Croatia is one of those special destinations to add to your holiday bucket list. Warm summer sunshine, an endless coastline, stunning scenery and picturesque towns are just part of its appeal. Add in the welcoming Croatians and fabulous cuisine to the mix and you have the recipe for an idyllic break.
Basking on the shores of the Adriatic sea, Croatia has an incredible 4000 miles or so of coastline and over a thousand islands to explore. Little wonder it is a haven for those who love beach life, water sports and sailing.
For nature lovers, Croatia’s impressive national parks, mountains and waterfalls are a draw. Culture vultures will adore its UNESCO world heritage sites too. Dubrovnik and Split brim with fascinating cultural gems. If you are a Game of Thrones fan, then Croatia as a film set is also something of a pilgrimage!
Whether you are on a villa holiday with kids, friends or your other half, there is something for everyone in Croatia.
When to go
Croatians welcome visitors with open arms all year round. If you have a choice, then we would recommend you aim for the warm, sunny months. We have chosen our villas with pools along the coast, around Dalmatia, Istria and Dubrovnik. By May it has already warmed up to a pleasant temperature in the low to mid 20’s there. By July and August you can enjoy warn sunshine and temperatures hitting a balmy 30 degrees. For couples or anyone not tied to school holidays, June and September is the time to visit as the weather is still amazing and there are less visitors. Staying in our Croatia villas with pools are the ideal way to revel in the warm summer sunshine.
How to get to there
Choose from a number of direct flights to one of Croatia's airports from the UK or Ireland when you book your villa. Aim to time your flights to coincide with villa tenancy times so that you are there by the afternoon. Split, Dubrovnik, Pula and Zadar airports are situated nearest our villas, but do check before booking to make sure it is your nearest option. It is just two and a half hours away from the UK if you fly direct so a short journey time compared to other more southerly Mediterranean destinations. If you cannot fly direct, then take a connecting flight via the capital of Zagreb.
Highlights of Croatia
The Best Beaches
Although you may find it hard to drag yourself away from your villa pool, Croatia’s beautiful beaches are worth the effort. Shape changing Zlatni Rat beach is one of Croatia’s most eye-catching. It is situated on the south side of Brac island, a short ferry ride from Split. Here you find water sports and activities, from surfing to scuba diving as well as an inflatable aqua park for younger children. Our Brac villas with private pools are the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful island.
Split also has lovely beaches with calm, shallow waters, ideal for sociable children and also for playing a game of ‘picigin’, a Croatian version of water polo. Combine a trip to the beach with a cycle ride through forested Marjan park for a fun day out.
In Istria, you will find child friendly restaurants in Poreč and Rovinj as well as waterparks and caves to explore. If you are feeling adventurous, head to the island of Rab. Discover the sandy, shallow bay of Paradise Beach, as well as water sports and beach volley. Our villas in Istria are located a short drive from many of the key attractions.
Further south, between Split and Dubrovnik, you can discover the pine clad beaches of the Makarska Riviera. Complete with fine pebble stretches, turquoise waters and hidden coves, it is the place for enjoying lazy days in the sun and water.
Why go to Dubrovnik?
A visit to the magnificent city of Dubrovnik is a highlight of Croatia for many. Start your day there with a stroll along the handsome city walls which circle its beautifully preserved historic centre. On one side are pretty, terracotta tiled roofs and baroque buildings. Admire panoramic views on the other side, sweeping across the azure sea and islands. It is a breath-taking sight. Children of all ages adore exploring the city walls and car free buzzing streets here with its street theatre and family friendly eateries. Cool off and relax at nearby beaches after sightseeing. Our Dubrovnik villas with pools are a great place to stay and to visit the local attractions from.
Why go to Split?
Situated on the coast of Dalmatia, the vibrant city of Split makes a fantastic day trip from your villa. A must see is the incredible Diocletian Palace. Dating back to Roman times, it is a huge structure which also houses an array of attractive bars and restaurants. A bustling promenade by the sea with restaurants and wine bars galore makes a picturesque setting for enjoying a delicious seafood feast or drinks together. Families in particular will love follow pathways on foot or by bike through verdant Marjam park. Discover beaches there or jump on a ferry to the nearby islands of Brac, Hvar and Vis for another adventure. We have villas in Split that are within a short driving distance of whatever adventure you wish to pursue.
The delights of Istria
Istria is a popular part of Croatia for a family holiday and for good reason. Once part of Italy, the peninsula of Istria has a distinctive Italian feel. Pretty hill-top villages, the coastal towns of Poreč and Rovinj and sublime surrounding countryside are highlights. Go there in the summer for the jazz festival in Grožnjan and the Motovun film festival. If you love cycling, then you will enjoy the many cycle routes here too.
National Parks of Croatia
With eight national parks in Croatia, there is plenty to explore. If you have to choose one, picturesque Plitvice Lakes National Park is a good choice for all ages. Here you can follow wooden walkways across its many lakes to the dreamy sound of the waterfalls and take a dip in the cooling waters.
How to get to the Islands
When you see Croatia’s impressive islands from the mainland, you will want to visit at least one of them. Ride a ferry from one of the ports all along the coast so you can easily visit your island of choice for the day. Rijeka, Zadar and Split are the main ports, but you will find ferries running from the smaller ports of Drvenik, Makarska, Orebic, Ploce, Prapratno and Brsecine.
No trip to Croatia would be complete unless you take to the sea in a sailing boat or yacht. It is a magical way to admire the islands and discover hidden coves. You can hire boats at most ports and resorts, with or without a skipper.
How is the Food and Wine in Croatia?
Firstly, the cuisine of Croatia is a recognisable mix of Mediterranean favourites, all fresh and locally sourced. That means that everyone in the family will be delighted to discover that pizza, pasta, olive oil, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables are plentiful.
Secondly, freshly caught sea food is particularly popular along the coast which is a bonus for many. Go for traditional octopus, oysters and mussels, like a true Croatian.
Thirdly, you should try the delicious local wine. It has been produced in Croatia since the ancient Greeks arrived a good 2500 years ago, so it must be good. Croatians have certainly mastered this traditional craft. Producing mostly white wine and some red, it is best savoured alongside a mouth-watering sea food platter by the sea.
Where to stay
Whether you are planning an active holiday or a leisurely break in Croatia, our villas with pools will give you the privacy and space of a private home as well as a convenient base to experience the highlights. Choose from our villas with pools in and around Istria, Split, Dubrovnik and Dalmatia.