True tan afficionados say Croatia has some of the best beaches in Europe and there’s a growing culture for summer music festivals all along the coastline. Wonderful for exploring by sailboat are the 1,000 islands that dot the Dalmatian Coast... some like Palmizana, worth anchoring down for a week’s worth of sun and seafood. History buffs and romantics can soak up the medieval mood in magnificent UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik with its atmospheric (and car-free) squares and streets.
The grandest Roman ruin in Western Europe, the Palace of Diocletian, is in the town of Split, halfway along the stunning Adriatic coastline. Further up the mainland, the triangle at the top is Istria and you’ll find more than a touch of Tuscany in this rural region of olive groves and hilly stone towns.
Photo credits: Lily Plume