Top 5 Things to Do in Croatia in Spring

Now that we’re fully into Spring, it’s time to take a look at some of the best things you can do when visiting Croatia this season. Springtime is often one of the nicest times to visit Croatia. As we emerge from the depths of winter, the weather has changed to be warmer and far sunnier (although swimming in the sea is off the cards – unless you’re very brave!) which is ideal for so many activities and adventures in the country. Here, I’ll suggest the top 5 things to do in Croatia in spring.

Firstly…what’s the weather like?

When I first set out to write this post, I had also intended to say “…oh and by the way, it’s 25C in Croatia right now”! which a) was 100% true and b) would surely delight many of you. Unfortunately, slightly cooler temperatures are sweeping in as I write this post, but I’m sure they’ll creep up again soon enough. Keep an eye on the Croatian Meteorological Service website for up-to-date forecasts.

Croatia in Spring – Be at one with nature

What could be better in springtime than a wonderful nature setting filled with flora and fauna? When you think of “nature” and “Croatia” you surely think of one of Croatia’s eight national parks or one of the twelve nature parks – which means you’ve got a very fine selection of parks to choose from.

My suggestion would be to explore one of the lesser-known nature parks in the country to see some stunning scenery beyond the popular lakes and waterfalls in the most popular locations. If you’re on the coast, consider Vransko Lake Nature Park in North Dalmatia which is home to the largest natural lake in Croatia and a special ornithological reserve as well as a large wetland area. It’s an idea place to do some gentle walking, hiking or even cycling.

Croatia in Spring - Vransko Lake Nature Park
Vransko Lake Nature Park

Inland, I’d suggest heading east – properly east – to Kopacki rit Nature Park near Osijek. It is here that the Drava and Danube rivers meet and the Park is part of one of the largest wetland areas in Europe. Exploring by boat (the park offers a 40-minute guided boat tour) is one of the top experiences here.

If you’re after something more intense to go along with nature, opt for one of the hiking trails in the highly forested Ucka Nature Park in the northern part of the Croatian coast.

Croatia in Spring – Explore the country’s fortresses and castles

On the 10th May 2024 a special event called The Night of the Fortresses takes place. Actually held in Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia and Croatia at the same time (although most venues are in Croatia), the event aims to promote the cultural heritage of these fine fortresses and castle structures – most of which are very impressive indeed.

Some of the venues in Croatia you will have heard about – such as Revelin and Lovrijenac Fortresses in Dubrovnik or Kamerlengo Fortress in Trogir. Others you may not have and now’s the perfect time to explore these – places such as the 17th century Kotisina Castle near Makarska; the defensive fortifications in Omis; Fortress Nehaj in Senj; Brod Fortress in Slavonski Brod; Veliki Tabor Castle; and Trakoscan Castle.

Croatia in Spring - Veliki Tabor Castle
Veliki Tabor Castle

These venues will offer free entry and some may also offer free guided tours or other educational provisions. Examine the Night of the Fortresses website to see all the venues taking place and what particular offers each one will have.

Take a look at our Events in Croatia 2024 page to see what else is taking place all around the country over the next few months.

Croatia in Spring – Adventure time

Croatia allows for many an adventure, it has to be said! And by adventure, I mean activity – from hiking and cycling to white water rafting, ziplining, canyoning and more.

But one adventure that combines “fun activity” with “sightseeing” is sea kayaking. This is an unusual way of seeing some of Croatia’s most famous spots from a different perspective – from the sea!

Sea kayaking takes place in many locations all along the Croatian coast, and you can also time these outings so they coincide with – for example – sunset.

Why not try some sea kayaking in Split to explore the Marjan Hill area of the city?

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Croatia in Spring – Sightseeing without the crowds

Now’s the perfect opportunity to visit some of Croatia’s top sights without the crowds – and also without the soaring temperatures that can often make walking around in the hot summer sun a tough ask.

Take your pick for what you consider to be the top sight that you’d like to explore at this time of year. If you ask me, however, I’d go for Dubrovnik’s Old Town Walls. Walking the walls can be chock-a-block full in the peak summer season, made even more difficult when temperatures are in the 30s Celsius as they usually are in July and August.

Two Days in Dubrovnik - Old Town Walls
Walking the Old Town walls

Start your leisurely stroll on the Walls in mid-morning and spend a good couple of hours exploring all aspects of the walls themselves and the Old Town. We have a guide to Dubrovnik’s Old Town Walls that points out interesting things to see. You could also consider a guided tour if you really want to learn all there is to know about this spectacular setting.

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Another option would be to head to one of Croatia’s most popular national parks (see the nature entry above) such as Plitvice or Krka National Park. Again, these parks get incredibly busy during the summer months, so visiting them in spring is a great idea. Spring is also when all areas of the parks are fully open and accessible as well, so you can really explore to your heart’s content.

Croatia in Spring – See what quieter island life is like

Croatia’s stunning islands (and islets) are a big draw for many visitors to the country – and that’s no surprise. But whilst the summer months draw in the island fanatics on ferries, catamarans, small boat cruises and private yachts, springtime is a great time of year to see what island life is like when there are fewer people around.

Opt for any of the Dalmatian IslandsHvar and Brac would probably be top picks as two of the most popular islands and the ones that have the most to provide visitors (in terms of amenities, accommodation, restaurants and so on) at the time of year. Or if you want your springtime island adventure to be a bit more on the quiet side, consider lovely Vis.

The view from Vidova Gora, the highest point on the island of Brac

Kapetan Luka‘s Split to Dubrovnik coastal catamaran has started operating for the season on 1st April 2024. This catamaran departs Split in the morning and stops on Brac (at Milna), Hvar, Korcula, Mljet (Pomana) and then reaches Dubrovnik at 12.30pm. (The return journey takes place in the mid/late afternoon.) It would be ideal to use for doing a spot of gentle “island-hopping”.

Getting to Croatia

Late March and April is when a good number of flight routes to Croatia from the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe start. So getting to Croatia at this time of year couldn’t be easier! Take a look at our Flights from the UK & Ireland page for details as well as Getting to Split, Getting to Dubrovnik, Getting to North Dalmatia, Getting to Istria and Getting to the Kvarner Rivera.

UK Passport Requirements for Croatia

Much has been made in the UK press over the last few days about travellers having problems with their passports when travelling to the EU. Could this be an issue when you’re travelling to Croatia? And what, specifically, are the UK passport requirements for Croatia? We will reveal all on this page.

uk passport Requirements for Croatia

UK Passport Requirements for Croatia

Croatia is of course part of the EU and is also now part of the Schengen Zone. As such, Croatia’s passport requirements fall in line with the requirements for the rest of the EU.

There are two very important requirements:

  • Your passport must have been issued within the previous 10 years
  • Your passport must be valid for three months after your departure date from Croatia

Let’s take a look at these two requirements in more detail.

Ten-year passport issuance rule


The confusion on the first part – that your passport might have been issued more than 10 years ago – lies in the fact that when UK passports were previously renewed (before October 2018) any unused months on your old passport would be added to your new passport. At a maximum, your passport could be (or could have been) valid for ten years and nine months.

From October 2018, all new adult passports that are issued are valid for exactly 10 years. So if your passport has been issued or renewed since then, you don’t need to worry.

Do note that your passport CAN be valid for more than 10 years – that in itself is not the problem. If your passport was issued on 1st May 2015 and is valid for 10 years and 4 months, you can use it to travel to Croatia as it HAS been issued within the last 10 years.

Three months left on your passport

This one’s a little more straightforward. You need to have three months left on your passport AFTER your departure date from Croatia.

What about passports from other countries?

If you are NOT an EU citizen

Generally, few other countries issue passports that are valid for more than 10 years. So if you hold a passport from another country, you are unlikely to fall foul of this “ten-year rule”. But please check your passport dates anyway, to be on the safe side.

