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Language: Croatian | Currency: Kuna (kn) | Local time: UTC +01 | Avg. Flight time: 2.00 hrs
Croatia’s sun-dappled Dalmatian coast is well established on the UK’s all-inclusive package holiday scene. Yet despite the popularity of this area of the country, it’s still a relatively unspoilt place, due at least in part to the country’s rocky coastline.
Croatia’s most built-up tourist areas, meanwhile, lie towards the north-west in the regions of Istria and the Makarska Riviera. Luxury hotel complexes line the turquoise shoreline here, and inland there are a number of charming hilltop villages scattered with cheap historic hotels and comfortable farmhouse guesthouses.
The vibrant capital, Zagreb, is where you’ll find the best array of boutique Croatian hotels, plus luxury apartments, cool backpacker hostels and the widest selection of high-end, mid-range and cheap hotels in Croatia. These are scattered all across the city, with prices dropping as you head further out from the centre.
The island of Hvar attracts a glamorous, jet-set crowd and is by far the most stylish place to stay if you’re looking for a five-star Croatia experience. It’s also where you’ll find a whole host of slick design hotels and private holiday complexes, as well as characterful stone villas and cheerful holiday bungalows.
The lush little islets surrounding Hvar have plenty of accommodation options too and are as close as most of us will ever get to our own private island.
Dubrovnik has a selection of boutique Croatian accommodation clustered around its medieval Old Town, giving it that exclusive air that many travellers crave. Choose between sleek sea-view hotels located conveniently close to the yacht club and upscale guesthouses set inside ancient stone villas.
Some of Europe’s cleanest beaches are in Croatia. The pristine pebbly beaches and crystal-clear waters are a big draw for sun-worshippers in search of a relaxing beach holiday.
One of Croatia’s most impressive beaches is Zlatni Rat (meaning ‘golden horn’) – a golden, pebbled split jutting out into the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea from the island of Brac. In and around the neighbouring town of Bol, you’ll find a sprinkling of mid-range and luxury hotels, all of which are a short drive or bus journey away. It’s a beautiful place to base your beach holiday.
A pleasing combination of sand, shingle, shallow waters and Blue Flag credentials also makes Bacvice beach in Split popular with families. Its small golden crescent is a popular spot for water sports, the most popular of which is picigin – a game in which players throw themselves around in an acrobatic attempt to stop a small ball from hitting the water.
The city itself has a number of accommodation options, mostly cheap and cheerful holiday apartments and three-star hotels.