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Croatia's tourist board promises 'The Mediterranean as it once was' and many of the best places to stay in Croatia would certainly back this up. However, whilst this takes into account the pockets of authentic architecture and culture protected from over development, it doesn't really do Croatia's glamour justice.

Continental Croatia's pristine farmland and spectacular wildernesses definitely offer a slice of the old country as well as the new. For amongst the farmland are agro-tourisms - which number some of the best places to stay in Croatia - and outfits offering to support your biking, hiking, rafting or canoeing expedition against this beautiful backdrop.

But Croatia's wonderful stretch of coastline, with more than a thousand islands, has glitz, glamour, snazzy resorts and stylish locals aplenty. Fancy yachts cruise amongst the islands, and Dubrovnik and Hvar, especially, are great for star spotting. This is the bit referred to when people call Croatia 'The jewel of the Adriatic'.

This tale of two Croatias, the coastline and the interior are probably a good dividing line for visitors too. If you want to sail the sunny, sparkling Dalmatian Coast, then Split, the region's largest city, is an obvious base. And its Dioclean's Palace is probably one of Croatia's highlights.

Zadar, Trogir and Dubrovnik are also well positioned to explore the coastline and if you want to island hop you've Brac, Hvar, Vis and Korčula. Solta is well developed and very visitor-friendly; Brac is lush with pines and figs and is known for its clear waters; Hvar has the fertile vineyards, gorgeous beaches and medieval towns; Vis has more of those lovely, sandy bays and beaches, and Korčula, the largest, is loved by cyclists.

For rural treasures or a vibrant capital, then head inland:

  • Zagreb is less touristy than Dubrovnik, but it's lively, with a rich cultural life, and a reputation for excellent cuisine.
  • The turquoise waters and mineral rich caves of the Plitcive Lakes are a watery, but inland, paradise.
  • Istria, the heart shaped peninsula south of Italy is oft referred to as 'the new Tuscany' because of its rolling green hills.
  • The Kopacki Rit Nature Park is one of the largest wetlands in Europe and home to almost three hundred different bird species.
  • And if you want mountains there are those of the Paklenica National Park, which provide a diving line of peaks between the coast and continental Croatia.

Best Places to Stay in Croatia

The Dalmatian Coast: Best Place to Stay in Croatia for Sun and Sea

Northern Dalmatia is best known for its scenery and pristine national parks, and this is where you'll find the less built up islands - like Pasman and Uglijan.

Southern Dalmatia sprouts the palm trees and olive groves and magical Dubrovnik - arguably the best place to stay in Croatia.

  • Traditional and elegant, the Hotel Bastion is just a few minutes from Zadar's old town, built into the city's ramparts.
  • Martinis Marchi is on Solta, a boat ride from Split, and is an excellent Croatian castle conversion with huge suites sleeping between four and six - so, ideal for families. Especially when you consider how pretty and welcoming the island is!

Dubrovnik: Perfect for a Croatian City Break

During the seventies Dubrovnik's gorgeous red-tinted Old Town and shimmering seas were a Hollywood playground - this was a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. But by the nineties the only cameras here were recording the conflict.

Today Dubrovnik is back to its beautiful, buzzy best and it houses many of the best places to stay in Croatia. The architecture has been restored, the museums to the conflict have added to the town's historic soulfulness and Michelin chefs are moving in, keen to work with locally sourced flavours.

  • The Villa Dubrovnik is certainly luxurious enough for Elizabeth Taylor to consider, and its private beach, private ocean view balconies, excellent Mediterranean restaurant and the possibility of having a jacuzzi on your balcony, may also have appealed.
  • Glass fronted, state of the art Hotel Bellevue may also be too modern looking for Liz. But if she was looking for fresh and neutral, with spectacular views and an excellent spa then who knows.

Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Croatia, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice.

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The best hotels in Croatia

See all » 25 hotels in Dalmatian Coast

  • Design Hostel Goli + Bosi


    Fantastically modern hostel from a newly renovated 19th century warehouse. A range of modern minimal rooms, dorm-style rooms, and suites provide excellent value accommodation for families and groups of friends. Simple but delicious pizzeria and access to all the sights.

    from $22
    Groups  -  Three and four person dorm-style rooms perfect for groups of friends.
    Contemporary  -  Superbly contemporary and minimal rooms all in white.
    Value chic
    Quirky  -  The quirky side of modern.
  • Hotel Sipan

    Hrvatska, Dalmatian Coast

    Idyllic seaside hotel in fisherman's village. Contemporary rooms have light wood furniture, artworks and some with sea facing balconies. Excellent Mediterranean cuisine using local, organic produce. Pretty and great value.

    76 rooms from $51
    Beach Life  -  Plenty of hidden bays to discover by boat or kayak, stroll through pretty harbour or wander down to one of many sandy beaches
    Kayaking  -  Only a kayak will enable you to swim in the most secluded and most beautiful spots
    Sights nearby  -  Skočibuha Castle and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Suđurađ
    Sailing  -  From Sipanska Luka Harbor

See all » 12 hotels in Dubrovnik

  • Amoret Apartments


    Traditional apartments, excellent value, just a five minute walk from Buza beach. Apartments have kitchenettes, extra beds, wifi, and wonderful city views over the Old Town. Rooms are rather antique but offer unbeatable rates. Ideal for anyone on a budget, very convenient too.

    from $81
    Views  -  Stunning views over the Old Town.
    Value chic
    Sights nearby  -  Dubrovnik's Old Town is a highlight.
    Kayaking  -  Adriatic Kayak Tours.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Roko House


    A simple but stylish collection of rooms and apartments with kitchenettes in central Dubrovnik. Creamy rooms and two bedroom suites have wooden floors and minimal furnishings. An excellent value spot for families, groups of friends, or those on a budget.

