I have not told the half of what I saw.
Marco Polo, explorer, born in Croatia
Endless Roman ruins, romantic Venetian towns and Byzantine churches. Sun-bleached hills descending to cobalt blue seas, which in turn straddle a coast dotted with picturesque isles. Inland meanwhile, limestone caverns, river canyons, splendid waterfalls and picturesque lakes will leave you dazzled. And if that is not enough, come and find out why Croatian wines and olive oils are making a mark on the world stage.
When to go
The best time to visit Croatia is from the middle of March through October. If you wish to swim in the Adriatic, choose the summer months from mid-May to mid-September.
Marble streets, baroque buildings, ancient city walls and the azure waters of the Adriatic always in the background - what is not to love about Dubrovnik?
Forests, fields, vineyards and small villages, along with two beautiful salt water lakes were attractive enough to keep Odysseus here for seven years. How long will you stay?
The glorious old town of Korčula sits on the edge of the island by the same name. Small sandy beaches, hidden coves, wineries that make world-class white wines, olive groves and sleepy villages await you here.
Dancing with sabers
Deeply rooted in Korčula's culture, the Moreška Sabre dance is a spectacle to behold. The men go at it until their knuckles bleed!
Stunning Gothic palaces, winding pedestrianized marble streets, a lovely square on an old Venetian harbour, all surrounded by city walls and lorded over by a medieval castle. Then there are the beautiful beaches further down the island's coast - Hvar is a must-see!
Sleepy villages, steep cliffs and one spectacular pebble beach - that is the island of Brač in a nutshell.
Split & Diocletian Palace
The UNESCO protected Palace of Diocletian in Split must be one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments. Take ca ferry to and from the city and admire the spectacular setting of the city, hemmed in as it is between mountains and sea.
Beautifully set within its city walls, tiny Trogir is a town you walk across in less than 10 minutes. Then you realize the town is a treasure trove of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture, and has a magnificent cathedral, along with some great restaurants and bar. Now you're hooked...
Plitvice National Park
Stunning waterfalls and cascades link a series of crystal-clear lakes in the karst landscapes of Plitvice. Wooden footbridges and pathways take you on a delightful walk while butterflies dart all around you.
Croatia's capital, with its Austro-Hungarian architecture, cafes, museums, galleries and theatres is a hotbed of gastronomy, culture, arts and music. Don't miss out on the Museum of Broken Relationships!
Somewhat of a hidden gem, Zadar has Roman ruins, medieval churches, lively cafes and great museums all set on a small peninsula a little north of Split. Check out the unique Sea Organ and Sun Salutation while you are here.
The pretty town town of Rovinj, in the far north, is a maze of cobbled streets and squares, centred on the old fishing harbour, where early mornings are abuzz with fishermen landing their catch.
Walk the Walls
Walk the old Venetian walls of Dubrovnik to get a different vantage point of this beautiful town. Discover why it has been dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic".
Kayak the sea
A true Croatian experience is to kayak the azure blue waters, pulling in to some forgotten cove, enjoy the beach or perhaps take a walk up to a sleepy village or hidden winery.
Explore falls and lakes
Stunning waterfalls and cascades link a series of crystal-clear lakes in the karst landscapes of Plitvice. Wooden footbridges and pathways take you on a delightful walk while butterflies abound.
Feel like a Venetian
The Dalmatian Coast was once part of the empire of Venice, a trading empire stretching all over the eastern Mediterranean. Dozens of towns still dot the landscape, towns in which you can step back in time and imagine what it was like to be a Venetian sailor. Some say Marco Polo was born here...
Romancing the town
With dozens of pretty towns lining the coast, it is hard not to feel romantic. Great restaurants, warm summer nights and stunning settings all help to create a magical atmosphere.
Straddling two culinary traditions - that of seafood and that of Central Europe, Croatia has plenty of good soul food on offer. Try some home-cured ham, schnitzel, beef cooked in wine and prunes or grilled fish served with Swiss chard, boiled potatoes and garlic.
While plenty of well-known varietals are cultivated in Croatia, it is the home-grown grapes that are worth exploring. Babić and Plavac Mali (a distant cousin of Zinfandel) make excellent reds, while Pošip and Rukataca make wonderful white wines.
Sail the coast
There is nothing quite like being out on deck as you sail along the mountainous coast of Dalmatia. Follow in the wake of old Venetian traders, and feel like you come home as you enter the harbour of an old stone town.
See the sun set
Whether you are on the island of Hvar, or enjoying the sound-and-light effects of the famous Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ art installations in Zadar, Croatian sunsets are simply gorgeous.
Join Croatians in their passion for drinking coffee and pick up a strong espresso in one of the ubiquitous cafes.
Hit the beach
South is where you want to be to hit a spot of glorious sand. Bačvice beach, a shallow bay in Split, and numerous beaches on the islands of Brač and Hvar are some of the best.
Bike the backroads
Quiet country roads take you between seaside villages, tiny medieval towns and lovely bays. This is a country made for cycling.
Hike the hills
Croatia's coast and islands, the beautiful towns and near-perfect national parks make for stunning hiking country.
Tour code: ECCR
Why we love this trip: Our best-selling cycling holiday visiting the best of Croatia's stunning Dalmatian coast. We also offer a combination cycling and cruising itinerary - contact us for details.
Places visited: Hvar, Korčula, Mljet, Peljesac peninsula, Dubrovnik
Signature Experiences: walk the Walls, feel like a Venetian, romancing the town, glorious food, glorious wine, see the sun set, coffee culture, hit the beach, bike the backroads
Length: 8 days
Accommodation: 7 nights in 2-3 star hotels, all with en suite facilities
Included meals: all breakfasts
Transport: bike, ferry, van
Departures: Set small-group dates between April and October; daily departures for private groups
Customizable? we can tailor this tour for private groups - price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $1275
Highlights of the Balkans
Tour code: GHOB
Why we love this trip: a great discovery showing the best of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro
Places visited: Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, Mostar, Sarajevo, Kotor, Dubrovnik
Signature Experiences: walk the walls, explore falls and lakes, feel like a Venetian, romancing the town, glorious food, glorious wine, see the sun set, coffee culture, hit the beach, hike the hills
Length: 12 days; an 8 day version exists, please contact us for details
Included meals: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch,
Transport: Private minivan, walking, bus, boat
Departures: Set small-group dates between June and September and daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $2999
Cruise Croatia's islands
Tour code: XCCI
Why we love this trip: a great cruise showing the highlights and lesser-known sights of Croatia's south coast. We also offer a combination cycling and cruising itinerary - contact us for details.
Places visited: Trogir, Hvar, Vis, Korčula, Peljesac Peninsula, Brač
Signature Experiences: walk the walls, kayak the sea, feel like a Venetian, romancing the town, glorious food, glorious wine, sail the coast, see the sun set, coffee culture, hit the beach
Length: 8 days
Accommodation: 7 nights simple boat
Included meals: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport: Boat, Taxi
Departures: set small-group dates between June and September
Customizable? we can run this tour for private groups - price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $1390