Vacation is the best medicine for the soul and body. Besides, it widens the horizons through new experience and knowledge; visiting an unexplored and attractive destination is the perfect getaway from everyday stress, re-charge, and having some needed "alone time" because there isn't a better thing than a cooling summer breeze in the late afternoon on a beautiful beach with a cocktail in your hands and a natural panoramic view right in front of you.
If you are already nervous because you haven't started planning your journey yet, let us tell you that you are in the right place to be. The first and most important thing is the choice of a destination and the suitable accommodation for vacation.
Like every summer season, with 2021 not excluded, Croatia is the top choice for many foreign and local guests. Travelers like coming here because Croatia is safe, quiet, and fun, making it one of the best destinations for summer vacation. There are many comparative advantages of choosing Croatia: untouched nature, crystal clear sea, pleasant hosts, culture, history, and gastronomy fitted perfectly in the Mediterranean-Balcanic mix that breathes hedonism, cheerfulness, and good company are the best invitations to any adventurist to come and enjoy a quiet holiday here.
Because of safety and comfort, Croatia is already written down on the bucket list of many world travelers. Why is that? Well, Croatia is an easily accessible, traffic-connected country with rich history and tourist offer, content, and activity adjusted to any guest that comes here. Also, the citizens of Croatia are hot, cheerful, and ready to help you with any of your needs. You can come by car, plane, or ship, it is well connected to the rest of the world and its inner parts, and it is considered one of the safest tourist destinations.
What Croatia has to offer as a holiday destination for a summer vacation?
The list of 10 destinations for a Croatian summer vacation is too small to describe the very best this country offers. The list isn't specified in any order, and every place on the list is true hidden gems that provide rich history, culture, and knowledge. No matter what destination you have chosen, you won"t regret it, and we guarantee you that!
With more than 1200 islands, cliffs, bays, and reefs, Croatia is the country with the most intended coastline on the Adriatic, making it an ideal holiday destination. That means you can choose the hottest destination and activities every year.
Because of the excellent climate and vegetation, this area has been inhabited since the time of the Antics. Today, many cities have been built on the ruins of Greek colonies like Vis, Hvar, and Trogir, or on the remains of the Roman empire like Zadar, Pula, Sisak, or Vinkovci. The last-mentioned is the oldest inhabited place in Europe, while Zadar is number 13 on that list!
There are 7 national parks in Croatia with the European "Amazon," the Plitvice lakes, as the main tourist attraction, 13 nature parks, and 8 monument-localities protected by UNESCO. And, more than 15 manifestations, events, and traditions have been protected as non-material cultural heritage!
A holiday destination that offers much more than sea, sun, and beaches
Also, Croatia is a country that offers much more than sea, sun, and beaches, although there are destinations with over 180 sunny days and more than 2000 hours of sun in a year what makes it a perfect summer break destination! Croatia is divided into 6 regions, and every one of them represents a unique cultural, historical, vegetational, and even a language circle. So, the more you explore, you will get to meet the heterogenous of this area created due to mixing different cultural and climate influences throughout history.
Every part of the country offers rich flora and fauna, specific dialect, architecture, art, and mentality of the people traveling through Croatia, a rich experience. Besides that, Croatia is suited for any guest, no matter if they are looking for a family stay, beach accommodation, or they want peace in a "Robinson Crusoe" type of accommodation.
Croatia is a place of fine wine, dining, and relaxation. The mixture of different cultures is seen in the local cuisine as a combination of Italian cuisine in the south and the German-Austrian. Besides the fish and meat offer, every piece of land has its local treats and autochthonous products you need to try out!
And as every tourist destination, Croatia cares and cherishes its tradition, so there won't be cultural, social, sports, and other activities that will entertain anybody who comes here during summertime.
Pary animal, adrenaline lover, or a family stay? Croatia as a destination has everything!
From the continental parts of untouched nature to the beautiful green lowlands, you will find the specific mix of the Balcans, Mediterranean, and Middle Europe that makes Croatia such a specific and unique destination to visit. To make it easier for you, we have made a list of 10 locations that will leave you breathless and fulfill your idea of a perfect vacation. Because, who doesn't want to relax in accommodation right next to the beaches, in a thousand years old surrounding, and enjoy the very best local gastronomy offer and friendly atmosphere? So, buckle up; we are on the way!
Top 10 destinations for a perfect summer vacation in Croatia
One of the most stunning rivieras on the Mediterranean, located between two top tourist destinations, Split and Dubrovnik, is the 60 kilometers long Makarska riviera. With the combination of sea and mountains, historical findings, and untouched nature, this part of Dalmatia often carries Croatian "Côte d'Azur." However, the heart of the Riviera is its biggest city - Makarska.
