Plan the Perfect Croatia Vacation

Plan the Perfect Croatia Vacation


Croatia, where sapphire waters meet the edges of ancient city walls. It’s the Mediterranean dream vacation with relaxation and culture. Skip the crowds and extreme heat by vacationing in May, June, September, or October. The long sandy beaches invite you to lounge and spend a lazy day floating in the Adriatic Sea. When you’re not relaxing, you can head out for a little more adventure like kayaking, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, or sailing.

After a relaxing day at the beach, head into Old Town and walk the cobblestone streets and savor the medieval charm. Many restaurants set up their tables within the town squares, where you can dine under the stars.

The coast's culture is heavily influenced by Italy. The southern coastline of Croatia was under the rule of the Republic of Venice from the early 11th century as a part of Venetian Dalmatia, but not formally organized until the 16th century. Venice retained control until the Neoplianic conquest against Italy at the end of the 18th century.

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Flights to Croatia

Croatia has two year-round international airports covering the 300 miles between the northern capital of Zagreb and the southern tourist hot spot Dubrovnik. Seasonal flights are available to the central coastal cities of Zadar and Split.

Flying from North America requires a layover at one of the several major European hubs unless you fly from Toronto. Air Canada and AirTransat both provide a direct flight to Zagreb one day a week.

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights options. If you have trouble finding a flight, use the airport websites. All the sites have pages with arrival flight information for summer and winter.

Flights to Dubrovnik

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If you’re vacationing in Dubrovnik, fly into Airport Dubrovnik. Bosnia & Herzegovina owns a 5-mile sliver of the coastline between Dubrovnik and Spilt. Additionally, the train from Zagreb stops in Split, and the drive to Dubrovnik is an additional 3.5 hours.

Airlines to check for connecting flights to Dubrovnik:

  • Aegean Airlines
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air France
  • Alitalia
  • Austrian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Condor
  • Easyjet
  • Iberia
  • Lufthansa
  • Norwegian Air
  • SAS
  • Volotea
  • Vueling Airlines
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Top connections for summer flights from the USA (late March - end October):

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Helinski, Finland
  • London Gatwick, UK
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Manchester, UK
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Rome, Italy
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Venice, Italy

There are only a few international flights available to Dubrovnik in the off-season (starting at the end of October). Each airline also only flies a few times per week. Verify the weekly flight days before booking your hotel.

Flights to Split

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During the summer season flights are available from select international hubs.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
    • Norwegian Air
  • Frankfurt, Germany
    • Lufthansa
  • London Heathrow, UK
  • Madrid, Spain
  • Rome, Italy
  • Stockholm, Sweden
    • SAS

Croatia Vacation

The two favorite spots to vacation in Croatia are Split and Dubrovnik. Both cities were filming locations for the television series Game of Thrones. The island of Vis, off the coast of Split, was the Greece stand-in for the filming of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

Top 4 Split, Croatia Beaches

In Dubrovnik and Split, it is illegal to walk around in your bathing suit or without a shirt. You will be fined 133 Euros for doing it.

  1. Trstenik beach at Radisson Blu Resort Split

While this is a public pebble beach, it is well-appointed with parasols and lounge chairs.

  1. Bačvice

This famous sandy beach is the central city beach. There are several lounge chairs and parasols, but you will find most are already reserved even if you arrive early. You’ll often see locals playing picigin, a game invented on this beach.

During the summer months, bars and clubs open along the beach creating the city's largest nightlife area.

  1. Kaštelet

A famous beach with the 20-something crowd. If you enjoy the party-beach atmosphere, this is the beach for you because the bars blast their music. It’s a twenty-minute walk from the city center.

  1. Vis Island

The best beaches on Vis are between Banje and Sv Jakov. Vis was relatively untouched before 1989. The filming of the Mamma Mia! sequel caused a real estate boom. Hotel San Giorgio is the only four-star hotel on the island, but there are several recently renovated vacation homes around the island. is the standard in this part of the world to book vacation homes.

Dubrovnik’s “The City” Beach


A short walk from the Ploče Gate, Banje, is a pebble and sand beach. Known as the city’s beach, it has jet skis, inflatables, and showers. A lounge chair requires payment to the East-West restaurant club.


Often when people think of the Balkans and food, they think of dishes adorned with boiled potatoes. Croatian coastal cuisine is actually Italian inspired. You will enjoy plentiful seafood, risotto, prosciutto, cheeses, and wines when you visit.

For restaurant recommendations read Best Restaurants in Dubrovnik or Places to Eat in Split by Chasing the Donkey, a top expert on Croatia. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Split & Dubrovnik Hotels

When you are selecting your hotel, you need to readjust your mind for the star rating. A four-star hotel can have a wide range of experiences. Most have a high level of service and buffet breakfast, but upon arrival, you might be surprised it looks similar to three-star hotels in the US. Five-star hotels are the highest level of service available in Croatia. Expect the furnishings to be lavish and the service spectacular.

During the peak summer months, four-star hotels range from 180 - 250 Euros per night. Five-star hotels begin as low as 210 Euros and can exceed 600 Euros per night. Expect to save about 20 percent by traveling May - June or September - October.

The standard hotel booking engine for Croatia is . You’ll find the largest selection of hotels and vacation homes available through this site.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Bluesun Hotel Bonaca is on Brac island, just off of the coast of Split, and is near one of Croatia’s best beaches. This three-star hotel focuses on keeping the kids entertained so the parents can relax. The all-inclusive plan includes three meals, drinks, snacks, and bike rental.

Valamar Club Dubrovnik on the Babin Kuk peninsula is the city’s only all-inclusive resort. The three-star hotel offers a large swimming pool, a clay tennis court, water sports, and a sea-view terrace bar. Regular buses to Old Town are available nearby. The hotel also offers organized programs to entertain the children.

Read our other articles about Croatia

Travel Croatia on a Budget

Finding Luxury in Croatia

Peter Shaw

I was top 5 #digitalnomad influencer, but now living the #expat life.
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