In recent years, Croatia has firmly claimed its status as a premier Mediterranean destination. Its enchanting historic towns, glittering coastline and excellent cuisine have always provided all the essential elements for a perfect holiday, so today, we're taking a look at some of its most captivating attractions and activities.
Adorned with sun-kissed vineyards and olive groves, Korčula's vibrant viticulture and a magnificent Gothic-Renaissance cathedral set the tone for an idyllic island retreat. The sixth-largest Adriatic Island also has an enduring folk tradition, so after sampling a local vintage from acclaimed pošip grapes, seek out a dance or music performance in Korčula Town.
2. Hvar Town
Thirteenth-century walls fortify this elegant citadel, where exclusive restaurants and hotels have recently emerged to cater for an influx of yachters and gastronomes. Take a stroll through the winding marble alleys northwest of St Stephen's Square and make your way up toward Fortica for breathtaking views over the town and harbour.
3. Plitvice waterfalls
The Plitvice Lakes are a World Heritage site and arguably offer the most dramatic scenery of all Croatia's national parks. Wander along labyrinthine pathways through dense foliage and you'll soon stumble across one of 16 glistening waterfalls and lakes.
4. Coastal sailing
Croatia is deservedly lauded among sailors. Chartering a yacht provides one of the most thrilling ways to discover the islands and coastline; Dubrovnik in the south is the perfect gateway for exploring the Elafiti Islands or venturing further afield to Montenegro.
5. Diocletian's Palace
A maze of winding alleyways snakes through this Roman fortification, which is reliably crowded with locals pouring in and out of the bars, coffee houses and boutiques. Still a central part of the city, the palace covers a total of 31,000 square metres.
6. Lokrum Island
Cars, smoking, and overnight stays are strictly forbidden in this haven away from civilisation. Take a boat across from Dubrovnik and spend a day befriending the numerous local peacocks while exploring tranquil forests and steep hiking paths.
7. Roman amphitheatre
Arching imposingly over the town of Pula, the first-century Roman amphitheatre remains remarkably intact. At the Spectacvla Antiqva, held weekly throughout the summer, visitors can watch thrilling reconstructions of ancient gladiatorial contests and even take part themselves.
8. Zagreb modern art
The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Croatian Association of Artists provide unparalleled insight into the nation's cultural identity, with new media, film, painting, sculpture and photography from avant-garde and established artists.
9. Mljet Island
This wilderness is one of the most alluring Adriatic Islands, and its emerald pine forests and meadows are protected by a National Park in the north. Swim in one of the tranquil saltwater lakes before dining in the former monastery.
10. Istrian gastronomy
The region of Istria has been described as the Côte d’Azur of the Adriatic, and it's got the cuisine to support that claim. The northern town of Buje is one of the best places to find white truffles, with other local highlights including seafood, olive oil and cured meats.
With shops in Zagreb, Rab and Opatija, Engel & Völkers can help you find your ideal second home in Croatia. Our portfolio includes luxury coastal villas, period properties, and exclusive island plots that can be developed to meet your every requirement.