Croatia is often dubbed the “Mediterranean as it once was” and has a glorious mix of sunshine, awe-inspiring historical artifacts, breathtaking geography and traditional Mediterranean culture. Western tourists routinely overlook Croatia, and to be honest; this baffles us! Here are our top picks of places to see:
Dubrovnik takes pride and place at the top of this list as Croatia’s most popular tourist attraction. The world-renowned old town sits proudly on the UNESCO world heritage sites list, and for a good reason, the famous walled city presents picturesque orange rooftops on a stunning blue backdrop – a truly unmatchable view! Beyond the old town, Dubrovnik offers many other vacationing treasures, including charming squares, impressive churches, traditional Cafes, and even a bustling city centre!
Hvar is a Croatian island that sits in the Adriatic sea and is a highly ranked European island, largely due to its favourable Nautical position that means temperatures remain comfortable year-round. The Capital of Hvar, Hvar town, often considered the more cosmopolitan city and tourist hotspot on the island is packed with cocktail bars and splendid restaurants that showcase the island’s exquisite cuisine. For those looking for a quieter vacation, the town of Jelsa is a far more attractive destination, with beautiful sandy beaches and historical treasures!
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a long-standing and proud member of the Croatian Unesco World Heritage club, first added to the exclusive list in 1979 for its outstanding natural beauty. The park is comprised of 16(!) lakes and many more waterfalls, which can all be viewed by a network of boarded walkways.
Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and offers an outstanding balance of ancient history and modern richness. Split is famously home to numerous Roman relics, including the UNESCO world heritage site of Diocletian’s Palace (yes, another!). What’s more, Split makes a great place to begin exploring the Adriatic Islands with regular excursions leaving the port daily.
Krka National Park
Krka National Park is situated along the Krka River within Sibenik-Knin County and is most famous for its turquoise waters and beautiful cascading waterfalls. Despite this assertion, the park has plenty more to offer than a quick swim and photo with the famed springs!
Pula is located near the southern tip of the Istrian Peninsula in the Adriatic sea. Pula is a vibrant city jam-packed with ancient roman ruins and home to many different cultures. The town is obviously most famous for its landmark centrepiece, the first-century amphitheatre that sits proudly by the water’s edge. Despite its rich history, Pula offers much more than a trip into the past; exploring the nearby Brijuni national park, engaging in thrilling water sports, or simply relaxing by sea are a few of the many activities.
Zadar is located on Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast and offers many of the same benefits as other cities on this list, but with fewer tourists! Renowned for its unusual balance of historical treasures and modern designs, Zadar makes a great vacation destination for those who enjoy history but also appreciate other experiences, such as watersports.
Korcula is a Croatian island situated in the Adriatic Sea with a population of 15500; it is the 6th largest of Adriatic islands and quite often falls under the tourism radar. Most famously known for its old town (Korcula old town), the magnificent ancient walled city is often dubbed the younger sibling of the famous Dubrovnik and comes with the added benefit of far fewer tourists! Beyond the walls of the old town, no trip to Korcula would be complete without stopping off at the old vineyards and sampling the local wines!
Mljet Island or “the Green Island” is a Croatian national park located about 27km from Dubrovnik in the south Adriatic Sea. The tranquil island is packed with lush forests and miles upon miles of beautiful coastline, making this the perfect escape from the faster-paced Dubrovnik!