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Croatia – the Pearl of the Adriatic

Adele finds that this wonderful country has a lot more to offer more than being the back drop to King’s Landing!

People often ask me where is popular this year and, for the last few years, Croatia has topped the list for travellers wanting a break that is not too far from home.

With over 150 Blue Flag beaches, medieval walled cities, churches, forests, waterfalls and National Parks, Croatia has so much to offer, and as it is not in the Euro zone, it still offers fantastic value for money when you are there.

Croatia really does have something for everyone: whether it’s a relaxing week in the sun enjoying fabulous food such as the famous Kvarner Bay scampi and swimming in the crystal clear waters; a city break in Dubrovnik, Split or both – perfect for fans of Game of Thrones fans who want to see locations where many scenes from the hit series were filmed! Or perhaps a walking tour of the stunning Krka National Park (it’s pronounced “Kirka”).

Cavtat is a great base for a beach and city combination It’s pretty harbour – often compared to the French Riviera – has a lovely atmosphere and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail while you watch the stunning sunsets. It also offers gentle coastal walks and, if you take the steeper path to the Racic Mausoleum, you will be rewarded with the most stunning views.

A short trip of around 40 minutes by boat will take you to the UNESCO heritage listed walled city of Dubrovnik: possibly the most famous medieval walled city in Europe and which George Bernard Shaw described as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.

Another great option is the Split Riviera. Spilt is an interesting city with a blend of architectural styles – including a Roman Emperor’s villa dating back to 295 AD – and a bustling port with great ferry connections to the surrounding islands.

Another UNESCO walled city worth a visit is Trogir. Often described as a mini Dubrovnik, the old town is pedestrianised and offers some great boutique shopping as well as a good choice of bars and restaurants.

A ferry will take you to Hvar – officially the sunniest Island of the Adriatic. Famous for its glamourous Jet-Set parties, music festivals and great bar scene, Hvar is the place to see and be seen! It is at its most popular during July and August co, if you prefer a quieter pace of life, avoid these months and visit during the spring or autumn.

One of the best ways to see this beautiful country is from the water and, with dramatic coastlines and over 1,000 islands, there is so much to see! A great way to do this on a casual cruise – but don’t expect fine dining and cabarets: this is superrelaxed so leave your dinner jacket and ball gowns at home! These small motor cruisers can get you to all the best spots, including tiny ports and hidden coves.

Most cruisers accommodate around 40 guests and around eight crew members and, although cabins are much smaller than most hotel rooms, you still have the luxury of air-conditioning, en suite facilities and WiFi.

So if you can travel light, love swimming and snorkelling and like something a little more adventurous, this could be a perfect option.

These cruises are very popular – especially during June and September – so It’s a good idea to plan ahead.

Time Difference: 1 hour ahead of GMT
Currency: £1 = 8.5 Croatian Kuna
Flying Time: Dubrovnik is 2hr 50 mins

Top Tips:

  • Dubrovnik can be very busy – especially when cruise ships visit. Evenings are quieter.
  • Take beach shoes: the water is fabulous for swimming but can be stony underfoot.
  • Visit Vis Island now as its going to get very popular – it’s in the new Mamma Mia movie! Its beach at Stiniva Bay was voted best beach in Europe by Conde Nast Traveller.

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