Summer in the UK can be unpredictable, glorious sunshine and picnics in the park one minute, and Earth shattering thunderstorms the next. So, why not grab a slice of the real Mediterranean, and bask in the unrivalled beauty that is Croatia.
Croatia has also become very popular in recent years for festivals and events, both modern and traditional! With the Sonus Festival on the Island of Pag hotting things up every August - to the Zagreb Wine Weekend providing a sumptuous experience in late April. Your holiday to Croatia will be nothing short of spectacular!
A country steeped in rich cultural heritage and history, with a respectful nod to the modern travellers needs, Croatia is set to become one of Europe's hottest destinations - in every sense of the word! With 3 spectacularly diverse regions, there will certainly be something for every type of traveller.
Istrian Coast -
At the very north of Croatia lies a hidden gem. Nestled into the heart shaped peninsular bordering Slovenia is the Istrian Coast. The beautiful thing about this region is that it is still, as a majority, quite untouched by thousands upon thousands of tourists every summer, begging for a full English fry-up and 2-4-1 beers. If you like your resorts quieter, peaceful and intriguing and love to be "off the beaten track" - this is the area for you!
Picture perfect, like something from an old movie with white stone buildings piled on top of each other in old world Medieval theme, with long, cobbled, winding streets facing the azure blue sea, local traders and tiny restaurants found off charming side streets - this is a truly untouched and remarkable part of Croatia.
When you're not walking around the bustling ports of Pula or Vrsar, watching the local fishermen moor their boats in to port or tasting some of the local delicacies - why not visit some of the beautiful history this region has to offer, notable interests include the Roman city of Umag, which hosts the yearly Croatia Open ATP Tennis Tournament, divulge the senses in Porec, with its famous UNESCO-protected Euphrasian Basilica which is home to some of the best preserved 6th Century Byzantine mosaic art. Take a romantic and breathtaking stroll in Pula where the Triumphal Arch of the Sergii still stands proud, originally a city gate, erected in honour of the victory in the Battle of Actium around 29-27 BC and is home to one of the worlds best preserved, and still used, Amphitheatres!
Central Dalmatia -
Famed for its sun soaked beaches, magnificent islands and historic sights, the Central Dalmatian region also boasts some of the best weather conditions in Croatia, with summer temperatures rarely dropping below 30 degrees! Perfect for heat seekers and sun worshippers looking for an unspoilt beach to stretch out and relax on.
The city of Split, with its unique contrast between old world and modern culture, is always a popular choice with all types of holiday makers, as the gateway to majority of the hundreds of islands situated off the coast it has fast become not only a bustling port city, but, a cultural capital for intrepid explorers looking for the perfect mix of city break and beach holiday. The city itself was constructed around 305CE (approximately 1,700 years ago) when the construction of Diocletian's Palace was started, from there, the whole city was built around the palace and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
If your idea of a perfect holiday is laying on beautiful beaches watching the world go by with a good book, the resort of Bol is without doubt, the resort for you! Home to the famous Golden Horn beach or "Zlatni Rat" as it is known in Croatia, it has 2,080ft of fine shingle beach surrounded by pure clear sea water, this is a beach lovers paradise. Situated on the Island of Brac, this small Medieval seaport is also home to numerous trendy cafés, bars and restaurants giving a whole new meaning to "Island Life".
Or try the neighbouring island of Hvar, where Hvar Town, also known as the "Madeira of the Adriatic" and one of the sunniest places in Croatia, greets you with palm tree lined promenades and beautiful Gothic architecture as well as an abundance of bars, cafés and restaurants.
Central Dalmatia is home to over 100 different islands, each with its own culture, heritage and feel, but all totally unspoilt. For those of you who prefer the thought of a holiday on solid land, why not try the resorts of Makarska or Trogir. Both of these resorts are glamorous metropolitan towns, that use the striking backdrop of historical sights and untouched landscapes to their advantage.
Dubrovnik Riviera -
Our most popular destination in Croatia, it's no wonder the Dubrovnik Riviera is heralded as the "Pearl of the Adriatic". From the vibrant and extraordinary city of Dubrovnik to the archipelago of the Elaphiti Islands, with only 850 inhabitants, every single part of this region surpasses expectation on every visit.
The city of Dubrovnik is always a major contender in the race to be "most popular destination" from its UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, to its dramatic sweeping coastline, even the most fussy of explorers will not be unimpressed. With a lively central hub in the new town, with enough bars, nightclubs and pubs to rival many of its Mediterranean counterparts, short breaks and city breaks to Dubrovnik are becoming more and more popular with holidaymakers looking for something a little bit different. If you'd rather exercise your mind and cultural knowledge, than the strength of your liver, the old town is exactly what you need! Built around the 13th Century, many boutique hotels have set up here, giving you the opportunity to explore this beautiful destination, within easy reach! Why not head to Sponza Palace, built in the 16th Century, this Renaissance palace is now home to the National Archives, or head to the outskirts of the old town and see the ancient city fortifications and their walls, built in the 7th Century.
The resort of Cavtat is just 10 minutes outside of Dubrovnik, and proves popular with people who want to be close enough to the city to visit, but still have the small, intimate and friendly resort feel. A stunning palm tree lined promenade dotted with chic cafés, restaurants and local shops, this resort is an ideal base for those who enjoy grand hotels with plenty of facilities on site as well as the option to explore, why not try some of the Ston Oysters? This local delicacy is considered some of the tastiest and finest shell fish in the Adriatic, especially when enjoyed in one of the promenade front restaurants!
If you want a little piece of your own island paradise, head to the islands of Korcula or Sipanj.
Korcula boasts an average of 2,700 hours of sunshine a year, and has numerous unspoilt coves and beaches to tempt water-sport fanatics, and its fortified town, with grand palaces and Medieval fortresses are regularly compared to Dubrovnik. One of the main attractions of the island is its Town Museum, nestled in a 15th century Palace, the museum is home to many manuscripts and treasures found on the island including the Bronze Pendant of Tiziano Aspetti. The small fishing village of Lumbarda, around 5km from the Old Town of Korcula, is home to two outstanding sandy beaches, Tatinja and Vela Przina, perfect for water-sports and sailing for the more active holiday maker!
Sipanj is one of the largest islands in the Elaphiti Archipelago, and has brilliant transport links to Dubrovnik on the mainland. With only 500 local inhabitants, this island is the definition of peace and relaxation. The island produces some of Croatia's finest Olives, Figs, Almonds and is home to some of the best Vineyards around. During Roman rule, many Emperors and noble families built their summer homes on the scenic bays of the island, and many are still standing today for you to visit. A must see on the island are the ruins of St Peter's Church in Velji Vrh, dating back to the 11th Century, with breathtaking views over the island.