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The five best places to go in Croatia

30 May 2019

From Roman ruins and medieval walled cities to crystal-clear seas and lush islands, Croatia is a traveller’s paradise just waiting to be discovered. But where should you go? Here's our guide to the top 5 places to visit in Croatia.

Dubrovnik, Croatia


The historic city of Dubrovnik is a delight to experience. The town comes to life as the sun goes down, particularly during the month-long Summer Festival of arts, including music and theatre.

Although medieval Dubrovnik was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1667, much of the original architecture remains, including a pharmacy dating back to 1317, one of the oldest in Europe.

Lord Byron was not overstating the matter when he proclaimed Dubrovnik ‘The pearl of the Adriatic,’ and in 1979 the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Fans of HBO/Sky Atlantic's Game of Thrones will recognise Dubrovnik as King's Landing, the seat of power in Westeros and home to the Iron Throne itself, and there are plenty of options when it comes to tours of some of the most recognisable locations, and some, including the Game of Thrones Walking Tour, are included in the price of the Dubrovnik Card.

Where to stay? Dubrovnik's not just for longer holidays – it's also an excellent choice for a short break. Visit Saga Holidays to take a look at the latest availability. 

Hvar, Croatia
The island of Hvar

The Dalmatian Coast

The mountainous Croatian coastline boasts some of the highest peaks in the Mediterranean. From these lofty heights you can appreciate just how crystal clear the turquoise waters of the Adriatic really are. It’s no wonder that the sea around Croatia was the favourite haunt of Jacques Cousteau, as it is today for many underwater explorers.

The Dalmatian Coast is reminiscent of the Italian cafe culture, with a slow pace of life and afternoon siestas, so don’t expect anything to happen in a hurry here.

Where to stay? If this sounds like your kind of holiday, then there are a wide range of self-catering villas in destinations across the Dalmatian Coast, including the picturesque fishing village of Hvar and Brac.

Makarska Riviera, Croati
Makarska Riviera

Makarska Riviera

The Makarska Riviera is one of the most famous and picturesque tourist locations along the Croatian coast with countless sandy beaches, pine tree forests, sparkling waters and peaceful bays. The area is also well-known for Biokovo Mountain which overlooks the coastal area.

Makarska is the centre of the Makarska Riviera and has a rich cultural and historical heritage. The city is noted for its palm-fringed promenade where fashionable cafés, bars and boutiques overlook the charming harbour.

Where to stay? A stay at the 4-star Villa Hotel Kastelet is the perfect base for exploring the Makarska Riviera. This beautiful Baroque hotel is full of authentic Croatian character and enjoys an exceptional location in the village of Tucepi, overlooking the Adriatic Sea and backed by the Biokovo Mountains.

The Adriatic Sea is a gem; from the gorgeous isles of Croatia to the world-famous cities of Italy, be inspired. Discover more

Rovinj in Istria, Croatia
Rovinj in Istria


Istria's natural beauty, stunning shoreline and continental climate are perfect for a sophisticated holiday. Emerald-blue waters and secluded pebble shores sit effortlessly beside historic cities and natural wonders.

Further inland, romantic hill-top towns rich in culture and hospitality warmly embrace visitors with home-cooked cuisine - offering rustic retreats ideal for rest and relaxation.

Where to stay? Sveti Lovrec is a remote village in the heart of Istria and close to Porec and Rovinj. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the current layout of the town dates back to the construction of the church of Sveti Martin in the 8th century. There are a few shops and restaurants in the vicinity and the village makes a great base from where to explore this fascinating area of Istria.

Waterfall in Krka National Park, Croatia
Waterfall in Krka National Park, Croatia.

Krka National Park

Established in 1985, Croatia’s Krka National Park is of astounding natural beauty. Skradinski buk and Roski slap are the two main waterfalls in the park, the first with a drop of 46m. 

There are also several archeological remains of unpreserved fortresses in the park’s vicinity dating back as far as the Roman times.

Where to stay? Explore the spectacular waterfalls on a full-day optional excursion on Saga’s highly commended tour, Adriatic Coastal Explorer.

Discover more about the beautiful country of Croatia. Find out more about our holidays to Croatia here


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.