As the chill of winter and dark days set in, the thought of the warm glow of the sun on an Adriatic beach fast becomes a distant summer memory. The good news is that summer is just around the corner, and if there is one thing for certain, it is that Croatia will deliver plenty of sunshine for your next holiday.
Living in gloomy Glasgow* with an average of just 1,203 hours of sunshine a year? Why not more than double your fun in the sun by visiting four coastal city gems made of stone, located on the Dalmatian coast? Split, Trogir, Zadar and Šibenik have more than 2,400 hours of sunshine each, as well as four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, fabulous sailing and adventure tourism, millennia of history and the finest Mediterranean cuisine.
Feeling cold in rainy Reykjavik*, with 1,268 hours of annual sunshine? Why not more than double your fun in the sun by visiting some of the sunniest islands in all of Europe – Hvar, the birthplace of organised tourism which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018; the magical Lastovo, where lobsters and the Lastovo Nature Park are additional attractions; the gorgeous Rab, where Croatian naturism was born when an abdicating British monarch took a dip in his birthday suit in 1936; or the island of vitality itself, Lošinj, where among the welcoming local residents you can find the imperial Hellenic Apoxyomenos, recently discovered in the Adriatic?
Shivering in Manchester*, with just 1,416 hours of sunshine a year? Why not double your fun in the sun with a flight to the Pearl of the Adriatic? Dubrovnik to some, King’s Landing to others, and the first republic in the world to recognise the United States of America and abolish slavery, Dubrovnik offers a wealth of history and tradition, along with that guaranteed sun tan.
The sunshine is, of course, not confined to the magnificent Croatian coastline. There are plenty of hot spots which have well over 2,000 hours of the sun’s warm rays shining every year. Among them is Knin, home to the second largest fortress in Europe; Gospić, gateway to the museum and home of one Nikola Tesla in Smiljan; and Osijek, the heart of Slavonia and entry point for the Kopački Rit Nature Park.
And let us not forget the Istrian peninsula, where the abundant sunshine is the perfect accompaniment to the gourmet capital of Croatia, with its famous truffles, olive oil and indigenous wines.
The Adriatic Sea is one of Croatia’s biggest draws, and thoughts of sailing away into the perfect sunset keep many going through those cold winter months. With over a thousand sun-kissed islands on offer, it is hard to make a definite choice, but for those looking for a challenge that will be rewarded with plenty of sunshine, the remote island of Palagruža offers spectacular views and limitless blue skies to hardy souls who sail that far.
Croatia, full of life. Croatia, plenty of sun for even more fun.
*Source: Statista, Europe’s Gloomiest Cities