So what's it like?
Croatia has to be one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Its Adriatic coast is lined with shingle beaches and hidden coves leading to an inviting sea. There’s so much to explore in Croatia - islands, beaches and villages dotted all along the coastline. All of this comes with the warm welcome of the Croatians and their incredible food too.
Istria is the northern region of Croatia most famous for its beautiful coastline and turquoise sea. You could fill your entire holiday time on the coast and island hopping, but it’s well worth venturing inland too. Hilltop towns like Motovun and Oprtalj feel a bit like a Croatian version of Tuscany, but without the crowds. Go a bit further afield to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Plitvice Lakes and you’ll be more than rewarded with views of cascading waterfalls feeding the bright azure lakes.
If you’re more interested in architecture then visit the Roman amphitheatre in Pula, the capital of Istria, built in the first century AD - it’s one of only six still standing in the world. In Poreč the Euphrasian Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage site - no other in the world being this complete.
You can even travel over to Venice for the day and walk over the Rialto Bridge, wander around St Mark's Square and visit a basilica to rival Poreč’s.
And when it comes to food then Croatia comes into its own. You’ll find lots of Italian influences, but it’s a melting pot of cuisine from Hungary and central Europe, plus Turkey and Arabic countries. This means the food is unique, diverse and incredibly tasty. Plus if you like seafood then you’ll be in heaven. The expansive coastline dictates that seafood and fish are in abundance and, thanks to that, pretty cheap too. A “fish picnic” is a must for any first timers to Croatia. The local wines and beers are the perfect complement - especially on a hot day. Just watch out for homemade brandies – they taste lovely, but can be pretty strong.