What’s in Croatia that tops it among tourist destinations? Croatia’s rare blend of glamour and old-fashioned authenticity make this Europe’s ‘it’ destination, where beaches and sunshine vie for attention with cultural treasures, ancient architecture and time-tested folk traditions. Described as rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, many blanketed in luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation, Croatia boasts one of the most dramatic stretches of coastline that Europe has to offer. Despite the region’s popularity as a package destination for more than four decades, exploitation of the coastal settlements has been kept in check, and there are still enough off-the-beaten-track islands, quiet coves and stone-built fishing villages to make you feel as if you’re visiting one of southern Europe’s most unspoilt areas. As a bonus, many of Croatia’s coastal towns and cities are living museums of Mediterranean culture, generously endowed with historical remains from Roman times onwards. Inland, a varied profusion of mountains, lakes and bird-inhabited wetlands provide plenty of interest for the nature lover.
For those who are after a peace and quiet hideaways including remote lighthouse islets, fetching fishing villages, secluded coves and Robinson Crusoe style atolls. There are safe beaches for families, and there are beach activies that will keep them and have a great time. Everybody love to experience Croatia’s coast. You’ll get plenty of glitz and glamour in Dubrovnik and Hvar, where night action and celebrity-spotting, designer cocktail in hand, is de rigueur, and fancy yachts dock in droves. There numerous resorts and beaches along Croatia’s coastline, and take time to get familiarized with the sexiest beaches for this is what a vacation in Croatia is all about.
Croatia’s Sexiest Beaches
Zrce Beach, Pag Island, Novalja. Zrce Beach is a white-pebbled beach, kissing the crystal-clear Adriatic. It’s the only beach in Croatia with the Ibiza party spirit, that drives tourists and locals in this place. There are 3 popular open-air clubs; Aquarius, Papaya and Kalypso offer drink specials, hot DJs, and pools, Jacuzzis and hot tubs. No reason to change out of your bathing suit to party at these hot spots.
Hvar Islands, Hvar Islands, Pakleni. This is best enjoyed during night time when the sun goes down, head to some of the most popular bars on the Dalmatian coast like Korzo and Carpe Diem.
Sv. Jerolim.Hvar Islands, Sveti Jerolim. Sv. Jerolim on Sveti Jerolim’s coast, is isolated and beautifully preserved. A well-known nude beach, it is the perfect hideaway for couples who wants to feel romantically alone with their love one. There are a few restaurants on the beach and outdoor showers to wash away the day’s heat.
Zlatni Rat. Brac Island. Bol. Zlatni Rat beach is unique compared to other beaches because of its bar that measures 580 yards long and provides this beach with a unique shape and unparalleled people-watching. It is a home to a spectacular sandbar known as the Golden Horn. The beach has restaurants, cafes and a surplus of water sports. The nightlife is more relaxed than Zrce beach, but there are plenty of open-air bars and nightclubs open for mischief.
Kandalora Beach Frkanj Peninsula, Rab Island. Sure, parties and nightclubs are hot, but you can’t get any sexier than a nude beach. And Croatia offers these in spades. Kandalora beach is divided into three pebbled and private coves where sunbathers dare to bare it all. There’s a small fee to enter these beaches, but the coves are easily reachable if you’re dropping anchor in the Adriatic.
Valalta Resort Rovinj.Love is in the air at Valalta Resort near Rovinj. Accommodations here include fully equipped apartments, luxurious caravans and intimate bungalows. The beach stretches for about three miles and offers many sandy and stone bays perfect for nude sunbathing.
Brela Beach, Vrulja. Brela Village is a Mediterranean dream; miles of white beach lined with fig trees and olive groves. Brela is the home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia, with nearby Vrulja Cove topping the list. A desirable location for couples, it’s best reached by boat and encourages swimming and sunbathing au naturale.
Baska Beach, Krk Island. Krk Island is the largest Croatian island and is located in the picturesque Kvarner Bay. The must-see destination on Baska is the Vela Plaza, or Great Beach, where bars, restaurants and cafes offer a reprieve from the sun. The Great Beach is the place to be seen, but Baska beach also offers plenty of coves for those seeking a more intimate experience.
Girandella Beach, Rabac, Istria Island. It used to be a quiet fishing village, Rabac is now a bustling tourists’ resort with a spirited nightlife. At Girandella Beach, unique rock and jetty formations make diving very popular during the day. At night, the partying takes place right on the beach, where DJs spin house and techno music. Two summer festivals not to be missed are the Sunrise Festival and the Rabac Summer Festival.
Plat Beach, Dubrovnik. The best among Croatia’s best-hidden beaches with kicking nightlife. This tiny beach is a balmy oasis of beautiful landscapes. The beach has very little shade, so an umbrella is a must to provide some shelter and a little privacy on the nude beach. In the evening, head to the best restaurants and clubs in Croatia.
Beauty on the Inside: Continental Croatia
Everyone gets to engrossed with 2000km-long coastline, with over 1000 islands, but most people skip the unsung beauties of inland Croatia. Enjoy a slice of pristine farmland in one of the rural hotels or ‘agro-tourisms’, roam rugged wilderness or get active – hike, bike, abseil, paraglide, raft and canoe. Zagreb may play second fiddle to nearby Vienna, but this pocket-sized capital has an attractive cafe life, a brand-new contemporary art museum, ancient attractions and a jam-packed roster of festivals and events.
