Croatia is a name that seems to be on the tip of everyone's tongue. Since declaring its independence in 1991 (and fighting for independence until 1995), Croatia has become the darling of southeastern Europe. In the midst of its charming cities, pristine islands, and sparkling Adriatic coastline are centuries of history just waiting to be uncovered. It's a place to swim, sunbathe, and savor the local lifestyle at our beautiful Croatia vacation rentals.
A part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I, Croatia spent most of the 20th century absorbed by the communist Yugoslavia. Today, the Republika Hrvatska (as it is called in Croatian) is a member of the European Union, with borders that meet Slovenia and Hungary in the north, Montenegro in the south, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the east, and the Adriatic Sea to the west.
Your vacation likely begins in Zagreb, the northern capital city known for its enchanting independent spirit. As Croatia's cultural and political hub since the Middle Ages, Zagreb boasts a vibrant music scene and café culture that will immediately draw you in. You'll also be within driving distance of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a stunningly scenic series of lakes and waterfalls connected by wooden footbridges.
Head west from Zagreb to visit Istria, the triangular peninsula beloved among Slovenian, Italian, and Austrian sun-seekers. Admire the Venetian influence in the picturesque city of Rovinj on the coast, take a detour into the interior hilltop villages, and dine on delicious local seafood, olive oil, white asparagus, and white truffles.
Croatia's southern reaches comprise the historic region of Dalmatia, a narrow strip of mainland and islands that account for much of the country's 3,625-mile coastline. With past inhabitants that have included the Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Croatian kings, and dozens of other conquerors, this spectacular stretch of the Adriatic is now a renowned place for sun-splashed relaxation.
One of the crown jewels of Dalmatia is the city of Dubrovnik, which has gained fame in recent years as a shooting location for HBO's "Game of Thrones." Spend your days swimming in the cool waters of Banje Beach or on the shores of Lokrum Island, and reserve the golden hour for strolling the magnificent city walls. The larger metropolis of Split to the north is also the site of Diocletian's Palace - one of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world.
But no visit to Croatia is complete without an island escape - luckily, there are hundreds to choose from on the Dalmatian Coast alone. Bask in the unspoiled beauty of Mljet, the white stone coast of Brač, the serenity of Vis, the charming village of Korčula, or the summertime energy of Hvar.
Come and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in southeastern Europe - escape to one of our Croatia vacation rentals today!
Photo Credit: Víctor González via Flickr