WHERE TO PLAN YOUR NEXT CROATIA VILLA HOLIDAY

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Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik
Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik Riviera (19)
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Restaurant Gverovic Orsan, Zaton, Dubrovnik Riviera, Croatia
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Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik Riviera (18)
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Restaurant Ankora, Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik Riviera 3
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Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik Riviera (14)
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Restaurant Ankora, Zaton Bay, Dubrovnik Riviera 2
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You’ve been to the Croatia villa holiday hotspot of fabulous Dubrovnik, so where next?

By Croatia Gems, 6th April 2024

Photo Credits: 1 & 4- Pula © Renco Kosinozic via Croatian National Tourist Board / 14 – Pula © Ivo Biocina via Croatian National-Tourist-Board / Other Photos – Pula © Istrian Tourist Board. Other Croatia villa & location images: Croatia Gems Ltd.

Where to go for that Croatia villa holiday? Are the most obvious Croatia resorts the best place to book a Croatia villa or should you look for somewhere less well known? The answer is that the big-hitters like Dubrovnik Old Town are only gaining in popularity and they are absolutely wonderful. Flights to Croatia are increasing all time time as the big markets like the USA, China and Australia re-commence travel again. Of course, these sorts of Croatian holiday locations are busier in the peak summer season. In an article by CNN Travel, it is reported that Dubrovnik old town welcomed over 3m visitors in perhaps the last ‘normal’ pre-pandemic year. Visitor numbers are rising year-on-year.

When to Travel to Croatia?

Locals and seasoned Dubrovnik villa visitors’ know to avoid peak-visitor hours to enjoy Dubrovnik at its sublime best. But one option, if you can, is to travel in the beautifully clement shoulder seasons like May, June, September, October. Even November was lovely in Dubrovnik last year and tourists had wonderful holidays, some even swimming in the sea! Frequent, new Croatia flights have recently also been announced for the winter season for Dubrovnik. Somewhere like Dubrovnik is still utterly enchanting and authentic compared to many European destinations and well worth visiting if you haven’t been before.

If you have already seen the likes of Dubrovnik Old Town, why not think beyond it for your next Croatia villa holiday? There are many fascinating places to visit for a Croatia villa holiday which you will enjoy as much as Dubrovnik, and for a variety of reasons. All these places have equally lovely Croatia villas, to charm you and draw you back time again. CNN suggests a selection of Croatia locations to tempt you away from villas in Dubrovnik Croatia.

Our Recommended Croatia Villa Locations

Certainly we would recommend getting a bit off the beaten track and heading to less well publicised places on the Dalmatian Coast. It’s location, location, location where a Croatia villa is concerned, as you may imagine.

Have you hear of the Peljesac Peninsula?

Wine & Scenery

You will be very glad you discovered the wine region of southern Croatia! Although it’s only just up the coast from the Dubrovnik Riviera, when you turn off the mainland at Ston and onto the Peljesac Peninsula, you get that off-piste adventure feeling! The first thing you notice is that it has fantastic scenery – it’s really spectacular. The are jaw-dropping views out across the sea, islands and vineyards – the sort of mesmerising Croatia villa views that are in the Netflix film “Faraway”.  And with vineyards come an awesome wine scene! Visit a winery and do some wine tasting to be wowed! Drive up the peninsula and you’ll reach the old sea faring town of Orebic when the sea captains of old brought back interesting plants.

Hop to Korcula Island from Orebic Old Town

The main town of the Peljsac Peninsula is Orebic and Korcula Island is just across a small stretch of water. In fact, from Orebic, just 5 minutes across on a local ferry is the Old Town of Korcula. Explore the undulating island with its many bays and coves and beautiful sea edge Korcula villas. We’d certainly recommend the lesser well know Korcula Island. In many ways, the most authentic of all the southern Croatian vacation spots. Think fishing hamlets in cosy bays, with a mixture of local and luxury villas, simple eateries and stunning scenery. Villa Opus, near Korcula Old Town, doesn’t disappoint on the wow factor scale.

Peljesac Fishing Villages

Or, carry on through the little villages of Perna, Kuciste, and wind surfers’ paradise, Viganj. Sea edge villas and fishing cottages line the coast. At the end you’ll come to the pretty bay of Loviste where the sea is millpond still and the sunsets are to die for. The seafood restaurants are amazing too. Check out “Gordans” or as it’s officially known, “Restaurant Barsa” on the harbour front and “Pension Gradina” around the bay – idyllic… A Croatia villa anywhere on the Peljesac Peninsula is certainly authentic, yet easily within reach. Particularly given the introduction of the airport shuttle bus. Search Peljesac villas here.

CNN alternative Croatia Villa Locations

Ston – Salt Flats, Oysters & Great Wall

Ston is within easy reach of Dubrovnik – just an hour’s drive up the coast and arguably one of Dalmatia’s best-kept secrets. This seaside town is rich in history going back to the ancient Illyrians. It is famous for its stone walls, salt production and incredible seafood, and in particular, the Ston oysters. The much extolled Kapetanova Kuca Restaurant (Captain’s House) is well worth a stop and especially if you are passing. The food is delicious.

