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The great escape


Laurens Verhoeven/Getty Images

Croatia is the ultimate holiday destination this summer, says the Telegraph, with something for everyone – pine-scented islands, the glistening Adriatic Sea, Michelin-starred restaurants, adventure sports and culture-rich historic ports.

Places of note There are Roman and Byzantine monuments in Porec and Pula, on the Istrian peninsula, or in Zadar and Split, on the Dalmatian coast. Don’t miss medieval Dubrovnik, which has fortifications protecting the beautiful stone-paved old town. For a special stay, book Lopud 1483, a former Franciscan monastery owned and renovated by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza. It’s decorated with Renaissance and contemporary works from her family’s world-class art collection. Foodies should head to Istria for wine and olive-oil tours or truffle-hunting. There’s also a plethora of amazing islands – check out historic Vis, cultural Krk, trendy Hvar, sleepy Dugi Otok, sporty Brac or pinch-me pretty Rab.

Weather Croatia has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild winters: Istria is usually a few degrees cooler than Dalmatia. Spring and autumn are perfect for hiking or cycling holidays, and you can swim in the Adriatic from June until October. Sailors should go in September for warm, gentle breezes and a calm sea.

Famous faces Beyoncé, Rod Stewart, Owen Wilson and Rami Malek holidayed in Croatia last summer. Scenes from Game of Thrones were shot in Dubrovnik and Split, while Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was filmed on Vis.

To eat Reserve a private pontoon with a four-poster at Beach Club Hvar and order drinks and platters from the slick bar-restaurant. Azur is the place to bag a table in Dubrovnik. Croatia has seven Michelin-starred restaurants, two of which are on the islands: Boskinac, on Pag, and LD Restaurant, on Korcula. Both focus on local produce.

1 To stay

The sustainably built Maslina Resort, on Hvar, blends in with its pine-tree studded environment on a bay with a sandy beach. The restaurant and beach bar source ingredients locally, there’s a spa and every room has a view of the Adriatic – upgrade to a suite to get a plunge pool. From £262 a night.

2 To rent

The family-run Pine Tree Boutique Apartments are on Mljet, above one of the best restaurants on the island. The 12 flats sleep two or four people; all have terraces and sea views, and there’s an infinity pool facing the sandy bay. From £111 a night.

3 To Airbnb

Here’s the perfect base for exploring Dubrovnik – this apartment sleeping six is a few minutes’ walk from the old town and famous Banje beach. The views of the town and the sea from the terrace are especially beautiful at sunset. From £672 for three nights.

4 To buy

This modern five-bedroom villa is on a hill on the island of Brac, a stone’s throw from the sea. It has a private garden, a terrace, a wellness area, a separate studio flat and a heated pool with a waterfall, a hydro massage zone and glorious views of the mainland. £3.288m.