DestinationsFeatures

Why Croatia and the Dalmatian Islands Have Become A Top Tourist Destination

The historical region of Croatia and the Dalmatian Islands off the coast have been subject to a great deal of changes over the decades. The strong and proud people of Croatia have endured occupation by the Germans in World Wars I and II, the collapse of communism in the late 80s, and a long and violent war with the Yugoslavs from 1991 to 1995.

As the region moved into the 21st century, Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the EU in 2013. Needless to say, Croatians are a strong and proud people with a strong sense of national identity. As the region has become more stable since the turn of the century, more and more visitors have been flocking to the beautiful shores and adjoining islands off the coast.

Two of the top destinations for tourists are Split and Dubrovnik. Both have unique qualities and their own set of reasons for a visit.

Dubrovnik

As a setting used as a backdrop for huge international hit HBO show, Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik has gained additional notoriety in recent years. The summer months present the most popular times of year for traveling to this region on the Adriatic Sea, so if you’re planning a trip at that time, be sure to book accommodations far in advance. However, if you are trying to save some money or would rather skip the large crowds, wait a few months and travel in late September or early October. Temperatures are still pleasantly warm and you are more likely to find enough solitude to enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the city, the mountains, and the coast.

A popular activity for those visiting Dubrovnik is to walk along the city walls providing views of the old town and breathtaking views of the sea. The medieval walls were constructed in the 13th century and were intended to guard the city against invaders. Now they serve as a wonderful walking route for visitors, but keep in mind this area can get very crowded in the peak season.

As Dubrovnik sits on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, a visit to the Maritime Museum and adjoining aquarium would be a great place to learn about the area’s impressive historical naval power, with exhibits showing model ships, old sailors’ uniforms, navigational equipment, flags and maps. In the 16th century present-day, Dubrovnik had one of the world’s largest fleets, with over 180 ships and 4000 sailors.

Another excellent option for exploration around the gorgeous coastline of Dubrovnik is to sea kayak around the Elafiti Islets. Local companies offer full-day tours, with loops around the Elafiti islands of Lopud and Šipan, free time to swim, snorkeling, and even cliff-jumping.

In addition to finding great outdoor activities, you’ll find no shortage of delicious restaurants with great fresh seafood and local cuisine, and you’ll also find delicious wine from local wineries as Croatia is fast becoming a top wine producer in Europe.

Split

While both Dubrovnik and Split provide visitors with great food options, the latter houses a true culinary identity for Croatia. You’ll find everything from great breakfast spots scattered throughout the city’s charming streets, affordable options for dalmatian-style cuisine, and meat and seafood restaurants focusing on the best the region has to offer.

Split also has a great bar and club scene if you and your friends are looking for some opportunities to let loose for a night while visiting the area. Some of the best bars and clubs are right by the sea, so if you need a quick break from the dance floor, you can step out for some tranquility on the coast.

If you are looking for a more sophisticated activity that doesn’t involve eating or drinking, be sure to check out the Split Gallery of Fine Arts where you’ll find one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary Croatian art in the country. The gallery holds approximately 3,500 pieces, including some by Dürer and Venetian Masters from as far back as the 14th century – but it’s the modern, Croatian, works that have given the gallery its name.

Contact a travel concierge or submit a travel request today to book your next vacation.