Split – Croatia

Split regularly attracts millions of tourists every year and it’s a favourite among young visitors. The Croatian city is known for its vibrant spirit and its unique blend of the old and new.

However, it’s not just the feel of the city itself that makes Split such a popular tourist spot – Split has plenty to offer for tourists of all ages.

Places of Interest

Major attractions include:
Diocletian’s Palace – the historical Palace is considered ‘one of the best-preserved monuments of the Roman architecture in the world’, according to visitsplit.com, and it’s just one of Croatia’s many gems.

Temple of Jupiter – the temple dates back to Roman times. Inside the building, visitors will find several points of interest including the John the Baptiste statue as well as other fascinating sculptures.

Klis Fortress – in addition to its vineyards and olive trees, Klis is well-known for its spectacular fortress, which is well regarded for its stunning views. However, the Fortress remains relatively quiet and doesn’t pull in vast amounts of visitors.

The Krka National Park and the Mestrovic Gallery are definitely worth a visit and The St Dominus Cathedral is another popular attraction.
In addition, the promenade, Riva, is a must visit destination for the tourist.

For the more active, there’s plenty of opportunity for rock climbing, hiking and biking, and Kosovo also hosts some major marathons.

Festivals

Croatia is one of Europe’s main destinations for festivals and it hosts several large music festivals every year. The festivals attract local bands, but also groups with a global following, such as the Kings of Leon and Kasabian.

However, it’s not just musical festivals that have proven to be a huge draw – Croatia is a great venue for beer festivals. The Beats, Boogaloo and Beer Festival made its debut in 2017, and film festivals are a common feature too.

Accommodation

There is a great variance in accommodation prices, however, as with most places, you tend to get what you pay for, so shop around for the best value and for the most suitable accommodation.

Nightlife

Split provides a lively nightlife for visitors and locals alike. There are plenty of venues for people that like to party into the night, however, there’s also a great selection of cafes, restaurants and wine bars available.

For clubbers, some of the best-known night spots include the ShotGun Shooters Bar, which is famed for its cocktails, the Tropic Club and the Academia Club Ghetto.

Ionian Islands – Greece

Comprising of a series of stunning islands, the Ionian Islands make an idyllic tourist venue. And the islands incorporate several popular tourist destinations that visitors will be familiar with, including Corfu, Paxos and Zante.

The inhabitants of the Ionian Islands are known for their friendly nature, so guests can be assured a of a warm welcome.

Places of Interest

Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches; Porto Katsiki and Myrtos are just two that you’ll find in the Greek Islands.
In addition, the Navagio Beach is one of the busiest attractions for day tourists, although it’s best avoided during peak times if you want to avoid the crowds.

However, the islands have a lot more to give tourists than sunny beaches. Some of the major landmarks/attractions include:

Keri Lighthouse – this is one of Greece’s historical points of interest and it dates back a century. In addition to the historic nature of the lighthouse, the views are spectacular by all accounts, and tourists rate it as a great place to witness the local sunsets.

The Old Fortress – situated on the island of Corfu, the Old Fortress has a vast history and it’s believed to date back to the 6th century. The Venetian castle attracts vast visitor numbers every year, and it’s considered by many to be a must see.
Several exhibitions are held there on an annual basis, so check before you go if there are any special events being planned.

Achillion Palace – situated in Gastouri, Corfu, Achillion Palace is another famous attraction; it’s known for its scenic views of the nearby coast and its beautiful landscaped gardens, and it’s steeped in history.

Festivals

With several Greek holidays and numerous festivals throughout the year, it seems there is nearly always a celebration of some sort going on in the Ionian Islands.

If you like your music, then Kefalonia is by far the best destination for music festivals, but it also hosts major food events, too.

Easter is also a good time to visit the islands as Corfu is known for its elaborate Easter celebration events. However, if you visit in August you’ll have chance to visit the wine festival, and if you visit earlier in the year, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the Carnival of Corfu which is held in March/April.

Accommodation

Hotels, boutique hotels, apartments and villas are just some of the accommodation choices. There are several low-priced hotels, which means the islands can be considered budget-friendly.

Activities

The Ionian Islands lend themselves well to sea sports; wind surfing, scuba diving and sailing are among the favourite activities. However, there are also venues like the Calypso Diving Centre, which make a great day out for all the family.

