With its stunning national parks, a blissful coastline and exuberant, thousand-year-old cities, Croatia is a paradise on the Dalmatian coast. Gorgeous palaces, luxury yachts and white sandy beaches are all to explore when you plan a vacation with a small hotel in Croatia, plus boutique hotels will offer a 5-star experienced you’d be hard-pressed to find in larger hotels and resorts. From Dubrovnik to Rijeka, Croatia’s islands, coast and parks are simply exceptional.
Small Hotels in Croatia: Our picks for an intimate vacation in Croatia
Dubrovnik: Ancient walls & glittering oceans
A sea of red-roofed medieval buildings, winding alleyways and wide stone walls is what will instantly grab your attention as you lay eyes on Dubrovnik’s mystical old town. A jewel of the Dalmatian Coast, small hotels in this popular Croatian resort will allow you to explore the wild and rugged coast that surrounds the city, as well as the churches and harbor within. Dotted with 14th century forts and examples of shelling from the conflict of the 1990s, Dubrovnik’s walls have witnessed eons of change that have left their mark on the character of this exceptional destination – and you can walk the entire circumference of it. Head into the old town via one of the three gates and wander down the central ‘stradun,’ which runs through the heart of town. Cocooned within are restaurants offering al fresco dining, souvenir stores and gorgeous medieval buildings such as the thousand-year-old Dubrovnik Cathedral. Further sites include Banje Beach for beach-front dining and a party atmosphere, or the calmer Copacabana Beach for a more relaxed day on the Adriatic.
Split: Gateway to the islands of Croatia
The second largest city after the capital Zagreb, Split is Croatia’s biggest coastal city and the perfect spot to check-in to a small hotel. Intimate hotels on the city’s outskirts will provide a boutique, tailored experience alongside quiet swimming pools, adults-only spaces and private bars overlooking the Split as the sun sets. Be enamored by the Cathedral of St. Domnius and the breathtaking Roman ruins at Diocletian’s Palace. Overlooking the harbor, the complex now lies in the very heart of the city. From the palace is easy to reach the harbor, which is regularly filled with cruise ships and luxury yachts which you can watch come in and out. Split is a great jumping off point to check out small hotels on Croatia’s many islands. The island of Brač is one of Croatia’s most beautiful, offering blissful golden beaches with light blue water, historic monasteries and superb hiking through the Vidova gora. From Split it’s also possible to reach the popular island resort of Hvar, a town where 13th century walls meets a glitzy nightlife. Hvar is Croatia’s biggest party town and a small hotel close to the city center will mean you have a cozy and romantic 5-star hotel to escape back to as the sun rises over the bay.
Pula & the Istria Peninsula
While Split and Dubrovnik dominate the southern coast of the country, small hotels in Croatia’s northern Istria Peninsular should not be overlooked. Stretching out into the Adriatic Sea, Istria is packed with rich coastlines and exceptional ancient sites. Just east of Italy and south of Slovenia, the peninsula is rich with verdant countryside and hilltop villages while the coast attracts those seeking sun, sea and sand. The largest city on the peninsular is Pula, a city filled with Roman history, including the enormous amphitheater in the city’s heart which could rival Rome’s Colosseum. Its protected harbor is a gateway to the sand-ringed Brijuni National Park which features prehistoric wonders such as preserved dinosaur footprints and signs of a Bronze Age settlement. Further popular seaside towns along Istria’s coast are Rovinj and Poreč; two gorgeous vacation spots that showcase the best in what a small hotel in Croatia can offer. Between the two towns is the Lim bay, a gorgeous canal perfect to explore on foot or by boat. Small hotels in Croatia are the perfect way to explore all of the country’s majestic natural wonders.