The best of both self guided and guided with Robi - Jul 31 - Aug 13, 2021
We asked Robi for a half guided half self guided trip of Croatia. He designed a program with us in mind that hit all the spots. I am good in many languages mostly Germanic but I have no basis of understanding of Croatian so for me a disadvantage. Robi got us immediately. We don't love crowds and love nature at its finest. At one time we thought we might do a boat tour of the islands with a small boat tour. Then we thought a gain. Who does those kind of trips? Older folks with not much to do but tour the islands and go off for excursions to buy baubles that will gather dust till the contents sale of their homes. We wanted something more active but not active every day some days restful at the beach or hanging around and doing our own thing. We did a few amazing bike tours that when Robi realized an Ebike might be great for our daughter and my wife he provided them and they went from unhappy bikers to power bikers with a flick of a switch. The bikes rides are great and an ebike makes a grueling ride easy for those who are not dyed in the wool bikers.
The places we stayed the tour design was done very well and by someone who knows the place extremely intimately well. Many of the places were apartments similar to Airb&b which is great for us as we are vegetarian and like do some of our own cooking. Food prices in restaurants are not cheap as elsewhere but the food in Croatia is extremely good. Their pizza rivals anything I have tasted in Italy. Tourism is so busy in Croatia especially in the big cities such Split and Dubrovnik that it is almost impossible to get a seating at a restaurant in the desirable locations.
Robi was always straight up and told us what we needed to know including that diving in Croatia was nothing special unless you wanted to go wreck diving.
Robi provides a level of service that is hard to find and will make your vacation that much easier. The addresses and locations of things are very difficult to find even for well seasoned travelers like us.
After we walked the walls of Ston. Robi dropped us off in Mila Ston to enjoy the beack which we did. Before he left he asked if we needed anything. I jokingly said "dos cervezas por favor" and he showed up with a couple of cold beers. It was lovely.
Robi is also a licensed boat captain and we chose to rent a rigid inflatable and tour the islands. Its the best way to see them. The ferries are slow clunky and leave at all inconvenient times. Having a boat is a definite plus. Even though I have a boating license I would definitely recommend getting a someone to pilot its tricky.
All in all. We loved Mario our initial guide for the Plitvice lakes and the next day. He is lovely and took us to a secret location known only to locals for a swim. This place was a gift that no tourist would find (for good reason).
Having a car in Croatia especially in the small cramped old cities would be a burden. There is almost no parking and what parking there is costs a fortune. I would recommend against if for a relaxing holiday.
All in all to sum up we had a great time, our tour was setup beautifully, we had the best of both worlds on our own and with a guide.
I would suggest if you don't go with Robi you are selling yourself short. He knows the intricacies of Croatia like nobody else and loves to share his knowledge and love of his country. He has a wacky sense of humour and was prepared to go the extra length to help us our in every situation.
Much of what we saw and did would not have happened if not for Robi.
Viva Croatia. Viva Robi.