Holidays to Croatia aren’t just about standout beaches. You can also expect spectacular scenery, postcard-pretty towns and a whole stack of historical sights.
If you like your beaches uncrowded, your seas gin-clear and your towns packed with historical treasures, Croatia will be right up your street. Tucked into the country’s south-east corner is the Dubrovnik Region, while further north you’ll find the Dalmatian Coast.
The big name in the Dubrovnik Region when it comes to resorts is Cavtat. It’s a sleepy seaside village set behind a string of pebbly beaches. On the history front, there’s a Medieval town centre and a cluster of Roman ruins to explore, and for active types, there are some lovely walking trails leading up into the hills that back the town.
Just up the road from Cavtat is one of Croatia’s big hitters – Dubrovnik. Its cobbled lanes, turreted buildings and Medieval architecture have earned it the nickname ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’. There’s loads to see, from monasteries to plush palaces. When you’ve worn out your guidebook, pull up a chair at an al fresco café and keep your eyes peeled for an A-lister – the likes of Beyonce, Ralph Fiennes and Eva Longoria have been spotted here.
Dalmatian Coast & Islands
Run your finger north on the map and you’ll hit the Dalmatian Coast. Hugging the edge of the Adriatic Sea, this part of Croatia mainlines in postcard-pretty beach towns, and includes the UNESCO-listed Roman city of Split. And that’s not all – the waters here are also speckled with pine-coated islands like Brac and Hvar.
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The Istrian Riviera marks the most northerly point of the Croatian coast. It’s a wedge-shaped peninsula, so there are loads of pine-backed beaches and rugged coves to go around. History-wise, everyone from the Romans to the Venetians marched through this neck of the woods, loading towns with amphitheatres and terracotta-topped old towns along the way. And if you peer across the Adriatic Sea, you’ll see where they came from – Italy is just across the water.