If you ARE an EU citizen

Well then, lucky you! None of these rules apply to you. And in actual fact, you don’t even need a passport to travel to Croatia – you can travel with your personal ID card.

So what should I do?

Please check your passport’s issuance and expiry dates now! Like, right now – go and get your passport and check the dates inside it. Should there be a problem, you hopefully will have enough time before your travels to rectify the problem. Which would involve renewing your passport – and if you’re travelling soon(ish), you might need a fast-track renewal.

Do not leave checking your passport for the day before you travel, or on the way to the airport! As the recent press coverage has shown, travellers are being turned away from boarding their flights. Don’t be that disappointed traveller that gets turned away!

Even if you haven’t booked a holiday yet, it would be a good idea to check your passport anyway now. Because although your passport may be fine for travel now, by the time you go on holiday (let’s say you’re planning an August getaway) that might not be the case. And now you have plenty of time to renew your passport.

Do I need a visa for Croatia?

UK passport holders do NOT need a visa for Croatia. Citizens of countries such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile and others also do not need a visa to visit Croatia. Check on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

UK travellers will need to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver when this comes into effect. It is expected to start in mid-2025.

Do also take a look at our Visa Requirements for Croatia page for more info.

More info

You can check passport regulations and visa requirements for Croatia on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Do also take a look at the UK Foreign Office – Croatia – Entry Requirements page. Although that page states the same info as I’ve written above, you may glean something extra from there.

Now go check your passport!


The Top 10 Tours in Croatia 2024

Now that you’ve got your holiday all booked up (if you’re still deliberating, why not head over to my Plan Your Perfect Holiday to Croatia 2024 advice page) it’s time to start thinking about what day trips and tours you might like to do on your travels in the country. On this page, I’m going to suggest some of the best tours in Croatia 2024 – including some of the most popular ones, some “must-see” experiences and some that are perhaps…slightly bonkers…but are too good to miss!

For all the tours below, I’ve shown the length of the tour and whether the tours can be booked individually (meaning you join a group and can book as 1, 2 or more people) or whether they need to be booked as a group.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links, which may earn Visit Croatia revenue. All suggested tours are Visit Croatia’s own opinion, however!

The Top 10 Tours in Croatia 2024

1. Enjoy the best sunset in the world in Zadar – in style!

1.5 hours, can be booked individually

Sunsets are a pretty spectacular affair up and down the Croatian coastline, but there’s no better place to watch the setting sun than in Zadar. (Just ask Alfred Hitchcock.) Whilst sitting up on the main seaside promenade with the Sea Organ twinkling gently alongside is a superb free experience, take things to the next level on a Sunset & Night Cruise with Unlimited Sparkling Wine. (They totally had me at “unlimited sparkling wine”.)

The 90-minute small boat tour sets off from Zadar marina and makes the small journey out to sea to really make the most of the glowing sunset as it makes its way behind the local islands. After experiencing this, you’ll then be taken on a brief sightseeing tour of some of the town’s main sights by sea – including the aforementioned Sea Organ. And all the while, you’ll get to sip on sparkling wine!

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2. Zip across a zip line near Split

2.5 – 3 hours, can be booked individually

When did zip lines get so popular? And who invented them?! I’m not the biggest fan of ziplines given a slight fear of heights and “going faster than a human should be going” (I believe that’s the official technical term) but I can totally see how the thrill-seekers amongst you are beside yourselves with the opportunity to try a zip line in a new location.

There are actually a number of zip lines in locations up and down the coast, but I’ve picked out a zip line experience that’s just a short journey from Split.

The Zip Line Adventure (which also provides optional transportation) takes you to a zip line which is situated on Kozjak, a small peak slightly inland from Split. The actual zip line isn’t just one zip line, oh no – it’s six different zip lines, which comprise 2,500 meters in total length and then also include a 90-meter suspension bridge through pine trees.

The tour of course also provides a full safety briefing before participants make their way over to start their zip-lining adventure. You’ll be flying over beautiful Croatian forests with sea and island views in no time.

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3. Enjoy the tranquil island of Cres on a boat trip from Opatija

8 hours, can be booked individually

If you’re holidaying in gorgeous Opatija, you may not necessarily think about doing a boat trip to any of the local islands which is a shame as there are some real beauties in this part of the coast.

This 8-hour Boat Trip to Secluded Beaches on Island Cres tour sees you head off to one of Croatia’s quieter islands – just the kind of place to have hidden beaches. You’ll be able to enjoy three beach stops as well as visiting the charming village of Porozina. The tour offers plenty of time for swimming and snorkelling, and generally just having a relaxing time on lovely Cres!

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4. Views for miles on Biokovo Skywalk via tuktuk (from Makarska)

2.5 hour tour, can be booked individually

One of the more modern sights in Croatia is the Biokovo Skywalk experience on Mount Biokovo. Opened in 2020, this horseshoe-shaped glass platform extends 11m over the cliff face at a height of 1,228m, offering amazing views out across the Adriatic Sea to nearby islands such as Brac and Hvar.

The Biokovo Skywalk isn’t far from Makarska at all but it is up high (of course!) and getting to it is a little tricky if you don’t have your own transportation. That’s where the Skywalk Biokovo Sunset Tour by TukTuk comes in.

You’ll get picked up from your hotel (there are a number of pick-up points along the Makarska Riviera) and then taken to Biokovo Nature Park in a little tuk-tuk. (Not perhaps the most authentic of transportation in Croatia, but the open nature of the vehicle works perfectly to allow you to enjoy the nature all around you and the views!)

Having skipped the entry queue, the two-and-a-half-hour tour gives you time to enjoy parts of Biokovo National Park on a guided tour (with scenic stops for photos) whilst also offering 30 minutes on the Biokovo Skywalk at sunset. Glorious to enjoy at any time of day, sunset will be a wonderful time to experience it. You’ll then be driven back through the Nature Park and returned to your hotel.

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5. Food and wine in Dubrovnik

3 hours, can be booked individually

If you’re in Croatia, you’re going to have to indulge in all sorts of local gastronomic specialities – and where better to do so than if you’re visiting Dubrovnik?

The 3-Hour Food and Wine Tour is a walking guided tour that takes in many of Dubrovnik Old Town’s top sights, whilst also offering the chance for you to sample some little treats at the city’s top restaurants. And treats that come with a wine pairing! The culmination of the tour – as any good tour should – is dessert comprising of a traditional Dubrovnik cake.

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6. Private Boat Tour from Dubrovnik

8 hours, group booking

“Oh la-dee-dah” – you’re probably thinking – “private boat tours are how the other half live, but there’s no way I can afford them!” Well, perhaps you can – providing there’s a big enough group of you. A number of private boat tours can cater to large groups of say 6 to 12 people and when you divide the total cost of the boat tour by 6, 8, 10 or even 12 that ends up being…not too much at all.

Of course, there are a wide variety of private boat tours from ports such as Zadar, Trogir and Split, but take a look at this Full Day Elafiti Islands Private Experience for six people. The tour gives you 8 hours of exploring time on the three main Elafiti islands, Kolocep, Lopud and Sipan allowing you to explore beaches, bays and the islands’ tiny villages. The tour can be customised as per your group’s wants so if you prefer to explore as much as possible you can, or if you want to devote a good chunk of time on a secluded beach, that’s possible too.

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7. Get your kayak on and explore Dugi Otok

11 hours, individual booking available

Once you’ve explored your Croatian destination to the fullest on foot or by transport of some sort, why not do the same…by sea? And not just on some kind of boat tour – why not put the effort into it yourself by powering your own sea vessel? Before I start going too cryptic, I’m referring to sea kayaking.

