If it's stunning scenery, breathtakingly blue seas and gorgeous weather you're after, look no further than Croatia! Here's why you should pack your bags and go there this summer.
1. The flights
Flights to Croatia are quick (around two and a half hours from Gatwick to Split) and reasonably priced. You can fly direct to Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar, among others, so you can choose where to start your adventure!
2. The sunshine
If you like it hot, hot, hot, you’ll love Croatia. Coastal summer temperatures tend to hover in the high 20s, and don’t drop too much lower in the evenings. Lovely!
3. The Croatian kuna
As well as not having to fork out too much on the flights, if you’re thrifty when you get there, you can get your kuna to stretch a long way!
4. The festivals
From Electro Dance Madness to Hideout, there’s a music festival to suit everyone’s tastes in Croatia throughout the summer. And you won’t have to worry about getting muddy – you can leave your wellies and waterproofs at home!
5. The islands
The best thing about Croatia is the islands. And the best way to see the islands is by boat. If you or your mates are keen sailors, get a group of you together on a sailing boat for a week and explore at your leisure. If not, there are lots of ferries and catamarans running between the islands. Highly recommended are Hvar, Korcula, Brac and Mijet.
6. The history
If you’re after a bit of history and culture, almost everywhere you go is full of it. Some of Croatia’s towns and cities are still enclosed by their ancient city walls, notably Dubrovnik, and you can walk around the whole Old Town on top of the wall, giving you great views across the rooftops.
7. The beaches
The majority of beaches in Croatia are pebbly, so you’ll need a good pair of jellies! But what they lack in sand, they make up for in beauty, and it also means they’re less crowded – as well as less popular with Brits.
8. Getting around
Travelling around the country is cheap and straightforward – as mentioned above, the islands are served by regular ferries and catamarans, and you can also get buses from town to town, which is a great way to soak up the scenery.
9. The food
Fresh, grilled fish, seafood, pasta and stews are Croatia’s specialities, and you get a lot for your money. The country also makes its own wines, beers and spirits, which are definitely worth sampling, as you probably won’t be able to buy them back in the UK.
10. The people
The locals are really friendly. Most people in the touristy (and some non-touristy) areas speak excellent English, but it’s always worth learning a few phrases before you go. Hvala!
11. The national parks
Plitvice Lakes National Park (pictured) and Krka National Park stand out with their spectacular waterfalls and lakes, but there are plenty to choose from if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure.
12. See more
Croatia borders Montenegro, which can be easily reached by bus from Dubrovnik and is well worth a visit, with its beautiful, rustic scenery and great beaches. It also neighbours Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina if you wanted to do a bit more exploring.