Nightlife

In the evenings, consider heading for Cephalonia. It’s got some great restaurants, and some of the little towns like Fiscardo are best explored at night time.

Gulf Of Gokova – Turkey

Known for its charming villages, islands, bays and beaches, the Gulf of Gokova is a popular tourist spot situated on the Aegean Coast.
It’s a hot spot for cruises, yachting and boating, and there is plenty of opportunity to stop off and explore all the Gulf has to offer along the way.
In addition, it’s a must for anyone with a keen interest in ancient history, with many historical sites points of interest.

Points of interest

With so many bays to explore, you’ll find plenty of stop off points. Some of the main attractions include:

Cleopatra’s Island – known for its clear, white sand and magnificent views, Cleopatra Island is also home to a series of coves and bays. Ideal for sunbathing, swimming and exploring, the Island is a common spot with tourists.

Dacta Penisula – a visit to the Gulf of Gokova presents a great opportunity to visit the Dacta Peninsula, which is known for its restaurants, but there are plenty of beaches to visit and coves to view, as well as the picturesque scenery to enjoy.
Other tourist attractions notable sites are the tomb of King Mausolus in Bodrum, which was named as one of the seven wonders of the world in Ancient times.

Bodrum Castle – the castle hosts several festivals throughout the year, so check what events are at the time of your visit. The castle is also home to the Museum of Underwater Archeology.

Activities

As well as cruising, the Gulf of Gokova makes an ideal holiday spot for anyone who enjoys high octane activity such as kite surfing, white water rafting and skiing. However it is also well suited to tourists who enjoy more relaxed activities like swimming, boating, yachting and even cycling.

For those with an interest in history, Knidos, where the ancient Greek ruins lay, is a great place to visit. You’ll also find the Knidos Theatre there, complete with its stunning scenery. However, the site is a favourite among tourists, so it’s usually busy depending on the time of year you go.

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, Akyaka is one of the quieter villages which oozes local, traditional charm. Once there, you’ll discover plenty of eateries and bars to relax in.

Night time

Bodrum is perhaps the best location if you’re looking for a lively nightlife. There are numerous nightclubs based there, with the Kule Rock City Bar, Kuba Bar and the Temple Bar all highly rated.

Budva – Montenegro

Situated on the Adriatic Coast and with numerous hotels and multiple beaches, Budva, Montenegro, is a natural tourist haven.

Its striking coastlines incorporate nearly 20 beaches, and with such vast hotel accommodation to choose from, there is something for almost every budget.

Budva itself is known for its energy, and it’s favoured among younger crowds. As you might expect, Budva really comes to life at night time, and the summer months are the busiest.

In addition, Budva provides a good base to travel from, which is a major advantage. For example, less than 20 metres from Budva is Petrovac, which is famed for being sunny almost all the year round, so provided you pick the right time of year, you’re almost guaranteed good weather.

Points of Interest

Famed for its nightlife, there are plenty of local venues that are perfect for those who like to party the night away. However, there’s also something for those that prefer the beach life or who want to visit traditional tourist spots like the Stari Grad, which is one of the top attractions.

As well as its marble streets, Stari Gard is famed for its landmarks, but you’ll also find a vast shopping area, along with several restaurants and galleries to visit.

If you want to envelop yourself in local history, there are also several monasteries, museums and churches to visit such as the Rustovo Monastery.

Range of accommodation

Hotels, apartments, cottages, villas are just some of the types of accommodation available; he hotel pricing is suitable for a range of budgets.

Festivals and events

Budva is popular among festivals fans, and there are several annual cultural events that pull in the crowds.

Nevertheless, Budva is also home to more contemporary festivals. For instance, in 2017 it hosted the Seadance Festival, with acts like Fat Boy Slim and Sean Paul among the guests.

In addition, Budva is great for foodies, with two major festivals held annually.

The town hosts the Petrov’s Night festival in August and the Pasticada Fest in June; the Night Festival features music from local artists, and offers an opportunity to taste traditional sweets, local wines and food.

The Pasticada Fest food festival features local wines and foods and it’s held over a course of a day on Petrovac’s famous promenade.

Eating out/night life

If you are looking to dine out, some of the best rated restaurants in Budva include the Konoba Bocun, Taste of Asia and Kafana Rivijeria.

