The Croatian cities along the Adriatic Sea are just as beautiful as any you’ll find on the French Riviera and, though you might be surprised, winter is the best time to visit. Blue skies and blue waters, cities and towns full of historic charm and cheer, and traditional cuisine that embraces modern techniques even as it insists on classical flavors are all waiting for you. As a bonus, almost no tourists are around, making your quest for the perfect IG photos a breeze.
Start Your Journey Through Croatia in Split
As one of the biggest cities in Croatia, Split is a great place to begin your trip along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea towards Dubrovnik. Stay at the Hotel Cornaro, which has two on-site restaurants and a terrace lounge serving snacks and drinks, plus a wine bar and rooftop bar. Join in rooftop yoga and fitness classes, soak in the rooftop jacuzzi, or book a spa treatment to wind down after a long day of sightseeing.
Where to Eat in Split
Restaurants in Split offer tourists a strong connection to the local culture through food and drink. Calebotta’s menu items include classic Dalmatian dishes focused on pasta, fish, and beef. Perivoj is well known for its Art Nouveau-style garden and restaurant. Dinner menu items include fresh seafood dishes like duck, mussels, and shrimp. The coffee and desserts are legendary. ZOI and Štorja are popular local restaurants, too. For a fun, seasonal experience, visit the Ice Park in Đardin for ice skating followed by dessert. This specially designed ice skating park is part of Split’s advent celebrations, with food and drink vendors.
See the Best of Split
A tour of Split includes historical landmarks like Palazzo di Diocleziano (one of the homes of Viserion, Rhaegal, and, Drogon from Game of Thrones); Pjaca square; Riva promenade and port, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius, and Grgur Ninski Statue. Venture just outside Split for a tour of Klis Fortress, where several scenes from “Game of Thrones” were filmed. Tours of nearby Trogir include Central Square and the St. Lawrence Cathedral and Bell Tower.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
At the high-end Hotel Excelsior, marvel at Adriatic and Old Town views as you enjoy private gardens, a beach, three restaurants, spa services, and an indoor pool. There are special holiday events on-site and the Dubrovnik Winter Festival nearby.
Dining in Dubrovnik
Old Town is the best part of Dubrovnik to find fine dining for lunch or dinner. Try Proto, renowned for seafood since 1886. Attentive and knowledgeable staff serve Mediterranean dishes and the Catch of the Day. At Arsenal restaurant, an elevated terrace for al fresco dining makes for stunning views. Dinner at Pantarul restaurant features farm and sea to table dining with house-made pastas and breads and a Croatian wine list. Dalmatino restaurant serves traditional dishes with a modern flair. A cozy meal awaits at Rozario; the restaurant’s reputation is built on authenticity and hospitality. Cap your evening with wine tasting and live music at the wine bar D’Vino.
Things to Do in Dubrovnik
Go on a sightseeing tour to experience the history of Dubrovnik. Visit Sponza Palace, the Church of Saint Blaise, Onophrian Fountain, and the Dubrovnik Cathedral. Seasonal events include local Christmas markets and charity concerts, such as the one held on St. Lucy’s Day at Marin Držić theatre. Enjoy the Torta party or the Gibonni concert at Stradun.
If the weather’s nice, visit Srđ; the cable car ride makes for an exciting trip. From Dubrovnik, day trips to Cavtat and other towns of the Konavle Valley are easy. Spend your days walking the proms and visiting small shops and cafes. In Ston, be sure to visit Bakus restaurant; it is known for its delicious seafood and attentive service in a lovely setting.
The cities along the Adriatic coast of Croatia have so much to offer travelers. Traditions of strong hospitality in Dubrovnik and the surrounding cities like Split, Cavtat, and Ston, ensure that guests enjoy seasonal activities as much as locals do, from sightseeing tours to holiday concerts, markets, and performances.