Often said to be a Croatian version of the Great Wall of China, the 14th-century battlements are perched up and over a mountain behind the town. Consequently do make sure to leave quite a few hours if you decide to trek the 5.5km wall. It is Europe’s longest fortified structure, which for hardy souls’ forms part of the Annual Ston Walls Marathon!

The old town itself is lovely, with pedestrianised streets peppered with outdoor cafes serving seafood specialties. Accordingly, do make sure you enjoy a seafood meal to taste such delights as Adriatic oysters, black cuttlefish risotto and ‘mussels buzara’.

Ston is the gateway to the Peljesac peninsula famous for vineyards, seafood, water sports and Korcula island. Search Peljesac villas here.

Trogir

Croatia villa location Trogir

Often likened to a mini-Dubrovnik, Trogir old town is on a tiny island connected to the mainland by a little bridge. Just a half-hour drive or water taxi ride up the coast from Split, it retains the influence of almost four centuries of Venetian rule and totally unspoilt. It is surrounded by water, largely now filled by stunning yachts and pleasure craft, consequently car-free Trogir has something of a feel of Venice. The area around Trogir has some of the best Croatia villa locations so is the first place to look if you are planning a trip to this area.

Recognising an excellent example of a medieval town, UNESCO awarded Trogir World Heritage Site status in the late 1990s. Town elders had conserved its original urban fabric despite adapting in part to modern needs. Consequently expect narrow winding streets, flower festooned Juliette balconies, surprise doors in high walls giving way to lovely courtyard restaurants and cafes. Certainly you will enjoy the palm-lined waterfront promenades with many opportunities to people-watch from the cafes lining them.

Visitors are spoilt for choice with some lovely Split villas Croatia, with private pools, to retreat to after a day’s sightseeing in Trogir.

Primosten

Continue past Trogir and proceed up the coast to find Primosten. This would have been another ancient island town, however in the Renaissance, the people built a narrow causeway to connect the town to the mainland.

Again, featuring narrow lanes which host an intriguing mix of shops, boutiques, and traditional restaurants. Make sure not to miss the view from St. George’s Church which dominates a hill with spectacular Adriatic views. Head back to the mainland to find sandy Croatia beaches and beyond to vineyards producing some of Croatia’s finest wines.

Biograd Na Moru

The location of Croatia’s largest boat show, the town draws boating enthusiasts from around the Adriatic. The town has become a nautical hub around the large marina. The original old town is focussed on a small compact promontory, again with Venetian influences.

Perhaps the major benefit of spending time here is the close proximity to the Kornati National Park. Not unsurprisingly, superb scuba and snorkelling opportunities are offered by the many islands. Also within striking distance are the spectacular Krka and Plitvice Lakes National Parks with their walks above the waterfalls.

Zadar

Zadar isn’t far from Biograd and with its own regional airport, gives excellent direct access by air. The increasing flights scheduled to the airport recognises the attractiveness of the area for Croatia holidays.

The old town is a mix of the cultural influences from previous ruling empires. Consequently the town rivals lovely Trogir and Dubrovnik. However Zadar doesn’t rely on the past to attract visitors, therefor do make sure you visit the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation for some ‘musical’ fun. It hopefully goes without saying that Trogir and Krka National Park are both easy excursions not to be missed. The recently announced Croatia Yacht Show at Zadar Cruise Port aims to attract the yachting community in an annual event.

Split

Most international airlines fly into Split, which has as its core, the amazing Emperor Diocletian’s Palace. As Lonely Planet says, “Don’t expect a palace though, nor a museum – this is the city’s living heart, its labyrinthine streets packed with people, bars, shops and restaurants”. Indeed it’s fascinating to see how locals have occupied nooks in the rambling palace fabric to make their homes – it’s a true neighbourhood, and lovely for it.

Split is the gateway to the islands of Solta, Hvar and Brac, with the latter being the closest, at just a 50-minute ferry hop. There are a wealth of Split villas with private pools to choose from if you are tempted to stay in the Split Riviera region.

Pula

Pula is one of the jewels in the crown of the Istria region, a bustling city just over the Adriatic from Venice. As with most of the Croatian coastal settlements, Pula’s architecture has been influenced by invading regimes. But the premier sight is the well preserved Roman-built Pula Arena at the heart of the city. Therefore ensure you book tickets for a play or concert there to be to be swept back into history in a fantastic venue.

Pula is also the gateway to the islands of the Brijuni National Park with its beaches, hiking trails, golf course and safari park. Together with a direct ferry link to Venice, Pula makes a cracking place for an Istria villa rental.

Finally…

If you know where you would like to visit, have a look at these villas by location, or you can also do a general search of Croatia villas by size or dates. And do also look at our ‘By Request only’ portfolio.

More Information

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