Why Croatia is the Perfect European Destination

If I was to ask you what you thought were Europe’s most popular destinations, you’d probably say London, Barcelona, Paris, or Berlin. And you’d probably be right. But Europe’s youngest member, joining in 2013, has arrived on the scene with a point to prove, and I can promise you that what Croatia has to offer you will not disappoint.

When travelling across Europe myself, Croatia was never quite in my plans. However, almost every fellow traveller I encountered encouraged me to end my trek in it’s coastal cities, promising that I wouldn’t regret it. And I didn’t. Croatia boasts an incredible assortment of allures, many of which I quickly realised couldn’t be found in some of Europe’s most popular city breaks that I had visited…

 

Like a selection of 8 National Parks, for instance, with sapphire waterfalls and breathtaking natural views..

Lake Plitvice, Croatia

Lake Plitvice, Croatia

The most visited is Lake Plitvice (1.2 million visits per year), which consists of 16 stunning interconnected lakes. Close second is Krka (800,000 visits), which despite its smaller size, allows you to swim within the glorious turquoise waterfalls. Seriously, a must do!

 

Or the growing list of music festivals hosted in some of Croatia’s coastline cities…

Outlook Festival, Split

www.thefestivalhunter.com

With Ultra Europe and Outlook being fan favourites. Croatia’s coast offers a festival experience completely different to its European competitors, with guaranteed hot weather, beach raves and boat parties. If you’re a music lover, how can you possibly resist!

 

And you might have noticed from the national parks, but the water in Croatia is kinda amazing…

Crystal Clear in Croatia

www.thomascook.com

And not only in the within these gorgeous natural attractions, but on the beaches too, sharing the crystal clear water of the Mediterranean Sea. Best appreciated within the coastal cities of Split and Hvar, where for as little as 5 kuna, you can pay for a taxi boat that escort you to the many secluded beaches on the Pakleni islands, which are truly stunning, and a perfect spot for snorkellers and nature lovers.

 

So Croatia has breathtaking nature, check! But you can’t forget its stunning red-topped old towns…

Old Town Square

www.completelycroatia.com

If you want old town squares, bustling street markets, city expeditions and museums, both Zagreb and Dubrovnik boast culture, arts, music, architecture and an atmosphere that builds throughout the day and fills the streets every eveningt. On the flipside, Croatia’s popular coastal cities of Split and Hvar can provide you with the yacht harbours, stunning beaches, snorkelling expeditions and sailing trips. The best of both worlds!

 

Word of warning: If you start to think that all of the locals are Star Wars obsessed, remember ‘Jedi’ means ‘Eat’ in Croatian!

Market Old Town

www.glassboatdubrovnik.com

Throughout my trip through Europe I was able to indulge in some fantastic traditional cuisines, but the food and drink in this particular country was a touch above the rest, with the fresh food and harvest from land and sea. There was nothing quite like my last meal, sitting beside the beautiful harbour in Split, during the crimson sunset, with my travelling partner and some the friends we’d made along the way. A priceless moment.

 

There is garunteed fun to be had wherever you go, but Croatia has a few special adventures up it’s sleeve…

White Water Rafting

www.completelycroatia.com

There were so many active excursions available in Croatia’s coastal cities leaving me spoilt for choice. We eventually booked a trip driving up Mount Omis, just outside of Split, where we white-water-rafted down its never ending river, along with our hilarious local guide. This adrenaline-fuelled activity was one of my highlights of the entire trip, stopping off for some cliff dives and ice-cold refreshments straight from the waterfalls of the mountain.

 

And you can enjoy Croatia’s attractions without having to splash out…

Croatian Kuna

www.photobucket.com

There was so much to see and do in every single city, and one of the beauties of our stay was how unbelievably cheap everything was. When we arrived in Split for Ultra Festival, we found all the hostels to be full. Not to worry though, we were lucky enough to pay for a night in our own luxurious villa for just €20 each, residing right in the centre of the city, fixed with a jacuzzi bath, a flowery balcony and a view over the town square . Oh and I almost forgot, a glass of fine Croatian wine just costs €1. Yep. €1.

 

Lonely Planet’s writer Peter Dragicevich perfectly depicted my own sentiments towards this country when he wrote ‘For me, it offers a unique combination of all the things I love: breathtaking natural beauty, great swimming, summertime sun, oodles of history, interesting architecture, incredible wine, delicious seafood… I could go on’. There is so much to do and see here, and the city streets are over flowing in culture. It provides travellers and holiday go-ers with such a fantastic blend of what many people seek in their holidays, at an affordable rate. So what’s stopping you? I’ve given you a brief introduction as to why Croatia is one of Europe’s most overlooked countries, but it’s time for you to find out for yourself. I hate to say, I told you so.

See our villas and apartments in Croatia