What to eat, drink and read before you go
Best time to visit: April to June, and September to October.
Eat: Pasticada – tender beef stewed in wine and aromatic spices.
Drink: Ozusko or Karlovacko – the country’s two most popular beers, or fragrant wine from Kvarner or Baranja.
Before you go
Read: Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, a timeless Balkan travelogue, dubbed one of the neglected masterpieces of the 20th Century.
Listen: To tradional tamburica (lute) music, or modern pop from Gibonni and Severina.
Watch: Armin, a poignant observation of father-son relationships on the road to Zagreb, or Libertas, a biopic about Marin Drzic, a 16th Century poet from Dubrovnik.
- Swim in the sparkling lakes and waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes,
- Paddle a canoe along the Adriatic coastline, a sublime stretch of land and sea,
- Enjoy a slow-food banquet is Istria, Croatia’s ecotourism capital,
- Visit Zagreb’s awe-inspiring galleries, churches and museums.
Top things to do:
- Explore the untouched forests and hidden coves of Cres Island,
- Savour traditional food and drink in one of Split’s many cafes,
- Wander through boutique shops and plazas at Diocletian’s Palace,
- Get your gear off and plunge into the pristine waters off the island of Hvar.
In a word: Zdravo (Hello).
Random fact: Fine weather is so reliable in Hvar that some hoteliers offer free accommodation if it snows.