Fans of Game of Thrones, beautiful beaches and outdoorsy escapes will find Croatia holidays tick every box – and maybe some bonus ones you didn’t expect as well.
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Dubrovnik and nearby islands like Hvar, Vis, Mljet and Brac have shot to the top of the holiday charts in recent years, but they’re not singing a solo – Croatia boasts a whole orchestra of stunning destinations to explore.
Couples will be serenaded by the charm of capital city Zagreb and the breath-taking beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a popular day trip.
The UNESCO World Heritage site, which lies between Zagreb and Zadar, boasts 16 lakes, all inter-connected by a series of stunning waterfalls. The park itself takes in a remarkable 300 square kilometres, though fortunately for your feet, the lakes themselves are spread across just eight. As well as the impressive water features on display, you might also get to spot some of the local wildlife, including bears, boars, deer, wolves and some rare species of birds.
Krka National Park is another similar option further south, around an hour’s drive from Split.
While the National Parks are truly captivating, Croatia’s long coastline is what lures in most visitors, with pictures of the crystal blue waters and fantastic water sports opportunities providing the perfect bait for adventurous travellers.
With so many islands and coastal towns to choose from, it can be tricky to narrow down your selection. But the great news is, you don’t have to! Holidays in Croatia are perfect for the indecisive holidaymaker, as island-hopping is a tried and tested option.
Hvar and its lively nightlife scene is an increasingly popular choice for hen and stag parties, but don’t let that put you off, as there’s plenty of room for all.
Back on the mainland, Dubrovnik’s reputation as a European hotspot has taken off in recent years, not least thanks to the town’s medieval sites being used extensively as locations in Game of Thrones. But if you don’t know your Stark of Winterfell from your Arryn of the Eyrie, no problem, as Dubrovnik has much more to offer. With its City Walls, Cathedral, Old Town and St John Fortress, the UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts history in abundance. And, as with most Croatian coastal destinations, there’s great food, drink and sea kayaking to be enjoyed too.
For more outdoorsy adventures on dry land, Croatia is also blessed with an array of vineyards and pine forests to explore. Wineries can be found throughout the country, on the coast, inland and on the islands, so the good news is you’re never too far away from a lovely, fresh glass of wine. For time in the saddle, head to Mljet where you can ride a bike through the gorgeous pine forests which define the island.
Head north to Split for something a little less crowded, but with equal doses of history and character. And don’t miss out on Froggyland while you’re there. It’s not quite the culture we’ve come to expect from Croatia, but it’s certainly an experience!
Of course, a country blessed with such a swathe of coastal destinations and islands will obviously have great water sports options. Brac Island is the go-to spot for windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and kiteboarding and, to cap it off, is home to the breath-taking ‘Golden Cape’ beach as well.
Rab, is where the best beaches can be found, while Vis stakes a great claim for ‘head chef’ of the country, with its beautiful seafood dishes.
From fairy tale castles to beautiful sun-kissed beaches, The Balkans are a cocktail of beauty & culture
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