Croatia is a diverse country, full of charming historical towns, karst mountains, dramatic landscapes, blue Adriatic Sea, amazing waterfalls, wonderful national parks, and enticing history. It’s exceptionally hard trying to construct a list of the best destinations in Croatia as there’s so many wonderful destinations for a holiday. The following list isn’t really in any order, although we would probably always consider Dubrovnik at number one.
Croatia’s most popular attraction, the extraordinary walled city of Dubrovnik, is a Unesco World Heritage Site for good reason. Despite being relentlessly shelled in the 1990s during Croatia’s Homeland War, its mighty walls, sturdy towers, medieval monasteries, baroque churches, graceful squares and fascinating residential quarters all look magnificent again.
For an unrivaled perspective of this Adriatic pearl, take the cable car up Srđ. However, don’t limit yourself to a few obvious sights. Dubrovnik also has gorgeous beaches and lovely restaurants. It is a great base to explore the nearby islands, wine-growing Pelješac region, or make a day trip to nearby Montenegro.
A playground for the rich and famous, the town of Hvar is located on the south side of the island, in a small bay. Hvar Town is winding cobbled streets, yachts-lined seafront, beaches,restaurants, and partying until the wee hours.
Hvar is also very well-known for its wonderful weather, with the highest annual average hours of sun in the whole of Croatia. The island is also famous for its lavender growing in amongst its beautiful landscape, so you can imagine a pretty heady combination of great weather and beautiful and aromatic surroundings as you relax on the island.
#3 The Makarska Riviera
The Makarska Riviera is often a top tip for families looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday. There’s a number of resorts on the Riviera, varying in size, and its combination of well-priced hotels, good local amenities and lovely pebble beaches means you’ll often find the parent-and-kid brigade here.
There’s not a whole lot of sightseeing to be done, so if you’re after a sea and sun holiday with the little ones, the Riviera is a good choice. The largest resort is Makarska itself, others include the more serene and smaller Brela and the very popular Baska Voda.
The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is a vibrant metropolis packed with both historic and modern tourist attractions. Located in northwestern Croatia, the city dates back to the 2nd century AD when a diocese was first established by Hungarian King Ladislaus. Today, Zargreb is a sprawling cosmopolitan city and the heart of Croatian culture, academics and government.
The city is divided into an Upper and Lower Town, with Upper Town being the historic core where tourists can walk down cobblestone streets and visit old, medieval churches, towers and palaces. A town center is car-free and full of locals lounging at the pavement cafes.
Istria is rolling hills, charming hilltop towns, colorful coastal towns, rocky coast, vineyards, and olive groves. La dolce vita reigns supreme in Istria, Croatia’s top foodie destination. The seafood, truffles, wild asparagus and boškarin (an indigenous species of ox) all stand out, as do myriad regional specialties and award-winning olive oils and wines by small local producers.
Sample the best the region has to offer in upmarket restaurants by the sea, in traditional family-run taverns in medieval hilltop villages and in farmhouses all over the peninsula’s verdant interior. If you’re not consuming at least one truffle dish a day, you’re not doing it right.
#6 Plitvice National Park
One of the most beautiful natural wonders in Croatia and all of Europe, the Plitvice National Park consists of several breathtaking lakes, waterfalls and lush forest. The park’s most notable features are the 16 interconnecting lakes that are divided into upper and lower clusters.
Formed by natural travertine dams, the lakes range in distinct colors from turquoise to blue, green and gray. Visitors can explore the lakes and surrounding area by walking along the assortment of wooden walkways as well as by boat. To escape the crowds by the water, follow hiking trails through the beech, spruce, fir and pine forests.
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