Croatia has gained a reputation in recent years as an upcoming tourist destination, in part thanks to the international success of the Game of Thrones series as many of the scenes from the series were filmed across the country (in addition to those filmed in Northern Ireland...).
While visiting iconic locations from the show drew many fans to the country, it was the weather, hospitable locals, food and activities that made their trip worthwhile and had them coming back for more.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Croatia a number of times over the years and it really is a place where you’ll always find something new each time you visit. It definitely helps that there’s regular flights from Ireland and they don’t break the bank either.
One of the most well known cities in Croatia is Dubrovnik. It is a must-visit for any Game of Thrones fan and while I am not a big fan of the show myself, it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype while visiting some of the set locations and allowing yourself to be transported back in time, especially as you walk along the city walls. The city has fully embraced Game of Thrones and there’s plenty of guided tours around the different filming locations with an opportunity to relieve moments from the show.
While the Game of Thrones connection is one draw for Dubrovnik, the cable cars are definitely the second and a must-do while visiting. They offer an incredible view of Dubrovnik from the sky and bring you up Mount Srd – the panorama really does take your breath away.
At the top of Mount Srd is a wonderful restaurant where you should try local delicacies – it's a great opportunity to enjoy wonderful food whilst taking in the landscape.
If you can, try to book tickets for sunset –it's definitely worth trying to get a slot.
If you prefer a less busy city than Dubrovnik, then Zadar is definitely worth a visit. North of Dubrovnik, it has its own beautiful coastline and has arguably the best view of the sunset in the world.
The city is home to some incredible art pieces and the two most well known are Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. Both are powered by solar energy and take inspiration from the sun, sea and landscape. You can kill two birds with one stone by visiting the installations and then watch the sunset.
If you’re a fan of seafood, you will be spoilt for choice across the many taverns and restaurants in the city as it’s home to some of the best seafood on the Dalmatian Coast.
Croatia has something to offer all types of travellers and the different cities and towns each have their own charm and reason to visit.
This is a diverse country, full of welcoming locals and beautiful landscapes. You can make your holiday as cheap and cheerful as you like or splash out if you prefer, it all depends on what city you visit.
Either way you definitely won’t regret visiting, as you get acquainted with somewhere you’re bound to travel to time and time again.