From the lusciously green island of Hvar to the brilliantly blue Dalmatian Coast, Croatia is a natural beauty waiting to be seen. Bordering the glorious Adriatic Sea and home to a plethora of historic towns, Croatian holidays offer a diverse range of activities. The country is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each with its own story to tell. A story you will want keep going back to. Spend your mornings delving into the fascinating history that hides around every corner before heading down to the coastline to enjoy an afternoon of sun, sand and sea. When night falls, the towns come alive with an array of cosy bars and top-notch restaurants serving up fantastic Croatian cuisine and colourful cocktails. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back beach retreat or a chance to discover the stunning vistas this part of the world has to offer, Croatia holidays have it all.
Top Destinations in Croatia
Top Hotels in Croatia
Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera
Holiday Village Sagitta
Omis, Central Dalmatia
Aminess Grand Azur Hotel
Orebic, Dubrovnik Riviera
Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera
Grand Hotel Park
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
Radisson Blu Resort-Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
Pula, Istrian Riviera
Park Plaza Verudela
Pula, Istrian Riviera
At a Glance
- Currency: Croatia Kuna
- Language: Serbo-Croatian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 50m
When to go
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Croatia holidays are popular anytime of the year as the country basks in nearly year-round sun. Even in the autumn months, the Adriatic Sea is still warm and the beaches are oh-so-inviting. Dubrovnik is an attraction of its own, and the city is no longer one of the hidden gems of European travel. The walled city was once known as Venice's only real rival. Smothered in classical architecture, Dubrovnik is a beautiful coastal city that is to die for. Heading inland from Dubrovnik, you will be in the midst of lush greenery. The area is home to one of Europe’s most beautiful national parks. Plitvice boasts cascading waterfalls and glistening lakes, a stone that begs to be overturned. Croatia holidays allow a fantastic opportunity to go island-hopping. The Adriatic Sea is home to many small jewels, all boasting fantastic beaches and unlimited natural beauty. In the southern reaches of the country, Hvar and Brac reign supreme and are easily accessed from Split. Further north you’ll find the islands of Krk and Cres which are best visited from Rijeka. Be sure to pack your swimming gear.
Wine and Dine
Croatian food has been heavily influenced by Italian, Turkish and Hungarian recipes over the years. These influences have blended together to make Croatia's traditional foods uniquely delicious. Most meat and fish dishes are cooked inside a Peka. The domed shaped cooking lid is not only traditional, but a common way modern Croatian's cook meals. If you're near the coastline, skradinski rizot is a Croatian take on risotto. Restaurants will add their own flavours and flair. Some may mix in seafood while others top it generously with cheese. Regardless, it is a delicious traditional meal. The Adriatic's plentiful fishing provides Croatia with great seafood. Grilled fish is common on menus. Sardines, sea bass and other fish are grilled, seasoned and served to perfection in a way only Croatians can. Although not known around the world, Croatia is quickly becoming a top producer of wine. Wash down any meal in the country with tasty plavac mali or malvazija. Red or white, Croatian wines have body and are full flavoured.
The country's capital is often neglected by tourists, and many feel Zagreb has little to offer them on holiday. But it is a city that shouldn't be missed and has plenty of great sites for the entire family. Zagreb is also a great city for shopping, and if you like fashion, has plenty of trendy shops to view. Dalmatia offers visitors a number of great hiking trails. You will have the chance to see Croatia's wildlife up close and personal as you ascend and descend the paths in the region. When you finish hiking, travel to the "new Tuscany". Novigrad has a number of food festivals throughout the year and the hilltop town's medieval architecture will please all that visit.