With Brela, Baška Voda, Podgora, and Tučepi, Makarska is considered the most popular destination in Croatia. The tourism tradition is cherished here for almost a century. In this area, the importance of tourism is concluded in a statue dedicated to travelers built in 2004, on the locals' initiative. That spirit is felt in the traditional Dalmatian konobas, where you can try the very best local wine, natural juices, and fish and meal delicacies. Don't forget to try out the Makarana cake, which is the authentic taste of Dalmatia and summer in every sense of the word!
The city of Makarska is located between the Saint Peter peninsula and the Osejava cape and is filled with historical and cultural artifacts. One of them is the 500 years old monastery, the Church of Saint Marcus on the main square, and the unique Clams and Shell Museum. After all-day swimming and visiting, it is time to relax the unique summer vibe on the Riva or Kalelarga, where you will find a souvenir for yourself and rewind and enjoy.
Riviera is known for its wide variety of accommodation, Blue flag beaches, adrenaline tourism in the Biokovo mountain area, and archeological findings in the old cities core. That is why Makarska is considered the pearl of the Riviera and the Riviera itself the gem of Croatian tourism. Taste of sea, a taste of mountains is a motto in this area, so you should try it out this summer!
Omiš is the right destination for this year's summer vacation if you want to see and feel the mixture of Mediterranean, sea, mountains, and rivers in one place. Besides, only in Omiš will you find elements of an urban city and a small Dalmatian pitoresce place. This real miracle of nature is located in the estuary of river Cetina in the Adriatic sea and is surrounded by three mountains: Mosor, Biokovo, and the Omiš Dinarids! Because of that, it was an unconquerable fortress in the past that offers a panoramic view of all-natural phenomena of this area in one place.
You can enjoy the view from the Fortica castle built in the 15th century, located a short walk from the city center. Besides its fisherman and military history, Omiš offers its visitors the pirate fortress Mirabella built in the city center in the 13th century. Every year, to cherish that long-forgotten times is held the Pirate Night in Omiš to reconcile the legendary battle with Venice, a top cultural event in Croatia.
Besides fortresses and castles, the city center has located the Church of Saint Michael, the hub of summer cultural life and a capella singing protected by UNESCO. In that honor, every year is organized the "Klapa" festival of a capella singing is a top cultural event in Croatia.
We recommend rafting on the Cetina river that goes through the Radman mills and offers a mixture of recreation and sightseeing for adrenaline lovers. Also, Omiš is close to Split and Makarska, filled with clean and untouched beaches like Krila Jesenice, Marušići, and Stanići, so its ideal for short one-day field trips, but also as a destination for a longer stay. Because, booking accommodation in Omiš, you will have Dalmatia on the palm of your hand!
3.Opatija - definition of summer vacation in Croatia
The definition of tourism, luxury, and total leisure on vacation in Croatia is Opatija. With over 150 years old tradition of warm hospitality and rich offer, have made this place into a top European summer break destination. In Croatian "Hollywood," you will meet the biggest celebrities, but also families with children, romantic couples, solo travelers, and backpackers. That is why you can find a wide variety of accommodation units and content available on the Riviera.
The spirit of old times is felt just strolling through Opatija, full of monuments and buildings that date back to Austro-Hungarian times. Opatija was a favorite winter destination for nobles and the emperor himself and was a day-care center from where the tourist story of Opatija was created. That is why this city carried the title of "Vienna on the sea." The witness of that time is the villa Angelina, Tourism Museum, and many spa and Wellness centers that carry on the tradition of tourism in Opatija.
The central locality in Opatija is the Church and monastery of Saint Jacob from the 15th century that gave the name to the city. During your stay, have a stroll through the 12 kilometers long Lungomare that connects all the pearls of Kvarner - from Voloski to Lovran. In the meantime, enjoy a coffee and a piece of cake in one of the many pastry and coffee shops that made Opatija famous. Don"t forget to take a picture with Opatijka, the statue of a girl with a seagull which is a "must-see" monument in this area.
Walking through the city, you will find the Croatian Famous street with written names of the most famous Croatia. After that, visit the probably most decorated city park in Croatia - Angiolina park filled with more than 150 vegetational types from all over the world. Today, the Japanese Kamelija is the symbol of the town.
For total peace, take a swim in the Mošćenićka Draga, visit Ičići and Medeja, book accommodation, and become a part of the longest and richest tourist story in Croatia. Also, don't forget to try out some of the fish specialties caught in the aquatory of Opatija.
