Croatia, an Alluring Holiday Destination in the Adriatic
Croatia is a fascinating mix of Eastern Europe culture and Mediterranean sunshine, making it one of 'the' holiday destinations in Europe. The dramatic Adriatic coastline, myriad of islands and ancient, glamorous cities all add to Croatia's allure as a holiday destination.
Holiday flights to Croatia are most numerous on the national carrier-Croatia Airlines, from most major European cities. If flying from NZ and Australia, connecting flights from Doha or Istanbul are easiest.
Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik airports are popular arrival points for most visitors, these cities are major attractions and captivating destinations.
The best time to travel to Croatia is outside the peak season of July and August. Spring and autumn are pleasant and the Adriatic sea warm and inviting, and everywhere is generally less crowded.
Croatia's Adriatic Coast
Croatia has a spectacular coastline, dotted with many secluded, picturesque coves and beautiful beaches. The 2000km long coastline, with over 1000 islands is staggeringly beautiful and caters for all tastes - from quaint fishing villages, safe family beaches, quiet hideaways, glitzy beachside bars and fancy yachting holidays, there is something for everyone. Sailing along the scenic Adriatic coast, exploring the countless islands and picturesque coastal towns is becoming a popular way to holiday in this region.
TCroatia's most famous town, Dubrovnik, known as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' is now a UNESCO World heritage site. This old city on the Adriatic coast is a treasure trove of ancient architecture, with much dating back more than a millennium. Many monasteries, churches, palaces and fountains within the walled old town. Lapad, located on the western side of Dubrovnik, is probably the most beautiful area. The Uvala Promenade lined with bars and cafes leads to a sea coast walking track along the peninsula. Further walking tracks to the top of the peninsula open up exquisite views of Dubrovnik.
Croatia's Largest City-Split
Further north up the coast is Croatia's largest city, Split, where the famous Diocletian Palace, built by the Romans, and still houses shops and a few homes today. Split's waterfront promenade, the Riva, built along the front of the Palace, is a great place to enjoy the cafes and restaurants while gazing over the harbour and port. This city's historic centre features Renaissance and Gothic structures, squares and temples. Another old part of the town, Varos, with its charming streets and houses, offers a glimpse to simple everyday life in the past.
Hvar Island and Town
From Split, it's easy to access the spectacular islands, in the Adriatic, of which Hvar is a major attraction. The island is popular for night life, beach bars and clubs, and picturesque ports attract the yachts sailing around the Adriatic coast. Hvar town with its ancient hilltop fortress and other seaside fishing and tourist towns in the beautiful bays are all spectacular.
Inland Croatia is not to be missed, and the capital city of Zagreb is in the heart of the country. The historic medieval upper town is the governments base where you can see Parliament and Government Palace. St Marks Church dominates the square, and other top attractions include the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
Istrian Peninsula in Croatia
The Istrian Peninsula in northern Croatia abounds with attractive coastal towns and beaches and is also becoming noted as a gourmet destination. Farming communities in the interior produce wine, olive oil, ham and truffles. Truffles are a highlight in September at Buzet's Subotina fiesta, where old traditions are celebrated, including making a massive truffle omlette. Other music festivals are held all around the region throughout the summer months.