Country guides Europe
Croatia Travel Guide
With a long and beautiful coastline flanked by more than a thousand islands, Croatia has become one of Europe's most popular coastal holiday destinations. Croatia emerged as a vacation hotspot after many years of civil unrest, but tourists are losing no time in taking advantage of the country's many attractions.
Croatia's capital, Zagreb, is a stately European city with beautiful architecture, vibrant culture and lively nightlife, and plenty of first-class shops and restaurants to entertain visitors. The inland region of Croatia contrasts with the Dalmatian coast with its lush forest-covered mountains and centuries-old castles. A paradise for outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing, northern Croatia is also a great place to sample traditional Croatian culture, which dates back to Roman times.
The most popular holiday spots in Croatia are along the coast, however. Holiday resorts on the Adriatic rival the Greek islands for idyllic weather, stunning scenery and lively local culture, and cruises along the Croatian coast are rapidly gaining in popularity. Medieval port cities like Dubrovnik and Split offer cultural and historical attractions, while tiny towns on islands like Krk and Hvar are a great place to escape the bustle of big cities and enjoy the sleepy atmosphere of this Mediterranean gem.
Best time to visit Croatia
The weather in Croatia is fairly predictable, with warm summers and cold winters. The best time to visit Croatia is in the warm summer months between May and September; however, July and August can be very crowded, especially in coastal resorts.
What to see in Croatia
-Stroll the cobblestone streets of Trogir.
-Watch a 15th-century Moreska sword dance in Korcula Town.
-Explore the 13th-century Trakoscan Castle.
-Visit the ruins of Diocletian's Palace near Split.
What to do in Croatia
-Spend a weekend in the holiday towns of Krk Island.
-See a ballet at the lovely Croatian National Theatre.
-Go shopping at the markets in Dubrovnik's Old Port area.
-Hike to the gorgeous Plitvice Lakes near Zagreb.
Getting to Croatia
Getting to Croatia is fairly easy. There are direct cheap flights to Croatia from London and other major UK airports, and even some direct flights to Croatia from the US. There are also great cruise deals available.
The Survival League by Gordon Nuhanovic, and Zagreb, Exit South by Edo Popovic.
Acting Hamlet in the Village of Mrduša Donja (1974), Horseman (2003), and the Game of Thrones TV series (part of which is shot on the Dalmatian coast).
Sweet Muscat wine and Maraschino liqueur.
Fresh-roasted Dalmatian game and seafood.
What to buy
Handmade lace and Croatian wine.
What to Pack
Bring comfortable shoes for walking around cobbled streets and hiking.
What's on in Croatia
Croatia hosts numerous folk festivals as well as world-class music concerts. Top international acts perform each summer at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The International Puppet Festival, held each summer in Zagreb, is entertaining for both old and young.
Did you know?
-The necktie was invented in Croatia; the name 'cravat' comes from the word 'Croat'.
-Dalmatians originally came from the Dalmatian coast.
-Almost 90 percent of Croatians consider themselves Roman Catholic.
-The roads in Croatia are said to be some of the best in Europe.
A final word
Sunny beach resorts, lively cities, and quaint medieval towns make Croatia an increasingly popular European holiday destination.