Planning your travel for this year already? If you love crystal-clear waters and ancient, cobbled streets, Croatia could make a wonderful destination for your next vacation. This amazing country is one of Europe’s hidden gems for food, drink, and spectacular views. In cities and in smaller seaside towns, there are also plenty of festivals and cultural activities to guarantee an immersive trip.

Want to learn more? We’ve listed our top five reasons to visit Croatia in our quick guide below.

Five reasons to visit Croatia

1) Beautiful beaches

Croatian beaches give you unrivalled access to beautiful beaches. From soft sands and delicate pebbles to sheer drops from dramatic cliffs, there’s a coastal gem to inspire everyone here. Whether you’d rather sunbathe or go sailing, the choice is yours.

Secluded villages also make Croatian coastlines so special, offering the chance to explore regional areas that feel undiscovered. Some of the best secret spots on the Dalmatian Coast include Hvar and Šolta, two destinations often overlooked by Dubrovnik and Split.

2) Perfect for active vacations

Croatia is known as the jewel of the Adriatic. Pebbled beaches lead to waters perfect for sailing and windsurfing, while winding mountain roads take you to some of the most diverse national parks in the world. The Krka National Park makes a great first hike in Croatia, with its famous waterfalls and turquoise waters.

Cycling along the Dalmatian coastline promises a wealth of opportunities for taking in the most beautiful scenery you could imagine. Gentle, rolling terrain makes sure that anyone can enjoy quality cycling tours in Croatia, no matter their fitness or ability on two wheels. Why not roll from one wine region to the next?

3) Island-hopping

Island-hopping adds a whole new dimension to your vacation in Croatia. At your own pace, you can travel across the Dalmatian Archipelago, a remarkable string of more than a thousand Islands. Each one boasts its own distinct character and charm, allowing you to learn even more about the cultural delights.

Hvar is famous for its unexpectedly lively nightlife, paired with vibrant lavender fields and historical sites to explore during the day. Local street markets and scenic beaches offer plenty of opportunities to keep busy during the day.

4) Incredible cuisine

Food and wine complete the Croatian experience. Not many people know about the quality of the wines on offer here, so being able to experience the best Croatian wine regions for yourself gives you a wonderful and exclusive perspective to take home.

There are some amazing local dishes to try while you’re away in Croatia, too. If you love mussels, you’ll be a big fan of Brodetto, a traditional seafood stew cooked with a decadent tomato base that enhances the flavours of fresh fish.

Or, if you’re feeling more of a charcuterie vibe, you won’t be disappointed by Istrian ham: traditionally dry-salted and seasoned with natural spices, local cured meat is a delicacy. If you’re heading out for dinner, you’ll find that a hearty meal typically starts with a delicious ham and cheese platter.

5) Lively cultural scene

Finally, don’t be fooled into thinking that Croatia is all about a slower pace of life. There’s a wonderful youthful energy here too, making it perfect for trips with friends.

The capital city, Zagreb, offers an impressive variety of cultural events throughout the year, including music festivals, concerts, exhibitions, and sports fixtures too. The city centre is also home to the National Museum of Modern Art and the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery serve as important institutions for art enthusiasts.

Croatia: Why is it the place to be?

The Dalmatian Coast has almost too much history to take in.

The Istrian peninsula is living history, where rolling countryside meets preserved ruins from the Roman, Venetian and Habsburg empires. Incredibly well-preserved amphitheaters stand tall in Pula, while Venetian-style townhouses proudly line the streets in the port of Rovinj.

In larger towns like Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik, you’ll spot ancient palaces nestled between five-star resorts and all your favourite idiosyncrasies found on European vacations – like ice cream parlours and coffee shops. What’s not to love?