• 26 May 2023

Croatia is quickly becoming one of the top tourist destinations in the world – and it’s definitely one of our favourites! At Expat Explore, we believe that this idyllic, historically rich country deserves a spot amongst the globe’s top holiday destinations. This vibrant, thriving nation, ranks highly among Central European nations in terms of education, health, quality of life and economic dynamism.

Croatia is bordered by Hungary, Montenegro and Serbia, and surrounded by Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It’s home to a blend of Eastern and Western European influences. This diversity is reflected through architecture, cuisine, art and literature. The Mediterranean influences from Greece and Italy are most recognisable in the coastal regions.

The Adriatic Coast is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in Croatia. It’s a mecca for those seeking sun, sailing and sea. It has the most indented coastline in Europe and boasts 1,185 islands and islets, of which only 66 are inhabited!

Dalmatia bursts with nature, ancient towns, and a series of long, beautiful beaches. With each location being unique in character. It is known for its good wines and friendly people and offers some amazing Croatia beach holidays.

Here are the top 10 best places to visit in Croatia:

1. Split

Split is the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic Coast – and includes the incredible World Heritage Site of Diocletian’s Palace, which is well worth a visit! It’s possibly one of the best things to do in Croatia. Got some spare time? Take a stroll along the refurbished harbourside promenade or head to the western end of town, a vast wooded mountain park with views of the beaches.

The Diocletian’s Palace in Split Croatia is a UNESCO world heritage site
2. Dubrovnik

A medieval city surrounded by dramatic city walls, Dubrovnik was proclaimed by Lord Byron as ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’ – and when you visit you’ll see why! Cobble-stone streets, incredible monuments, monasteries and finely ornamented museums all add to the ambience. Drop in at one of the many restaurants for some of the best seafood you’ll ever taste. Fans of the popular TV show Game of Thrones will recognise it too, as this was one of the main filming locations used.

The old city of Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist destinations fronting the Adriatic sea
One of the distinct fountains in Dubrovnik – Onofrio’s fountain and plaza

Related: Choose to join a Game of Thrones walking tour on our Croatia & Eastern Delights tour!

3. Hvar

This is probably one of Croatia’s most glamorous pit-stops on the Dalmatian cruise route. You’ll spot a few super-yachts moored in Hvar and probably a few celebrities too! The sunniest and greenest of Croatia’s islands, it’s definitely earned its status, reportedly receiving some 2, 724 hours of sunshine a year! Wouldn’t it be great being the chap who works that out?

The Main Square in front of the St. Stephen Cathedral in Hvar
4. Korcula

The old town on the island of Korcula is charming, resembling a miniature version of Dubrovnik. An island that includes dark, dense woods gave the island its original name of Korkyra Melaina (Black Korcula). Korcula is definitely a highlight of any visit to Croatia, with plenty of opportunities for secluded swims on the island’s many beaches. It’s also the home of some of Croatia’s finest wines and local olive oil.

Sunset at the harbour in Korcula, Croatia
5. Mljet

Mljet is a nature lover’s paradise. The Mljet National Park is the island’s main attraction and for good reason. The island is mostly unspoiled, and shrouded in forest thanks to the National Park’s establishment is 1960. Making this, arguably, the most beautiful of Croatia’s islands. Renting a bike to explore the pine forest, kayaking on one of the calm lakes, and even shopping in the small but well-stocked supermarket will keep you busy and interested during your trip to Mljet.

Take in the stunning natural scenery in Mljet
6. Makarska

This cosmopolitan seaside town offers travellers to Croatia the best of both worlds. Enjoy sunny beaches and cool sea waters, with busy streets, tourist attractions, and a bustling nightlife just a few kilometres away. Be sure to see the Franciscan Monetary while here, with its very own Malacological museum inside the basement. Here, you’ll get to view a large collection of fossils, snails, shells and other interesting artefacts.

Wander around the waterfront in Makarska
7. Sipan

Sipan (pronounced ‘shee-pan’) is a tiny island, famous for its wine. This is where you sit back, put your feet up and soak in the laid-back vibe with a glass of Shiraz in your hand. If you’re wanting to explore more, renting a bicycle is an easy and fun way to see the gorgeous island. Sipan is a popular day trip destination, so you’re likely to meet fellow travellers during your time here. A trip around the island will allow you sights of late-Gothic Rector’s palace, archbishop palace ruins, and the iconic 16th-century castle that towers over the sleepy village of Suđurađ, to name just a few attractions.

Indulge in wine and island vibes in Sipan
8. Trstenik

A very small town located on the Pelješac peninsula, Trstenik (pronounced ‘tris-tan-nik’) is a great place to soak in some sun and enjoy the beach. The shores are not crowded and offer a nice, peaceful stop for travellers. If you prefer staying on the go, you could visit the town’s winery, or enjoy some of the fine foods at one of the restaurants. With a population of just 116, this town is remote and quaint, and great for a night away from the busy crowds.

Enjoy the less-crowded beaches and laid back vibe of Trstenik
9. Pakleni Islands

Close to Hvar, the Pakleni Islands attract many beach lovers to its shores. In contrast to the bustling town of Hvar, you’ll find quiet, secluded beaches and natural wonders across the many islands that make up the Pakleni Islands. From a clothing-optional Jerolim island to the scuba-divers’ paradise off the island of Stambedar, you’ll find a lovely combination of adventure and tranquillity while here.

It’s all about sun, sea, adventure and serenity in the Pakleni Islands
10. Brač

Home to one of the most famous beaches on the Dalmatian coast, Brač offers amazing relaxation on its white-pebbled, sunny beaches. It’s also a fantastic place to go for a hike, since the highest peak on the Adriatic islands, Vidova Gora stands tall over this tiny town.

Head off on a hike or relax on the beach in Brač

In need of vitamin sea? Or keen to explore some truly stunning historic sites? Take a look at what’s in store on a tour to Croatia here!

Questions & Comments

  1. Do you visit Plivice lakes on this tour The weather in October ?

  2. Is this trip scheduled to run again in 2018?

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