Friday, 25 February 2022

Summer Accommodation in Croatia: 10 Booking Tips for the Upcoming Season

February 24, 2022 - Thinking of spending your long-awaited vacations on the Adriatic coast? Before renting your summer accommodation in Croatia, we recommend you take a look at some tips that can improve the quality of your stay.

When it comes to booking summer accommodation in Croatia, the custom in recent years was to check availability well in advance, due to the huge demand in the tourist season. This, however, changed radically in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, with Croatia seeing an increase in both cancellations and last-minute bookings. But the good news is that it looks like this year could mimic the booking habits of previous years, and early bookings are already showing up along the Croatian coast.

Vaccination against the coronavirus has reduced mortality in many countries around the world, and the epidemiological situation has improved compared to the previous two years. This seems to have encouraged many governments to relax measures and restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, and consequently many airlines to restore commercial flights and availability of summer accommodation in Croatia.


Makarska, in the county of Split-Dalmatia (Photo: Mario Romulić)

Everything seems to indicate that you're ready to go to start planning your summer vacations! But what do you have to keep in mind before booking your summer accommodation in Croatia? Well, many things. Remember that the demand for the summer season is very high, so time will be an important factor, and you will also want to take into account other details considering that the pandemic is not over yet, and you will not want to risk your days of relaxation in Croatia.

1. Choosing your destination

Island? Beach? Countryside? Ancient Roman cities or fortresses? The Croatian coast definitely has something for everyone. Although it is true that Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar, or Rovinj are the best positioned when it comes to attracting tourists in the summer, there are places that will really surprise you.

The Istrian peninsula proved its tourist strength in the toughest years of the pandemic, achieving very good results in the off-season, such as at Easter. Likewise, they achieved impressive numbers comparable to those of 2019 in the summer. This is because the Istrian peninsula is located on the northern coast of Croatia, making it very accessible by land. If the beach is your thing, check out cities like Umag, Novigrad, Poreč, or Pula. But if you feel the need to connect more with nature or the countryside, give picturesque places like Motovun, Pazin, or Labin a try. Wherever you decide to go, if you are coming from Europe, consider traveling by car or bus. You'll find plenty of five-star hotels, impressive villas, and endless camping spots.


The Old Town of Krk, on the Kvarner island of Krk (Photo: Mario Romulić)

But the coast is full of alternatives for summer accommodation in Croatia. Close to Istria, consider the magical town of Opatija in the Kvarner Bay, or its islands: Krk, Cres, Lošinj, Mali Lošinj, or Rab. Many aim to the Dalmatian Islands, but the ones mentioned above are gems that cannot be overlooked.

Similarly, if you want to add a bit of culture and history to your summer vacation in Croatia, Zadar and Šibenik are cities with a lot to tell through their streets, churches, and fortresses, as well as getting you closer to paradisiacal islands and beaches.

What a dream it is to be able to go to Hvar, but we really encourage you to include in your plans other islands of Split as possible alternatives, such as Brač or Vis, or perhaps the islands of Dubrovnik, such as Korčula or Lastovo. All equally fantastic!

If you are not quite sure which destinations to choose from on the Croatian coast, or what they have to offer you, our Total Croatia guides have all the information you need in order to choose the perfect place to spend your vacations.

Once you are sure about your destination, you will notice at this time of year that there is the availability of accommodation of all kinds: hotels, hostels, apartments, villas, houses, flats, and much more. Check out sites like to see what types of accommodation you can find along Croatia's Adriatic coast.

2. Choosing your ideal summer accommodation in Croatia

Croatia can boast not only countless tourist destinations but also various types of accommodation for you. From studio apartments to villas, from five-star hotels to eco-lodges, from beachfront homes to camping sites... it's hard to make a decision when it comes to the summer accommodation in Croatia that suits best your needs. Clearly, you will have to take into account many things before making a decision:

  • Your budget

If money is not an issue, you won't want to take your eyes off the luxurious hotels found in places like Istria, Dubrovnik, or Hvar. But if you're leaning toward a budget travel plan, you'll notice plenty of high-quality apartments and hotels that fit your budget.

  • When are you planning to stay

Although the high season is considered to be from June to August, prices may vary per week and for various reasons. July and the first weeks of August are usually the busiest and don't be surprised if at some point you find that there is no more availability. Many tourists find a great opportunity to find their summer accommodation in Croatia in June or even dare to arrive a little earlier, in May, or a little later, in September. In both cases, the weather is fantastic and there are plenty of things to do!

  • How many days do you plan to stay

If you opt for a short stay, like a weekend for example, perhaps you can afford to book a hotel, and thus you will not have to worry much about the cleanliness of your room while you go out to discover the beaches and historical sites. Although it is true that booking a small apartment is also a good idea, since you can focus most of your budget on activities or tours, this is a more attractive alternative for those planning a trip of three or more nights.