The island of Dugi Otok near Zadar is one of the lesser-known Croatian islands – often referred to as an “off-the-beaten-track” kind of place – and is ripe for exploring. On the Full-Day Kayaking Tour in Dugi Otok, you’ll be transferred to a bay to start your sea kayaking adventure – an adventure that will lead you to all manner of secret coves, bays, caves and even past soaring cliffs. You’ll then get transferred to the north part of Dugi Otok for lunch and where the second part of your kayaking adventure will commence – one that will take you to a sunken ship which will give you the opportunity to do a spot of snorkelling.

The final bit of the tour offers a spot of fun on Sakarun Beach, one of the best (sandy!) secret beaches in Croatia.

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8. Night-time kayaking from Pula

2 hours, individual booking available

If you’ll be further up the coast but want to indulge in a spot of sea kayaking, why not try this rather inventive trip based in Pula? Because what’s better than just regular sea kayaking? Night-time kayaking. And what’s better than that? Night-time kayaking in a transparent kayak. (Yes, really!) And one that’s equipped with LED lights so you can see into the sea.

This 2-hour Night-time Sea Kayaking in a Transparent Kayak tour sets off from the Verudela resort area of Pula to explore the Adriatic Sea and all that it contains – by which I mean marine life. Should you tire of looking at the little fishes (unlikely) then simply look up and do a spot of star-gazing instead.

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9. Visit the Plitvice Lakes from Split

12 hours, individual booking available

How could I not include visiting the truly amazing Plitvice Lakes in this list of the best tours? Visiting them yourself is relatively straightforward – it’s just an easy public transport bus ride up from cities such as Zadar or Zagreb. But if you’re in Split and want to visit Plitvice, things get a little more complicated because of having to rely on (the not so frequent or well-timed) buses.

The 12-hour Plitvice Lakes National Park Full-Day Tour transportation to and from the Plitvice Lakes as well as a 4.5-hour guided tour inside the National Park. After the tour, you’ll have time to take one of the short boat rides or simply take a breather amongst the beautiful nature.

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10. Hop over the border to Slovenia from Zagreb

11 hours, individual booking available

When you’re in Croatia, there are quite a few chances to hop over to a neighbouring country for a day trip – to Montenegro from Dubrovnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina from Split or Dubrovnik and Italy from Istria, for example. But you may not know that it’s a very short journey up to Slovenia and Ljubljana from Zagreb. And not just Ljubljana but the magical Lake Bled too.

The 11-hour Ljubljana with Funicular, Castle, and Lake Bled tour offers a great chance to take in some of Ljubljana’s best sights, including the impressive Ljubljana Castle. And no visit to Slovenia is complete without enjoying the tranquil Lake Bled, which is also included on the tour.

All transport is included, and you’ll get a guided walking tour of Ljubljana too. Just remember to bring your passport!

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Other Top Tours in Croatia 2024

Narrowing down all the wonderful tours you can do in Croatia to just ten was impossible. So here are a few more tours that are absolutely worthy of a mention:

The best travel apps for Croatia

These days, most travellers to Croatia travel in possession of a smartphone. Let’s not beat around the bush, we’re practically glued to them at all times, aren’t we? If we’re not messaging or taking selfies for the ‘Gram (but obviously not using them for calls – who does that these days?), we’re using smartphones for the myriad of useful apps that make every day that little bit easier for us. But what are the best smartphone travel apps for Croatia to use when you visit the country? Let’s take a look at some of the apps that may help you during your travels.

The best travel apps for Croatia

Obviously, all of these apps require a wifi or data connection. Many of them are best used when you’re out and about – meaning it’s a data connection that you really need to rely on. Do make sure you have an appropriate amount of travel data from your home mobile phone network, or buy a cheap sim once you land in Croatia to use in the country. Take a look at our mobile phones in Croatia advice page.

All the apps I’ve talked about here are free!

Jadrolinija – Free

Jadrolinija is the main ferry company in Croatia,

Of most use to travellers, the Jadrolinija app lets you buy tickets through it and then displaying the resulting ticket (when boarding) on your phone. The ‘Buy Tickets’ feature is also useful to anyone just wanting to look up timetables – just a few taps and typing in your departure and arrival ports, as well as selecting the dates, will bring up all sailings for your chosen day. That’s just as well because the actual schedules section in the app is a little poor – it just brings up the PDF timetables that are displayed on the main Jadrolinija website, which aren’t formatted particularly well for mobile devices.

These are the main features of the Jadrolinija app that most travellers will use, although looking up weather for all of Jadrolinija’s destinations is useful, whilst the port webcams button comes in use if you’re trying to see how busy they may be.

The best travel apps for Croatia - Jadrolinija

The ‘Fleet’ section is a nice touch – you can see where any of Jadrolinija’s ferries, catamarans or boats are sailing at that exact moment! Maybe not the most useful bit of functionality for the standard traveller, but absolutely delightful for a travel nerd like me!

HAK – Free

Developed by HAK (Croatian Auto Club), this app will come in most use to those of you who are doing a fair amount of driving in Croatia.

It’s a little long-winded in its presentation, but there’s some helpful content here. The nearest gas stations feature will tell you exactly that, whilst also showing you the prices of the different fuel types at the stations. Places of interest (or POIs) tells you the location of things such as ATMs, post offices, parking lots and garages and supermarkets. You can also look up prices for tolls, although you do need to know the names of the entry and exit toll booths (as opposed to just typing in e.g. Zagreb and Split).

The road conditions part of the app is useful, although quite dry in the sense that it’s just a written report on stuff like road traffic, border crossing info and ferry and rail traffic issues – none of this is displayed on a map, which might be more useufl.

You can even use the app to tell you where you car is (after you’ve parked it, that is) but you do need to press a button to “set the location”…it’s not automatic!

Hopefully this won’t be something that you’ll need when on your travels, but you can also call for roadside assistance via the app.


Seeing as I’ve told you drivers about the HAK app, I may as well tell you about the HAC app. Wait, what?

The app of HAC – Hrvatski autoceste (Croatian Motorways) – relates to the ETC motorway toll device. Whilst most of you are unlikely to buy this – you can just pay tolls as you exit the motorway you’re driving on – if you’re in the country for any length of time and will be doing a considerable amount of driving, you might want to look into getting this device and accompanying app.

Uber and Bolt

You’ll likely already have the Uber app on your phone which is great – it’ll be fully up and running for when you’re in Croatia. It’ll be an invaluable app if you need to make short taxi journeys on holiday for a very reasonable price indeed. Uber doesn’t work everywhere in Croatia, but it does work in Zagreb, Rijeka and in towns and cities along the Dalmatian coast. You can even use the app for trips from and to airports.

In a similar vein, Bolt is another taxi app that’s used in Croatia that essentially works the same as Uber. You may even receive a special deal on rides if you’re a new Bolt customer.


We’re sure many of you travellers have come across the invaluable GetByBus website to look up bus timetable and buy tickets. Guess what – they have an app too! It’s a pretty slick app and makes quick work of bringing up timetables; you can buy tickets through it too.

Once you search for bus timetables, you’re presented with a list which clearly displays the bus company operator, the length of the journey, price and review scores. You can also find out what stops your bus will be making on route and if any tickets offer special discounts.

This app is a must – download it now!

Dubrovnik Airport

A few Croatian airports have their own app, and Dubrovnik Airport – or Rudjer Boskovic Airport to give it it’s proper name – doesn’t miss out.

Of most use to travellers is the departures and arrivals boards in the app which gives live information about flights – useful if you want to learn the latest status of your flight.

The best travel apps for Croatia - Dubrovnik Airport

There are also details of how to travel from and to the airport by various transport means including by shuttle bus, local bus and taxi.

Finally, you can also use the app to check in for your flights.


Another useful Dubrovnik transport app is the Libertas app which deals with local buses in and near the city. It’s useful for those of you who’re planning on using the buses to get around…and let’s face it, sometimes it’s a little difficult to make head or tale of the bus maps and timetables.

