These days, Croatia is no one’s best-kept secret – but there are still plenty of idyllic islands and unspoilt beaches to discover. Europe’s fastest-growing holiday destination has 1104 miles of coastline and 1246 islands to choose from. From the Italian-influenced Istrian peninsula, where quaint cobblestone towns rise out of the hilltops, to the brazenly beautiful Dalmatian coast, Croatia offers incredible scenery and unique experiences at every turn. Croatia holidays promise superb seafood, handsomely historical towns and the famously clear Adriatic Sea.
The coastal city of Zadar offers fabled sunsets and imaginative outdoor art, while nearby Split, its old town within the walls of an ancient Roman palace, bustles with cafés and restaurants. From Split, it’s easy to hop on a ferry for the day to the party island of Hvar, or the charming island of Vis. The Adriatic pearl of Dubrovnik, a filming location for Game of Thrones, is bursting with medieval-meets-Mediterranean splendour, encircled by defensive stone walls. Like its red-and-white patterned flag, Croatia is a checkerboard of cultural influences. Various empires – Venetian, Habsburg, Yugoslav – have laid claim to this small crescent-shaped country and its myriad islands, and all have had a hand in influencing its architecture and cuisine. It’s what makes holidays to Croatia so unique.
Beyond its beaches, you’ll find excellent museums and nightlife in the urban capital of Zagreb. Rare wildlife inhabits the national parks of Krka and Plitvice Lakes with its series of green cascading waterfalls. Inland Croatia offers bucolic scenery and hearty Central European cuisine. And that’s just scratching the surface of what this beautiful country has to offer.