First time in Croatia?
First time in Croatia?
We often get e-mails from people, who plan to visit Croatia for the first time and want to get the best of it in 10-14 days. Let me first tell you, that Croatia is a destination for several visits, if you want to experience all the best things it has to offer, so do not stress yourself with wanting to “have it all” in the first visit.
It would be like wanting to experience all the romantic on a first date… :)There are 2 popular regions on the Adriatic Coast:
1. Istria & Kvarner region, in North Croatia, where you will find a lot of inland charming towns, beautiful nature, that resembles one to one to Tuscany and is indeed very heavily influenced from Italy, who occupied this region in the past. The inland sightseeing and spots activities are highly developed, therefore off season like spring, autumn and even winter are still very interesting times for all searching to experience something romantic, sporty and have amazing gastronomic experiences. Truffles and homemade paste, amazing olive oil and great wines are home in Istria and Kvarner. You will find some nice beaches here as well (pebble), but there are in general mostly rocky entrances.
Main towns to visit: Rovinj, Umag, Pula, Opatija, Krk, Mali Lošinj
Airports: Pula, Rijeka and even Trieste.
2. Dalmatia in South Croatia: since it is positioned further in the south, it was less occupied with tourists in the past; it has managed to preserve its nature untouched. Here you will find these paradise beaches of turquoise green colours, mostly pebble but also sandy, which made Croatia such a famous holiday destination. The Islands between two most popular coastal towns, Split and Dubrovnik, are of a particular interest to all tourists:
- Brac Island, the nearest to Split airport (1 hour ferry drive),
- Hvar Island (2 hours ferry drive from Split) and- lovely Korcula Island (2,5 h ferry drive from Split or only 20 minutes ferry drive from the half island peninsula Peljesac, further down the south) – best to reach via Dubrovnik or Split airports.
Since these spectacular beaches on those three islands are of the greatest interest to most people, and to be honest, also my favourite places on Earth, most people visiting Croatia for the first time try to get a feeling of all of them, including the most romantic city on the Adriatic Coast, Dubrovnik, and antique ruins of Split town.
Later on, when they experience each of those three islands, people usually return to get an even deeper experience of a partying Hvar Island, surfing and kiting on Brac Island or amazingly cultural pearl of a green Korcula Island. I have to admit, I am in love with each of the three, starring Korcula as my personal number one.
You only have 1 week?
Decide which type of luxury holidays in Croatia suits you best (party, cultural or sports, all three in combination with pristine nature and fabulous Mediterranean gastronomy) and choose one island, then make a one-day excursion trip to another one, to get a glimpse of at least two.
You have 10-14 days? Great! I would suggest this »Island hopping« tour of south Dalmatian islands:
1. Fly to Split town and spend one night there if necessary because of a late arrival. If the arrival is before 2 pm, you can easily hop on a ferry to reach Brac Island.
2. Depending on your sports preferences, you either spend 2-3 night in Bol town, famous for THE most spectacular beach of the Adriatic Sea, and then continue to next Island.
3. Just one hour from Brac Island is Hvar Island, renowned as a Croatian St. Tropez. Beach parties, amazing bakeries, little charming boutiques and small islands nearby with gorgeous beaches are worth at least 2 days of your time.
“Korcula is the queen; Hvar is her husband and Brac her lover”4. Next is the queen of all three Islands, Korcula, which can be reached in 1 hour ferry drive from Hvar. Korcula is not only known for its beautiful bays with fascinating pebble and sandy beaches (the only one of the three Islands to have sand beaches!), but also by its charming old town with city walls from 18th centuries, where the narrow stone streets still hold the spirit of venetian culture, who ruled this Island in the past. Numerous art galleries, handmade unique jewellery, fantastic restaurants and cocktail bars with lush cactus gardens are just a start. Once there, you will definitely fall in love with it! Count on 3-4 nights for this Island, if you love exploring, water sports, good food and cultural events.
5. From Korcula Island, the 2 hour drive to Dubrovnik town, including 20 minutes of ferry to reach the land, will take you through one of the most panoramic experiences. One American guest, who spent his honeymoon on Korcula Island, said that he was fascinated by the Nappa Valley in California and didn't expect that he will ever see anything more beautiful than that, until he drove the road from Dubrovnik to Korcula.
So by the time you get to Dubrovnik, for me the most fascinating and romantic little old town, you will already be half done. You should count at least 24 hours for this amazing little city, and if time allows, even 2 days. From there on you drive to the Airport of Dubrovnik to take your flight back home.
The same route is possible in the reverse was as well, if the flights are better like that. Some decide to skip the party Hvar Island and enjoy a day or two longer on Korcula or Brac Island, since they fancy sports activities more, others decide to skip on Brac Island. However, the goal is not to stress yourself with too much logistics and travel, so I usually recommend visiting just two of the islands, if you want to unwind and relax in this luxury holiday in Croatia as well.
So write to us what are your time frames for the planned trip to Croatia, and we will send you a suggested route, based on the availabilities of the apartments and luxury villas on all your selected islands. In order to get a bit of a taste for each Island and see which attracts you the most, discover more of here:
I don't come from Croatia but I still managed to fall in love desperately with the Adriatic Coast. I have spent my whole childhood summers there (I lived in Slovenia, a neighbouring country with Croatia) so I thought this is a logical consequence. But after I have travelled the world as a tour guide and in private tours with my husband, who is pilot for a German company, I realized how amazingly beautiful the Adriatic sea is compared to other tourist destinations. With each trip that I made, for example to Greece, Cote the Azure or Dominican Republic, I came back more convinced, that Adriatic Sea is heaven on Earth, although I love each destination it its special way. Of course I am biased toward Adriatic since my childhood memories, I admit, but anyone who sees this particular nuance of turquoise, crystal clear water and amazing nature on this coast, will confirm that I am not just fantasizing
Over the last 12 years I have managed to spent amazing holidays myself on a different locations along the Adriatic coast. Where I fell in love with the place, house and people, I have marked it as a special holiday destination. This place qualified to be a »pearl«, so it came into our Adriatic Pearls offer. Therefore you will not only get a very personal first-hand information about the houses, from me or my other three colleagues, who year by year are personally experiencing all of my favourites destinations as well, but also our favourite restaurants, hidden beaches, absolute must see and an important information where the best cappuccino and ice cream in town is.
So we named this whole package of information along with recommended house an Adriatic experience.
Let us share it with you. We will guide you through top 30 options in our offer and give you our enthusiasms with it.
Our goal is that you return home from this luxury vacation in Croatia at least as half in love with it as we are.
Welcome to the Adriatic Coast, the most magical place on Earth!