10 Reasons to Love Croatia
Glittering seas, unspoilt islands, historic cities and interesting neighbours - Croatia has it all
1. A beautiful coastlineCroatia has almost 2,000km of sublime coast, with tantalising crystal-clear water. Craggy coves abound, making for interesting exploring, and more than 1,000 islands range from uninhabited atolls to nature reserves and fashionable resorts. This makes a cruise aboard a small ship one of the best ways to see Croatia as it gives access to all the hidden beaches that can’t be reached any other way. You’ll also enjoy a friendly atmosphere, comfortable accommodation and the perfect vantage point from which to watch the sun set over the sparkling Adriatic.
2. DubrovnikThe super-star of the Croatian coast deserves the hype. Dubrovnik is a medieval hub, revamped by Baroque architects following an earthquake in 1667, and still bearing a few bullet-holes from the 1991-92 siege. Today you’ll see formidable city walls, a tumble of terracotta rooftops, ancient monasteries and gorgeous squares.
3. Food & drinkCultural intermingling has created a wonderfully varied menu here. Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish and Austrian influences result in a tempting mix of seafood, tasty pastas and hearty meat stews. We recommend retreating to a village trattoria and sampling regional specialities, washed down with a glass of local wine, or two!
4. Interesting neighboursCroatia is an historic crossroads, a gateway between Western Europe and the exotic East. Due to this strategic location, it’s easy to combine your Croatia holiday with trips to its neighbours. Montenegro, to the south, offers even more of the glorious Adriatic coast, plus harbours untouched by tourism. Or head into Bosnia & Herzegovina to find the labyrinthine city of Mostar, home to the Mostar Bridge. Built in the 16th century, it was destroyed in 1993 by Bosnian Croat forces but reconstructed in 2004. Albania makes for the most unusual diversion. Cut off from the world by its Communist regime until the 1990s, this is the secret Mediterranean. You’ll discover a land of hillside villages, bunkers repainted in cheery pastel hues and untrodden beaches.
5. Historic remainsIt’s not all about Dubrovnik – Croatia’s other towns harbour less-visited treasures. In Split, Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, built in AD 295, now forms the hub of the old town. A cluster of churches, chapels, traders and street cafés have moved in, turning this piece of history into a living city.
6. Café cultureCroatians love their coffee – usually rich, black espressos and creamy lattes. Even better, they like to drink them in style. Kavanas (cafés) are generally roomy, atmospheric places with plenty of pavement tables so you can sip while you watch the world go by. Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar are good spots.
7. Idyllic islesCroatia has an island for everyone. On lush Mljet, a national park, you can cycle around lakes and sail into caves. Gorgeous Hvar is the place to bar-hop with the jet set, Brac has marvellous pebbly beaches and Korcula offers tasty vineyards. The largely uninhabited Elafiti Archipelago is the perfect location for secluded swims.
8. Traditional townsPorec, with its beautiful basilica, Opatija, home to a seven-mile beachfront promenade, Korcula, with its Venetian overtones – Travelsphere can help you explore many of Croatia’s atmospheric towns.
9. Lovely lakesDepending on minerals and sunlight, the 16 lakes of Plitvice National Park are constantly changing colour, from grey and turquoise to emerald-green. As they’re tucked amid a clutch of craggy hills, and inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, they look like the illustrations you’d find in a fairy tale.
10. VeniceOkay, it’s not in Croatia, so we’re cheating a bit here! But the canal-lined Italian city is close to the North Croatian coastline. You can zip over by high-speed catamaran to explore iconic St Mark’s Square, take a romantic gondola ride, or just get wonderfully lost.
Every Travelsphere holiday offers exceptional value for money. Included in the price are return scheduled flights/rail travel and internal flights, where applicable, overseas transfers and transportation, carefully chosen hotels, many meals and excursions and the services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager or Local Guide.