Best time to visit Croatia
April to September for the good weather – or the 15th century in independent Ragusa (Dubrovnik).
- Wandering through the walled medieval city of Dubrovnik in Croatia – a rhapsody in limestone, cobbled streets and terracotta tiles.
- Fossicking in Split, a city built around Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace
- Sunning yourself in the Venetian harbour town of Hvar, where the sun shines 300 days a year
- Visiting the country’s surprisingly cosmopolitan capital, Zagreb
- Watching the tumbling cascades at Plitvice Lakes National Park
Çevapcici (grilled, spiced meatballs), a Balkan classic: pasticada (beef stuffed and roasted in wine and spices).
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is set in Dalmatia, Croatia – cravats and ballpoint pens were invented by Croatians, tere are few spotted dogs in Dalmatia.
In an amazing balancing act, Cuba is at once poor and broken, and rich and thriving. From the beat of the music echoing through towns and villages to the hustle of Havana’s glorious, crumbling streets. Cuba challenges and enchants all all who venture in. Its political isolation has prevented a tourist flood and locals are sincerely friendly to visitors. While Fidel’s infrastructure has seen better decades and the food is, well, best not spoken about, the last great bastion of communism enchants with its intoxicating human spirit. Or was that the rum?
Best time to visit
November to May to avoid the heat and hurricanes
- Walking along Havana’s Malecón on a warm night
- Pretending you can salsa in a nightclub
- Taking a photo of a ‘50s Cadillac on your first day
- Speaking Spanish to the locals – even if you can’t.
- Taking in a baseball game in Cuba’s Major League
- Smoking a cigar – just because!
- Drinking mojitos – just because!
Something home-cooked, especially an ajiaco stew, featuring potatoes, meat, plantains, corn, old beer and anything else lying around.
A minty sweet rum mojito as the sun goes down
Even if you now the food is bad, it’s actually much worse, many people actually like communism; everything is priced in US dollars and more expensive than you would think; TV soap operas are the biggest show in town.
Cubans drive how they want and where they want. It seems chaotic at first but it has a rhythm.
Idyllic sunny beaches, fascinating ancient ruins, breathtaking scenery and some serious old-world charm are just some of the highlights that await you in this historically rich Eastern European nation. With thousands of miles of seafront and more than a thousand islands blanketed in lush vegetation, Croatia’s coastline is Eastern Europe’s Riviera. Even during the busy season, there are still enough off-the-beaten-track islands, secluded coves and stone fishing villages to make nature lovers feel as if they’re visiting Europe at its most unspoiled. Those seeking sophisticated luxury will be equally well catered for by the wide range of upmarket hotels, yacht-filled harbours, glitzy cocktail bars and world-class restaurants serving mouth-watering cuisine. With its gorgeous historic walled cities full of fairytale castles and its rural areas blessed with impressive national parks, it is no surprise that Croatia is emerging as one of Europe’s premier seaside destinations.
Situated in central Dalmatia on the shores the Adriatic Sea, Brac Island is blanketed by a forest of cypress trees and endowed with beautiful bays, steep cliffs and endless sandy beaches. Set against a backdrop of sun-drenched hills are several idyllic villages and towns, with the Port of Supetar serving as the main point of entry and the largest town on the island. The town is enfolded by a country landscape of olive groves, orchards, and pine woods that stretch along the coast until the bay of Vlacica. Its harbour is ideal for a stroll along a network of medieval streets lined with local cafes and small shops. The smaller village of Bol is the proud host of one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Zlatni Rat.
Dubrovnik is a well-preserved historical city in southern Croatia, known for its distinctive 16th century Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls. After a disastrous earthquake in 1667, the medieval town was rebuilt by Baroque planners and the city’s historic core seems to have been suspended in time ever since. Set-piece churches and public buildings blend seamlessly with green-shuttered stone houses, forming a perfect ensemble relatively untouched by the twenty-first century. Its impressive historical buildings range from the Baroque St. Blaise Church to the Renaissance Sponza Palace and the Gothic Rector’s Palace, which is now a history museum. Add to this a few exquisitely manicured gardens and some panoramic views of the Adriatic, and it is not difficult to see why Dubrovnik has long been Croatia’s most popular tourist destination.
