Sunnier than Provence, cheaper than most of Europe and sporting some of its most stunning historical sites, it really is time that you visited Croatia. Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, Zagreb and Zadar are all thriving tourist destinations with much to discover and outside the cities, Croatia’s natural beauty is unparalleled in the region. Once one of the most important trading centres in all of Europe, the envy of many neighbours, this coastal nation is well worth exploring.
Where to go
Take the ferry between islands off the coast to explore the medieval villages and towns that still cling to the hillsides. In Split, tour the town’s harbour, made famous as a ‘Game of Thrones’ shooting destination. Enjoy the turquoise lakes of Plitvice National Park and the nearby swimming spots of Slunj. Hunt for bargain treasures in the stylish boutiques of Zagreb and Dubrovnik. Wonder at the beauty of ancient churches with their byzantine influences and the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, some 1600 years old. While away the evening hours with a drink in your hand at one of the many rooftop bars in towns along the coast.
Food & Drink
Croatian cuisine uses the grill as a central element. Pork sausages, beef and chicken feature heavily, and are often accompanied by soups, goulash and pasta as sides. In terms of drink, Croatian produces a lot of wine. The north is known for its sweet dessert wines, while the south produces full-bodied reds - it pays to keep an eye open for cellar door tasting and vineyard tours. If in Split, we recommend Zrno Soli (Uvala Baluni 8) for harbour-fresh seafood and stunning views, while in Dubrovnik, Nautika (Brsalje ul. 3, 20000) is the city’s most prestigious and celebrated eatery.
As an up and coming holiday destination, Croatia has much to offer in terms of nightlife. Most coastal towns feature spacious party bars by the seaside and smaller, more intimate venues throughout the centre of towns. The larger cities are quickly developing a bar scene the equal of anywhere else in Europe. For a sophisticated evening out, we recommend Zagreb’s stylish and modern Dežman Bar (Lower Town, Dubrovnik) or the bohemian, atmospheric and slightly wild Academia Ghetto Club (Dosud 10, Split)
Where to stay
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik is a luxury hotel and spa a few miles from Dubrovnik, offering a comprehensive range of relaxing treatments for guests. This wonderful hotel features ten restaurants, with something to appeal for every guest.
How to get there
British Airways, Croatia Airways, Easyjet, Ryanair and Monarch fly multiple times a week both to Dubrovnik and Split.