The best Croatia holidays in 2018 / 2019
From the lusciously green island of Hvar to the brilliantly blue Dalmatian Coast, Croatia is a natural beauty waiting to be seen in 2018 / 2019. Bordering the glorious Adriatic Sea and home to a plethora of historic towns, including the immensely popular Dubrovnik, holidays to Croatia offer a diverse range of activities and plenty of reasons to class the Dalmatian Coast as one of the best holiday destinations in Europe.
The country is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each with its own story to tell. A story you will keep going back to. Spend your mornings delving into the 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 and cities, from Zagreb to Dubrovnik to Porec, come alive with an array of cosy bars and top-notch restaurants serving up Croatian cuisine and cocktails, the perfect choice for a cultural city break.
Whether you’re looking for a laid-back beach retreat in one of the top resorts of Mlini, Cavtat or Pula, seeking all-inclusive luxury, or hoping for a chance to discover the stunning vistas along the Riviera, Croatia holidays have it all.
With cheap flights and a range of hotels, from self-catering apartments to 5-star all inclusive luxury, why wait to book?
Most popular hotels in Croatia
Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera
Cavtat, Dubrovnik Riviera
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
Holiday Village Sagitta
Omis, Central Dalmatia
Admiral Grand Hotel
Slano, Dubrovnik Riviera
Grand Hotel Park
Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Riviera
At a glance
- Currency: Croatia Kuna
- Language: Serbo-Croatian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 35m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Holidays to Croatia are popular any time of the year as the country basks in near year-round sun. Flights can get extremely cheap if you choose to visit in the offseason. With plenty hotels to choose from, you can make the right choice when booking your flights and hotel to suit your holiday needs. Even in the autumn months, the Adriatic Sea is still warm and the beaches are oh-so-inviting. All along the Dalmatian Coast, you'll find destinations to fall in love with.
Dubrovnik is an attraction of its own, and Dubrovnik is no longer one of the hidden gems of European travel. The walled city of Dubrovnik was once known as Venice's only rival, and as a city break destination, this Croatian jewel still tops bucket lists. Revel in the terracotta roofs and narrow winding streets, Dubrovnik is one of our top picks for a couples holiday. Dubrovnik is a beautiful coastal city, but don’t miss the inland wonders on your holidays. Heading inland from Dubrovnik, the area is home to one of Europe’s most beautiful national parks.
Alternatively, popular resort areas include Cavtat, Porec, Pula and Mlini, boasting Mediterranean flair along the Riviera. Recently popular are the quiet areas of Tucepi and Rovinj, both boasting undiscovered delights.
Croatia holidays also allow a fantastic opportunity to go island-hopping. The Adriatic Sea is home to many small islands, all boasting fantastic beaches and natural beauty. In the southern reaches of the country, Hvar and Brac reign supreme and are easily accessed from Split and the nearby town of Tucepi on the Makarska Riviera. Tucepi also boasts one of the most beautiful and dramatic coastlines in Croatia and the countryside along Markaska is stunning. A little 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
Holidays to Croatia are all about food. 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. Dubrovnik has many quaint restaurants along cobbled streets, which is a perfect pairing of yummy food and a nice atmosphere. Alternatively, Pula and the islands you can access from its ferry are excellent spots to chow down on some fresh seafood.
Most meat and fish dishes are cooked inside a Peka. The domed shaped cooking lid is not only traditional but a common way to cook meals in modern Croatia. If you're near the coastline or on one of Croatia's many islands, 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.
Plentiful fishing provides Croatia with great seafood. Grilled fish is common on menus. With so many coastal towns along the Riviera, like Cavtat or Mlini, seafood restaurants abound. Sardines, sea bass and other fish are grilled, seasoned and served to perfection. 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, wines in Croatia have a body and are full flavoured. With a wide range of hotels, there are plenty of opportunities to sample the great tastes of Croatia in all-inclusive luxury.
The country's capital is often neglected by tourists, but with cheap flights and lots of great deals on holidays, Zagreb is a city that shouldn't be missed and has plenty to entertain the entire family. As well as some fascinating culture, and plenty of activities, the capital is also a great city for shopping, and if you like fashion, there's plenty of trendy shops to explore.
Dalmatia is one of those destinations which offer visitors 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 food festivals throughout the year and the hilltop town's medieval architecture will please all that visit. Split is the central hub of the Dalmatian coast and a great, family-friendly place to settle on your Croatian holiday.
The quieter areas of Cavtat, Pula, and Mlini are ideal for families looking for something away from the bustle of Dubrovnik. Pula has some fantastic beaches for kids while Cavtat and Mlini are quiet resorts for a bit of peace and quiet on your Croatia holidays. Beaches galore and quiet tavernas with friendly locals, these destinations offer a good choice of all-inclusive hotels or head down the coast on a day trip during your holidays to the Adriatic Riviera.
Action and Adventure
Holidays to Croatia can be as action packed as you want. There’s a lot to choose from, so ask the concierge at the desk of your all-inclusive hotel and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Croatia has over 1,000 islands that populate 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 (a popular pick is Hvar as its beaches and position directly opposite the Riviera make this a top island choice). Many islands are accessible for the coastal resorts, including Dubrovnik and Split. Multiple ferries are available from Pula in the north.
