Dubrovnik And The Adriatic Coast More Popular Than Ever
Specialist tour operator Newmarket Holidays says that 2011 will be a bumper year for Croatia holidays, with visitors drawn not only by some of the Mediterranean basin’s most scenic locations and the traditional lures of sunshine and warm waters, but by the fact that the country still lies outside the Eurozone – something which holidaymakers are making more of a priority than ever in these straitened times.
Beautiful Croatia and its stunning southern neighbour Montenegro share a coastline studded with jewels, the most sparkling of which is the walled city of Dubrovnik, Newmarket’s chosen gateway.
The operator’s Dubrovnik hotels are based in two areas, popular Cavtat – the ancient Greek Epidaurum and a favoured watering hole of wealthy Austro-Hungarians in the early twentieth century - and on the Lapad peninsula close to the city.
While some folk will spend their time close to hotel or beach, others will set off in exploration on excursions in the company of knowledgeable guides keen to lift the lid on Croatia’s fascinating past and burgeoning present.
Dubrovnik itself, with its marbled streets, city gates, medieval palaces, Baroque churches and encircling walls is fully deserving of its much-quoted soubriquet ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’, although several other settlements along the coast run it close for sheer beauty and charm.
North along the Dalmatian coast, the ancient island-town of Trogir, with its Romanesque cathedral and seafront promenade, draws crowds to its time-warped jumble of palaces, churches and hidden courtyards, while – further north - Split, former home to Roman Emperor Diocletian, and present-day Croatia’s second city, is another lively centre.
In between, the modern resorts of the Markaska Riviera, and the enticing offshore islands that are the weekend hideaways of Croatia’s emerging leisured classes – as well as a Mecca for recreational sailors – have their charms.
Many visitors make the journey along the River Neretva valley into Bosnia and to historic Mostar, where the restored bridge – once a symbol of war-torn Yugoslavia – is now one of its successor’s most potent tourist draws.
Neighbouring Montenegro, celebrity haunt and where the best beaches of the whole Adriatic are to be found, boasts UNESCO-listed Kotor and its surrounding eponymous bay amongst its treasures. Dense forests criss-crossed by glacial streams and ancient mountain settlements like Royal Cetinje add to the undoubted charm of the beaches and resorts like fast-growing Budva.
To holiday in Croatia is no longer the poor man’s alternative to Spain, since the post-conflict rebuilding of hotels and resort infrastructure is as good – if not better – than many of its Mediterranean competitors’, and as long as the British pound remains strong against the Croatian kuna, the country will draw more and more visitors to its picturesque shores.
All Newmarket’s holidays to Croatia are available to book at www.newmarketholidays.co.uk
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- Newmarket Holidays
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