Thinking about traveling to Croatia?

Ker & Downey breaks down the key tourism regions in the country to ensure an effortless trip. This is Ker & Downey's official Croatia Travel Guide, including a handy Croatia map and facts.

Croatia Maps & Facts

When to Go

Croatia generally follows a Mediterranean climate. Of course, the best time to go depends on what you want to do.

High Season: May - September

Warm weather, larger crowds, festival season, ideal for island hopping

Shoulder Season: March - April, October - November

Mild climates, fewer crowds, culinary experiences (olive oil, truffle, and wine harvest seasons), ideal for city and countryside tours

Low Season: December - February

Cooler weather, no crowds, low prices, ideal for Christmas markets

What to Do

Croatia balances natural beauty with manmade wonders to create a wholly desirable vacation destination. Therefore, here is where to travel in Croatia, including some of our favorite can't-miss regions and favorite experiences in this unique European country.


The Top Ten Must Dos In Croatia Ker Downey Village
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This heart-shaped peninsula is situated in the northwest part of the country, bordering Slovenia.

Seasonal Offerings
  • Spring: Olive oil tours and truffle hunting experiences.
  • Summer: Beautiful beaches, clear waters, and sailing excursions.
  • Fall: Wine harvest season, ideal for wine tasting tours.
Istria: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: The medieval hilltop towns like Motovun and Grožnjan offer breathtaking views and various artistic experiences.
  • Culinary Delights: Istria is famous for its truffles, olive oil, and seafood. One must-try dish is "Istrian fuži," pasta served with truffles.
  • Crowds: Generally more relaxed than the southern coast, even in high season, but can be lively in tourist hotspots.
  • Special Insights: Istria has a strong Italian influence in its culture, cuisine, and architecture, a legacy of its history.
Must-Do Activities in Istria
  1. Truffle Hunting: Join a local truffle hunter and their dogs to search for this prized delicacy in the forests of Istria.
  2. Wine Tasting: Visit some of Istria's renowned wineries to taste premium wines like Malvazija and Teran.
  3. Olive Oil Tasting: Explore olive groves and mills to taste some of the world's best olive oils.
  4. Visit to Pula Arena: Explore one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world, located in Pula.
All About

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Situated in central Croatia, this park is famous for its stunning lakes and waterfalls. Indeed, Plitvice is an unmissable region in the country.

Seasonal Offerings:
  • Spring: The water levels are high, making the waterfalls particularly spectacular.
  • Summer: Offers lush, green landscapes, but can be quite crowded.
  • Fall: The foliage turns the park into a riot of colors, offering breathtaking views.
Plitvice Lakes National Park: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: The lesser-known trails offer more solitude and equally stunning views of the lakes and waterfalls.
  • Culinary Delights: The region is known for its hearty mountain cuisine, including dishes like "peka" (meat and vegetables cooked under an iron bell).
  • Crowds: Summer sees the highest number of visitors; spring and fall are less crowded and more serene.
  • Special Insights: The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognized for its natural beauty and geological significance.
Must-Do Activities at Plitvice Lakes National Park:
  1. Guided Walking Tour: Take a guided tour through the park to learn about its unique geology and biodiversity.
  2. Electric Boat Ride on Lake Kozjak: Experience the park's largest lake and its stunning scenery from the water.
  3. Hike the Lower Lakes: Discover the breathtaking waterfalls and turquoise lakes of the lower section of the park.
  4. Mrežnica River Kayaking Adventure: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Mrežnica River on a thrilling kayaking adventure through a maze of waterfalls, crystal-clear waters, and unspoiled nature. 
The Top Ten Must Dos In Croatia Ker Downey Sunset
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Northern Dalmatia

Bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east and the Adriatic Sea to the west, Northern Dalmatia encompasses the coastal towns of Zadar and Sibenik.

