In a very short space of time Croatia has enjoyed amazing success and earned itself quite a reputation as the newest must go to destination for European holidaymakers. Its rise to stardom is largely due to its stunning Adriatic coastline together with more than a thousand islands of hidden coves and golden beaches to explore. Traditional fishing villages sit alongside glitzy resort towns, sensational architecture compliments a breath-taking natural landscape.
Only a short flight away from the UK and with good connections to the rest of Europe the capital, Zagreb, has been likened to Prague as a weekend city break destination. Spend your daytime strolling the medieval streets of Gornji Grad (Upper Town) stopping to enjoy the buzzing cafe culture and then party the night away in the bars and clubs, Zagreb-style.
Another inland attraction, a little off the beaten track, is the natural wonder of Plitvice Lakes - a series of 16 interlinked lakes famous for their colour variations - protected by the surrounding national park which supports a wide variety of animal and bird species such as the European brown bear, wolf and lynx.
Istria is the most developed tourist region, due to its proximity to Western Europe and entices large numbers of sun seekers mainly from Italy, Germany and Slovenia into huge hotel complexes and inexpensive campsites. In this area, Poreč is a popular package destination with a 6th century Euphrasian Basilica of note. Pula is the largest city on the southern tip of this peninsula with its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre built around the 1st century AD being its star attraction. Also the postcard town of Rovinj, with its pastel-coloured houses almost tumbling into the sea is one of Croatia’s most picturesque. Inland Istria’s historic hilltop villages like Motovun, Grožnjan and Hum, left over from another century, perched above rolling green pastures and woodland, create a more wistful atmosphere to appreciate.
The vibrant city of Split is a great point from which to start your cruise along the Dalmatian Coast. Known for its beaches and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments, Diocletian’s Palace - once home to thousands, now a thriving community of shops, bars and restaurants dwell within the ancient ruined walls. Take in the stunning rugged shoreline and sail around the beautiful islands: Hvar, amidst olive groves and lavender fields, Hvar town is a favourite port for yachts sailing the Adriatic, Korčula, separated from the mainland by a narrow strait and Mljet, one of the larger southerly islands, to name a few.
Dubrovnik is Croatia’s crown jewel and most prominent tourist attraction. Steeped in stellar architecture, this walled, coastal city is a real gem and measures up to any resort in the Mediterranean with luxury hotels and fine restaurants catering for the oodles of tourists.
A new dawn, a new day, a new port of call, where better than Croatia, the place that has it all!