What to pack for Croatia
So, you're going to Croatia...
Croatia is an amazing country - and if you've landed at this post from a Google search, or because you're signed up for one of our VoyEdge RX trips, you should be pumped to go either way.
The long rocky shores, incredible blue waters, ornate architecture, castles, islands, slate roofs and tasty seafood will make you never want to leave. Trust me.
Some of you might even wonder how Croatia has been a hidden gem for so long, and sadly, it's a long story....between the wars with Hungary, Bosnia, the Venetian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Albania, Italy, Austria, Germany and many more, Croatia has a long checkered past. It's almost hard to believe, but Croatia has also been a country since the year 725 AD!
But, in terms of modern times, as some of you may know, Croatia regained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, after a long bitter, bloody war, and then had another civil war till about 1995. It took a few years of a rocky political climate to finally help stabilize the area till around 2000, but since then, Croatia has been a gem of Europe. With their pristine sandy beaches, ideal blue waters and lack of international tourists, it was totally ripe to become a hot spot.
So, from about 2000 to 2010, Croatia largely remained under the radar in terms of, 'must-see' destinations, but Europeans quickly discovered this idyllic paradise.
Since then, and with the rise of social media, Croatia has largely dominated the headlines of millennial travel websites like The Yacht Week, and also to the likes of the Huffington Post, Business Insider and many more.
But, what makes this country so special?
Flat out, Croatia has a coastline like none other. And you are going to see it for yourself. Truly, while there are tons of different countries and cities in Europe, nothing quite resembles all of the towns, cities, and coastline of Croatia. Not Italy, not Greece, not France, Spain or anywhere.
Croatia is simply in a class of its own. Between the white marble towns nestled on quaint riviera's, the untouched islands to explore, a nearly seamless blue sky everywhere you go, and cheap, tasty food galore, you will never run out of towns to explore, things to see, and activities to do.
Have we mentioned the sailing is top-notch, yet?
Anyway, here is what you should pack...
Let's break it down. Our Croatia tours happen in July, where the average temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with highs of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (27 celsius) and daily lows of 69 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), so, that is guaranteed to be pretty damn perfect....
With that said, those temps are still pretty much a go ahead to wear whatever you want. Whether you are the kind of person to wear jeans on a hot day, or rock a sun dress, or shorts (or jorts) you can get away with wearing just about any combination of clothes between 69-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Stating the obvious here, too - but it will obviously get a bit colder at night than during the day, so always keep that in mind.
For now, here is a simple packing list for males & females, but further down below, I will break it down by city and what you should maybe have and why. As a rule of thumb, I always only recommend bringing one small suitcase and one daypack (to take with you) because you can ALWAYS buy more clothes wherever you go. Taking too much with you when traveling can be disastrous....
Anyways, let's get to it (sorry ladies if I miss something here)
WHAT TO PACK (FEMALES)
Again, I am really sorry for my general lack of everything females might need while on vacation (comment below and let me know what I missed!)
Pair of flats/nice going out shoes
As many socks as you need
3-4 WOD/running shorts
2-4 pairs of pants
tank tops (as many as you need)
Blouses (as many as you need)
Under garments (as many as you need)
Bra's (as many as you need)
One longsleeve shirt
One rain jacket
1 slightly dressy jacket
1 suitcase (medium-sized) no bigger as you are going to have to lug this around!
1 day pack (you can hike with)
Also, makeup if you use it
A towel for the beach
Hand towel if you'd like, too
WHAT TO PACK (MALES)
5-6 pair of underwear (you can wash 'em)
2-3 WOD shorts
6-7 pairs of socks
3-4 nice t-shirts
2-3 CrossFit tees
1 Longsleeve Shirt
1-2 pairs of pants
2 tank tops
2-3 button up (Hawaiin-type shirts)
Light jacket (like real light, maybe rain jacket-ish)
1 day pack
1 towel from home
Maybe a hand towel, too
If I missed anything - let me know in the comment section at the bottom of this post (sorry, ladies....I am still learning....) - Cam
Oh, the places you'll go....
As we talked about earlier there really is no place like Croatia. Between the luscious jungles, palm trees, white marbled cities with nearly no pollution on the streets, or throughout the towns, Croatia is somewhat of a paradise. The start of our Croatia trip really takes us from the capital of Zagreb, to to the inner workings and less populated beachside resort towns of Split & Makarska with stops at some of the lesser-known islands like Trogir, and even the most popular one, Hvar.
And with an average of 280 days of pure sunlight a year (mostly 100% in the summers) you will get plenty of Vitamin D, and feel right at home between the streetscape cafe's, plethora of boats, restaurants, shopping districts, and even nightclubs.
But - what to pack for every destination? Here's the scoop.
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia AND a full-blown city with over 800,000 people living in the city boundaries. You will be flying into the airport and be a little tired when you first arrive, so feel free to rock whatever clothes you most feel comfortable in. After your arrival, you will head to check-in to our accommodations in the city center and can freshen up from there. You will be partaking in a city walking tour in the late afternoon (with an optional box drop-in) so feel free to bring your WOD gear (and a towel!) with you on the walking tour.