Sandwiched between the beautiful mountains of Tuhobic, Visevica and Bitoraj, Fuzine is a charming inland village situated within the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County in western Croatia. A great escape from the hustle and bustle of city living, Fuzine draws in travellers to enjoy the abundance of biking routes, hiking trails and fishing opportunities, as well as sampling the mouth-watering local cuisine and admiring its picturesque landscapes. The quaint town of Fuzine offers the perfect base for exploring the scenic surrounding landscapes, including the awe-inspiring Risnjak National Park; a beautiful mountainous national park hosting wooded hiking trails, vibrant turquoise lakes, and densely forested terrain, housing bear, lynx and eagle. Don’t miss out on a guided tour through the wondrous underground channels of the Vrelo Cave.
Situated in the Adriatic Sea just off the coast of Croatia, the sun-drenched island of Hvar is a popular summer destination known for its spectacular landscape characterised by lush rolling hills, hidden coves and secluded beaches. The island’s hillsides are covered with olive groves, lavender fields, and cultivated vineyards which produce excellent wines. The island’s main town, also called Hvar, is a glitzy playground boasting vibrant nightlife, swanky hotels and elegant restaurants. For visitors looking for some serenity, the rest of the island is dotted with quaint fishing villages featuring magnificent medieval architecture, history and culture. Visitors can look forward to a variety of adventure activities including kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, caving, and boating.
Dotting the Adriatic Sea off the Peljesac Peninsula of Croatia, the island of Korcula is best known for its dense pine forests, from which it got its name. One of Korcula’s unusual claims to fame is that it is said to be the birthplace of the Venetian merchant and adventurer, Marco Polo. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of wonderful activities including: exploring the medieval architecture in the town of Korcula, discovering the beaches of Vela Przina and Pupnatska Luka, or jumping on a yacht excursion to explore the nearby island of Hvar. Other popular activities include: biking tours, sightseeing, hiking, sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, diving, snorkelling and paragliding.
Mali Losinj is the largest town and the main tourism hub on Losinj, a beautiful Croatian island in the northern Adriatic Sea. This attractive town is situated on a large natural harbour lined with a number of historic buildings boasting Habsburg-era facades, many of which are occupied by lively bars and restaurants. Visitors can look forward to taking part in a wide range of outdoor activities including playing tennis, exploring the many smaller outlying islands, walking an extensive network of hiking trails, and enjoying a variety of watersports. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island form an ideal environment for snorkelling and scuba diving as well as spotting the local resident school of dolphins. Finally, there are two interesting museums that are worth a visit, namely the Museum of Losinj and the Museum of Apoxyomenos.
Located roughly eight kilometres south-east from Pula, in the Istrian peninsula of Croatia, Medulin is a resort town offering gorgeous beaches, an idyllic promenade and a diversity of both natural and historic attractions. The town’s alluring sandy and pebble beaches are perfect for swimming, with glorious turquoise coves and calm, warm waters. All kinds of watersports are on offer, and impressive land-based sports facilities make this a great destination for active travellers year-round. Nature lovers will delight in Medulin’s proximity to several magnificent nature parks, including the Brijuni National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Cape Kamenjak. This is also a place of rich heritage – make sure to visit the Vizules archaeological site, Roman villas, and old windmills on the coast. The famous historic sites of Pula are conveniently nearby.
Situated ten kilometres from Dubrovnik and twelve from Cavtat on Croatia’s alluring coastline, the picturesque town of Mlini is the largest resort along the Dubrovnik Riviera. Several photogenic beaches – including one of fine, soft sand – are backed by lush forest and vegetation, which spread up the striking mountains. The numerous watersports on offer here are a major drawcard (try windsurfing, canoeing, sailing, snorkelling and more) and the town boasts an unusual attraction in the form of a water polo pitch in a tidal pool along the water. Families often swim and relax on the beach into the evening, creating a wonderful sense of safety and community. History and architecture enthusiasts have plenty to see in the postcard-perfect village, shrouded in myths and legends and filled with remnants of Greek and Roman styles and beautiful ancient churches.
Mljet is a green island in the Adriatic archipelago of Croatia’s Dalmatia region. Considered one of the most alluring of the group, it is characterised by its lush Mediterranean forest and long shores lapped by clear waters rich in underwater life. The island is home to two beautiful salt lakes – Veliko Jezero and Malo Jezero. In the waters of Veliko Jezero, St. Mary’s Island hosts the renowned 12th-century Benedictine Monastery, one of the oldest church complexes in the Adriatic, and a significant representative of Croatia’s Romanesque culture. The lakes and the entire north-west part of the island are encompassed by a national park, providing excellent hikes up the hills. It is also possible to rent both bicycles and kayaks. The sheltered and sunny beaches at the Eastern tip of the island offer year-round warm waters, beachside restaurants and idyllic accommodation options.
