Called “the new Riviera,” Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is poised to become the next big thing (in-the-know celebs already flock here in the summer). What’s the draw? This gorgeous European collection of islands is a study in extremes: Thick forests and rocky cliffs jut out over pebbly beaches and ancient ruins sit within walking distance of hip nightlife.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Language: Croatian, English is widely understood
Flight times: 15 hours from NYC, 21 hours from LA to Split, Croatia
Getting around: Car, bus, ferry, yacht
When To Go: Dalmatian Coast at its best
Best weather: June to August
Best prices: September and October
What To Do
Stay in the city: No trip to the Dalmatian Coast is complete without a visit to the city of Dubrovnik, where the medieval architecture is truly awe-inspiring. Walk along the impressive Old City walls, and stroll along the Stradun (the main street that runs through the Dubrovnik).
Find a beach: Though you might not immediately associate Croatia with sun and sand, the Dalmatian Coast is lined with amazing beaches and islands (mostly along the central and northern coast). Some of the best beaches include Zlatni Rat on the island of Brac, and in the town of Gradac, which has Croatia’s longest stretch of sand.
Hit the high seas: Charter a small yacht (with staff) and hop around the islands that surround the coastline. (Try Windward Islands, CroatiaYachtCharter.com.) If you want to spend even more time on the water, take in the cliff-strewn, rocky coastline from the comfort of your suite on a Star Clipper cruise ship (StarClippers.com), which navigates the Adriatic the old-fashioned way — under sail.
Visit the vineyards: Almost 700 different wines are made in Croatia — taste away while spending a day at a winery. Then choose the perfect bottle to go with the coast’s amazing seafood-centered regional cuisine.