Croatia is a land steeped in history and one that offers the discerning traveller an opportunity to explore the wonderful architecture of charming towns and villages, indulge in a unique and delicious cuisine, relax on one of the sunniest coastlines in Europe, and take trips to one of many hundreds of islands that lie just out into the Adriatic – and all while enjoying a beautifully moderate climate.
What To Do
The diversity of Croatia is very much part of its attraction and one day you could be wandering the quaint cobbled streets of out of the way towns, while the next you could be sunbathing on gorgeous Zlatni Rat beach. With several dedicated UNESCO sites and eight beautiful national parks, Croatia holds a magical appeal for people interested in all manner of activities. Vast lakes, cascading waterfalls, medieval fortresses and towering mountains that rise up above the dazzling azure coastline are just waiting to be discovered. Hiking, cycling and rafting are wonderful ways to explore the natural landscape.
Dubrovnik sees you step back in time, while Split’s Diocletian’s Palace makes for a magical morning visit and Zadar, a centuries old town, is a definite ‘must see’. Drinking coffee and eating the local ice cream by day in Zadar is topped off by evenings spent enjoying the music and lights on the promenade, where the natural Sea Organ, designed by architect Nikola Basic, creates natural music though its underwater pipes.
Whether you are looking for modern or traditional, active or sedate, Croatia has something to suit everyone’s holiday aspirations.
Floating somewhere under the radar, Croatian cuisine is often unjustly underrated. The huge variety of ingredients and dishes on offer are a delightful fusion of the Mediterranean seafood-dominated cuisine and the rather heavier strudel and frankfurter dishes that are common in Central Europe. Pork, lamb, veal and fish, as well as cheeses, breads and wonderful desserts are washed down with potent spirits, beers and fabulous wines. A meal in Croatia is always an enjoyable affair.
The Italian influence is reflected in the number of excellent pizzerias, usually at least one in every town, and of course you really must try the Croatian goulash for a real authentic experience.
Warm summers and mild winters dominate the coast, while inland the hotter summers and colder winters are much more continental in nature. December to February is particularly cold and conversely July and August offer the ideal conditions for the busy holiday season on the Adriatic, when the cafes and beaches are buzzing with activity. These summer months on the coast can be very hot, so sightseeing is best done in June and September.
How to Get to Croatia from the UK
Travelling to Croatia offers lots of options. The main airports are Dubrovnik, Zagreb and Split, and flights from London Heathrow or Gatwick can be booked with Croatia Airlines for a reasonable price. Shuttle Direct offer transfers from all of the major airports.
Because of Croatia’s location it is also very accessible by train, although the journey from London takes around 24 hours. It makes for a nice trip, however, and you can stop at any of the major stopping points along the way, such as Paris.
For independent travellers, driving is a great option. The route from the UK is straightforward and the journey takes you on motorways through Brussels, Cologne, Salzberg and Villach.
There are several seasonal ferries that travel from Ancona in Italy to Split, Stari Grad and Zadar, as well as from Bari in southern Italy to Dubrovnik. Ferries also run from Venice. The journey takes around 8-10 hours and is a good option for people travelling in from Italy.
Travelling to Croatia? Don’t miss…
Hvar is one of the busiest places in the country and it’s easy to see why. 13th century walls enclose marble streets and stunning Gothic palaces, as well as some great restaurants. Surrounded by fabulous beaches too, this place has a little of everything.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is home to 16 lakes, a huge number of waterfalls, rock formations, and an incredible population of butterflies. Once you are in the park you can explore the paths on foot or on the free boat or bus.
The Dubrovnik Sea Kayak and Snorkelling Small-Group Tour takes in fabulous views of the city of Dubrovnik and offers the opportunity to paddle along the city walls to the cave beach, Betina – perfect for donning the mask and snorkel and exploring the magnificent underwater world!
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct offers low cost transfers to and from airports, cruise ports and train stations all across Croatia, and throughout Europe and North Africa. Pre-book an airport transfer via our secure online booking system, and all your onward travel arrangements can be in place before you leave home.