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And finally, here is the essential information and a few tips:

Flight time: Just over 2 hours, Ryanair flies direct from Stansted to Zadar

Vaccinations: At the moment the Fit For Travel site recommends that for Croatia, in addition to the usual UK inoculations you also get boosters for diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis A.  They also sometimes advise hepatitis B, tick-borne encephalitis and rabies - depending on which part of the country you are travelling to and your planned activities.

It is always worth checking with the NHS website or with the nurse at your GP surgery, as they give up to the minute advice - in my experience whenever I take this rather long list of jabs to the nurse they tend to laugh and say that these are really if you are visiting very rural areas (particularly for rabies.)  It’s also worth taking the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (I confess I don’t have one!)

Currency: Croatian kuna. June 2010 exchange rate - 8.2 kuna to £1.  Some places also ask for and accept euros - we didn’t take any with us so we always paid in kuna.

Time zone: usually 1 hour ahead of London time

Drinking water: Most water in Europe is pretty safe to drink, so you can enjoy ice in your drinks and brush your teeth with the tap water, but I would always recommend drinking bottled water - just because it takes anybody time to adjust to a new water system - and you don’t want that time to be on your holiday.  Their local bottled water Jana is actually now the hot drink in New York!

Snakes: Yes there are snakes in Croatia, but only very rarely are they venomous and apparently their bite is around the same strength as a bee sting - but please do investigate further if you are planning to go rambling or into the countryside.

Language: Croatian.  Most people speak very good English, the only people who don’t seem to are the old school cab drivers and the information staff at the bus station.  “Dobar dan” is hello, and “hvala” is thank you - people love it if you can just manage this.

Taxis: One thing about Croatia - it's possibly the nicest, politest, friendliest, safest places I've ever been - but they have absolutely no qualms about nicking your cab - one time I even had to kick the people out of my cab and they were most put out.  Anyway always use the Lulic taxis (00 385 23 494 494) (as the old school Mercedes drivers will try to rip you off, in my experience) and give them a destination and a name so you know it is your cab - they are very smart, in suits, the cars are compact but lovely and you pay 20 kuna for the first 5 km, so it's practically the same price as a bus if there are two of you - cheaper if there are more!

Buses: These are great - charge about a £1 a ticket, often air conditioned and run very promptly (apart from the one we had to the airport.)  Make sure you check the timetable though as there are sometimes long gaps, particularly in the middle of the day.  There are direct buses that go to Sibenik and then there are local buses that stop everywhere along the way.  Apparently if you get a direct bus it’s about an hour from Zadar to Sibenik - but we didn’t quite make it this time!  You can also leave your luggage at the bus station for about 20p an hour if you want to dump it somewhere.

Safety: We didn’t have any problem at all with safety or security, and I have never travelled anywhere that felt so relaxed and safe.  I even left all our luggage downstairs at one point while I went upstairs to check out an apartment - including our money and passports - just be careful you don’t get too relaxed, because your insurance company won’t cover this level of carelessness!

For a great sunset view: The quay outside the Hotel Adriana at Punta Skala.  Zadar is the 3rd best place in the world to watch the sunset apparently, after Rio and Split, Croatia.

The tourist information: I love guide books, but I was very disappointed with every single one I saw for Croatia.  They still seem to focus on all the bars and monuments, when what I wanted was good ferry advice and more info on excursions, such as trips to Krka, Kornati and Cres (where apparently there is a pod of dolphins - but you are not allowed to swim there!)  The local information is very good, from hotels, information offices, just asking around, but hopefully my advice will be a bit helpful to you!