Those choosing Croatia for their honeymoon have chosen wisely. With its long idyllic coastline, 1,000 or more islands – mostly uninhabited, active recreation centres and lively cities, Croatia has that winning combination of romance, beauty and affordability. Throw in a modern-day infrastructure, including a string of international airports, and you’re set.
To find an idyllic retreat with your newly spliced other half, the island of Badija off the coast of Korčula should fit the bill. A secluded getaway of pine trees and pebble beaches, Badija was settled by a community of Bosnian monks in the 15th century. Left to their own devices for five centuries, they were resettled in the 1950s and replaced by deer. Unused to danger, these animals tamely mingle with the only human life on the island, leisure-seeking daytrippers, some of them nudists. Korčula is a taxi boat away.
A cruise through the fjords is many people’s idea of a quality honeymoon. With Scandinavia improbably expensive, you may wish to consider the Limski kanal. With scenery almost as spectacular, the Limski kanal was a natural for the role of Norway when British filmmaker Jack Cardiff set his Viking feature ‘The Long Ships’ here in 1964. An estuary that makes a ten-kilometre (six-mile) gash into the west coast of Istria, the Limski kanal features dramatically steep slopes set over calm green waters. It’s best visited by tourist boat, with tickets sold in nearby Rovinj.
To really get away from it all, just the two of you, there’s Palagruža. The most remote of Croatia’s many lighthouse locations, this rocky outpost lies far out in the Adriatic, closer to Italy, and those coming to stay here are transported by boat from Dubrovnik or Korčula. Once you arrive, armed with days of supplies and fresh water, the island is yours to explore, with its sandy shore and rocky walks. Now and then, you might see a passing fisherman, here for the shoals of sardines plentiful in these waters.
Gazing up at the stars is a regular honeymoon activity – in the pretty hilltop village of Višnjan, you can both see the heavens in more detail at its famed observatory. This is no everyday planetarium but a scientific centre of considerable international renown. Benefitting from the lack of light pollution around rural Istria, astronomers at Višnjan have discovered more than 100 minor planets, two comets and asteroids by the thousand. For half the year, the public is admitted to see for themselves, the so-called Astro Nights on Saturday evenings, with a tour and explanations in English.
Watching the sunset together can be a perfect honeymoon moment – and Zadar has the perfect sunset. The major city in north Dalmatia is orientated towards the west, with a string of long islands off its coastline, so that a golden orange sun bleeds into the sea before dusk. Such is the fame of this natural phenomenon that Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock came here in 1964 just to film it. It also inspired local installation artist Nikola Bašić to create his disc-shaped communal work ‘Greeting to the Sun’, right on Zadar waterfront.
With all those endorphins whizzing around, it would be good for both of you to burn off some energy. Just outside Pula, Medulin is Croatia’s leading destination for active sports, most of them waterborne. Here the pair of you can spend the day windsurfing, sailing, diving or jet-skiing, as well as horse-riding and cycling – or just take each other on at tennis. And if you want to relax after all that exercise, there’s the sandy seashore of Bijeca, with its own Strandbar for cocktails.
Oligarchs, movie stars and wealthy sportsmen may choose Dubrovnik for their honeymoon because they can afford the kind of privacy that comes with five-star service. For first-time visitors, particularly newly weds, Dubrovnik can be dauntingly crowded. Yet even close to the Old Town you can find romantic solitude – whether it’s Sv Jakov beach, that certain sea-view table at Nautika or a boat from the Old Port to Lokrum, and a whole island of hidden coves, walks through botanical gardens and even a nudist beach.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.