Croatia has been slowly crawling its way up to the top of Europe’s culinary rungs. Its chief assets are locally sourced, prime-quality ingredients from the land and sea, creatively prepared by celeb chefs or cooked up home-style in family-run taverns. Some of these gastronomic havens require a trek, but the minute you taste the food your palate will know it was worth it. The wine regions of Croatia are as burgeoning as the country itself, and its olive oils (particularly those of Istria) are getting top awards.
It is however not possible to experience everything Croatia has to offer in one trip and we don’t suggest you try. What follows is a selective and subjective taste of the country’s highlights, from Baroque palaces to perfect grilled fresh fish. They’re arranged in five colour-coded categories to help you find the very best things to see, do and experience. All entries have a page reference to take you straight into the guide, where you can find out more.
Amphitheatre, Pula – Imperial Rome’s greatest gift to the eastern Adriatic, Unlike many of the less well preserved amphitheatres of today, Pula is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres. The external wall of Pula’s stadium is virtually complete, thus aiding to the exceptional splendour of this truly unique historical site. The ample amount of external space surrounding the building enhances the striking size of the Pula amphitheatre.
Varaždin - It is most proud of the historic Old Town, where there are palaces, churches and monasteries dating back to the Baroque, Art Nouveau, and Rococo periods and has one of the oldest town halls in Europe. The famous theatre and cemetery is a monument of landscape architecture, which has encircled the entire city.
Boat trips to the Kornati islands – A speedboat day tour cruising the islands is a thrilling way to experience Kornati, as we take in the spectacular cliffs and amazing moonscape islands. For your lunch option we can go to a local konoba to enjoy some of Kornati’s fabulous seafood or instead, you can choose a fabulous wine-tasting and gourmet paired dinner at Bibich wine cellar in charming Skradin.
Hvar - First it was yachts , now it’s mega-yachts. Beautiful Hvar Island is now a required stop for restless international trend-spotters always alert to the latest island paradise. Hvar deserves the honour, for it is the sunniest and greenest of the Croatian islands. Called the ‘Croatian Madeira’, Hvar receives 2724 hours of sunshine each year. The stunning interior is a panorama of lavender fields, peaceful villages and pine-covered hills.
Diocletian’s palace, Split – Diocletian’s Palace was an impressive fortified structure with residential and garrisoned wings separated by a road. Diocletian’s Palace was lavish, with several apartments, three temples and the Peristil, which was a ceremonial court. It also housed Diocletian’s mausoleum, an octagonal structure where the emperor was later buried. Walking around Split today, it is difficult to know where Diocletian’s Palace ends and the city begins. The two are intricately combined. Some of the more obvious and impressive original ruins include the fortification gates, particularly the Silver Gate, the Temple of Jupiter, the underground passageways and the Peristil. It caters well for the tourist trade with several walking tours of the historical sites.
Plitvice Lakes – A bewitching sequence of foaming waterfalls and turquoise lakes, hemmed in by forest-clad hills. Plitvice Lakes National Park contains a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These have been formed by processes typical of karst landscapes such as the deposition of travertine barriers, creating natural dams. These geological processes continue today.
Lošinj island – a part of Cres-Losinj island group, is the 11th largest Adriatic island with 112.7 km coastline which abounds attractive bays and coves, ideal for swimming and sunbathing. With around 2600 hours of sunshine a year, the island has become a popular destination for tourists in the summer months. Losinj is a developed tourist center with a long tradition of private and hotel accommodation. Its residents and tourism workers are known for their politeness with guests and professional qualities that are rooted in the very beginning of tourism, which date back in 1880.
Rovinj - Riviera-town chic collides with fishing-port charm in the most Italianate of Istria’s coastal resorts. Feel the enchantment of the town in its narrow medieval streets and warm Mediterranean setting. The main Church of St. Euphemia keeps relics of the saint and presents one of the most beautiful Baroque achievements in Istria. From the church plateau there is a wonderful view of the open sea and numerous islets in the distance. A visit to the Rovinj Town Museum and the town’s many galleries will complete your cultural experience.
Paklenica National Park – A hiker’s paradise, combining craggy limestone gorges, dense pine forests and meadow-carpeted alpine uplands. Paklenica National Park, one of nature’s miracles, is characterised by sharp cliffs of the monumental canyons and is the home of ancient beech tree forests, mysterious caves and endemic plant and wildlife species. The Park, declared a bio-energy reserve by UNESCO in 1987, is a challenge to every nature lover – day tripper, hiker, alpinist and adventurer. Another feature that makes it special is its closeness to sights such as the Plitvice Lakes National Park, River Krka Waterfalls and Kornati Archipelago.
Trogir cathedral – St. Lawrence Cathedral is the most famous and most visible of the town’s monuments. It’s prominently situated on the main square with a bell tower that reaches far above the town. The portal of artistic Master Rodovan, which guards the entrance, is one of the most significant monuments in Croatia. St. Lawrence Cathedral features a wonderful bell tower that stretches 47 meters high, and was worth the climb to the top. Looking out at Trogir and it’s position on the waterway gives clear indication of why Trogir would have been a town of great strategic importance as well as an central area of commerce. No wonder it was taken over so much. The interior of the Cathedral is typical of most churches.
Holidays in Croatia make an excellent choice for an unforgettable holiday, on a Croatia holiday visitors get to swim in crystal clear waters, enjoy the entertainment offered in every hotels, and get fascinated by archeological sites. Croatia vacations are ideal for families, with safe clean beaches which is totally refreshing and travel to Croatia is especially ideal for sporty types who will enjoy the activities along the beach like diving and sailing.