Croatia with HF Holidays

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Those planning to visit Croatia should note that there are several ways to get there.

In mid-May ’07 my wife, Inge, and I flew British Air from England’s Gatwick Airport to Split, Croatia, for a walking tour plus a few days on our own. We then flew to Germany, staying another week before flying back to England and on home.

One could also take a bus to Croatia from several cities in Germany, and, if one has the time, it’s possible to take a boat across the Adriatic from Italy to several ports in Croatia.

Upon our arrival in Split, we took a bus an hour’s ride south to Baska Voda, the base town for a week-long walking tour with HF Holidays (Catalyst House, 720 Centennial Ct., Centennial Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3SY, U.K.; phone +44 [0] 20 8732 1220, www. hfholidays.co.uk).

The tour cost £515 (about $1,030) per person, or about $147 per person per day. Tips were not required. We booked our week’s tour without air, as we wished to extend our Croatia stay five days, including three nights in Dubrovnik.

Our week with HF included the transfer from the Split airport to Baska Voda; seven nights at a very nice hotel across the street from the Adriatic; breakfasts and dinners, and guided walks. We bought our lunches at the local markets to carry with us every morning.

We were bused to our starting points. We had two guides, one for each tour and level of difficulty: moderate and difficult. The “difficults” were longer and more strenuous walks, though all walks were in the same general area. One day we went through a botanical garden, and another day we were on an island that was very rocky and dry, however there was a pub at the end of that walk.

After the walks, we could stroll around Baska Voda’s marina or go to the beach for a swim. The water was cool, clear and refreshing. We also could take hikes along paths that followed the seashore.

In Baska Voda, buildings were painted and attractive and the streets were clean. We saw a lot of young men over 6'6" walking with their girlfriends over 5'10" — handsome and TALL couples. People were friendly and the place was not crowded. This was shoulder season; we heard that it is packed during the summer months. Cash was easy to get at the ATMs.

One of the fun evenings was on a chartered boat to a nearby town that was having a rock concert. Our captain had some old CDs, so we had our own songfest on the boat as we cruised each way. A Scottish couple celebrating their 35th anniversary contributed wine that cleared our throats and made the singing sound great.

After the tour, from Baska Voda we took a bus (about $20 each) down the coast to Dubrovnik, a beautiful, old, walled city that was rather crowded with people off several cruise ships.

At the website www.dubrovnik-area.com there were many apartments and rooms available and we had chosen Adriatic Star Apartments (Kolocepska 1, 2000 Dubrovnik, Croatia; phone +385 [0] 98 358 905, fax [0] 20 426 406 or e-mail the owner, Boris Vlahusic, at boris.vlahusic@du.htnet.hr).

It was not a fancy place but convenient, only about 150 yards away from Old Town. Our apartment with a queen-size bed, small kitchen and shower cost €55 ($72) per night.

To get from Dubrovnik to Hannover, Germany, we found a special on the Internet. Our flight for €171 ($222) for both of us with Hapag-Lloyd*, a German airline, included a second-class rail ticket to anyplace in Germany; we took the train to Berlin for a week’s stay with relatives.

It took us a lot of time to get the information to arrange the independent-travel portion of our trip. For an apartment in Dubrovnik there were so many choices. Location and price were our priorities.

Initially, I thought we would fly out of Split straight to Germany, but, with more information, Dubrovnik became a must-see add-on. I tried to figure out if we could take a boat along the coast to Dubrovnik. There was a ferry, but getting to the port in Split and the trip down the coast would have taken too much time away from our Dubrovnik stay, so we took the bus.

As a novice on the use of the Net, it took a while to get a flight out of Dubrovnik with a smaller, more reasonably priced airline, but in the end it was worth it, as we were able to fit things into our time frame. HF Holidays gives you flexibility so that you can add on and do what you want before or after your stay.

HF Holidays caters primarily to walkers but also has trips for bikers and people with other interests. Throughout England, Scotland and Wales they own many manor houses and use them as bases for the walking tours. Breakfasts and dinners are served, and sandwiches, fruit, veggies and sweets are set out for walkers to eat or to pack for the day.

Most stays are for a week in the UK and for longer time periods in other countries. HF offers walking trips throughout Europe, North America, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

This was not our first trip with HF Holidays. We have had great times with the British people we’ve met on these walks. With their wonderful senses of humor, they were a lot of fun.

If anyone has questions, you can send an e-mail to me at rihelm@ comcast.net.

RAY HELM

Camino, CA

*In 2007 the airline Hapag-Lloyd changed its name to TUIfly; phone 0049 511 2200 4713 or visit www.tuifly.com.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Those planning to visit Croatia should note that there are several ways to get there.

