The Croatian National Tourist Board released a promotional video earlier this year entitled ‘Croatia – the new Tourism Star of the European Union’ in the run up to the country’s admission to the EU in July. Check out the video here. This video helps to reiterate what we at Hosted Villas already feel for this small, beautiful country in the Adriatic.
Some of the best sailing and boating in the world, islands that rival Greece, endless beaches, craggy bluffs, hidden coves, some of the most dramatic Roman ruins still standing, as well as cuisine to match their Italian neighbours — travel insiders tout Croatia as the Mediterranean’s ‘next big thing’.
As if caught in a perfect confluence of time and place, Croatia today enjoys the same emerging “it” factor as St. Tropez circa 1955 or Post Cold War Prague. Europeans have long flocked to Croatia’s coast as a lesser-known alternative to Greece, Italy and Spain. Indeed, half a million Brits played in Croatia’s sun and surf each year in the late ‘80s. This allegiance quickly shifted, however, with the civil conflict of the early ‘90s. Today, fading reminders of that conflict stand in stark contrast to a palpable optimism and the Croatians’ competence in seizing the new opportunities at hand. Having finally shaken off both ancient and modern aggressors, there’s the sense that Croatians are feeling true independence — as if for the first time — making it an exciting time to visit. The country’s admission to the European Union in 2014 is sure to boost the country and help ease travel and improve services for tourists.
Recently dubbed the “Croat d’Azur” or the “New Riviera,” the stunning beaches and exquisitely beautiful isles and harbor towns of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast certainly attract their fair share of glitterati. In hot-spots like the island of Hvar, huge yachts cruise by, complete with bikini-clad women lounging topside while pods of dolphins follow playfully in their wake. Indeed, chic-seeking Europeans have been returning in droves (along with many Hollywood celebs), pleased that they got here before the rest of the world.
Still, in spite of its renewed appeal as a coastal haven for the impossibly fashionable, the vast majority of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is so much more than a chic beach destination (and even the beaches are vastly different in character). Ironically, most of Dalmatia is really a throwback to simpler, non-commercialized times and its beaches are just the tip of what there is to explore in Dalmatia’s wonderful, old-world culture.
Stay tuned to our next blog post, where we will share some our favourite Croatian secrets. From cuisine to wine, our Local Hosts know exactly where to go for a hidden gem!