Abound in natural beauty, Croatia has all your hiking holiday fantasies fulfilled.
If peaceful silence and towering cyprus pine forests sound like your thing, don’t miss Mljet or Lopud islands.
Or, for those wishing to venture inland, you can’t go wrong with Risnjak National Park or Medvednica Mountain just outside the capital Zagreb.
Once you’ve worked up a sweat on the trails, cool off with a dive into the snorkel-perfect waters of the Adriatic. While I can’t promise colorful deep sea wildlife, I can promise fascinating underwater museums dating back to roughly 1st century BC.
Hit the bay of Cavtat to the south of Dubrovnik for the largest and most expensive trove of treasure ever discovered, or the Baron Gautsch shipwreck off the coast of Rovinj for a glimpse back in history you’ll never find on land.
If you’re thinking of heading inland - and you definitely should be - Zagreb is always a great choice.
Heading over in peak season between June to August? Consider rounding off your holiday in the baroque town of Varaždin, where, at the end of August, you can join the Špancirfest party, the town’s festival of good vibes.
With favorable exchange rates between most currencies, Croatia is an affordable, value-for-money destination.
However, as with any country, avoiding tourist hubs will help you keep more kuna in your pocket for the things that really matter.
In smaller towns like Cavtat outside Dubrovnik, or Zaprešić in Zagreb County, US$40 will last you from the morning well into that 4th cocktail in the evening.
A hotel room in a major city like Dubrovnik can cost you anywhere between US$80-250 a night. A nice local place in Cavtat is roughly US$40 a night.
Set aside approximately US$10 for a return ferry ticket to Dubrovnik, and you can enjoy all the beauty and history of the old town for half the cost.
No one knows how to welcome a visitor like a Croatian local, but there are a few things you should know before you hit the ground.
Help in Croatia is never far away, but nothing will make a Croatian shut down faster than a surly expression and a short temper. Keep your smile up and your vibe relaxed and you’ll have found your way to the beach in no time.
Croatians love travelers - part of their bid to become the destination closest to your heart - but even their patience can grow thin in the face of the most party hard travelers. Always remember that while this is your holiday, its also someone else’s home, and Croatians want your respect just as much as your business.
The most important thing to know before you hit the streets of Croatia is if you choose to stay in smaller towns, it’s best to leave your euros at home. Most businesses in the smaller areas prefer (or sometimes only) deal in kuna. If you’ve arrived cashed up in euros, it can be difficult to find places outside major cities that will transfer them into the local currency.
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