A heart-shaped peninsula stepping out into crystal clear water. A green landscape with dream-like waterfalls. Walled cities with spires and red tiled roofs. Palaces and medieval cathedrals. Soaring mountains and irresistible beaches…
Croatia is a microcosm; a representation of Europe in miniature, welcoming and accessible. So it is easy to find yourself ambling through mediaeval cities; along quiet cobbled lanes that wind their way between white stone buildings and open out into charming, secluded squares. Columned towers soar above the skyline. Rounded arches delight the eye. Decorated edifices have you reaching for your camera. The walled city of Dubrovnik, the Diocletian Palace or the Mestrovic Gallery in Split are all waiting to enchant you.
The Croatian countryside is equally as beguiling. You’ll find fairytale castles perched on towering hills in Karlovac, mountain forests of the Kvarner Gulf, and a national park of islands along the south west coast.
Sharing the Adriatic with Italy, Croatia also has some of Europe’s most alluring beaches, with fewer crowds and pristine water. So cruising by gulet – the traditionally-inspired sailing boat of the region – along the coast is highly recommended by Jo Abbott, one of our experts on Croatia. She will also suggest staying a few days in Dubrovnik with its sea-facing citadel walls, before going on to explore the nearby islands – many of them completely free of traffic. Perfect for walking through olive groves and unspoiled countryside.