If It’s good enough for the Beckhams, it’s good enough for us. From the crystal clear Adriatic to famous GoT scenes and the best beaches in Europe, here are ten highly persuasive reasons to visit Croatia’s beautiful coast
1. The Adriatic sea is the nicest sea in Europe
Sorry Med, pardon us Baltic, apologies Irish, but you’re just not as nice as the Adriatic. Crystal clear, swimming pool temperatures, and a distinct lack of things that will eat you, make this Europe’s finest body of water. Whether you want to swim, kayak, party on a boat, or just stare at it from shore, the Adriatic makes the Croatian coast an aquatic dream.
2. Loads of people get murdered there – but in a good way (huh?)
Seriously, it’s a bloodbath. In the last few years, there have been poisonings, sword fights – one poor guy got shot with a crossbow by his own son while taking a crap on the toilet. The good news is, it’s all in the name of entertainment: Croatia’s coast is the setting for some of the most famous Game of Thrones scenes, with Dubrovnik the alter ego of the show’s political epicentre King’s Landing and its wonderfully tasteless Iron Throne.
3. Croatian wine might be the nicest you’ve never tried
Thanks to some fun-loving ancient Greeks, wine has been made in Croatia about as long as it’s been made in France. The fact that it’s not as globally renowned at some of its European cousins means that you can get some top class vino for not many Kunas. The island vineyards, in particular, produce some very ‘individual’ (in a good way) wines.
4. It’s full of ‘middle-class crack’
Not content rivalling Italy for wine, Croatia also rivals — some might say better — its neighbour for fresh truffles and truffle oil. That most sought-after of funghi is grown in the region of Istria and the Croatian crop is a favourite of top chefs the world over, not to mention the kitchens of well-to-do people who have left behind illegal substances for oily substances.
Everything you’ll need for your Croatian getaway:
5. The bit that isn’t the coast
The river Cetina is like a beautiful, natural theme park ride zooming through the Croatian countryside. There are dense forests, rugged canyons and imposing valleys, and visitors can hurtle among them using the river’s current. There are more conventional ways to reach the Adriatic coast, but why drive when you can go by rubber tube?
6. They like to party party
Beating the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany, the Croats rank 20th in the world for alcohol consumption per capita — and boy do they like to use that buzz. The country is a paradise for festival-goers, while the cities are full of options for some serious revelry. The cherry on the cake of any night out is literally that: mascharino, a sweet cherry liqueur and Croatian speciality.
7. They have the best sunsets
Honestly, it’s like Croatia has been set up just to watch the sunset. The tall, rocky coastline is like a grandstand where you can sit and stare west across – bar the odd low-lying island – an uninterrupted view of the Adriatic as the sun dips down behind it. And it does this every day. And what do you do when the sun goes down? Have a sundowner, of course.
8. The beaches are immense
From remote pebble crescents surrounded by pine trees to honey-coloured coves you can only access by boat, the best beaches in Croatia will blow your mind. Find the right spot and you’ll be rewarded with postcard-perfect views, plus a café or two nearby for cheap, excellent beer and BBQ seafood. But more to the point, many beaches in Croatia are still small and local enough that you’ll feel immediately at home. These chilled neighbourhood hangouts don’t require you to elbow through a three-deep throng of tourists just to bag a sunbed, which is a win in itself.
9. Did we mention the islands?
Yep; alongside its superior seas and bask-worthy beaches, Croatia does a rather fine line in islands. Brač, Korčula, Veliki Brijun: each has its own distinct character well worth exploring through a time-honoured dose of island-hopping. Hvar – hailed as the St Tropez of Croatia – is a must-try. At once glamorous and historic, its hillside fortress town is dotted with boutiques, bars and tucked-away gardens. As a bonus, you can arrive by catamaran from Split.
10. Even the mud is healing
As if beautiful beaches, fine wines and wow-worthy sunsets weren’t enough, Croatia even has therapeutic mud. The bay of Istruga on Korčula island is known for the peloid sea mud that lines the shallowest part of the water. Used medicinally since Roman times, the mineral-rich clay is thought to soothe skin complaints and rheumatic conditions. A treatment supervised by on-site staff includes bathing and swimming for a natural spa experience.
You can experience all this and more on our new five-night group trip. Experience the beauty of coastal Croatia – book now and secure your Insider spot.