Your Road Map to a Dreamy Croatia Honeymoon

From Dubrovnik to the Dalmatian Islands, this coastal country doesn't disappoint.
Hvar town in Southern Croatia
Photo: Dreamer4787 | Shutterstock
Raven McMillan
by Raven McMillan
Updated Apr 26, 2024
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A Croatia honeymoon continues to climb higher and higher on travelers' radars, and for good reason. You'll marvel at the glittering shores of the Adriatic Sea, romantic medieval architecture, and fascinating food and wine scene within the walled cities of this top honeymoon destination.

Whether you're planning to spend your days touring the island-speckled Dalmatian coast or you aim to uncover the wonder behind this European destination, read ahead for everything you need to know about planning a beguiling honeymoon in this Balkan locale. Trust us when we say you're in for the ultimate romantic getaway.

Croatia Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Croatia, Plitvice lakes National Park
    Photo: Tuul & Bruno Morandi | Getty

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Croatia

    Summer is undoubtedly high season because of its persistent sunshine and full schedule of festivals; these months are prime for exploring Dalmatia and sailing the Adriatic coast. However, the shoulder seasons (May to June and September to October) tend to be less expensive with more variety for accommodations and fewer crowds, so depending on your priorities, spring or fall may be the best time to visit.

    Best weather: May to October.
    Festival highlights: Summer festivals like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival feature live music, theater and dance in an ancient city setting. The Split Summer Festival offers similar cultural experiences in another historic coastal town. For film enthusiasts, the Pula Film Festival held in a Roman amphitheater is a must-see in July.

    Croatia Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Situated in southeastern Europe, this Mediterranean location has a lot to offer honeymooners, but the trek will be much easier for East Coast travelers, as flights from the West Coast often include two or more stops. Despite its consistently rising popularity, the only direct flights from the United States are from New York to Dubrovnik, and clock in at around 10 hours.

    Croatia is an incredible country for couples seeking a honeymoon destination that shines in the summertime, is rich with cultural diversity and is home to an exciting culinary scene. Game of Thrones fans will also enjoy visiting familiar filming locations that served as the backdrop for iconic series settings, such as King's Landing.

    When planning your honeymoon in Croatia, keep in mind that it is an extremely seasonal destination. Couples who have a specific window of travel time may not find as much to do or see in the country if their vacation dates fall outside of the peak tourism period.

    Entry requirements: A US passport that is valid for at least 3 months after your planned date of departure.
    Location: Croatia is located in Southeast Europe, bordering Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, and Montenegro to the southeast. It has a long coastline along the Adriatic Sea across from Italy.
    Currency: The Croatian Kuna (HRK).
    Flight time to Destination: Flight time from New York to Croatia (Zagreb) typically ranges from approximately 10 to 12 hours, often including a connecting flight in Europe.
    Getting around: Croatia offers various transportation options including buses, which are efficient and cover most major towns; ferries for exploring the islands; and car rentals, which offer flexibility for visiting remote areas. Major cities like Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik are also walkable and have local taxi services.

    Pro tip: Browse honeymoon planning experts near you on The Knot Marketplace for Croatia honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Croatia Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    Croatia offers a range of honeymoon accommodations, from luxury hotels in major cities like Dubrovnik and Split to private villas and boutique hotels on quieter islands like Hvar and Korčula. Here are our top picks.

    Baska Voda and Biokovo mountain range in Dalmatia, Croatia
    Photo: Jorg Greuel | Getty

    Palace Elisabeth

    Situated in the heart of Hvar, this luxurious landmark and its magnificent Venetian and Austrian architecture make it the island's first five-star heritage hotel. Rooted in history dating back to the 13th century, Palace Elisabeth features all the modern amenities you could ever ask for, including stunning design details, an indoor pool, expansive terraces and a spa—all with unparalleled views of the harbor.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Villa Orsula

    Overlooking the forested island of Lokrum, Villa Orsula is just a five-minute stroll from the white-stoned UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik Old Town. Once the home of a local noble family, the retreat is now part of the Adriatic Luxury Hotels portfolio and has evolved into an ultra-stylish combination of historic architecture and trendsetting interiors that are complemented by five-star concierge service. Spend your days sunning on the private beach, reading a book in the oasis of wild orange trees, or bellied up at the bar for a craft cocktail served with live jazz.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    San Canzian Hotel & Residences

    San Canzian has been renovated with special care for Croatian tradition, offering an unmatched experience on the Istrian countryside that features locally influenced design and highly personalized service. A private dinner for two in the olive groves is the perfect honeymoon experience for couples seeking a secluded hideaway with authentic, village-inspired appeal.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: For even more Croatia honeymoon accommodations, take a look at Airbnb or VRBO properties. Sometimes, these stays can provide lower prices, more privacy or unique experiences.