Seasonal Offerings:
  • Spring: Ideal for UNESCO World Heritage Site tours and outdoor activities in Krka National Park
  • Summer: Great for island hopping through Kornati National Park
  • Fall: Enjoy the sunsets and sites with fewer crowds
Northern Dalmatia: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: On Zlarin island, make your own precious coral jewelry. 
  • Culinary Delights: Pag cheese is one of the top Croatian delicacies because of its rich, strong flavor. Also don't leave the region without tasting the "father" of Zinfandel, Primitivo wine.
  • Crowds: The Dalmatian Coast can be quite crowded in the summer, but less crowded in the spring and fall.
  • Special Insights: Alfred Hitchcock claimed that Zadar had the most beautiful sunset in the world.
Must-Do Activities in Northern Dalmatia:
  1. Zadar's Seaside Promenade: Zadar's sunset is so staggering that you will wish to spend every evening on the seaside promenade coast just to witness it. Also don’t skip the Greetings to the Sun and Sea organ – a colorful solar panel and giant music instrument run by the sea that plays a show during sunset. 
  2. UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Explore the monuments and fortresses of Sibenik, the only city with 2 UNESCO protected sites in this part of Europe, including St James Cathedral.
  3. National Park Krka: Hike through the numerous waterfalls and stunning natural beauty of National Park Krka
  4. Go Island Counting in National Park Kornati: The national park consist of 140 islands with some of the most beautiful beaches and bays on the Adriatic. 
  5. Coral Jewelry: On Zlarin island, make your own precious coral jewelry. 
Classic Slovenia Croatia Custom Europe Itineraries Ker Downey Dubrovnik
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Southern Dalmatia

Stretching along the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, this essential region includes famous cities like Split and Dubrovnik.

Seasonal Offerings
  • Spring: Perfect for Old Town city tours and outdoor activities, such as cycling through the countryside, with mild weather.
  • Summer: Known for its vibrant nightlife, beach clubs, cultural festivals, island hopping, and wine tasting.
  • Fall: Ideal for exploring historical sites with fewer crowds as well as olive harvest and related culinary experiences on Korčula and Hvar.
Southern Dalmatia: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: The Pakleni Islands near Hvar offer secluded beaches and crystal-clear waters.
  • Culinary Delights: Fresh seafood dominates the region, with dishes like "black risotto" made from squid ink being a must-try. Additionally, Korčula is famous for its white wines, such as Pošip and Grk, which pair wonderfully with local seafood dishes.
  • Crowds: Can be quite crowded in summer, especially in Dubrovnik, but quieter in spring and fall.
  • Special Insights: Dubrovnik's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, often dubbed the "Pearl of the Adriatic."
Must-Do Activities in Southern Dalmatia:
  1. Wine Tasting in Hvar: Embark on a captivating journey through Hvar's centuries-old vineyards and taste award-winning red wines. Also, savor a traditional lunch in an ancient, abandoned village near Hvar town.
  2. Dubrovnik Old Town: Walk through the UNESCO-listed Old Town's ancient streets and impressive city walls.
  3. Visit Diocletian's Palace in Split: Explore this remarkable ancient Roman palace that has become the heart of Split.
  4. Blue Cave & Vis Military Tour: Discover the secrets of Vis archipelago's military past and ancient wonders on an exclusive private boat tour.
  5. Explore the Old Town of Korčula: Wander through the medieval streets of Marco Polo's supposed birthplace.
  6. Island Hopping: Set out on a private yacht to explore the many islands in the region, including Brač, Hvar, Korčula, and the Pakleni Islands.
Classic Slovenia Croatia Custom Europe Itineraries Ker Downey Zagreb
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Zagreb & Zagorje

Zagreb is Croatia's capital, located in the northern part of the country, bordering Slovenia and Hungary.

Seasonal Offerings
  • Spring: Zagreb blooms beautifully, perfect for enjoying its parks and outdoor cafes.
  • Summer: Offers a range of cultural festivals and events.
  • Fall: The Zagreb Film Festival is a highlight.
Zagreb & Zagorje: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: Maksimir Park and Zagreb's numerous quirky museums, like the Museum of Broken Relationships.
  • Culinary Delights: Zagreb is known for its café culture and "strukli," a cheesy pastry.
  • Crowds: More of a year-round destination with a constant flow of visitors and locals.
  • Special Insights: Zagreb has a vibrant street art scene and numerous galleries worth exploring.
Must-Do Activities in Zagreb
  1. The Museum of Broken Relationships: Explore this unique museum's compelling exhibits on love and loss.
  2. St. Mark's Church & Upper Town Tour: Discover the historic Upper Town with its colorful tiled roof church.
  3. Zagreb 360° Observation Deck: Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top of the Zagreb Eye.
  4. Café Culture: Spend an afternoon in one of Zagreb's stylish cafes, enjoying coffee and local pastries.
  5. Castle Trakošćan & Veliki Tabor: Dive into Croatia's history with visits to these beautifully preserved castles, set against the picturesque landscape of Zagorje.
  6. Međimurje Wine Roads: Enjoy a leisurely tour of Međimurje's vineyards, tasting local varietals like Pušipel, amidst the rolling hills of the region.
Croatia Hinterland
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Croatia's Hinterland

This lesser-known region encompasses the eastern part of Croatia, extending towards the country's eastern borders with Serbia and Hungary.

