By Jonathan Hermann

Meet the Luxurious Side of Croatia

Croatia is well known for many reasons. Dubrovnik, “The Pearl of the Adriatic,” is celebrated for its ancient walls, medieval red roofs and Game of Thrones film location sights. Split, built around a 1,700-year-old palace, has a historic charm that is palpable. The cerulean lakes and flowing waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park create a fairytale landscape that is truly enchanting. And with nearly 1,200 islands surrounded by the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, its coastal scene is second to none.

It’s clear this Mediterranean country is culturally and naturally gifted. Yet one aspect that does not get recognized enough is its luxurious side. Modern villas, glamorous yachts, Michelin-starred restaurants — Croatia has it all. Here are four unique experiences that truly showcase the country’s luxurious side.

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GO ISLAND HOPPING ON A LUXURY YACHT

Island hopping along the Croatian coast will seduce you. Crystalline clear waters, gentle summer breezes and secluded bays guarantee that you’ll fall in love with this region of the world, especially when your mode of transportation just happens to be a luxury yacht. Relax in utmost comfort, sipping Champagne in your deck chairs, as the crew takes you to the white-pebble beaches of Brac, the mesmerizing vineyards and olive groves of Kor?ula, the inspiring architecture of Hvar and more.

RELAX ON YOUR PRIVATE PARADISE

While “island hopping” can be quite enjoyable, some say that “island staying” is even better. This experience can be improved greatly when you add two much-appreciated factors: The island is private, open only to you and your family; and the accommodations just happen to be a restored lighthouse turned into a luxury villa. That is precisely what awaits you on the small island of Vela Sestrica, where Lighthouse Villa Korkyra provides you with an outdoor pool, private beach area and the complete satisfaction of knowing that no one else is around.

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MEET THE FATHER OF ZINFANDELS

Much to the chagrin of Californian and Italian vintners, recent genetic testing has determined that the Zinfandel grape originated in Croatia. This is no surprise to Croatians, who have long known that their wine scene can go toe-to-toe with any country’s in the world. A well-paced wine tour across the country — which is roughly the same size as West Virginia — will take you to ancient wineries to meet “the father of Zinfandel,” a grape called crljenak kastelanski, which is a lot easier to drink than to pronounce.

GO TRUFFLE HUNTING

Italians like to think they have the truffle-hunting market cornered, but not so fast. In 1999, the largest white truffle ever found was unearthed in Istria, Croatia, a land ripe with the edible fungi. On a truffle-hunting tour of the region, you and your guide dog may stumble upon one of your own. No worries if you don’t — nearby Michelin-starred Restaurant Zigante, named after the man who discovered the largest truffle with his loyal dog Diana, has a replica of the record-holding truffle, as well as decadent dishes that prominently feature white truffles in all their glory.

VIA TOURS CROATIA

Our agency knows destination partners that excel at bringing out the best the country has to offer. Specializing in tailor-made luxury travel throughout Croatia, they handpick each local partner, property and yacht, making sure it meets their exacting standards. Whatever you wish to do, see or taste, they can create a truly lavish experience — whether it’s an afternoon digging for truffles or a week on your own private island — that will exceed all expectations.