The Maldives islands are home to some of the very best scuba diving in the world. Even if you’re not a diver, snorkelling in the warm waters offers wonderful opportunities to spot a wide variety of marine life. Some resorts have their own diving schools, whilst others have their own reefs and you may even see whale sharks.
Rich in culture, nature and history this country of contrasts has something to tempt every traveller
A mixture of unspoilt natural treasures, beautifully preserved ancient architecture and a lively contemporary cultural scene means Croatia really does have something to offer everyone.
Renowned for the islands and stunning seascapes of its Adriatic coastline Croatia also has a dramatic rugged interior of mountainous wilderness so it is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, opportunities to hike, bike ride, swim and paddle abound.
Culture vultures will also have plenty to occupy them, as Croatia’s cities of Split, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik are jam-packed with monumental buildings dating back to Roman and Byzantine settlement. As a consequence, Croatia is home to a disproportionate number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Founded by Emperor Diocletian in AD 305 the city of Split is in the heart of Dalmatia. It’s Roman walls contain churches from the 12th and 13th centuries, medieval forts and gothic, renaissance and baroque palaces. The region is also renowned for the beaches on the island of Brač
Famously known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, became a major Mediterranean power after the 13th century, and is defined by its famous city walls. In spite of the notorious siege of 1991 Dubrovnik has managed to preserve its gothic, renaissance and baroque churches, monasteries and fountains.
The street plan of this island settlement originates from the Hellenic era and subsequent rulers continued to build exceptional renaissance and baroque public and residential buildings and forts, beautiful roman churches. The most significant building is the Trogir Cathedral, the most significant example of roman and gothic art in Croatia.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
The oldest national park in Croatia is centered around a string of 16 Lakes surrounded by thick ancient forests inhabited by bears, wolves and many other rare animal and plant species. A network of paths links the lakes and waterfalls and makes exploring on foot or by bike easy.
On the island of Hvar, famous for its glamourous & cosmopolitan nightlife, Stari Grad Plain was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July of 2008. The plain represents the best-preserved ancient Greek landscape in the Mediterranean, the vineyards and olive groves have remained practically intact since it was first colonized by the ancient Greeks.
There is so much more to Dubrovnik than Game of Thrones! The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ has been drawing discerning visitors since long before the hit TV series attracted a whole new generation of visitors.
The old town, parts of which date back to the 6th century, encircled by it’s famous walls, is a treasure trove of ancient culture, beautiful architecture and intriguing narrow streets lined with restaurants and unexpected viewpoints.
Walk around the walls early or late to catch the best of the light when the golden stone and pantile roofs glow in the sun, stumble across the Buza Bar for a cold drink with a view, and browse the designer stores on Stradun, which was created in the 12th Century by filling in a canal, and covered in marble paving in 1468. If it all gets too much you can people-watch in the shade with a generously sized ice cream….
There is an overwhelming number of places to stay in Dubrovnic and having visited recently we recommend that you choose somewhere outside the walls, where you can escape the crowds and catch the sea breezes. On a more practical level, it’s quieter, and you don’t have to lug your baggage down narrow cobbled alleys, and up endless flights of stairs……
Only 2 hours flight time from London, the best times to explore are between April and October, with the Spring and Autumn seeing fewer visitors and ideal temperatures.