Have you set your sights on Croatia for your next family holiday? This central European country has an alluring Mediterranean vibe, helping it attract a record-equalling 19.8 million tourist arrivals in the first 10 months of 2023. Just a short flight from the UK, it makes a fantastic and diverse destination for families of all shapes and sizes.
Its beautiful Dalmatian Coast offers a host of attractive towns and islands surrounded by bright blue waters, while inland sit stunning natural parks and historic cities. It can also work out a little cheaper compared to popular spots in Italy and Spain – and offers similar levels of sun too!
If all these perks have piqued your interest in this holiday gem, here’s a quick guide to planning a successful family holiday in Croatia.
Choose your destinations
First up is choosing where to visit on your travels. This will be dictated by your available time, budget and inclination to move around of course, but you can easily spend a few weeks touring the country if you want to.
The coastal city of Dubrovnik is a popular starting point with its historic centre. From here you can travel north to buzzy Split and the glitzy nearby islands of Hvar and Korcula, as well as visiting the gorgeous Plitvice and Krka national parks inland. Zadar is another popular and relaxing seaside stop-off just a little further up the coast.
The capital of Zagreb meanwhile is the largest city and has plenty to offer – though it’s a fair bit further from the sea, if that’s what you’re after.
Pick your activities
Next, you can begin to pick out which activities suit your gang.
With plenty of water sports, hiking and other such opportunities, Croatia is ideally suited to adventurous family activity holidays. Try your hand at sailing, paddleboarding, mountain biking or something else that gets your heart pumping!
The country is also packed full of historic sights to admire, from Dubrovnik’s city walls – a key setting in TV megahit Game of Thrones – to Split’s Diocletian Palace, which dominates its bustling centre.
And for natural beauty, you can’t do much better than strolling through the turquoise Plitvice Lakes – easily reachable by car or bus from Split or Zadar. Or you could just chill around a pool, of course – and tuck into Croatia’s Italian-inspired cuisine.
When’s the best time to go?
The best time to visit Croatia ultimately depends on your personal preferences and when you can travel, school holidays permitting.
It enjoys consistently sunny and warm weather between May and October, with the shoulder months providing gentler temperatures and smaller crowds. Like much of Europe, July and August are high season in Croatia, bringing more of a party vibe, higher prices and sweltering conditions at times – though nothing a good ice cream or dip in the sea won’t negate.
Alternatively, Zagreb makes an attractive Christmas destination with its pretty streets and festive markets.
Plan ahead for holiday success
Croatia is no longer a secret to holidaymakers, so it can pay to plan ahead and book your stay early. You might also want to pre-book any must-do activities as well as any travel requirements, though buses and ferries are reliably regular in summer.
Is Croatia ticking your family’s boxes for 2024? With so much to like, a little planning now could help you enjoy a truly memorable family getaway.