Croatia possesses several beautiful sights including Diocletian's Palace and the glorious Plitvice Lakes National Park. Otherwise, there are a host of islands to soak up the sun and stunning blue oceans, such as Hvar, Korčula and Mljet.
Around 400,000 British nationals travel to Croatia each year, which can be reached from the United Kingdom by airplane, train or car.
The currency in Croatia is the Kuna. Euros may be accepted in certain establishments, but ATMs are readily available in most banks, supermarkets and busy areas in most cities.
Getting to Croatia
An airplane journey from London to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, would take an average time of around four hours, although some flights can be purchased for as little as just over two hours.
Travelling by train from St Pancras International sees that travel time extend to roughly 21 hours, depending on what time you leave the UK and which stops you make along the way.
Driving the same trip, meanwhile, will take you roughly 18 hours.
If you are unsure as to your medication schedule while travelling then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes team.
The time difference in Croatia is one hour ahead of British Summer Time and two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, which should not require excessive adjustments to how your medicate your diabetes.
However, if you are unsure as to how best to stick to your medication schedule then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes specialist.
The average climate in Croatia is almost identical to that of the UK, except average summer temperatures have a tendency to be higher. The weather in Croatia is unlikely to require any specific adjustments to your diabetes management.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required to enter Croatia, but it is recommended to receive vaccination for hepatitis A, which can be contracted through contaminated food and water in Croatia.
Rabies can be found in dogs, bats and other mammals in Croatia. This is not a major risk for travellers, but vaccination is advised for people who will be working with or around animals, children, or those planning activities in remote regions that put them at risk of animal bites.
If you believe you may require these vaccines then you should consult your doctor at least eight weeks before travelling which should allow enough time for you to receive them.
Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.
Get your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Croatia is amongst the European countries that allow you to receive state healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for medical treatment until you return to the UK.
It is best to apply for an EHIC card directly through the NHS. Your card will usually arrive within seven days if you have applied through the NHS, but it is best to apply two weeks in advance to allow for any delays.
Access to medication
Medication is available in Croatia, but payment is required from a pharmacy. Possessing an EHIC card, however, allows you to receive treatment at a lesser cost and this money can be recouped when you get back into the UK.
Blood and urine testing kits are available from many pharmacies in Croatia, for which the translation in Croatian is “ljekarna”.
The emergency services telephone number to be called in the event of a hypoglycaemic attack is 112.
It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Croatia if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.
You should note which syringes are available in Croatia, with U-40, U-80 and U-100 syringes the most commonly used.
The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.
There is one diabetic association in Croatia that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The address is:
- Hrvatski Savez Dijabetickih Udruga (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 1992),
- How is blood glucose measured in Croatia? mmol/L
- What language is spoken in Croatia? Croatian, although German and English are both spoken widely
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in Croatia? No
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in Croatia? A vast variety, including Pepsi Max and Diet Sprite. There are other sugar free drinks that some tourists may not have heard of that are sold in Croatia, such as Happy Day (orange juice without added sugar) and Jamnicka (mineral water with lemon or orange)