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Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

New York City, New...
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Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Hi all,

I'm thinking of visiting Croatia next spring, either April or May. I'm into photography so tour groups generally don't work for me. I usually rent a car in order to be able to roam freely and get photos besides just the major cities. Given I've never been to Croatia before, I would really like to know whether it is safe for a woman driving around the country alone?

Will I have trouble with language? Will I encounter problems with road signs or asking for help or ordering in restaurants?

In addition, any recommendations for photogenic places will be appreciated. I definitely want to visit Plitvice NP. I heard about Dubrovnik, Mljet island and Split. What are the most photogenic locations/routes you'll recommend? Spring should be great for wild flowers.

Thanks in advance for any help!!! :D

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

I've found Croatia to be very safe on all accounts. It could be my perception, but the men are very conservative about women, I've never heard a Croatian man verbally abuse a woman, or ogle women like men here in Australia (and the US) do (not all men, but there is definitely that casual sexism here). You'll have no problem at all driving in Croatia, I'm sure. It's right-side driving, and left-side of the car. Obviously you can't expect Croatians to speak or understand English, but some do.

Zagreb, Croatia
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2. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Croatia is a safe place for single woman driving. Road signs are clear and roads generally very good,people mostly helpful and if younger,they would speak English.

Regarding your tour,please do specify how many days are you planning to spend here so that we could give you suggestions of photogenic places (there are plenty from north to south of the coast,as well as in the continental part of the country). What is that you are attracted by-is it the sceneries,landscapes or old cities and people?

Cheers and joyous holidays to everyone.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

jojo, thanks so much for the response! Much appreciated. Could you explain the driving thing? Is it the same as the U.S. with the driver on the left side? I'm a bit confused by your message there.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

tihi, I'm planning to spend around 11 days in Croatia. I usually spend at least 2 days in one place to ensure I'll get good weather to capture the place.

I'm generally attracted to landscape, e.g. any type of water, rocky coasts, waterfalls, snowcapped mountains, unique or dramatic landscape etc. I also love history and art so I like architecture, historical towns, ruins, museums etc. I don't really like tourisy places. I can do without shopping, nightlife, beaches etc.

Another question I forgot: I'm lactose intolerant. I can't eat food with cheese, milk, cream... Will I have trouble finding food in Croatia? How do I say no cheese or no cream?

Thanks! I heard your country is beautiful and I really want to see it!

zagreb
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5. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Search Youtube for " Velebit " and do not miss it!

Zagreb, Croatia
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6. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Hi there, at first few suggestions of stunning place which you might google later on.

As Djemi said, Velebit mountain chain overlooks deserted islands of the northern Adriatic (due to winds crashing onto the vegetation). Easy and slow drive through serpentines would dazzle anyone. It means you could start from Zagreb (the capital that has typically central European old town), continue to Plitvice (visit Rastoke village en route!!), access to the coast through Velebit.

Right from the middle of Adriatic,, Dalmatia region starts, divided into three parts, northern, central and southern. The central part hides jewels like old town of Sibenik and Roman city of Split, where you could stroll easily and discover amazing old streets and get interesting photos. Secondly, just 30 minutes drive from there you could wonder around archaeological site of the old Salona (as well as the old Venetian town of Trogir.)

In the same region, there are several beautiful islands, out of which Hvar would be one which many regards as the most beautiful. Later on you could continue to Omis and along the southern coast which is very indented, until you reach Makarska. There are some fascinating sceneries here (Rocky grey mountains colliding with blue calm see, all of that overlooking the islands from the high up! www.omisriviera.com/omis/omis-vruja.php

The villages behind (inland towards the town of Imotski) are called the Dalmatian hinterland, and there are lots of special groups doing tracking around the area of Vrgorac. Old stone houses and fab landscape again. After you have seen all of that you could finish your journey in Dubrovnik, or fly from Dubrovnik to Zagreb (the capital) for your outbound flight. In Dubrovnik region if by car you could drive to Peljesac peninsula, and visit Mljet island and Korcula island for a day at least. It is stunningly beautiful.

Of course,please have in mind that most unspoiled islands can be visited only by boat so lots of people come year after year discovering island such as Vis (see the Blue Cave Vis to have an idea).

Regarding food, it is easy (simple English like NO MILK PLEASE, ALERGICNA SAM- I am allergic) will be enough for you to make it clear.

I hope this helps, and that you will have a great journey and lots of fun in Croatia.

Edited: 26 December 2013, 22:23
Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Croatia is an incredibly beautiful, photogenic country. The Old City of Dubrovnik is amazing. The physical setting of Dubrovnik in South Dalmatia will look a lot like Southern California (with its steep, grassy cliffs beside beautiful blue water), only it's significantly less developed. Nearby, another photographer's dream site would be Mostar, in the Herzegovina section of Bosnia for another beautiful area, in terms of landscape and architecture. It's a very short drive just over the border from Croatia.

Driving in Croatia is easy for those us who speak no Croatian. On the main roads, road signs are in English. The controlled access highways are very modern and well-maintained. Coastal roads hug the coast and are beautiful, but traffic moves verrrrrrry slowly. Also, in planning your trip, bear in mind that you can rent a car from place in Croatia and drop it off in another within the country, and you will incur no additional fees. So you can start in Zagreb, end in Dubrovnik, and not have to backtrack to return the rental car. However, if you travel into Slovenia (which might be worth a whole other trip for you), you cannot return a rental car from there to a Croatian location and vice versa.

Croatian cuisine features some of the most delicious food you will eat anywhere. (Pag Lamb is sublime and I don't even like lamb ordinarily.) It features grilled meats or fish (more emphasis on fish in Dubrovnik and Southern Dalmatia) and fresh produce. It is not dairy intensive at all. There are no cheese or cream sauces to be found. (Cheese is more of a side dish by itself, so it's very avoidable). The only problem in Croatia with your lactose intolerance will be in Dubrovnik, at night, when you are strolling the Stradun (the main pedestrian street in the Old City). You'll be the only person without a gelato in your hand.

Zagreb, Croatia
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8. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

There is no problems for single driving woman at all. Signs are ok, too. Language? Some people speak english, some not... Many young do. Everyone want to explain you how to come. Croatia is touristic country, so everyone get used to tourists and there is tourist infrastructure.

There are many photogenic places. I will suggest you one, perhaps not so popular (not as Plitvice lakes): Nature park Lonjsko polje, 40 km from Zagreb. It is a swamp. There are many traditional wooden houses with stork's nests on them. But in summer a lot of muscitos as well :)

pp-lonjsko-polje.hr/Lonjsko_polje_english/Me…

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Yes, that is what I meant, driving in Croatia is the same as the US. Regarding food, my partner and I are both vegan, but He is Croatian and orders the food. Perhaps you could learn a few key words and use them when ordering, such as "no dairy, allergic" or whatever. The restaurants I have been to always state the ingredients of the dish, so you can see if the sauce has dairy in it. "Miljeko" is milk. Perhaps you could try AirBnb and AdriaticHome for apartments, most have kitchens so you can prepare your own meals. I'm sure you'll love Croatia.. Roll on May 28th!

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Several questions - security, language and photogenic places

Oh, no-one's mentioned Pula or Varazdin, so I will!