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CROATIA

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Trip Itinerary

Learn more about your itinerary, like optional tours, exclusive Discovery Series events, and more.

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14 DAYS FROM $4,295 • $ 307 / DAY
River Cruise Tour

Trip Itinerary

Get more information about your detailed itinerary, like optional tours, exclusive Discovery Series events, and more.

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29 DAYS FROM $8,195 • $ 283 / DAY
River Cruise Tour

Grand European Cruise

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Days in Croatia
1

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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

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Recommended Viewing

Watch this video showcasing what makes this country so unforgettable

Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa: Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Discover Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast—including its crown jewel of Dubrovnik—with Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa.

Produced by Small World Productions
25:11 |   18444 views   
16

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Croatia: Month-by-Month

There are pros and cons to visiting a destination during any time of the year. Find out what you can expect during your ideal travel time, from weather and climate, to holidays, festivals, and more.

Croatia in December-February

During the winter months, the Adriatic keeps Croatia’s coast relatively insulated—even in January (the coldest month) the temperature almost never dips below 41⁰F and snow is rare. So while it might not be possible to swim in the country’s characteristically enticing seas, it is still comfortable enough to explore seaside gems like Dubrovnik and Split.

It’s a slightly different story for the inland areas, which experience low temperatures of around 30⁰F in chilly January. Snow is also common, but when it dusts the slopes of Mount Sljeme, it transforms northern Croatia into an undiscovered (and extremely affordable) ski destination.

No matter where you chose to go, you’ll enjoy lighter crowds and lower prices, as travelers don’t typically visit during this time of year.

Holidays & Events

  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve
  • Carnival: Numerous festivals are celebrated throughout the period leading up to Lent

Must See

Throughout the Advent season, the streets of Zagreb are festooned with lights, and festive décor and activities can be found around every corner—including an ice skating rink, a nativity scene, and countless stalls selling mulled wine, cabbage rolls, and sweet štrukli (cheese-filled pastry). Can’t make it before Christmas? The merriment typically continues through the first week of the New Year.

Carnival offers another opportunity for revelry. From Split to Dubrovnik to the island of Pag, many Croatian destinations mark the event with traditional masks and merriment. But for an all-out jamboree, Rijeka is the place to be. During the week leading up to the main event, the city hosts a charity ball (attended by sports stars and politicians alike), a car rally, and a children’s parade. The celebration culminates in an afternoon march, followed by “the burning of the Pust,” when a puppet symbolizing the last year’s woes is taken out to sea and set alight.

Watch this film to discover more about Croatia

Bare Feet: Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

Explore the Dalmatian Coast and learn about Croatian history and culture through its traditional dances.

25:55 | 3934 views
3

Croatia in March-May

Easter heralds the beginning of Croatia’s spring season, which is marked by rising temperatures and longer days. Many of the country’s island resorts open their doors in March (though it’s usually still too cool for an ocean dip). Inland attractions also benefit from the changing seasons: As snow begins to melt, the Plitvice Lakes swell to their highest levels, and Krka Falls course with the run off. What’s more, the rising temperatures coax local flora and fauna out of hibernation, creating a spectacular display of life in the country’s national parks. By May, balmy weather has arrived, but summer’s crowds are just beginning to trickle in, making the month ideal for outdoor enthusiasts who would rather rub elbows with locals than foreign visitors.

Holidays & Events

  • March/April: Easter 
  • May 1: Labor Day; also known as May Day, this public holiday honors the working class. A free lunch of grah (bean soup)—a true workers’ dish—is served throughout the country

Must See

Since 1997, Croatia has welcomed the arrival of sailing season with an annual Easter Regatta. Over a four-day period, yachts fill up the harbors of Hvar Island to compete in tests of seamanship across the tranquil waters of the Adriatic.

Not to be outdone, the mainland kicks off its cultural season in April. From a harp festival and garden show in Zagreb, to asparagus and wine tastings in Istria, and a feast for the patron saint of Spilt, Croats find any excuse to step outside and enjoy the warmer weather come April.

Before summer kicks off in earnest, Zagreb hosts the first of two annual Fashion Weeks to highlight the season’s upcoming trends. The event not only brings together big-name designers from around the world, but is also an opportunity for up-and-coming Croats to showcase their contributions to the world of style. It’s an appropriate festival for the country responsible for one of fashion’s most enduring accessories—the necktie.

Watch this film to discover more about Croatia

Bare Feet: Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

Explore the Dalmatian Coast and learn about Croatian history and culture through its traditional dances.

25:55 | 3934 views
3

Croatia in June-August

Warm weather, sunny skies, and low precipitation make summer an ideal season for discovering Croatia—and travelers have caught on. Temperatures peak in July and remain high throughout August, and so does the number of visitors. For a summertime feel without elbow-to-elbow crowds, opt for June, when the average high hovers around 77⁰F and sunshine is plentiful. Whether you come at the start of the season or at its height, one thing is certain: Croatia will be lively with holidays and cultural festivals.

Holidays & Events

  • June 22: Anti-Fascist Struggle Day; marks the start of the uprising against the Nazi and Italian forces that occupied the country in 1941
  • June 25: Statehood Day; marks the day that Croatia formally proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia in 1991
  • August 5: Thanksgiving Day; also known as Victory Day, this public holiday celebrates Croatia’s War of Independence—in particular, Operation Storm, which brought an end to the country’s Serbian separatist movement

Must See

If you find yourself in Zagreb, you may experience the International Folklore Festival, which is marked by five days of stage performances, concerts, and exhibitions highlighting Croatian heritage. Around the same time, the coastal town of Omis honors traditional song with its week-long Festival of Dalmatian Klapa.

