The STUNNING destination that has it all is closer than you think…

Breathtaking scenery, medieval palaces and unspoiled beaches: Discover the STUNNING destination that has it all (and it’s closer than you think!)

Sponsored by Croatian National Tourist Board

Mljet National Park, Dalmatia Region, Croatia

With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear water and sensational scenery, this beautiful holiday destination may look as though it’s a world away.

However, the immaculate islands of Croatia are just a short two-and-a-half-hour hop from the UK; you can board a flight at breakfast and be in paradise in time for lunch.

Wander breathtaking ancient palaces, dine on authentic cuisine, take a sailing trip around remote, paradisiacal islands – then relax on one of the many beautiful beaches.

There’s so much to do in Croatia, the hardest part of visiting this idyllic archipelago is which things to put on the top of your list!

Stunning beaches

Peaceful and secluded Pasjaca Beach in south Croatia’s Konavle Region

Croatia is famous for its beaches. Whether you’re looking for hidden gems, family-friendly activities, secluded bays or nudist beaches, there’s a stretch of golden sand (or white pebbles!) for you. And they’re all surrounded by the glistening Adriatic.

Famous for its striking appearance, Zlatni Rat, known as Golden Cape, is a must-visit. Stretching from the quaint town of Bol on Brac Island, here you can relax, or enjoy adrenaline-fuelling watersports.

For a secluded getaway, Sveti Ivan beach is nestled in a cove underneath the medieval hilltop village of Lubenice on the Island of Cres. Arrive via a steep trail or a boat for your own private hideaway.

Surrounded by magnificent cliffs, hidden Pasjaca beach, below the village of Popovići, is a sight to behold once you’ve descended the steep steps to find it.

While beautiful Gornja Vala, on the Makarska Riviera, is a vast expanse of white pebbles, with olive groves and pine trees. Here, you can enjoy kayaking and snorkelling, then wander to the nearby seaside town Gradac, to sample the delicious local cuisines.

Sail away…

Sail around Croatia’s many islands and take a dip off the coast of Sakarun Beach, Soline Region

With so many sun-soaked islands to explore, a sailing trip is the ideal way to get around – and really soak up Croatia’s beauty.

Enjoy magnificent mountainous views, as you navigate your way into picturesque bays to moor up and wander around the narrow streets and stone houses of pretty villages.

And make the most of the off-shore time, plunging into the warm, crystal-clear waters.

Biševo Island is where you can see the outstanding Blue Caves – a unique natural world phenomena that’s a spectacle to explore.

Then sail to Vis. The charming island, beyond Hvar and Brac, combines stunning beaches and bays with two cities. It is the perfect off-the-beaten-track getaway.

Island hop to Kaprije, and check out the quaint harbour, hidden coves, and breathtaking views after climbing the Gigina glavica summit.

Šolta is popular with boaters thanks to its Illyrian legends, ancient fish ponds, medieval poetry and rich traditions throughout its eight villages.

Visit the national park on the Brijuni islands, to enjoy a walk with zebras, llamas, ostriches, and even an Indian elephant.

A gastronomical delight

Feast on the finest fresh seafood in beachside tavernas or in the heart of Croatia’s historic cities

From exclusive restaurants and laid-back eateries, to buzzing bars and world-class chefs, Croatia has something to cater for every palate.

The shimmering Adriatic provides the freshest seafood and shellfish, the climate is ideal for wine production, and the olive oil is famously superior.

Tuck into grilled seabass in Dalmatia, hearty meat stews in Slavonia, and succulent oysters and mussels in Ston; each Balkan region proudly showcases its own speciality.

Indulge in native sweet dishes such as creamy caramel Rožata and quince Kotonjata, washed down with Dubrovnik’s malvasia from Konavle; which has been grown in the area for more than six centuries.

Sample the eel and frog stew from the Neretva valley or a bowl of pašticada (beef stewed in wine, prunes and spices and served with gnocchi).

Konavle Valley is the ultimate destination for wine lovers as it is scattered with stunning vineyards, or head to a drinking hotspot in Rijeka, Opatija and Zadar.

Then grab a bottle of vitamin-packed Cedevita in the morning for the perfect hangover cure!

Incredible culture

Get lost in a world of culture in history in Dubrovnik

Every inch of Croatia is bursting with culture – from its abundance of museums, churches, castles and ancient villages.

Thanks to the archipelago’s distinctive geography, these islands are rich in traditions and boast a wonderfully unique heritage.

In Croatia’s second largest city, Split, the 4th-century Diocletian’s Palace is one of the best preserved monuments of the Roman architecture in the world.

While the Old City of Dubrovnik, on the Dalmatian coast, is known as one of the world’s finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities – and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the Arena in Pula to witness the magnificent 1st-century Roman amphitheatre that was designed to host gladiator contests; it’s the sixth largest in the world and a spectacle to explore.

There’s also an array of medieval castles to discover – such as Trakoscan – with its dramatic drawbridge and red-roofed towers.

On the island of Hvar, in the city is where you’ll find a huge square with restaurants and bars, as well as the Cathedral of St Stephen, which dates back to the 12th century. Visit historical theatres, incredible art galleries, palaces and forts, for an unforgettable trip.

Day trips

Find peace and tranquility in the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park

The beauty of a holiday to Croatia is you can do as much – or as little – as you please. With so many islands in close proximity, enjoying day trips exploring other shores is quick and easy.

The popular UNESCO site of Plitvice Lakes, in central Croatia, are a must-see – with 16 cascading waterfalls, boardwalk trails and lush forest routes as well as vibrant fauna.

The Veliki Slap viewpoint is the perfect place for views of the shimmering lakes.

If you’re near bustling Dubrobnik, take a ferry to one of the Elafiti islands – Kolocep, Lopud or Sipan.

They’re tranquil, peaceful and intimate, with two of the islands, Kolocep and Lopud, being car-free. Swim in the sea or watch the world go by with a spot of sunbathing.

Take a day trip to Lokrum and Mljet. Just 700 metres away from Dubrovnik, Lokrum is an evergreen paradise surrounded by emerald-coloured forest, exotic flowers and wild peacocks.

Meanwhile Mljet is Croatia’s greenest island.

Given its picturesque beaches, rolling forests and azure lakes, it is the perfect Croatian escape with its very own Garden of Eden too. You won’t want to go home!

‘Croatia was nice and I felt safe – I’ll definitely go again this year!’ – Emma Gould, holiday-lover 

Click here to find out more about Croatia’s beautiful beaches and book your adventure today .

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