The Croatian coast massively attracts holidaymakers in search of sun and affordable prices. But Croatia’s inland regions hide some very pretty destinations, and the local treasures are not easy to discover. Here’s an overview of the different places of interest in Croatia, whether in summer or winter, for a weekend or a longer stay.
The majority of accommodation, from hotels to rented flats, houses and rooms, is to be found on the coast and in Zagreb. Outside these areas, the supply of accommodation and overnight stays is more limited, but also much cheaper.
Which region of Croatia is best?
The regions most popular with tourists in Croatia are the following from north to south: Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia. Note that between Kvarner and Dalmatia, there is sometimes a region called Lika. These different regions are the Croatia of postcards, with the sea, islands and pretty white stone houses facing the Adriatic. With more than 9 out of 10 travellers choosing these regions, it is naturally here that tourist pressure is strongest (higher prices, crowds).
Dalmatia is a thin stretch of coastline stretching to the very south of the country, made up of a string of islands and peninsulas in direct contact with the Adriatic Sea. It’s a popular tourist destination, but you need a passport to get to Dubrovnik.
Islands and the Adriatic Sea all along this slender stretch of coastline to the very south of the country. This is where the climate is warmest and the sun shines brightest, but there are so many differences between North and South Dalmatia! The sea activities are the same, but the towns are different and not all the islands and national parks are accessible.
The Italian way of life in Istria, a small tourist region bordering Italy with incredible scenery and immediate access to the sea.
A small tourist region bordering Italy, with incredible landscapes. The region is favoured by the Europeans because it’s also the closest for those coming by car from West and North of Europe.
Beautiful landscapes and a strong Italian influence (architecture, lifestyle), but also some great natural discoveries, particularly in the Velebit massif.
Kvarner and Lika
A mixed destination with sea and mountains. Ideal for those who want to enjoy all the diversity of Croatia without travelling too far: you can ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon.
The perfect mix of sea and mountains. Superb coastal landscapes, with beaches and a Mediterranean climate, but also the Dinaric Alps and mountain landscapes. Just a few hours away, the Kvarner and Gorrski Kotar regions offer a wide variety of landscapes, ideal for travellers who want to take in the sights without having to travel far.
Lesser-known regions of Croatia
Inland, the capital, Zagreb, is in demand. But Northern Croatia, Central Croatia and Slavonia are great places to discover (whatever the season). Wild nature with several natural and national parks, rolling plains, vineyards and culinary experiences, castles and prehistoric remains, as well as outdoor and cultural activities, are just some of the things to discover.
Prices in these regions are lower than by the sea, and will delight those who prefer authenticity and peace and quiet. The climate is less warm, however, and not necessarily to the taste of sun-seekers.
An out-of-the-way region with little tourist appeal, renowned for its gastronomy, prehistoric sites, fine castles and handicrafts.
There are no beaches here, just lush green countryside and the immediate proximity of Slovenia and Hungary, which are further invitations to travel.
A major agricultural region with a continental climate and a rich historical heritage. A land of tradition, authentic atmosphere and rural tourism: this is the promise of Slavonia, which will appeal to those allergic to mass tourism. Ideal for a green and peaceful holiday discovering traditional Croatia.
Home to the country’s capital and the region’s economic powerhouse. It’s also a great skiing region.
Zagreb is the obvious destination, and the many museums and activities in and around the capital promise a busy holiday… and at a price that defies all other European capitals.