Top 10 Things To Do In Croatia
Time to plan a summer escape? Yeah, we think so too. If you are looking for a destination that will caress you with some much-needed bliss after a couple of long years, Croatia is calling.
Piercing aqua seas, glorious weather, fascinating history, fairytale architecture…. it’s easy to see why Croatia is on the rise as a getaway spot. Ranking the best things to see and do in Croatia isn’t easy, but if you need an extra push to take a 2022 summer trip with that saved up holiday leave, here’s our Top 10!
1) Swim, eat, sunbathe, repeat
First up on our list of 10 things to do in Croatia is actually… not doing much at all! If relaxing is high up on your 2022 travel bucket list, we have some good news. On our brand new Croatia Sail Adventure, we spend 7 of the 9 nights staying our own slick premium boat. This means no moving your luggage every day, fewer early starts, and more time to do whatever your holiday brain desires! Ensuite cabins, air con for relief on those hot days, our own bar, spacious sundecks to spread across, our private boat has it ALL.
Croatia’s turquoise waters beckon at every swimming stop, so you can choose to swim, sunbathe, snorkel with the onboard equipment, practise your flips from the top deck, or simply float your worries away in paradise. There are few places in the world as aptly suited to a sailing soirée like this.
2) Discover Split’s Ancient Roman heritage
What is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town of Split was once known as Diocletian’s Palace. Diocletian – the first Roman emperor to abdicate voluntarily – commissioned this magnificent palace to be completed for his retirement in AD 305. Built from lustrous white stone, Diocletian spared no expense, he was on to something building in this spot! It took 10 years to complete, with marble imported from Italy and Greece, and sphinxes even shipped in from Egypt. All of this creates one most imposing ancient Roman structures in existence today.
Don’t expect a typical ‘palace’ or museum – this is Split’s beating heart, its labyrinthine streets packed with people, bars, markets and restaurants. Exploring the nooks and crannies of Split’s Old Town is one of the best things to do in Croatia, which is why we start our Croatia trip with a walking tour of Split. Find out more about our epic itinerary and inclusions here.
3) Dabble in some Croatian wine
You needn’t be a sommelier to appreciate a good glass of Croatian wine! Much like its neighbours Italy, France, and Spain, Croatia is a renowned producer of vino, and its production in the region dates back at least 2500 years. In particular, the Istria and Dalmatia regions are known for their wine production, as they both have perfect climates for growing grapes of different varieties.
If you’re not into wine, you’ll be pleased to know that Croatians also love rakija (fruit spirits) and an ice cold beer. Drinking is a part of being Croatian, so we can happily get behind trying the local beverages in the name of culture.
4) Bike ride around Mljet National Park
Located on the lush island of the same name, Mljet National Park covers roughly a third of the entire island. Think green forest, turquoise lakes, secret beaches and kilometres of bike-friendly trails. After exploring Croatia’s charming towns, time spent in Mljet is a welcome, peaceful break amongst Mother Nature.
On Day 3 of Croatia Sail Adventure, our boat docks in the small town so we have plenty of time to check out the magic of Mljet! Along with cycling, in the park you can swim and kayak in the saltwater lakes, and visit the Isle of Saint Mary, an island WITHIN the island that’s home to a 12th Century Benedictine Monastery. Pretty special.
5) Devour a traditional Croatian feast
If you love eating you’re in luck... Croatia is a MECCA for foodies! Due to Croatia’s central location in Europe and multiple climates, there’s loads of variety. Culinary traditions have been heavily shaped by Croatia’s turbulent history, so everyone from the Romans to the Turkish has left their mark.
On our Croatia sailing tour, each day we stay on our premium boat we are served a three-course lunch using locally sourced ingredients. We’re talking grilled Mediterranean vegetables, catch-of-the-day seafood, bbq’d meats, pasta, soups, cheeses, with fruit and other sweet surprises for dessert. You’ll leave Croatia with a full belly, guaranteed.
6) Explore Dubrovnik from every angle
While it appears on every ‘things to do in Croatia’ list, visiting the Old Town of Dubrovnik is number one for good reason. Perched elegantly on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik was a city-state that for centuries lived in harmony with its surroundings, a hub for trade and merchants. We're talking WEALTHY.
Modern-day Dubrovnik is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, its beauty unrivalled. The buildings are made of white limestone that shine brightly against the terracotta rooftops, and there are so many museums, bars, alleyways, and restaurants to uncover.
The Old Town is deceivingly walkable, so once you’ve seen it from land, why not switch up your perspective? By hopping into kayaks you get to see some well-known Game of Thrones locations and cool off in the sun as you check out the impressive Old Town walls from the sea. Day 4 of our Croatia Sail Adventure has us discovering Dubrovnik from every angle with an included kayak expedition!
7) Party the night away
Croatia is a great place to get your party on. This is a country where the clubs go all night, the drinks flow heavy, and there is a scene for you no matter your age or vibe. You can rave in a cave, party in a fortress, sip cocktails in a medieval tower, or head to one of Croatia’s famous EDM festivals to let loose. And if you haven’t heard of a ‘tequila boom boom’, you sure will have by the end of your Croatia trip.
Of course, this is not the thing for everything, so if your idea of a good night is a dinner and a few chill drinks, never fear! If travelling in Croatia with INTRO we can point you in all directions.
8) Walk up to Hvar’s Spanish Fortress
If you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Croatia that will stretch your legs, get you epic views, and deal you a dose of history at the same time, hike up to Spanish Fortress on the island of Hvar. Overlooking the ritzy town of the same name, this 16th Century fortress was a defence system when the island was under Venetian rule and an important maritime hub.
Today, the fortress is home to exhibits and antiques that will give you a glimpse into what life was like for people living in the area from thousands of years ago to today. Afterwards, head to a beach club and treat yourself to a cocktail or two… you deserve to H'var good time!
9) Visit Croatia’s most famous beach
Zlatni Rat, located in Bol on the south coast of Brac, is an unusual beach, but one of the most famous in Europe. The recognisable V shape means it is also known as the Golden Horn or Golden Cape. It is made of fine pebbles, and depending on local winds and currents changes shape from season to season.
Backed by pine trees offering shade and overlooked by the rocky heights of Balkan mountains, in summer it is lined with sun-beds, umbrellas and water sports vendors. Our captain will anchor near this famous spot on Day 8 of Croatia Sail Adventure, giving you the chance to see this spot IRL on our way back to the mainland.
10) Chase waterfalls
Wherever you find yourself on a trip to Croatia, definitely take a trip into the otherworldly Krka National Park. An hour and a half inland from Split, Krka National Park is characterised by its multi-tiered emerald waterfalls, acres of luscious greenery, stunning lakes, and accessible boardwalks that’ll take you on scenic walks through the park. Krka National Park is one of the most famous attractions in Croatia, so naturally we include a trip there on the final full day of our Croatia group tour. No better way to end a summer escape, don't you think?
Does the idea of travelling Croatia in 2022 float your boat? With so much on offer, this incredible country has something for every traveller. If you're keen on seeing this beautiful corner of Europe this summer, we've just launched a brand new trip that will have you exploring the very best of Croatia. On INTRO's Croatia Sail Adventure, you'll be doing everything on this list and plenty more - all with an experienced group leader and instant crew of mates. Travel Croatia with a group and sail away on the trip of a lifetime.