In mid-May ’07 my wife, Inge, and I flew British Air from England’s Gatwick Airport to Split, Croatia, for a walking tour plus a few days on our own. We then flew to Germany, staying another week before flying back to England and on home.

One could also take a bus to Croatia from several cities in Germany, and, if one has the time, it’s possible to take a boat across the Adriatic from Italy to several ports in Croatia.

Upon our arrival in Split, we took a bus an hour’s ride south to Baska Voda, the base town for a week-long walking tour with HF Holidays (Catalyst House, 720 Centennial Ct., Centennial Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3SY, U.K.; phone +44 [0] 20 8732 1220, www. hfholidays.co.uk).

The tour cost £515 (about $1,030) per person, or about $147 per person per day. Tips were not required. We booked our week’s tour without air, as we wished to extend our Croatia stay five days, including three nights in Dubrovnik.

Our week with HF included the transfer from the Split airport to Baska Voda; seven nights at a very nice hotel across the street from the Adriatic; breakfasts and dinners, and guided walks. We bought our lunches at the local markets to carry with us every morning.

We were bused to our starting points. We had two guides, one for each tour and level of difficulty: moderate and difficult. The “difficults” were longer and more strenuous walks, though all walks were in the same general area. One day we went through a botanical garden, and another day we were on an island that was very rocky and dry, however there was a pub at the end of that walk.

After the walks, we could stroll around Baska Voda’s marina or go to the beach for a swim. The water was cool, clear and refreshing. We also could take hikes along paths that followed the seashore.

In Baska Voda, buildings were painted and attractive and the streets were clean. We saw a lot of young men over 6'6" walking with their girlfriends over 5'10" — handsome and TALL couples. People were friendly and the place was not crowded. This was shoulder season; we heard that it is packed during the summer months. Cash was easy to get at the ATMs.

One of the fun evenings was on a chartered boat to a nearby town that was having a rock concert. Our captain had some old CDs, so we had our own songfest on the boat as we cruised each way. A Scottish couple celebrating their 35th anniversary contributed wine that cleared our throats and made the singing sound great.

After the tour, from Baska Voda we took a bus (about $20 each) down the coast to Dubrovnik, a beautiful, old, walled city that was rather crowded with people off several cruise ships.

At the website www.dubrovnik-area.com there were many apartments and rooms available and we had chosen Adriatic Star Apartments (Kolocepska 1, 2000 Dubrovnik, Croatia; phone +385 [0] 98 358 905, fax [0] 20 426 406 or e-mail the owner, Boris Vlahusic, at boris.vlahusic@du.htnet.hr).

It was not a fancy place but convenient, only about 150 yards away from Old Town. Our apartment with a queen-size bed, small kitchen and shower cost €55 ($72) per night.

To get from Dubrovnik to Hannover, Germany, we found a special on the Internet. Our flight for €171 ($222) for both of us with Hapag-Lloyd*, a German airline, included a second-class rail ticket to anyplace in Germany; we took the train to Berlin for a week’s stay with relatives.

It took us a lot of time to get the information to arrange the independent-travel portion of our trip. For an apartment in Dubrovnik there were so many choices. Location and price were our priorities.

Initially, I thought we would fly out of Split straight to Germany, but, with more information, Dubrovnik became a must-see add-on. I tried to figure out if we could take a boat along the coast to Dubrovnik. There was a ferry, but getting to the port in Split and the trip down the coast would have taken too much time away from our Dubrovnik stay, so we took the bus.

As a novice on the use of the Net, it took a while to get a flight out of Dubrovnik with a smaller, more reasonably priced airline, but in the end it was worth it, as we were able to fit things into our time frame. HF Holidays gives you flexibility so that you can add on and do what you want before or after your stay.

HF Holidays caters primarily to walkers but also has trips for bikers and people with other interests. Throughout England, Scotland and Wales they own many manor houses and use them as bases for the walking tours. Breakfasts and dinners are served, and sandwiches, fruit, veggies and sweets are set out for walkers to eat or to pack for the day.

Most stays are for a week in the UK and for longer time periods in other countries. HF offers walking trips throughout Europe, North America, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

This was not our first trip with HF Holidays. We have had great times with the British people we’ve met on these walks. With their wonderful senses of humor, they were a lot of fun.

If anyone has questions, you can send an e-mail to me at rihelm@ comcast.net.

RAY HELM

Camino, CA

*In 2007 the airline Hapag-Lloyd changed its name to TUIfly; phone 0049 511 2200 4713 or visit www.tuifly.com.