When talking about a perfect holiday spot, Croatia has a whole lot going for it.
This up-and-coming destination has something for every taste. Whether you are interested in history, lazing on the beach or exploring beautiful, unspoiled nature, Croatia is the place to go this year.
The following is a breakdown of what is on offer for a holiday in lovely Croatia.
1. History in Croatia
Croatia is brimming with history, in the form of fascinating cities, blending modern trends with ancient buildings. One such city is Dubrovnik, with its beautiful Old Town, surrounded by the original ancient walls. A 2-km stroll on the 16th century wall will take you around the perimeter of the old town. Here you can view the city and the Adriatic Sea from a different vantage point as you go.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site features well-preserved buildings from various eras throughout. These include the Renaissance Sponza Palace, the baroque St. Blaise Church and the Gothic Rector’s Palace. Also worth a visit is the pedestrianized Stradun. This is a popular street lined with restaurants and quaint shops.
Heading now to Split, this fascinating city is located on the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and is famous for the Diocletian’s Palace, right at its center. This was built in the 4th century by a Roman emperor and includes more than 200 buildings. What makes this site more fascinating is that Split has included within these ruins a cathedral. There are also several bars, restaurants, shops and homes. This keeps the ruins alive, with normal activities surrounding them.
2. Best beaches in Croatia
If you are looking for acres of smooth sand to lie on, this might be a problem in Croatia. Here, many of the beaches have fine shingle or smooth pebbles instead. However, the coastline does offer beautiful coves and ocean settings to explore. Some cities, including Split, have added sand to make a man-made beach.
Despite the lack of sand, the Dalmatian coast offers beautiful spots to relax in the sun and swim in the turquoise sea. This includes over 1,000 islands along the way. Some have all the normal beach-side amenities, in the way of bars and cafes. Others offer only the sound of the waves and seagulls.
Recommended spots for those who love sun, sand and sea include the Makarska Riviera, with its 6 km of beautiful sandy beaches, quaint Dalmatian villages and hidden coves. One of the best beaches is Brela Beach, considered to be one of the best in the world. Picture gently curving sandy coves, backed by pine trees and overlooking crystalline clear water.
3. Beauty in nature in Croatia
Croatia has many unspoiled natural scenes to explore, but probably the most stunning is the Plitviče Lakes National Park. This natural reserve is located in central Croatia and covers 295 sq km of forests, lakes and waterfalls. You can walk or hike through a limestone canyon, around and across the water on specially laid wooden paths.
If you prefer not to walk, there is an electric boat linking the 4 lower and 12 upper lakes. These include fascinating waterfalls like the 78 m-high Veliki Slap. This area has also been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to many rare bird species, making it a perfect bird-watching spot too.
Mljet National Park is another ideal natural area to visit, bordering on two saltwater lakes, Veliko Jezero (large lake) and Malo Jezero (small lake). In the center of the large lake, a small island can be visited by boat. The island is home to a former Benedictine monastery from the 12th century. More recently, the building has been craftily converted into a cafe and restaurant.
Explore all the wonders of Croatia this year, whether heading to the beach, exploring the historic streets or heading out into nature. You will find yourself returning for more.