With a long scholarly history and a deep appreciation for bygone traditions, it’s no surprise that Dubrovnik’s most famous cultural festival is more intellectually-minded. Founded in 1949, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is a month-and-a-half-long celebration of classical theater and music. From Shakespearean tragedies to Viennese orchestras, the city’s Renaissance squares and Baroque palaces resound with a cacophony of timeless creativity.

Tiny Motovun takes a more modern approach to its artistic celebration: It hosts an independent film festival that was launched in 1999 as a response to the dominance of Hollywood blockbusters in Croatian cinemas. Dubbed “the Woodstock of film,” more than 40,000 movie buffs descend on the sleepy medieval town to enjoy late-night screenings that run continuously for nearly a week.

For a more low-key holiday, head toward the sea. With a lengthy coastline and hundreds of islands, the country is a haven for beachgoers. Boasting blue-green waters and hidden coves, the Dalmatian Coast is considered Croatia’s Riviera, attracting international vacationers and celebrities alike.

Watch this film to discover more about Croatia

Bare Feet: Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

Explore the Dalmatian Coast and learn about Croatian history and culture through its traditional dances.

25:55 | 3934 views
3

Croatia in September-November

Fall ushers in a change of pace in Croatia. While temperatures and crowd levels remain high at the start of September, they start to taper off toward the end of the month—though not so quickly that ocean-lovers can’t linger on the beach into the start of October. As autumn progresses and the air cools, leaves begin to show off their coppery hues. The changes are especially evident in the national parks, where deciduous trees create a canopy of color. For most of the season, daylight lingers and precipitation holds off, creating the perfect environment for enjoying harvest celebrations. But when November arrives, night comes earlier, a chill sets in, and the heaviest rain of the year begins to fall.

Holidays & Events

  • October 8: Independence Day; commemorates the Croatian Parliament’s decision to sever legal ties with Yugoslavia in 1991
  • November 11: St. Martin’s Day; a harvest celebration marking the day grape juice traditionally turns into wine. After the wine is “baptized,” Croatians typically enjoy goose and mlinci (dried flatbread) dinners.

Must See

If you visit Split in early September, you may be surprised to see toga-clad locals and epic gladiator battles. It’s all part of the Days of Diocletian, a festival honoring the city’s Roman founder. In addition to elaborate costumes and performances, horse-drawn-carriage parades, booming drums, and Mediterranean cuisine also add to the ancient atmosphere.

For a more traditional fall fête, Opatija beckons with Marunada. This 45-year-old festival celebrates the maruni, a large, sweet chestnut variety that grows at the foot of nearby Mount Učka. Revelers can sample a number of treats made with maruni, from pancakes to goulash to pie.

Truffles are another highlight for foodie travelers. Croatia’s Istrian peninsula abounds with them, and late autumn is prime truffle-hunting season. Many of the region’s smaller towns celebrate their newfound availability, so if you’d like to sample this delicacy, head to Livade for Zigante Truffle Days, or to Buzet for The Weekend of Truffles.

Watch this film to discover more about Croatia

Bare Feet: Croatia's Dalmatian Coast

Explore the Dalmatian Coast and learn about Croatian history and culture through its traditional dances.

25:55 | 3934 views
3

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Croatia Interactive Map

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*Destinations shown on this map are approximations of exact locations

Batina

Cozied up to the right bank of the Danube River is the little port village of Batina. An ideal home-base for travelers looking to discover larger Croatian cities such as Osijek, Batina also has its own small-town charms to tempt day-trippers—from its lush nature parks to its historic Old Town and the Benedictine Convent of St. Luc, a beautiful collection of religious art and artifacts dating back to the 13th century.

Explore Batina with us on:

Osijek

Situated on the Drava River, about 15 miles from the mouth of the Danube, the city of Osijek was populated even in prehistoric times, and the first urban settlement was erected by the Romans. But its advantageous geographical location made it prey to assault throughout the centuries. It was destroyed by the Huns, rebuilt in the Middle Ages, destroyed by the Turks, and rebuilt again in the 18th century. As a result, Osijek boasts an eclectic architectural heritage.

Among the more notable sites are the Tvrdja, a unique urban and military complex that lies in the center of the city and was built between 1712 and 1721 by the new Austrian authorities; the neo-Gothic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, with a 290-foot spire; and the striking, 690-foot modern pedestrian bridge that rises over the Drava. Reliving its own cruel history in our era, Osijek was heavily damaged during the Croatian-Serbian war. Now peaceful, the city is experiencing a rebirth of civic pride and cultural and economic achievement.

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Vukovar

The baroque city of Vukovar—ideally situated at the banks of the Vuka and Danube rivers—still bears the scars of the Croatian-Serbian war that waged from 1991 to 1995, as it suffered the worst artillery shelling. Undaunted, the city today is in the midst of an evolving revival as it slowly but surely rebuilds—returning to its former glory. Visitors can take advantage of the city’s cultural treasures, from the historically-rich Vukovar City Museum to the numerous wine cellars offering vintages from the surrounding region’s lush vineyards.

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