Tourism is booming on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, from the
islands of Hvar and Korčula to the enchanting walled city of
Dubrovnik. This is a coastline where Venetian poise meets warm
Balkan hospitality; the Italian influence is felt most strongly in
Slovenia in the north, while to the south are Montenegro's rugged,
fjord-like bays and the fascinating former hermit state of
The main start and end points for cruises visiting the Adriatic
Sea are Venice, Athens and Dubrovnik, though longer voyages from
the Western Mediterranean will often call at ports on the Dalmatian
Coast. A small ship will allow you to really make the most of your
time in the region, calling at the smaller Croatian islands and
less crowded ports.
The region is a real treat for history and architecture buffs;
take your pick from Roman amphitheatres, Venetian palazzos, Ottoman
mosques and the concrete brutalism of the communist era.
Dubrovnik's marble streets and wonderfully preserved walls are the
star attraction, but there are plenty of less celebrated gems along
the coast, such as the UNESCO-listed towns of Šibenik and Trogir,
or Montenegro's breathtaking Bay of Kotor. Further south, Albania
is slowly opening up to tourism; highlights include the lovely
Ottoman architecture of Berat and the beaches around Sarandë.
Dubrovnik and the more popular Croatian islands can be rather
crowded in the high season months of July and August, and the
temperatures at this time of year can be scorching, particularly if
you head inland. The weather is already very pleasant in spring; in
our opinion, the 'shoulder season' months of April to May and
September to October are the best time to visit.