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Croatia is a small country with a rich history, a stunning coastline, and an exceptional culture with cuisine to match. It boasts a variety of natural and architectural wonders while also being a great destination for beach enthusiasts. For the more adventurous, there is excellent hiking and biking in Croatia’s national parks, and history buffs will enjoy exploring the medieval quarters and Roman ruins while indulging in magnificent wine and fresh seafood. Croatia’s most dramatic natural attraction is its Adriatic coastline, which sweeps from Slovenia north to the Montenegro border south, taking over 1,200 islands, inlets, and reefs en route. While only 50 of those islands are inhabited, crystal clear waters and countless bays and coves lure visitors worldwide.

Croatia has been a big attraction for sailing for many years. In the last couple of decades, numerous chic restaurants and bars have appeared in and around the over 50 marinas dotted along the coast, with a rising number of opportunities for diving. Further inland, huge mountain ranges offer world-class hiking, climbing and extreme sports,

The country is not particularly appreciated for its rail system, as a lack of investment over many years has led to a decline in both standards and the route network. However, an excellent motorway network connects the coast with the capital, Zagreb, while ferry and catamaran services are efficient and usually run like clockwork, connecting coastal cities, resorts, and islands. With six major airports around the country, getting to Croatia from the UK has never been easier.


Deciding when to visit Croatia depends on your particular interest or preferred activity, as the country offers a huge range of experiences year-round. It goes without saying that the summer months are the warmest and busiest, and temperatures can be very high, especially away from the coast. Generally, June to September experience between 21 and 30 degrees, ideal for beach fun but less desirable for hiking and climbing. Cooler conditions and the best months to visit and experience all that Croatia has to offer are April, May, and October. During November to March, it’s best to concentrate on the larger towns and cities such as Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb when they are at their most relaxed and prices are lower. Temperatures can get as low as 5 degrees during the winter period, so planning is important. 

WHERE TO GO – Cities and Towns

Croatia’s largest three cities have a lot to offer, and each is worthy of exploration. The beautiful walled, seaside city of Dubrovnik, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, features outstanding views of the Dalmatian coast and a picturesque historic Old Town. The city walls and forts of Dubrovnik represented King’s Landing for the hit TV show Game of Thrones, although tackling it when cruise ships are in port can be challenging. Split is the beating heart of the Dalmatian Coast. The main attraction in this bustling urban city is Diocletian’s Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s most atmospheric Roman ruin, dating back more than 1,700 years. From the outside, it is an imposing walled fortress, but once inside the gates, you will find lots of restaurants, bars and shops along its narrow, winding streets. The capital city of Zagreb has a charm of its own, with a lovely medieval quarter, lively piazzas, stylish boutiques, elegant restaurants and wonderful museums. It is a haven for coffee lovers, so regular stops are required at the many elegant cafes as you people-watch in this beautiful city. Further afield, Zadar’s old town is situated on a picturesque peninsula, where you will find its famous “Sea Organ”, a series of stone steps leading into the sea where 35 organ pipes, each a different length and size, catch the sounds of the wave’s movements along the seafront promenade. From Zadar, you can visit the island of Ugljan to see tuna farms or Sakarun, where you’ll find sunny Caribbean-style beaches. 

WHERE TO GO – Coastal Resorts 

A highlight of any visit to Croatia is its amazing beaches, the best of which are located in the region of Dalmatia. While they are picturesque, don’t expect white sand like those found in most other European beach destinations. Croatia is all about sublime pebbled beaches lapped by crystal clear water. However, the country has transformed itself into Eastern Europe’s own Riviera, with the miles of pristine coastline and dramatic cliffs of the Dalmatian coast satisfying even the most discerning sun worshipper. There is a large range of coastal resorts and hotels to enjoy, with UK tour operators offering over 40 different destinations in the country. Alternatively, staying a couple of nights on Hvar or Korcula allows the visitor to enjoy the best island life that Croatia has to offer. In the far north, near Pula Airport, both Rovinj and Porec are at the heart of the Istrian tourist industry. The historical old town of Rovinj thankfully remains relatively untouched, with the orange roof tiles and cobbled streets offering a particularly pretty destination, while the large majority of hotels and camping sites are set outside the town. Porec is best known for the Basilica of Euphrasius, one of the world’s most remarkable examples of Byzantine art. If you are set on sailing the Croatian coast, you can avoid the busiest and most popular areas in mid-summer by cruising islands such as Cres, Losinj, Silba, Rab and Krk, which are just as stunning as those mentioned in the myriad of tourism brochures.

WHERE TO GO – Interior 

One of Croatia’s top attractions is Plitvice Lakes National Park, a series of sixteen lakes, served by crystal-clear waters, tumbling over waterfalls, and surrounded by wildlife. Electric boats and shuttle transport connect the trails and walkways of the lower lakes, making it easy to get around, although swimming is not allowed. Krka National Park, located near Zadar, is a natural wonderland of gorges and waterfalls on the River Krka, and you can discover this area by riverboat from the pretty little village of Skradin, which takes around thirty minutes to get to the falls. There is an onward boat trip available to the next falls, which takes in a stop at Visovac Island monastery, where you’ll find an ornate copy of Aesops Fables, thought to only be one of three in existence. 


The majority of Croatian people speak English in typical tourist centres, so there are few issues with communication, but venturing into the mountain regions probably requires a handy phrase book, if only to point to if you can’t wrap your tongue around the language. As Croatia is part of the EU, it uses the Euro as its currency. 

The best way to explore the country is by taking a private driver-guide or renting a car. Local bus services are plentiful, and trains do exist. However, they need to connect the more popular tourist areas of the country. City centres are typically pedestrianised with car-free zones, although many shops are closed on Sundays due to new laws applied in 2023. However, most of the recognised tourist resorts are unaffected. While the country is family-friendly, getting around the cobblestone streets of old towns can be difficult with strollers or those with mobility issues.

Whatever your preference, Croatia can offer something for everyone and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for the UK market.