Historical architecture, sandy beaches, plentiful national parks and homegrown wine – it’s not hard to see why Croatia has become one of the top holiday destinations in Europe recently. Our luxury villas in Croatia are perfectly placed for exploring the medieval towns of Dubrovnik and Split, or simply relaxing on a beach in picturesque Istria. So, whether it’s your first visit to this sun-drenched spot or you’re a returner looking for some new sights to see, here are our top things to do in Croatia to help you plan your visit.
1. Bisevo Island’s Blue Cave
Like something out of a dream or fantasy film, Croatia’s famous Blue Cave has become one of the country’s most-loved tourist attractions. Located on Bisevo Island and easily accessible from Split or Hvar, it sees a natural glowing blue light bathe the rocky walls and water throughout the day. We’d recommend visiting as part of a guided boat trip, meaning you’ll visit at the best time and continue on to see other marvels in the area.
2. Old Town of Dubrovnik
As one of the finest medieval cities still standing today, Dubrovnik Old Town is found right on the Adriatic sea. Enclosed within imposing stony walls you’ll find Baroque churches and palaces, charming cobbled streets and stunning Renaissance fountains. It also served as the filming location for Game Of Thrones‘ King’s Landing, making this a must-visit for superfans.
Check out our Dubrovnik travel guide for more tips on what to do throughout your visit here.
3. Lavender Fields of Hvar
One of the largest lavender producers in the world, Croatia typically falls under the radar when it comes to floral tourism – but visit in July and August and you’ll be wanting to return year after year. That’s the period when their lavender fields are in full bloom, with a smell that matches the gorgeous sight you’ll find only in Hvar.
4. Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace
As Croatia’s second-largest city, Split is a popular holiday base when visiting this part of the world. Among other architectural highlights, here you’ll find Diocletian’s Palace dating back to the Roman period. Topping many lists of things to do in Croatia, it boasts four gates, with one formerly opening out onto the water. Today it’s filled with plenty of shops and restaurants to explore in addition to just taking in the staggering 4th century structure.
5. Rent a boat
If you’re someone who wants to spend as much time as possible out on the water, Croatia will quickly become your go-to destination spot. With thousands of its luscious coastline to explore, you can easily spend several days sailing along in a yacht or private boat and hopping off at the various islands. Just speak to our concierge team and they’ll be happy to get your plans underway.
Don’t miss Kornati National Park – it has 89 islets to manoeuvre your way around, with many having just a single fisherman’s cottage-turned-restaurant ashore.
6. Visit the 8 National Parks
Kornati is just one of Croatia’s 8 national parks, meaning you can spend endless days chasing waterfalls, roaming the greenery and spotting wildlife throughout your stay. Visiting Plitvice Lakes is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Croatia, holding 16 lakes, ample footpaths and hidden caves. Whichever national park you choose, you’ll find plenty of hiking trails that reward the dedicated with blissful panoramic views at the top.
7. Truffle hunting
Croatia has become known for its truffles, with the divisive ingredient instantly elevating a variety of dishes around the country. Should you choose to visit Istria in September, you’ll find yourself swept up in the start of the truffle hunting season – the perfect time to head out to Mirna River Valley and attempt to find some yourself with trained dogs or pigs in tow. Istria is also home to some of the best beaches, meaning you can unwind on the sand after enjoying a truffle-filled meal.
Sound a little too rogue for you? Don’t worry: foodies will be catered for even without the use of this unusual mushroom in their food. We’d suggest giving Pag cheese a try, which is made from sheep’s milk on the island of the same name. For a more hearty dish, peka is popular with locals, seeing cooks slow-cook veal and potatoes in a bell-shaped, coal-topped pot.
8. Museum of Broken Relationships
Found in Zagreb, this is one of the most unique things to do in Croatia. Bizarre in concept but surprisingly interesting in reality, this museum is filled with artefacts taken from failed relationships. Some will have you laughing out loud, others relating though you wish you couldn’t, and a further few may even have you shedding a tear – come prepared to feel all the emotions!
9. Zlatni Rat Beach
Known for its widely photographed spit, which is composed of fine pebbles, Zlatni Rat Beach is equally enjoyable from the ground. Shaded by the Vidova Gora mountain, it’s a great spot to try out kayaking, banana boats or even windsurfing. However, the ample sunbeds and parasols make it an equally inviting location if all you wish to do is soak up the sun’s rays, shining brightly from May through to October.
10. Zadar’s Romanesque Churches
One for those who can appreciate fine architecture, the car-free Old Town of Zadar is perfect for spending an afternoon wandering around. The main attraction is its Romanesque churches, built between the 9th and 13th century, holding similarly impressive design features within as they do without. While in the area, we’d also suggest checking out the Sea Organ – installed in 2005, it works with the movement of the sea’s waves to create natural, atmospheric music.
That may be our top 10 things to do in Croatia, but there’s so much more to explore throughout your stay in one of our luxury villas in Croatia. Still not convinced? Check out our Reasons To Visit Croatia blog, and then get in contact with a member of our concierge team to start your holiday booking process.