Where the Cetina River meets the Adriatic Sea, roughly 26 kilometres southeast of Split in the Dalmatian region of Croatia, the small port town of Omis boasts a unique pirate heritage, an old town, some stunning natural landscapes, and a long list of outdoor activities. In the 13th and 14th century, the town was home to some of the most feared pirates in the Adriatic. Attend one of the weekly Pirate Night events, take a pirate history tour or visit ancient pirate sites such as the incredible Mirabella Fortress. Meander through the medieval Old Town, filled with superb gems from the past such as a secret passage, beautiful old churches, and more. Characterised by dramatic mountains, alluring river scenes, and crystal white beaches lapped by turquoise waters, Omis is also the perfect place for rafting, canyoning, diving, hiking, paragliding and climbing.
Sandwiched between the sparkling Adriatic Sea and forested hills, the coastal town of Opatija is a trendy tourist destination. This little Croatian town features a rich history, heritage architecture and picturesque surrounds. Opatija holds an important spot in the history of Croatian tourism. From the mid-1880’s to the start of the First World War it was frequented by Croatia’s elite and today it is still popular with visitors who flock to this all-year-round coastal retreat. There are some truly wonderful activities to look forward to such as: strolling along the charming seaside Lungomare Promenade, viewing an array of Belle-Epoque villas lining the narrow streets, and venturing into Opatija’s scenic surrounds to discover a number of gorgeous pebbled beaches gently lapped by calm crystal-clear waters. Visitors can also look forward to sampling local Croatian cuisine at a variety of seaside restaurants and cafes.
Orasac lies on the Adriatic Coast of southern Croatia. Just 16 kilometres northwest of Dubrovnik, this sparkling destination offers beautiful beaches, outstanding natural attractions and fascinating historical sights. First founded in the year 1040, Orasac gives history-lovers the chance to explore old churches (such as the 13th-century St. Nicholas Church) and castles (such as Arapavo), while the nearby village of Ljubac is known for its wine-growing and artisanal goat’s cheese products. Nature lovers can look forward to the magnificent Trsteno Arboretum (used as a setting in Game of Thrones); the pristine and activity-rich Veliki Zali Beach; and near-lying Gromaca, an eco-tourism hub that features a must-see cave. Finally, Orasac serves as an ideal base for travellers exploring the Elaphiti Islands, an astonishing archipelago lying just off the coast.
Located in eastern Croatia’s region of Slavonia, Osijek is the fourth-largest city in the country. Defined by its Viennese style, Baroque architecture, and Hungarian influenced spicy cuisine, this city is a delight to experience. Visitors can stroll along the banks of the Drava river, visit the many vibrant cafes, sample some of the best food in Croatia and discover the charming Tvrda, the oldest part of town. Must-see highlights include the Church of St Anthony erected on the remains of a Turkish minaret and the Museum of Slavonia, a Franciscan Monastery. Don’t miss a visit to the beautiful Kopacki Rit Nature Park, known for its vast wetlands inhabited by a variety of birdlife.
A city with a long and rich tradition, located in the very heart of the Istrian peninsula. It is famous for its various historical and natural attractions such as the following: Pazin castle, St. Nicholas parish church, Franciscan monastery, memorial home, old high school, bishop’s seminary, the island Pazinčica and the Pazin cave. Sports fans can take part in activities such as biking, walking, free climbing, fishing, as well as many other activities.
Conveniently located only 12 kilometres from the bustling city of Zadar, Petrcane is a quaint historical village on Croatia’s spectacularly scenic Dalmatian Coast. What was once little more than a small fishing village has developed into a popular tourist resort complete with exquisite pebble beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters and surrounded by peaceful pine forests. The village serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area which features the exquisite Zadar Archipelago and the impressive Kornati National Park. Visitors can also look forward to an array of outdoor activities including, among others: cycling, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, diving, beach volleyball, and tennis.
Situated in the Lika region in the midst of the Dinaric Alps, the town of Plitvicka Jezera is set in Croatia’s Adriatic hinterland scattered with lush woodlands and cascading waterfalls. It is best known as the home to the Unesco-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the largest national parks in the country, whiches stretches over 300 square kilometres. Visitors can discover the emerald Plitvice Lakes, made up of 16 interconnected lakes cascading into each other. Visitors can look forward to joining a guided tour around the park and soaking up the magnificent views. Other highlights include: the Veliki Slap or ‘The Large Waterfall’- Croatia’s highest waterfall, and the network of scenic hiking trails. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the park on the Panorama Train.