On our biggest peninsula, green Istria is located in the city of Rovinj. Because of its beauty, history, and truly romantic atmosphere, this city carries the titles of the Istrian "pearl" and the "most beautiful city in Croatia." It is right next to the Italian border and just a couple of hours away from Germany and Austria. It is available by plane, car, and ship, so Rovinj is the top destination for short field trips and vacations from the inner parts of Europe.
The old city core of Rovinj is located on a small peninsula where it is forbidden to use cars. It is considered that traces of life date back to the Bronze era, which is witnessed in the locality of Monkodonja. It is an ideal destination because of its many sunny days, warm climate, and top gastronomy and accommodation offer. To introduce yourself to the fisherman tradition of this place, visit the ecomuseum Batana dedicated to the little boat that fed most of the locals back in the day.
Rovinj has many beautiful churches and pitoresce houses that create an idyllic picture of a romantic coastal town. In the city center, there are three streets, Carrera and Bregovita street, known for little shops and stores, and Grisia street that is transformed every summer in a plato for street performers. While you are there, don"t forget to visit manifestations like "Žminjski Bartulji" and the festival of dance and non-verbal theatre in the medieval "Svetvinčenat."
For a top selfie, climb to the top of the Church of Saint Euphemia, from where you can enjoy the view of the Rovinj archipelago of 19 islands. The church is built as a replica of Saint Marcus church in Venice, just like the eldest town. Next, explore the neighboring Red Island with untouched beaches, a garden with more than 120 plant types, and dive into the wreck of the Baron Gautsch ship.
From Rovinj, you can easily and fastly come to Pula, Poreč, or Rijeka. So, you can plan a one or two-week summer vacation filled with different events, localities, and unexplored destinations and locations.
5. Continental destination - Plitvice Lakes and Rastoke
The most known tourist attraction in Croatia with a worldwide reputation is the Plitvice lakes, a true natural heaven on Earth. For its appearance, this waterfall system is called the Croatian "Niagara falls." Plitvice Lakes is the oldest Croatian national park that is a part of the UNESCO list since 1979.!
This natural phenomenon is located in the heart of Lika and the continental parts of Croatia. It is filled with nature parks, national parks, rivers, and lakes. Because of that, Lika has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Located halfway between sea and land, Plitvice is ideal for short field trips no matter what destination you decide to choose in Croatia. More than 60% of the whole area is under special protection. This specific ecosystem is located in the national parks Plitvice lakes, Paklenica, North Velebit, Nature-park Velebit, Rastoke, and the Memorial center dedicated to one of the biggest minds ever, Nikola Tesla.
Plitvice lakes consist of small 16 turquoise overflowing lakes that create a memorable picture for their visitors. The beautiful green and blue surround the lakes discovering the full richness of vegetation and animal wildlife you can see during your visit. Besides the Upper and Lower Lakes, we recommend visiting the Great Waterfall, the biggest one in Croatia!
Take one of many bicycle or mountain climbing tours and use this summer for family, adrenaline, and sports activities. Also, in the nearby area of Plitvice, you can visit animal shelters for birds, wolves, and bears and beautiful botanic gardens with endemic types and healing plants.
While visiting Plitvice, don"t forget to stop by to Rastoke, the untouched natural monument. This "Little Plitvice" is where the river Slunjčica is interflowing in the river Korana over sedre barriers. Because of that natural sensation, in Rastoke, you can find many tiny lakes, slopes, and rivers. Also, Rastoke is full of mills that date back to the Middle Ages; you must visit during your stay.
6.Čiovo / Trogir
In the 3rd century B.C., on the shore of the Adriatic coast in the Kaštela bay arrived the Greek colonization from the island of Vis. There they founded Tragurium, one of the oldest preserved remains of Ancient civilization in Croatia. 2400 years later, on the foundations of that old culture, with pride stands the city of Trogir. It is a tourist pearl and the town with the best-preserved Romano-gotic city core in Croatia. That is why UNESCO has protected the whole city center since 1997.!
Just arriving in Trogir will leave you breathless and takes you back to the Old-time since the whole city is a large museum. Because of that, Trogir is a must-have checkpoint if you're visiting Middle Dalmatia. Also, it is close to other tourist destinations what makes Trogir ideal for a summer vacation. Right next to Trogir is the beautiful Čiovo, which offers beautiful beaches, historical artifacts and sacral objects, rich cultural and social program that makes it ideal for a family, and a party vacation.
Close to Trogir, just a few kilometers away, are located the little pitoresce places Okrug Gornji and Donji, Slatine, Marina, and many others. They offer clean sea, Blue flag beaches, archeological foundings, and activities for all guests. Also, just half an hour away is Split, connected with all the places in the Riviera with regular city bus lines.
