What with it holding the title of one of Europe’s sunniest spots (and a handy 2 1/2 hour flight from London), Croatia is top of our travel hotlist. Frustratingly, the worldwide appeal of Game of Thrones has now put it on a few more radars than before, with tourism rising sharply since 2015. But it’s still seen as a little off the beaten track for many, making many of Croatia’s hotspots still relatively tourist-free.
The beaches here are magnificent. With 116 Blue Flag beaches, the coastal resorts boast crystal clear waters; Hvar, Pag, Split and the island of Brač are some of the beach highlights of this weekend-worthy destination but expect fine shingle rather than white sand. Turquoise water is, however, a given. Perhaps best seen by boat, alternatively visit UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik to combine culture with a seabreeze. Dubrovnik’s rich history stems back to the 7th century. Take the cable car up to the panoramic views of Sdrj and visit the Imperial Fortress, walk the 25-metre high walls that surround the city and take in Dubrovni’s most spectacular religious buildings.
What to avoid? Well, the festival scene has exploded in Croatia in the last few years, so make sure you avoid the revellers who flock to Zagreb and Pag every summer, unless you’re happiest when surrounded by teenagers in tassles and hotpants (don’t answer that question).
Croatia makes my heart sing
Villa Dubrovnik is a stunning cliffside spa hotel with glorious sea views. With James Bond-style boat transfers to Dubrovnik Town, you can maintain an air of peace when escaping the summer crowds. With its sleek rooms, chic spa and wonderfully atmospheric restaurant, the hotel is chi-chi with a capital C. A cool rooftop bar, indoor pool and access to the beach, makes it the perfect base to explore one of Croatia’s coolest cities.
From £2,625 per room for a 7-night stay based on double occupancy, subject to availability at the time of booking. Your stay includes a 10% discount, breakfast, a 30-minute ‘Diamond Bed’ experience in the Spa and VAT
Carved into a cliff 30-metres above Miramare Bay, this hotel is only a short walk away from the Old Town. It has its own secluded pebble beach and an indoor pool, both a rarity in Dubrovnik. The hotel also has a wellness centre with Energy Clinic, two unique restaurants and a stylish lounge bar. All the rooms feature flat-screen satellite TV’s, sea views and nautical themes galore.
From £105 per room per night based on a 2-night minimum stay, subject to availability at the time of booking. Your stay includes a 20% discount, breakfast, 30 EUR credit per person to spend at the bar, return airport transfes (Suite stays only) and VAT
This quiet and elegant 5* country retreat, one of only four Relais & Chateaux properties in Croatia, attracts nature enthusiasts and lovers of fine food and wine. Comfortable rooms with country-glam interiors, three pools, spa facilities, a fine dining restaurant and nearby beach make it an ideal getaway. Set in a secluded location a mile from the beach and a mere five miles from the nearest town, Bale, renting a car is advisable whilst staying here so you can fully explore. Pula is a 35-minute drive while the historic city of Rovinj can be reached in 30 minutes. Two outdoor pools alleviate potential crowding and there’s also an additional indoor pool, sauna, fitness room and ‘energy clinic’ offering treatments. A shuttle takes guests to the beach which features sunloungers, towels and a bar. The fine dining restaurant offers a menu dominated by seafood. Breakfast also does not disappoint. The food is complemented by the on-site tasting room, where the estate’s high-quality wine and olive oil can be sampled.
From £235 per room per night subject to availability at the time of booking. Your stay would include buffet breakfast, access to SPA facilities, parking, WIFI and VAT. Local taxes excluded
For the first time this summer, guests will be able to sleep within the ramparts of a unique fifteenth century monastery, on the Croatian island of Lopud. Located only seven miles from Dubrovnik, this car-free island can be accessed via a 1-hour boat , in the heart of the Elaphiti Islands. Known for its sandy beaches and quiet pace of life, residents will walk in the footsteps of the previous Franciscan monks residents. Available to rent as an exclusive use property from July – September (per suite in the autumn and spring), this accommodation boasts five unique rooms and suites, filled with rare pieces from the private art collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family. Delicious food, created by world-class chefs using traditional Croatian ingredients such as oysters from nearby bays, will be served outdoors, or in the formal dining room or Old Kitchen, with its ancient open fireplace and bread oven, which is now used to make fresh pizzas.
Exclusive use in June-September 2020 from 10,000 EUR per night
From 1,400 EUR per night per suite during May and October 2020
With Croatia on the safe-fly zone for UK travellers amidst the COVI9-19 pandemic, this is a great time to hop on a plane and see this beautiful country like you’ll have never seen it before: tourist free. Contact us today for your travel plans. Whether you’re opting for a fly and flop hotel or would rather charter a boat, we can help.