Unfurling on the sun-drenched eastern swath of the Adriatic Sea, a Croatia honeymoon is an excellent choice to embrace your romantic side.
Croatia’s coastline is dotted with seductive seaside villages where restaurants serve fresh seafood and carafes of local wine, and the sparkling water beckons swimmers.
Honeymooners in Croatia could explore vineyards in the Konavle Valley, pore over ancient churches and palaces in Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik, and take off to a languid Adriatic island.
It’s easy to fall in love with Croatia. Whether it’s ticking off bucket-list hikes in dramatic national parks, lazing on hidden beaches, or walking in a Renaissance masterpiece, Croatia is an utterly romantic honeymoon destination.
Soak up the scenery on a gentle 30-minute coastal drive from Dubrovnik to Cavtat, close to the border with Montenegro in Croatia’s south. This bougainvillea-draped village is the perfect spot for unhurried relaxation on a honeymoon in Croatia.
Stop by Cavtat’s quaint museums, including Bukovac House, the birthplace of Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac, born here in 1855. Bukovac is considered the godfather of modern Croatian art, with some of his eclectic collection on display in this quaint Cavtat museum.
Walk hand-in-hand around the harbor, where yachts and fishing boats bob on sparkling water. Continue around the headline on the coastal trail beneath towering pine trees and make your way to the rustic Beach Bar Little Star, perched on a rocky ledge on the edge of Cavtat and a glorious spot for swimming.
For something a little more fast-paced, there’s also the option to join a private speedboat tour from Cavtat’s harbor.
Long-known for Paški sir (a robust sheep’s milk cheese), lace, and salt production, mellow Pag is a narrow island attached to the mainland via an arched bridge, just to the north of Zadar.
Escape the city to visit this quaint, though largely barren island and head for the town of Pag, which lies on a coastal inlet in the island’s center.
Make your first stop in Kolan, in the north of Pag, for a cheese factory tour at Gligora Dairy. See how Paški sir is produced and taste your way through a selection of the island’s famous aromatic cheeses, produced from the milk of sheep that graze on the island’s wild herbs.
Drift around Pag town’s pretty harbor and amble through the creamy-colored streets, with their plentiful restaurants, wine bars, cafés, and shops.
You could also stop by Pag’s salt flats, Solana Pag, the largest sea-salt producer in Croatia, to pick up a selection of sea salt as a gourmet gift to take home.
Before saying farewell to Pag, sit down for a meal in the town and tuck into an island delicacy: tender island lamb, stewed, grilled, or spit-roasted to perfection.
In the seaside resort of Split, the second-largest city in Croatia, couples on honeymoon can walk in the footsteps of a Roman emperor at the fortified Diocletian’s Palace.
Built as the retirement palace for Emperor Diocletian in the fourth century, this grandiose landmark is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.
Enter through one of the four gates, Golden, Silver, Iron, and Bronze, to wander among the narrow alleyways of the palace complex to the towering colonnades of Peristil courtyard.
St. Domnius Cathedral, also known as Sveti Duje, with its square bell tower, lies next to Peristil. Sometimes, choral music echoes through the narrow lanes, adding to the romantic atmosphere.
Next, head to Split City Museum, located within the family mansion of the Papalić family. The map of how Diocletian’s Palace looked during its prime is fascinating.
One of the best things to do in Split is to visit the beautiful Jupiter’s Temple, where visitors can see one of the 12 sphinxes Emperor Diocletian returned to Split with from Egypt at the entrance. Relics inside include the Sarcophagi of Ivan of Ravenna and Lovre, two former 11th-century Archbishops of Split.
Don’t leave without delving into Diocletian’s Palace’s subterranean world. These labyrinthine vaulted cellars mirror the palace’s layout above.
If you get your kicks as a couple from more stomach-flipping adventures, plan a trip to the Cetina River, where you could indulge in white water rafting and river canyoning.
With its lucid-green water and deep canyons, the Cetina River offers spectacular scenery and is one of the most romantic places to see on a honeymoon in Croatia.
A guided rafting adventure is suitable for all abilities, from novices to those who’ve tried it several times before. Guided tours depart from multiple spots on the waterway, including the quiet village of Zadvarje.
