Why you need to visit Croatia
Croatia is one of the top holiday destinations with more than two million visitors a year traveling to enjoy this beautiful country. And it’s not all because of Game of Thrones, although that has certainly helped. There are many reasons to visit Croatia and enjoy everything here. If you are, in fact, a Game of Thrones fan, that is just icing on the cake! Here are just a few reasons why you should visit if you haven’t already.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Croatia is one of Europe’s sunniest spots. You can expect 12 hours of sunshine a day in May and June and 13 in July and August. Even in October, the weather remains pleasant with Dubrovnik offering 11 hours of sunlight and daily average temperatures of 65 degrees in the fall.
Croatia has picturesque pebbled beaches, lapped by crystal clear water. Zlatni Rat is the best know but there are gorgeous hidden spots on the mainland as well.
Amazing national parks
Croatia has eight national parks, including the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes and Krka, both of which are famous for their stunning lakes and waterfalls.
Combine beach life with lovely mountains
The Biokovo mountain range contains Croatia’s second highest peak, Sveti Jure, at almost 6,000 feet, but lies just a few miles from the sea. Rise early and follow the steep zigzagging trail from the little village of Makar, just above the beach resort of Makarska, up to the peak of Vosac. It’s a spellbinding route, scattered with wildflowers and butterflies, sweet-smelling pine trees and limestone boulders. Head back down for a refreshing dip in the sea.
It does have that Game of Thrones appeal
There is surely some correlation between Croatia’s growing popularity and its starring role in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Among the attractions to have featured are Dubrovnik, whose city walls and forts because of King’s Landing. Beautiful Trsteno Arboretum on the outskirts of the city, which becomes the Red Keep’s gardens. The Fortress of Klis, which is used for exterior shots of Meereen and St. Dominic Monastery in Trogir, which appears as the city of Qarth.
Dubrovnik is on everyone’s list
The crowds can be crazy in peak season but what do you expect of a city that is so eternally enchanting? For the best experience, venture to the old town in the early evening to miss worst of the crowds, walk the city walls just before they close at 7 pm, then treat yourself to the set menu at Proto, which dates back to 1886 and once welcomed Edwards VIII and Wallis Simpson. Afterward, get lost in the backstreets en route to Buza, a ramshackle bar that overlooks the sea.
If you are not tied to school holidays, the best time to visit Croatia is during what they call “shoulder season.” This is the months of May and June and September and October. You can expect pleasant sunny days ideal for swimming in the sea and sunbathing, with all the tourist facilities up and running but no crowds. It’s also the perfect time for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rafting, and sea kayaking.