Explore the natural beauty of Croatia and its Adriatic coastline, with over 1,200 islands
Discover Croatia - from the islands of Kolocep and Rab, to the national parks of the Brijuni Islands and Krka. Marvel at waterfalls, explore hidden islands, wander through historic walled cities, relax in glorious beachside resorts, and even discover bear watching (in their natural habitat) in the Risnjak National Park.
Sunvil introduces the almost-secret side of Croatia…
The newest destination to join Sunvil’s collection, Croatia, will proudly showcase its less-visited locations from Autumn 2022, offering a carefully-chosen range of tours, hotels, fly-drives, city breaks, island-hopping experiences and hand-crafted holiday ideas galore.
"Croatia is full of life, just waiting to be discovered by those who have not yet visited this alluring Mediterranean gem. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised, as I was - no matter your holiday preferences - to discover just how much Croatia offers for holidays with a difference, across its many National Parks, its delightfully different towns and cities, its glorious islands and of course its wonderful, award-winning food, olive oil and wine." Noel Josephides, Chairman of Sunvil
Island-hop through lesser-known holiday destinations…
With over 1,200 islands on the Croatian coast, there is plenty of island hopping to enjoy! Visit the unspoilt idyllic islands – from Rab in the north of Croatia to Kolocep in the south, together with mainland Orebic, Korcula, Konavle Valley, Biograd na Moru, Tucepi and Baska Voda in between. Explore Dalmatia’s enticing islands – laid-back Miljet, beautiful Brač, historic Vis, and Hvar. Many islands are green, covered with natural Mediterranean pine forests, with pristine hideaway beaches, secluded coves and sweeping bays.
With the famous crystal-clear Adriatic Sea as a backdrop, the varied blue and green hues of the water make for fabulous panoramic views.
Discover bears and waterfalls in the National Parks…
Eight National Parks, perfect for adventurous travellers, are ripe for discovery beyond the popular holiday spots. Some of the National Parks have been carved out of less-populated islands in the Adriatic, such as Kornati and Brijuni. In the southern Dalmatia region, there’s Mijet National Park and, in the north – in the Kvarner region – Risnjak National Park, both perfect for exploring at your own pace. Krka National Park takes its name from the River Krka, two thirds of which flows within the park, with sparkling streams running alongside canyons. PLITVICE Lakes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts 16 lakes and countless waterfalls, together creating one of nature’s greatest sights.
Visit thriving cultural cities…
Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, will remind many of Vienna; there’s a nod to its history, a stylish, vibrant café society culture, and plenty of spots from which to people-watch. Eclectic Zagreb has a medieval Upper Town, reached via a tiny funicular railway in just 45 seconds, plus lively bars and restaurants dotted along Tkalčića, one of the most colourful streets in the city. Take a stroll through the city’s seven green areas, collectively known as the Green Horseshoe, not forgetting the botanical garden, which follows the layout of Kew Gardens, but on a much smaller scale.
The iconic, medieval walled city of Dubrovnik is usually top of everyone’s wish list. Wander the pedestrianised streets of the Old Town, marvelling at the exquisite stone palaces and houses. Split’s Old Town is also fascinating, surrounded as it is by the ruins of Diocletian’s second-century Palace. There are many cafés and restaurants along the wide Riva waterfront.
Istria, in the Northern Adriatic, is a heart-shaped peninsula hanging over the enchanting Venetian beauty that is Rovinj, together with Pula, whose cultural backdrop includes everything from the Romans, with its famous well-preserved Roman amphitheatre, to the more recent communist period.
Dalmatia is a historical region stretching southwards from the Croatian island of Rab, in the north, to Croatia’s southernmost border. The name ‘Dalmatia’ comes from an Iliryan tribe known as the Dalmatae – but, for most British visitors, Dalmatia might instead conjure up an image of the black and white spotted Dalmatian dog, which originated in this region.