    3 rooms from $90
    Value chic
    Sights nearby  -  House of Marin Drzic, Dubrovnik Aquarium, Dubrovnik Cable Car, Onofrio's Fountain and Franciscan Monastery.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.

See all » 6 hotels in Split

  • Design Hostel Goli + Bosi


    Fantastically modern hostel from a newly renovated 19th century warehouse. A range of modern minimal rooms, dorm-style rooms, and suites provide excellent value accommodation for families and groups of friends. Simple but delicious pizzeria and access to all the sights.

    from $22
    Groups  -  Three and four person dorm-style rooms perfect for groups of friends.
    Contemporary  -  Superbly contemporary and minimal rooms all in white.
    Value chic
    Quirky  -  The quirky side of modern.
  • Hotel Marmont


    An old-town hotel perfect for the cultural explorer. 21 minimalist chic rooms with kingsize beds and big bathrooms. Many historic sights, day trips, and lots of beach life. A sumptuous seaside spot for couples.

    20 rooms from $149
    Historic  -  Mediterranean side streets and the Sveti Duje Cathedral
    Romantic Break  -  Situated in the UNESCO-listed old town of Split
    Designer  -  Minimalist furniture and bathrooms
    Sailing  -  Ultra Sailing
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

See all » 4 hotels in Hvar

  • Riva Yacht Harbour Hotel


    A buzzing hotel on Hvar's promenade. Contemporary chic rooms and suites have all the mod cons, white furnishings, and splashes of modern photography. Excellent seafood restaurant, cooking lessons, and a lively bar in the evenings. A hot spot for young couples.

    56 rooms from $101
    City Style  -  A thriving spot with excellent food and lively after-dark DJs.
    Lively  -  A lively spot next to Carpe Diem.
    Outstanding location  -  Located on Hvar's pier.
    Cooking classes  -  Check for timings.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel


    A fabulous spa hotel in a prime spot in Hvar overlooking the bay. Contemporary chic rooms and suites with all the mod cons and balconies. Top of the range spa, excellent Mediterranean cuisine and roof terrace restaurant, and close to all the attractions. Gourmet, pampering, romantic.

    59 rooms from $172
    Wellbeing  -  The hotel is designed for total pampering.
    Outstanding location  -  Fantastically located on the bay front.
    Spa breaks  -  Top of the range spa.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

See all » 3 hotels in Istria

  • Villa Stefanija


    Nestled in untouched hills with breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea, the hotel's sun terrace, infinity pool & spa provide the ultimate romantic and relaxing experience. Rooms are airy and spacious, some with private balconies. Fab restaurant serves delicious Croatian dishes and local wines.

    7 rooms from $122
    Hideaway  -  A stunning rural location with breathtaking views out to sea make this the perfect summer hideaway.
    Views  -  Stunning views over the Kvarner Gulf and its islands
    Great walks  -  Great walks from the hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Roman town of Pula
  • Wine Hotel & Restaurant Meneghetti


    A beautiful stone farmhouse with its own vineyards and olive groves in the heart of Istria. Romantic rustic rooms and suites have wooden floors and pastel furnishings. Stunning views, Mediterranean cuisine, indoor and outdoor pools, and dining areas dotted around. Utterly romantic and rural.

    2 rooms from $140
    Foodies  -  Healthy and fragrant Mediterranean cuisine.
    Romantic Break
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor and Outdoor Pools
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux

See all » 2 hotels in Lopud

  • La Villa


    An idyllic stone cottage B&B on the waterfront. Contemporary boutique rooms in bright colours, gorgeous open terraces with sea views, excellent table d'hotes with produce straight from the garden. Snorkelling, diving, exploring. An active beach holiday in a remote spot.

    8 rooms from $80
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Franciscan monasteries and medieval churches, 16th-century Renaissance gardens of Trsteno Arboretum, 24km NW of Dubrovnik.
    Remote  -  Just 220 inhabitants on the island, no cars, and village stone cottages.
    Kayaking  -  A great way to explore the Elafiti islands.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
  • Villa Vilina

    Dubrovnik, Lopud

    A beautiful stone house on Lopud Island with stunning sea views in a privileged location. Simple traditional rooms, some with private balconies, roof top terrace and pool, excellent restaurant and BBQs, and immediate access to the sea. An ideal spot for a peaceful romantic getaway or wedding.

    15 rooms from $153
    Views  -  On the water's edge the hotel has fantastic sea views.
    Romantic Break  -  A romantic paradies on a small island.
    Swimming Pool  -  Roof top pool with views.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.

See all » 2 hotels in Zadar

  • Hotel Bastion


    A good four star option a few minutes from Zadar's old town. Traditional elegant rooms, some sleep up to 4, with subtle lighting, rich fabrics, and wallpapered walls. Excellent restaurant and terrace, spa and business room. A good choice for any traveller.

    28 rooms from $139
    Sights nearby  -  Located on the peninsula close to all major attractions
    Lively  -  Zadar is know for its nightlife and bar scene
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Recommended by  -  Relais & Chateaux
  • Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera

    Petrčane, Dalmatian Coast

    A fabulous contemporary spa hotel on the Petrcane peninsula. Panoramic ocean views, a state of the art spa covering two floors, fantastic Dalmatian cuisine, and charming nautical themed rooms and suites with all the mod cons. A sophisticated choice for a spa and beach holiday, family friendly too.

    110 rooms from $245
    Foodies  -  Dalmatian specialities in two restaurants.
    Spa breaks  -  A two floor state of the art spa.
    Families  -  Plenty of children's activities.
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