Rafting journeys typically combine more tranquil spots of the river with fast-paced whitewater action on the river’s hair-raising rapids.
Travelers could also try guided canyoning (a combination of walking, climbing, and swimming) in the crystalline water. After, stop by the Vidikovac Križ lookout point in Zadvarje to take in the surrounding patchwork of green canyons.
Enjoy newly-wedded bliss in Šibenik, a postcard-pretty city halfway between Split and Zadar on the Dalmatian coast.
Šibenik is home to four fortresses. On the mainland, there are St. Michael’s, St. John’s, and Barone Fortress. St. Nicholas Fortress is located on Ljuljevac island at the entrance to St. Anthony Channel, facing the mainland.
There’s no need to formalize a plan to explore Šibenik. Simply start at one of the town’s three mainland fortresses for the dazzling views before descending to the maze of oatmeal-colored buildings that spill down the hillside.
Make sure to visit the UNESCO-listed Cathedral of St. James. Built entirely of stone in the 15th century, the exterior features 71 frieze-sculpted faces of men, women, and children.
Most impressive, though, is the tulip dome, with the cathedral demonstrating a harmonious marriage of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Weave through Šibenik’s medieval streets, filled with shops, galleries, and restaurants, to Trg Medulić, a gorgeous little square where you can enjoy alfresco coffee or perhaps a glass of local wine.
Lokrum is a romantic paradise island off the coast of Dubrovnik. Honeymooners can reach the UNESCO-protected retreat via a 15-minute ferry ride from the city’s old port, to the east of the Old Town.
Once you’re on the peaceful and densely-forested island, packed with holm oaks, pines, cypress trees, and olive groves, exploration is done entirely on foot.
Start at the wonderful Botanical Garden to take a closer look at the island’s rich vegetation before moving on to the 11th-century Benedictine monastery, surrounded by palm trees and other green flora.
According to legend, the early monastery was built by Richard I of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart, after he was shipwrecked on the island.
Stroll around the remains of the basilica and the serene cloister garden, and look out for the peacocks that wander freely around the grounds.
Enjoy lunch at the island’s sun-dappled Lacroma Restaurant, where dishes include octopus salad with sea fennel, shrimp risotto with zucchini and saffron, and Dalmatian smoked ham and cheese.
There’s a watering hole for a cooling swim and a rugged hidden cove to explore on the south of the island, too.
Zlatni Rat Beach
Dreamy Zlatni Rat, also known as Golden Horn Beach, is just outside the town of Bol on the south coast of Brač, the largest island in Dalmatia. The island is a short hop from the mainland via the Jadrolinija ferry service from Split.
This narrow triangular-shaped beach juts out into the water with a small body of pines running through the middle.
Zlatni Rat is one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, characterized by its gleaming white stone and shingle shore, and crystal-clear water that transforms from neon-turquoise to a deep sapphire color.
The scented pines offer welcome shade and there are watersports, a cocktail bar, sun loungers, and parasols for hire.
Enjoy a walk to the tip of the peninsula, which stretches almost 3,000 feet into the sea, before swimming in the deliciously tepid water.
Read: Best Beaches in Split
This slow-paced archipelago off southern Croatia, close to Dubrovnik, consists of the main islands of Koločep, Lopud, and Sipan. At least for Koločep and Lopud, part of their allure is that they are entirely car-free.
Picturesque, untouched, and blissfully calm, the Elafiti Islands are carpeted in thick Mediterranean bush, laced with hiking trails and hilltop churches, and boasting some of Croatia’s most beguiling little harbors.
There’s a daily ferry service from Dubrovnik to the three islands, plus a catamaran service to Sipan. You could also opt to join a boat ride from the mainland to experience Koločep’s shimmering Blue Cave with its inviting aquamarine water.
Koločep, the closest to Dubrovnik, is the smallest of the main Elafiti Islands. Its principal village, Donje Čelo, on Koločep Bay, is one of the most romantic places to see on a honeymoon in Croatia.
Enjoy the slow pace here on a stroll around the waterfront. Take a dip in the calm water and sit down for a relaxed lunch at one of the seafront restaurants.
For a more active adventure, cozy up on a hike to Lovers Lookout, which affords spectacular views across the island and takes around 20 minutes each way.