An incredibly warm welcome, no matter where… Sunvil offers a wide range of hotels, including locally-owned, smaller properties, through a wide range of 3-star and 4-star options, to world-class, 5-star accommodation. Many of Sunvil’s carefully-chosen villas and apartments have a story behind them. A selection of properties is highlighted here:
– The family-owned 3-star Hotel Aquarius, located in the Lapad Bay of Dubrovnik, was once a grand residence; it is now a small hotel in beautiful gardens, with a large outdoor pool and terrace, plus an à la carte restaurant, close to the seafront bars, eateries and shops. It is just a 15-minute bus ride to Dubrovnik Old Town. Sunset Beach (with small pebbles) is a five-minute walk. A seven-night stay costs from £810 pp (two sharing), including return flights and transfers, on a BB basis.
Hotel Villa Pattiera is located at the beginning of the promenade in the old town of Cavtat, one of the prettiest spots on the Dubrovnik Riviera, lined with palm trees and café terraces. The hotel is a four-star, family-run boutique property with twelve traditionally furnished bedrooms. Originally – in the 19th century – a private villa, the custard-yellow building was the home of Croatian opera singer Tino Pattiera. Enjoy the buzz of being close to Cavtat’s shops, cool tapas-style bars and stylish seaside restaurants. The hotel’s rustic Restaurant Dalmacija serves traditional Dalmatian fish and seafood dishes on a lovely open glass terrace with spectacular views. For swimming, the nearest beach is a ten-minute walk away. A seven-night stay is from £655 pp (two sharing), including return flights and transfers, on a BB basis.
Kalamota Beach House, a beautiful white stone building, offers ten stylish and spacious apartment suites in an exquisite beachside location. It’s a great spot for a group of friends or family to chill out on a stone beach deck or at the open-air rooftop pool, with wonderful panoramic views over the Adriatic. The à la carte restaurant has a pool/beach bar and is run by an excellent local chef. For 2023, there will be kayaks for hire, plus a weekly programme of island trekking for the super-energetic. Kalamota Beach is reached either via the hotel’s private speedboat or by a regular boat from Dubrovnik twice a day. A seven-night stay is from £1,140 pp (two sharing), including return flights and transfers, on a BB basis.
Hotel Indijan, a 4-star property, is situated directly on the stunning beachfront in the small, laid-back village of Orebic on the distinctive Peljesac mainland peninsula. There are 19 spacious bedrooms, many with balconies and spectacular sea views, including to the island of Korcula. Originally a shipyard, the hotel is owned by the Violic family. Making wine since 1975 in their own vineyards, they are happy to organise tasting visits. Orebic village is a 10-minute walk along the seafront path, with a few shops, several café-bars, and 5 or 6 restaurants, including pizzerias. The hotel’s huge outside terraces house its Korta restaurant and its Korona café-bar, both serving delicious local fresh fish and seafood. A seven-night stay is from £793 pp (two sharing), including return flights and transfers, on a BB basis.
Villa Atlanta Apartments are in the lovely seaside town of Lovran, on the Opatija Riviera, in the Kvarner Region. A beautiful, pale custard property, built in 1899 as a private residence, the villa later became home to a famous Polish writer. Years passed, it was sold and bought, and now, happily, there are 14 four-star apartments in this heritage villa building. It still has a very special feel. Here is the longest lungomare seaside promenade in Croatia; it is breathtakingly beautiful and overlooks the Kvarner Bay islands. (Still better, no-one has ever heard of it!) The centre of Lovran is under five-minutes’ walk, and stylish Opatija is a 15-minute bus ride. Prices on request.
– One of the largest hotels in Sunvil’s Croatia portfolio is the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, a luxurious five-star hotel, which first opened its doors in 1897. It has become an iconic hotel, earning the moniker of “Grand” over the years, with famous visitors including King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, who favoured dancing in the gardens during their visit in 1936. There are 149 luxuriously-furnished bedrooms offering contemporary style and comfort, many with fabulous views across rooftops to the hills and the sea beyond. The “Grand” is the perfect base for visiting the palaces, museums, churches and piazzas of the old town, and it’s an easy stroll along Stradun (the main street) to the little port of Porporela, from where boats serve Lokrum island and other coastal spots, including Mlini and Cavtat. A seven-night stay costs from £1,362 pp (two sharing), including return flights and transfers, on a BB basis.
