Croatia is an excellent choice for a honeymoon. When are they planning to go?
The obvious place to recommend is Dubrovnik, which is every bit as beautiful as it’s cracked up to be. It does get pretty chock-a-block during summertime but you can escape to some lovely islands nearby – the Elaphites, which are quiet and unspoiled, and Mljet, where there’s a national park.
The best islands for a honeymoon I reckon though are a bit further up the coast, where you’ll find some boutique-style hotels, historic stone-built towns to rival Dubrovnik, sleepy villages, good beaches and plenty of romance.
Hvar is the best all-round island, with some well-preserved towns with yacht-filled harbours (Hvar Town and Stari Grad), and some lovely offshore islands. It also has a touch of glamour. This could be a good place to stay:
Brac is famed for its beaches (Zlatni rat in Bol is the most famous). Though the beaches are rockier, the northeastern coast is particularly lovely. This restored fifteenth-century palace is one of the nicest places to stay:
Quieter than either is Solta, just next to Brac, which is ideal for walking and cycling. They could stay in this old aristocratic seat:
Hope this is helpful.
Dubrovnik is a tuly stunning place but it is somewhat unrepresentative of the country, having been an independent city-state for centuries before it’s incorporation into Croatia. But if your friend isn’t worried about such stuff and just wants a romantic get-away, it’ll probaby fit the bill perfectly. Be prepared for it to be overwhelmed by tourists in all but the lowest of low seasons, however.
Split is another cool place if it’s a city she’s after. Prices are generally lower than in Dubrovnik (sometimes hugely so, but rising fast) and there are usually as many visitors from Croatia itself and other ex-Yugoslav Republics as there are international visitors. Unlike well-kept Dubrovnik, Split has some grotty bits but in general it is a really pretty place. Your friend will probably feel more like she’s in Southern Italy than the Balkans. The older part of town is especially wonderful, with meandering medieval streets so narrow that anyone wider than Victoria Beckham has to walk sideways. The old Roman Imperial Palace is now part of the town itself; the roof is long gone and the internal corridors are now streets, complete with little staircases leading nowhere and decorative alcoves.
If she would prefer a more rural experience, the islands are definitely the places to be. You can find ones with developed tourist-infrastructure (like Brac and Hvar) or rent a cottage on a tiny island with a permanent population of less than a hundred. www.visit-croatia.co.uk/islands/ is a good place to find out more. Most islands of any consequence are easy to get to by ferry from the Dalmatian coastal cities and there a few connections from places like Ancona and Venice in Italy. In summer, the ferry trip is an experience in itself, with the Adriatic sea at it’s most gorgeous.
You can get direct flights to Split from almost all London airports and with Jet2 from Manchester and Dubrovnik is well served from pretty much any hub in the UK and Ireland.