Time for a summer escape? Try Croatia.

Matt’s not handling the cloudy UK weather too well and looks abroad to sunnier climes on the Adriatic Coast.

The medieval walled city of Dubrovnik

If you live in the UK, you may be forgiven for thinking that summer was a rumour, a tease invented by the tabloid media to make you think that things were looking up. Well I’m here to tell you that they’re not looking up. They’re looking down while rain from a thick layer of stubborn grey cloud suspended just above London’s rooftops pours down cold and hard upon your silly little sun-starved heads.

Croatia's beaches are among the world's most beautiful

But in other parts of the world, we hear that the sun is in fact shining. It’s shining hard, hard enough that many people resort to placing shaded pieces of framed glass in front of their eyes. These odd contraptions look almost exactly like normal glasses, but they call them sunglasses. It’ll never catch on.

One of these fabled places where the sun is shining and looks set to shine for a good long time to come is Croatia. With island-hopping cruises running up and down the coast all summer long, I’d challenge anyone to come up with a better idea of how to enjoy a summer vacation. The Dalmatian Coast (as it’s called) is an island-studded haven for sun-worshippers on the Adriatic Sea, just a hop skip and a jump from Italy.

Dubrovnik is probably the best-known of the Croatian coastal cities, a medieval walled city with cobble-stone streets, countless restaurants serving some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat and a rich history stretching back centuries. Check out Split as well – it boasts some great archaeological, historical and cultural monuments. Wander the old city and visit the UNESCO-listed Diocletian Palace.

Who's up for a swim?

The islands of Korcula and Hvar are two other gems that you’ll visit on many of the cruises that operate in the area, both of which are some of the most important wine-growing regions in Croatia. Korcula is also the reputed birthplace of the legendary explorer Marco Polo and one of the most charming and romantic of the 1000 or so islands dotting the coastline. Explore the Renaissance palaces, cathedrals and museums tucked away in the labyrinth of picture-perfect cobble-stone streets. Hvar is a popular Croatian island well worth seeing; a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city where you’ll see more than your fair share of luxury yachts.

Apart from the islands, buzzing cities and the cultural landmarks, a cruise in Croatia is the ideal way to lay back and enjoy the summer. Renowned for its crystal-clear waters and gorgeous beaches, I’m starting to think that those sunglasses might just come in handy.


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