While visiting Trogir, don"t forget to visit the castle Kamerlengo, Master Radovan"s portal, castle Ćipiko, Cathedral of St. Lawrence, and the statue of Kairos that dates back to the 3rd century B.C. Or, you can enjoy the beautiful city core and treat yourself to coffee and ice cream. In Trogir, every stone, every stone, tells its own story and opens up a new page of the town's mysterious history. So, this summer, choose Riviera Trogir as your next summer destination!
Visiting the southern parts of Croatia is a memorable experience for all guests. This area is loved by local and foreign guests and by car and plane travelers. South Dalmatia is a top tourist destination, and Dubrovnik, its biggest city, is the most famous tourist promotor of Croatia for more than a century.
But, the south of Dalmatia isn't only Dubrovnik, Cavtat, or Mljet. Just mentioning these names associates people on Game of Thrones, the world-known Dubrovnik walls, Greek and Roman colony Epidaurus that prove traces of life older than 2500 years and our green island protected by the UNESCO, South Dalmatia has hidden gems that are gladly waiting for new visitors.
Pelješac - destination full of misteries
Exactly halfway between Split and Dubrovnik is located the second biggest peninsula, Pelješac. This peninsula is known for a couple of things. First of all, for its top wine Pošip and Plavac Mali, and wine tours. So, while visiting, besides wine tasting, you can treat yourself to the finest Dalmatian delicacies like prosciutto, cheese, fish, and meat.
On the peninsula of Pelješac is located the saltmaking factory of Ston, one of the oldest in the world, which traditional way of production has been kept to today's time. In Ston, you can visit the Ston Walls, which once protected the Dubrovnik Republic and was once the second longest wall in the world, right behind the Great Wall of China. Meet the clam-making tradition and try out oysters called kamenice and the Maloston cake for a local experience.
On Pelješac are located one of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches like Prapratne from where you can head out to Mljet, Jezera, or Žuljane. In addition, there are pitoresce places like Orebić, Trpanj, and Viganj, which is a top windsurfing destination in the surrounding.
Ancient history in modern ambient - summertimes in Korčula
The island of Korčula is, in comparison to all of the mentioned beautiful places, probably the most authentic area of South Dalmatia. The island of towers and fortresses, rich history, culture, tradition, top wine, and olive oil will pleasure the appetites of every guest. The biggest city on the island is Korčula, built in a shape of a fishbone for wind protection, allegedly the home of Marko Polo. In addition, you can bathe on the Banje beach, visit the City Museum, the Bishops palace, and 8 castles with the Great Revelin, the most famous one.
While visiting, definitely try out the wine Pošip, local treats, sandy beaches, and the antic vineyards of Lumbarda. For nature lovers, we recommend the protected reserve Kočje and the most beautiful Croatian beach in 2007. - Proizda and the Istruga beach. While you"re at Korčula, meet the medieval dancing games of Moreška and Kumpanija, the most wonderful summer stage of the island! Because of all mentioned, Korčula is the top summer destination in Croatia!
8. Kvarner - tourist pearl of Croatia
On the area protected by Continental Croatia on one side, and the blue Adriatic with the greenlands of Istria on the west is hidden the Kvarner region. The main focal point is Rijeka, the third biggest Croatian city and the biggest transit harbor in Croatia... Rijeka is famous for its carnival, the Trsat sanctuary, the oldest in the country and considered the center of urban culture, rock and roll, and art. That is why Rijeka carried the title of European capital of culture in 2020.!
Next to Kvarner is Gorski Kotar with Risnjak national park, which got the name after the protected wild cat that lives in those areas, North Velebit, and the Plitvice Lakes national parks. On Kvarner, every place tells its own story. Kraljevica is famous for its rich history. Novi Vinodolski is a natural borderline with Dalmatia, a known wine destination, and Senj, a city known for wind bura and rich history, are just some of the hidden gems of Kvarner.
But, the most known tourist attractions are the Kvarner islands like Krk, Rab, Cres, and Lošinj. On the Krk island, you can swim in one of 14 Blue flag beaches, explore Croatian history through the Baška Plaque - the oldest document of Croatian literacy and visit the home of the Frankopan noble family. Besides that, be sure to ride on the Krk bridge to enjoy this area's most stunning natural panoramic view!
The island of Rab has so much to offer that even a one-week vacation won"t be enough to cover everything. In the city of Rab, there are 4 belltowers and a couple of monasteries and fortresses that tell the tale of the ancient history of Rab. Island is full of clean beaches like Supetarska Draga, Lopara, and Rajska Plaža. Also, there is a big oak forest that the UNESCO protects. Don't forget to visit some social events like the Rapska fjera, Fisherman night, and Saint Christopher"s day to experience that true local feeling.
