Considered to be one of the jewels of Europe, a trip to Croatia is always memorable, whether you’re heading to the Adriatic coast or checking out the otherworldly Plitviče Lakes National Park. Stick to the mainland to see vibrant places like Zagreb, Zadar, Istria, Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. For those who are happy to hop on a boat, there are more than 1,000 islands waiting to be explored.
We've gathered all of the very best and cheapest Croatia holiday deals right here, from the most exciting city breaks to the hottest beach getaways. And if you're not quite sure where you'd like to explore yet, read on to discover more about the best Croatia travel destinations.
No matter which type of holiday you end up choosing, Croatia is a bucket-list destination that always delivers.
Getting to Croatia couldn't be any easier; you can catch the quick two-hour flight from numerous UK airports, which means that you'll be soaking up Croatia's breath-taking landscapes in no time at all. This makes Croatia a good option for both a shorter weekend trip or for a longer family holiday.
For those flying into Zagreb, this city offers art galleries, Viennese architecture, an exciting craft beer scene and plenty of green spaces where you can relax. If you're after a beach holiday, Croatia's seemingly endless coastline awaits you with the wonderful cities of Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split. Just keep in mind that flights to these destinations take a little longer - usually under three hours.
Nicknamed the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', this 7th-century city in the south of Croatia will take you in with its bright colours. Dubrovnik’s orange roofs are an iconic symbol of the Mediterranean city. You can catch the best view of the contrasting orange of the town and blue of the sea from the peak of nearby Mount Srđ, which you can easily reach by cable car.
The city’s Old Town is stunning, filled with impressive historical architecture, formidable city walls and forts as well as the Rector’s Palace. For the Game of Thrones fans amongst us: you'll be delighted to hear that Dubrovnik is King’s Landing, with many iconic scenes being filmed here.
Dubrovnik’s main beach, Plaža Banje, is a popular spot for anyone looking to top up their tan. If you'd prefer a beach that's less busy, take a short bus trip or a 20-minute walk to the stunning and spacious Sveti Jakov Beach, where you can snorkel, swim or simply enjoy the sunset.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: The summer months (June-August) are Croatia's peak travel season and it can get pretty crowded. To avoid the crowds, travel in May or September, when you'll still be able to enjoy warm weather!
Although there are many different day trips you can take from Dubrovnik, a visit to the nearby islands is one of the most popular choices - and for good reason!
Many travellers opt for a boat tour to the Elaphiti islands, which are home to 13 islands of different sizes. Most boat tours will include stops at Koločep, Lopud and Šipan, considered to be the three main islands in this archipelago. These tiny islands offer a glimpse into authentic Croatian island life and you'll have a full but relaxing day while making your way around.
An alternative option, a short ferry ride will bring you to Lokrum Island, an island that's located just 600 metres from Dubrovnik. On Lokrum, you can spend a relaxing day at the beach or go for a walk in the botanical garden. If you're feeling adventurous, have a go at cliff diving; if not, the colourful peacocks and cheeky rabbits roaming all over the island will keep you entertained.
Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and is well deserving of its nickname: 'Mediterranean Flower'. Located on a peninsula, Split boasts one of Croatia’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Diocletian’s Palace. Evenings in Split offer visitors a dreamy experience, where illuminated walls accompany you as you head to one of the city's many bars or restaurants.
In terms of beaches to visit, Bene Beach is a top choice for those travelling with kids. This quiet beach has a playground and plenty of natural shade provided by pine trees. For something more lively, Plaža Bačvice, Split's central beach, provides the perfect setting for meeting new people.
Split's location makes it an ideal base for visiting many of the nearby islands. Brač is one of the most famous and most beautiful. The ferry journey takes under an hour, with around 14 departures each day in the high season and nine in the low season.
If you're looking to tick off a bucket-list experience in Croatia, a visit to the spectacular Krka National Park is top day trip from Split. To get there, you can take a tour, rent a car or catch the bus. The journey from Split takes a little over an hour, but you'll be passing through some stunning landscapes before reaching the wilderness of the national park.
Around £22 (prices are lower outside of peak season) gives you access to the park for the entire day. You'll have plenty of time to explore its numerous waterfalls and other attractions, including Visovac monastery. This national park is a great spot for taking photos.
Up until 2021, visitors used to be able to swim in Krka National Park. Please note that swimming is now banned, as park officials are attempting to reduce the effects on the environment here.
Since 2017, Croatia has a total of 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of these may be more well known than others, but all of them are worth a visit during a holiday in Croatia.
In no particular order, these are Croatia's World Heritage Sites:
Plitviče Lakes National Park
Historical complex of Split (including Diocletian's Palace)
Dubrovnik's Old Town
The Episcopal complex of the Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč
Historic city of Trogir
Stari Grad Plain
Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards
Venetian defence works in Zadar
Primeval Beech forests of the Carpathians
It is completely possible to travel to Croatia on a budget, although you may want to shy away from the more expensive Dubrovnik or Split. For these destinations, it may be best to plan a day trip to enjoy the sights but then avoid eating or staying there for the night. For something lighter on the pocket, opt to stay in smaller towns and look for B&Bs or simple hostels where you can share a room with your friends and travel buddies.
🏴☠️ Pirate Tip: If you aren't too bothered about the weather and are more keen on good food, wine and activities, you can save a lot of money by travelling in the low season, from October to April. Remember to bring a jacket though, as it can get chilly!
Your best option for getting around in Croatia is by bus. The buses are comfortable and serve most Croatian destinations on a regular schedule. What’s more, they are very affordable and give you a chance to savour every glimpse of the passing countryside.
On the other hand, renting a car on your Croatian holiday gives you the freedom to explore every corner of the country according to your own schedule. If you are travelling with your partner or friends, this might be a great option to share costs and driving time. Put on your top songs and enjoy a summer road trip with your favourite people.
If you are travelling to Croatia as a family, it may be worth staying in one of the many apartments available; these will give you more flexibility and space than hotels or B&Bs. You might enjoy the add-on of a private kitchen and laundry facilities.
It's also worth staying outside of the bigger, more popular towns, as this will suit smaller budgets better. And, luckily, there are so many great affordable accommodation options to choose from, including camping sites, some of which are even located right next to the beach!
There's no end to what you can get up to during a holiday to Croatia; here are some of our go-to activities and experiences.
Visit a World Heritage Site
Try your hand at sailing
Stroll through one of the eight national parks
Hit the beach
Enjoy a wine tour
Eat, eat, eat