Following the announcement that Croatia is now open to US travelers who are fully vaccinated, there has never been a better time to add the Land of a Thousand Islands to the top of your wishlist. Let’s run over what to expect and what to see during your Croatian vacation.
Croatia: Where, what, when?
Located in the Balkans, Southeast Europe, Croatia boasts a soaring coastline of 3,625 miles (5,835 km). Over half of this is claimed by the islands that are dotted throughout the Adriatic Sea, the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to the 78 reefs, 389 islets, and 718 islands to explore, mainland Croatia has 8 national parks, 10 UNESCO sites, 30 rivers, and 127 beautiful cities waiting for you.
Croatia benefits from hot Mediterranean summers, so the best time to visit is between late March and late October. July and August are the busiest months, so consider May/June for gorgeous weather and fewer crowds. September is harvest season which makes this the best time for foodies to visit Croatia.
With no shortage of unique and boutique hotels, upscale dining and luxury excursions, Croatia is a suitable destination for honeymooners, anniversaries and special vacations. You will appreciate the history and culture of the cities as well as the unparalleled natural beauty and charming islands. Family friendly hikes and water activities will keep the children entertained.
7 Highlights of Croatia
Your perfect Croatia itinerary will include a blend of cities, islands, and nature. My recommendations are as follows.
The Croatian capital, Zagreb, is a joy to discover on foot, and you will spend your time dipping into the cathedrals, galleries, and cafes of Upper Town. Some of the quirkier museums include the Museum of Broken Relationships and the Mushroom Museum.
Dubrovnik was thrust into the limelight after the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones but you don’t need to be a fan to fall under its spell. Allow yourself to get lost in the walls of Old Town then ride the cable car to the summit of Mount Srđ for sweeping views.
The sprightly seaside town of Split is the gateway to Croatia’s dreamy islands. Over half of the city is occupied by the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, and the rest of it is brimming with wine bars and seafood restaurants. My tip is to pay a visit to Klis Fortress.
Favored by celebrities, Hvar delights with its secret coves, nightlife, and vineyards. Sample local wines in the wine region of Jelsa and book a boat trip for your chance to snorkel in the hidden caves of the Adriatic. During June, the island rivals Provence with its swathes of lavender fields.
If you love magical natural places, then Plitvice Lakes National Park should not be missed. Turquoise, azure and jade green lakes flood the park alongside vast waterfalls which you can discover through hiking trails or boat.
Brac is a more off the radar island destination in Croatia. It’s characterized by its bounty of pristine beaches, including Zlatni Rat. or the Golden Horn. This slithers of sand juts off the southern coast like a tongue.
The main draw of the island of Korčula isn’t its beaches but the medieval fortified town that earned the accolade, ‘Little Dubrovnik’. Visit the alleged birthplace of Marco Polo and uncover the rest of the island’s history via bicycle.
Extend your European adventure
While there’s plenty to see in Croatia to warrant a standalone vacation, you can prolong your trip and visit a neighboring country. Croatia shares borders with Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Hungary.
Contact me and we will discuss your custom itinerary, based on your travel preferences and whether you’d prefer to hire a car, transfer by plane or perhaps take the ferry from Istria (Croatian Tuscany) to Venice.
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