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Croatia holidays

Croatia holidays

Croatia is fast becoming a new favourite in Europe’s top picks for holiday destinations. Fascinating history, stunning coastlines and vibrant cities make it a diverse and endlessly interesting country to travel. Whether you’re interested in hiking through lush mountains and forests, exploring Roman ruins or yachting on the sleek Mediterranean, holidays to Croatia offer something a little different, and are guaranteed to be memorable.

Many cheap holidays to Croatia focus on the historic cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Pula, but the island-dotted coastline is definitely worth exploring for package holidays to this vibrant destination.

Croatia is on our list of the best summer destinations. So if you’re looking for a little inspiration we’ve pulled together our list of the Top 10 summer holiday destinations.

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Things to do in Croatia

  • Enjoy some Adriatic island hopping - Croatia's Adriatic coast is blessed with well over 1,000 islands, offering secluded beaches, hiking opportunities, quaint towns and villages, and plenty of sunshine. From the peacocks of Lokrum to the lively nightlife of Hvar, there's plenty to discover when you experience island hopping holidays in Croatia.
  • Go hiking in Plitvice - The Plitvice Lakes National Park is characterised by spectacular waterfalls, mysterious caverns, and tucked away pools for wild swimming. UNESCO protected, it's a natural wonderland, and not far from the city of Split.
  • Descend into the Modrica Caves - Located just northeast of Zadar, the Modrica Caves are remarkable. Stretching for 800 metres, they feature cathedral-like chambers and outlandish rock formations, and expert guides can show visitors every single feature.

Top sights in Croatia

  • Dubrovnik - One of the filming locations for "Game of Thrones", Dubrovnik is a medieval port on the Mediterranean coast which features stunningly preserved historic architecture. Tour the city walls, climb Srđ hill for exceptional views, and dive into the old town for some Ćevapi kebabs or seafood salad. It's a spellbinding city.
  • Zagreb - The nation's capital offers an engaging mix of nightlife, culture, historical attractions, and sheer charisma. Soak up 800 years of history in Gornji Grad (the Old Town), lament lost love at the unique Museum of Broken Relationships, before spending the night at huge clubs like Tvornica kultureor hip bars like Močvara.
  • Diocletian's Palace - Built in the 4th century AD by a Roman Emperor, this palace in Split could well be the most well-preserved Roman ruin in the world. It's also unusual, having been incorporated into the centre of town, hosting bars, restaurants, and shops - while still rewarding fans of ancient history. Nowhere else is quite like it.

Best time of the year to visit Croatia

If you're travelling as a family or you just want a beach escape, the Croatian summer has it all. The best months to book all inclusive holidays in Croatia run from May to October. May to late June are ideal for romantic visits, as the summer school holidays haven't kicked in. But you'll also find cheap holidays to Croatia in the "off" season. Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar are all appealing at any time of year (though swimming and kayaking may not be on the agenda until the summer). Similarly, if you just want to lose yourself in Plitvice or other national parks, spring and autumn work well - and offer opportunities to save as well.

How to get to Croatia

If you're thinking about visiting Croatia from the UK, flying is definitely the best way to travel, and it's not a hard destination to reach. Flights to Zagreb leave from London Heathrow, while seasonal flights depart for Split from Bristol, Luton, Glasgow, Newcastle, and many other UK airports. Flight times tend to be around 2 hours 20 minutes, but remember: Croatia is 1 hour ahead of London, so set your clocks before arrival.

Croatia is known for

Aside from punching above its weight in the footballing world, Croatia has a lot of other attractive aspects. The coastline if famously unspoilt, sun-soaked, and photogenic, while cities like Zadar and Dubrovnik have kept their historical core intact in a way that other destinations have failed to do. Culture fans may appreciate Croatia's tradition of hosting live music festivals (Sonus and Hideout being particularly well-attended). And gastronomes will be in seventh heaven, with fine seafood, meat dishes, local wines, and sweets like rozata competing with any European cuisines. So there's a lot to enjoy when you book holidays in Croatia with Lastminute.com.

Best places to stay in Croatia

Can't decide where to stay in Croatia? Here's a list of five popular Croatian holiday destinations:

  • Dubrovnik: the jewel among Croatia resorts. The city is well-known for its historic and picture-perfect Old Town that’s enclosed by massive 16th-century stone walls.
  • Istria: its charming hilltop towns include Hum; just 22 inhabitants make it the world's smallest town! The historic town of Pula, with its impressive colosseum, is more than worth a visit, and the near-by quaint village of Fazana acts as the ferry gate-way to the famous Birjuni National Park.
  • Zagreb: historic attractions and a vibrant nightlife mean that Zagreb is a popular spot for great cheap holidays to Croatia. This city will be heaven for architecture buffs thanks to its 19th-century Austro-Hungarian buildings and famous gothic cathedral.
  • Makarska Riviera: ideal for Croatia beach holidays. It’s one of the most popular holiday destinations in the county thanks its many beautiful beaches and stretches of coastline. Mountain hiking and day trips to Split are also perfect for Croatia family holidays on the Riviera.

Beaches in Croatia

Croatia’s coastline is idyllic and often pristine; a real effort is made to preserve the natural beauty and local identity of the ports and beaches. There are hundreds of islands along the coastline, meaning plenty of beaches to choose from. Fortunately, island hopping is very easy and quick with the numerous boats and ferries operating. Krk, known as the golden island, is the biggest and most popular with families and those seeking a traditional – but very special – beach holiday. As well as relaxing on the soft sand, Krk’s beaches are a popular place to try out jet skiing and paragliding.

History and culture

A country rich in history and keen on celebrating and maintaining its traditions, you won’t have to travel very far on a Croatian holiday to come across fascinating ruins, quaint old villages or monuments. Zagreb, a city in the Central Croatia region, is a great choice for culture-vultures for its tremendous architecture and sights. Its medieval Old City, complete with winding little streets, squares and cafes, is a great place for a city break. Wander the streets and soak up the friendly atmosphere, visit one of the numerous museums or stop at a local restaurant for a Central Croatian delicacy such as strukli – delicious cheese-filled pasta.

Natural attractions

Around 150km outside of Zagreb is one of the most incredible natural sights in the whole of Europe. Plitvice National Park is a natural complex consisting of a breathtaking landscape of forestry, mountains and 16 inter-connected, turquoise lakes. The area was preserved as a national park in the 1940s, and later became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lakes have existed and even been inhabited for thousands of years, and have long-since been famous for the wildlife, flora and fauna and views. Well-kept paths lead you around the lake and there are even boat trips available.

Nightlife on Croatia

Holiday packages that are all-inclusive are going to deliver great evening entertainment as standard, but for nightlife hotspots, the best places to stay during the winter are Zagreb, Split and Zadar. These cities offer relaxed but vibrant bar scenes and non-pretentious clubs with modest entrance fees which keep going till the early hours. In the hot summer months, people head to the island to party. Hvar and Tisno and the city of Pula rock with a series of crowd-attracting music festivals such as the Outlook dub-step and drum-and-bass festival.

Croatia weather

The weather for Croatia on the Adriatic coast is pleasantly Mediterranean with average August temperatures ranging from 21°C to 39°C. Upland regions are popular for skiing as the winter weather is seasonably cold and snowy.

Book your holiday to Croatia with lastminute.com

Whatever you want from your holiday this year, Croatia is one of Europe’s unexpected marvels, and is bursting with incredible sights and unforgettable experiences. With an endless choice of great beaches, colourful cities and rolling natural landscapes, there really is something for everyone. When you book your holiday to lastminute.com, you can enjoy it all for amazing value.