Seasonal Offerings
  • Spring: The hinterland comes alive with blooming landscapes and is ideal for nature walks and bird watching, especially in the Kopacki Rit Nature Park, one of Europe's largest wetlands.
  • Summer: Offers vibrant folk festivals celebrating traditional culture, music, and dance, providing insight into the rich heritage of the area.
  • Fall: This is the season for grape harvesting and wine festivals, especially in the Slavonia region known for its excellent vineyards.
Croatia's Hinterland: Croatia Travel Guide
  • Hidden Gems: The Baranja region, nestled between the Danube and the Drava rivers, is a hidden gem for its wine roads and traditional Hungarian-Croatian cuisine. Additionally, the medieval town of Varaždin, with its Baroque buildings and annual Baroque evenings music festival, provides a cultural feast away from the more frequented coastal areas.
  • Culinary Delights: The cuisine of Croatia's hinterland is hearty and rich, with dishes like "kulen" (a spicy sausage) and "čobanac" (a traditional stew). The region's bread, "čvarci" (pork rinds), and homemade cheeses are also must-tries.
  • Crowds: Generally, this region sees fewer international tourists compared to the coast, offering a more authentic and tranquil experience. However, local festivals can draw larger crowds, blending a mix of locals and visitors.
  • Special Insights: Slavonia and Central Croatia are the country's agricultural heartland, contributing significantly to its wine and food production. The region's rich soil and favorable climate have earned it the nickname "the Golden Valley."
Must-Do Activities in Croatia's Hinterland:
  1. St. Martin's Day Celebration (seasonal): Participate in the traditional celebration of wine in November, where the new wine is blessed, and festivities include tastings, folk dances, and music.

Where to Stay in Croatia

One thing that makes Croatia special is its locally owned boutique hotel options. Here are a few of Ker & Downey's favorite hotels in Croatia.

VD 22 3009
Hot Spots

Luxury Hotels in Croatia

In Croatia, remote island paradises pair effortlessly with captivating city streets. Bustling UNESCO sites give way to forested hills, attractive national parks, and the limitless waters of the Adriatic.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Croatia

The Itineraries

Each of our sample itineraries to Croatia can be tailored to your desires and preferences. Indeed, they promise to offer plenty of inspiration while you dream about your next trip to Croatia.

Best Of Croatia Private Tour FEATURE
12 Days / 11 Nights

Best of Croatia Private Tour

Ker & Downey’s Best of Croatia tour packs in all of the highlights of this beautiful country. Over 12 days, travel from the waterfalls of Plitvice National Park in the north to the islands of Hvar and Korčula in the south.

See the Journey
Croatia Island Hopping FEATURE
8 Days / 7 Nights

Croatia Island Hopping Tour

Discover Croatian hidden gems via a weeklong luxury yacht charter in Croatia through the Dalmatian Islands. From Brač to Mljet, there is simply nothing like exploring Croatia by private yacht with the ones you love.

See the Journey
Classic Slovenia Croatia Custom Europe Itineraries Ker Downey Slovenia
11 Days / 10 Nights

Classic Slovenia and Croatia

This itinerary explores the classic highlight of Slovenia and Croatia in distinct Ker & Downey style. Both countries boast rich histories, varied (and extremely beautiful) landscapes, and delicious fresh fruits of the sea and land. 

See the Journey
Beautiful Balkans Feature
14 Days / 13 Nights

Beautiful Balkans

Experience luxury travel to Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania on Ker & Downey’s Beautiful Balkans tour. The Balkans are a quiet corner ready to be explored by intrepid adventure-seekers wanting to experience a slice of Europe that isn’t frequently visited.

See the Journey

Put This Croatia Travel Guide to Use

Ready to start planning your journey to Croatia? Each of our journeys to Croatia is handcrafted for the individual traveler, down to the smallest detail. Contact a Ker & Downey travel designer to begin planning today. In the meantime, for daily travel inspiration, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and X

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