A varied history means that Croatia has a mixed culture, from the beautiful baroque architecture of Zagreb through Italian splendour to the colourful traditional Slavic folk dancing, especially during the festival season.
Then there is economic diversity, where you will see film stars travelling between Croatia’s many islands on their yachts, and local fishermen in the Istrian ports. Cruises can be taken along the Mediterranean, and must be completed by a trip to Dubrovnik.
The coastline has unusual rocky coves and beaches, edged by pine trees. These remain unspoilt, as the Croatians can see the legacy of their natural beauty, and the future for their long-term tourism advantage.
Dalmatian cities have an unusual mix where the nightlife shares a backdrop of ancient ruins from the days of the Roman Empire.
Getting away from the coast, there is still much to see and do; walk through pristine forests with waterfalls, or visit a thermal spa at Istarske Toplice, Istria.
Flight time: 3h 15min
Time Zone: UTC+1, UTC+2 (Summer Daylight Saving Time)
Currency: Kuna (HRK) check exchange rate
Although the tourist season stretches from April to September, the coast is too cool for swimming in April. May and June are warmer, but July – August are the best months if you want to be hot. September is still comfortable and the sea is still warm enough to swim in. October is a little on the cool side for a sun holiday.
When to go
Although the temperature and restrictions of school holidays may dictate when you should visit Croatia, there are other details to consider.
April is a good time if you don’t particularly want a beach holiday; the warm, clear skies to the south of Split will bring with them low accommodation prices while still enjoying the already open tourist season.
May and June are great for outdoor activities, although the end of May brings school field trips to the cultural hotspots.
July and August are hot, and the beaches will be filled with lots of sun worshippers. As this is the peak of the tourist season, there are many cruises that are available only during this time.
September sees the return of children to school, and the intensity has gone out of the sun, so you can enjoy the beaches in comfort. Figs and grapes are in abundance, and the accommodation is not peak-rate.
October, even though regarded as too cool for living in a tent, there are plenty of inexpensive but good hotels available on the coast, where it is warmer.