Croatia is a photogenically blessed country, with a gorgeous mix of beautiful beaches, islands, and Adriatic seascapes, as well as lots of ancient history in the form of its medieval walled cities like Dubrovnik and Split. It is also home to the last remaining Roman amphitheater in the world with a full circular wall, in the ancient town of Pula.
Wherever you wander in Croatia, be it on or off the beaten path, these are the most beautiful places to visit in this gorgeous country.
This aerial panoramic view of Croatia’s most famous medieval city, Dubrovnik, shows how impressive the historic walled city is. It also captures the stunning natural landscape surrounding it. Dubrovnik sits on the Dalmatian Coast, and the Adriatic Sea here is crystal clear and azure. If the old town looks familiar and you lived for Game of Thrones, it served as a set for King’s Landing.
Talk about a view! Looking through this stone window yields an aerial view of Old Town Split. Croatia’s second largest city, Split also served as a set location for Game of Thrones. The city doubled for Kings Landing in the show, and a number of scenes were filmed at its 1,700-plus-year-old Diocletian’s Palace.
The gorgeous spoon-shaped Milna Bay, on the west coast of beautiful Brac Island, is backed by the fishing village of Milna. Take a stroll along one of the coastal footpaths to see the old fisherman’s houses and surrounding farms growing grapes and olives. Brac is part of the Dalmatian Island chain and can be reached via regular catamaran service from Split.
This waterfall is part of the network of 16 lakes and waterfalls that make up stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia’s central region. Swimming under it when the pink flowers are in bloom is an ethereal experience (that is also perfect for Instagram). The park is usually visited on bus sightseeing tours from Zagreb or Zadar.
Another Dalmatian island beauty is Vis. Here, you’ll find a number of scenic beaches, including this sand and pebble beach in the Komiza village waterfront. The town has been a hub for fishermen since the 12th century and is filled with old stone houses on narrow backstreets. While here, organize a boat trip to the famous Blue Cave on nearby Bisevo island.
It’s an impressive view from the Trogir City Gate in the city’s historic Venetian structured Old Town—it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trogir sits on a small island that is linked by bridges to both the mainland (it is less than 30 miles from Split) and the bigger Ciovo Island. Head to the seaside promenade come dark on summer nights for dinner at a breezy outdoor café or restaurant.
St. Anastasia Cathedral in Zadar looks especially magical at sunset. Zadar is Croatia’s oldest inhabited city and arguably its coolest. Like Dubrovnik, it is a historic port on the gorgeous Dalmatian Coast, but it has far fewer crowds, making it an ideal summer getaway.
Constructed by Roman Emperor Diocletian as his retirement home in AD 305, Diocletian’s Palace overlooks the Adriatic Sea and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace features four gates. Three faced the land, but the fourth originally opened right onto the water.
Beyond the palace, spend some time exploring Split’s pedestrian-only Old Town. Here you’ll also find the Cathedral of St. Domnius with a wonderful bell tower.
Pula is home to some really well-preserved Roman ruins, including the Pula Arena. It is the only remaining Roman amphitheater in the world with a complete circle wall and was built between 27 BC and AD 68, which is pretty mind-blowing to think about.