Sleeping on an air mattress in Croatia

I’m not a rugged outdoors adventure type, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoying camping. I do! I have! I’m a total convert to tenting it!

Okay, a total convert might be stretching the truth, I am by no means someone who grabs their tent at the first opportunity but I have had several great camping trips and am certainly not ruling out one of these best large tents for future trips, either. When one of my favourite bloggers, Allison from Life in a Pink Fibro, confessed her anxieties about a pending camping trip I was immediately transplanted back to Croatia, the scene of my favourite ever camping holiday.

This was a very low budget trip, at a time when I was time rich but money poor. That meant the camping equipment – mainly a small tent and an air mattress – were also low budget, but they seemed to do the trick nicely. I have some extremely fond memories of lying on the surprisingly very comfortable air mattress and looking out the tent door to a sunny Croatian sky; equally fond are the thoughts of lying there listening to some summer rain plop onto the tent, wondering if I’d end up saturated or not and being pleased the next morning to find that the inside of the tent (and therefore, me) was still all dry.

Campground near Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

There’s something about arriving at a camp ground, selecting a hopefully sensible spot of ground and setting up your tent ready for another “outdoor” night that gives me quite a thrill. I guess it’s a kind of self-sufficiency or something, probably combined with not having to spend much money but still being able to see some amazing new places. The campsite close to Plitvice Lakes was probably my favourite, a large grassy area with tent sites made private by bushes and trees, giving the impression that you were kind of out in the wilderness on your own (yet with handy amenities right nearby!). There was another camp ground in the town of Biograd (such a technical-sounding name for an otherwise pretty seaside town) that impressed me too, because although it wasn’t quite on the waterfront it was a short walk through a kind of forest down to the sea.

View from inside my tent, Croatia

Croatia, for me, was a perfect place for some summertime camping. I’m not so gung-ho that I’d recommend camping there any time of year (even sunny Croatia gets chilly), or that I’d haul my tent up to Scandinavia except at the very peak of summer, but you can do worse than planning a bit of a drive and camp holiday around Croatia. Cheap, cheerful, fun and if you have the right air mattress, really comfortable.

Are you a camper or a don’t-let-me-see-the-inside-of-a-tent kind of traveller?


  1. Dale Neill says:

    All the room service in the world together with hot and cold running air conditioners can hardly make up for listening to the wind on the tent wall snuggled up in a down bag.

  2. I am a luxury camper – I had a motor home some years ago, and I loved the freedom and the spontaneity of camping this way. And yes, I could hear the wind through the open window (with the mosquito netting…) 😉

  3. Accidental Londoner says:

    I’m an all or nothing girl – I will happily sleep with a nice strong roof over my head or under a simple tarpaulin to keep the rain off. But I cannot bear tents! Something about how steamy they always seem to get, when they’re not freezing cold. You’re a braver girl than I!

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