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Picture perfect towns overlooking crystal clear waters, red tiled roofs nestling against green-sided mountains… Croatia is a feast for the eyes. And the other senses can expect a treat too. The country has excellent wine, seafood to die for, fascinating cities and beautiful sheltered coves to swim in. Just across the water from Italy, Croatia’s Adriatic coast enjoys over 2600 hours of sunshine per year, with hot, typically Mediterranean summers and cooler, rainier winters. The best months to visit are April to October - and you can expect tourist areas to be very busy in July and August. Luxury Retreats offers comfortable private villas across the central and southern coast, from Split to Dubrovnik.
Famous for its beautiful clear waters just perfect for swimming, Croatia’s Adriatic Coast is lined with rocky coves where tourists and locals alike take turns diving into the blue. Be warned - Croatia does not have miles of sandy beaches. Instead, you’ll find people perched on flat rocks over the water, or sitting on pebbled stretches. Sandy beaches do exist but are a something of a rarity.
The island of Hvar, on the Split Riviera, has a great selection of beaches, from sandy nooks to pebbled coves. One of our favorites is Jagodna, a small sweep of shingle set against romantic stone cliffs and pine forest. The beach is accessible only via a hiking trail (and through a mountain tunnel), but the picturesque surroundings make the walk more than worthwhile.
If you’re craving sand, pack your sunscreen and head to Sunj beach on the island of Lopud just north of Dubrovnik. It’s one of the few flat sandy stretches in the area, making it very popular in summer. You can get there via a short ferry ride from the city.
Some beaches, such as Dubrovnik’s Cave Beach, are only accessible by boat, which gives you the perfect excuse to spend a day or two on the water exploring the coastline. Luxury Retreats can organize charter boat rentals so all you need to remember is your bikini.
To enjoy some of the most beautiful water you’ll ever see - without getting wet - take a trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Famed for its turquoise water and rushing waterfalls that tumble over moss-covered rocks, the scenery here is truly stunning and well worth a visit. Sadly, due to pollution from nearby hotels and tourists, swimming has been forbidden in the park for the past 10 years, so no matter how tempting, you’re not allowed to take a dip.
In recent years, Dubrovnik has become famous for something other than its scenery and history - a starring role in Game of Thrones. Standing in for King’s Landing, capital of the seven kingdoms and stronghold of the dastardly Lannister family, many famous scenes from the HBO series were shot within the city’s ancient walls. Fans of the show should definitely set aside time to take a GoT walking tour through the city’s streets. During the tour, knowledgeable guides will take you to key locations - from the Red Keep to Blackwater Bay - all the while sharing tidbits of Dubrovnik’s history along with gossip from the show. Your Luxury Retreats concierge can book this tour - just ask!
While its exports may not be as famous as Burgundy from France or Italian Chianti, Croatia is actually one of the world’s oldest wine producing countries. The first vines were planted by Ancient Greek settlers, and many traditional grape varieties still thrive here. Croatia produces mainly white wine - which is sometimes served diluted with sparkling water, a drink known as gemist - although some good reds exist too.
For whites, must-trys include Posip - golden in color with fruit overtones and excellent with fish - and Vugava, a varietal that has been a favorite with locals since the days of the Ancient Greeks. For reds, keep an eye out for the name Suha Punta on restaurant menus - the central coast wine producer is considered to produce some of the country’s best Babic (a Croatian varietal with berry fruit notes).
Overlooking the sparkling ocean, our villas along Croatia’s Adriatic coast provide the perfect base for days spent exploring the historic walled towns, charming fishing villages and beautiful coastline of this beguiling country.
Known as “The Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik’s stunning scenery is famous the world over. The city was founded in the 7th Century by Greek settlers, and played has since played host to Byzantines, Ottomans, Romans and even Napoleonic soldiers. A Unesco Heritage Site since 1979, a walk around the city walls will give you an idea of the fascinating, rich history of the city, and is a great way to start your time here. With panoramic views over the coastline and the city, with swimming pools, shaded terraces, and comfortable beds, you’ll love coming back to one of our welcoming Dubrovnik villas after a long day’s exploring.
Blessed with gorgeous scenery and sunny days, the Split Riviera is the ideal place for a vacation filled with sun, sea, and sightseeing. Many visitors make a beeline for the Roman Diocletian’s Palace, built in the 3rd Century for Emperor Diocletian. The structure is enormous - in fact, it’s less of a palace, and more of a large village - and encompasses around half of the old town. Inside you’ll find shops, cafes and more. It’s one of the most complete Roman ruins in existence and should definitely be on your must-visit list. Our Split vacation rentals are the ideal choice if you’re planning to explore this fascinating area, and with many homes sleeping up to 10 people, with private pools and more, they are great for a family trip.
Just off the Croatia’s central coast, the island of Hvar is known as a glamorous outpost for Europe’s summer party set. With a number of lovely beaches, a bustling town, and even lavender fields, there’s plenty here to enjoy. Hvar town is the epicenter of the action, where up to 20,000 visitors arrive daily in summer. The marina is filled with luxury yachts and the pedestrian, marble-paved streets are thronged with stylishly dressed visitors from across the continent. Our villas on the island are close enough to the action for you to be able to enjoy the great bars and restaurants but secluded enough that you’ll get the rest and relaxation you crave too.