Four reasons why Croatia should be top of your travel list

Travelsphere Tour Manager Aleksandra is half Croatian, half Italian and grew up in the Croatian town of Opatija. Here she tells us why her homeland is so special:

If you are thinking of going to Croatia, I urge you to visit now whilst it’s still relatively unspoilt. The coastline stretches for more than 1,000 miles and still retains its natural beauty. You’ll see very little in the way of large-scale tourist development, just picture-perfect beaches, crystal-clear seas and dramatic, wild-open spaces. There are also hundreds of idyllic islands just off the mainland, and for me, one of the best ways to explore them is on a cruise. I love being able to relax in the sunshine and then step ashore to discover tiny islands and beautiful bays.

Spectacular Plitvice Lakes

In complete contrast, Croatia’s interior is characterised by rugged mountains, plains and acres of farmland. It’s here where you’ll find one of Croatia’s must-see sights, the spectacular Plitvice Lakes. It’s a peaceful place whenever you visit, and I love to just sit quietly, look for wildlife and listen to the sound of the waterfalls as the 16 lakes tumble into one another.

Unforgettable views

There’s also plenty to see in Croatia’s towns and cities. I love Dubrovnik - who doesn’t. You get fabulous views of the Old Town if you walk along the ancient city walls, and to see even more, I recommend the cable-car ride up Srđ Hill. My all-time favourite thing to do in Dubrovnik though, is to simply sit beside the sea and watch the world go by. In Split, an incredible highlight is Diocletian’s Palace – an imposing Roman ruin and the very heart of the city.

Delicious food and wine

The food in Croatia is second to none. Along the coast, restaurants serve up some of the freshest fish imaginable, whilst further inland you’ll be treated to any array of hearty dishes made from pulses, potatoes, beans and meat. One of my favourite dishes is served in the area around Plitvice Lakes. It’s lamb roasted on a spit, and if you visit during the spring, it’s unbelievably tender. Don’t miss the chance to try some of the locally produced wine too. Croatia has more than 300 official wine regions and some of our tours include a tasting, so you can sample a few and decide which you like best!

Warm and friendly locals

Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but I think one of the best things about Croatia is its warm and friendly people. When I was a child we led a simple life, but I’ll never forget the time I spent with friends and family, sharing a meal and just enjoying one another’s company.