Action and Adventure
Croatia has over 1,000 islands that litter the Adriatic Sea. Get off the mainland and take a boat trip to see some of these amazing places. Stop and explore the islands or hop back and forth to the mainland as you tour Croatia. Once you've seen the islands, it's time to investigate the country's eight national parks. The stunning views will please the entire family. The must-see park is Plitvice Lake National Park allows you to hike, cycle or just get lost in it as you view the 16 interconnected lakes inside. While you’re outdoors, you should head to Cetina River to raft. The rivers roaring rapids will take you on an adrenaline fuelled adventure. After you dry off, get off the ground in Omis as you ride on Croatia's fastest zip line. Travelling 65 kilometres an hour, you will speed through the trees at a death-defying rate. Once you have calmed down back on the ground, you will want to do it all over again.
Life's a Beach
There are many great beaches in Croatia. Being off the beaten path in Europe, they are often inexpensive, but provide identical weather to that of the major beach destinations. Medulin has great facilities and a long, sandy beach that ends at a beautifully calm sea. Baska Beach, on Krk Island, is another popular destination. The long pebbly shore is surrounded by cafés, hotels and restaurants to seek shelter in once the sun becomes too much.
The Dubrovnik Riviera has become a popular destination in recent time. Luxurious five-star resorts can be find on the Dubrovnik Riviera as well as some great self-catering options.
If you're looking for a little adventure and history to go with your trip to the beach, head to Kupari. Located south of Dubrovnik, Kupari was once a retreat of the Yugoslav Army. The hotels in the area were badly damaged during the war in the early 90s. Despite being empty and unused, they still stand. The derelict hotels are an eerie backdrop to the gorgeous beach just a few metres away.
Croatia’s nightlife can vary from place to place, and season to season. The summertime offers music festivals on Hvar and the Pag islands, so if you want to catch a world-famous DJ or musician, those are the places to go. Zagreb is great destination for variety. The city has local pubs and brightly lit dance clubs where you can mix with locals. Many residents of Zagreb head to the coast to get away from the city. Kvarner is the place they seek out as restaurants, bars and pubs near the beach are favourite in this neck of the woods. Of course, everyone loves Dubrovnik, and the city caters to everyone. Informal or formal, it doesn’t matter in Dubrovnik. The city has everything when it comes to going out after dark. If you want a holiday on the romantic side, Dubrovnik is definitely the spot. What is more romantic than sipping cocktails with a loved one and looking out over the sea as the sunsets? Not much in Croatia can compare to Dubrovnik, that is why people love holidaying in the city.
A trip to Dubrovnik isn't just a cultural experience, the city also ranks as Croatia's most romantic spot. Cobblestoned streets, winding alleyways and cafés to watch the sunset from. Don't forget the beach and its crystal clear waters are just metres away. Split is the perfect place for a romantic stroll. It is a town filled with history around every turn, and walking down Riva Boardwalk at night when it is all lit up is the perfect ending to a beautiful day on the Adriatic. Couples that love old world charm will enjoy a holiday to Zagreb. Gas-powered lamps and narrow streets welcome you to the capital. Picnic near Jarun Lake and take in the surroundings of the often overlooked Croatian holiday destination. The city's street festivals occur throughout the year, and you will find plenty of great cultural events to sink your teeth into.
Since the 12th century, Croatia has been under the control of other nations. This is one of the reasons Croatia has been so heavily influenced in its food, architecture and arts. You will find a variety of influences when visiting the country: Italian, Hungarian, Turkish and more have all blended into one. Croatians have taken these influences and truly developed them to make something unique. In northern Croatia, you will find the influence from Austrians and Hungarians. Large parks, pedestrian areas and large plazas make up parts of the cities. The northern cities of Croatia are gorgeous and reflect those old ties to the past. Once you make your way south, you will find a Mediterranean vibe and the atmosphere changes pretty quickly once you arrive. You will notice a contrast in the cultures of both areas from the foods they eat to the layouts of cities. Thanks to Croatia's two distinct regions, you will have the chance to experience very different places in the same country.
Where to go in Croatia
Need some ideas on where exactly to go in Croatia? Check out some of our top Croatia destinations below: