Stretching almost the entire length of the eastern Adriatic, Croatia has made a name for itself as a more exclusive destination on the Mediterranean with few resorts and almost no high rise hotels. The absolute jewel in the nations crown is Dubrovnik, an ancient walled city of steep terrace housing, medieval monasteries, baroque churches and graceful squares. Cruise ships and Game of Thrones has pulled in the crowds but it’s still a must for any visitor.
For those keen to avoid the crowds head for one of the northern islands of which Losinj is a highlight, more tricky to get to but worth the journey, staying in a converted Austrian villa right on the shore, surrounded by lush pine forest. Other highlights include the turquoise ribbon of lakes connected by waterfalls in the Plitvice National Park, the glamorous island of Hvar where the rich and famous of the Balkans summer and the pretty capital – Zagreb, which comes alive at Christmas with what has been voted the best Christmas Market in Europe.