With 2500 miles of coastline and close to 1200 islands, Croatia's sun-drenched credentials are impressive – and that's before you add its troves of Roman and Venetian-era architecture, Unesco sites of cultural and natural heritage, and gorgeous nature parks, mountain ranges, lakes and rivers.
With Mediterranean beaches galore, a delightful mix of cultural sights, family friendly adventure parks and playgrounds aplenty, Croatia is a have-it-all destination for those traveling with babies, children and teens.
First-time visitors to Croatia are often startled by the striking turquoise hue of its sea and see-straight-to-the-bottom waters. This Mediterranean sun destination certainly has no shortage of beaches – thanks to its 1777-km-long (1104 miles) Adriatic coastline and close to 1200 islands, there’s a beach for everyone.
Thanks to its sun-drenched climate and high-quality produce native to its soil, Istria is known for its fine gastronomy. One of the many exceptional products produced here for millennia, and a key ingredient in the local cuisine, is extra-virgin olive oil.
From Roman arenas to early Christian basilicas, Istria offers amazing locations for its many summer festivals
Most visitors swarm to Dubrovnik’s exquisitely preserved old town, set within its UNESCO-listed city walls. But at some point, you’ll want to escape the tourist crowds and the Mediterranean sun, and retreat to one of the city’s quiet green spaces, historic gardens or leafy parks.
Tucked between looming Mt Srđ and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, the historic city of Dubrovnik scores highly for its stunning natural setting. Covering some 21.35 sq km (8.25 sq miles), this small city is easy to navigate – the 13th-century old town acts as its nucleus, but Dubrovnik stretches northwest along the coast to include the resorts of Lapad and Babin Kuk on the peninsula.
Croatia is not all about the sea, islands and beaches. In addition to eight national parks, 12 nature parks can be found across the country's hinterland. These protected natural landscapes are reservoirs of a surprising biodiversity of flora and fauna.
Tucked in the eastern part of Croatia, Slavonia is one of the country’s least explored regions. This land bordered by three great rivers, the Sava, the Drava and the Danube, surprises with its fascinating mélange of cultural and culinary influences.
Zadar has always been a crossroads for many different peoples and civilizations who have all left their mark on the city. Roman ruins, Venetian fortifications, Romanesque cathedrals, Byzantine churches, and a lingering Italian influence are the relics of its vibrant cultural past.