Here's your essential guide to getting the best out of a holiday in Croatia.

Location nickname: The Country of a 1000 Islands

Don't miss: Dubrovnik

Best avoid: Concrete beaches

Don't miss: Cevapcici- spicy skinless sausages

Best avoid: Crni Rizot - squid ink risotto

Diocletian's Palace:  Retiring to house by the sea is a common dream, even if you're the demigod CEO of an ancient empire.  Described as the world's most complete and best preserved Roman palace, Diocletian's 'Dunconquering' is at the heart of Split's Old Town, homes and shops occupying the palace basement and built into its fortified walls.

Dubrovnik: Croatia's foremost Adriatic resort has a reputation for being too busy and too expensive.  Shiploads of cruise travellers regularly flood the 15th century Stradun, thronging at the foot of Orlando's Column and gawping at the façade of St Blaise's.  However, Dubrovnik's main flaw is perhaps just that it's too beautiful.

Hiking in Dinaric Alps: Spanning six countries, the Dinaric limestone karst landscapes offer wilderness that's increasingly hard to find in Europe. Croatia's highest peak, the 1,830m Mount Dinara, gives the range as a whole its name. Take a guided trek to the summit or stick to well-marked trails - the 1991-95 war means some areas are still infected by landmines.

Mljet:  Croatia's islands have been visited by sailors since ancient times, today they remain a playground for yachtsmen.  Mljet's unspoiled forested hills, ancient Greek tombs and palaces, monasteries, olive groves and vineyards exemplify an uncommercialised Adriatic island idyll that's irresistible to free-spirited travellers.

Museum of Broken Relationships:  After Yugoslavia's bitter break up it's perhaps not surprising that failure to coexist is an aspect of humanity recorded by Zagreb's unique museum.  However, in this case the melancholic collections of items leftover after couples split record a failure of personal politics, and not something to interest The Hague's international courts.

Plitvice Lakes: At almost 75,000 acres Croatia's largest national park is named for its 16 forest lakes, interconnected by stunning rivers and waterfalls.  Hiking and camping are the best ways for visitors to explore the primeval woodland.  However, permanent residents, including brown bears and wolves demand respect.

Pula Arena:  The Roman world's ancient cities have yielded up 200 amphitheatres, yet few have endured in such an excellent state of preservation.  Completed in 81AD, crowds of up to 23,000 were wowed by the usual Roman high jinks of gladiatorial combat, man verses beast and judicial execution.

Rovinj:  Centred on what was once an island, the Venetian bell tower of Saint Euphemia overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Croatia's most Italian town.  Fishing is a key industry but the town's wandering cobbled streets are devoted to cafes, restaurants and arty shops selling paintings, jewellery and curios to increasing shoals of tourists.

Trogir:  A short distance west from Split, the island centre of Trogir has been described as Dalmatia's most attractive town.  Founded as part of a Greek colony in 3BC the narrow, pedestrianised Mediaeval streets are a pleasure to stroll, opening out into piazzas bounded by Gothic and Renaissance palaces, and the famous 13th century cathedral of St Lovro.

Zagreb:  On the Sava river, Croatia's capital is also the country's cultural heart.  Grab a coffee in the central square of Trg Bana Jelacica and you'll find most of the sights within walking distance, including the spires of Zagrebacka katedrala, the city's lively market, and the colourful tiled roof of the 13th century Crkva Svetog Marka church.

This article has been produced in association with