The app shows bus lines with their different colours and live bus departures. Bring up the app wherever you are in Dubrovnik and it’ll show you the nearest bus stop, which lines service it and when the next buses to arrive are.

The app is also great for anyone wishing to take the suburban buses to destinations outside of Dubrovnik, perhaps using bus number 10 to Cavtat or bus number 15 to Ston.

Secret Zadar

I was struggling a bit to find a reputable and useful local guide as an app – there are many available in the app stores, but few are actually much use to travellers!

One that I would recommend is the Secret Zadar app which…in fact…isn’t actually a standard guide to this gorgeous town but a collection of little-known facts and, well, secrets about Zadar. It’s a nice accompaniment to visiting the place and offers a slight more behind the scenes look – learn about the ill-fated city bridge, how to tell time in Zadar and about Jackie Kennedy visiting the town. There’s also a video section featuring recent clips, and a chance to hear some traditional music from Zadar – klapa singing.

Dalmatia AI

Fire up the app and select your areas of interest for Dalmatia – are they adventure? Shopping? Nightlife or culture? Once you’ve selected, the Dalmatia AI app will display locations related to your preferences and info about each place. You can favourite the places that sounds particularly interesting to you, meaning you’re creating your own little guide to the area of Dalmatia you’re visiting. If you’re not sure what to explore, simply fire up the map and see what’s near you!

The best travel apps for Croatia - Dalmatia AI

Of particular interest, you can draw up local beaches. Because what’s better than finding a beach that you didn’t know about before?

Mondly – Free

There are not many language apps that are useful for learning some Croatian words and phrases, it has to be said. Those that do exist tend to be a little thin on the ground in terms of content or are…just a little dull!

One which is anything but dull is Mondly. With its series of interactive game-style lessons, it’s a great basis for learning some helpful words to use in Croatian and the way lessons are structured repetitively means that hopefully you’ll take on board for good some of what you’re learning.

Citymapper – Free – iOS and Android

We sure hope you’ve come across Citymapper before. It’s an invaluable transport planning tool that offers routes using myriad different transport methods (depending on the city, of course) – trains, buses, taxis/cabs, carsharing, ferries/boats, trams, cycling and walking, to name the most obvious ones. The app also displays transport maps, and shows live departure times.

You can set it to use only certain types of transport – say if you want to travel by bus instead of train – or get it to tell you the fastest, cheapest or “simplest” options. There is also a very helpful step-free filter for those who are travelling with wheelchairs, buggies or perhaps have mobility issues. What it doesn’t share is any driving routes, of course, for this is a public transport-only app!

As I write, Citymapper is only available for one Croatian city, Zagreb. However, I would thoroughly recommend that you download it if visiting Zagreb. It makes light work of the sometimes complicated tram and bus network.

Waze – Free – iOS and Android

But what if you’re planning on doing a substantial amount of driving in the country? Ditch the expensive GPS system that your car hire company might want you to rent and opt for a free substitute.

Of course, there’s always the ubiquitous Google Maps, but for what I feel is a cleverer “sat-nav” give Waze a try. Waze will offer routes based around live traffic conditions, roads that have snarled due to traffic jams. It will also warn you of upcoming roadworks, incidents (such as car collisions), blocked lanes, hazards, road closures and even reported police vehicles. Very helpfully, it also shows the current road speed limit to help you adhere to it when driving.

Waze benefits from user-generated content for much of the above (i.e. people can report traffic accidents or hazards when they’re seen) so you can too. Just not when you’re driving, of course!


Instagram isn’t anything Croatia-specific, but OF COURSE you must share all your amazing photos of stunning Croatia on your account and make all your friends jealous…right? Make sure to tag us up too (@VisitCroatia) and we’ll share your images on our account too!

Doodle Jump 2

When you need a little downtime from all that sightseeing and lazing by the pool, seek out the Doodle Jump. What’s this got to do with Croatia, you might think? Well, the app was developed by Croatian programming studio Lima Sky. Just the thing to while away the hours on a longish bus or ferry journey.

Travel question: the best places to stay from Zadar to Dubrovnik

Hi, we are planning to fly into Zadar in late June for approximately 14 nights, working our way to Dubrovnik and flying back from there. Looking for about 6 or more places to stay over on our way down, we will be travelling by bus so don’t want long bus transfers, so could you give me some ideas of some nice places where we could stay or when travelling down, please?


14 nights from Zadar to Dubrovnik sounds truly wonderful, lucky you! That’s a great amount of time to see Dalmatia. Travelling by bus is no problem, and I would also actually add some catamarans (or ferries, where applicable) into the mix as this trip would also be a good chance to see and experience some islands. However, I’ll also give you an option to stick to the mainland only if you prefer.

Zadar to Dubrovnik - Trogir

Zadar to Dubrovnik – Travelling on the mainland, by bus, only

  • Start in lovely Zadar with so much to explore and enjoy here!
    …1 hour 30 minutes by bus to…
  • Sibenik – a charming old town, with its two UNESCO World Heritage sites (definitely visit the fortresses!), and a lovely harbourfront 
    30 minutes to…
  • Skradin to visit Krka National Park, a gem of a national park with its gorgeous waterfalls and lakes, plenty to explore on a day or two here
    …just over 1 hour to… (N.B. Only one bus a day at 17.30 with Best Line)
  • Trogir – a gorgeous little town, lots of tiny cobbled streets, good restaurants and cafes
    …only 30/45 minutes to…
  • Split – Croatia’s second city, a must-visit on your way down from Zadar to Dubrovnik! So much to see and do here, plus excellent restaurants, bars, shopping, beaches…the list goes on!
    …just over 1 hour to…
  • Makarska – another highlight on this part of the coast, a popular holiday destination with great amenities and rather impressively loomed over by Mount Biokovo
    …2 hours 30 mins/3 hours to…
  • Dubrovnik – the pearl of the Adriatic!

So, the above is actually only 5 places to stop off at when travelling down from Zadar to Dubrovnik. I think this is a good amount as you can base yourself in any one place and then make additional bus trips to nearby locations.

I would have liked to add in an extra place between Makarska and Dubrovnik for you, but this part of the coast thins out a little in terms of towns to visit. One place to explore would have been somewhere on the Peljesac Peninsula e.g. Ston but it is only possible to travel there from Makarska (if travelling by bus) via Dubrovnik, which wouldn’t make much sense.

The GetByBus website will help you look up bus timetables and book tickets.

From Zadar to Dubrovnik - Korcula Town
Korcula Town

Zadar to Dubrovnik – Mainland by bus to Split and then by catamaran down to Dubrovnik

Now for the second option. The start is as the above itinerary, for the Zadar to Split portion, and then from there: 

  • Split
    …1 hour by catamaran…
  • Hvar Town on Hvar – a popular island town with great restaurants and interesting sights (the Spanjola Fortress on the hill is a must-see); taking a taxi bro to the Pakleni islands on a day trip is also recommended
    …1 hour 10 mins by catamaran to…
  • Korcula Town – a mini-Dubrovnik, a delightful place
    …just under 2 hours to…
  • Dubrovnik

Or two other islands you could do instead would be Brac (home to the famous Zlatni Rat beach) or Mljet (with its beautiful greenery and nature). Or any combination of two – Hvar and Mljet, Brac and Korcula…

Kapetan Luka and Jadrolinija run these catamarans; there are quite a few sailings on these routes (some – e.g. Split to Hvar – more than others) so the best advice would be to look up tickets on the ferry company websites to see what time the sailings are.

Enjoy your travels from Zadar to Dubrovnik!