Valamar's Marea Suites in Poreč, Istria (Image: Valamar Hotels)

Bonus Tip: Keep in mind that some properties only accept bookings of two or more nights. On the coast, it is popular for guests to book just one night, allowing them to visit a different destination per day.

  • How many people are traveling with you

The number of people traveling with you will filter your booking possibilities. Some apartments, as spacious as they are, have only a double bed, and there are even properties that offer couples-only rates. If you are traveling with an extended family or a large group of friends, you may even consider renting a villa or house, and splitting the budget among your family or friends.


Luxury Apartments Illyria inside Diocletian's Palace in Split (

  • Your chosen destination

Depending on the destination you have chosen for your vacation, some properties may be worth more than others. If you are visiting historic cities like Rovinj, Pula, Zadar, Šibenik, Trogir, Split, or Dubrovnik, you may find more gratification in staying inside their old towns and transporting yourself back in time. On paradisiacal islands such as Vis, Lastovo or Krk, as well as on wonderful rivieras such as Opatija, Makarska or Brela, you will feel that a house or apartment facing the sea exceeds your expectations.

  • What kind of trip have you planned?

Not all vacations are the same. While some seek all the comforts and services that characterize a luxury trip, others rather aspire to reconnect with Croatia's natural wonders in a more authentic way. Similarly, while the Croatian coast is best known for its festivals, raves, and parties; many seek authentic experiences and get closer to the culture and traditions of the place they visit. Keep in mind what kind of trip you want to plan, because if your thing is comfort and relaxation, you have a large number of alternatives for luxury hotels and apartments of the highest quality. Make sure your summer accommodation in Croatia matches your vacation style!


Solaris Camping Beach Resort in Šibenik (Image: JetCamp)

On the contrary, if you are looking for an authentic experience on the Croatian coast, check out the camping sites or the now popular eco-lodges, which will help you reconnect with nature and the environment.

3. Use your phone to make reservations

While it is true that it is easier to organize everything on your laptop when planning your next trip, you should seriously consider switching to your phone when looking for the summer accommodation in Croatia that suits best your needs. Sites like offer something called the Mobile Rate, a discounted rate for those who book through their mobile website or app. Some properties, through this special rate, can get discounts of up to 20%, so we highly recommend doing your search from your smartphone!


4. Compare prices

Although it sounds incredible, many properties still do not update their prices for the summer season. Just as it may be to your advantage to find strangely low prices, it may also be the case that you made a reservation with one price and, after checking the availability of that same property on other dates, the prices are lower. Therefore, compare the prices of similar properties in the same location well, so that you have an idea of what the real prices may be.

Also, if your dream is to visit the old walls of Dubrovnik or the old town in Hvar, the high demand and prices might scare you a bit. If you look for alternatives, you will realize that there is an immeasurable number of destinations that can offer you the same experience and for less stratospheric prices.

5. Look for available discounts or offers

It is correct to say, as already mentioned at the beginning of this article, that the current epidemiological situation promises better prospects for the tourist season in Croatia compared to the last two years. Not for that, however, it is reasonable to ignore the still present coronavirus and its variants, and consequently the unpredictable way in which other governments decide to handle the situation.

Therefore, property owners and managers in Croatia do not take it for granted that reservations will take care of themselves, but that an additional effort must be made to attract more and more tourists., for example, offers a wide range of package deals and discounts aimed at various types of potential guests.

One of the most popular is the Genius program, which connects properties and guests. To be part of the program, as a property, it is necessary to meet a series of requirements such as an excellent rating and to belong to the program as a guest, it is necessary to successfully complete a series of reservations in a certain period of time. The reward? Properties in the Genius program generate greater visibility on the platform, and Genius guests can enjoy incredible discounts on their rates.


But in addition to Genius, there are offers that target guests from a certain country, discounts for couples, discounts for last-minute reservations, etc. When looking for your summer accommodation in Croatia, pay close attention to the offers and discounts that may appear!

6. Look for properties with flexible cancellation policies

The last thing you want to happen is that, shortly before you travel, you encounter an outbreak of a new variant of the coronavirus that forces the government of your country to reinforce epidemiological measures and conditions your trip. In previous years, many guests had to cancel their trips because, within the new measures, they had to self-isolate when arriving in a country, or when returning back to their own. One of the harshest consequences for many was having to assimilate the loss not only of the trip and the reservation but also of the money spent, since the property or room you reserved did not have a flexible cancellation policy.


We recommend that you carefully review the cancellation policies of the properties you are looking for. Before, many offered free cancellation 7 days before arrival, or even up to a day before. However, considering the improvement in the epidemiological situation, the largest number of properties have a 15-day cancellation policy, in order to have enough time to find other reservations. Also take a look at properties that allow you to pay only a fraction of the reservation, or even others that allow you to pay in cash on arrival.

