"Croatia is becoming one of our most popular destinations, with so much on offer for every type of traveller - from Adriatic Cruises to Luxury Hotels, take in the breath-taking blend of history, nature, nightlife and delicious food…"
Croatia is fast being recognised as one of the finest destinations in the entire of Europe. Croatia is a destination which has so much to offer including a fantastic choice of hotels for family holidays, city breaks and romantic getaways. It also comes with a rich history, spectacular coastlines, a diverse cuisine and as many islands as a self-confessed island lover could wish for.
It takes up a significant proportion of the stunning Adriatic Coast and has more than 1000 islands lying off it, with places like Hvar and Brac especially popular. This combined with the architectural magnificence of Dubrovnik’s 16th century walls and Diocletian’s Palace in Split, ensure that Croatia is a sensual feast that will excite and delight in equal measure. Inland are several stunning National Parks, including the Plitvice Lakes, shrouded in dense forest, they are a truly awe-inspiring series of turquoise waterways that are an unforgettable sight. Croatia also has a rich culinary tradition, serving mouth-watering dishes and delicious wines.
This means that Croatia has something for everyone, a magnificent holiday destination that should be added to everyone’s bucket list.
Croatia Travel Guide
At A Glance:
An Eastern European country it has a long stretch of coast on the sapphire waters of the Adriatic Sea. Along this stunning piece of coast are some of the finest tourist destinations in the world, including the Medieval walled city of Dubrovnik and Split. Croatia is also famous for its many islands, replete with magnificent emerald hills, golden sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The inland part of the country is equally beautiful with the Plitvice lakes, especially famous. The capital, Zagreb, is situated inland and the country has a population of just over 4 million people.
The country’s climate varies greatly between regions, with the coastal areas that are close to the Adriatic Sea, hotter and drier than the inland areas. The entire country enjoys a Mediterranean Climate, which means that the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are mild and wet. The best time to visit the coast is during the months of June, July and August when temperatures regularly average above 25 degrees and the sea is warm. The hottest area of the country lies around Dubrovnik, which when combined with the vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches and excellent cuisine, makes it a fine place for a holiday.
History & Culture
Formerly Yugoslavia, Croatia has close ties to its neighbouring countries, which together were once republics of the former country. Because of the country’s unique location, wedged in between Central Europe and the Balkans, visitors will find an interesting mix when it comes to culture – and most definitely with food. With more than fourteen centuries of recorded Croatian history, Croatia is an ideal place for music, art, history and education. The country was first settled more than 100,000 years ago and once played host to Neanderthals, with modern humans probably arriving around 30,000 years ago. During the Iron Age, the country was colonized by a series of Illyrian tribes, who built the first large settlements in the area. Croatia was then settled by the Greeks, passing to the Romans as they gained control of the entire Mediterranean area. This signalled a large period of growth for the area, with structures such as Diocletian’s Palace constructed during the Roman occupation in the early 4th century. Christianity became the official religion of the region during Roman times and remained forevermore. The collapse of the Western Roman Empire signalled a period of instability that would last for a lengthy period of time, which eventually led to the Slavic invasions in the 8th century. From there Croatia began to form into a legitimate kingdom, ruled by the same person and with a similar identity, although much of the coast was controlled by the Venetians. Dubrovnik gained independence and became a thriving trading nation around this time. Venice ruled much of Croatia for the next 500 years, until it collapsed, and the country got caught up in the Napoleonic Wars. The country joined the Austro-Hungarian empire after Napoleon’s defeat, before being a part of the kingdom of the Slavs, between 1918 and 1945, and subsequently joining Yugoslavia in 1947. It remained a part of the Communist country until it collapsed and the civil war that followed led to the creation of many new nations, including Croatia in 1991.
Considered a culinary wonderland it features a plethora of excellent dishes that visitors are bound to enjoy. Crni rižot (Black Risotto), made with squid ink is a national staple that can be found on the menu of pretty much every restaurant and is a must try during your stay. Prsut, a cured ham, fairly similar to the Italian Prosciutto is a must eat and the Venetian influence can be seen throughout the country with excellent pizzas, creamy pastas sprinkled with truffles abundantly available. Kvarner Scampi is a seasonal dish, which is often eaten with wild asparagus or risotto. Croatians also love to grill meats, with the succulent lamb that falls off the bone especially good. The country is also renowned for the quality of its wine, which is fast becoming a rival to more established nations like France and Italy, alongside a myriad of other great things too numerous to name here.
For anyone visiting it is all about getting outside and exploring the natural wonders that it has to offer. The ideal place to begin is the majestic Adriatic coastline, famous for its white-pebbled beaches and gleaming turquoise waters. It is the perfect place to have family fun, with an array of watersports and underwater treasures to be discovered on the family holiday. There are also a multitude of both coastal and inland hikes, along with biking trails and the chance to swim in stunning waterfalls. The ancient walled city of Dubrovnik is a fascinating and educational day out and older children may recognise it from HBO’s Game of Thrones series.
Tours & Attractions
When in the dazzling Croatia, whisk yourself away and explore the many cultural landmarks. Diocletian’s Palace, in Split, radiates with its imposing Roman structures and no trip to Croatia is complete without walking through Dubrovnik’s spectacular city walls and forts, giving you a panoramic view of the whole town. If nature and stunning habitats are what you are seeking, then explore the mesmerising and extraordinary green landscape of the Plitvice Lakes at its National Park, weaving your way through wooden footbridges and pathways that surround the edges of its rumbling waters.
By many it is renowned for being one of the best places to party in the whole of Europe and it most certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its most famous party destinations are the cities of Dubrovnik and Split, along with the coastal town of Hvar, where visitors will find a vast array of clubs, bars and restaurants. Many of the less famous towns also have a vibrant night time scene, while almost everywhere in Croatia is crammed with excellent restaurants serving exquisite local food and trendy bars where visitors can enjoy a refreshing drink with a spectacular view.
Croatia is still a fairly young and traditional country, where the best shopping comes from visiting the open-air village market, which sell local produce, wine and olive oil. The major cities like Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb are your best bet if you are seeking large shopping outlets, selling international brands. The best souvenirs to take home, are either the famous Croatian Cravat, which is actually where the name Croatia originates from, alongside high-quality food products, such as wine, liqueur or truffles.
Things To See & Do
Dubrovnik, in southern Croatia, is perhaps one of the more well-known cities in Croatia. Though it is popular with recent travellers, the city still very much retains its traditional and old world charm. Visit Dubrovnik for its famous Old City (including the spectacular 12th–17th Century old city walls which are considered to be one of the most important constructions of the Middle Ages), for the nearby beaches which boast crystal clear waters, great nightlife or for the amazing harbour-side restaurants serving up the finest seafood. Croatia also gives its travellers ample opportunity for island hopping holidays.
Want the sun, sand and sea? Are sunbathing and relaxation your key ingredients? Look no further than our beach holidays. These hotels will be in close proximity to the wonderful ocean shore if not right next to it– Paradise!
Gorgeous hotels, with fantastic spa or health facilities – what more could you want from the ultimate luxury holiday? Book specialist treatments and enjoy relaxing massages. Rest your mind, body and soul on holiday and come home refreshed and revitalised.