Just recently, I got a phone call from Sara, the co-owner of Balkan Campers. She invited me to travel around Croatia in one of their funky VW campervans, which they are renting out. I was very sorry that I had to turn down this adventure, since my plans are already elsewhere this season.
However, the project and their concept was so attractive that I really wanted them to write us more information about Balkan Campers idea and about road tripping in Croatia with an old school VW bus! Here is what Sara (the owner) told us.
Story of Balkan Campers
Tom: Hi Sara! First congratulation for the project. Vans look amazing. When and how did you come to an idea about the project?
Sara: My boyfriend Nejc, who first founded the company, took a gap year for traveling 10 years ago. When he reached Australia everything was expensive and then he found out about Wicked campers. They were renting out old school vans with graphite motives and paintings. He fell in love with the idea of traveling with an old school van and he decided he will try to do the same in Croatia and Slovenia. That is how a passion became a life style. Nowadays we rent out 25 campervans available for pickups in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Italy.
Tom: So you guys are only renting out VW campervans? Why is that so?
Sara: Hehe, we have only one exception – we are renting out one cool small campervan Nissan Datsun. We named him Bonsai, because it is from Japan. He is the only outsider in the family of VWs. Otherwise yes, we are in love with VW campervans. Especially VW T3. It is something special to drive these vans on regional road. People wave at you, you are happy, time slows down. That is what we need nowadays right?
Tom: That is a fact, hehe. When I checked your website, I saw that you have also some newer vans. Which one are more popular old or new?
Sara: Yes, we have more than 10 VW T4 models, few VW T5 models and even a VW T6. This one is the youngest in our family. I would say people choose modern vans more often because they can do longer trips. For old school campervan you need a bit more time. But after people return from a roadtrip with old school vans, they sometimes cry when they have to leave the van with us. I swear this is a true story.
Tom: haha..I can imagine that, yes. They really look amazing. You told me that you deliver the vans to different locations throughout the region. How does that work?
Sara: We offer different options for different camper vans. For example, we have three vans parked in Montenegro, where we can deliver them to Podgorica for zero extra costs. We have one van parked in Rijeka, Croatia, where we also deliver with zero costs. We have more than 15 vans, which can be delivered to Zagreb, Split, Pula, and even Dubrovnik – all in Croatia. We have also several vans parked in Slovenia, which can also be delivered to Ljubljana or other places with zero extra costs.
Besides Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro, we also deliver to Venice and Trieste in Italy.
Camping in Croatia
Tom: You built a very nice network of vans. Congratulations. If we move to camping now, what would you recommend to people traveling with a van to Croatia.
Sara: First of all, if you have a chance come for a roadtrip in May, June, September or October. These months are the best, because there are no crowds, the weather is mild, prices are lower, you don’t need to make any reservations in the campsites and more.
When we travel with a van around Croatia, we usually find small, simple, family owned campsites. They are always the best, because they are still cheap and wild. This is how the camping should be. Good website to find this kind of campsites is: Avtokampi.
You can also use apps like PARK4NIGHT or iOverlander. Both apps are very useful.
Stay connected when traveling to Croatia. Get yourself a local prepaid sim card or an e-sim card. Check out my complete guide for staying connected when traveling to Croatia.
Camping in other Balkan countries
Tom: Besides Croatia, what is your favorite country to roadtrip in your region?
Sara: I come from Slovenia, so my favorite countries to roadtrip are Croatia and Slovenia. I love the combination of crystal clear ocean and sea vibes of Croatia and mountains, lakes and green forests of Slovenia.
I also love Bosnia because it is so close but so exotic. People are so nice there and it is much cheaper than here. You can also do a lot of free camping there. But also Montenegro is amazing..you need to try and see all of these countries. That is why we are called Balkan Campers. Because we would like to show people our region, which is safe, friendly and truly breathtaking.
Tom: Thank you so much Sara for all these useful info for people looking for an adventure on their next trip to the Balkan. Keep doing what you love to do and I hope a lot of people will enjoy a trip with Balkan Campers in the future.