Holidays to Croatia have really crept onto the radar over the last few years. This scenic part of Eastern Europe scores highly on everything from beaches to history.
On a Cruise & Stay holiday to Croatia, you can pace the marble streets of Dubrovnik’s old town, where 17 grand churches sit within metres of each other. Its baroque buildings and palaces have gained iconic status, so it’s no surprise that the place has been UNESCO-rated since 1979. Elsewhere, traditional fishing boats bob alongside yachts in Cavtat’s harbour. And cobbled alleyways lead to a market, cemetery and old houses with sculpted porches.
Take a stroll in any direction and you’ll be met with thick forests, olive groves and orchards full of fruit. There’s also the chance to tick off age-old castle remains on a wander around Slano’s countryside. But the region’s crowning jewel, Dubrovnik, is home to one of the country’s most famous walks – a circuit of its 13th-century city walls. You’ll get views of the glistening Adriatic and old town thrown in, too.
Pine-covered hills snuggle up next to secluded stretches in most of the resorts. Plat’s little bay is tucked away behind stacked-up stones and a cluster of trees. Srebreno’s beach, meanwhile, is part of a small lagoon, so the waters are wave-less and clear. Tourists are only just discovering the peaceful perks of these parts, but locals have been coming here for centuries to escape Dubrovnik’s summer heat.
Playwright George Bernard Shaw might have dubbed Dubrovnik ‘paradise on Earth’, but he clearly hadn’t been to Kolocep. It’s one of the little-known Elaphite Islands, so there’s a real hush-hush vibe, including a strict no-car policy. On the south side of the island, you can brave the electric-blue waters of the Blue Cave. After, head into one of the bayside villages for freshly-grilled lobster – caught just off shore.
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Cavtat is a pretty town on the southernmost tip of the Dubrovnik Riviera. It’s on a small peninsula with a Renaissance old town on one side, beaches on the other – and a fragrant cypress forest in between. The old town harbour has a wide tree-lined promenade where cheery bars neighbour refined restaurants. Beyond the forest, small pebbly beaches and rocky coves edge the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.
Sitting on the south coast of Croatia, Dubrovnik may be steeped in history, but it’s a city with a very modern side, too. Within its solid walls, Medieval houses, ancient palaces and historic churches rub shoulders with chic boutiques, stylish bars, modern hotels and bustling eateries. Plus, you've got the beaches and islands of Dubrovnik’s Adriatic Riviera right on your doorstep.
Of all the Elaphite Islands in the Adriatic Sea, Kolocep is surely the fairest of them all. With only 165 inhabitants at the last count, and not a single car, its charms are simple and its natural beauty abundant. It has two picture-postcard villages set around little bays. Donje Celo is on the north-west coast and Gornje Celo is to the south-west. Elsewhere, it’s all cove-spangled coastline, pine-cloaked hills, and crumbling Medieval ruins.
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