Stunning natural landscapes, ancient cities steeped in culture, pristine beaches leading to crystal-clear waters… you name it, Croatia has it all.
This Adriatic gem is fast establishing itself as a holiday hotspot. Yet, compared to many of its neighbours, tourism has not diluted the country's authenticity and rustic charm. The locals plan on keeping it that way, too; this summer, flights to Dubrovnik were limited to cut the risk of overcrowding.
Croatia is distinguished by its raw, natural beauty – it’s impossible not to feel compelled to whip out your camera and snap the jaw-dropping sights. In fact, in a TUI study cited by Time Out, Croatia was found to be the most popular rising destination to be tagged on Instagram this summer. Greece scored the most Instagram mentions, at over 1.4 million, but Croatia came second with more than 759,000 mentions.
To fire up that wanderlust, here are four of the most Instagrammable spots in Croatia:
Straddling the Sava river, Zagreb is a vibrant capital without the chaos. Its rich history, which dates back to the Roman times, is evident in its antique-like buildings which line the cobbled streets. You could lose hours people-watching to the sound of clinking glasses in the city’s central point, the charming Ban Jelacic Square. To work off a long, lazy lunch, take a stroll to the look-out point for spectacular views of the city.
Here’s a city where the modern and contemporary exist in perfect harmony. In Split, you’ll gain unique insight into the Dalmation way of life as you amble ancient, twisting alleyways which lead onto spacious plazas paved with flawless white stone. The Old Town is Split’s most postcard-perfect area and home to the Diocletian's Palace, a Unesco World Heritage site and arguably one of the world’s finest examples of a Roman monument.
Dubrovnik is a pure sight to behold; its baroque buildings jutting out onto the calm, glistening waters of the Adriatic sea. Inland, encased within the ancient city walls, its limestone streets are peppered with restaurants and cafes. For a city that was disastrously bombed less than 30 years ago, it emulates flawlessness. Learn all about its tumultuous past in one of its many museums, and for sweeping rooftop views, hop in a cable car to Mount Srd.
You’d be hard pressed to find another place in the Med that matches the natural splendour of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park. Situated in the mountainous Karst region, the park boasts no less than sixteen turquoise lakes, joined by waterfalls and surrounded by dense woodland inhabited by deer, wolves, boar, bears and rare bird species. You can reach the park by public transport or by booking on one of the many organised excursions from one of the cities.
It really is impossible not to be captivated by Croatia. But before jetting off to the country, make sure you’re well protected by taking out quality travel insurance through Medical Travel Compared.