Why Croatia Is the Dirt Cheap Fall European Destination of Your Dreams
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With fall in full swing, sophisticated and discerning travelers looking for a bucket list destination while summer crowds thin will find a deal in Croatia. With increased popularity in the country centered around the Dalmatian Coast, the autumn is one of the most favorable times to visit without compromising any coastal European charm.

That’s because flight prices to Croatia from the U.S. during summertime are on average 37% more expensive compared to fall. “Soaring temperatures mixed with a bustling nightlife make July and August the perfect time to visit Croatia. But, with peak season comes larger crowds and higher price tags. Consider visiting in shoulder season (September and October) when weather is still reliable, crowds are scarcer and prices are, on average, significantly cheaper*,” says David Solomito, a travel expert and Vice President, North America Marketing at KAYAK.

Travelers who simultaneously book their flight, hotel and/or rental car as part of a travel package may see even greater savings. Booking with an online travel agency like Expedia.com can result in savings approaching $600 and often exceed that amount depending on the route. Package bookings remain the single easiest way for travelers to save hundreds on travel, both domestically and internationally, says an Expedia rep.

With the strength of the U.S. dollar against the Kuna—Croatia’s current currency which they are hopeful will switch over to the Euro soon—visitors on the ground will find quality food at budget prices, plus reasonable taxi and Uber fares and boat transfers. During the months of September and October, the entrance fee for adults entering all the different sections of Krka National Park to see its seven stunning waterfalls and pristine beauty is $110kn (about $18 USD), almost a 40% savings over peak summer months and even better savings come in November. Along with other wallet-friendly entrance fees to museums and parks, the fall proves to be an excellent time to visit Croatia for those on a budget.

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Most travelers will pass through Dubrovnik, a city filled with ancient red clay roofed buildings and steep alleyways filled with terra cotta potted plants, where you’ll find respite at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, a Mediterranean-style building located just outside the Old Town’s city walls that dates back to 1897. Just around the corner is Villa Pedrini, a luxe villa available for booking on Airbnb, that has been in the same family for 120 years and features preserved antique furnishings and artifacts from Roman and Greek shipwrecks, along with a pleasant outdoor garden and pergola that overlook the fortress and city walls.

Surrounded by crystal blue waters, one particular spot of interest in Dubrovnik is next to the Porporela lighthouse where stairs lead to rocky beaches off a pier and swimming opportunities wind around the fortressed city’s walls for summer and early fall visitors alike. The nearby terrace at Gradska Kavana Arsenal, a restaurant with excellent Croatian and Mediterannean fare, opens up to the port of the old city on one side and overlooks the lively street in front of St. John’s fortress on the other.

Visitors also often transfer to the Dalmatia’a islands and coastal towns like Hvar and Split by ferry or catamaran, and as of recently, UberBoat, the newly launched Uber service that allows visitors to destination hop on private charter boats — or make a leisurely day at sea exploring hard-to-access treasures like The Blue Cave (Modra Špilja), located on Bisevo Island near Vis.

And if you’re looking to tack on additional Euro legs, the savings extend to many other European countries in the fall: flights to France are at a near 20% savings; Greece, Netherlands and Spain at roughly 15% saving; and Italy and Portugal at nearly 10% savings, according to Expedia.