SUPERB VALUE & SUPERB CHOICE

It's time for you to experience Croatia.

Opatija

We set out to become the UK’s specialist tour operator to Croatia and we’ve achieved it: no other company offers such huge choice from simple apartments allocated on arrival offering superb value for money to luxurious five star hotels. Self-catering accommodation in varying styles and a wide range of cruising holidays (from casual to deluxe) have wide appeal too. Flexible lengths of stay mean you can enjoy Croatia for a short break or much longer with flights from London and regional airports. 

For 2014 we’ve included more fly-drive ideas the stunning Plitvice Lakes, plus the neighbouring countries of Montenegro and Slovenia which make perfect combinations with Croatia with easy transfers. You will need to refer to our brochure for these holiday choices.

Looking for something special or tailor-Made? Our Croatia expert (see below) delivers. Whether you want a riding holiday where you swim with horses, a historic tour of Roman Croatia, bird watching, cookery, diving, falconry, tennis camps – or just an utterly romantic escape or an activity-packed family holiday, we know just the place.

From our Croatia Expert  

"It took me about five minutes to fall in love with Croatia and that was 22 years ago.

Instant attraction?  It was the combination of pine trees above a sparkling sapphire blue sea and fishermen hauling up their catch onto sun-bleached rocks.  Many things reminded me of Provence: lavender fields, pretty coves, terracotta roofs and hilltop villages – never mind fabulous seafood and good wine.

Croatia is a stunning destination with clever people who are, justifiably, proud of their country.  Since independence in 1991, Croatia is now one of the most sought after holiday destinations and the newest member of the European Union.

I’ve walked the Dubrovnik city ramparts over 40 times, swum  between endless reefs and  islands,  visited Croatia’s eight glorious national parks explored monuments, enjoyed festivals and have frequently seen dolphins. 

I’ve visited everywhere in the Prestige programme (often!)  and have written the descriptions honestly.  Over 10 million tourists choose Croatia each year so don’t think that it’s still a “new place”- it isn’t and I urge you to book early for the holiday you want. Do read the next few paragraphs – plus there’s lots of useful information in our brochure.

You can contact me, Julia Berg, through croatia@prestigeholidays.co.uk if you would like my help in choosing your holiday".

It's time for you to experience Croatia,everybody is talking about it!

From the air, Croatia’s coastline is breathtakingly beautiful as deep, emerald pine woods descend to the shore, then white stone beaches and islands sparkle before the bright sapphire blue of the Adriatic Sea hits your eyes. This is Croatia’s wow factor.

For many years the tourist board has used the slogan “the Mediterranean as it once was”. It’s a perfect description of this amazing little country of 1,244 islands of which approximately 50 are inhabited. 

There are few destinations less than a three hour flight from the UK that offer the diversity of Croatia. Many visitors head for the coast and islands where the pristine waters of the Adriatic are some of the cleanest in the world. More than 130 beaches and marinas have .been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status.

This new country became independent in 1991, and joined the European Union last year. It has a long and colourful history as liburnian, Illyrian and other tribes, the Romans, Venetians, Hungarians and Ottomans have all left their cultural stamp. 

In some places, tiny stone houses and temples are still standing from Illyrian times and national treasures also include Roman relics, medieval walled cities, churches, basilicas, palaces and temples in styles from Byzantine to Baroque. 

Exquisite stone carvings are seen on buildings in even the smallest cobbled streets. Quaint villages and towns usually lead to a hidden cloister here or a beautiful piazza there. Simply stunning. 

So what of contemporary Croatia? Croatians on the coast enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle with the flair and charm of the Italians just across the water. Customs such as the afternoon siesta in summer and the ‘corsa’ evening walk are all here, as are festivals of dance, music and tradition using the open-air treasures as a stage. 

Service is usually of a high standard in even the simplest of restaurants and many of the world’s brand names are available in quality shops and stores.

Temperatures in July and August, the hottest months, are 28-32ºC. May, June and September are usually sunny and between 22-25ºC, April and October are often around a pleasant 16-21ºC and nights can be a little cooler. The sea usually remains warm until mid October. Water is of high quality and is drinkable everywhere. 

Closer than you think too. Flight times are short. London to Pula, Rijeka and Zagreb is usually two hours 15 minutes and to Dubrovnik two hours 30 minutes. 

Whatever you choose on the coast or islands, less than a two-hour drive inland will take you into a different world of national parks, forests, waterfalls, mountains and rural traditions. We strongly recommend taking some excursions or hiring a car to explore.

FACTS ABOUT CROATIA

Croatia is a modern country with a strong tradition in tourism and is now one of the most

sought after destinations in Europe. Standards are high, people take pride in their work and resorts are kept clean and well preserved. Almost everyone working in tourism speaks English (and Italian, and German and more). People from all over the world are discovering Croatia and there will be guests of different nationalities staying at your hotel. Visitors from the UK do not make up the largest number of visitors from Europe to Croatia so be prepared sometimes to be in the minority. 

