This beautiful part of Eastern Europe is simply stunning, with tons of history, a coastline that stretches for miles and a huge scattering of idyllic islands

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.

Medieval Dubrovnik

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, so why not join them at a pavement café 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 UNESCO-listed site and one of the most impressive Roman monuments in the world. Built in 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.

Traditional towns

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

A visit to Plitvice National Park will introduce you to not one, not two but 16 small lakes which are linked by cascading waterfalls. Not to be outdone, Krka National Park also delivers on the waterfalls front. It boasts its own magnificent collection, and is home to hundreds of species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish.