UK Travel

Why visit Croatia in 2024

Croatia, a captivating destination on the Adriatic Sea, beckons travellers with a mosaic of historical treasures, natural wonders, and cultural diversity. From the vibrant capital of Zagreb on the north to Dubrovnik, a must-visit destination that stands out with its unique combination of cultural heritage, pristine beaches, and upscale resorts on the south, and further to the cascading waterfalls of Plitvička Jezera, the cultural richness of Slavonija, and the serene islands, Croatia promises an unforgettable journey that transcends the ordinary. Embrace the diversity, and let the various facets of Croatia weave an unforgettable travel experience.

Historical tapestry & arts

Croatia’s history unfolds as a vibrant tapestry woven with influences from the Roman, Venetian, and Ottoman empires, culminating in the proud distinction of hosting ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cities like Split, Zadar, and Dubrovnik, adorned with well-preserved medieval architecture, stand as living testaments to this rich past. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites, immerse yourself in the historical charm that echoes through time.

Start your journey in Zagreb, the dynamic capital of Croatia that seamlessly blends the old and the new. The Upper Town captivates with its cobbled streets and medieval architecture, creating a picturesque contrast with the Lower Town’s lively atmosphere. Here, vibrant markets, museums, and contemporary cafes breathe life into the city’s cultural landscape. Attend a performance at the Croatian National Theatre, a testament to Zagreb’s unwavering dedication to the arts.

While Pula showcases Croatia’s ancient past with its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, the island tradition flourishes throughout. Moving south to Split, the city’s historic Diocletian’s Palace serves as a living testament to its Roman past. Explore the vibrant Old Town, where ancient history seamlessly blends with a lively atmosphere. Venture to the islands, where tradition thrives.

Continue to Dubrovnik, where medieval charm and history unfold within the city walls. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, explore landmarks like the Rector’s Palace, and relish the cultural richness of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each stop, from the mainland to the islands, unfolds a unique chapter of Croatian culture, blending history, art, and the warmth of island traditions along the captivating Adriatic coastline.

Breathtaking nature

Croatia’s stunning natural landscapes extend beyond the pristine shores of the Adriatic, embracing a variety of terrains that captivate the senses. The Neretva River, winding its way through the rich green valley, enhances this natural tapestry with its scenic beauty.

Nestled within this tapestry is the Plitvička Jezera National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a haven for those seeking a deeper connection with nature. As you wander through a well-connected network of trails meandering around lakes and waterfalls, the park unveils its breathtaking beauty at every turn. This natural haven is home to diverse flora and fauna, providing a sanctuary for rare species that add to the park’s ecological significance. Capture the enchanting landscapes with your camera, and allow yourself to revel in the tranquillity of this natural oasis – a testament to Croatia’s commitment to preserving its natural wonders for generations to come.

Not far from Plitvice Lakes, the Krka National Park presents another captivating natural spectacle. The Krka River cascades through a series of mesmerizing waterfalls, creating a dynamic and picturesque environment. Visitors can explore the park’s network of trails, swim in designated areas, and witness the harmony of nature in this enchanting location.

Heading eastward, Kopački Rit, one of Europe’s largest wetlands, adds to Croatia’s natural allure. This biodiversity hotspot, nestled along the confluence of the Drava and Danube rivers, offers a unique ecosystem rich in flora and fauna.

Over 1,000 islands

Croatia, a country adorned with a necklace of an over thousand islands, where each island whispers tales of history, offers unspoiled beaches with crystal-clear waters, and unveils unique cultural treasures. Hvar, known for its lavender fields and vineyards, is an island of elegance. Explore its medieval towns, soak in the sun on secluded beaches, and savour local wines and olive oils. Korčula Island is rich in history and surrounded by crystal-clear waters, famous for its well-preserved medieval architecture. Wander through narrow streets, visit the birthplace of Marco Polo, and enjoy the island’s laid-back atmosphere.

Just a short boat ride from the city of Dubrovnik lies a hidden archipelago of serene beauty -the Elaphite Islands. Comprising Koločep, Lopud, and Šipan, each island is a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace. Koločep captivates with its lush greenery and crystal-clear coves, inviting peaceful walks along car-free paths. Lopud, adorned with sandy beaches and historic ruins, exudes an old-world charm perfect for exploration. Šipan, the largest of the trio, boasts olive groves, vineyards, and picturesque villages, offering a glimpse into authentic island life. The Elaphite Islands, a harmonious blend of natural splendour and cultural heritage, provide a serene contrast to the vibrant energy of Dubrovnik, making them an idyllic retreat for those seeking both relaxation and exploration.