7. Read the reviews

We wish we could say that everything is perfect when it comes to planning a trip to Croatia, but there will always be a margin of error. You have already defined the destination of your trip, the property that most attracts your attention offers a great rate (with discounts included), has a very good rating, and the photos make you dream of being there now.


The last thing you know, you realize on arrival that the apartment wasn't as easy to find as it claimed to be, it's not very clean, or some of the facilities don't work as they should. Despite all this, many properties manage to (unbelievably) retain a rating of 8 or 9. So, to avoid a bad experience on that trip you dreamed of, take some time to read the reviews of the property or hotel. Also keep in mind that not all previous guests are seasoned travelers, and some of their reviews may be a bit harsh. For example, some demand elevators, when they forget that they are reserving an apartment inside a 4th-century Roman palace. You be the judge!

8. Check carefully for services and facilities

In addition to verifying the quality of the property or hotel from which you plan to reserve an apartment or room through the experience of other guests, be sure to carefully review the list of facilities, services, characteristics, and rules of the property. While it is true that some places are not very specific with their information, it may be that you are the one who forgot to check the details.

For example, if you are traveling with an elderly person or with a newborn in a stroller, you will want to make sure that the place is properly accessible for everyone. It also may not include certain things like cooking pots in the kitchen, a hairdryer in the bathroom, or a washing machine. Or maybe the property is non-smoking and doesn't have a terrace either, so you'll need to smoke outside. All of this is easy to verify if you take the time to read all the property information, or even if you contact the owner or manager before booking your summer accommodation in Croatia.

9. Use the map to accurately locate your accommodation

Sometimes it is not enough to know what city, neighborhood, or street the apartment you rented is located on. It is better to make sure now before you realize that the airport is very far from the apartment, and the transfer options to the city or town are limited. Before you know it, the apartment is located in a secret passage inside Diocletian's Palace in Split, and there is no host to guide you to the right place. Check well on Google Maps or contact the owner or manager, and you will find the best recommendations so you don't get lost. Otherwise, you will rent a car only to find out later that the property you booked does not have its own parking, and the nearest parking lot has no space left!


Dubrovnik (Screenshot/

Through its map, also offers an alternative view of the different properties you can book. In it, you can see the prices of each property and its location in the destination of your interest. This way, you can compare prices in an exact location, or even make sure you book something close to the sea.

10. Book now!

We know that, at the end of the day, what will define your experience in Croatia will be the places you discover, the food you taste, and the memories you take with you. But summer is just around the corner, and every hour you're undecided is a property or room booked by someone else. No pressure! We want you to make the best possible decision so that your next trip to Croatia is an unforgettable experience. That is why we have compiled the above list of recommendations. However, don't be over-calculating, because not only may it be too late, but there are also current offers that you won't find again soon! Good luck finding your ideal summer accommodation in Croatia!

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Why are, AirBnB Croatian Occupancy Rates So Different?

June 27, 2019 - At the time of year when Croatian media focuses on how the season is going, some interesting discrepancies between and AirBnB occupancy rates.

So how is the season? How are bookings? Will 2019 be another record year to beat the record year of 2018, which beat the record year of 2017? The record year of 2020 will beat the record year of 2019, but how do things stand in the world of reality away from the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism?

It is a topic I used to follow quite closely each summer, but not so much these days as my interest focus moves away from tourism. But I still have the conversations with people I meet, and the general verdict from the private accommodation sector is that booking are up to 20% down on the record 2018 and most will be happy if they get to within 5-10% of last year's numbers. 

As I said, it is not a topic that particularly interests me these days, until that is... 

Preparing for my latest business trip this week, I was looking for a one-night rental in Dubrovnik on Sunday, June 30. I started with AirBnB and was surprised by one thing and astounded by another. 

I was surprised at how many private rooms and apartments were available for under £40 a night in this exclusive destination suffering from over-tourism just a few days before the peak season. 

And I was astounded by the AirBnB statistic for my over night stay on June 30 (remember I was looking on June 27, just three days before):

32% of places in Dubrovnik for your dates and guests are already booked. 

Which means 68% were not booked. 

WTF? Had I stumbled across a story looking for the cheapest bed in the Pearl of the Adriatic for one night? It turns out that I had, butt not the one I thought I had. 


The obvious place to counter check was - and the picture could not be more different. While AirBnB was only 32% full, Booking was an impressive 87% occupied for Bradbury's visit to Dubrovnik on Sunday. 


And, according to, Dubrovnik was doing better than Split. 


Which was doing better than Zadar. You can keep playing this game yourselves. 


Just for fun, I chose a totally unpopular time to come in a destination I know well - Jelsa on Hvar. If you are thinking of visiting on December 15, then hurry, for Jelsa is 93% booked for this time of year when nobody visits. 

