The reigning “Pearl of the Adriatic” and among Croatia’s top summer destinations, Dubrovnik is one of Eastern Europe’s most captivating cities, with a huge variety of things to see and do. From exploring the medieval city to cruising along the coast or wine tasting in the Konavle Valley, here are 10 of the best tours from Dubrovnik.
It might be smaller and less famous than the northern Plitvice Lakes National Park, but Krka National Park is equally awe-inspiring with its dramatic waterfalls, travertine cliffs and dense woodlands making up some striking landscapes. At just 117 kilometers away, visiting Krka National Park from Split makes a popular choice for a day tour, and the lack of crowds makes it all the more special.
With luxury yachts cruising its shores, all-night beach parties and a steady influx of celebrity sunseekers (Prince Harry and Beyonce have both holidayed there), Hvar Island has earned itself a reputation as one of Croatia’s most fashionable destinations, transforming into a hedonist paradise during the summer months. Spending summer on Hvar Island isn’t cheap, nor will you get much sleep, but if you’re after balmy weather, beachside cocktails and non-stop entertainment, this is the place to be.
Just 25 kilometers from the city and renowned for its rich cultural heritage, Samobor is a popular day trip from Zagreb, offering an authentic taste of traditional Croatian culture. The best time to visit is during the annual Fašnik carnival in the run-up to Lent, when the legendary celebrations include a vibrant parade of masked marchers and elaborate floats, the ritualistic burning of the Carnival Prince effigy, huge street parties and plenty of children’s entertainment (including a Harry Potter-inspired Quidditch competition!).
In the safe hands of tour guide Josef, I took the day trip from Dubrovnik in Croatia, across the Bosnian border to the country’s fifth largest city Mostar. I barely noticed the two-and-a-bit hours on the coach, distracted by views of tree-topped mountains, the picturesque Elefit Islands and of course, the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.
As Croatia’s second largest city and one of its most popular coastal resorts, there’s plenty of choice in terms of what to eat and drink in Split, and a large variety of international cuisine on offer, from Italian-style pizza and pasta to Greek salads and Turkish mezes. The historic city is also a good spot to try some typical Croatian cuisine — look out for pašticada, a traditional Dalmatian dish of stewed beef; blitva, a hearty potato and chard dish slathered in olive oil and garlic; and palacinke, Croatian-style crepes; as well as fusion dishes like risotto with local truffles and inventive Mediterranean-style mezes.
One of the most remote and untamed of all the Dalmatian coast islands, Mljet Island is a lush retreat, blanketed with shady pine forests, sandy beaches and emerald-green lakes, making it an idyllic escape for those looking to get off-the-beaten-track. Visiting Mljet Island from Dubrovnik is possible on a day trip, with ferries connecting the island to Dubrovnik (around two hours by catamaran) and the Peljesac Peninsula, but it’s also a popular stop for cruise travelers.
Zagreb might be landlocked, but it’s also one of Croatia’s greenest cities, with a ring of parks and gardens circling the Lower Town and a number of scenic lakes surrounding the city. Whether you’re looking for a picnic spot downtown or a tranquil escape from the city, these are Zagreb’s best parks and lakes.
From jaw-dropping natural landscapes to grand Roman palaces and impressive early-Christian monuments, Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites include some of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as intriguing off-the-beaten-track sights. There are seven sites to explore total (plus several others waiting on the tentative list), so make sure to add at least one or two to your itinerary.
Croatia’s second-largest city is an ideal destination for a family holiday, with easy access to the beaches and islands of the Dalmatian coast, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. To help you plan a family-friendly itinerary, here are some ideas for things to do in Split with kids.