Gorgeous beaches and hidden coves, picturesque towns and stunning scenery – Croatia has everything you could possibly want for the ultimate summer holiday, proving popular among honeymooners, families and large groups alike. Have you ever found yourself wondering what all the fuss is about? To help you understand this sun-drenched country’s enduring appeal, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons why you need to visit Croatia – and some of them may surprise you!
1. It’s easy to reach
Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula are all just two and a half hours away (or less!), which makes getting there with young ones as fuss-free as possible. But even if you’re jetting off with a group of friends, Croatia still trumps trips to the Canaries or Greek Islands when it comes to travel time, meaning you can all hit the beach that much faster.
2. Knock-out beaches
Croatia is famed for its scenic pebbled beaches, which are beautifully lapped by crystal-clear waters. One of the most well-known is Brac‘s Zlatni Rat, also referred to as the Golden Cape. The tip of the beach is ever-changing with the wind, meaning you never know quite what shape it’ll take when you visit. This location is a protected area as well as a tourist magnet, attracting visitors from all around the world.
If you’d prefer to escape the crowds, you can easily rent a boat from Hvar to enjoy Stiniva Beach. This hidden gem is literally concealed by two towering cliffs. Once you’ve sailed inside, you’ll feel like you’ve truly entered an earthly paradise, with crowd levels being minimal due to its location on the farthest inhabited island in Dalmatia.
3. The Game of Thrones appeal
Fans of the show will need no convincing! You can visit some of the series’ top locations with the Game of Thrones tour, recreating pictures of your favourite scenes. Among the attractions to have been featured are Dubrovnik’s city walls, which became King’s Landing; The Fortress of Kliss, which is the City of Meereen; and Trsteno Arboretum, which became the Garden of Red Keep. All that’s left to do is find a dragon…
4. Festivals galore!
Croatia has quickly become a firm favourite with festival goers, hosting an array of world-class musicians. Ultra Europe, Sonus and Fresh Island Festival are just a mere taste of the summer’s biggest draws. Most take place on the beach or somewhere secluded, so get ready to dance until you drop.
5. Wine, wine, and even more wine
The Ancient Greeks were the first to grow grapes and produce wine on the islands of Dalmatia, and it’s since become one of Croatia’s most popular outputs. Although the majority of the wine is white, there are also some extremely good reds to try.
The two main destinations to tick off are Istria and Pelješac, and besides getting your hands on a sample, you can also follow vineyard trails, go on cellar tours and meet the people behind the bottle. If you see or taste something you like, buy it directly from the producers – you’ll pay considerably less.
6. Destination Dubrovnik
Utterly enchanting, this ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ has to be experienced at least once in your life. The best way to see Dubrovnik is to get on top of the city’s walls, stretching around the Old Town at a distance totalling 1.2 miles. That vantage point allows you to see the damage of the war up close, all the while admiring the city’s ethereal beauty. So, even with the crowds, this is simply a must-visit.
When deciding where you want to spend your summer, weather undoubtedly plays a huge part – you’re not boarding a plane to land in the rain, after all! The Dalmatian coast typically boasts a hot, dry summer, and mildly wet, windy winter. Further inland, you can expect sweltering temperatures of up to 30°C in July while temperatures fall to below zero in winter. When you go is up to you, but May and September are safe bets for sun-drenched fun without excessive sweating!
8. National parks
Croatia has 8 national parks, so you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to outdoor adventuring. Want to prioritise just one? We’d pick the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park. As you may have guessed by the name, this park is best known for its stunning lakes and jaw-dropping waterfalls. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera to snap plenty of envy-inducing shots!
It’s no secret that Croatia is a great destination for sailors and yacht aficionados – after all, they do host an annual yacht week. That’s why many consider the best way to experience Croatia’s crystal clear waters is obviously to glide over them! Even if you’re not yet chartering your own boat, it’s easy to hire one in Croatia, with captains on hand to steer you where you want to go – you won’t have to lift a finger.
10. The seafood
Plucked straight out of the Adriatic Sea, the seafood served across Croatia will be some of the freshest you’ve ever tasted. Whether you prefer your oysters and octopus to be served as part of a stew or risotto, the flavours will be simply unmatched.
11. The Museum of Broken Relationships
If you only have the time to visit one museum in Croatia, then let it be the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. It features objects that represent pain, love and loss, mapping the ups and downs of relationships, with each one accompanied by a story. You might want to bring tissues for this one!
Now that you’ve discovered the very best reasons to visit this enchanting region, take a look at our luxury villas in Croatia to start planning your trip there. And, if you need a little guidance, our concierge team will be happy to help you decide where’s best for you and your travel party.