RV Roadtrip Croatia – Šimuni Camping Village and Pag Island
After our trip to Krka National Park it was time to backtrack to Pag island and the massive Šimuni Camping Village. According to our research there were a couple of options for year round camping on Pag island but Šimuni seemed like it was probably going to be the nicest.
Actually, we had first thought we would stop before Pag at another olive farm that had camping available. It was right next to a small village and marina. However when we arrived they weren’t having any camping as they had directed their resources to the olives and olive oil making.
In prime season Šimuni Camping Village is set up for 4,500 people so it really is like a village complete with several restaurants, hair salon, market, mini markets and beach bars. They even have a diving center and climbing wall. When we arrived there was one other camping car, a woman and her dog from Austria. Šimuni only had one of the bathroom blocks open and they were pretty restrictive about were we were allowed to park. We were annoyed that we couldn’t have beach front parking and settled for the best view we could find in the allowed section. It was bizarre to us.
The bathrooms were really nice until it came time for my shower. The water wasn’t even lukewarm in the men’s facilities! It did get marginally better over the next days but never really great. After some conversations with the staff, this was a known issue from the time of construction. They even let us use the private family shower but it wasn’t much better.
Shani, on the other hand had plenty of hot water. But on breezy days it was a bit chilly as the bathroom block was open to the outside air. After the Austrian lady left I should have started using the women’s side but I didn’t. It would soon be a moot point as they first turned off the water to our pitch and then to the whole of the bathroom block, they then removed the handles to the sinks as well! (A hint to move on?)
Another weird thing we started to notice was at one of the restaurants there seemed to be a fire going sometimes and we could smell food cooking but every time we tried to visit it wasn’t open. We even saw people in there on several occasions but if we decided to go down for drinks the doors were locked. We were assured that the restaurant was open every day and maybe there was a back entrance for the local workers and staff but we could never figure it out.
Just a short walk north of Šimuni was a small village with a marina and a mini market that had enough for us to get by and about 10 km up the road there were proper grocery stores and the like. Apparently in the high season this area is party central but it was very quiet while we were there, especially at the camping village as we were the only ones camping!
During our stay we took several walks into the small adjacent village and quite a bit beyond enjoying the clean air and countryside. It was quite peaceful just roaming the Croatian countryside and admiring the water and hilly views.
But the camping was lonely and once they turned the water off (supposedly for some construction projects) we were ready to move on.
In all honesty, Šimuni Camping Village is really amazing with some of the best views of the water you could ever ask for. We had so many epic sunsets! Our timing was just off, I imagine visits on the shoulder (or if crowds are your thing Summer) would be pretty incredible.
One of the chores we had needed to check off our list was filling up our propane tank. After we bought the rig we had Phill outfit us with a Gaslow system to replace our normal LPG tank. The advantage is that it is a refillable tank that can be filled at any gas station that also has LPG. Autos and trucks that run on LPG rather than diesel or gas is quite common in Europe whereas replaceable propane tanks vary from country to country. We did not want to end up hauling around different tanks from different countries as we travelled around.
For the curious, we filled our Gaslow tank in France with Phill after it was installed. Using the gas primarily for cooking (every day) and occasionally heating the van on a chilly morning or evening and running the fridge on a couple of occasions our tank finally hit the red line after 10 weeks. Pretty impressive I thought! I had resisted Shani’s pressure to fill it before hitting red, because, well, research. Now we knew.
Fortunately just up the road from Šimuni there was a new gas station with a separate stand alone LPG pump. As this was our first time filling it up I was a bit nervous. We had watched Phill and took step by step notes but that was 2 1/2 months ago! The process is a little more complicated as you need the right adapter for the country you are in and once the tank hits the auto shutoff there is a slightly violent popping and disconnection and fumes that I’m sure take a few months off your expected lifespan. The nervousness was all for naught and we filled the tank without issue. With the tank filled up there was nothing keeping us from moving on to the next location…hopefully with a few more people around!
Stay tuned as we push further south to Split where we bunk down for 6 weeks, visit the ancient Roman ruins at Salona and tour some bombed out resort ruins just south of Dubrovnik.