The New Riviera
Backpacking in Croatia
It's easy in practical terms to backpack in Croatia. Backpacking in Croatia is on the rise and although the rail system outside of the capital is fairly basic, there is an excellent coach system around the country, well organised, generally reliable and also very cost effective. It is possible to survive on around €27 (approx. 200 Kuna) a day in Croatia, if you stay in hostels or camps. It is more likely to find private accommodation though. To save oneself the hassle of finding accommodation while backpacking in Croatia it is a good idea to book in advance. In the high season locals who have rooms for rent will wait for tourists to arrive at bus stations and will try to offer their rooms. It is advisable to look at the accommodation before committing to it.
Beach in Croatia
Croatia's main tourist attraction has always been its coastline. The Adriatic coast and islands are lined with amazing beaches, abounding in natural harbours, with its countless bays, ports and marinas. Croatia offers 1.778 kilometres (1.103 miles) of seaside and there are over 1.000 islands to pick from (66 inhabited) with a further 4.012 kilometres (2.487 miles) of seaside.
Croatian beaches are mostly pebbly, rocky and narrow so the coast certainly does not flourish with sandy beaches. However, due to the lack of sand, Croatia’s waters are some of the cleanest in the world, which contributes to a rising number of people choosing to go on a beach holiday in Croatia. Most official beaches in Croatia have lifeguards and numerous facilities from sports and water-sports facilities to catering facilities, parasols and beach chair rentals.
Whether you're looking for luxurious hotels, self-catering holidays or campsites, there are numerous Croatian beach holiday havens for visitors to choose from, that range from very affordable (€32) to very pricey (€1800).
Camping in Croatia
For people who want to be closer to nature during their time off, a camping holiday in Croatia is a good option with over 100 sites along the country’s coast alone. Most of the camps are situated on the seashore, near tourist centres and usually in stunning natural surroundings. Croatian camps are categorized with 1 to 4 star ratings. The standards are similar to those in the rest of Europe. Prices range between €20 and €45 per night for two people, 2 children, a caravan and a car. Most campsites are open from May to October but there are a large number of campsites that are open all year-round. Camps that are open all year-round must provide the necessary amenities (heated sanitary facilities, living areas and so forth). ‘Wild Camping’, camping outside of designated campgrounds in not permitted in Croatia.
City Breaks in Croatia
Although there are many beautiful towns in Croatia none of them offers the typical city break destination. One reason for this is the restricted flight connections in and out of the Country which make short breaks rather difficult. If you do find flights, Dubrovnik is a beautiful place to visit. It offers the best hotels in Croatia and its stunning old town, which is a UNESCO World heritage site, is definitely worth a visit. In the summer months there are many open-air concerts. It also offers many restaurants for all budgets.
The price for two people, staying three nights in a three 3 star hotel is around 300 Euros.
Cruises in Croatia
With its seemingly endless coast and lustrous islands, Croatia is popular cruise territory. There's hardly a better way to experience the culture and ecological diversity of Croatia's islands than on board a boat. There are many different options to cruise or sail around Croatia. Visitors can charter a yacht or sailboat, with or without a skipper or rent a cabin and take one of the many wonderful gulet cruise holidays that depart weekly from a number of Croatian ports. Visitors can choose from small motorboats to make short trips to local islands, to large, luxury yachts! There are also numerous day trips on offer taking you from coastal highlights like Split or Dubrovnik to surrounding islands. A traditional seven-day cruise with a navigator, including breakfast and lunch, costs around €500 per person. Most companies offer early booking discounts, so if you want a good price it is advisable to sign up at least 2 weeks in advance.
Culture and Arts in Croatia
Thanks to historic events and mixing of different cultures, Croatia has an abundance of cultural and historic monuments from different periods. There is clear influence of Mediterranean culture and one can marvel at numerous monuments from Ancient and Roman times, the Early Middle Ages and Romanesque heritage or see the impact of more modern historic events reflected in architecture and culture. There are numerous world famous prehistoric sites, old towns, fortifications and castles from the Late Middle Ages, as well as cultural monuments and buildings to experience. Museums such as Dubrovnik's Cultural Historical Museum, the City Museum of Split or Zagreb's Museum of Contemporary Art are well worth exploring and are cheap to visit at around €1 to €2 Euros per person.
