There was a time when the thought of holidaying in Eastern Europe would have been considered the height of folly. Nowadays however, our attitudes have changed and we are beginning to appreciate the appeal of the region. Croatia in particular is turning out to be the overlooked flower of the Mediterranean, with increasing numbers of tourists appreciating its natural gifts. Read on to discover what to do in Croatia.
Places to visit
One of the most striking features that have made Croatia a popular destination recently is its coastline. Traditionally, the Greek Islands have always been thought of as the ideal destination for a waterside Mediterranean holiday but Croatia’s coast has proven to be a worthy alternative. The best time of year to visit is around late summer/early spring. That way you can avoid the throngs of tourists during the peak of the season, but also still take advantage of the warmer climate.
It has been named one of the most romantic cities in the world and is also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. The walled city looks like it has been plucked right out of time, which is in truth an apt description. This medieval Mediterranean fortress city was once a maritime power rivalling that of Venice.
Both an island and a city located just off the shore of Split; Hvar boasts some of the richest examples of Mediterranean culture in the world. Due to its picturesque natural bays it is a popular place for yachting.
Home to one of the largest and most intact Roman arenas surviving in the world, the city of Pula is a must see destination for those interested in the Ancient Greek and Roman influences on the region. The arena itself is a popular tourist destination and is host for a variety of events throughout the year.
Thought of as one of the most stunning natural landscapes in Europe, the Plitvice Lakes are renowned for the unique colour patterns that the landscape produces. It is the largest and oldest national park in Croatia and said to be breathtaking to behold in autumn.
What to do in Croatia
Dubrovnik is home to two unique drinking establishments. The cliff bars are exactly what their name implies; clinging to small crevices between the sheer face of the city’s walls and the ocean below. While they are pricey, they give unparalleled views of the Adriatic and are a unique experience.
To the sea
Hvar is known for its agriculture. Amazing olive-groves and vineyards dot the island. If you’re feeling a tad more adventurous there are also sea kayaking tours where you can head out to the Adriatic and explore the surrounding Pakleni Islands. Hvar Adventures provides these tours and more.
The Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb
Perhaps an attraction for the more solitary traveller, this museum is quite the oddity. The exhibitions showcase personal mementos, remnants of romantic misadventures turned sour. You’re urged to bring a donation along and add to the museum’s collection yourself in order to “overcome an emotional collapse through creation”.
Where to stay
Royal Princess Hotel, Dubrovnik
The splendour of a city like Dubrovnik requires accommodation as luxurious as the surroundings. The Royal Princess hotel will provide just that.
Hotel Jägerhorn, Zagreb
While touring Croatia’s capital city, it would only seem to fitting to sit yourself in accommodation that reflects the rich history of the area. Jägerhorn is the oldest hotel in the city, dating back to the 19th century. It has recently been refurbished but still retains that historic feel, and all for a modest price.
Villa Rosmarinus, Hvar
One of the best ways to take in the authentic Mediterranean atmosphere on Hvar Island is to stay in one of the small villas around the island. The romantic surroundings and cosy feel of the villa make it an ideal getaway for couples.