    Croatia Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    A Croatian honeymoon is filled with romantic activities for couples, from sailing the crystal-clear waters of the Adriatic to wine tasting in Istria. Read on for more recommendations.

    Town of Hum colorful old stone street, Istria, Croatia
    Photo: Xbrchx | Shutterstock

    Eat in Istria

    Though the southern coast of Croatia gets most of the attention in the summertime, the northernmost peninsula of Istria is an incredible off-the-beaten-path destination that will have year-round appeal, especially to gourmands. One of the most highly regarded gastronomic regions of the Mediterranean, Istria is famous for its vineyards and olive groves, as well as truffles and a chic bar and restaurant scene.

    Explore Split

    Wander through Split's enchanting Roman Old Town to Riva—the palm-lined promenade facing the sea—and enjoy a long coffee break like the locals. Soak up the daily life of Croatia's second-largest city, and take in the perfectly balanced blend of tradition and modernity in this buzzing municipality set on a stage of historic monuments and ancient ruins. You can find honeymoon-worthy tours to Krka, which nature-loving couples will absolutely love.

    Attend Festivals

    The annual Lavender Festival takes place in Hvar, and a must-have moment includes visiting the fragrant fields during their July bloom for the perfect honeymoon photo shoot backdrop. The Hvar Summer Festival (continuously held since 1961) and the Split Summer Festival will bring you days filled with live dancing, drama and music from local performers.

    Explore by Boat and Bicycle

    Sail the Dalmatian Coast aboard a private charter and cycle into historic cities with VBT Bicycling Vacations. Take a lap around the medieval fortress, amble through the tiny villages on the island of Vis, visit one of the last remaining stonecutters' schools on the island of Brac, or spend an afternoon amidst the natural beauty of Mljet National Park. Don't be shy to do a little island hopping while you're in the country, too.

    Visit Hvar

    Widely recognized as one of the best islands in Europe, Hvar is also said to be the sunniest in the Adriatic archipelago. Offering dazzling waterfront views, Hvar Town's main harbor is just steps from the speed catamaran connections to Split and Dubrovnik. It's also close to jumping-off points for yachting adventures, wine tasting tours and more.

    Book a Croatian Cruise

    If you're keen on seeing it all but want to deal with as few logistics as possible, book your flights and embark on a 10-day tour through National Geographic Expeditions. You'll discover the country's diverse cultural history in the Croatian capital of Zagreb and explore sites such as the Old City of Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Diocletian's Palace and Montenegro's Gulf of Kotor.

    Go to Dubrovnik

    Largely considered the "pearl of the Adriatic" since being dubbed such by the famous English poet Lord Byron, Dubrovnik is the country's most prominent tourist landing spot. Get lost in the winding alleyways of the limestone streets or hop on a cable car up to Mount Srd for a bird's eye view of Old Town.

    Pro tip: Consider including Croatia honeymoon experiences in your wedding gift registry so your friends and family can take part in making your Croatian adventure special.

    What to Pack for a Croatia Honeymoon

    High angle view of buildings in Dubrovnik, Croatia
    Photo: Erika Ford | Getty

    A trip to Croatia is likely to involve beaches, boating or both—bring a couple of swimsuits in your honeymoon luggage, along with resort-chic styles or sundresses that can double as swim coverups.

    Casual lightweight clothing is ideal for daytime activities, along with hats, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. Comfortable, sturdy footwear is recommended for sightseeing or climbing the city walls. Water shoes are a must for some of the rockier beaches.

    Your packing checklist should also include a daypack and beach bag, which will offer convenience for both city excursions and days on the water.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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