Dreaming of your post-lockdown getaway already? Why this sun-drenched Adriatic wonderland should be top of your list
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Where do you see yourself after May 17? Somewhere sunny, naturally gorgeous and many miles away from Blighty, no doubt.
From a romantic jaunt to a family getaway, or even an escape into the wilderness away from civilisation, there’s one idyllic place where you can live out all of your post-lockdown travel fantasties (and it’s only 2 and a half hours away on a plane).
Here’s why Croatia, the Adriatic’s jewel in the crown, should be top of your list for a post-lockdown holiday.
Get away from it all
Get lost in Croatia’s many islands such as those in the Kornati Archipelago, where you’ll find hidden caves, ruins and more
Worlds away from staycation holiday rentals and England’s green pastures lie the 1,244 lush islands of Croatia; each one filled with its own unique charm and surrounded by clear, balmy waters.
These various archipelagos offer sunshine and unspoilt beaches in abundance for those looking for a dose of nature and escapism in their post-pandemic travels.
Zlani Rat isn’t just a gorgeous beach; it’s a launchpad for some of the best watersports in Europe
Take the Kornati Archipelago to the north of Dalmatia. This region is renowned as being the home of Kornati National Park. Here, those simply in search of a little solace can wander freely without encountering another person.
Discover mystical caves dotted throughout the park or catch some rays on a secluded cove while keeping your eyes peeled for bottlenose dolphins jumping through the crystal-clear waves beyond.
If your version of a paradise island involves a little more adrenaline, look no further than Brač, the largest island in the Dalmatia region.
Brač has an iconic white pebble beach, Zlatni Rat, which juts out into the Adriatic, a picturesque sunbathing spot to catch water-sport lovers in their element.
Windsurf in the sunshine or dip beneath the waves to get acquainted with Croatia’s aquatic residents
Windsurfers, jet-skiiers and scuba-divers will fall in love with the amazing waves as well as the spectacular scenes beneath them, where loggerhead turtles and tropical fish thrive.
Sun and safety in Croatia
As desperate as you may be to jet off to foreign climes once again, safe travel is more important than ever – even if you have been vaccinated!
Croatia is practising safe travel in line with the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the World Travel and Tourism Council, so you can vacation with peace of mind.
Regular disinfection and temperature testing is taking place at all ports and institutions to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
For added insurance, plan your Croatian adventure by only using vendors who use the Croatia ‘Safe Stay’ label, so you and your loved ones can get the most out of your post-lockdown retreat.
Can’t settle on one island? Don’t worry. There are yacht charters throughout Croatia, so you can sail the sapphire sea and see all the islands from their best angle.
A treat for the taste buds
All that adventuring has probably worked up an appetite (or pehaps your sole motive for travel was always gastronomically led!).
Either way, you’re in luck: Croatia’s pantry is a foodie’s paradise.
Let’s start the meal off with a little wine. Croatia’s year-round warm climate makes for some truly sensational vino – but Slavonia beats all the regions for the finest offerings.
The white wines are the best – particularly when the sun is shining! – and you’ll find refreshing takes on familiar favourites such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon.
Don’t fail to overlook the nation’s own blends. From golden Zelenac with its sharp yet fruity apple and peach notes to fragrant Graševina, a moreish mix of melon and butterscotch flavours, these wines are a treat for all the senses, especially when enjoyed in the vineyards of Đakovo and Srijem where they’re produced.
Food-wise, there’s a rainbow of regional dishes to get your teeth into while you’re in town. If you’re in Split, you’ll want to try the local favourite, pašticada, a subtly spiced beef stew made with dried fruits, cloves, nutmeg and wine.
There are lighter options for especially hot days too, from Dalmatian black risotto, a creamy, wholesome dish best served with fresh cuttlefish or octopus, to typical Mediterannean cuisine such as grilled fish served with nutritious and colourful vegetables.
Unleash your wild side
Head for the peaks in the Dinaric Alps to get the blood pumping and enjoy spectacular views
Laidback jaunts to sun-drenched islands for great views and grub is one thing, but Croatia has a wild side calling for the more adventurous traveller.
The majestic Velebit mountain range, which forms part of the Dinaric Alps, is the go-to place for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.
Home to two national parks, ancient forests and deep canyons, this natural wonderland boasts some of the world’s finest hiking and paragliding environments.
But that’s not all. While you’re gliding through the clouds or traipsing up through the tree line, keep your eyes peeled for this habitat’s largest beasts, such as Balkan chamois, brown bears and lynx. Getting up close to these incredible creatures in their natural home is an experience unlike any other.
From paragliding to wild bear encounters, there are lots of memories to be made in the Velebit Mountains
Perhaps the one of the most exhilarating experiences Croatia has to offer, however is ziplining. Why? Because the landscapes you can fly through are unrivalled for sheer beauty.
In the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Plitvice Lakes National Park, for example, you’ll find sixteen breathtaking lakes as well as wild boar, rare birds and deer prancing through the woodlands.
But the real take-home experience is up at the top of the Korana Canyon which overlooks the lakes.
Soar above the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park to truly take in the majesty of this secluded paradise
Here, brave travellers can soar across the park on a 300-metre long zipline, taking in the beauty of this secluded paradise. Unlike a normal zipline, this one is fitted with a paragliding seat, so you can fully enjoy the scenery as you through the fresh air at 40mph.
Whatever kind of holidaymaker you are, Croatia promises an unforgettable experience after lockdown and beyond.
Click here to plan your safe getaway to Croatia today
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