We suggest the perfect holiday in Croatia strikes a balance of historic cities, national parks and a number of islands. Croatia has 9 varied national parks and over 1000 islands, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Croatia Coastland and Islands
A real draw is Croatia’s indented coastline, running right the way from northern Istria to the tip of Dubrovnik. A holiday in Croatia offers historic coastal cities on the mainland and island excursions. You can find peace and tranquillity on hidden coves or bays, or a lively party scene. With over 60 marinas, Croatia is perfect for sailing and a popular destination for chartering a boat.
Croatia Culture and History
Croatia is rich in culture and history. Dubrovnik’s old town and perfectly preserved city wall is a must, as is Roman Emperor, Diocletian’s complex and palace – a living breathing museum in the city of Split. A private walking tour is a perfect way to learn about the fascinating history and stories of these ancient cities. In northern Istria, you’ll find ‘the arena’, the most well-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world. Do visit at sunset for some magical photos and if your trip coincides with the arena’s event schedule, such as the Pula Film Festival in July, be sure to bag a ticket for a show in this truly unique setting.
Croatia National Parks
The national parks in Croatia offer much variety. Choose to sail the islands of the Kornati or the Brijuni Islands. Take a jeep safari in the Velebit. Climb Croatia’s thrilling peaks in Paklenica or take a leisurely hike through the waterfalls of Krka and Plitvice. Bathe in the waterfalls of Krka National Park and hike the lesser-visited falls. A trip to the emerald lakes of Plitvice National Park is also a must.
Croatia Food and Wine
Croatia is fast becoming the go-to destination for foodies. Anthony Bourdain, on his first visit to Croatia in 2012 couldn’t hide his delight at sampling “world-class food and wines”. He was so impressed he declared Croatia “the next big food destination” and confessed he was “an idiot” for not visiting sooner.
We highly recommend a trip to a boutique vineyard during your holiday in Croatia. As volumes are small, most of the wine produced in Croatia is consumed in Croatia, be sure to make the most and take some home. A personal wine tasting is a perfect start to your holiday. You’ll learn about the famous wines of each region before you set off to experiment and find your favourites on your own.
Croatia’s food is typically Mediterranean with quality local produce. An abundance of fresh seafood plucked from the Adriatic and organic lamb and beef dishes. Be sure to try the ‘Peka’ a local dish slow-cooked in a ‘bell’ and typically made with Lamb or Octopus. Istria is famous for the highly-prized truffle and each Autumn a number of events take place to celebrate the truffle season. A cooking class will shed some light on how to cook like a local and give you inspiration to take home.
Croatia has a year-round calendar of events to enjoy, the peak being in the summer months. Many events take place in iconic settings, such as the stage at the St James’ Fortress during Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival (10 July – 25 August). Croatia has built a reputation as a destination for open-air music festivals covering most genres of music.
In Autumn and winter, there is still plenty of goings-on to tempt you to Croatia. Autumn offers a programme of operas, ballets and theatre productions in Zagreb. A highlight in winter is Zagreb’s Christmas markets, voted the best in Europe for 3 years running. A magical experience, not to be missed. The Snow Queen Trophy, a world cup slalom event for men and women, takes place on the 5/6 January. On the north slopes of Sljeme, just outside Zagreb. If you don’t fancy taking to the slopes, big screens and mulled wine are set up to enjoy the event from the city centre.