With charming medieval towns, miles of breathtaking Adriatic coastline with over a thousand islands, and myriad opportunities for hiking, cycling, sailing, kayaking, and more, it is easy to see why Croatia is one of Europe’s hottest destinations.
If you are a first-time visitor or only have a week to spend, you will be best off focusing on the southern Dalmatian coast, splitting your time between the must-sees of Dubrovnik and Split with their UNESCO-protected old towns and maybe adding a day-trip to one of the islands like Hvar, Korcula, or Brac. This is the most-popular part of Croatia and also the most crowded, especially in the summer months.
With 10 – 12 days in Croatia, you will have enough time to add the northern regions of the country as well – the Istrian Peninsula with its Roman ruins, historic hill towns, vineyards, and olive groves, and the capital city of Zagreb with its cosmopolitan and Austro-Hungarian ambience. Roughly half-way between Split and Zagreb, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is definitely worth a stop to explore its trails and plank walks in the lush valley, and admire the lakes and waterfalls.
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