Reasons to love Croatia
A LONG STRETCH OF COAST
Croatia has almost 2,000km of stunning coastline, with pebble beaches and crystal-clear waters in which to dip your toes. If you choose to discover its islands, there are more than 1,000, ranging from uninhabited atolls to picturesque nature reserves and vibrant resorts. So whether you choose an island-hopping holiday or simply spend a day on the water as part of your tour, you’ll get to see the hidden coves and idyllic beaches that might otherwise remain out of reach.
Thanks to its rich history, this medieval city is perhaps Croatia’s most famous destination and certainly makes it to the top of most travellers’ must-visit list. Its UNESCO-listed Old Town is protected by formidable walls that tower 25 metres high. Originally erected to defend the city, now you’re invited to head up here to take in astounding views of both the city and out across the Adriatic.
A VARIED CUISINE
The varied range of dishes you’ll try come courtesy of a wealth of cultural intermingling. Italian, Greek, Hungarian, Turkish and Austrian influences result in a tempting mix of seafood, pasta and hearty meat dishes. And whatever you sample, we recommend it is accompanied by glass or two of local wine. Croatians love their coffee too, usually rich espressos, which they sip at a pavement café, so join them and watch the world go by.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
A gateway between Western Europe and the exotic East, Croatia’s location gives you easy access to a host of other countries. You could make discoveries in neighbouring Slovenia, where its lively capital Ljubljana has a river flowing through its heart and a grand castle peering over it from above, or maybe head south to Montenegro. Here you can discover more of the picturesque Adriatic coast and the stunning fjord-like Kotor Bay. Croatia also wraps around Bosnia and Herzegovina, where a visit to the labyrinthine city of Mostar takes you on an atmospheric journey along cobbled streets and over stone bridges.
SPLIT’S SPLENDID ATTRACTIONS
Dubrovnik may be Croatia’s star turn but its supporting cast certainly delivers too, in particular the city of Split. No visit here is complete without exploration of the Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCOlisted site and one of the most impressive Roman monuments in the world. Built in Croatia AD 295, this now forms the hub of the Old Town and you’ll find a cluster of churches, chapels, restaurants, shops and cafés which have made themselves right at home within its walls.
You’ll find an atmospheric town to explore around every corner in Croatia. There’s Porec, with its beautiful basilica, Opatija, which boasts a seven-mile beachfront promenade, and Korcula, with its Venetian overtones. And that’s just for starters.
NATIONAL PARKS TO EXPLORE
A visit to Plitvice National Park will introduce you to not one, not two but 16 small lakes which are joined by cascading waterfalls. Not to be outdone, Krka National Park also delivers on the waterfalls front, with its own magnificent collection, as well as hundreds of species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish.
PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of Croatia’s must-see attractions. It covers a vast area of around 186 square miles and its highlight is the 16 turquoise lakes which tumble into one another via a series of stunning waterfalls. The best way to explore the lakes is on foot. A network of wooden walkways wind their way amongst the scenery and a number of different sightseeing trails lead to spectacular sights. If you can, be sure to head to Veliki Slap, the tallest of the waterfalls at a 70 metres high.
There’s a little area where you can stand ‘underneath’ the waterfall and capture some fabulous photos! Other options include a tranquil cruise across the largest lake Kozjak, and a ride on the panoramic train – a shuttle bus which travels around the area. Plitvice Lakes are stunning all year round. In spring and summer the scenery is lush and green, then in autumn the rich, warm colours of the trees reflect in the shimmering water. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too, the surrounding woodland is home to rare birds, deer, wolves and bears, and of course there are plenty of fish swimming in the crystal-clear waters.
TAKE IN THE VIEWS FROM VIDOVA GORA
Vidova Gora on the island of Brac is the highest peak of all the Adriatic islands. The views from the top are simply sensational and as you gaze out towards the island of Hvar, you’ll see the golden sands of Zlatni Rat beach jutting out into the turquoise waters.
CRUISE ABOARD A REPLICA 16TH CENTURY SHIP
Step back in time and cruise to the Elafiti Islands aboard Karaka, a magnificent replica of a traditional 16th century ship. A truly unique vessel, the ship is equipped with everything you could possibly need, yet preserves the spirit of Dubrovnik’s naval history
SEA KAYAK AROUND DUBROVNIK’S CITY WALLS
Admire Dubrovnik from a different perspective as you kayak beneath the impressive city walls and see the rocks on which they were built. This unique experience also includes a chance to discover Lokrum island and a hidden beach only accessible from the sea.