlds – cosmopolitan city just a short trip away from relaxing islands. Holiday Apartments can still provide a good and lower budget alternative but the same rules apply as in 2006. Generally, there’s a vast choice to suit all budgets.
Cost Of Living
We’ve covered Croatia’s cost of living on a periodic basis, most recently Croatia Online - Cost Of Living Update June 2009. As with elsewhere, accommodation and flights can be at their most expensive in August but Croatia still competes favourably with the competition in most areas.
A major improvement since 2006 is the opening of most of the coastal motorway. This year a couple of bottlenecks should clear as two long tunnels become dual instead of single carriageway. However you can still expect jams on the main holiday weekends as Italians, Austrians and Germans flock backwards and forwards on their August holidays, and Croatia’s city dwellers reclaim their summer homes. The Croatian Motorways site is the best place to look for possible problems and most radio stations have regular traffic reports in English in the high summer.
Other than that our earlier posting stands the test of time pretty well. August is, of course, a popular month for holidays, and the beaches and main tourist resorts can be crowded, but in Croatia you’ll always find the ideal place to escape to if you look hard enough. Today’s photo is a prime example – just a 5 minute walk away is a long and buzzing beach area (including a sandy part as a change from pebbles) with pools, water sports, bars, restaurants and all the beach activities you could imagine. You can get away from all that for a cocktail and a bit of relaxation at the Lavender Bed Bar, pictured, part of The Ilirija Hotel Group, Biograd.
Browse through our earlier postings to look for specific destinations and further information, or go to the Croatia Online Index Site for a more targeted search.