Family Holiday in Croatia
If you would like to spend a family holiday in Croatia you have a choice of parks, campsites, hotels, villas, cottages and package tours. Whether you choose to stay in one of the country’s city centre resorts, or relax by the seaside, Croatia really has got something for every type of family. The 1,000 miles of coastline is literally covered with excellent safe, sandy, family-friendly beaches. The Adriatic, sandwiched between the back of the Italian boot and the Balkan coast, is a fabulous ocean for children as it is warm, clear, calm and safe for swimming. There are plenty of kids friendly hotels on offer, but private accommodation will usually be cheaper from around €200 per house/apartment and can be a more comfortable option for families. Active family holidays are also a great attraction for visitors to Croatia and there are great deals that enable families to combine a beach holiday with a big array of activities such as kayaking, mountain biking or climbing to name just a few.
Gay and Lesbian in Croatia
Since independence (in 1990) and the elections in 2000, the attitude towards homosexuality in Croatia has much has changed. The situation for gays and lesbians in Croatia has been improving rapidly. In recent years Croatia has become a popular holiday destination for gays and lesbians around the world. People are attracted to the hospitality of the small but welcoming and friendly gay community. Croatia’s Dalmatian coast has recently been included among the 10 best new gay & lesbian holiday destinations. Despite of that fact, discrimination against homosexuality does still exist in this predominantly catholic country.
Hen Destination in Croatia
Croatia is a great hen weekend destination. The country offers partygoers a fun filled, exciting night out but it is also perfect for those looking for a relaxing and tasteful holiday. There is plenty of entertainment to choose from in cafés with live music and clubs and bars, especially in busy towns such as Zagreb or Dubrovnic. Those who wish to be pampered can spend some time in a luxury hotel and take advantage of spa facilities. However, there is also a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets in all regions of Croatia.
Stag Destination in Croatia
More and more men are celebrating stag holidays instead of the traditional stag night. There are stag holidays in Croatia for all ages, tastes and budgets. Busy beach resorts with plenty of nightlife are the standard stag holiday choice, but luxury holidays and five-star holidays are also firm stag holiday favourites. Dubrovnik and Zagreb are the two favourite stag city destinations in Croatia. Croatia also offers organised Croatian stag weekends and holidays, for those who would rather not do too much planning themselves.
Disabled Needs in Croatia
Holidays for the disabled can be enjoyed in many locations around Croatia in holiday accommodation that has been specifically designed or adapted to be wheelchair friendly. Nowadays, it is much easier to book a holiday home for disabled people in Croatia due to increased awareness of the needs of the disabled and the importance of providing the means with which they can enjoy an independent and stress-free vacation. In fact, the whole family can enjoy a wheelchair friendly holiday in bed and breakfasts or self-catering apartments, villas and farmhouses.
Honeymoon in Croatia
Croatia is a beautiful small country situated on the Adriatic coast. It is known as the country of a thousand islands. If you have ever dreamt about being on a small island alone with someone, this is the place for you. Croatia is ideal for honeymooners who want to enjoy heavenly beaches but without being in the middle of large and noisy crowds as it may happen in other parts of the world. You can explore a remote island, relax on a deserted beach, or spoil yourself in one of Croatia’s luxury hotels. It is possible to find affordable package deals for a honeymoon in Croatia. There is a broad choice of accommodation throughout the Country.
Naturism in Croatia
Croatia was the first country in Europe to start with the concept of commercial naturist/naturism resorts. Besides more than 30 official naturism holiday resorts and beaches, there are numerous other unofficial naturism holiday beaches in Croatia. In addition to official naturist resorts and beaches, there are numerous other hidden little coves or bays, many of them reachable only by boat. Even on the clothed beaches in the area, it is common to see nude use. Whichever island or part of the coast you choose, you can be sure there will be plenty of nudist beaches to choose from. Naturism campsites and beaches in Croatia are indicated by ‘FKK’ signs however, there are also scores of unofficial strips.
