Croatia has blossomed into one of Eastern Europe’s most beloved destinations since declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, replete with perpetual sunshine, picturesque cities, and perfect beaches. But beyond that: those who visit the wonderful coasts and cities of Croatia will uncover the country’s ancient history, reflected in its Roman architecture, traditional cuisine, and memorials & sites, left over from past eras. Explore the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik, the youthful nightlife in Split, or the long beaches of the Istria peninsula, surrounded by magical Venetian architecture. There’s no better way than to spend this dream vacation at a spa hotel — where days are spent luxuriating on private beaches or sunny terraces, under the (lack of) shadow of Croatia’s long and fascinating history.
Where to stay at a spa hotel in Croatia? Croatia’s regions at a glance:
Dalmatian Coast: Glistening beaches & beautiful Split
Considered long and far to be one of the most beautiful coasts in the world, from the Roman ruins in Split to the ritzy island town of Hvar, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast boasts 3,600 miles of stunning beaches, dreamlike islands, and thousands of years of history. Dalmatia, a narrow belt on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, is one of Croatia’s four historical regions. Within the terrain of the Dinaric Mountains, at the mouth of the bright blue Adriatic waters, and among the seventy-nine islands off the coast, the region, established during the Roman Empire, is the perfect place to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. Spend mornings doing yoga in the sun and afternoons, kayaking out into totally silent waters off the coast. In Hvar, a wonderful summer island resort, enjoy views of the thirteen-century walls from the undisturbed bliss of a beach chair right in the sun. In Split, sunbathe on the beach at your magnificent spa hotel, feeling the energy of this lively city while tucked away in a serene oasis. Surrounded by architecture that spans back to the fourth century AD, while away a day reflecting on the beauty and history of this city from the beach bar or attached gardens.
Dubrovnik: Glimmering beach city
Just south down the coast, find Dubrovnik, Croatia’s most visited city. In spa hotels downtown, right on the beach, or just off the coast on a beautiful island, the way the city glimmers on the Adriatic will never get old. With your feet up and drink-in-hand on your hotel’s private beach, gaze out over the water onto the city fortress. In an elevated, quiet location on a sea cliff or on the tip of Dubrovnik, looking right out into the open sea, let your winter blues slip away in the perennial summer. With gourmet dining options, complimentary use of the saunas, and the beach always a few steps away, a vacation to Dubrovnik promises to be nothing short of serene. A spa hotel offers only the best amenities: tennis courts, gorgeous interior design, and expansive swimming pools for cooling off after an afternoon of sunbathing. In select hotels, there’s even Kids Clubs available, for when you’re craving a little alone time.
Istria: Amazing views on Croatia’s peninsula
Together with amazing cuisine, charming medieval houses, and nothing but open sea, Istria takes the cake for being the most peaceful coast in Croatia. Bordering Slovenia and Italy, the Istria peninsula is the easy-to-access and uncrowded northwestern shore. Discover true beauty on hotel beaches primed for romantic sunsets, equipped with sea-views as far as the eye can see. A little north up the coast, a spa hotel in one of the charming towns of Novigrad, Umag, or Savudrija, will have you a step away from shiny marble streets and fishing harbors, always with the wonderful landscape of rolling hills in the hinterland. From Prosecco-breakfast, amazing spa facilities, to sunsets on the pebbled private beaches, Istria is the best way to rid yourself of the stress of everyday life and relish in Croatia’s most serene landscapes. For a much-needed escape, try an adults-only resort in Umag — brimming with quiet zones, pavilions surrounded by pines, and couples massages. A few days in Rovinj promises to set you straight: at expansive resort hotels with stone facades, find your bliss in sun-stained balconies and a totally tranquil atmosphere, nestled between the pine forest and the Adriatic Sea.
Opatija: Picturesque seaside town
Opatija is situated on the Kvarner Gulf and at the foot of the Učka massif — not quite in Istria County or the Dalmatian Coast, this seaside resort town is truly a place of its own kind. For a truly sublime experience, get comfortable in a spa hotel on the beach, and find your inner-peace in the jacuzzi or on a heated lounge chair. Settle down for an afternoon feast in garden restaurants offered by some hotels, followed by a couple hours spent in the steam bath. Opatija has all the trappings of a dream vacation: with seaside views from your massive windows, charming stairways down to personal beaches, and perfectly tempered pools, stopping only where the sea begins.
Zagreb: Croatia’s old capital
In the beautiful capital of Croatia, Zagreb, find your oasis tucked riverside and revel in the total grandeur of your Croatian escape. Treat yourself to gourmet meals at the first-rate hotel restaurants, romantic suites perfect for two, and plenty of hours (or days) spent on sun-drenched terraces. Enjoy a lovely cocktail at the bar or a dip in the indoor pool, between magical hours wasted looking out over the city from your balcony. Listen for the daily cannon-fire from the Lotrščak Tower and you might catch onto the fact that this city was established in 1094 AD. The perfect mix between old and new, a spa hotel in Zagreb promises totally luxury within the charm of an ancient city.