When most people think of a classic romantic getaway full of pebble beaches, cafes, castles, and old-world charm, they think Italy. But just opposite of the Italian coast is a beautiful place far less changed by tourism with that classic romantic atmosphere that will make you and your special someone feel like you just stepped out of a painting. Croatia is the perfect place to walk hand-in-hand along cobblestone streets and pristine beaches without actually leaving the convenience and amenities of modern Europe behind.
But before you just dive into the breathtaking allure of a romantic Croatian vacation, we’d love to give you the highlights and best places to sneak away to with your partner for more than a few memorable experiences.
Travel Back In Time Walking the Streets of Dubrovnik
The number one city in Croatia for romantics to visit is Dubrovnik, a practically unchanged medieval fortress-city surrounded by an incredible wall that you can walk along hand-in-hand with your partner to get a complete view of the city. Inside, all the streets are cobblestone and the shops are built directly into the city wall itself. Walking the streets of Dubrovnik enjoying sights and smells that have been there for hundreds of years will feel just like you have been somehow transported into a fairy tale, locked away from the rest of the world behind their legendary wall.
There are spectacular Turkish spas where you can frolic easily between the spa and a private slice of ocean. While you’re there, don’t forget to check Proto, one of the many classic outdoor cafes or take a glass-bottom boat tour through crystal-clear seas to the Island of Lokrum. There, peacocks roam freely and you can sunbathe on the rocks and cliffs that hang over an impossibly blue ocean.
Wine and Dine in Boskinac on the Isle of Pag
For wine lovers, there’s no better option than a visit to the family-run Boskinac winery and restaurant on the beautiful and rugged little island of Pag. This island features a wonderful mix of classic Mediterranean fare, well known for its salty sheep’s cheese, plump olives, and tender lamb dishes.
Boskinac is a working winery that serves a delectable selection of their own wines and provides an innovative twist on the local cuisine. Enjoy a romantic terrace dinner overlooking the island by candlelight or in the orange glow of the setting sun.
Forest hiking on the breathtaking Mljet Island
For nature-lovers out there who want to split your romantic getaway between medieval city vistas and untouched European forests, you cannot pass over the opportunity to visit Mljet Island. This beautiful island has been lauded as one of the last perfect Mediterranean forests and a paradise on earth. The north part of the island is a pristine national park full of fragrant pines that flow all the way to the sea.
If you choose your vacation dates carefully, it will feel like you have almost the entire island to yourself as you and your beloved walk through an ancient forest like the only two people in the world. Take the rocky paths up the island to breathtaking overlook views or walk the beaches and dip your toes in the sea somewhere that no one else will find you until you’re ready to be found. Pick up maps from the park office in Pristaniste and then walk back to civilization for a lovely lunch before taking the Ferry back to Dubrovnik.
Walk Hand-in-Hand Down the Makarska Beach
Makarska is one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and that’s saying something for a country with over 6,000 kilometers of amazing beaches. Though it is a tourist hotspot, the beach is almost never too crowded and the quaint seaside is dotted with amazing little bars, shops, and family-owned restaurants that will delight the senses in every way.
While you can dine in dozens of little places your friends have never heard of and would envy if they could see, don’t forget to make a stop at the More Restaurant, the best place on the beach for king prawns, muscles, and traditional Croatian cuttlefish risotto. From there, you can stroll down the beach with your special someone to grab drinks at the Mojito Bar.
Old-World Vehicle Free Charm on the Isle of Kolocep
Another easy ferry ride from the medieval city of Dubrovnik is the tiny island of Kolocep. This island has a permanent population of only about 100 people and not a single vehicle on the entire landmass. You won’t run into droves of tourists, here, just beautiful privacy and a freshly made lavender products in the open-air market.
But what is truly amazing is the nightlife. A short walk away is the Culinarium restaurant which features a different theme every night. For the most romantic experience, time your visit with the night they fill the entire restaurant with candles and pair your dinner with the perfect wine for every dish.
Take a Private Tour Through the Diocletian Palace
If you have ever wanted to pair an incredible historical museum with the classic romantic shopping experience, there is no substitute for Croatia’s Diocletian Palace. Explore with your beloved on a self-guided tour through the lower section of the palace to see what it looked like for hundreds of years before the modern world touched this beautiful country. You can spend hours pouring over the ornate furniture and imagining the lives that must have been led in this enormous glamorous place.
And when you’re ready to return to the modern world, visit the upper section of the palace that has been rebuilt with restaurants, cafes, and adorable boutiques that are a part of the walls themselves.
Build Your Own Croatian Romantic Getaway
Of course, while there are hundreds of historical and breathtaking places to visit in Croatia, the best romantic escape is to build a unique experience with your special someone. Walk the streets, visit shops and cafes that are never written about in travel guides, and create a one-of-a-kind experience that the two of you will still be dreaming about decades from now. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to come back to Croatia every year to rekindle the passion and remember what it was once like to be in love in a Mediterranean paradise long ago.