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, with 16 interconnected lakes inside. While you’re outdoors, you should head to Cetina River to try rafting. 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.
The beauty of Croatia is its vast natural beauty and diversity. The north, the Istrian Riviera, which is home to the popular destinations of Porec and Pula, provides access to a host of beaches, islands and caves. You'll also find Natural Park Brijuni. Down south, on the Makarska Riviera, there are more beaches, plus the stunning Nature Park Biovoko, ideal for mountaineering and hiking.
Life's a Beach
There are many beaches in Croatia. Being off the beaten path in Europe, they are often inexpensive due to cheap flights but provide identical weather to that of the major beach destinations and of other holidays. Even off mainland Croatia, the hundreds of islands also make a great choice for your beach holidays in 2018 or 2019. The Adriatic Sea is calm, blue and during the summer, can get very warm.
Medulin, on the Istrian Riviera, has great facilities and a long, sandy beach that ends at a calm sea. Dubovica Beach, on Hvar Island, is another popular destination. The long pebbly shore is surrounded by cafés, all-inclusive hotels and restaurants to seek shelter in once the sun becomes too much. Quick flights across Europe and you'll be residing in one of many stunning resorts along the coast.
The Dubrovnik Riviera has become a popular destination in recent time. Luxurious five-star all-inclusive can be found on the Dubrovnik Riviera as well as some great self-catering options, all right on the beach. Staying in Dubrovnik means you can fuse your city break with trips down the coast to the popular beach resorts of Cavtat and Mlini.
If you're looking for 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 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.
Beaches in Pula, Cavtat and Mlini lure tourists in with the promise of beachfront dining and the famed hospitality of the Dalmatian Coast. Other popular areas to seek out a beach include Tucepi's Makarska Riviera, Rovinj in the north of Croatia and Split. Tucepi is actually home to the longest beach in Croatia, at a lovely 3 km stretching the whole length of the town. Between Tucepi and Makarska there's also a nudist beach.
Croatia’s nightlife can vary from place to place, and season to season. Summertime Croatia holidays offer 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. Holidays to Croatia will provide no end of nightlife if that's what you're looking for.
Zagreb is another great destination for a nightlife full of variety. The city has local pubs and brightly lit dance clubs where you can mix with locals. If you are looking for a vibrant after-dark scene away from the city, Kvarner is the place to check out with its restaurants, bars and pubs near the beach providing a coastal party for every taste. Also, in northern Croatia, Pula has a buzzing and varied nightlife that's been evolving since the 60s. Concerts in its awesome Roman amphitheatre often sell out, incredible considering its 20,000 seating capacity!
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 the spot. What is more intimate than sipping all inclusive cocktails with a loved one and looking out over the sea as the sunsets? Not much in Croatia can compare to Dubrovnik.
A trip to Dubrovnik isn't just a cultural experience, Dubrovnik also ranks as Croatia's most romantic spot. An unsung hero on the 2018 / 2019 romantic holidays list. Cobblestoned streets, winding alleyways and cafés to watch the sunset from. Don't forget the beach and its clear waters are just metres away, and top resorts like Mlini and Cavtat are just down the coast from Dubrovnik.
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. From Split, you can also take a ferry over to Brac island. Whilst in an island mood, Hvar is another popular spot for love-doves. Further north, Pula in the Istrian Riviera is a secretive city, with many secluded spaces to explore and cultural sights to adore.
Couples that love old world charm will enjoy a holiday to Zagreb. Gas-powered lamps and narrow streets welcome you to the capital. For quiet Italian charm on the Riviera, try Rovinj. Here in this small coastal village, you'll find an elegant yet charming atmosphere due to the Venetian architecture along the cobbled streets of Rovinj which is located on the Istrian Peninsula in the north of Croatia.
Back to Zagreb though, why not picnic near Jarun Lake and take in the surroundings of the 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.
For stress-free couples holidays in 2018 / 2019, consider booking all-inclusive so we can take care of the tricky bits of your holiday.
Since the 12th century, Croatia has been under the control of other nations. Holidays to Croatia will involve soaking some of this history up. This is one of the reasons Croatia has been so heavily influenced in terms of 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 of 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. Northern Croatia is home to resorts such as Rovinj and Pula. The latter is one of these secretive locations that even in the height of summer offers up quiet moments of culture. Top tip? Visit the Roman amphitheatre, the Pula Arena. Pula has been conquered and reconquered dozens of times in its history, and has been home to various peoples since the prehistoric times.
Once you make your way south, you will find a Mediterranean vibe. You will notice a contrast in the cultures of both areas from the foods they eat to the layouts of cities. From Zagreb to Pula, Cavtat, Dubrovnik or Split, the Dalmatian Coast in the south and the Istrian Peninsula in the north cater to every type of holidaymaker. Thanks to Croatia's two distinct regions, you will have the chance to experience very different places in the same country. Just for example, in Porec, close to the city of Pula, you'll find the Euphrasian Basilica, declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1997.
Plus, up and down the Riviera's, both the Dalmatian and the Istrian, you'll find hundreds and hundreds of islands waiting to be explored which display various cultures and histories.