Chances are you've had a friend or family member singing Croatia's praises to you, serenading you with tales of how wonderful their visit was. You might have scrolled past an out of this world picture, or simply overheard a stranger complimenting Croatia. Nobody has a bad word to say about these welcoming shores! If you still need a little persuading, we've put together five reasons to visit Croatia. Clear a space on your travel to-do list…
Forget what the song says, sometimes you just need to go chasing waterfalls! And if you're going to go against the tuneful advice of these lyrics, there's nowhere better than Croatia. Plitvice is home to 16 magnificent lakes, connected by the rumble and tumble of waterfalls. Like nature's own champagne fountain, beautiful bubbles fill the pools below. In the ultimate show of one-upmanship, Krka proudly offers 17 waterfalls and you can even take a dip in the lakes here! Equally as beautiful, it's hard to pick a favourite. So why not visit both?
It's time to cleanse your palate, because Croatia is home to an excellent selection of wine! On the Dalmatian Coast grape growing conditions are great (try saying that after the first few glasses of your vineyard tasting tour). Plavac Mali is one of the area's finest bottled exports, with blackberries, cherries and figs shaping its unique tang. Dry and refreshing, with hints of honey, fennel and apricot – this sounds like a delicious Istrian blend. A glass of Malvazija Istarska more than lives up to these expectations. Teran is another wonderful Istrian tipple, produced using a red grape that grows in the region. As you swirl it around in your mouth, bold flavours and berries dance on your tongue! Happiness comes by the bottle here, so pick your favourite and take home a smile for your loved ones.
Even if history's not exactly your cup of tea, you shouldn't skip this one! Like a fine artist, Croatia seamlessly blends old with new. Ancient monuments and modern life work together in perfect harmony here. The bustling port of Pula perfectly complements the towering Roman amphitheatre, giving you history and a lively atmosphere. In Dubrovnik locals live among the monuments of the Old Town. So the buzz of market-lined squares can be heard in the ancient palaces, monasteries and museums. And in Split, the palace and present day are anything but. The labyrinth of streets hug the walls of Diocletian's Palace, so boutiques and times gone by sit side by side.
It's almost impossible to pick a favourite Croatian island. Each one is so unique, with a different personality that captures a little piece of your heart. Hvar is somehow upmarket, trendy and historically quaint all at once – cocktails and culture await! Brac is known for stone, charming villages and the beautiful beach of Zlatni Rat. Mljet's salt water lakes are a marvel, brilliantly blue among the blanket of forest. And Vis is like your window to the past, with the island having been closed to the public until 1989. Time truly has stood still here, giving you a fascinating glimpse at Croatia as it once was.
There seems to be an unwritten rule when it comes to beaches. If the area is known as a Riviera, you can almost guarantee you're going to be spoilt for sandy choice. Enter Makarska! The Riviera where golden shores sit in the shadows of the imposing Biokovo Mountains, the sea is electric blue and the pine trees are a wonderful shade of green. There's no better backdrop to your beach days, as you bask in the explosion of colours around you. And if you need that injection of tradition and heritage, take a stroll through one of the seaside villages scattered along the coast.