Croatia is one of those places that once you visit you can't wait to go back to. With 10% of Croatia made up of 11 nature parks, 8 national parks and 2 nature reserves it's not surprising it is so beautiful*. And that's before you take into account the 1,246 islands, isles and inlets dotted through the Adriatic Sea.
Gothic and Renaissance Dubrovnik with its imposing 16th Century city wall really is jaw-dropping. English poet Lord Byron named the city the 'pearl of the Adriatic'. He wasn't wrong. Split, Zadar and Zagreb also have their historic charms.
Now is the time to visit too. Tourism is on the rise. Sixteen million tourists visited in 2016, an increase of 35% on 2012. The Croatian Tourist Office have ambitions to grow this further*.
- Croatia receives an average of 2,715 hours of sunshine per year, more than Sydney*. So don't forget the sunscreen.
- HBO TV show Game of Thrones has showcased Croatia's beauty, with set locations in Dubrovnik, Split and Trsteno Arboretum. Fans can take a GOT tour to experience more.
- In October 1991 the Serbians laid siege to Dubrovnik for 7 months during the Homeland War. The Old Town had 68% buildings damage, 11% with significant damage. Repairs under the guidelines of UNESCO have restored the city to its former glory although the numerous new red roofs are a tell-tale sign*.
When to Go
Croatia experiences a Mediterranean climate on the coast with warm summers and mild winters. In contrast, inland areas experience greater extremes, hotter in the summer and extremely cold with snow in the winter.
As with other European countries, July and August are high season with hotel prices and temperatures soaring. Many city dwelling Croats escape to the coast for their summer breaks leaving the inland cities lacking in social and cultural activities.
Shoulder seasons May/June and September/October tend to be the best option. Hiking or biking in the national parks is particularly pretty in autumn.
Don't overlook a winter weekend sight-seeing trip to Dubrovnik, Split or Zadar as temperatures are acceptable and accommodation pricing can be as much as 50% cheaper than peak season. Just skip the icy inland locations.
- Come with us on our road trip through Croatia, taking in Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park: Croatia, One Big Movie Set