With its Mediterranean atmosphere, extraordinary beauty and equally remarkable history and architecture, a tour of Croatia opens up one of Europe’s best kept secrets. A veritable crossroads of western and eastern influences thanks to its geographical position, it was ruled in turn over the centuries by the Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, Hapsburg and French Empires - only to be occupied by Germany and Italy during World War II and then absorbed into the republic of Yugoslavia. After the fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the virtual end of communism in Europe, Croatia finally gained independence in 1991 - but not without fierce fighting and loss of territory.
With the scars of war now fully healed, your tour of Croatia will reflect the very best of this proud country’s fascinating past and idyllic natural wonders. There are no fewer than seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia. It has its own very special feel and spirit of place, too – from colourful red and white embroidered national costumes to giant Easter eggs, sword dances, Pag cheese, alcoholic liqueurs like Maraschino and Rajika, and ubiquitous gingerbread hearts.The legendary Dalmatian coastline will be a real highlight of your Croatia tour – hundreds of miles of dramatic limestone cliffs and lush pine forests that plunge down to the sapphire blue waters of the Adriatic,
studded with medieval fishing villages and countless tiny islands. Krka valley is equally stunning, with its magnificent waterfalls and lakes that change in colour from turquoise and azure blue to vibrant green and steely grey. Then there are the wonderfully untouched baroque delights of Dubrovnik, (the pearl of the Adriatic according to Byron), the vast palace of Emperor Diocletian in Split, and the amazing stone bridge, 16th century mosques and Turkish houses of Mostar. Your tour of Croatia even extends to nearby Montenegro with its dramatic mountain scenery, beautiful coastline and sleepy villages – a step back in time that cries out to be discovered.