Bye, bye Balearics, hello Balkans: UK 18-39’s flock to ‘Game of Thrones’ hotspot

Young British travel fans ‘got game’ and now seek to holiday in locations seen on screen. During the busiest holiday booking period in 2015, youth travel experts Topdeck Travel recorded an increase of 101% in trips to Croatia since last year, as adventurers flock to experience ‘Westeros’ in the country that sets the stage for the famous box set.

In June #Teamcoco will be hitting up Croatia to see what all the fuss is about but in the meantime we have teamed up with Topdeck to reveal the top 10 things that give Croatia kudos for the 2015 summer season – from fun festivals to thrilling sailing trips and some unforgettable Game of Thrones scenery.

1. New Music Mecca

Croatia offers dozens of little known festivals for the ultimate sun-drenched music experience, including the likes of Hideout, Ultra and Outlook Festival scattered along the stunning coastline.  Touted as the ‘new Ibiza’, DJs such as David Guetta, Rudimental and Duke Dumont are headlining the new wave of festivals, encouraging music mavens to swap the Mediterranean for the Adriatic Sea.

2. Set Sail

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Croatia’s Adriatic coast provides the ultimate seaside holiday, its calm, warm seas being perfect for virgin sailors. No longer reserved for the rich and famous, budding captains can charter yachts to explore the islands that pepper the scenic coastline and cruise the ocean at their leisure.

3. Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones

The medieval scenery of the show that’s captured the imagination of young Britain fuels a generation of fans hungry to visit Croatia. From Dubrovnik’s Old City to the historic architecture in Split, Croatia is the perfect backdrop for a vacation inspired by the fantasy series.

4. Rub shoulders with celebs

Croatia has become a celebrity hotspot too, with the likes of Beyoncé, Prince Harry and Brangelina opting for the offbeat European destination in recent years. With a laidback culture, historical towns and incredible food, Croatia offers the ideal escape for the understated traveller.

5. Wine 

Croatia offers wine-tasting trips to rival both France and Italy. Thanks to the perfect vine-growing climate in the Danube region, Croatian vineyards are able to produce great tasting wine that is wildly underrated. With dozens of wine clubs to join, visitors have the opportunity to sample all that the region has to offer.

6. Sunshine 

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Boasting a Mediterranean climate with warm spring and hot summer seasons and an average of 2,600 of sunshine hours, Croatia is one of the sunniest countries in the Balkan Islands. Sun seekers won’t be able to get enough of the summer climate.

7. Natural OMGs

A place of diverse natural beauty, the Balkan Peninsula offers both a stunning coastline, and diverse waterfalls, flora and fauna inland. Young explorers looking to break the spectacular beach routine can check out thermal spas at the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Croatia is also known for being naturist –friendly, so travellers are free to go‘au naturel’ too.

8. Value

Compared to its Mediterranean neighbours, Croatia offers young Brits more for their money. Spending the Kuna, travellers can enjoy dinners averaging two-thirds the cost of the UK at €10 for a main dish and a beer for €2-3.

9. Clear Blue Water

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The Balkan Peninsula is surrounded by an abundance of clear blue water, with thousands of islands and islets to jump off from. Croatia is less known for its sandy beaches and more for its dive-right-in shoreline.

10. Football

Croatia rivals UK in its passion for football. Sports fans can enjoy a friendly match-watching atmospheres across the country, whether at the game or on the big screen.

11. Historical Treasures

A rich Balkan history adds to the intrigue. Home to the world’s greatest traveller, Marco Polo, as well as ancient ruins and historical sites, Croatia will fuel even the most cynical traveller with a sense of discovery and adventure.

12. Culture for Vultures

Croatia boasts the highest number of UNESCO ‘intangible cultural masterpieces’ in Europe. Nurturing its cultural heritage, traditions like the Saint Blaise festivities, knights’ tournaments, gingerbread craft and traditional lace-making are alive and well, all in which visitors are welcome to get involved.

13. Make a Mountain of it

The Balkans Mountains span over 560 kilometres through Bulgaria to Serbia, meaning breath-taking views, rare wildlife, and thrilling adventure as far and the eye can see. Mount Srdj is also a hotspot, offering visitors the chance to venture around on dune buggies as a fun alternative to hiking.

Topdeck offers a wide range of Balkan packages, from sailing adventures to city hopping trips, all starting from £450. Travel fans can check out topdeck.travel for more information.

@TopdeckTravel

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