Of course, you can shower after the workout and enjoy a nice group dinner with your fellow travelers and a potential night out from there, if you'd like.
Recommended stuff for Zagreb: Casual jeans or shirts, T-shirt, WOD gear, walking/WOD shoes.
Plitvice National Park
Plitvice is one of Croatia's largest and most beautiful national parks. With cascading waterfalls, endless walking trails, and swimming holes where you can (YES) even drink the water, it is somewhat of a magical place.
Your day will consist of an early morning workout in Zagreb, changing up, and then exploring these magical lakes and rivers in their natural habitat, so you will definitely want to wear comfortable gear, and bring your swimsuit with you if you're feeling up for a quick dip. From there, you will head to Split, after spending several hours in Plitvice.
Your accommodations in Split will have opportunities to wash your clothes if you so desire.
Recommended wear: WOD gear for the morning, shorts, shirt & swimsuit for the evening
Arguably one of my favorite places in the world. Split is the hometown of Emperor Diocletian, of the Roman Empire, who had a palace built on the edges of the Adriatic Sea and used as his 'summer home' so he could relax away from the fandom of Rome. Absolutely fascinating stuff, as the palace is now home to a plethora of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, markets and visitor attractions.
Your time here will be well-spent, as nearly everything is within proper walking distance and won't be too far away. From the outskirts of town, you can even run or hike up Marjan Hill for a good sunrise or morning workout. Plus, Split is where you'll be doing a pub crawl, leaving for the boat tour, going whitewater rafting, island-hopping and departing to Makarska and Hvar.
Recommended wear: Go casual! Shorts, sundress, WOD gear, whatever you prefer. Just have an alternate change of clothes in your day pack and always have your bathing suit or bikini on hand. At night, feel free to dress up as Split can be pretty lively.
Hvar, Island Hopping & Rafting
Hvar is an incredibly cool place. Known as being the "Sunniest places in Croatia," you will have the option to either go whitewater rafting in the mountains outside of Split, or venture out to Hvar. It really depends on your personality and what is more of a 'must' but Hvar is a very cool town to explore. And if walking through nature or just exploring another town is your thing, then I would highly recommend taking the boat out to Hvar to explore.
One of the full days in Split, you will go on a boat tour around to some very interesting and off the beaten path islands. With lunch included (and a trip to Trogir) you can just rock your swim trunks and maybe some pants and a button-up shirt. It won't be that cold, but sailing on the Adriatic can be a bit windy, so it is up to you in terms of what you want to bring. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, ya know?
And if whitewater rafting ain't your thing - definitely go to Hvar. Either way, it is rather touristy, so just be prepared for what you are getting into. The people of Hvar also take fashion pretty seriously, so you may want to step up your outfit a thing or two.
Either way, no need to bring a sun hat :)
Recommended wear: Nice outfit if you're going to Hvar. Swimsuit if you are going rafting in the Split Mountains
When you go to Makarska, it will officially be the middle of the trip. And while you will have two days there (one for zip-lining and hiking, the other for the beach) it will really be a time to relax on the beach and soak in a really off the beaten path Croatian town. There is loads to do in Makarska, but check-in to the hotel, and get amped up to go zip-lining. It really is a hike up the Cetina mountains, so wearing your WOD shoes, comfortable clothing (shorts are fine) and a tank top or t-shirt should be perfect for the occasion.
The beach day, obviously, is up to you, but I would suggest getting some rays while you can. The beaches in Makarska are much better than in Dubrovnik.
Recommended wear: WOD gear for hiking/zip-lining and beach wear for cruising on the beach!
Mostar is really an awesome excursion and arguably more interesting than Makarska. From a history standpoint alone, the bridge here was built by the Ottoman Empire and just recently restored. The Red Bull Cliff Diving Series has a premier event here every summer, too, but more important than that - how many of your friends have been to Bosnia and seen the Stari Most bridge?
Take a tour here, be respectful, and soak in one of history's most fascinating off-the-grid towns in Mostar. You will have all day to try out some Bosnian food, but wear whatever you can to stay cool and look somewhat decent. You are, after all, an ambassador in some respects.
Recommended wear: Shorts, shoes and a shirt
Your last few days on the trip will end in Dubrovnik, where the Summer Festival will be going on, so you should get pumped up. From the possible Game of Throne's tours, to checking out the marina and going on any boat tours, so walking the walled city itself, there are a plethora of things to do in Dubrovnik. At this point, it is really going to be up to you to choose how you want to spend your last 2 days here. ANd really, that's all you need. Whether you want to rent a jet ski, or simply walk the streets, markets and restaurants (or party it up) you can find a list of interesting things to do here.
Either way, get a few more travel workouts in, go out on the town during the last night, and end the tour on a good note before heading home from the DBV airport the next morning. Oh, and if you want to spend a few more days in Dubrovnik or touring around Croatia, we would highly recommend it....the avg. water temperature in Croatia is a crisp 74 degrees Fahrenheit....not bad, eh?
See when you can go to Croatia with VoyEdge RX next here.