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Looking for some private driver+guide from Split to Makarska Boikovo

Hi!
I am planning our family trip to Croatia next September. Checking prices I see that this country is not cheap even if we will be out of peak season.
I am looking for the most willing price to get from Split to Makarska and see not just Bioko park Skywalk (which most of travel companies offer as half day tour), but include also Vošac and St.Jure and after that spend rest of the day in Makarska town.
Offering to rent a car for this ride is not the best suggestion as we are not drivers on steep, high and narrow road and my husband wants to relax and enjoy views also while in the car.
I see that getting with bus from Split to Makarska costs about 10 EUR which means there and back 80 EUR for us all.
The best value for the price I found a company which offers tour without rush - 40 EUR/person (but it still just 5 hours tour which means - can't enjoy all the beauty from both - Bioko Nature park and Makarska.

As we are planning our trip for 2 weeks renting car for other destinations is there any web-pages, any suggestions how to find cheaper way to get to Bioko+Makarska not spending 240 EUR only for that?
We are saving money and plan to enjoy this trip at nice apartments and attending nature parks, museums, some tours with bicycles or zip-rafting for our teenagers and save money some day just spending on a beach, but looking for alternatives as whole trip looks like quite salty and hit our wallets at the end.

Maybe someone knows private guides with their own car which works not via travel companies.
Your advice will be much appreciated.

Posted by
1650 posts

They aren't guides, but we used Octopus Transfers to get from place to place in Croatia where public transportation wasn't practical. I don't know if it would be cheaper than the options you've checked already, though. You can get an estimate here: https://www.octopustransferscroatia.com

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for your advice! Already checked them before - not cheaper at all. The only option I see now while haven't found private guide and a car to rent a car also for this day, to get by it from Split to Makarska not to be with a bus and then find someone who takes us up to Bioko Nature park

Posted by
2299 posts

hey hey inga
are you traveling from USA, Canada, or European Country and how old are the kids?
nothing's cheap nowdays and what made you think Croatia was cheap. these driver/guides pay to go to school to be licensed to be tour guides. you're working hard to save money so your family can have a great vacation, he/she is working the same to support his/her family, plus gas/petrol is not cheap like everywhere else in the world
you can't always get what you want, sacrifice staying in nicer places to less expensive ones or tours with bikes/zip-rafting to either renting a car and go when and where you want, take the 5 hour tour and ask how much more to add time to see nature park/makarska. are you planning to do this all in one day? that's a lot of driving
toursbylocals.com
email them, tell them what you want and hope for and get a quote.
getyourguide.com
see what's available for your activity
tourdesksplit.com
ask questions, what you want and get a quote
foxiepass.com/ croatia
hope you find something that suits your fancy and family, enjoy. spent a day in split from cruise ship and it's a very pretty country.
aloha

Posted by
4 posts

Dear Aloha,
thanks a lot for sharing with websites! I know for many years getyourguide.com and have found some good offers traveling to other destinations. I will check other sites for ideas and also calculation :)
Average salary in Croatia is only 570 EUR per month (!) which also in my country (I am from North Europe) is small salary (average incomes in my country is 1000 EUR). That made me think of Croatia as a country with reasonable prices. Seeing amount of money they receive I am wondering who gets the biggest part of pie. And this situation lets me think that there definitely are people who work like private guides+drivers which is very popular in such country like Georgia where you can get very authentic experience which "Lonely Planet" usually call "Off the beaten track" when talking about getting to know country not just on touristy roads.
That is what I am looking for.

As I am working in marketing and advertisement I know that behind the loudest/biggest companies it's possible to find amazing offers and very good service as well.
If speaking about Croatia prices I see that for example Portugal is cheaper. Everything - public transport, entry tickets, accomodation, food. Had great experience in 2 weeks planning everything by ourselves.

If someone says that public transport is cheap in Croatia I can't agree. Yes, these are not Scandinavian or for example Austria's prices but still I see that renting car and paying for petrol is cheaper that going by bus of ferry. Will see how it goes with parking as found information that prices are high (for example near Krka National park you have to pay 25-35 EUR. Entry for 4 people in low season (October) - 70 EUR. Having 4 h boat ride there (of course, can skip that) - another 70 EUR. So I think how locals (and if) can afford that if average salary is 570 EUR/month. And also for my family it's quite salty.

Of course we will rent a car and search for options to enjoy this beautiful country. Suggestion to look for cheaper stays is not solution as we already are looking only to private apartments (which are very popular there) not for hotel rooms and I want to feel comfortable without staying in pre-soviet places with 40 years old design and old sofas which I can see plenty if scrolling the cheapest options. Vacation for me has to be joy but with wise spending money so I am still looking for a person who could take us up to hills in Boikovo nature park that day when we don't want to drive by ourselves on steep and narrow roads.

Posted by
17906 posts

Sorry, I only know a "Travel Company" located in Montenegro that takes care of me and friends when we are in the Balkans from Slovenia to Albania .... Never goes wrong.

Posted by
7295 posts

I don't see how a 2 hour (one way) public bus ride, to a remote area, for 10 Euros is "expensive." At 20 Euros round-trip, a private car service at 40 p/p is hardly a ripoff, it seems fair for what amounts to luxury transportation. This is not a 15 minute urban Uber ride.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi, Tim!
If you are from USA with different incomes things to you may seem different. Keep in mind that people in lot of countries in Europe earn much less. Yes, I can't imagine how Croations can survive with average salary 570 EUR a month and lot of foreigners think that this sum is per week.
But if we return to trip plans to Croatia and financial management I see that for us 4 people family it's more willing to rent a car not to use public transport if return drive for us will cost at least 80 EUR. I have calculated that average price for night for us 4 will be 100 EUR which is not expensive at all. Then for example entry at park the cheapest option at low season 70 EUR for all, some other day more expensive for entertainment (for example - I see that 5 island tour costs 100 from a person and if want something more private and special then even more which means at least 400 for that making to think about options just to get to one island by ferry or car not using ferry (for example - Pag Island).
Then have to add food which we always combine buying local products at market but once a day having meal outside in average price restaurant which still runs to 100 EUR for 4 people a day thinking a lot and if some drinks/coctails - even more.
So the cheapest costs still are 350 EUR a day. If average salary in my country is 1000 EUR a month it is expensive for me.
Of course there are lot of people who travel and save for EVERYTHING - choosing the cheapest places for staying, buying food only in supermarket and are not going to restaurants, attending just museums for free and having walks in towns, spending time on the beaches. But it's not for me. Yes, I can be very ascetic having simple meals, stays, but I always combine that with some luxury - for example after day on bicycle treating myself with SPA or going to some good local restaurant to have authentic experience and few glasses of wine. And then next sips next day from shelve of supermarket.
I still believe that there in Croatia also are private guides with their cars like in Georgia and some other countries I have been offering different experience.