Idyllically set on the coast of the Istrian Peninsula in western Croatia, Porec is an ancient Roman town and a popular summer resort. This chic, bustling little city boasts a charming Old Town complete with immaculate cobblestone streets lined with Romanesque and Gothic mansions occupied by quaint cafes and tempting restaurants. Must-see sites include the 6th-century UNESCO accredited Euphrasian Basilica complex, known for its exquisite gem-studded Byzantine mosaics; and the impressive Baredine Cave, featuring beautifully decorated chambers and a beautiful underground lake. Visitors can look forward to exploring the exquisite surrounding coastline, which features a number of excellent campsites, yacht-filled marinas, and pristine beaches offering an array of exhilarating watersports.
One of the most important tourist destinations in Istria. Visit the North tower, Pentagonal tower, medieval walls and the Eufrasian basilica. We recommend you visit natural beauties such as Baredine pitch, Mark pitch, Pincin pitch and the group of trees around the church of St. Ana near Cervar. For those in search of sports and recreation, there is the possibility of diving, sailing, water skiing, hiking, cycling, hunting, paintball and many other activities here.
Pula is a gorgeous destination on Croatia’s spectacular Adriatic coast, towards the top of the country. Boasting astonishing natural beauty, a wealth of history, and an energetic party scene, the town combines some of the best reasons to travel. Breathtaking coves of serene turquoise seas fringed by golden, soft sands offer dreamy locations for swimming and sunbathing, while forests along the city’s edge provide more than 100 kilometres of charming hiking trails. Among Pula’s numerous heritage attractions, the most complete Roman colosseum in the world is one of the most striking landmarks, towering over the surrounds and regularly hosting concerts and festivals. An impressive array of clubs, bars, music venues and events draw party people, while the area’s deliciously fresh and competitively priced cuisine makes for fantastic dining. Make sure to see the ‘Lighting Giants’ – an incredible lighting display on historic cranes.
Identifiable by its steep hillside setting crowded with colourfully-painted houses and glistening blue sea, Rabac is a charming Croatian resort town which rests on Kvarner Bay, southeast of Labin. Travellers to this remarkable seaside village can spend their days admiring the picturesque boats bopping in the bay, sampling the mouth-watering local cuisine, or sunbathing on one of the many pristine beaches, with Girandella being the most iconic. Adventure seekers can enjoy kayaking and windsurfing the spectacular surrounding waters, venturing underwater to admire the fascinating Victorian shipwreck in Kvarner Bay or hiking along the many meandering natural trails. Additionally, visitors can take a day trip to Labin, a delightful historic town filled with colourful houses, wonderful little cafes and enticing art galleries.
Set in south-central Croatia, Rakovica is the name of the municipality and a small picturesque village which is known for its idyllic position. It serves as the gateway to the breathtakingly beautiful Plitvice Lakes and provides an excellent base for visitors to explore the incredible natural surrounds featuring lush forests, rushing rivers, and hidden caves. The undeniable highlight of the area is the nearby Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site which is one of the oldest and the largest national parks in Croatia. The park is world famous for its network of 16 magnificent crystalline lakes which cascade into each other via waterfalls and its unique mountainous karst formations. Visitors can also look forward to viewing the stalactites and stalagmites of the impressive Caves of Barac. Other popular activities include: horse riding, quad biking and mountain biking.
One of the most picture-perfect towns in the Mediterranean, the Croatian fishing port of Rovinj, is idyllically set on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula. This charming destination features heritage architecture, blue flag beaches and incredible natural surrounds. The beautiful Baroque-period Church of St. Euphemia with its bell tower is without a doubt one of the most popular attractions in Rovinj. Cobblestoned streets lead visitors on a journey of discovery through labyrinthine alleyways, while the picturesque islands of the Rovinj Archipelago dotting the coast provide ample opportunity for the more adventurous to explore these ‘outstanding scenic wonders’. Don’t miss a visit to Lone Bay, a popular pebble-strewn beach situated just south of the town. Explore the Old Town, cycle along the coast, scuba dive the wreck of the Baron Gautsch or sample traditional cuisine at one of the many romantic dining options.
This small city is rich with historical landmarks, of which we recommend the following: Old Town, City Walls and Gates, Church of St. Euphemia, Baptistry of the Holy Trinity, Franciscan Monastery, the castle on the island of St. Andrew and Dvigrad. Apart from its historical landmarks, Rovinj is rich with natural beauty, as well. Be sure to visit sights such as Limska Draga, the Rovinj islands and coastal region, “Zlatni Rat” Forest Park, “Fantazija” quarry, “Palud” marsh and the Dvije Sestrice islands.
