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Activities in Croatia

Roderick Eime

Cruising in Croatia

Croatia is rapidly building its reputation as a world-class cruising destination, with Dubrovnik in particular a red-hot port now included in almost every eastern Mediterranean cruise itinerary. It's not hard to see why. Known as the 'Jewel of the Adriatic', historic Dubrovnik is a strikingly attractive city set like a shimmering diamond in the crown of its magnificent 13th-century harbour.Dubrovnik cruise passengers can access the pedestrianised Old Town right from the port. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features a renowned Franciscan Monastery, with a working pharmacy dating to 1317, as well as plenty of lively, modern sights and sounds that draw a substantial influx of tourists and cruise passengers throughout the year.The best of the invariably excellent beaches is probably Banja with its crystal clear waters and white sand. For a bit more seclusion, get a ferry from the port to Lokrum Island. Don't miss Dubrovnik's annual Summer Festival over July and August when live music by international stars brings the peak tourist season to life.The harbour is the centrepiece of the town but only yachts and small boats can dock there. Cruise ships will either berth at Gruz Harbour, 20 minutes from the Old Town, or anchor in the deep waters offshore affording passengers lingering views of Dubrovnik's romantic facade.Cruises from Dubrovnik will take in other Croatian highlights such as Split, which is built up around Roman Emperor Diocletian's Palace; Zadar, with its many historical sites; and Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo. On course to these attractions, passengers will enjoy views of the thousands of pristine islands that make up the Croatian Archipelago.For those who wish to cruise from Dubrovnik, a good alternative to big cruise liners are the traditional gulet cruises. These wooden vessels generally carry from 20 to 40 passengers and offer sleep-on packages of up to seven days. The small size of the gulet allows it to access coves and harbours in the Adriatic that larger vessels are denied.

Judith Duk

Hiking in Croatia

Croatia is famed for its dramatic coastline and beautiful beaches, but those who enjoy the outdoors should not miss out on the opportunity to explore the country's stunning mountain trails. With hundreds of established routes, Croatia has trails to delight everyone.From a beginner looking to explore Croatia's mountainous regions at a leisurely pace to the experienced hiker ready for a challenge that'll take them out of their comfort zone, taking to the trails allows visitors to explore untouched parts of the country.Plitvice Lakes National Park features many travel itineraries and provides ample opportunities for hiking. Routes vary in length and difficulty, ranging between 3 to 8 hours. Close to Zagreb, outdoor enthusiasts getting acquainted with the trails along the the Medvednica and Samobor Hills. Avid climbers should head to the Plaklenica National Park where they can grapple with the 350-metre high summit known as Anica Kuk, which will no doubt provide an unforgettable experience.Most of Croatia's hiking trails are accessible throughout the year. However, the most popular ones tend to become crowded in the summer months when the heat can also make hiking quite uncomfortable.Snowfall can cause some disruption in the winter. The best time to explore the Croatia's mountain trails is often thus in the spring and autumn. The waterfalls are especially spectacular in spring with water levels increasing as a result of the melting snow and the changing colour of the leaves creates stunning landscapes in the autumn.

August Dominus

Watersports in Croatia

Croatia's unspoilt turquoise seas offer the perfect setting for an active holiday, especially for holidaymakers that enjoy watersports. On most of the islands and seaside resorts, visitors will find plenty of tour operators offering a wide range activities from windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding to snorkelling and diving.Sea kayaking around the Elaphiti Islands off Dubrovnik is a fun, memorable activity for the whole family. It's a great way to explore the waters and minimal experience is required. Those looking to explore the marine world at greater depths will find that Croatia is a haven for dive sites. Fascinating diving spots include the Baron Gautsch wreck near Rovinj and the Blue Cave on Bisevo.

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