In recent months, I’ve received a number of emails from friends and friends of friends looking for advice on honeymooning in Croatia. So I thought a post on romantic Croatia would be a good reference for any future inquiries.
First, why Croatia for your honeymoon? It has beautiful ancient towns with well-preserved architecture; charming accommodations; fantastic food; barely touched nature; and over a thousand islands with idyllic beaches.
The coastal cities of Dubrovnik and Split and the island of Hvar are the main stops on most itineraries, and rightly so – each has a strong appeal. Just know there’s a lot more to Croatia beyond these beautiful but obvious destinations. You can stay on distant islands; relax on secluded beaches; get pampered at one of Croatia’s upscale hotels; and enjoy slow food meals at gourmet restaurants.
Tops for romance is a lighthouse sojourn on a remote island. Croatia has 13 lighthouses for rent, some on the mainland and some offshore. Note that these get booked up far in advance and require a seven-night minimum stay. For more information and booking details, visit www.lighthouses-croatia.com.
If you love the sea, a lovely way to spark up some romance is taking a cruise along Croatia’s striking coast. For more information on island-hopping in Croatia, see www.adriagate.com. If a little adventure turns the two of you on, you can even learn how to sail in Croatia (see www.adriatica.net), charter your own boat and hit the azure Adriatic Sea on your own.
On the mainland, I highly recommend the magical interior of Istria on the northern stretch of the Adriatic. If you want a coastal base, choose Rovinj over Poreč, rent a car and hit the peninsula’s country roads for a couple of days. The towns I love in this area: Bale, Motovun, Grožnjan, Svetvinčenat… Don’t miss a meal at Toklarija restaurant (must reserve days in advance at 385-052-663-031) in the hills near Buzet, for an unforgettable slow food meal in a converted olive mill. It’s worth the splurge and super-romantic, especially if you request the table in the private room by the fireplace.
In the Kvarner region just northeast of Istria, I love the scenic fishing village of Volosko close to Rijeka, with great restaurants and a lovely languid vibe. That stretch of the riviera also has beautiful hotels, mostly in Lovran and Opatija. One of the most unusual places to stay is Hotel Draga di Lovrana, a short drive up from the coast on a mountainside inside Učka Nature Park. It’s well-appointed, beautifully remote, great base for hikes, and known for its fantastic restaurant.
These are just some of the many romantic spots and itineraries. If you’re planning a honeymoon in Croatia, get in touch for more ideas and tips.