Stretching out for 500 picturesque miles, the Adriatic Coast is what separates the scenic surroundings of Venice from the hidden gems in the Balkans. But while most holidaymakers will opt to spend time in the glamorous Italian city, there are more beautiful sights waiting to be discovered.
The Adriatic Sea is the northernmost part of the Mediterranean, with the famous “bathing coast” being home to countless seaside towns and cities, and more than 1,300 islands. The coastline takes in Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, with the Croatian islands considered the jewels of the Adriatic.
There is no shortage of things to do or sights to see along the bathing coast. For those planning a holiday here, we have got a handy guide of five things you must make time for.
You cannot have a getaway on the Balkans Bathing Coast without trying at least a couple of these.
The Adriatic Sea has plenty of beautiful spots for scuba diving – but the Croatian coastline is widely regarded by divers as one of the most beautiful on the planet. The sea ranges in temperature from 21 to 25 degrees during summer, with the sea so transparent you can see up to sixty meters ahead.
The Dubrovnik region is home to one of the cleanest seas in Europe and has the most to offer divers. There are 7,000 species of flora and fauna, as well as fish and sea animals who will greet you from the second you get your head underwater.
Dive further down, and you’ll find shipwrecks and hidden caves, the gateways to lost civilisations. And you’ll also find the sea creatures who rarely come up to the surface – so if you want to say hello to an octopus, this is the aquatic adventure for you.
There are several diving spots that come highly recommended from experienced divers. Of these, Bisevo Grotto (or Blue Cave), located off the island of Vis, might be the most stunning. If you dive down between 11am and noon, you will experience the magic hour as the sun creates a magical blue light makes everything shine in pink and silver.
Back on the surface, there are plenty of gorgeous ocean sights that you don’t need to go underwater for. Split, Croatia’s second largest city, lies on the Adriatic coast – and has lots of boat hire options if you are wanting to head away from the mainland and explore nearby islands.
If you want to Hire a Boat Split should be your first port of call. Options range from standard sailing yachts to spacious catamarans – no matter what size your party, there is always an option to get you onto the sea.
And the islands closest to Split could not be more different from each other. Trogir offers medieval architecture and historical landmarks, Čiovo has a marina with seaside dining and bars, and Brač has gorgeous beaches as far as the eye can see.
If you’re looking for nightlife, head over to Hvar, and if you really want to escape the hustle and bustle, the natural scenery of Vis is recommended. Visit Borrow a Boat and start planning your island adventure.
The bathing coast is home to more than just sun, sea and sand, with lots of ancient landmarks to visit along the way. Split is home to Diocletian’s Palace, while the town of Korcula is a hidden gem off the Croatian coast.
And then there are sights that have made a mark in history for completely different reasons. The walled old city of Dubrovnik was already a gorgeous landmark – but thanks to Game of Thrones, is now best known as being the real life home of King’s Landing.
The vast majority of the Lannister plots were filmed in Dubrovnik and Split, so a visit is highly recommended for fans of the hit fantasy series.
But while historic walks and scenic hikes may be the perfect holiday for some, others will want to experience the nightlife the coast has to offer. Well, look no further.
Pag Island is Croatia’s go to place for nightlife and has even been dubbed the Ibiza of Croatia. Several leading music festivals take place here every summer, while no trip here is complete without experiencing one of the famous beach parties.
Elsewhere along the coast, Murter Island is home to Discotheque in Barbarella, named as one of the best clubs in the world by The Guardian. Other great party locations can be found in Hvar Island, Brac Island and Rap Island.
Finally, no holiday would be complete without finding the best places to eat. Along the coast, there are several restaurants with glowing reviews from travelers.
The Beach Bar Adriatic in Orebic offers delicious food with gorgeous coastal views, while Mrs & Mr Caput in Dubrovnik offers traditional Croatian food with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains.
There is truly something for everybody along the Balkans Bathing Coast, so start planning your much needed getaway now.