Croatia is the perfect destination to combine history and culture with food and wine. With a warm Mediterranean climate and even warmer people, it is one of our favorite regions to visit. From Istria to Dalmatia and the 1,000 islands, there is something to suit all tastes in this wonderful country. Travel to Croatia to experience a still relatively unspoiled European coastline.
Packed with historic UNESCO World Heritage sites, Croatia features influences ranging from Roman and Illyrian to Venetian and Austro-Hungarian.
Croatia is like its cuisine – a dash here and a splash there result in exquisite perfection. An amalgam of various dynasties and empires, Croatia is a patchwork of Venetian palazzos, Austro-Hungarian Opera Houses, and Illyrian fortresses, with a touch of Soviet Realism. From the Old Towns of Zagreb and Dubrovnik to the island retreats of Hvar or Brac, the Dinaric Alps stretch down to the Adriatic to create one of the most stunning landscapes in Europe. Over a glass of wine at a Dalmatian vineyard, paper-thin prosciutto at an Istrian farmhouse, or Peljesac oysters that melt in your mouth, food deservedly takes pride of place in Croatian culture. Warm, friendly and unpretentious, the Croatians are welcoming people who will cheerfully toast to your health and well being.
While on tour in Croatia, our exclusive Exeter International Extraordinary Experiences take you a step beyond the ordinary, creating the ultimate luxury vacation in Croatia. Be it an olive oil tasting to a curator led museum tour, to countryside bicycle rides, the soft-spoken charm of the locals and their laid-back lifestyle make it a perfect retreat from every perspective. Dive deep into this gorgeous country with Exeter International.
Croatia enjoys long, warm, dry summers and generally wet winters.
The very best time to visit Croatia is April – June and September and October. July and August can be very hot for touring, with temperatures in the ’80’s.
From November – March the weather can be uncertain and the ferries and catamarans that connect the mainland to the islands operate on a very reduced service.
In August Dubrovnik hosts its annual Summer Festival which has a rich cultural program for locals and visitors alike.
The Dalmatian coast is the country’s most beautiful region, stretching from Dubrovnik, close to the Montenegrin border, all the way to Split, in the middle of the coast. Split is Croatia’s second largest city after the capital, Zagreb. Its historic heart is dominated by the Diocletian Palace Complex, built by the Roman emperor Diocletian, who thought the Bay of Split was one of the most beautiful spots in the world. A few miles to the north is Trogir, another UNESCO jewel with facades ranging from Romanesque to Renaissance and Baroque. A short boat ride away are three very different islands – the relaxed Brac, the buzzing Hvar and the serene Vis. Dubrovnik is Croatia’s best known destination, but besides its charming Old Town, there is plenty to discover nearby – from silk artists in the Konavle region, to tiny fishermen’s villages on the islands of Lopud and Šipan, to the gardens of the Tresteno Arboretum.
The Istrian Peninsula, with its olive groves and vineyards, is very different from the Dalmatian coast. The Romans called this region terra magica (magical land) and today you can feel the strong Italian influences in the architecture and food. Truffles and pasta are a focus on many menus, and Istria is considered to be the foodie center of Croatia. One of the highlights of Istria is the town of Rovinj where Venetian influences abound. Exploring the rugged and hilly landscape, you can discover Roman ruins, medieval fortified towns and quaint coastal villages. Motovun is an excellent example of the ancient townships which once dotted the peninsula and the small village of Livade is famous for being one of the best-known truffle regions in Europe.
Let us introduce you to the artisan olive oil producer, the passionate winemaker, the best seafood restaurant, the seasoned truffle hunter. Our Extraordinary Experiences are different and unusual. We can offer insider access that gives your trip a wow factor. Our knowledge is hard to match – from the personally vetted restaurant to the very best hand-selected guides; we offer incredible value and completely customized trip planning. Read our expert, Mariana’s Insider Guide here.
If you are on an Adriatic cruise we can arrange a private shore excursion with your own Exeter hand-picked private guide in Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split and Rovinj. Our private shore excursions ensure that you’ll receive not only the best experience possible, but personalized service throughout, allowing you to maximize your time in port.
Enjoy the freedom of driving yourself and discovering small towns and villages? Croatia is the ideal self-drive destination. Our sample Dalmatia self-drive and Istria and Slovenia self-drive programs allow you to do just that with the help of a pre-programmed GPS delivered to you before you leave home and with the services of our 24 hour local staff. We can craft the perfect self-drive itinerary to fit your taste, pace and budget. Let us introduce you to the essentials of each city and give you suggestions of what to do on your own. Just plug in your Exeter pre-programmed GPS and let your adventure begin!
Croatia combines well with Venice and Ljubljana in the north and Montenegro, Bosnia and Serbia in the south. Venice needs no introduction! Ljubljana is the hidden jewel of the region – the capital of Slovenia with an alpine feel. Montenegro has 45 miles of Adriatic coastline and is home to some of the region’s finest hotels. Bosnia and Serbia are vibrant emerging nations full of the history of their past empires.