Perast Montenegro

Montenegro is home to some of the oldest urban settlements on the Adriatic coastline, and a visit here offers the chance to explore battles, historic occupations and ancient civilizations, of the past. A place of specific interest in Montenegro is an old, unheard of town known as Perast, situated in the Bay of Kotor, one of the most attractive towns in the Kotor Bay. The town is a few kilometres northwest of Kotor and is renowned for its proximity to the spectacular islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks.

Within Our Lady of the Rocks sits the chapel, that was expanded to the present church in 1632, it was called Chiesa della Madonna dello Scarpello, translated in English to ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’. Inside the church, you will find 68 paintings ordered by the nobility of the Perast and painted by the region’s greatest baroque artists, Tripo Kokolja. The most prized possession in the chapel is the original icon, installed over the main altar. Legend has it, that it became a tradition for sailors to drop stones in the water around the chapel before a voyage, to contribute to the strength of its foundations, and to ask the Virgin Mother to bring them home safely.

If you are travelling to Perast by boat, the tradition of dropping stones at the site remains alive to this day and forms one of Europe’s oldest sailing regattas: the Fasinada. At sunset on 22 July, local boats are decorated with garlands and sail out into the Bay to drop a stone around the island.

Perast is an unknown treasure and with 240 days of the sunshine and warm weather, you can enjoy all that the beautiful Bay of Kotor has to offer, it’s towering peaks and rocky coastline, with ample of attractive waterside towns, just to name a few.

There’s no wonder, that Perast is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is embodied in the quality architecture in its fortified cities, settlements, palaces, monastic ensembles and their harmonious integration to the cultivated terraced landscape on the slopes of the high rocky hills.

But besides the ample of history, Perast also boasts a coastline surrounded by mountains and picturesque stunning views, that can be admired from the Perast Pirate bar, where the two small island in Kotor Bay is visible from every angle.

Perast is one of the luxury yacthing destinations in Montenegro, that offers an unforgettable experience like no other. You can escape Montenegro’s busier seaside resorts like Kotor and Budva, when visiting Perast, as the town has a population of less than 400, meaning that you can enjoy your visit, in tranquillity and experience an array of museums and churches, at your own leisure.

In the past, the Bay of Kotor has previously been a beacon of inspiration for artists and poets and now the region is becoming internationally recognised as one of Montenegro’s principal attractions and cultural treasures. So why not experience it for yourself?

Pula

Home to one of the best preserved and functioning Roman amphitheatres, the Arena, that resides right in the heart of Pula. The seafront city, sitting at the top of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula is renowned for its wealth of historical buildings, protected harbour and beach-lined coasts. Roman ruins also lie within the city, as Pula was valued for its strategic location in the prehistoric era, and it has been occupied, destroyed and rebuilt numerous times.

But today, Pula is known for its multitude of ancient Roman buildings, but most famously for the Pula Arena, which dominates the streetscape and doubles as a venue for summer concerts and festivals, providing a venue like no other, with an incredible atmosphere. On top of this, Pula has so much more to offer as a city… Beautiful sandy beaches, a bustling city, and an awe-inspiring nature park, to name a few.

By day, Pula is a busy commercial city situated on the sea, that has managed to retain a close-knit, small-town appeal. However, a stone’s throw away from the city, you will find an array of beaches at the resorts located on the Verudela Peninsula. Although this resort is teeming with residential and holiday developments, the coast is inundated with quirky features unique to Pula: fragrant pine groves, seaside cafes and a decent amount of restaurants, where you can sample a taste of Croatian cuisine. The city also has a long standing tradition of winemaking and fishing, which you can take part in, as much or as little as you like.

However, if you fancy something a bit more tranquil, Pula has something for you… Further south along the indented shoreline sits the Premantura Peninsula, that hides a spectacular nature park, the protected Cape of Kamenjak. Be at one with nature in Kamenjak, and discover a hidden gem on the cape, the Kamenjak safari bar – a beach bar located in one of the most idyllic, natural places in Croatia. At the Safari bar, you can lounge on the beach, keep refreshed with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and with fresh food being served on the island, you will never go hungry, including meat and fish dishes, sandwiches and olives.

So, what are you waiting for?