A warm Mediterranean climate, unspoilt rugged scenery, pretty towns and excellent value for money have established Croatia holidays as an extremely popular option for Brits.
Many visit for the remarkable 1,300-mile Dalmatian Coast and its 1,185 islands and reefs, and the best islands - such as Brac, Hvar, Vis and Korcula - have some lovely beaches. Towns include the ancient Roman settlement of Split, but the jewel of holidays in Croatia is undoubtedly the coastal city of Dubrovnik. Immediately recognisable from its orange roofs and medieval city walls that can be walked along, there’s the added bonus that you can’t get lost. Wherever you are, just walk downhill and you’ll end up in the impressive main square!
If you’re looking for Croatia tours with plenty of opportunity to relax, the best resorts lie on the Istrian peninsula to the west. Elegant towns such as Rovinj show the influence of the former Venetian rulers, who left a legacy of stylish architecture and very good ice cream!
For all Croatia’s lazy charm, its history has been turbulent, and in the few centuries leading up to the First World War it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Following the conflict, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later Yugoslavia. After the Second World War Yugoslavia became a Communist state under the rule of Marshal Tito, but despite being behind the iron curtain bloomed into one of the top-five tourism destinations in the 1960s and 1970s. This came to an abrupt end when Croatia and others declared independence in 1991, triggering a bitter four-year war with Serbia.
The number of Croatia holidays booked has boomed since the war ended, with Croatia emerging as the big winner in the region. Croatia’s economy missed out on the first wave of investment in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the country is now very much on an upward path once again.