Croatia

If it wasn’t for Croatia, there is a very good chance that you wouldn’t be reading this text. In 1999, our Managing Director, Ali McLean and his wife Kate, spent their honeymoon sailing from island to island along what they still describe as,  

“The most captivating coastline in the world

Given the nature of their jobs and how broadly these guys have travelled this is indeed high praise.

Croatia is a compelling mix of historic towns, national parks and sun-drenched islands. Our range of holidays to Croatia cover all of the key highlights and many off the beaten track gems. All of our Croatian holidays are inspired by our own extensive travels in this fascinating country.

Croatia’s cities are utterly beguiling. Dubrovnik’s fortified walls conceal an Old Town that is more film set (think Game of Thrones) than municipal centre. Further north in Split, there is a joy in losing oneself amidst the marbled alleys that surround the Roman ruins of Diocletian’s Palace and if you enjoy our Land and Sea cruise here then this is one of the main ports of call.

The Croatian islands are just dreamy and each one has its own distinctive characters and our cruise of the Islands and towns of Dalmatia takes in a fabulous selection. We’ve spent many happy hours ambling around Korčula’s medieval old town or simply people-watching in hip and trendy Hvar. In mythology, heavenly Mljet (“Mee-yet”) is said to be the island on which Calypso held Odysseus captive for seven years. Lucky Odysseus!

It’s worth mentioning that the McLean family regularly return to Croatia. That’s Croatia; you just keep coming back for more!

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Speak to our Artisan Travel Experts
01670 785 085

When to Visit Croatia 

Our Croatian holidays depart between the months of April to October. Sun lovers relish the soaring temperatures of high summer while the slightly cooler days of April, May, June, September and October attract fewer tourists.

Cruising the Dalmatian Archipelago is a joy throughout the summer. Even in the warmest months, sailing creates a cooling breeze and, when you weigh anchor, what better way to keep cool than with a dip in the clear waters of the Adriatic?

A seven night small-ship cruise is the perfect way to see the best of the islands. Our Islands and Cities of the Dalmatian Coast cruise takes in a visit to Hvar, the new playground of the glitterati, and Korčula with its eponymous medieval town and sleepy coastal villages. Zlatni Rat is an absolutely stunning white-pebble beach on the lovely island of Brač and Mljet is so exquisite as to have seduced Odysseus into staying for seven years. Having been there ourselves, we’re surprised it wasn’t longer.

If you want to combine cities, islands and the interior then our Croatia Highlights holiday has it covered. It includes a night in Zagreb, a night in Split, entrance to Plitviče Lakes National Park and a seven-night small-ship cruise which visits several islands as well as spellbinding Dubrovnik. 

See and Do

You could spend a lifetime exploring Croatia’s 1246 islands but perhaps just one encapsulates all that is mesmeric about Croatia’s Adriatic Coast.

One third of Mljet Island is a designated national park the highlights of which are not one, but two, inland saltwater lakes. Like a Russian Matryoshka Nesting Doll, the larger of the two lakes is host to another smaller island called The Isle of Saint Mary. Take one of the small boats over to the island and you can have lunch at the Benedictine Monastery that has occupied St Mary since the 12th Century. Mljet is that kind of place, the entire Dalmatian Archipelago is that kind of place.

Croatia’s interior is often overlooked in favour of its dazzling coastline but there are some 444 protected areas covering almost 9% of the country. Most impressive of all is the UNESCO World Heritage site at Plitviče Lakes National Park

The park is a network of 16 tiered lakes which are connected by a series of waterfalls, the largest of which is Veliki Slap (literally “Big Waterfall”) whose waters tumble fully 70 metres before hitting any resistance.

You want cities? You’ve got cities. How about the vibrant culture of the Croatian capital Zagreb or the staggering splendour of Split’s Diocletian Palace? Both are remarkable in their own right and would normally be the jewel in any country’s crown. However, Croatia also has Dubrovnik.

The views from atop Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls are both captivating and timeless. A jumble of red-tiled houses, municipal buildings, stone towers and the fortified harbour finally yield to the deep blue of the Adriatic.

Truly, this is the stuff of fantasy and legend…and if you don’t believe us, then just ask the location managers for Game of Thrones!

Image credits:  Ivan Coric, Croatian National Tourist Board & Ivo Biocina.

Popular holidays to Croatia

Our Locations

If there is a more enticing stretch of coastline than Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast then we would dearly love to know about it. 

The waters between magnificent Split and majestic Dubrovnik are punctuated by myriad islands of all shape and size. Some are uninhabited but those that are, leave you with an indelible sense of immense envy. Is it really fair that people get to live in such idyllic places? 

So, once you’ve marvelled at Split’s Old Town and the vestiges of Diocletian’s remarkable Palace the only way to travel south to Dubrovnik is on a small ship cruise. Everything here on the Dalmatian coast is blue. The sky is blue, the sea is a shade of blue which is generally only reserved for holiday brochures and even the islands appear a bluish grey in the shimmering heat haze of summer.

The islands are heavenly. You could happily spend years exploring them by hopping (in style) from Brac to Hvar to Korcula, Mljet before arriving in the jewel of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik is the stuff of legend, a magnificent walled city which has understandably been widely purloined as a film and TV set (not least for Game of Thrones). Dubrovnik is all about honey-coloured buildings, red-tiled rooftops, grand squares and labyrinthine alleyways. It’s as close to perfect as a city can be.

 
contact us
Speak to our Artisan Travel Experts
01670 785 085

Your words...

Cruise the islands and cities of the Dalmatian Coast

We had the most amazing week. The crew were fantastic. They took great care of us. The rep Bruno looked after us very well. Allan and the team at ARTISAN TRAVEL were extremely helpful from start to finish. We were driving to Dubrovnik to board the ship and the directions were faultless. Allan thank you for going out of your way to look into the parking; the car park was a two min walk from where we had to board the ship and disembark. Thank you.

Anantbala Quilter & Kumudben Morton
Travelled 10th June 2017

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