June – August
LCY → ZAG
Freedom of movement
Taxi: 14 £GBP (20 min)
Bus: 3 £GBP (30 min)
Travel insurance is recommended
Go from Croatia’s rugged Adriatic coast and the Dalmatian Islands to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Trogir, or travel to the north of the country, to Istria, to sample fine wine and the delicacies that are truffles, alternatively head to capital Zagreb and wander the ancient cobbled street of its Upper Town, all of this is possible on Croatia holidays.
Croatia in the past several years has rapidly become Europe’s “it” destination, particularly since the country became an EU member in 2013. Mass tourism has yet to become an issue, meaning that discovering all this diverse country has to offer is still relatively easy and affordable. However, that may soon change given the pace of development here so to experience the best of authentic Croatian culture you may have to get there fast.
In the north of Croatia the climate is temperate continental, while in the centre and upland regions it is mountainous and on the Adriatic coast the climate is sun-drenched Mediterranean. Both spring and autumn tend to be mild on the coast, while winter is cold and snowy in central and northern regions where the average January temperatures range from -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) to 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit). In Summer inland, temperatures in August vary from a pleasant 19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit) up to a sweltering 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit), so this time is perfect for Croatia beach holidays.
Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” the medieval walled-city of Dubrovnik truly is a gem. The main street dating back to the 13th century is stunning, while simply wandering the streets inside those towering walls can make you feel like you have been transported back in time due to the wealth of historic buildings. Some scars remain of the heavy fighting during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, but the city has largely been completely restored to its former glory.
The charming city with its soft-coloured houses in the centre is reminiscent of a miniature Vienna and the coffee-house culture that typifies the Austrian capital can also be witnessed here in the large number of cafés around Jelacic Square and in the Gornji Grad area. While tourists often bypass Croatia’s capital in favour of the Adriatic coast, this is a city that easily be negotiated on foot and with a pace of life that makes you feel like quite at home even if you are on your holidays to Croatia.
In peak season (May to September) the Hvar and especially Hvar town itself is teeming with visitors as one of the Adriatic’s most popular destinations – especially with Italians.
It’s little wonder, Hvar is breathtakingly beautiful, rolling flower-covered hills, vineyards in the shadow of rugged mountains, and stunning beaches. The fortified medieval town of Hvar is a sea of terracotta-roofed stone buildings, while the streets themselves are paved with marble as they lead to Trg Sveti Stjepana square, the impressive Cathedral of St Stjepan and the Renaissance theatre.
Split grew from being the retirement home of the Roman emperor Diocletian and grew from being a small enclave surrounding his Diocletian palace (a palace/fort) to become the second largest city in Croatia and despite sprawling over a large territory still retains the atmosphere of a small tourist resort town. Take a wander around the city’s historic centre during Croatia holidays, and remnants of the city’s ancient Roman past are everywhere from the street paving itself to the walls and temples.
Take a stroll on the iconic walls of the city or for fantastic panoramic views of the city and beyond catch the cable car to Mt Srd. From the Placa thoroughfare to the Gothic splendour of Sponza Palace and the beauty of the 13th century Franciscan monastery which houses one of the oldest pharmacies in the world.
Banje Beach is the place to be at the peak of high summer, while the shallow Copacabana Beach is the perfect place for holidays to Croatia with families. A variety of water sports is available at both, while those looking to escape the crowds will find seclusion at Sv Jakov Beach. Or take the 10 minute ferry journey to Lokrum Island.
The street markets in the centre offer a dazzling array of products from fresh produce to quirky gifts and antiques.
The densely packed old streets of Gornji Grada are fullied with bars and cafés and are perfect for just whiling away a few hours.
For something more lively for your holidays in Croatia and to rub shoulders with the locals visit the central Dolac market which the perfect place to pick up fresh local produce.
The relatively new (opened 2009) Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art has possibly the best collection is south-eastern Europe. For a taste of love gone bad, head to the Museum of Broken Relationships – it is exactly as the title suggests – a collection of mostly donated items marking the end of a relationship.
Like Dubrovnik, the peak of Mount Medvenica can also be reached by cable car.
Beaches, water sports and site seeing make up the majority of activities on Hvar Island, this is an idyllic place to simply kick-back and relax during Croatia holidays.
Stroll the seaside promenade and stop off for a coffee in one of the cafés. The more energetic can climb up Marjan Hill for impressive views over the town. The Bacvice neighbourhood, east of the Old Town, is worth exploring by night for the beaches and nightlife. Besides sightseeing, the town is also the perfect base for exploring the islands you can visit Solta and Brac by ferry year-round. In summer you can take a catamaran to Hvar for a day trip.