Croatia’s authentic food and wine experiences…
The quality of the local food and wine will surprise many travellers; it is increasingly putting Croatia on the gastronomic world map. Wine and olive oil making both date back to the Roman period. The Pelješac peninsula, in the Dalmatia region, produces some of Croatia’s top red wines, Plavac Mali and Dingač. At the other end of Croatia, in the Istria region, discover the enchanting hilltop walled villages of Motovun and Grožnjan, and visit the olive groves which produce award-winning oil on the international stage. With such a long coastline (1,800km), and wondrously clean seawater, it’s no surprise that there are superb fish and seafood dishes to enjoy, combined with bountiful fruits from the land such as truffles and figs.
The road less travelled…
Ferries and catamarans usually work like clockwork in Croatia and are a great way to explore the country. If travelling by car, the brand-new Pelješac Bridge, which connects the southern Dalmatian region with the rest of the country, bypasses a narrow strip of Bosnian coastline, making driving along this part of the coast even easier.
Festivals all year round…Split offers musical concerts all year-round and, in October, there is the Food Fair Chef’s event, with master classes, wine tastings and restaurants offering Dalmatian menus at special prices. Advent Split sees the area of Riva transformed into an avenue of seasonal festivities with music, hand-crafted festive decorations, candles and mulled wine. A spectacular New Year’s Eve party offers a breath-taking firework display, lighting up both sea and sky at midnight.
The old village of Cilipi, around 15 minutes from Cavtat, showcases the traditional folklore dances of the Konavle Valley, performed by dancers in original costume. The Epidaurus Festival in Cavtat is an eclectic mix of theatre and musical concerts running from June until September, and there is also a lovely open-air cinema.
Dubrovnik’s Summer Festival runs from 10th July to 25th August, with a wide range of musical and theatrical events all over the city. In October, Dubrovnik’s Good Food Festival includes Restaurant Week, with special menus, cookery workshops, tastings and gastro tours. In December, the old city lights up in festive mood for the Christmas Advent Market.
Looking to stay longer?
Sunvil offers a Historic Split and Biograd na Moru two-centre, ten-day itinerary, enjoyed either as a self-drive holiday or with taxi transfers to the main destinations. Included are excursions from Biograd to the famous National Parks of Plitvice, Krka and Kornati. There is an opportunity to explore the old city of Split, set within the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, a World Heritage site since 1979, and to stay for three nights at the modern 4-star Hotel Marvie. Then travel on to the little-known coastal resort of Biograd Na Moru, with a six-night stay at the 4-star seaside Hotel Ilirija, an ideal base from which to explore the natural wonders of some of Croatia’s National Parks. Prices are tailored.
Set sail in Croatian Adriatic Style…
There is no better way of exploring this stunning coast and its islands than by small, modern cruise ships. Sunvil offers Croatia Cruises, on the MS Providenca and MS Liberty, with just 20 ensuite cabins – 40 people at most – on the main and lower decks. These ships are modern, comfortable, and ideal for couples and family groups of all ages, with a relaxing bar, restaurant, shaded lounge area, plus a sun deck with sun beds and Jacuzzi. Sail the Dalmatian coast and islands, from Dubrovnik to Split and return, with visits to the islands of Mljet, Korcula, Brac, Hvar and Vis, plus the mainland sites of Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik and Trogir, along with the National Parks of Krka and Mljet.
A further selection of cruise itineraries and more holiday ideas will be featured online in the near future – see http://www.sunvil.co.uk/holidays/croatia
Ends / 15 August, 2022
Notes to Editors:
About Sunvil: Award-winning holiday specialist Sunvil (www.sunvil.co.uk) has pioneered many fascinating destinations in its 52-year history, and has been at the forefront of environmental initiatives and good practice, protecting its destinations and ensuring that local people benefit from tourism, since 1988 – well over 30 years.
Press: For further information, press trip opportunities with Sunvil or high-res photography, please contact Jane Collyer or Sue Ockwell at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 / 07753 762306 (Jane), or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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