Croatia has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The mere mention of Croatia conjures up images of pristine landscapes and sparkling seas, fortified towns furnished with outdoor cafés, heaving with carefree yachties, recently blown in from the last picture-perfect port. The sun-drenched coast has long served as an exotic playground for Europe's crowned heads. Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson famously skinny-dipped here in the 1930s. In fact, most of Europe's greatest empires including the Romans, Venetians, Ottoman Turks and Habsburgs, have all left their calling-card in the form of architecture, language, art, and food.
This enchanting journey takes you from iconic landmarks in bustling Adriatic cities to hidden gems known only to the locals.
The superb walled city of Dubrovnik, its medieval bastions rising vertically from the sea, is known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Everyone from George Bernard Shaw to the King of Jordan have been beguiled by its cobbled streets and old world charm. See the Rector’s Palace, Onofrio’s fountain and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. A little up the coast is Korcula, a mini-fortress encased in honey-coloured walls, which rivals Dubrovnik as top jewel in Croatia’s crown. The UNESCO protected city of Split is a town within town, a maze of cobbled alleys and marbled flagged courtyards – the remnants of a Roman Emperor’s palace. Today’s cafés, bars, and shop-keepers ply their trade from the same facades carved some 1700 years ago. Away from the coast you’ll find primeval national parks like the Plitvice Lakes, which hosts striking azure waterways, cascading falls and thick woodland sheltering abundant wildlife.
Be sure to check out the fascinating capital city of Zagreb. Explore the mazes of the upper and lower town, majestic cathedral, Archbishop’s Palace, St. Marks Church and the Opera House for a varied overview of the city. Croatia also boasts the world’s best sunsets (Alfred Hitchcock was a huge fan!) So you’d be psycho to pass up a dinner cruise on a fisherman’s boat while the sun takes its nightly bow!