Lopud is just as charismatic and offers some beautiful bathing spots, including the golden sands of Šunj Beach on the south coast. While Sipan, the largest of the Elafiti islands, is not car-free, it remains peaceful and the local bus service makes it easy to get around.
Visit the 11th-century St. Peter’s Church near Šipanska Luka, the main village in the north, or the 16th-century Church of the Holy Spirit near Suđurađ in the south.
Make a reservation at Konoba Kod Marka, a romantic waterfront restaurant in Šipanska Luka, and dine on Croatian dishes such as sea urchin and anchovies with lemon and lobster spaghetti.
Dubrovnik Old Town
Dubrovnik Old Town is a cornucopia of palaces, churches, and ancient streets enveloped in fortified stone walls, making it a must-visit when on honeymoon in Croatia.
There’s a lot to pack in, so start by walking Dubrovnik’s ramparts to get your bearings on the Old Town. The contrast of the sun-tinged terracotta rooftops with the royal blue of the sea is mesmerizing.
Inside, there’s the 14th-century Franciscan Monastery, housing a historic pharmacy museum, opposite the 15th-century Onofrio’s Fountain, by Pile Gate.
These sights mark the beginning of Stradun, the main limestone-paved street that cuts through the Old Town. Smaller side streets feed off Stradun, filled with a dazzling array of shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants.
Some of the best things to do in Dubrovnik include visiting the 14th-century Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace, the exquisite 16th-century Sponza Palace, and the elegant cloister at the Dominikanski samostan, a 13th-century church, and museum, with a dreamy cloister.
Finish up with a wine flight at D’vino Wine Bar to sip on a variety of Croatian wines, from the Pelješac Peninsula’s Plavac Mali to Konavle Valley’s Malvasija.
Krka National Park Waterfalls
The emerald-green landscapes of Krka National Park are among the most enchanting places to see on a honeymoon in Croatia. A series of waterfalls tumbles over travertine rock shelves, surrounded by dense woodland.
Set your sights on Skradinski Buk. This green oasis near the town of Lozovac is arguably the most spectacular Croatian waterfall on the Krka River, a 45-mile waterway dotted with ruined fortresses that runs through the park before emptying into the Adriatic Sea near Šibenik.
Join a boat trip from the attractive town of Skradin or on foot from Lozovac to reach Skradinski Buk. The latter option is fantastic for a nature-filled hike, with otters, bats, and hundreds of bird species inhabiting the park. Lizards, turtles, tortoises, snakes, and a whole plethora of fish add to the vibrant and diverse wildlife.
When you arrive at the 17 travertine steps that create the foaming cascades of Skradinski Buk, relax by the water before embarking on the one-mile circular waterfall trail across wooden walkways and bridges.
You could also take a boat trip from Skradinski Buk to the 74-foot drop of Roški slap, a beautiful tiered waterfall, via Visovac Island, home to a Franciscan monastery, church, and a museum. The round-trip takes four hours.
The pine- and cypress-clad Konavle Valley, with its luscious rolling vineyards, is the perfect place for nature and wine lovers to spend a Croatia honeymoon.
Though biking, hiking, and walking trails are entwined through the Konavle region, a leisurely wine-tasting tour is the smartest—and most romantic—way to explore it.
At Karaman Winery in the village of Pridvorje, taste the golden-yellow Malvasia of Dubrovnik white wine, with its notes of orange blossom, citrus, peach, apricot, and almond. Karaman also produces a top-drawer sweet wine, Prošek, with its rich flavors of raisin, orange peel, melon, and lemon.
Book a wine tasting and tour at Winery Botaro to imbibe cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, and chardonnay, paired with meat and cheese platters and enjoyed on the winery’s leafy terrace.
Crvik Winery, located in the village of Komaji, between the sea and forests in the village of Komaji, is another hot spot for vines with impeccable views. Led by fourth-generation winemakers, Crvik’s Bastion, a robust Plavac mali merlot, is exquisite.
Whether you’re plotting a honeymoon, anniversary celebration, or simply a romantic getaway that requires no occasion, Croatia offers an exhilarating blend of nature, gastronomy, culture, and history.
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