Why Go to Croatia?

You may have heard a considerable amount about Croatia from friends and family, or read about the country in the travel sections of the newspapers. (It is, after all, featured pretty regularly!) You may keep hearing that Croatia is a “hot destination” or that you should “get there before the crowds go”. We’d say that the former quote has been uttered for several years now, whilst in the latter case we’d say that the country is already very popular – there are plenty of holidaymakers that enjoy the country year in, year out!

Why Go to Croatia? Visit Croatia’s Reasons

If you’ve never been, why should you go? We recommend going to Croatia if you…

…you want crystal clear waters…

Everyone always marvels at the wonderfully clear water, and if you’re the type to enjoy a relaxing beach-side holiday with the occasional sea dip, then Croatia may be for you. The one thing to point out is that the country is not that well known for its sandy beaches…BUT there are some sandy beaches all along the coastline if that is really important to you. The majority of beaches are of the pebble-y kind or stone kind. In many areas, you can even find your own little bit of deserted coastline for the ultimate in relaxation.

Why Go to Croatia? Beaches
The famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach in Bol on the island of Brac

…are into sailing or want to go on a cruise holiday…

I may be biased, but I honestly think Croatia is one of the best countries for a sailing/cruise holiday. With over 1,000 islands and ample coastline, it’s the perfect place for a holiday where you can stop off at numerous ports and resorts, sampling the local cuisine and taking in sights. (With plenty of dips into the aforementioned crystal clear waters along the way, of course.)

…want something different to Spain, France or Italy...

If these are the usual countries you go on holiday to, why not consider Croatia? Most people say Croatia is on par with them, but a bit cheaper. Some people might expect bargain basement prices, but the country is – unfortunately – not quite at that level any more. Overall, we would still say it’s cheaper than its more famous Western European counterparts AND just as nice, if not more so.

…are a history or sightseeing buff, there’s so much to see!

Some of Croatia’s best-known sights are truly astonishing, although what with the country’s fascinating history and mix of Roman, Greek, Slavic, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian rule over the years, it is hardly surprising. From the wonderful Old Town in Dubrovnik to the fantastically well-preserved Roman amphitheatre in Pula (the Arena), to Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace in Split, there is plenty to see and do. Don’t forget that Croatia also has ten entries on UNESCO World Heritage List.

Why Go to Croatia? History
The Arena in Pula

…are into nature…

You may have heard of the wonderful Plitvice Lakes National Park which – if you get the opportunity – is definitely a must-see. This truly magic natural place is a mix of interconnecting lakes and waterfalls and as stunning as the pictures are, they don’t even do it justice.

But it’s only one of eight National Parks in Croatia (and there’s also a number of Nature Parks, which are separately defined) which are great for hiking in, enjoying the flora and fauna and taking in the landscapes.

…for great weather…

Sure, Croatia doesn’t have a monopoly on gorgeous weather but if you’re heading on a summer holiday it’s what you want, right? Sun and warm temperatures rule during the summer months, but just before or after peak season (such as May or September) the weather is perhaps even more pleasant (mid 20s and sunny) and there’s fewer crowds!

…for great food and wine…

Croatia (unfairly) had a very average reputation for its gastronomic offerings for a while but that’s all changed. As well as some wonderful restaurants all over the country (including five Michelin-starred options – such as 360 Restaurant in Dubrovnik and Pelegrini in Sibenik), you can sample many wonderful dishes in the country, particularly seafood offerings, pasta or traditional meat options such as peka or pasticada. Istria in particular is known for being something of a foodie destination and the region also has plenty of wineries for wine tastings (as does the Peljesac Peninsula).

…would like an active holiday…

Croatia increasingly becoming something of an activity holiday destination. We’ve already mentioned sailing, but what about a holiday based around cycling, kayaking, long-distance swimming or hiking? Perhaps you’d like a week or two at one of the country’s tennis camps? Or there are a whole host of other activities or sports (such as triathlons or even skiing!) that you can take part in.

Why Go to Croatia? Cities - Zagreb

…want a city break, but something different to Prague/Budapest/Warsaw…

Give Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, a go! There is plenty to see and do, with numerous cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs to enjoy in the evenings. And Zagreb’s also a very suitable destination during winter, as well; Advent Zagreb was awarded European Destinations’ Best Christmas Market three years running.

Love International © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (www.fb.com/wearehereandnow)
Love International – © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

…are looking for the next big thing on the festival scene…

Croatia is getting something of a reputation as a music festival destination, with many well-established festivals (Hideout, Ultra Europe, Outlook). There are also festivals all summer long (including Love International and Defected) at the idyllic Garden Resort, which offer 24 hours of partying at an intimate, boutique festival right by the sea.

If you’ve done all the usual music events elsewhere in Europe, see what Croatia has to offer – read our Festivals in Croatia guide. These events are becoming more and more popular, with new events being added each year.

…have followed Croatian sportsmen and women and their achievements in recent years…

Perhaps you’ve been inspired by the tremendous achievements of Croatian sportsmen and women in recent years? Certainly, when Croatia finished runners-up in the 2018 World Cup, we received numerous emails from people telling us they were now inspired to visit Croatia! Visiting the country where all these amazingly talented sportspeople are from is as good a reason as any.

…have already “seen” Croatia (on-screen)…

In a similar vein to the above, perhaps you’ve already witnessed Croatia’s beauty on a popular TV show or in a film? One of the most famous TV series to have filmed in Croatia is of course Game of Thrones which used Dubrovnik as King’s Landing. Other places in Croatia used to film the hit TV show include the small island of Lokrum (near Dubrovnik), Trsteno, Diocletian’s Palace in Split and Klis Fortress (near Split).

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again was largely filmed on the lovely island of Vis (which stood in for a Greek island!), and there have been multiple other filming locations in Croatia.

…are any age, travelling in any kind of group (or solo!) with any kind of budget, wanting any kind of holiday… (!)

Yes okay, we’re being factitious as that just about covers everyone. But in fact, a holiday in Croatia allows for a much wider variety than some people think. It’s great for families, solo younger travellers or mature travellers. It can be done completely on a budget – staying in private rooms, travelling around by public transport – or there’s the opportunity to go all out and stay in five-star luxury. Many companies now offer complete package deals to Croatia, but it’s also easy to organise a holiday completely by yourself. (Tip: use this website!)

…don’t want to miss out… (!)

Croatia may be more popular than you might think. Summer months often see more than one million people enter the country each weekend. And we’re sure you’ve heard at least one friend, family member or acquaintance raving about the place. It’s surely time to try it out for yourself.

But what about the war?

“Don’t mention the war!” as a well-known (fictional) Torquay hotelier would say. In all seriousness – if I’m honest, I’m actually quite surprised that some of the less well-respected travel writers still (STILL!) refer to the war in Croatia.

We’re not trying to downplay its significance at all, but the war in Croatia did take place in the early 90s (1991-95). Almost thirty years after its end, there’s no hint of trouble or strife in the region. Any destinations that were damaged during the war (such as Dubrovnik) were swiftly restored and repaired quite promptly even back then. You will not see any suggestion or even a hint that a war was fought in this beautiful country.

Go on, we’ve convinced you, haven’t we?!

If we’ve managed to convince you to visit Croatia, check out our When to Go and Where to Go guides. Then see our list of the Top 10 Destinations in Croatia for some ideas of where to holiday…and then take a look at some potential itineraries for a weekend, a week, ten days or two weeks in Croatia!

Don’t forget, we also have the Visit Croatia Travel Forum on which you can also ask any travel questions. We’d also be more than happy to help if you email us at webmaster@visit-croatia.co.uk.