Money

The Croatian currency is the Kuna divided into100 Lipa and is available in the UK. Despite Croatia joining the EU last year., it does not use the Euro as currency .The rate of exchange is often better in Croatia, therefore, we suggest obtaining only a small amount of currency before departure. Once in Croatia you can use cash machines (most airports and in town centres), local exchange offices, banks and at hotel receptions. Sterling is easily exchanged. Credit cards are accepted widely in larger establishments and at hotels.

Driving & Car HIre

There’s absolutely no need to be nervous about driving in Croatia. This is a small country (from Dubrovnik in the south to Zagreb in the north is 242 miles) and there are just 4.4 million inhabitants in Croatia.

Toll motorways are excellent and connect Zagreb with coastal resorts and an excellent ferry network links islands to mainland stays .Roads are well signposted and traffic police usually speak English. 

The Adriatic coast road and some of the roads on the islands twist here and there. Hiring a car, even for a few days of your stay, will allow you to see more of the country off the beaten track and self-drive from your arrival airport is sometimes quicker than a transfer. 

Excursions & Activites

There are boat trips from almost everywhere on the coast and from the islands and a day out on a fish picnic will allow you to enjoy the Adriatic, relax and explore small coves and ports. We offer a full excursion programme to historic places, national parks, famous cities and islands – details will be sent with your documents so that you have time to consider what is on offer from the comfort of your own home. Croatia has eight national parks, most of them available on a day trip excursion. Our representatives in Croatia will be happy to book excursions and our prices compare very favourably with others that may be on sale in resort. 

With a coastline like Croatia’s a lot happens in the sea including watersports, diving and kayaking. Boat hire (from dinghies upwards) is usually available for a few hours or for a whole day. In Istria there are some great horse-riding trails including the chance to swim in the sea with horses (stays in Pula & Fazana). Tennis is a top sport in Croatia and most resorts have tennis courts in addition to hotels private facilities. 

Eating Out

On the coast and islands, fish and seafood feature heavily. Risotto and pasta dishes are divine (often with seafood) and every region produces its own dried ham. Blitva is an interesting mix of potato and mangold (a kind of spinach) often served with grilled fish. The best scampi (like a giant langoustine) come from the Kvarner Bay. Oysters and mussels from Lim Fjord near Rovinj and those from Ston near Dubrovnik are considered to be the best in the country. The Peljesac peninsula is a famous wine growing area from where the full bodied Dingac red comes. Croatian olive oil is high quality and used widely in cooking. Konobas are smaller, often family run restaurants and offer good value for money. Daily dishes and specials are usually a great choice. 

Culture,Heritage & Festivals

Croatia is predominantly a Catholic country with many celebrations and religious festivals. In addition, there are often music, film, drama, sporting and festivals of gastronomy. If you are in Istria during truffle season (mid September to late October) you’ll see how this ‘Istrian gold’ is celebrated!

The Split Summer Festival and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (both July to August) are probably the best known events where Croatian and international artistes perform. Tickets are reasonably priced.

The Festival Kvarner is now in its fourth year and is the dream come true of a young Austrian conductor. Our clients staying in Opatija or Lovran on the concert dates in September will receive complimentary tickets. Most resorts (even the smallest) have a summer festival of some kind celebrating music and tradition so look out for posters and details.

The Ulysses Festival on the Brijuni islands takes place in August and includes performances of Shakespeare’s works in stunning open-air settings. 

The beautiful, truly Croatian town of Omis south of Split has a number of “klapa” events in summer (a capella singing which originates from this region). 

Croatia has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites: Split and the Palace of Diocletian, the old city of Dubrovnik, the complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, the historic city of Trogir, Cathedral of St James in Sibenik, the Stari Grad Plain on the Island of Hvar and the Plitvice Lakes National Park. 

Representatives

We have representatives in most resorts with the exception of the islands of Rab, Krk, Cres, Brijuni, Sipan, Mljet, in Zagreb, Otocec Castle in Slovenia and at some self-catering properties. We provide a telephone contact for any emergencies. 

Today, many people often want to be independent, are well travelled and do not want a representative holding their hand. With this in mind, and in order to keep costs down so that you get better value, our representatives will meet you on arrival and will give you an information envelope with details of excursions, their contact details and availability. 

Our representatives do not attend at hotels on a daily basis and you will usually meet them at your hotel once during your stay. However, please feel free to contact them at any time. Where hotels allow, there will be a Prestige Holidays information book in the hotel reception and this contains useful information for your stay.

For details about transfers and ferries please refer to our brochure – you can download it from this website.