Whilst it isn’t a new addition to our luxury travel portfolio, we are proud to have recently added a number of new and exclusive luxury hotels to our Croatia collection. From decadent dining in clifftop restaurants at Villa Dubrovnik, to ultra-luxurious Romantic Suite at Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik, or the old world charm of Villa Orsula, we’re certain you’ll be captivated by Croatia this summer. To further Croatia’s cause, we’ve selected a few lesser known reasons why this charming country is often considered Europe’s definitive travel gem.
1. The World is Your Oyster
With an arresting, rugged coastline stretching the length of the Adriatic, you’d expect the catch of the day to be particularly fresh in Croatia. Specialising in seafood, Croatia is a dream destination for those who seek to taste the world as they travel it. It may seem subjective, but we’re confident we’ve uncovered the best oysters in the world in Ston. Enjoy at sunset with a crisp glass of chilled Champagne and we’re certain you’ll agree.
2. Red or White Delights
Facing Italy and sharing a landmass with Spain, France and Portugal it is perhaps no wonder how Croatia’s winning wine-making prowess has gone almost un-noticed for so long. Our exclusive luxury Croatia hotels boast exceptional wine menus featuring the finest local and international labels. Be sure to check out Villa Dubrovnik’s fabulous Wine Book and look out for the Dingac 2009, label which is one of Croatia’s (and Europe’s) best-quality wines.
3. Star Power
The other-worldly ambience of the Adriatic and the dazzling landscapes of the Dalmatian Coast don’t just win over the hearts of enamoured travellers. Many film directors have chosen Dubrovnik as the setting for global blockbusters on account of the visually arresting vistas. The city has proven a beguiling backdrop for such cinematic heavyweights as Game of Thrones and Star Wars and is rumoured to be the setting for the next James Bond film. For a taste of Europe-meets-Hollywood, with plenty of architectural artistry to boot, make Dubrovnik your A-List destination of choice.
4. Opera in the Churches
Croatia’s fascinating history is ever present in the stunning architecture of the ancient cities and rugged ruins. Dubrovnik is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful buildings and the alluring ambience is being celebrated loud and proud this summer with an inspired festival combining architecture and music. The Dubrovnik Opera Festival is a truly unique event, taking place in one of Croatia’s oldest churches to showcase the building’s incredible acoustics to their full effect. Unmissable, unforgettable.
5. Discover New Territory
Our featured luxury Croatia hotel, Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, offers guests the rare opportunity to explore Croatia’s alluring collection of uninhabited islands with an exclusive boat excursion. The thirteen islands that make up the Elafiti archipelago - Elafiti comes from the Greek word, ‘elafos’ or ‘deer’ - are perfect for a summer afternoon of sailing. Only three of the islands are inhabited - Šipan, Lopud and Koločep - and their beautiful shorelines are rich in maritime and natural variety. The ten remaining islets are filled with pine forests, cliffs, caves, reefs and beaches, for a sense of true escapism.
6. The World on a Plate
Croatia’s rich history extends to its culinary prowess and there is no end to the delectable delights you can enjoy. We’ve already fished out the finest seafood and world-class oysters, but for a greater variety of options, there are two standout restaurants, 360 and Restaurant Dubrovnik, that each serve a real wow-factor. Of course, our featured resorts boast exceptional dining facilities and the mouthwatering menus combine the best Mediterranean cuisine with contemporary Croatian flair.
7. Leave the Euro, Remain in Europe
Much like the UK, Croatia maintains its own currency and has not converted to the Euro. Kuna is the official currency of Croatia and it is certainly a refreshing change to be using a new currency whilst on holiday in Europe.
8. Stunning Sunsets
Croatia’s sparkling coastline and captivating cliffs provide exceptional vantage points from which to enjoy the illusive evening sun and stunning sunsets. For a truly seductive setting, watch the sun go down, with a cocktail in hand, by seeking out the coolest spots on the island; the dramatic cliffside Buza bars.
9. History and Heritage
Dubrovnik is a great city to uncover on foot, with many routes around the ancient walls and streets full of character inviting exploration. There are many hidden highlights lurking within the ancient architecture, and the knowledgeable concierges at our featured luxury hotels are able to guide you to the best attractions in the vicinity of your hotel. Our must-see destinations include the fascinating Franciscan Monastery and the Maritime Museum, situated in the fortress Sveti Ivan with a number of exhibits on permanent display, related to the maritime affairs of Dubrovnik and Croatia, with a particular emphasis on the history of the Dubrovnik Republic. Dubrovnik Old Town is a true treasure all of its own and we recommend a day trip to this idyllic city, known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.
10. Short-haul Happiness
From the minute you book a luxury holiday, the countdown is on for take-off. Whilst far-flung destinations have their charms, a short-haul flight is an excellent way to start the holiday fun early. EasyJet now fly to Tivat and many other airways have daily flights to Dubrovnik just two-and-a-half-hours away.