One of the most frequently asked questions we’ve encountered in the running of this website is something along the lines of – “I’d like to holiday in Croatia this year, can you recommend where I should go?”
The answer is (very nearly) – anywhere! The two main areas of the country that travellers go to are somewhere along the coastline and its islands (and seeing as Croatia’s coastline is just under 1,800km/1,200 miles long, there’s plenty of it to visit), or Zagreb, the capital.
The long coastline obviously has its own distinct areas, each with its own special characteristics and features. Istria, in the north, has a strong Italian influence; Dalmatia, around Split and where the majority of the the most popular Croatian islands are, has much to see and do and with great travel connections, it’s relatively easy to get around and travel from island to island. Dubrovnik is obviously one of Croatia’s star attractions although, being right at the southern end of the coast, can be quite far to get to and from. Other areas, such as the Kvarner Riviera or North Dalmatia, are lovely in their own right though not as well known – perfect for those looking for something a little different.
If you’re considering Croatia as a holiday destination, and are trying to make your mind up about where to go, the best advice would be to read up (both on this website and elsewhere – even sneaking a look at guidebooks in your local bookstore is quite useful) on some of the popular destinations, and see if any particular place especially takes your fancy.
Your destination in Croatia may also be dictated by how easy it is to reach from the UK! Luckily, there are now many flights operating during summer, but do see our Flights to Croatia section for information on which airlines fly where and where from.
Alternatively, you could take a look at what destinations travel companies are offering to see if you like the look at anything – see our Croatia Holidays section as a start.
Where to visit in Croatia for…
If you looking for…
…parties in Croatia... Head to the island of Pag, specifically the resort of Novalja. It’s considered one of Croatia’s top party resorts though, overall, Croatia isn’t really considered a top party destination. (It’s not Ibiza!) Otherwise, head to one of the summer dance festivals such as Electric Elephant and the Garden Festival for party time – see our special section on Festivals in Croatia.
…somewhere with good transport connections to make the most of travelling around… You should consider flying to Split, as there are numerous bus and ferry connections along the coast and to nearby islands. There’s also a train to Zagreb if you’re wanting to head inland.
…beautiful natural surroundings… The Plitvice Lakes National Park sounds like your kind of place. A UNESCO World Heritage site, its sixteen lakes plus waterfulls, flora and fauna mean the park is wonderful to visit and stay by. But Plitvice is only one of a handful of stunning national parks in Croatia – others include the island of Mljet, Krka National Park and Paklenica National Park. It’s highly likely that you will combine a visit to one of these Parks with a stay in a nearby town or city.
…the sights, cafes, bars of an Eastern European city… You should head to Zagreb. As Croatia’s capital city, there’s plenty to keep you occupied during the day (sights, galleries, museums, exhibitions) and night time (bars and clubs), and it’s not surprising that some compare it to Prague.
…5-star luxury… Go to Dubrovnik. It has the largest number of 5 star hotels anywhere in Croatia, with some being very special. And let’s not forget about Dubrovnik’s many other charms. Or try Opatija in the Kvarner region, which has long been famed as something of an upmarket resort, even going as far back as the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
…near-total isolation… Consider the Kornati islands, where you can take part in a Robinson Crusoe-type holiday where you are left to your own devices for a week (you are provided with food) in a small, basic house.
…a cheap version of a cruise… One of the ultimate holidays in Croatia must be island-hopping up and down the coastline on a private boat or yacht. For us mere mortals, we can take a coastal ferry. Jadrolinija run a route that starts in Rijeka and makes stops at Split, Stari Grad (on Hvar), Korcula Town and Dubrovnik. A great (much cheaper way) of sailing down the coastline…if not quite island-hopping! See out Ferries in Croatia page for more details.
…somewhere with an Italian feel… Istria is the place for you. Part of Italy once upon a time, towns such as Porec and Rovinj offer up a slice of Croatia’s maritime neighbour.
...sandy beaches… Croatia doesn’t have many sandy beaches – most are pebble. If that’s something that’s especially important to you, you may be disappointed – though there are some dotted along the coastline.
…amazing Roman sights… Although there’s a number of rather fantastic Roman sites in various locations along the coastline, the most famous are either the Roman amphitheatre in Pula (the sixth largest in the world) or Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace in Split, built in the 3rd & 4th centuries AD.