So many islands so little time! With some of the most blindingly blue crystal clear water and a coastline practically designed for boating, Croatia has become a haven for yachties, travellers and party goers, where the party don't stop all summer long! Over the years, the popularity of this country has absolutely skyrocketed, no longer making it a 'hidden gem' but rather a top destination on everyone's itinerary. Croatia's island-speckled mountainous coastline is home to beaches of all shapes and sizes, where you're bound to find your own version of island paradise. Pair that with it's rich history, wondrous stone architecture and mouth-watering coastal cuisine, and you have yourself one of Europe's top summer destinations. For suggestions on where to go in the South of Croatia, read on!
Croatia's second largest city and home to Diocletian's Palace, Split is a great place to begin your journey through Croatia. The city has clearly become modernized to accommodate tourism, but it still manages to encompass it's traditions and old town charm. Since there's a lot to see around Split, it's a good idea to base yourself here for a few days and take day trips to the surrounding areas.
- Rent a car and drive to Krka National Park! (2hrs) There's also a bus that will take you from Split to the park in the morning. The timetable differs depending upon the month, so make sure to check with the tourism center.
- Go to the beach! The closest and most popular one to the old town is Bacvice.
- Visit Klis Fortress
- Walk up to Prva Vidilica for a great view of the city.
- Eat at Galerija Food
- Stroll the marina.
- If you're under 30, grab drinks at The Sanctuary.
While everyone else is focusing on getting to Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik, a lot of people tend to overlook this gem! Personally, the island of Brac was one of my favourite stops in Croatia because of how quiet and serene it was. Brac is home to gorgeous vineyards, sleepy stone villages and the most photographed beach in Dalmatia, Zlatni Rat. Definitely stay in Bol on the southern part of the island as that's where the most life is!
Oh, Hvar. You can manage to have two totally different experiences here depending upon what you're looking for. Apparently it's where you go to party or honeymoon and since there's no sign of marriage in my near future, party it was. You'd basically have to be a hermit and never leave your room in order to not catch the urge to go out. Plus, it's where all the yachts dock for yacht week, so there's an influx of eager tourists stopping by throughout the entire summer.
- Go on the excursion to Vis, the Blue Cave and Pakleni Islands.
- Spend a day in the sun at Uvala Pokonjidol Beach overlooking the tiny island of Pokonjidol.
- Grab a glass of wine at Pršuta 3 Wine Bar.
- Have a sunset drink at Hula Hula Beach & Bar.
- Rent a scooter and explore the island!
- Eat at Fig Cafe!
This quaint tiny town is almost like Dubrovnik only on a MUCH smaller scale. Even though it seems pretty quiet, it's a great place to break up the trip from Hvar to Dubrovnik. The island itself has several beaches that are worth a look if you rent a scooter, not to mention a lot of vineyards! The town has a mini pedestrian road full of restaurants where you can treat yourself to some of the most delicious pizza, pasta and seafood.
One of the most enchanting and dramatic coastal towns in the world, Dubrovnik is bound to impress just about any visitor with it's romantic narrow alleyways and gorgeous architecture. It's one of the more touristy spots in Croatia, but a definite must see! The best part about the town is it's so small, you only really need a day or two to cover most of it!
- Absolutely, positively walk the wall!!
- Check out Fort Lovrijenac. Your ticket to the wall gets you in here too!
- Eat at Nishta for some of the best veggie & vegan food ever!!
- Buy something lavender! This is one of Croatia's main crops.
- Drive up the coast to Veliki Žali! A gorgeous beach about 20 minutes from Dubrovnik.
As you travel Croatia, you'll find the locals may not be as warm as the weather. Give it some time and get to know them. You'll inevitably figure out that they're a lovely bunch with hearts of gold.
For cheaper prices and fewer people, visiting Croatia during the months of May and September may allow you to beat the chaos of the crowds. However, even these 'off season' months are becoming busy as more and more people are discovering the beauty of Croatia!