Party Holiday - Singles Life in Croatia
Although not as infamous as the beach parties in and around Spain, Croatio too boasts some of the best beach parties in the Mediterranean. Croatia is not far from becoming a top destination for a cosmopolitan mix of "clubbers" and holidaymakers. There a many good party holiday locations in Croatia. Zrce beach, in Novalja on the island of Pag for example, is a popular summer resort, which hosts a beach with Ibiza sense. Another popular party holiday location is Porec, which also features more young people and more nightlife in terms of parties.
Couples Holiday in Croatia
If you wish to spend a romantic weekend with your loved one on the Croatian coast or the magical hinterland you are in the right place. You can explore a remote island, go on a sailing trip, relax on a deserted beach, or spoil yourself in one of Croatia's luxury hotels. There are many romantic Croatian holiday packages for Couples to choose from. Favourite romantic destinations are Dubrovnic, the area around the Plitvice Lakes and Krka River as well as Brijuni, Liznjan, Rovinj and Stoja.
Golf Activity Holiday in Croatia
Croatia isn't the first place one may associate with golf, but there's surely a boom coming. The number of golf courses in and around Croatia is increasing. Some examples are the new 18-hole layout at the Zagreb Country Club or Dolina Kardinala Golf & Country Club, located close to Karlovac. A brand new golf course has opened in Krasic, twenty miles from Zagreb near the town of Karlovac. Another Golf Course in Croatia is Pula Golf Club, which is a more upmarket golfing range, set on the Adriatic island of Brijuni. The ‘green fee’ per person for one day is around €30 and renting golf equipment costs around €20. Fine Croatian golf holiday packages are available, but of course visitors will also find plenty of other types of accommodation on offer conveniently situated for the keen golfer.
Skiing - Snow Boarding in Croatia
No one would argue that you should make Croatia your primary ski destination in Europe. Croatian mountains are not comparable with the Alps. Still, skiers will find the slopes easy to deal with and considerably cheaper compared with other European resorts. Mount Sljeme just outside Zagreb is the most conveniently located ski resort in one of Croatia's nature parks, Sljeme offers four ski runs, two ski-lifts and a triple chair lift. The runs offer skiing at nearly all levels: the White Run, Red Run, Green Run, Blue Run and Tree Run. Usually there's snow for about three months a year and the resort is easy to reach by tram and bus from Zagreb centre. Another option is the Croatian Olympic Center at Bjelolasica near Karlovac and then there's Platak, 26km northeast of Rijeka, which has seven ski runs and 10km of cross-country trails plus there's usually snow on the slopes until May.
Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Croatia
Undoubtedly the most attractive diving locations in the Adriatic are underwater cliff faces and reefs, caves and the wrecks of ships and aeroplanes. The Croatian landmass ranks among the most specific in the world. Dalmatia itself is full of caves, crevices, sink holes and channels. It is estimated that there are around 1500 underwater caves and holes still undiscovered in the Adriatic.
Today, the number of registered and licensed diving centres exceeds 100, with the largest number being located in Istria and Kvarner, and in the area of Central Dalmatia. There are various diving centres and clubs along the coast of Croatia. They organize diving courses for both, beginners and experienced divers as well as snorkelling courses for children. All courses are very affordable and highly professional. They also hire equipment and offer excursions in the most beautiful locations. Renting equipment cost about €60 (440 Kuna) for a day with additional costs of around €30 (220 Kuna) for being taken to the diving destination by boat.