Meet the biggest aquatorium of the Adriatic during your vacation in Croatia
The most famous destinations on Kvarner are a part of the Cres-Lošinj circle of islands. They cover more than 500 square kilometers of feet, making up almost 20% of the whole Adriatic aquatory! The bridge connects Cres and Lošinj in a place called Osor. Cres is also the biggest Croatian island that has a lot to offer to its guests.
Cres is mainly built in Venice architecture style, seen in many castles, fortresses, and towers on the island. On the island is located the Valun tablet, one of the oldest documents on Latin and old-Croatian. The islands are full of sacral objects and historical artifacts, while every place on the islands is entering the time machine to some old, forgotten times.
Natural phenomena you will witness on the Cres island are the Vransko lake and rich biodiversity that includes one of the last habitats of Griffon Vultures in Croatia. Visit Lubenice and Bele beach and swim in the beautiful sea, explore the labyrinth of Tramuntana, walk around the Osor city walls and this summer, choose Cres!
Why choose Lošinj as your next summer destination?
For total peace, leisure, and enjoyment in the richest tastes, smells, and beautiful views, we recommend the choice of Lošinj. This summer destination is divided into Mali and Veli Lošinj that are as much similar as they are different from one another. This is the home of rich flora and fauna, with over 150 plant types, and is a habitat of dolphins, macaklin lizards, and the griffon vulture.
In Mali Lošinj discover the statue of Apoksiomen from 1st century B.C., the love tower on Silbi, and the remains of a rich sailing history that is seen on every part of the island. Lošinj is a paradise for adventurists, romantic couples, hedonists, and the ones in love! Besides that, it is the winner of the "Grey flower" award for high life quality on the island.
There are more than a thousand types of aromatic plants and many endemic plants on the island. Many of them you can try on local taverns or at the Aroma festival in July. Don"t forget to buy the most nicely smelling souvenir that is going to enrich your everyday kitchen.
One of the destinations that are truly for any guest is Pag island. This island is known as a party destination that carries Croatian "Ibiza" and the Hvar island. However, the party never stops, and during festival season, travelers all across the world come to Pag.
But, Pag is also fitted for families with children, adventurists, and nature lovers. The island has one of the oldest salt-making factories globally, where the traditional way of production has been kept to today's time. Besides that, introduce yourself to the famous Pag lace on the UNESCO non-material list of cultural heritage. Be sure to try out the authentic lamb and cheese, which are some of the best in the world!
On the island, Pag, you will get to meet the remains of the Croatian "Atlantides," take a look at the City Museum with the artifacts of hand made aqueducts older than 2000 years old, and get to meet the mysteries of the Pag Triangle, which was interesting even to the UFO followers.
Best comes last. The final list is the "Mediterranean flower," and the second biggest city in Croatia, Split. It is a destination older than 1700 years which whole city center is under UNESCO protection, in which the locals still live. It is even possible to find accommodation in the palace itself!
Split is the heart and pearl of Middle Dalmatia, and you can come to it by plane, car, or ship. It is ideal for one-day field trips on the nearby islands like Brač, Hvar, Šolta, national parks Krka or Paklenica, or to visit the Makarska Riviera, Zadar even Dubrovnik. During your stay, visit Marjan, the untouched forest park on the vulcanic Peninsula, which is ideal for swimming, recreation, and learning about the history and culture of the town.
While visiting the Palace, the summer residency of the retired Roman emperor Diocletian, don"t forget to take a picture of the statue of Gregory of Nin and pull his thumb for good luck, visit Peristil - the biggest summer stage of the Diokletians nights, Prokurative, the Egyptian sfings and the Cathedrale of Saint Domnius, the protector of the town.
In the nearby area of Split, the medieval tower of Klis successfully protected the city from enemies. Today is known as a Game of Thrones scene, the remains of Salona locality - the biggest Greek colony on the Adriatic and the historical localities in Žrnovnica and Podstrana.
Destination Croatia - it's summertime! Start planning right away!
Although we made a detailed list of the top 10 destinations for the summertime in Croatia in 2021, we have to say that we left many places on the list. Cities like Poreč, Zagreb, Zadar, Dubrovnik, and the island of Hvar and Brač are just some of many top summer destinations visited by hundreds of thousands travelers from all around the world.
Now that you have all the needed information, it is time to move yourselves and pick your summer destination right - now! All you need to do is visit the Adriatic.hr official website, choose your destination and accommodation unit, grab special amenities and offers and start planning right away!
We wish you a pleasant, carefree, and by all, safe and fun summer!
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