I had mixed feelings when I checked in at Camping Straško, at the end of a long Day 8: Novalja on Pag is one of Croatia’s biggest tourism centres, Camping Straško is a HUGE, resort style, campsite, and resorts and “big” tourism are not normally my scene. However I was very pleasantly surprised, though it was, of course, off season and not the buzzing “party town” it would be in high summer. I paid a little extra for my pitch and was right by the sea, next to a very long beach, with only a few distant neighbours.
There were quite a few nice touches such as the coloured lines on the road which helped you find your pitch…..
…. and the adaptor at the end of the hose for the chemical toilet which stopped it dripping and splashing everywhere.
The pitches were a good size and well demarcated with trees and walls, and I also liked the water taps which were in the middle of little “tables”, with a rustic stone exterior and stainless steel tops, so you could put your water bottles on them.
On the downside it was “raining” seeds and leaves from the many Sycamore trees around and many of the peripheral facilities weren’t quite open for business yet.
One of the restaurants, Buffet Straško, was open and, in the end, I had a really good meal but the first sea bream that arrived was not cooked inside. I strongly suspect it came out of the freezer, rather than being the “catch of the day” but did not get a direct answer to that question! Unfortunately, especially when there are not many tourists about, the restaurants have to use frozen fish. I understand that but wish they (Croatian restaurateurs in general) would be more open about it and not insist on passing it off as Class A fresh fish and pricing it accordingly.
There was no argument from the chef and waiter, who dealt very diplomatically and expertly with my irritation and intention to leave, and eventually produced two slightly smaller, beautifully cooked, sea bream to replace the bigger half frozen one. I seem to recall I was also mollified with another glass of wine, on the house. One nice and relatively unusual touch (unless you are a local or specifically ask for it) was a little bowl of olive oil and chopped garlic to drizzle over the fish.
All in all, prices were reasonable – fish at 220 Kn per kilo – mine was 88 Kn, based on the weight of the original fish I think, a very good house wine at 80 Kn per litre, and “blitva s krumpir” at 20 Kn - a common Dalmatian vegetable side dish of swiss chard and boiled potatoes, with garlic and oil. The total came to 146 Kn, including a Prošek aperitif and the one small glass of red wine I was charged for.
In general, it was a good stay – a great location with plenty of beach, good modern washrooms (but the dreaded timer button on the showers), a friendly ambience in the restaurant and plenty of evidence that it would be very well maintained in all seasons, however busy it was – bins everywhere, for all kinds of recycling as well as normal rubbish, emptied daily it seems, even in May.
A night’s camping cost me 130 Kn in total, again a little above my average, but it would have been 7 Kn less if I had not gone for a premium pitch. My pitch was 84 Kn, taxes etc 12 Kn, and the rate for one adult was 34 Kn. I was not charged anything extra for the dog or electricity.
There is an FKK (nudist) area and the campsite also offers mobile homes which vary in price from 266 Kn per day to roughly 1,330 Kn per day, depending on size, location and season.
Needless to say there is a full range of facilities and activities in the high season – shops, bakery, rent a scooter/segway/boat/bike/etc, diving and submergible trips, massages, sports centre, pizzeria, tavern and more. There’s free WiFi too which is relatively unusual for Croatian campsites.
And it’s good for sunsets too!
Like most other campsites in big tourist centres, it is a little way away from the centre of town, and therefore aims to make sure all the basics you need for your holiday are on site.
GPS co-ordinates are 44° 32.70' N 14° 52.85' E
For more information and photos, have a look at the Camping Straško Website