1. Sipan – The island of Sipan is one of the largest of the Elaphite islands, a beautiful archipelago off Dubrovnik’s coast. There are daily ferries between Dubrovnik and Sipan, with the crossing taking approximately 1 hour. There are also many organised excursions that will stop off at Sipan as well as some of the other Elaphite islands. The two main villages of Sipan are Sipanska Luka and Sudjuradj, and a bus runs between one side of the island and the other so you are able to easily explore the island.
Once at Sipan you can spend your time on the beach or go sightseeing. There are interesting ruins and churches to be seen, woods to roam, as well as crystal clear waters to swim in. When staying in Dubrovnik visiting Sipan is definitely a must, to enjoy peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds in Dubrovnik.
2. Zadar – Known for being a city that is full of life, both for visitors and for the locals, whilst still not being overloaded with tourists. There are also good ferry connections to the surrounding islands, perfect for day trips, as well as a ferry to Italy. It is also in close proximity to four of Croatia’s impressive national parks, including Plitvice which is famous for its cascading turquoise waterfalls, making Zadar a well-placed city to visit.
It has two very unique attractions, firstly the Sea Organ, which are tubes located underneath the marble steps which use the sea waves to create a sound like no other. It is said that the sound is so mesmerising that you could listen to it all day and still not want to leave. The second attraction is the Sea Salutation, located alongside the Sea Organ. The energy from the waves is used to light up the floor of the promenade, which alongside the Sea Organ creates a unique experience.
If you would rather do some sightseeing around Zadar then there are a number of Roman Ruins and Medieval churches to be seen. However by far the most spectacular of sights to see is the sunset from Zadar which the city has become very well known for. As Alfred Hitchcock once said ‘the sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful’.
3. Rovinj – One of Istria’s star attractions. It is not as well-known as some of the larger towns in Croatia but due to its romance and beauty it is now becoming quite popular with tourists in the summer. There are activities such as water sports, horseback riding, kayaking and scuba diving to keep visitors busy. There are also a number of museums to be visited, as well as churches and the harbour. It is an ideal location to walk around the narrow cobbled streets and the piazzas.
You can also enjoy a short boat ride from Rovinj to Katarina Island. Although the island is small it gives visitors a chance to enjoy its beautiful park and to enjoy the beauty of the rest of the island in peace and quiet. Whilst here you can just visit the island for an hour or two (or longer if you prefer), there is also a hotel situated on the island so you can relax and unwind on the island for your entire stay.
4. Trogir – One of the oldest cities on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coast is Trogir, for which the statement ‘good things come in small packages’ could not be more true. As a UNESCO protected city, given World Heritage status in 1997, it is full of beautiful Romanesque churches, medieval walls and a promenade lined with restaurants and cafes, as well as a magnificent cathedral. If you are staying in Split then a day trip to Trogir should be taken, connected by a regular bus service. The historic bell tower gives amazing panoramic views, whilst it is quite a climb up the steep and narrow stairs it is definitely worth it as the view is simply amazing!
5. Cavtat – Known to be one of the most beautiful towns in Croatia, full of Mediterranean vegetation and a mixture of new and old architecture, as well as galleries to visit as the area is very popular for artists. Cavtat is where the settlers in Dubrovnik originated from. It is only a 45 minute bus or boat ride from Dubrovnik and is much quieter with a more relaxed and care free attitude. Visit Cavtat and enjoy walking along the 7km promenade around the wooded peninsular, and enjoy refreshing ice-creams at many of its parlours.
Cavtat is a welcome respite from the summer crowds in Dubrovnik whilst still being popular enough for there to be plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes to allow you to relax and enjoy the view of the Adriatic. To enjoy the best of both worlds then visit Cavtat as a day trip from Dubrovnik, or choose to stay in Cavtat and relax whilst knowing that a visit to Dubrovnik is only a short trip away.
If you are interested in holidaying at any of these locations or any other locations in Croatia, Slovenia or Montenegro and would like more information then please call Balkan Escape on 01775 719891. ‘Dream holidays tailored to you’.