Europe is teeming with jaw-dropping destinations and Croatia is no exception. In the last 20 years, visitor numbers to the country have more than quadrupled to reach 18.5 million in 2018, with tourists eager to experience the captivating beauty of this Adriatic destination.
And it’s no wonder really. A combination of Roman ruins, sunshine, incredible coastline, striking national parks and atmospheric cities creates a magical place to go on holiday. This diversity gives the country a blanket appeal, meaning there are places to visit in Croatia for every type of traveller.
Whether you’re jetting off as a family or taking a romantic trip for two, here’s our pick of where to go in Croatia.
Croatia holiday destinations: Cities
Ringed by centuries-old walls, Dubrovnik sits pretty next to the glittering Adriatic Sea and is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Croatia. Its medieval old town is a must-see, with historic palaces, intriguing museums and beautiful churches to see among a warren of cobbled streets.
Tired after a day of sightseeing? Unwind on the shingle shore of Banje Beach overlooking emerald-cloaked Lokrum. Take a boat across to the island to discover several Game of Thrones locations, including a Benedictine monastery dating from the 11th century.
This Dalmatian gem is sandwiched between brooding mountains and the sapphire sea. Most come here for a dose of history, sunshine and delicious cuisine – and as Split is so dazzling, you’ll want to keep returning time and time again.
Its Roman heritage is etched deeply into the cityscape, most prominently at Diocletian’s Palace. This ancient complex is a labyrinth, with restaurants, bars and courtyards concealed within its walls that are a joy to discover. Afterwards, head to the palm-lined Riva promenade to witness Split’s social heartland. This bustling spot is the perfect place to watch the sun go down from one of the waterfront cafés.
Croatia holiday destinations: Islands
Hvar may have a reputation as a glitzy party destination, but there’s more than you may think to this island. Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find ancient wonders, oodles of natural beauty and a collection of thriving vineyards.
Striking Hvar Town is the perfect place to base yourself. Amble through the marble streets, where narrow passageways lead to centuries-old churches, in the direction of the bustling harbour. Here you can watch yachts bob in the water while dining on succulent seafood. Taking a boat trip to see the island’s best coves and beaches is also a must – the surrounding sea is jaw-droppingly clear.
Sail in the direction of Brac to experience the island’s abundance of breathtaking beaches. Most heavenly is Zlatni Rat, a gorgeous slither of pebbly shore jutting out into the aquamarine waters.
In between soaking up the rays on Brac’s shores, explore the island’s two main towns. Family-friendly Supetar is a quiet, attractive resort with long shingle beaches and traditional taverns. While pretty Bol has a plethora of historic attractions to its name, including a gothic palace and renaissance citadel.
Cloaked in dense forest, Mljet is a nature lover’s paradise. This secluded part of the country is the perfect place to relax and embrace the fresh air, with a national park occupying a large chunk of the island’s west side.
Take a hike through the towering pine trees, swim in one of the saltwater lakes and explore sandy coves. Don’t miss the abandoned Benedictine monastery built on a secluded islet during the 12th century.
Croatia holiday destinations: Beach resorts
This gorgeous riviera is calling your name. Makarska is spread out between Split and Dubrovnik for 38 miles, studded with beautiful pebbly and sandy beaches that are fringed by tranquil turquoise waters.
If you can tear yourself away from the sea, spend your time roaming Mount Biokovo and discovering quaint Makarska old town, the area’s glorious centre. Dine alfresco in the main square, where the nearby mountains provide the perfect backdrop.
Now that you’re clued up on some of the best places to go in Croatia, be inspired to book a trip to this beautiful nation with Jet2holidays.