Croatia is well-endowed with heritage-rich cities, charming towns, and quaint villages. It’s in these special places that delicious food and great wine are the norm, centuries-old architecture still shines, and friendly locals invite visitors to experience a slower pace of life. Whether you long for the idyllic countryside or the windswept coast, these enchanting locales showcase the best of Croatia—and make amazing honeymoon destinations.
A storybook town in Central Dalmatia (just 35 minutes from Split by car), Trogir couldn’t possibly be more picturesque. Its spotlessly clean, palm tree-lined waterfront promenade is studded with outdoor cafes and bars. A walk further into the UNESCO-protected historic center reveals a compact warren of cobbled lanes, medieval landmarks, traditional konobas, and cute little souvenir shops. For unparalleled vistas, ascend Fortress Kamerlengo or climb the 150-foot-tall belltower of Trogir Cathedral.
At this point, everyone on the planet knows of Dubrovnik, thanks to Game of Thrones. It may have more tourists than ever, but this historic seaport still wows. There’s a reason, well many, why it’s such a beloved backdrop for television and movies. The former maritime capital truly resembles a film set with 16th-century walls, Gothic facades, ornate fountains, and imposing gates. Ride the cable car to the top of Mount Srđ for a breathtaking birds-eye view of the city and surrounding islands.
Far more than a place to party, Hvar stuns with its yacht-filled harbor, Renaissance-era cathedral, and hilltop fortress. Of course, its revelrous reputation isn’t a myth. Swanky beach clubs like Bonj Les Bains and Laganini Lounge Bar & Fish House promise sunbeds, rosé, and fresh-caught seafood. You can count on raucous after-dark venues, too. It also has a wealth of romantic restaurants—perfect for date night. And with the opening of Palace Elizbeth, Hvar is on track to become one of the poshest destinations in the Adriatic.
On the east coast of Krk lies a community built atop jagged limestone cliffs with turquoise tides below. Vrbnik is a bastion of stone houses and narrow streets. You won't find nail salons, fitness studios, or frozen yogurt kiosks (though, gelaterias do exist). Family-owned stores sell local products—honey, grappa, olive oil, and jam. Afternoons are an excuse to enjoy leisurely lunches at Nada, where salty breezes complement fish dishes. Don't forget to buy a few bottles of Zlahtina, a crisp white wine only produced on Krk.
Surrounded by rolling hills, green valleys, and dense forests, Motovun will steal your heart at first glance. Of course, sight isn’t the only sense you’ll put to good use. That’s our not-so-subtle way of saying go hungry. Because this impressively preserved medieval settlement in the Istrian countryside revolves around one very delicious thing: truffles. Timeworn buildings house artisan shops and gourmet restaurants that serve creamy gnocchi piled high with pricey, shaved fungi. The palate-pleasing pursuits continue with vineyard tours and tastings.
The oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city, Zadar brims with ancient relics—Venetian gates, Roman ruins, and churches dating back to the Middle Ages—plus interesting museums. Among its more unique modern monuments, the famous Sea Organ and The Greeting to the Sun. Hip hotels, lively lounges, and trendy eateries are in the mix, too. It’s also the gateway to Dugi Otok and Kornati National Park. Couples can hop on a boat to explore the unblemished beauty of nearby islands. Back on dry land, pours of Maraschino liqueur await.
When it comes to Bol, adoration is a given—and deservedly so. Backed by the highest peak in the Adriatic, Vidova Gora, this enchanting village isn’t big, but it packs a punch in the natural beauty department. A tree-shaded walkway with shacks vending ice cream and fresh-pressed juice links the harbor to Zlatni Rat, a blissful stretch pebbly beach affectionately (and accurately) called the Golden Cape. Bol also has more new development than many of its neighbors. That means your choice of contemporary hotels or swish villas.
Despite its official designation as a city, Rovinj feels much more like a shore town with a car-free core, Italian-influenced taverns, and an intriguing archipelago off the mainland. From its hilltop perch, St. Euphemia—the largest baroque church in Istria—commands attention. A short walk away, Park Forest Zlatni Rt offers rocky beaches, grassy knolls, and cycling paths. Its widely known that sunset is especially magical in Rovinj. Make the most of this bewitching hour by arranging a romantic cruise or reserving a seaside table at La Puntulina.