Croatian alternatives - Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj

The best Croatian alternatives to your favourite destinations

Whilst some of you dear readers are Croatian newbies, currently actively researching your holidays to Croatia and what to see and do in the country, a lot of you may be old hands on visiting Croatia (I mean that phrase in the politest way!). You may have holidayed in the country several times now, or perhaps some of you go year after year – how wonderful! In which case, this post is for you! Here we present some Croatian alternatives for you to consider visiting this year.

Croatian alternatives – What on earth do you mean?

If you’ve been to Croatia before and have always visited the same one or two places, why not try something new this year? So, essentially, instead of going to X, why not try the similar destination Y?

And “similar” is the key word there – if you always holiday in bustling Dubrovnik in August, we’re not going to suggest the tiny island of Susak instead!

Now, before anyone points this out, most of these alternatives aren’t especially close to the original destination…which is kind of the point. Because if you’re going to try something brand new, why not go the whole hog?

So, without further ado, let’s get started so you can see what new place in Croatia you’ll be holidaying in this year.

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Vis, try Lastovo

Vis is a complete gem of an island, one of Visit Croatia’s absolute favourite spots in Croatia. But if you’ve enjoyed its laidback and tranquil nature you might want to consider moving on…to the island of Lastovo. Both islands, in fact, have a similar history in the sense that both served as military bases in Yugoslavia meaning that they were closed to foreign visitors until the bases closed in the late 1980s. Both islands are the furthest (larger) islands out from the mainland too. That means that both require a longer ferry journey to reach them. (For either island, I would recommend the slower pace of a ferry rather than a catamaran.)


Lastovo, however, is smaller still than Vis with a population of only 1,000 compared to 5,000 and has fewer amenities than Vis. But this may be exactly the kind of thing you’re looking for. There’s only one hotel on the island (private apartments and villas are available, of course) and a handful of restaurants. Really, you’ll spend your days relaxing and enjoying the island’s beaches – and enjoying elements of the Lastovo Islands Nature Park. Oh, and staring up at the sky. As the island has very little in the way of light pollution, it’s one of the best star-gazing places in Europe and is called “the island of bright stars”.

More info: Lastovo Tourist Office

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Zadar, try Sibenik

Zadar is another one of Visit Croatia’s favourites (Visit Croatia has many favourites in Croatia…understandably) and I just love its easy-to-explore Old Town with a fascinating mix of old and modern sights.

But let me present to you Sibenik as an alternative. Sibenik has been getting a lot of press recently as an “off-the-beaten-track” alternative for Split or Dubrovnik, but I think it is better compared to Zadar.

Sibenik is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sights – St James Cathedral and the St Nicholas Fortress (one of several forts here!) and a charming Old Town with an exceedingly charming harbourfront. Ideal for strolling and showing off, or relaxing and people-watching.


There are some great modern accommodation options in and around Sibenik, including the large-scale, family-friendly Amadria Park Resort as well as the D Resort Sibenik.

And why not treat yourself when in Sibenik with a once-in-a-lifetime meal at Michelin-starred restaurant Pelegrini?

More info: Sibenik Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Dubrovnik, try Opatija

Dubrovnik is a gem of a place, absolutely, and with its magical Old Town and myriad other interesting sights and experiences, it’s a top destination for many.

But why not swap it for the “Grand Dame” of Croatian tourism – somewhere that has welcomed visitors far longer than Dubrovnik?

Photos of Opatija
Another view of beautiful Opatija

Super stylish Opatija has a very different feel to Dubrovnik; in fact, it has a different feel to many Croatian coastal towns. But this beautiful town has much to offer from its excellent accommodation options (with a number of very fancy five-star hotels), top dining options, luxe bathing spots and the endless lungomare seaside promenade with gorgeous views. (The lungomare in fact stretches for 12km beyond just Opatija.)

Although popular in its own right, Opatija is less busy than Dubrovnik so some travellers would welcome this change!

More info: Opatija Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of the Istrian coastline, try the North Dalmatian coastline

If you’ve holidayed in one (or more than one) of Istria‘s gorgeous towns – Umag, Novigrad, Porec or Rovinj to name just a few – I’m sure you’ve thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful part of Croatia’s coastline. But why not make the journey a little further south along the coastline to North Dalmatia and try its gorgeous towns?

Croatian alternatives - Biograd na mori
Biograd na moru

Consider places such as Biograd na moru, Vodice or pretty Primosten which offer the perfect holiday combo of beaches, plenty of amenities (restaurants, cafes), events, sights and experiences. And this part of Croatia has something that Istria is a little lacking – islands!

There are plenty of islands to make day trips to (Pasman, Ugljan, Dugi Otok), and you might even have your heart captured here…for Galesnjak, the heart-shaped island, is located off the coast near Biograd na moru. (It can only be visited by private boat, however.)

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Brac, try Losinj

If you like holidaying on an island, Brac may be a tried and tested favourite for you. Whilst there are plenty of alternatives in Dalmatia, consider instead of the islands off the Kvarner coastline…and our top suggestion for you would be the island of Losinj.

Losinj is famous for its lush green vegetation and is also cementing its position as something of a wellness isle. (Much of the Kvarner region has a long association with health and vitality tourism stretching back to the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.) So it’s the perfect place for a relaxing holiday where you can also enjoy plenty of pampering after a hard day’s hike around the paths of Losinj (or, more likely, a gentle stroll!) and then an excellent, top-quality dinner. The Hotel Bellevue would be excellent for such as holiday.

Croatian alternatives - Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj
Veli Losinj on the island of Losinj

Or if you’re holidaying with younger ones, there’s a good selection of family accommodation on Losinj such as the Family Hotel Vespera.

More info: Losinj Tourist Board

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Plitvice, try Kopacki Rit

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most popular spots to visit in Croatia, and rightfully so. But as one of the most popular places to visit, it may be a little hard to be “at one with nature” in peak season with all the other visitors there too.

Head instead to one of Croatia’s other national parks (there are eight in total) or – better still – one of its twelve nature parks. My top pick to suggest to you would be Kopacki Rit Nature Park in Eastern Croatia which is in an area of one of the largest, best-preserved wetlands in Europe. The stunningly beautiful area is home to assorted wildlife (deer, in particular, and it’s a great place for bird-watching) and is probably best explored on one of the boat tours.

Croatian Alternative - Kopacki Rit Nature Park
Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Kopacki Rit is very close to Osijek, so visiting this nature park would also be a great way of exploring that city and this lesser-visited region of Croatia on one trip.

More info: Kopacki Rit Nature Park

Croatian alternatives – Instead of a festival in Tisno or Zrce Beach, try one of the lesser-known events

Perhaps Croatia for you is all about partying it up at one of the many festivals that take place in Tisno (such as Hospitality on the Beach, Love International or Outlook Origins) or in the clubs of Zrce Beach on the island of Pag (such as Hideout, Barrakud or Sonus).

Why not try something else this year, and head to one of the smaller festivals in a completely different – oftentimes quite unusual – location? Consider psychedelic raving in the forest in Lika at Mo:Dem; bass culture in Sibenik at Membrain; stoner rock at the Bearstone Festival; a party and a retreat all in one at the cosy, week-long Mystic Mountain; or an intimate EDM party on the island of Ugljan at Flows Festival.

Mystic Mountain Festival
Mystic Mountain Festival

Sure, some of these events may be a different vibe than what you’re used to (not to mention the music style may be not what you normally go for), but the experience will be something else. And you can tell all your friends “you were there first”!

Or go the other way – head to the INmusic Festival in Zagreb in late June which is Croatia’s largest open-air rock festival. It’s the perfect way of combining a festival with a city break as INmusic is held on Lake Jarun in the city.

Croatian alternatives – Instead of Zagreb, try Rijeka

I keep raving about how amazing Croatia’s capital city Zagreb is, so I’ll keep it to a minimum here. (But do hop on over to Visit Croatia’s guide to Zagreb if you’d like to read more about it.) Zagreb has so much to offer, and it’s a very interesting and fun place to visit any time of year. But the one thing it doesn’t have? The Adriatic Sea! So let us present to you the Zagreb alternative with the sea – Rijeka!

Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia (behind Zagreb, of course, and Split) and home to the largest port in Croatia. It’s a city with excellent transport connections (bus, train, ferry/catamaran and even its own airport…on the nearby island of Krk) which means it is a breeze to reach.

Korzo in Rijeka
The Korzo, the main pedestrianised thoroughfare in RIjeka – visible is the famous clocktower

Rijeka may have been a bit maligned in the past as a transit point for travellers to pass through on their way to holidaying somewhere else. But these days there’s plenty of things to interest visitors here. You can’t beat a stroll down the Korzo (the main pedestrianised thoroughfare), admiring some of the grand old buildings and structures such as the City Tower. There are some excellent museums here, from the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to the Peek & Poke Computer Museum. And no sightseeing visit to this city would be complete without visiting Trsat Castle above the city. (What views!) There are also plenty of little side trips too – Opatija is just 15km away.

Of course, plenty of places to enjoy for eating and enjoying a night out, and some truly excellent accommodation choices too

More info: Visit Rijeka Tourist Board offers up plenty of information on what to see and do here.

Croatian alternatives…or complements?

Hear us out with this…but to make a proper comparison between the places mentioned, why not consider combining both in one holiday? That you truly can compare your usual spot with its alternative!

October in Croatia

October in Croatia: The best events and more

September seems to have whizzed by and we’re already on the doorstep of the tenth month of the year. If you plan on visiting Croatia in the next few weeks, take a look at our guide to October in Croatia to make the most of your visit to the country.

October in Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes National Park in October

Getting to Croatia in October

If you’re travelling to Croatia from the UK and Ireland, there are still plenty of flights this month. And we do mean plenty!

British Airways operate their London Heathrow to Zagreb flights year-round, and will also fly from Heathrow and Gatwick to Dubrovnik until the end of October.

Simiarly, Croatia Airlines fly from from London Heathrow to Zagreb year-round, and this year will also continue their flights from London Heathrow to Split until early January 2024. They also fly from London Gatwick to Split until mid-October.

Easyjet will continue to fly from London Gatwick to Pula and Rijeka until the end of October, and from the same airport to Split until early November, and to Dubrovnik until (amazingly) the end of November. They will also fly from London Luton to Split; from Bristol to Pula, Split and Dubrovnik; from Manchester to Split and Dubrovnik; from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik; and from Glasgow to Split. All of these flights will continue until the end of this month.

Ryanair from London Stansted and Dublin to Zagreb year-round, with the former route operating daily – great news for those aiming to reach Croatia’s capital. They will also fly from London Stansted to Osijek and Manchester to Zagreb until the end of October, and from Dublin to Split until early November.

Wizzair have extended their service from London Luton to Split and will now operate it until the end of October.

TUI will operate flights from London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Bradford to Dubrovnik until mid-October.

Jet2 meanwhile continue their strong flight network to Croatia into October too! They will have flights from London Stansted to Split and Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Birmingham to Split also until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; from East Midlands to Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Manchester to Split until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; from Newcastle to Dubrovnik until the end of October; from Leeds Bradford to Split until the end of October and to Dubrovnik until early November; and from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik until the end of October. Phew!

What to do in October in Croatia

Well, aside from eat (see the events section below – you’ll see what I mean), there’s plenty to enjoy in Croatia in October. Most amenities will still be fully open although some (such as waterparks) close for the season at the end of September. You will likely still be (just about) able to swim in the sea, particularly if you visit early in the month,

Other attractions become cheaper to visit in October, which is undoubtedly good news for visitors. For example, entrance to the Plitvice Lakes National Park is €23.50 for adults in October, compared to €40 during summer.

Having said that, Plitvice actually celebrates a special promotional week in early October every year – this will happen from 1st to 8th October 2023. Celebrating the 44th anniversary of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, tickets will cost just €10 for adults, €6.50 for students and €4.50 for children aged 7 to 18 years old. More details here: Promotional October Week In Plitvice Lakes National Park!

Best Events in October in Croatia

Gastro Delights

October is essentially gastro month in October! There’s a whole heap of wonderful food-based festivities taking place this month, particularly in the region of Istria. One of the best-known events is Truffle Days which takes place every weekend in October, starting on 30th September and 1st October. Centred around Livade just north of Motovun in Central Istria, Truffle Days is brought to you by the team behind Zigante Restaurant and offers a wide range of truffle-rated fun – as well as plenty of opportunities to taste this spectacular food item and other truffle-based products. To really immerse yourself in this delicacy, board the truffle train to Motovun forest (that sounds rather fantastical, but it’s real!) to take part in some truffle hunting yourself.

If they’re not celebrating truffles in Istria in October, they’re celebrating chestnuts! The 48th Marunada Festival takes place in Lovran on the eastern side of Istria from 13th to 15th October, as well as in the wider region on subsequent weekends. As you will expect, all sorts of sweet chesnut treats will be on offer for you to try, from cakes to liquer event to chestnut beer! There will also be live music as part of the celebration and kids events too.

In inland Croatia, in Ivanic-Grad to be precise (which is southeast of Zagreb), the 19th Bucijada Pumpkin Festival will be held from 6th to 8th October. October is of course pumpkin month for many of us thanks to Halloween…aside from that, it’s pumpkin month because it’s harvest time! Again, there will be all manner of pumpkin and squash related foodstuffs to try, including cakes and pies and (the obligatory) beer. Live music abounds too, and this event includes plenty of fun activities for children for children too. I think the pumpkin-kremsnite eating competition sounds like fun!

Let’s take a look at what you can treat yourself to in Dalmatia now, There will be an amazing offering at Dubrovnik’s Good Food Festival (9th to 22nd October) including special menus at participating restaurants, wine tastings, dessert workshops and more. Enjoy a “bottomless bubbles brunch” at Park Orsula or a rose wine tasting at Love Bar; learn more about Croatian baking with workshops on pastries, baked goods and desserts; have dinner with a Michelin-starred chef…all of these experiences are amazing! For general fun, head to Dubrovnik Beer Company on either Saturday or the first Sunday for good food, beer and live music, or to Stradun on Saturday 21st October to sample all manner of food items and wine (€6 for a good voucher, €3 for a wine one). Take a look at the programme on the Good Food Festival event page for full details of the line-up, and to find out how to book certain events.

And even more amazing Croatian food is on offer at the Taste the Mediterranean Festival in Split from 4th to 8th October. It’s a slightly more specialist event with many items on the programme being invitation only, but we can’t not include it here!

Events for active types

In sports and activities are more your sort of bag – or perhaps you want to get your heart rate going after sampling all that fine food – there are a number of active events taking place in October too. One of the best known is the 31st edition of the Zagreb Marathon which will hit the city’s streets on 8th October. Baska on the island of Krk, will host the Baska Outdoor Festival from the 13th to 15th October; this event includes a variety of activities for active types (such as running, climbing, cycling, and hiking) aimed at different levels of ability. That weekend (on the 15th October) will also see the Ironman Triathlon event take place in Porec.

Other events

Many cities in Croatia host a film festival, and October sees two such events take place.

Split’s Film Festival will be on from 12th to 21st October with both Croatian and international films being screened. Meanwhile, the Dubrovnik Film Festival will be on from 19th to 22nd October; you can take a look at the films that will be screened here.

Live music lovers will be delighted by the Zagreb Jazz Festival taking place in the city throughout the month; take a look at the website to find out which concerts will be taking place.

Finally, the 25th Biograd Boat Show is on in the town from 25th to 29th October; this is Croatia’s largest boat show.

