Over the last couple of years Croatia has become a popular choice for luxury holiday-makers with its glistening blue coastal waters, numerous beaches, stunning scenery and vibrant culture. With so many things to see and do in Croatia below are some good reasons why you should consider a visit either as a short city break or a full blown summer holiday.
The coastal city of Dubrovnik is a great choice for both a city-break and longer stays with the captivating Old Town’s narrow stepped alleyways and Gothic Renaissance architecture. There are is a huge number of markets, boutiques, bars, restaurants and cafes for you to enjoy and for a leisurely stroll, the Stradun or Placa promenade is highly recommended. One thing not to miss is the Mount Srd cable car you’ll see why when you get to the top!
Croatia’s largest city and capital, Zagreb, and also a fantastic place to visit. The Upper Town is more historic with medieval churches, museums, art galleries and cobbled streets whilst the modern district offers cosmopolitan vibe with restaurants, theatres and shopping centres.
If exploring is your thing you’re spoilt for choice with 1,185 islands off the coast of which 66 of them are inhabited. Hvar Island is perhaps the most famous and has been a favourite amongst wealthy Croatians and Italians for many years. Easily reached by ferry from the mainland you can view the delightful scenery, eat at one of the superb cafes and restaurants in the busy harbour or visit the 16th century St Stephen’s Cathedral. Other popular islands include Brac which boasts excellent beaches and is favoured by watersports enthusiasts, Rab which offers a very charming medieval town and beaches.
Supetar Harbour, Brac Island
An excellent way to experience Croatia and see the islands is by boat. The stunning Adriatic Coast is best explored by sea with small bays and coves on the smaller islands to discover and tempting blue waters to swim in. It is extremely easy to build in a short cruise on a boat similar to one of those pictured below. A real experience and great value too.
If you like your beaches, you will love Croatia. It has some of the cleanest beaches in Europe and a number which have been awarded the Blue Flag status. There are a handful of sandy beaches but most are shingle which keeps the waters are crystal clear. More sandy beaches can be found at Lapad beach in Dubrovnik and has excellent amenities including a supervised swimming area, trees for shade and a restaurant. For watersports, head over to the island of Brac where you will find a wide range of centres.
So what about the food?
Croatia’s cuisine is extremely varied and quite region dependant with many influences taken from the neighbouring countries. In the coastal towns you’ll find Mediterranean inspired dishes and prepared meats, are part of all menus across the country. Traditional dishes which you should try include Pršut, a dry-cured ham served with cheese or olives, ispod peke which is a method of cooking lamb, octopus or veal in a stone oven under a heavy metal cover and crni rižot, also known as black risotto, a specialist Dalmatian dish made with cuttlefish or squid which uses squid ink to give it its black colour.
The weather in Croatia, especially on the coast is typically Mediterranean with long dry summers and mild winters, inland the temperatures are a little harsher as there’s no sea breeze, still pleasant enough though. With temperatures reaching around 30 degrees it is perfect for those looking for warmth and sunshine without the extremes.
Croatia currently boasts a total of seven listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Historical Complex of Split and the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace and the Old City of Dubrovnik. There are numerous historic sites to explore including Pula Arean, a fantastic Roman amphitheatre, the delightful town of Korcula and picturesque Rovinj to name but a few.
There is a fantastic choice of hotels and apartments in Croatia and many luxury four and five-star hotels. Located on a rocky peninsula down from Dubrovnik in the small town of Cavtat, the five-star Hotel Croatia which boasts superb views and is in a great location for exploring the area with the city and a harbour nearby.
How about this for a view over dinner?
The Rixos Libertas Hotel in Dubrovnik is an excellent choice for those looking for five-star accommodation in the city. This modern hotel is just a short walk from the Old Town and has good amenities for you to enjoy.
If you’ve been to this beautiful destination, we’d love to hear about your experience, just comment below and if you’re interested in experiencing it for yourself we’ll happily put a package together for you.