So why the discrepancy? 

I am sure that part of the reason to explain the high occupancy in Jelsa in December is down to the fact that the hotels are closed and so they simply block them off, and the Booking algorithm counts this as occupied. But even so - 93%?

Another partial explanation could be that has a huge hotel database, whereas AirBnB is much more focused on private accommodation. Could it be that the Croatian hotel industry is doing extremely well and private accommodation very poorly?


A very interesting article from leading Croatian entrepreneur Nenad Bakic, featured by TCN this week, showed a huge discrepancy between Croatia and the rest of the EU. As you can see from the charts above and below, hotel occupancy as a percentage of tourism accommodation is a third of the EU average.


And with exactly half of Croatian tourism overnights coming from private accommodation (Slovenia is the only EU country which has more than 30%), could a lack of take-up of private accommodation this year (or better phrased, too much private accommodation on the market) be a large contributor to the lower AirBnB numbers compared to


The higher percentages may be due to the fact that Croatia's hotels are fully booking, but that is hardly surprising.  

There are not nearly enough of them. As I explained at the recent Filipovic Real Estate Conference in Zagreb and Frei in Budva, the majority of the luxury international brands are avoiding Croatia, while they are queueing up to open in places like Montenegro. 

A good season or bad? I have no idea if this will be the record season that official numbers will no doubt announce, or the disaster that many private owners predict. The only thing I can say with certainty is that with Jelsa 93% booked for December, our place is available, but book now!

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Is Croatian Accommodation Expensive? A Mediterranean Comparison...

As Index writes on the 22nd of June, 2019, with a late Easter and excessively bad weather throughout May, the beginning of the Croatian tourist season is already a bit weaker than it should be, at least according to the claims of various tourist workers.

It might seem like a bit of on obvious statement, but the bad weather in May could have affected only those tourists who had already arrived, and because of the rain and the cold, and probably the boredom that comes with such weather in places like the Dalmatian coast, many would-have-been tourists in Croatia chose somewhere with more stable May weather, such as Spain.

Speaking in the present, this year's late Easter and a very rainy May are both behind us, the heat has well and truly arrived, the school holidays have begun, and hotel owners and private renters are expecting their guests. However, they all complain that this year they are less booked up than they were last year, but in spite of those claims, they're still not talking about any specific numbers. Some say shyly that they will be ''satisfied'' if their number of bookings from tourists are only five percent less than they were last year.

As Croatia still goes on and on the most about the number of overnight stays achieved and not about the much more complex overall economic effects on the country, Index decided to check out the prices of some of the accommodation in Croatia compared to that of other, comparable Mediterranean destinations.

Umag in Croatia is more expensive than Portugal, Spain, France, and even Italy...

In its proverbial sea of options, the all powerful Google readily provides information on the average price of accommodation in three star hotels.

Of the ten Croatian destinations the aforementioned newspaper chose to check, Umag is by far the most expensive. The average price of an overnight stay in a three star hotel in Umag stands at 1211 kuna! Not only is the most expensive accommodation in Umag in Croatia, but it's also the most expensive of all the destinations that were checked - from Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco to Tunisia. The search didn't encompass Dubrovnik as Index wanted to avoid bigger cities, which would certainly be the only cities with bigger price tags than the Pearl of the Adriatic.

When it comes to competition on the Mediterranean, Umag closest to the popular Spanish island of Mallorca, where an overnight stay at a three star hotel costs 952 kuna on average. It's still 60 kuna cheaper than on the Croatian island of Krk where 1,012 kuna is needed for a bed, a bathroom and some breakfast in the morning.

Of the Croatian destinations, the cheapest is the magical island of Pag, where an overnight stay costs 610 kuna on average, Makarska is about ten kuna more expensive, and for under 700 kuna, you're looking at the island of Vis. Of course, this isn't all encompassing, but we're talking specifically about the average prices of accommodation in three star hotels.

For one night in the Croatian destination of Umag, you'll get three nights in North Africa or in Turkey.

The price of hotel accommodation is often the ''largest'' item to budget for when planning for holidays by far. It's quite easy to find cheap flights to any destination in the Mediterranean, and its often cheap even to fly to much more distant destinations.

The prices of average and below average accommodation in Croatia will have to decrease in the coming years.

The differences in price when comparing Croatian destinations to other similar destinations can hardly be justified, so the fact is, although it may seem a bit unfair to compare Croatia with the likes of Turkey, a tourism kind which subsidises its tourism a great deal, that it doesn't interest visitors.

How will Croatian destinations and their prices do over the next several years? With the return of former tourism kings such as Turkey and other countries from within Turkey's region which are recovering from conflicts, it's difficult to say what sort of sacrifices Croatia will need to make to keep hold of its beloved overnight stay count.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for much more.