Last year Andy and I enjoyed an amazing two week holiday in Croatia, traveling from Split, to Zadar, to Hvar and Dubrovnik – and making time to see the incredible Plitvice lakes, too. Nearly a year on I’m reminiscing on my favourite aspects of our trip and giving you some hints on how to plan a luxury holiday in Croatia!
It’s very simple to get to Croatia with regular flights from major UK airports, especially London into the major hubs of Split and Dubrovnik. Since we were moving around a little (a lot!) we flew into Split and out of Dubrovnik.
In terms of getting around Croatia, we tended to opt for private transfers, which we booked through Viator and found them to be easy, reliable and on time (which, if you’re like me and hate being late is a real plus!)
When you’re traveling to and from Hvar you’ll want to organise ferry transfers, which is best to do in advance, especially in peak season as they book up quickly. Around Hvar are some of the most beautiful islands (more on that later!) and it’s so easy to pick up a boat from the main harbour on the day you want to travel.
Stop 1: Split
Split was possibly one of our favourite stops on this trip; I loved the balance between the cultural city, the ability to walk everywhere and the beaches. One of the highlights was exploring Split from high after a beautiful walk and spending the day at the beach. Fair warning, I’d take a picnic as the restaurants at the beach are more fast food than luxurious cuisine…Though they make a damn fine mojito!
Stay at Hotel Vestibul Palace, preferably in their main building, for a true taste of luxury in this gorgeous city.
Stop 2: Plitvice National Park
Split is a great base from which to explore, and we took the opportunity to visit the UNESCO Plitvice National Parks when we were based in Split. I’d recommend not visiting during peak season as we found it far too busy in August, which slightly coloured our experience. However, booking a private tour was entirely worth it and meant that we could explore the stunning lakes at our own pace.
Stop 3: Zadar
After exploring historic Split and visiting Plitvice we wanted some down time and indulged in some time at Falksteiner Adriana, a luxury adults only hotel. If you’re looking for some incredible sunsets then Zadar is for you. I wish we had time to visit the sea organ… But we made more time for sunbathing and cocktails… Priorities..!
Stop 4: Hvar
After Zadar (and a slightly late, slightly stressful transfer – that I dealt with with wine) we boarded a ferry to Hvar to check in to Hotel Amfora for a week’s stay. I’m not usually a fan of resort hotels but Amfora changed my mind. I loved all the amenities as well as the fact that if you’re staying in a Suncani Hotel you can use your room key to charge drinks at their other hotels to your bill. Some of my favourite luxury bars in Hvar were part of this hotel group which was a major advantage.
If you’re looking for the real luxury experience then you need to visit Bonj les Bains luxury beach club for a day or two. Pick yourself a beach bed, order some champagne, dive into the ocean and enjoy your day. To be honest, I’d rather be there right now…
For a really fun end to your beach day I’d recommend sundowners at Hula Hula Bar!
The best thing we did when we were in Hvar was spend days island hopping and visiting the most insanely beautiful islands; islands that I still dream about…
Stop 5: Dubrovnik
After an amazingly relaxing week in Hvar we spent our last few days in Croatia in Dubrovnik for some culture, some sun and some kayaking.
We stayed in hands down the most beautiful boutique hotel I’ve ever stayed in, St Joseph’s Boutique Hotel, one that I’d highly recommend visiting. Make sure you order your breakfast in room and have it served afternoon tea style!
Make sure you explore Dubrovnik and visit the city walls (though I’m not sure I’d recommend doing it at midday like we did…!)
I know for sure that we didn’t do everything we could have done in Croatia and that I’m sure I could go back and explore some more, but for a two week luxurious introduction, this was pretty great. Let me know what I need to go back and visit!
If you have any more thoughts find my Croatia articles here.