The weather during October in Croatia

Of course, what the weather is like during October in Croatia will affect the happiness of many a visitor – and that’s fair enough! It’s hard to predict the weather for a full month, but general gentle summer temperatures (i.e. not 30C+!) tend to hang on into October. Certainly, it’s been a pretty hot September in Croatia, with temperatures reaching the high 20s Celsius (often more) at times.

The start of October looks to be a few degrees cooler in most places, although that will still bring very pleasant conditions with plenty of sunshine.

Keep an eye on the Croatian Meteorological Service website for 3-day and 7-day weather forecasts for Croatia.

Review Jet2 Holidays - View from Amadria Park Beach

Visit Croatia Review: Jet2 Holidays

Last summer, Visit Croatia sought out a summer holiday for her and her family – totalling two adults and two kids. After umming and ahhhing over locations on mainland Greece, the Greek islands and Cyprus, Visit Croatia decided to go where Visit Croatia knows best…Croatia! Here’s a review of my experience booking with Jet2 Holidays for a summer break in Croatia.

Summer Holiday Research Drives Me Mad

Although the Internet should make these sorts of things easy these days, information overload actually makes it more difficult! Sure, I can browse 20+ holiday booking, travel comparison and review websites, check out all their deals, see the reviews left by other travellers, try and figure out which extras are actually worth going for…but then that just leaves me exhausted!

This 5-star hotel seems a good deal, but lots of travellers have left recent reviews saying its current quality shouldn’t have that star rating.

That hotel looks fantastic, but where is it? *Pulls up Google Maps*, oh a 2 hour transfer? With a baby? Maybe not…

This holiday ticks all the boxes, and look, it’s a great deal on this particular website! But I’ve never heard of this website before, is it legit? Why do I have to call to book?! And why is it telling me the special discount runs out in the next two hours?

That’s where Jet2 Holidays comes in to save the day! Having ditched the “unknown” travel booking websites (too dodgy) and the comparison ones (too confusing) we decided to try the main holiday booking sites. There are a few of course – I won’t mention the others in this review, but I’m sure you know of them. Jet2 Holidays is actually the largest tour operator in the UK. (Helping over 5.8 million Brits enjoy trips abroad.)

Booking the Holiday 

When it actually came to choosing and booking our holiday, I’m giving the Jet2 Holidays website a big thumbs up.

I found it incredibly easy to search for different destinations or multiple destinations at once. Each country they serve is divided up into different areas – Split area and Dubrovnik area, in the case of Croatia – so you can select individual ones as per your preference.

Once I had performed a search and received a list of results, I could filter out certain hotels and apartments by star rating, TripAdvisor rating and by resort name. I could even further filter the results by certain elements of a holiday – access to a children’s club or an aqua park, for example – and by board type.

Two things I’m a bit fan of about the Jet2 Holidays website (and app!) are the ability to “shortlist” particular holidays (so I could easily compare for my favourites, come back to my list at a later date, or even share the list with someone else) and how all the information about a holiday is laid out simply and clearly.

This last point is something that I find crucial and very much applaud Jet2 for! If I’m looking for a holiday, I want to see everything easily or be able to access all the information in just a click or two. As a parent to two little ones, “nice” flight times (i.e. not flights that land at 2am!) are important to me. So, being able to view the flight times on the main screen is a massive plus.

Likewise, transfer times – anything 2 hours or so is a no for me. but I get that that’s a possibility…but tell me and I’ll discount that particular hotel. Holiday companies, don’t hide this on page seven of the booking process! (Jet2 don’t – they show this on the main booking page.)

Another BIG plus is the calendar functionality. Once I had made a choice about a hotel or place of accommodation, I could draw up the calendar which showed me the same holiday and its different prices across all the dates it was/is available. This meant I could easily see if I could make a saving by travelling on a different week…or during mid-week.

Something similar happens when I was actually in the booking process. It’s very clear how much “upgrading” certain elements will cost – choose a different room at the same hotel and the price difference (“+£336”) is clearly displayed. The same happens for different board options, if available.

Oh, and another big hit with me? The fact that all of the basics are included in the price. And this means luggage (as well as transfers.) Jet2 have a baggage allowance of 22kg per traveller, which is part of a holiday booking. Certain other holiday booking sites may proclaim good deals before you realised it might be an extra few hundred quid for luggage. (Luggage basically being a must if you’re travelling with kids!) 10kg of hand luggage is also included.

Review Jet2 Holidays - View from Amadria Park Beach
The beach view from the Amadria Park resort

Changing Our Holiday Plans

Pleased as we were with finally booking after deliberating and researching for weeks (true story), less than 24 hours later we were hit with the realisation that we’d triple-booked ourselves and going away the week we’d planned would have meant missing out on several social events that were important to us.

Berating ourselves for being complete idiots, we thought we’d try calling Jet2 Holidays to see if you could maybe, possibly, somehow change our dates for a week earlier in the summer holidays.

This turned out to be not a problem at all! The very helpful and friendly lady we talked to pointed out that not only would there be no charge (as we were changing within 24 hours of booking), but we’d actually get a slightly cheaper holiday (meaning we’d get a refund) but changing our dates. A win all around!

Review Jet2 Holidays - Hotel Jakov entrance
The entrance to the Hotel Jakov

The Flight and Transfer

Our actual flight was perfectly smooth; really, heading to Stansted was perhaps the more difficult element of it all. Sure, it’s a short-haul flight on a budget airline, but we still found it reasonably comfortable. Apart from being forced to hear that Jess Glynne song multiple times. (If you know, you know.)

Finding our transfer coach at Split Airport was also pretty straightforward, as was the transfer itself. If memory serves me, we made three stops in total with our hotel – the Amadria Park Hotel Jakov near Sibenik – being the last.

Jet2 Holidays during our Holiday

I can’t say we encountered any reps from Jet2 Holidays during our stay, but we also didn’t need them either! Our hotel had a Jet2 book at reception with additional information on excursions and similar, but we were happy with planning our own. (Huh, it’s almost like I run a Croatian travel site…)

We did receive a little welcome pack that told us when and where to meet our reps if we needed them. During the week we were there, they were at a neighbouring hotel twice.

The Jet2 app also displayed information on our holiday, such as displaying details about our return transfer the day before we left. The company also has a 24-7 UK-based hotline should guests need any assistance.

But, as I said, we didn’t need our Jet2 reps during our holiday!


Jet2 Holiday generally also offer a wide variety of excursions from their hotels. The ones that could be booked from our resort were an 8-hour trip to Krka National Park or a 12-hour trip to Plitvice National Park. (Both of these excursions ran once a week.) Again, this isn’t something we personally made use of due to the fact we were holidaying with young children, but the fact that we could have opted for excursions right from our doorstep…as it were…was a plus.

Obviously, there were and are plenty more excursions available in the wider area not organised by Jet2 Holidays!

Review of Jet2 Holidays: Overall

Another impressive factor for me is that Jet2 Holidays is the Which? Travel Brand of the Year 2022, and is also a Which? Recommended Provider. Not only that – Which? has also declared them the best airline. (I’m a big reader of Which? and trust what they say!)

They offer free child places, and all infants under 2 go free. I relish any chance we parents can save on summer holidays.

It’s possible to purchase a holiday on a pay monthly or part pay (as and when) basis which is another big plus.

So overall? A big thumbs up from me! I’m already looking at deals for this year’s summer holiday!

Note: Visit Croatia paid for the above holiday herself and was not compensated in any way or asked to write this review by Jet2 Holidays. All views above are Visit Croatia’s own.

The best ways of getting around Croatia

Croatia doesn’t lack transport options or decent infrastructure in any way, but here are a few helpful hints and tips you should know for the best ways of getting around Croatia.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Bus

We’ll start with perhaps the best one! Croatia’s bus network is very, very extensive and far more so than the train network (more of which later). Buses connect all the major towns and cities in Croatia, and plenty more places besides; there are also normally local buses operating on routes in and around major cities – for example, with the city buses in Split you can reach Trogir or Omis, whilst the Dubrovnik bus network can take you to Cavtat or Dubrovnik Airport to the south or Ston and the Peljesac Peninsula to the north.