It is important to note that there are zones where diving is prohibited even with individual permission. These are those zones under special protection by the Ministry of Culture, and diving in those areas may be allowed but only when accompanied by a diving guide from an authorized diving centre. A one-year fee of about €14 (100 Kuna) per year is charged for anybody choosing to go on a scuba diving holiday in Croatia.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Croatia
Hiking in general is a very popular activity in Croatia and there are many Croatian hiking holiday packages available. Easy rambling territory in inland Croatia is provided by wooded Mount Medvednica and the Samobor Hills. Higher altitudes and lengthier walks can be found in the Gorski kotar region, between Karlovac and the coast. On the Adriatic coast, Ucka, immediately above Opatija and Lovran, is one of the most easily accessible mountains, and can be safely bagged by reasonably fit hikers. The more challenging Velebit range’s main hiking areas are around the ZaviÅ¾an summit, near Senj, and the Paklenica National Park at Velebit's southern end. In Dalmatia, the major peaks are Kozjak and Mosor and the most challenging of all the Adriatic mountains, Biokovo. Ranges such as Gorski kotar and Velebit seem to invite extended expeditions, but unfortunately hut-to-hut walking in Croatia is still in its early stages and no local travel agencies arrange it. Mountain refuges (planinarski dom) run by local hiking associations do exist, but they're usually only open at the weekend, making anything longer than a 36-hour trek unfeasible.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Croatia
Cycling around Croatia is ideal for tourists who want to travel on a budget. A fantastic bonus for visitors on bike is that they can see those numerous destinations where cars are not even allowed. For those longer trips, other means of transport are of course available if needed. The Croatian Train network can be taken advantage of for those longer trips and ferries are available to get to islands. For those who don’t have their own bike, rentals are usually very cheap. There are also many Croatian Cycling holiday packages available. One of various trips on offer is a tour that starts on the Korcula Island and ends in the beautiful Dubrovnik countryside of Konavle. During 7 days visitors can explore the amazing island's coasts, medieval towns, old villages and lovely pebbled bays. The price for an eight day tour, excluding flights starts from €650 per person.
There are various levels of cycling routes available. There are day trips, 7-day trips or if you consider yourself a marathon rider you can always attempt to ride around the entire country.
Well-being and Spa in Croatia
Now, if you want to pamper yourself in the lap of luxury with good restaurants, impeccable service and the latest in relaxation techniques, you may want to head for a luxury hotel spa resort in Croatia. Faced with the problem of attracting visitors throughout all seasons and not just in the sunny summer months, Croatia's hotels have turned to the spa solution. Wellness is the motto as hotels build elaborate pools, Jacuzzis, saunas and contemporary health and fitness centres as well as focusing on the latest beauty treatments ranging from mud to aromas to seaweed and warm stones. The Croatian coast and islands are liberally sprinkled with Croatian well-being and spa holiday destinations. Generally, the thermal spas are located in northern or eastern Croatia and are simpler and cheaper with plenty of options for kids.
Touring - Driving holiday in Croatia
Road trips are normally associated with the great open roads of the USA, but travellers are also realising that Europe has plenty of amazing drives to offer.
Croatia has a new and expanding network of motorways connecting western, northern and north eastern Croatian borders with Zagreb and towns on Adriatic coast. Spectacular coastal scenery, mountain views, untouched 16th century towns and shipwrecks await the adventurous drivers willing to dig out some Europe's best driving routes. The most picturesque route in Croatia is definitely the Adriatic road (Jadranska magistrala), which connects Rijeka and Dubrovnik.
Wine Tasting Holiday in Croatia
Croatia boasts more than 300 geographically defined wine regions, which produce 67 percent white, 32 percent red and the remaining 1 percent rose wines. For such a small land, Croatia has produced more than its share of grapes, winemakers and wine. Current production is over 50 million bottles a year.
The coastal wine region runs along the Adriatic coast and includes Istria in the north and Dalmatia to the south. A multitude of islands and hillside slopes produce an endless array of microclimates dotted with small winegrowing estates.
There are cruises on offer that take you on a Mediterranean voyage including some of Croatia’s islands during which the wines of the visited regions are sampled. During a Dalmation wine tasting tour, you will visit Istria, Hvar, Korkula and Dubrovnic and take part in wine tastings in historical sites.
Sailing Activity Holiday in Croatia
Rated as one of the top sailing destinations in the world for 2009 and 2010, Croatia is an ideal destination for the sailing enthusiast. Croatia's many islands and towns fringing the Adriatic coast, most of which have marinas: more than 40 at last count, with almost as many companies offering cruises or yacht hire, make this the most ideal sailing trip for those not looking to travel too far out of Europe.