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Top Destinations for 2015: Croatia

12th January 2015

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Croatia has become a wildly popular holiday spot over the last decade, and rightly so. With numerous summer festivals, over 1,000 islands to explore (and a surplus of boats readily available to take you to them), some of the Adriatic’s best hidden beaches, dramatically ancient cities, thriving cultural life and home-grown food and wine, it’s a country that takes the best of two classic countries (Greece and Italy) and throws them together to create one beautiful, unique nation – one that you can visit all year round.

Where to go

In the south, the Dalmatian coast is dotted with some of Europe’s most picturesque beaches, as well as some of the continent’s best party islands – from Hvar, in the shadow of an imposing Venetian fortress with eye-popping views, to Pag, which boasts the longest coastline in Croatia, to Brač, 50 minutes from Split and the largest of all the Dalmatian islands.

Your trip down the Dalmatian coast can start in Zadar (sometimes named as boasting the best sunset in the world), take in historic Split, where the old walls of Diocletian’s Palace loom large and now hold an endless number of winding alleyways and hidden treasures within, and end in Dubrovnik – a city where you can kayak around the city walls by night and party inside them by night at Revelin, a club built within the ancient ruins.

Further north, you can get your culture fix in Zagreb – a capital city that boasts more museums and galleries than hotels. Why not start your fix at the utterly unique Museum of Broken Relationships, which you access via a funicular that whisks you above the city’s rooftops in seconds?

When you need a break from the culture, head out to Plitvice National Park – little more than an hour outside Zagreb, the Park is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls that you can find anywhere in Europe, all connected by lakes and accessible via boardwalks.

What to do

Experience the last ever Garden Festival

Cheap tickets, guaranteed sun, unique locations and endless variety mean that Croatia has become a haven for festival goers over the past few years. 2015 will see the first established, Garden Festival in Tisno, bow out after ten incredible years – so this really is your last chance to party on a boat whilst imbibing summer dance sounds. Going out with a bang!

Step onto the set of Game of Thrones

As series five of Game of Thrones kicks off on HBO and Sky Atlantic in April, so too will the summer tourist season in Dubrovnik – one of the show’s primary filming locations. And with flights to the southern tip of Croatia opening up from the end of the month, fans of Westeros can visit the dramatically walled city (otherwise known as King’s Landing) whilst seeing it come to life on their screens.

Jump onto a Hyroplane and go island hopping

Introduced in late summer 2014, Croatia’s hydroplanes are set to play a huge role in the country’s island tourism this year. Croatia’s mainland is complimented by more than 1,000 islands, and the Hydroplanes can hop you from capital Zagreb to pretty Pula to party capital Hvar, as well as to Zadar, Rab, Jelsa, Dubrovnik, Lastovo, Vis and Korčula. They run all year round, too, so it’s not a problem if you find yourself in Croatia after the summer is over...  

Visit all year round!

Croatia isn’t just a summer destination – in fact, the tourist board want you to know that it can be visited throughout the year. Cities including Zagreb should be your first choice if you’re visiting outside of the peak summer season, and if you’re looking for a autumnal or pre-Christmas break to top off the year we’d highly recommend checking out the Advent scene in Croatia’s capital city. The cosy restaurants and home-cooked food are never going to disappoint.

See our full list of top destinations for 2015 here.

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