This chapter is a “road map,” directing you to some of my favorites. I know you’ll add to the list when you find some of your own.
- Arriving in Vis Town by Sailboat (Vis): There’s no better way to explore Croatia’s myriad islands than by private boat. If you charter a yacht in Split, you can arrive on the distant island of Vis in approximately 5 hours (depending on the wind), passing the more visited islands of Brač and Hvar on the way. Vis Town sits in a sheltered bay, where you can moor up on the seafront and step ashore for a dinner of fresh fish and locally produced organic wine.
- Exploring Brijuni National Park (Istria): Rising from the turquoise-blue Adriatic, the meticulously kept islet of Veli Brijuni boasts lawns, parkland, pinewoods, Roman ruins, exotic animals, and a small museum to the former president of Yugoslavia, Tito, who entertained glamorous friends like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton here each summer.
- Listening to the Sea Organ (Zadar): Waves create music as they move water through this organ’s undersea pipes. Add a set of white stone steps leading into the crystal water above, and beams of light shooting from sister installation Greeting to the Sun on Zadar’s Riva, and the result is a matchless venue for enjoying a multimedia symphony courtesy of the sea and sky.
- Reaching the Top of Mount Biokovo (Makarska): Rising behind the seaside town of Makarska, rocky Biokovo is Croatia’s second highest mountain. From Sveti Jure, at the top (1,762m/5,780 ft.), you get stunning views down onto the deep blue Adriatic and the Dalmatian islands of Brač, Hvar, and Korčula. Looking inland, to the east, you can see the rugged mountains of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which often remain snow-covered into April.
- Sea-Kayaking Round the Elafiti Islets (Dubrovnik): One of Croatia’s top draws is its varied choice of adventure sports activities. Near Dubrovnik, the tiny car-free Elafiti Islets are ideal for exploring by sea kayak, as they lie close together. While you’re at it, kayaking does wonders for your torso.
- Visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships (Zagreb): Love and separation are universal themes. Croatia knows plenty about them, having once been a member of Yugoslavia before fighting a bitter war for independence. This internationally acclaimed museum has found a fitting home in Zagreb, with each exhibit connected to a love story that went wrong, accompanied by a brief written explanation. The concept is simple but the results are multifaceted, making this many people’s favorite museum in all Croatia.
- Walking Dubrovnik’s Walls (Dubrovnik): Walk a complete circuit of the magnificent medeival walls that protect Dubrovnik’s Old Town for fantastic views over the terracotta rooftops and down onto the deep blue Adriatic. Allow at least one hour, and be sure to bring a camera and a bottle of water.
- Watching the Sunrise Over Hvar Town’s Harbor (Hvar): After a night of partying, buy a take-away coffee and find a place to sit overlooking Hvar Town’s harbor—the perfect vantage point for witnessing the sunrise. At night, once the bars and restaurants have closed, everything is dark and silent. Then, just before dawn, the scene is painted in liquid gold. Pinks and blues are next, and finally the buildings and sea come into focus in silver, turquoise, and red. It’s an idyllic way to start a new day, even if you haven’t slept.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.