Surviving the summer: Alternative Croatian itineraries for the busiest months of the year

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Croatia in the summertime is booming. Since this small coastal nation has been discovered by tourists, its spectacular sites, charming cities, and world-class beaches have become “can’t miss” destinations. Coming in the summer means getting to experience the sea and islands at their best. Bathed in the buttery sun of the Mediterranean and counting the millions of shades of blue of the Adriatic sea. But it also means sharing it with lots of other travelers looking to do the same.

We have put together some past itineraries for clients coming in high season that kept their vacation easy and carefree. But we also made sure they saw the sites they dreamed of. It can seem more stressful than relaxing to plan a vacation in Croatia during a high season. But advanced planning and our travel team’s research and experience ensure the holiday you have been wishing for goes off without a hitch. You don’t need to sacrifice the Croatian vacation you’ve always wanted just because your travel schedule has you locked into summer vacation. But you do need to have a well-organized, thoughtfully planned trip to make your dreams turn into memories.

It’s always a treat to work with these VIP return clients. (Like many of our clients, they have done several destinations and countries with us through the years.). This 10-day Croatian vacation we created for them in late July was a perfect fit for this active couple. Coming in late July meant that lots of towns and sites are at their busiest (and hottest). But expert decisions made even visiting the most hectic towns a breeze. Dubrovnik is a city that visitors cannot miss. Yet due to cruise ships and the boom in Croatian tourism, it can get challenging. We chose luxury accommodations that were nearby the main sites in the Old Town so that exploring off-peak hours was easy. This hotel is one of our favorites. The patio on the back is a great spot for a drink or an easy jump right into the sea, a great way to cool off in the heat and escape the crowds.

From here, we had a private boat bring them on the scenic route as they made their way to their next stop. A private boat means that you can avoid the crush of tourists that take public ferries. You can also add on stops in places like Hvar or Korçula Island with the ease of being brought there at your leisure. From here, they stayed in Braç for two nights. A tour at a winery with tasting lunch is another great way to enjoy a shady day in the sunny vineyards, sampling some amazing Croatian food and wine.

From Brac, they headed to Split. This time by public ferry. Though it can get incredibly busy, we have an amazing staff on the ground in Croatia that makes even public transfers easy.  A private driver took care of the bags. Another one waiting on the Split side upon their arrival. We also added an overnight stay in the Plitvice National Park area. This is one of Croatia’s most photographed sites. It’s easiest to navigate early in the morning or late in the day. Using it as a base means you avoid the crowds. Plus our expert, local guide can navigate the area away from the masses.

Istria was their next stop. There is no better way to spend a hot day than in a cool shady forest. In this case, going truffle hunting! With one of Croatia’s most famous delicacies, it’s a great way to pass the afternoon. They ended the day with an afternoon in picturesque Rovinj, as the tourists were leaving. Having private tours organized with local guides means that you can see the sites when the groups have to start getting on their way. It’s priceless to have special places like these to yourself in the summer months!

For another repeat client, a family of 4 with adult children, Croatia in early June was done the opposite of our clients above. Flights are plentiful in the summer. But for this California based family, arriving in Pula with a layover in Germany was their easiest option. We had this fun-loving family start off their trip in Istria, with a private guide and driver for their first day. Besides seeing the sites in Rovinj where they were based, with our expert guides we were able to add in lesser known stops that only a local can take you to. One of these magical places is the quaint medieval town of Bale, one of Istria’s best-kept secrets.

From here, they headed down to Plitvice National Park and Split. Again with our hand-picked locals that helped them see the sites and avoid lines and crowds. Before heading on to Hvar, we arranged a private boat for them to bring them to a very special spot. Tiny Bisevo Island gets skipped by big groups. But it hides a secluded cave with an underwater opening where the sunlight gets in and illuminates the cave with shimmering blue colors.  This blue grotto is a rare natural phenomenon. We were able to get them speedy VIP access in the grotto so they could skip the line and make the most of Hvar.

One of our favorite tours in Hvar is a private hike along the coast that offers a totally unique and special experience away from the crowds. It is also a slice of authentic coastal Croatia that many tourists miss. Hiking up to the forgotten village of Malo Grablje, which was deserted back in the 1960s is like visiting an open-air museum. One of our favorite locals is one of the few people that have remained in this magical ghost town.  He owns a small stone-built house in the abandoned village. Our clients and their guide had a homemade lunch here before heading back to the town of Hvar.  It is an experience they will never forget.

The next adventure was a private transfer from Hvar with a stop at Korçula Island before heading up to Dubrovnik. This amazing medieval town o the Adriatic was the last stop of their trip. In 10 nights in the high season, they were able to see everything they dreamed of. They were also able to avoid the tourist madness with private boats and transfers that included unique and special stops along the way.

Croatia is a spectacular country. From our first visit, we fell head-over-heels in love! We are so happy that our past clients are returning to experience more. Traveling in the summer can have its own set of challenges. Yet, a well-planned itinerary means that you will see these places at their best, full of light, shades of blue. And the incredible warmth of the Croatian people.

Do any of these vacations have you daydreaming about your next trip? None of our itineraries are the same. They are all tailor-made to your family, your travel style, and when you are thinking of visiting. If these past trips have given you an idea of what you’d like your Croatian dream to be, contact us for more details on how we can start planning together!

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