Croatia holiday deals: The best places to travel in Croatia
Croatia is always worth a trip, whether you’re heading to the beautiful Adriatic coast or checking out the diverse natural landscape of Plitvice National Park. A holiday in Croatia gives you the opportunity to stop in at interesting cities like Zadar, Istria, Dubrovnik, Split and Pula. Off the coast, you’ll find many small islands more than 1,200 islands waiting to be explored. This measn Croatia is one of Europe's most versatile destinations! From a city break in Zadar or Dubrovnik to a beach holiday on some of Europe's best beaches, Croatia has it all.
Getting to Croatia
A 2-hour flight from a range of rainy UK airports transports you to the breath-taking Croatian landscapes. The flight is quick enough to enjoy a weekend getaway and an unforgettable adventure with your friends or partner in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. In addition to art galleries and Viennese architecture, Zagreb offers a craft beer scene and vast of green spaces where you can relax and chill out during your Croatian holiday. What’s more, if you are looking for the perfect beach holiday, Croatia’s endless stretch of coast awaits you with wonderful cities like Dubrovnik, Hvar or Split. Flights to these locations take a little longer from the UK at just under 3 hours.
Dubrovnik or is it Kings Landing?
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 Srđ mountain, which you can easily reach by cable car.
The city’s historic centre is stunning and triggers your excitement by showing off its impressive historical architecture, city walls and forts as well as the Rector’s Palace. For the Game of Thrones fans amongst us: Dubrovnik is King’s Landing and many iconic scenes were filmed in the Croatian town.
Dubrovnik’s main beach, Plaža Banje, is a famous destination for everyone looking to catch a tan that will last through the cloudy days back in the UK. If you want a bit more privacy, take a short bus trip or a 20-minute walk and you will find the stunning and slightly wilder Sveti Jakov Beach awaiting you with opportunities to snorkel, swim or simply enjoy the sunset. We've listed more of our favourite beaches in Dubrovnik here.
Pirate Tip: The summer months (June – August) are peak travel season for tourists and it can get crowded. Plan to travel in May or September to avoid crowds and still catch the warm weather!
Dubrovnik day trip: Journey to the islands
A short and affordable ferry ride from Dubrovnik means you can spend a relaxing day at the beach or go for a walk in the gardens of Lokrum Island. If you have a keen sense of adventure: you can attempt cliff diving and if not, the colourful peacocks and cheeky rabbits roaming all over the island will keep you entertained.
Split day trip: Krka National Park
When looking for a day trip from Split, Krka National Park is a must-see on your holiday in Croatia. You can drive or take the bus. The journey takes a little over an hour from Split but you’ll pass through some stunning landscapes before reaching the wilderness of the national park. About £18 gives you access the National Park for the entire day and allows you to explore its numerous waterfalls and bathe in the natural pools around it - a great spot for pictures.
If you want to explore it a little further, you can take one of the boat cruises and enjoy the coastline from a different perspective.
Holidays to Split
Split is Croatia’s second-largest city and truly deserves its nickname: “Mediterranean Flower”. It is located on a peninsula and boasts one of Croatia’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Diocletian’s Palace. The evenings here offer visitors a dreamy experience with illuminated ancient walls that will guide you to one of the many bars or restaurants in the city.
If you are travelling with kids, Bene Beach is your first choice when looking for a quiet beach that offers a playground and natural shade provided by pine trees. The local bus will drop you off right at the doorstep but the walk to the beach is a little rocky so take some slip-on shoes for the family.
If you are looking for a vibrant and lively beach where you can meet lots of people, Plaža Bačvice is the perfect setting for you. It is Split’s central beach and locals love it as much as tourists. Check out more of the best beaches in Split here.
Split's location also makes it perfect to visit many of the nearby islands. Brač is one of the most famous and beautiful. The journey via ferry takes under an hour and there are around 14 departures each day in the high season and 9 in the low season.
Croatia's World Heritage sites
Since 2017 Croatia has a total of 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of them are more well known than others. But all of them definitely are worth a visit during your next holiday in Croatia!
|World Heritage Site||Location||Year listed||Description|
Old City of Dubrovnik
|Dubrovnik||1979||Nowadays Dubrovnik is most known for the HBO show Game of Thrones. But next to the sites known from the TV show, the old city of Dubrovnik is full of sites worth discovering.|
Plitvice Lakes National Park
|1979||The Plitvice lakes consist of 16 interconnected lakes separated by many waterfalls. It's beautiful throughout the year!|
Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
|Split||1979||The palace was built at the turn of the fourth century AD by and named after, the Roman emperor Diocletian. During the Middle Ages, the mausoleum followed along with churches and other palaces.|
Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč
|Poreč||1997||This episcopal complex is one of the best examples of early Byzantine art and architecture in the Mediterranean region and the world.|
The historic city of Trogir
|Trogir||1997||Trogir is full of culture. Influenced by the old Greeks, the Romans, and also the Venetians! You can find the perfect mix between the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.|
Cathedral of Saint James
|2000||The Cathedral of Saint James is also one of the most important Renaissance architectural monuments in the eastern Adriatic.|
Stari Grad Plain
|2008||Already set up in the 4th century BC by Greek colonists, this agricultural landscape remains still in use today.|
Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards
Dubravka, Cista Velika
|2016||The medieval tombstones "Stećci" are monolith stone monuments found in the regions of the present Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. There are two sites inscribed in Croatia, in Dubravka and in Cista Velika.|
Primaeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians
Northern Velebit National Park
|2017||This transboundary site encompasses the isolated refuges from which the European beech has spread across the continent since the end of the last Ice Age. It is shared with Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Ukraine.|
Venetian Works of defence between 15th and 17th centuries
|2017||Spanning more than 1,000 kilometres, this structure consists of 15 components of defence works Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro.|
In addition to these 10 World Heritage Sites, there are 15 other sites on the tentative list.
Croatia on a budget - can it be done?
If you are travelling on a budget - you might want to shy away from the big tourist attractions like Dubrovnik or Split. Maybe plan for a day trip to enjoy the beautiful jewels of the Adriatic coast but avoid eating or staying there for the night. For something light on the pocket, stay in the smaller towns and look for B&Bs or simple hostels where you can share a room with your friends and travel buddies. We always have a number of cheap holidays to Croatia - check out our deals below.
Pirate Tip: If you don’t mind the weather too much and more interested in good food, wine and activities, you can save a lot of money by travelling in the low season, from October to April. Take a jacket, it might get chilly!
Your best choice to get around in Croatia is by bus. The busses are comfortable and serve all your favourite places on a regular schedule. What’s more, they are very affordable and give you a chance to savour every glimpse of the landscape.
As with anywhere else, renting a car on your Croatian holiday gives you the freedom to explore any corner of the country. If you are traveling with your partner or friends, this might be a great option to share costs and driving time. Put some nice tunes on the radio and enjoy a summer road trip with your favourite people.
Accommodation in Croatia
If you are travelling as a family, it is worth considering staying in one of the many apartments that 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. As we mentioned, staying outside of the bigger, more popular towns will suit smaller budgets better. There are also many alternative forms of accommodation that are cheap, like camping sites, some of which are even located right next to beaches!
Things to do in Croatia
- Visit a world heritage site
- Go sailing
- Stroll through one of the 8 National Parks
- Hit the beach
- Enjoy a wine tour
- Eat, eat, eat
- Visit Waterfalls
- Go diving