Bus travel is relatively cheap, although there’s no option for anything like a ‘bus pass’ allowing unlimited travel, which might be handy. Having said that, there are many bus companies operating in Croatia – see our Bus Travel in Croatia page – and it’s very unlikely you’d want to limit yourself to just one company anyway. You can normally make savings if you book return tickets (if you’re making a return journey, of course!) and some companies give savings if tickets are booked online – e.g. Autotrans.

A bus crossing a bridge near Zadar

Some bus routes even utilise local ferries so you can use them to get onto the islands – for example, if travelling from Dubrovnik to Korcula. Other islands are connected to the mainland by bridge – namely, Krk and Pag – so bus travel is often the best way of getting to these places.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Train

Travellers to mainland Europe often have quite a romantic notion of train travel and the classic gap year/young adult pursuit of interrailing. Which is completely understandable – travelling around a large territory such as Europe is fun! Not to mention that certain countries – France, Italy, Germany, and Spain – now have some rather speedy rail services that will zip you from city to city in just a few hours.

However, you can’t really say much of this for Croatia! The rail network has been underfunded for many years now (the road network, in contrast, has been built to provide modern motorways) and, by and large, it is not very extensive. Zagreb is the main rail hub and there are services stretching out from this city to some of the main towns and cities (Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Varazdin) but not all that much in between other locations.

There are also very, very few services along the coast!

Croatian Train
A train in Croatia

Additionally, some routes will be quicker by bus which utilises a motorway route rather than on the slow rail network – Zagreb to Rijeka is two and a half hours by bus but four hours by train. Zagreb to Split can be as fast as four and a half hours by bus (it really depends on which bus you take and how many stops it makes) but it’s six and a half or eight and a half hours by train.

If you did want to undertake a train route in Croatia (and didn’t mind the extra journey time), we would recommend Zagreb to Split…or vice versa. It is a very scenic route!

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Flying

Flying is obviously the quickest option for getting around Croatia, there’s no disputing that! The country’s main airline, Croatia Airlines operates flights connecting Zagreb with Pula, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik and Osijek, and even the tiny airport by Bol on the island of Brac.

There are also flights connecting Pula with Zadar and Osijek, Split with Pula, Rijeka and Dubrovnik and Rijeka with Split and Osijek. If there are no direct flights for the route you want, you should be able to travel by connecting in Zagreb. Take a look at our Flights in Croatia page for the full timetable for this year.

Best ways of getting around Croatia - Flying
The gorgeous view when departing from Split Airport

Charter airline Trade Air also operates in Croatia, and you can book their flights on the Croatia Airlines website as well.

Understandably, flying is the most expensive way of getting around Croatia but the cost may be worth it if you’re looking to travel quickly. But don’t forget to factor in the time (and cost) required to travel to and from airports.

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Ferries

Well, for the most part, you can hardly escape travelling by ferry (or catamaran) if you want to get onto the islands…right? (Putting aside islands such as Krk and Pag which are connected to the mainland by bridge.)

Catamarans are of course faster than ferries but there are few routes on which both a catamaran and ferry operate. One exception is Split to the island of Vis – to show you the comparison in journey time, by catamaran it takes 1 hour 25 minutes whilst by ferry it is 2 hours 20 minutes. (Both of these routes are run by Jadrolinija.)

Similarly, Split to Vela Luka on the island of Korcula takes 2 hours and 5 minutes and by ferry, the journey takes 3 hours 30 minutes. (Again, both routes are run by Jadrolinija.)

Best ways of getting around Croatia - by ferry or catamaran
Ferries and catamarans at Split port

Having said this, ferries tend to be a far more scenic mode of transportation. Almost all of them allow you to sit up on the deck and watch the beautiful Adriatic and its islands go by. Catamarans have little in the way of outdoor space (if any!) and can also be rather noisy.

Catamarans tend to run on some of the longest coastal routes – for example, Split to Dubrovnik and Pula to Zadar. Sadly the once long-running coastal ferry from Rijeka to Dubrovnik stopped operating a number of years ago.

Ferries will absolutely be your chosen method of transport if you’re travelling with a car. Catamarans only accept foot passengers!

Take a look at our Croatia Ferries Map to get an idea of whether catamarans or ferries operate on the route wish to make!

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Road

Renting a car when in Croatia undeniably gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, and to set your own route for wherever you’re trying to get to – and allowing you to go “off-plan” whenever you want!

However, renting a car can be the most expensive way of travelling around Croatia and you will also have to factor in paying tolls (if you make use of motorways) as well as parking charges when visiting towns and cities.

But if you’re sharing the rental with someone else (or a few of you), it can work out to be relatively reasonable. And you’ll be able to schlep all your belongings around without any effort at all!

Best ways of getting around Croatia - by road
A winding road on the island of Pag

The best ways of getting around Croatia – Taxi

We obviously wouldn’t suggest taxis in Croatia as a mode of transport for long distances! But they’re a reasonable way of getting around a small area if you don’t have a rental car and don’t want to rely on public transport.

Almost all towns and cities have a good selection of local taxi companies who you can call to book a taxi. Ask at your place of accommodation for a recommendation.

Riding-hailing apps such as Uber and Bolt exist in Croatia and are a super-easy way of getting a taxi. If you haven’t used them before, you may end up getting a small discount as a first-time user.

So what is the best way of getting around Croatia?

The best way of getting around Croatia probably depends on how much time you have for travelling around the country, and what your itinerary specifically is.

If you’re happy with renting a car, we’d say this is probably the best way of getting around Croatia as it gives you the most flexibility!

If you’d prefer to go down the public transport option, we’d suggest getting around Croatia by bus. The bus network is very good and bus travel is relatively cheap.

Catamarans or ferries will of course be the way to go to get to the islands!

Why not combine some of the above during your holiday? Rent a car for a week (or a portion of a week) to explore a certain region, and then rely on public buses or ferries for the remainder?

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

Reader Comment on Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

Now that Croatia has joined the Schengen Zone, visitors are limited to staying 90 days in any 180-day period in the country and the rest of the Zone combined – which makes it harder to travellers to easily stay in Croatia and this part of Europe for longer periods of time. We were recently contacted by one of our readers regarding extended tourist stays in Croatia – who had the following to say:

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia – Is The Tourism Ministry Missing a Trick?

Since the UK controversially left the EU, those British citizens who have cruising boats and holiday homes in Croatia have faced a problem. Like other third country nationals, their stay is limited to 90 days in 180 on a rolling basis. British subjects don’t need a visa to visit Croatia but, to extend their stay, they need to apply for a permit to cover any additional weeks. For a stay of more than 90 days each applicant must have a certificate to demonstrate they have no criminal convictions and proof of financial independence. That might seem reasonable, but the bureaucracy is anything but clear.

Enquiries made to the Croatian Embassy in London are simply referred to the Ministry of the Interior which responds by referring people to lengthy legislative documents in the Croatian language. Google Translate can help of course but, for a nation that relies heavily on income from tourists, and has policy to broaden the tourist season, couldn’t the procedure be made simpler and clearer?

Extended Tourist Stays in Croatia

It does seem odd that a person with criminal convictions can visit Croatia for up to 90 days but those who have invested in property in the country and are happy to contribute to the Croatian economy for the duration of an extended summer season are required to prove otherwise. A clear statement of requirements for applying for an extended tourist permit from the Ministry of Tourism, and an explanation of the procedure in English would be most welcome and could encourage more longer term tourists to visit the country. Will it happen?

Have you encountered the same problem? What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!