Croatia is our new favourite place - we're thrilled to have finally discovered it.
Istria, on the mainland, has plenty to offer; from mountain biking to truffle-hunting, wine tasting to water sports, you have the benefit of being surrounded by beautiful Tuscan-esque landscapes but near the coast.
Enjoy the local olive oil, great wines and fresh truffles or sample the catch of the day straight from the boats at one of the area's fabulous harbour-side fish restaurants in Porec.
Croatia is home to over 1000 islands along its fragmented coast, and one of the best (in our humble opinion) is the gorgeous island of Vis. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in Greece - so much so that it was actually the chosen location for filming Mamma Mia 2 (2018). The sea is literally on your doorstep, and there is so much to see and do and explore - the perfect balance between the hustle and bustle of town life, and the quiet and tranquil retreat of an island get away.. but just close enough to Hvar for those high-spirited night owls who are looking for a taste of the glittering night life Hvar has to offer.
Brac, a slightly larger island also neighbouring Hvar, is another of our must-see destinations in Croatia. Its the largest island in central Dalmatia, and boasts an impressive landscape - think cerulean blue waters, dramatic cliffs and rolling pine forests. Famed for its stunning white stone used to build palaces in Split on the mainland, stroll through the town of Bol to the renowned beach of Zlatni Rat - one of the best in the country and so striking in appearance.
On the mainland, and obviously best when in season, think truffles, truffles and more truffles. The forests around Motovun are saturated with them, and there are plenty of restaurants serving an array of delights incorporating them.
Istrian prosciutto is very good, especially when paired with the famous Istrian asparagus (an ingredient so vital to Istria's culinary identity that there is even a local festival dedicated to the vegetable!).
The olive groves in Croatia both on the mainland and on Brac produce some of the finest oil, a perfect accompaniment to the fresh, local ingredients you can pick up from any number of the village's daily markets.
On Brac and Vis especially, make the most of your extreme proximity to the water but sampling some of the freshest sea food straight off the boats that very morning.
There are so many incredible restaurants to sample (don't worry - we'll give you all our recommendations!)
The landscape is so varied and breathtaking, enjoy it at a pace of your choosing, with wonderful walks, tours, water sports and boat trips.
Potter around any of the daily produce markets and marvel at the delights on offer - with lovely fresh fruit and vegetables, providing the perfect refuel after a day spent exploring any one of the country's 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, unrivalled museums or cultural festivals.
On the islands, enjoy a leisurely stroll into town for your morning coffee, people watching along the way. With the water quite literally on your doorstep, head for a swim whenever the need takes you, or perhaps head out for the day on a boat to explore the hidden areas the islands have to offer - think blue caves, secluded beaches and hidden (amazing!) restaurants only accessible by a little rowing boat, and where they bill you by writing the amount on a fig leaf!
The nightlife in Istria can be described as laid-back and relaxed - the local restaurants are good and there are a few bars open late.
If you had something more upbeat in mind, head to the coast for a more lively scene, with nightclubs and bars open later.
Island night life is whatever you choose to make it. There is a lively bar/club in Vis Town perfect for gentle nightlife for teenagers, and within easy walking distance from most of our villas. Perched high on the hill top and boasting incredible views, Fort George, a fort built by the British in the 1800s, has been beautifully restored to become a members club and restaurant, hosting brilliant parties throughout the summer months.
In Brac there is something for everyone - from mellow hangouts to buzzy, upbeat bars and night clubs, you'll all be able to enjoy the night exactly as you please here.
Istria is rich in both culture and history with museums and galleries to explore. There are several historical sites well worth a visit – including a Roman amphitheatre in Pula, and the breathtaking Euphrasian Basilica in Porec.
Swim or kayak in the scenic Mirna River, enjoy countless walks soaking in the scenery and enjoy many a glorious supper in any number of the area's restaurants.
On Vis, make the most of being right on the water and swim right off the many scattered jetty's along the water's edge. Don't miss the chance to hire a boat (and skipper!) so you can fully relax and take in the island from the sea - the water is so stunningly clear, you can swim to secluded beaches and feel as though you've discovered the island yourself for the first time..
Brac has a surprisingly good surf scene - spend your days on the beach and out at sea, and your evenings sampling some wonderful local cuisine.
Swimming in clear, blue water, incredible landscapes, visiting vineyards, truffle hunting, walking, cycling and enjoying the beauty of your surroundings, as well as the charm and hospitality of the local people.
To the mainland, the likes of Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Cliff Richard, Nicole Scherzinger and Tom Cruise to name but a few!
To Vis, why, just the entire cast and crew of Mamma Mia 2!
And to Brac, hardly anyone at all.. its our little secret window in to authentic island life