Nestled in the Adriatic Sea, the Kornati Islands form an awe-inspiring tapestry of untouched beauty. Comprising over 100 islands and islets, this archipelago is a sailor’s paradise and a haven for nature enthusiasts. The rugged landscapes of Kornati, adorned with barren cliffs and azure waters, create a surreal panorama. Declared a national park, the islands offer pristine diving spots, where vibrant marine life thrives in the clear depths. Uninhabited for the most part, the Kornati Islands provide a serene escape, inviting visitors to explore the raw, unspoiled charm of this natural masterpiece. A visit to Kornati promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Croatia’s maritime wonders.

Culinary delights

Culinary exploration in Croatia transcends mere sustenance; it’s a delightful journey steeped in Mediterranean influence and enriched by local nuances. Along the Dalmatia, indulge in the freshest seafood, drizzled with locally-produced olive oil, and paired with exquisite local wines. Each bite tells a story of centuries-old traditions blended with the vibrant flavours of the Adriatic.

As you venture into the heartland, specifically Zagorje, an array of distinctive culinary delights awaits. Known for its fertile landscapes, Zagorje’s culinary offerings showcase a harmony of flavours that captivate the senses. Indulge in comfort food, such as hearty stews and dumplings (štrukli), reflective of the region’s agricultural heritage.

Slavonija, another culinary gem, emerges as a culinary haven, boasting a robust tapestry of hearty dishes and diverse flavours. Delight your palate with regional specialties like čobanac, a spicy stew that encapsulates the essence of comfort, and kulen, a uniquely Croatian smoked sausage that adds a flavourful punch to any meal.
For wine enthusiasts, Croatia is the place to be. Embark on a journey through picturesque vineyards, where centuries-old grapevines thrive. Sample a diverse selection of local wines, each sip telling the story of the region’s unique terroir. To complete the experience, savour traditional cuisine in charming wine cellars, where the warmth of Croatian hospitality merges seamlessly with its exquisite culinary offerings. Croatia’s culinary landscape is a feast for the senses, an invitation to savour the essence of the country through every delicious encounter.

Hospitality and charm

Croatian hospitality is a warm embrace that extends from the coast to the heart of its historic cities. Rooted in a rich cultural tradition, Croatians are renowned for their genuine friendliness and welcoming spirit. Whether strolling through the cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik, sipping coffee in a bustling Zagreb café, or enjoying the serene beauty of island life, visitors are met with open hearts and genuine smiles. The warmth of the locals is reflected not only in their willingness to share stories and recommendations but also in the way they celebrate their guests as an integral part of their cultural tapestry. From traditional family-owned restaurants serving homemade delicacies to the warm greetings exchanged in the bustling markets, Croatian charm is an invitation to immerse oneself in a culture that takes pride in making visitors feel like cherished friends. This blend of hospitality and charm creates an unforgettable experience, leaving travellers with not only memories of stunning landscapes but also a deep connection to the heart and soul of Croatia.

Croatia, with its captivating history, stunning landscapes, and luxurious offerings, is a destination that promises an unforgettable experience. In addition, Croatia boasts a climate that adds to its allure, making it an enticing destination at any time of the year. Whether basking in the warmth of the Adriatic summer, exploring the vibrant fall foliage in national parks, or experiencing the tranquillity of winter by the coast, Croatia’s diverse climate ensures that every season brings its unique charm.

Christian Larss Kreković

Christian Larss Kreković is General Manager at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik with over two decades in the hospitality industry. Set on the luxury Adriatic coast only 11 km from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Dubrovnik, luxury resort Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is known for bespoke guest experiences. Replicating the ambience of a traditional Dalmatian village, the resort offers the perfect getaway from daily life, allowing couples and families to relax and reconnect in an idyllic oasis. An exquisite choice of modern hotel rooms and suites and luxurious residences provides the remarkable experience of understated elegance, chic design and top-class amenities. Christian has an MBA in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and is passionate about travel and tourism.

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