Split, the second largest town on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, is famed for its exquisite beaches and the fortress-like complex at its centre, Diocletian’s Palace, erected by the Roman emperor in the 4th century. Once home to thousands, this sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site is encircled by white stone walls and contains some lovely courtyards lined with an array of galleries, shops, bars, cafes, cathedrals, hotels and several historical houses. Add to this an impressive backdrop of dramatic coastal mountains and the glistening waters of the Adriatic, and it is not difficult to see why the locals frequently claim that theirs is, “The most beautiful city in the world”.
The medieval town of Ston is idyllically set overlooking the glistening azure waters in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. Due to its truly unique geographical location, protected by the ocean and hills, Ston’s historic lineage dates back to the early fourteenth-century. It is famously known worldwide for its wall that, at a length of over five kilometres, is the second-longest defence wall in Europe. Alongside the plethora of delightful restaurants serving mouth-watering cuisine, this European gem is home to an abundance of cultural and historical drawcards. Highlights include the meandering network of kilometres of meandering, preserved Walls of Ston, the historic Fort Kastio, and the unique structured Church of St. Michael at Ston. Don’t miss a tour through the vast landscapes of the Solana Ston salt plan.
Badi Seafood Restaurant : Located in Lovrecica near Umag, this places offers some exceptional seafood dishes
Shopping: There are five supermarkets in Umag, with the largest being Plodine located at the entrance of Umag as you reach it from Novigrad. There are also numerous smaller groceries and food shops around the town. The main street of Umag is full of souvenir shops, which offer local produce, art and craft such as local pottery, paintings, wooden crafts and more If you like shopping for clothes, Umag has many boutiques offering designer and stylish clothes Being in region popular for biking adventures, Umag has a few specialist biking shops with good offer of biking gear for cyclists. Local produce such as olive oil and locally produced wine can be bought in speciality shops or on stands on the Umag’s market.
Savudrija Beach is located near the town of Umag. It is a shingle beach. The stones are of natural origin. In some areas, the beach is also rocky. On the beach you can admire the lighthouse of the nineteenth century, and the coast is surrounded by a pine forest. Savudrija, due to its location, is often chosen by surfers who constantly look for suitable wind. The beach was awarded a Blue Flag, which proves its purity and quality. Near the area, there is also a camping, as well as bars and restaurants, and sports facilities and swimming pools.
Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, Vis Island is a small but enchanting Croatian island which rests off the Dalmatian Coast. This captivating bohemian getaway boasts exquisite beaches, charming architecture, phenomenal seafood restaurants, and fascinating museums, of which the Issa Archeological Museums, housed in a nineteenth-century Austrian fortress, is among the most iconic. Major drawcards of this serene oasis include the bustling coastal town of Komiza, the historically rich town of Vis, and the towering Hum hill – the highest and most magical mountain peak on the island offering specular hiking routes. An adventure seekers’ playground and a nature lovers’ dream, the crystal-clear, marine-filled waters can be enjoyed while snorkelling and diving; while the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Caves can be explored during a wonderful guided boat tour.
Dalmatia’s capital for more than 1,000 years, Zadar is frequently overlooked by travelers heading for Split or Dubrovnik. They are missing out on an intriguing city with few crowds and plenty of character. This medieval port city is known for its well-preserved old town set on a small peninsula and surrounded almost entirely by the warm waters of the Adriatic. This historic peninsula preserves a network of charming city streets lined with fascinating Roman ruins, cosmopolitan cafes and impressive museums. Other popular Zadar attractions include the 9th-century pre-Romanesque Church of St. Donat, an impressive light installation known as the Sun Salutation, and The Sea Organ, an innovative musical instrument powered by the waves that crash against the city’s spectacular coastline.
At the foot of Mount Medvednica, on a plain overlooking the Sava River, lies Zagreb, Croatia’s vibrant capital city. The city boasts a charming medieval old town with some impressive 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian architecture and lovely cafe-lined pedestrian cobbled streets. While the Upper Town is the site of the Gothic, twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral and the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church, the Lower Town area contains the city’s main square as well as some excellent shops, parks, galleries and more museums per square foot than any other city in the world. Visitors will also find an ever-increasing choice chic bars and restaurants, as well as the chance to see some of Croatia’s most important cultural sights.