Croatia with its magnificent Dalmation coastline that stretches along the Adriatic from Slovenia in the north to Montenegro in the south, takes in 1,185 delightful islands en route. Crystal clear waters, countless bays and coves lure visitors and locals alike to one of Europe’s newest nations. As such a stunning location holidays in Croatia are an idyllic setting for luxury holidays.

Croatia boasts a fascinatingly complex history with Neolithic inhabitants dating back to 30,000BC. As a nation it has claimed its independence since 1991. Fortunately, as the latest conflict fades into history, there are few clues remaining as visitors walk around the marvellous ramparts of Dubrovnik admiring the immaculately preserved baroque architecture, or laze on the beautifully clean Blue Flag beaches that line the stunning Adriatic Coast. The best times to visit on Croatia holidays are spring and summer when days are sunny and dry. Unusually temperatures are higher on the coast and during August, thirty degrees Celsius can be the norm. Luxury holidays in Croatia boast an abundance of things to do for all discerning travellers. Regarding culinary experiences, the utmost compliment is paid by discerning Italians who visit Croatia for good value seafood and excellent local wines.

Described by George Bernard Shaw as heaven on earth and encircled by ancient city walls, Dubrovnik’s stunning Old Town with its cobbled streets and narrow stepped alleyways boasts an 18th century Cathedral, a 14th century Dominican Monastery and the handsome Gothic Renaissance Rector’s Palace, housing the Cultural Historical Museum. For some of the most enchanting holidays in Croatia, Dubrovnik is a fantastic destination. There are markets and boutiques, and a myriad of dining and nightlife opportunities around the pedestrianized Placa promenade or Stradun. The Mount Srd cable car offers great views over this city known as The Pearl of the Adriatic, and during July and August, the Summer Festival boasts a fantastic music and theatre programme. For those looking for all inclusive holidays to Croatia, the superb Rixos Libertas Hotel in Dubrovnik offers this as a supplementary service.

Split & Podstrana
Founded by the Roman emperor Diocletian in AD295 on the shore of the Adriatic, Croatia’s second city, Split, has a sprawling centre with its core housed in the two thousand year old Diocletian’s Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site bursting with chic bars, sophisticated cafes and elegant boutiques. For those on Croatia holidays with an interest in history, Split is the perfect place to visit. Part of the greater Split metropolis, is the coastal resort of Podstrana where, although there are a couple of medieval churches to explore, its main draw for local and international visitors is its delightful pine fringed beaches and a definite recommendation for sun-worshippers on holidays to Croatia.

Makarska Riviera
As part of the Dalmation Coast, along the Adriatic Highway, with the pink-hued Biokovo Mountains to the north, the resorts of the Makarska Riviera tumble down the hillsides from the road towards pine-fringed beaches. For a picture-perfect location on Croatia holidays in the vibrant town of Makarska, situated 60km southeast of Split and 140km north of Dubrovnik, is noted for its palm-fringed promenade that overlooks the town’s pretty harbour, and its old town centre with narrow cobbled streets and Franciscan Monastery housing a giant clam shell. And, 9km to the north, the small village and port of Baska Voda boasts a fabulous Blue Flag beach, pine woods and easy access to mountain walking.

Hvar Island
The Queen of the Dalmatian Islands, Hvar Island, is a favoured holiday haunt of wealthy Croatians, discerning Italians and a stylish destination for luxury holidays to Croatia. From the mainland at Split it takes 105 minutes by ferry to reach the island where delightful Hvar Town is the real star: amidst olive trees, vineyards, rosemary and wild lavender, are palaces and churches scattered over the hillside, and, lined with delightful cafes and restaurants. The Riva, the central thoroughfare of Hvar Town leads from the busy little harbour to the 16th century St Stephen’s Cathedral which dominates the main square. At Classic Collection Holidays we offer exclusive accommodation in some of the most fantastic areas, aimed to create your perfect holiday to Croatia.

The Budva Riviera features some of the Adriatic coastline’s finest wide sandy bays and tranquil, hidden coves including that at Becici which is justifiably proud of its 1935 Grand Prix title: Europe’s most beautiful beach. With its backdrop of verdant, tree-clad mountains, this long swathe of golden sand and pebbles is bordered by a picturesque promenade lined with restaurants, leading to the walled town of Budva, a 20 minute stroll away. At the other end of the promenade, linked by a strip of pink sand, lies tiny St Stephen Island (Sveti Stefan), much revered by holidaying glitterati and, along the coast to the south and merging into modern Becici, is the charming resort of Rafailovici. There are watersports available, a new waterpark and, for nightlife, head to vibrant Budva.

Enclosed by medieval fortifications, Budva has always gained favour with the rich and famous and there are chic cocktail bars, sophisticated restaurants, and trendy nightclubs around its marina. The Old Town, set on a small peninsula, surrounded by 15th century ramparts, features historic monuments, Venetian style buildings and piazzas and narrow cobbled streets filled with galleries and cafés. In summer, Budva becomes an open air stage hosting numerous theatre and music festivals.

For a relatively small country Montenegro has a wide range of culinary offerings as numerous historic occupiers have left their culinary marks. The results are a fascinating fusion of quite exotic flavours; always using high quality, fresh, often organic, produce. There is Austro-Hungarian influenced goulash and satarash, Italian pasta and polenta dishes, and moussaka, burek and baklava; all traced back to Turkey. Along the Adriatic coast the emphasis is on a healthy, light diet with delicious freshly caught fish and seafood, lots of extra virgin olive oil and an abundance of fresh fruits. Further inland cuisine is more hearty and wholesome, the exceptionally fertile lake region is home to the country’s wine production, and Lake Skadar is well renowned for its freshwater fish.

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