Beach and sun, City breaks, Europe

Croatia becomes the 28th member state of the European Union on July 1st so why not use this as an excuse to visit this amazing country. Its coast is a sheer delight, its exciting cities thriving and its history and sites very much alive. Here’s my guide to the best of Croatia to visit this month.

Croatian cities

Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb is the largest city in the country with so much to see and do. Start at Ban Jelacic Square, where you’ll find yourself in walking distance from many of the must see sights of the capital including its many museums. It’s a great place to explore Croatia’s past but also make sure you pop into one of the cafes that surround the square. Visit Zagreb Cathedral or the iconic St. Mark’s Church to get in touch with your spiritual side. Make sure you’re at Lotrscak Tower for midday to hear the cannon fire to mark the time; you can also climb to the top of the tower for stunning views across the city. Zagreb also has a great nightlife, so whether you want to simply dine out for the evening or let your hair down , there is something for you here once the sun goes down.

One of the most popular cities to visit is Dubrovnik, famed for its beauty and a tourist destination for centuries. Sitting on the Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik has seen much upheaval especially in the more recent past. However, the EU and UNESCO worked together to reconstruct the city to its former glory so it can be seen in all its glory today. Must see places to visit include Rector’s Palace, Big Onofrio’s Fountain and the elegant Franciscan Monastery. Make sure you also grab a drink or a bite to eat at the famous Cafe Buza or the Troubadour Jazz Cafe, the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere.

Natural Croatia

It isn’t just Croatia’s cities that offer a memorable holiday, as it is home to many picturesque natural wonders. Plitvice Lakes is home to the largest National Park in Croatia, filled with lakes, rivers and waterfalls. In total, there are 8 national parks in Croatia, all great places to explore and get in touch with the natural world.

To explore the coast, there’s the obvious choice of heading to the stunning Dalmatia Coast. Whilst here, make sure you take a trip to the Island of Brac and you’ll find arguably the most beautiful beach in the Adriatic, Zlatni Rat beach. For a completely tranquil island break, take a trip to the Elafiti Islands, which are beautifully untouched by tourism.

Cultural Croatia

With evidence of Roman and Venetian history wonderfully preserved for all to see, coming to Croatia for a cultural break couldn’t be better. There are so many must-see sites that you’ll want to see.  Pula Amphitheater in Pula is one of the best  preserved Roman Arenas in the world, with all the walls pretty much in tact.  Split’s Diocletian’s Palace is best explored with a guide to appreciate the Roman buildings and to delve into the atmospheric past.  Croatia’s religious sites also rival the beauty of its historical ones, with Porec’s Euphrasian Basilica being a prime example.

As with many European countries, Croatia has many castles and fortresses scattered across the country. I would definitely make sure you visit Pazin Kastel in the picturesque Istrian province, and Trakoscan Castle which is one of the best preserved examples in Croatia.

Croatia in July

July is a fantastic time of year to visit Croatia, with the country bathed in sunshine and glorious temperatures. Temperatures vary across the country but averages start at 26 degrees, climbing into the low 30s. It’s the perfect weather to enjoy the beaches but also to explore.

You’re also spoilt for choice for festivals and events to enjoy throughout the month. It’s the perfect time for music lovers to visit, with events including the Soundwave Festival (18th-22nd), Tisno’s Garden Festival (3rd-10th) and the Hideout Festival (3rd-5th) on Pag Island as well as many more. You can also attend The Pula Film Festival and the Split Summer Festival.

  • For more information on events during July, go to visit-croatia