Which country is cheaper, Croatia or Spain?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Spain or Croatia? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which country has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
We'll start with a quick overview, and below we will go into all of the details.
|Museums & Attractions|
|Scuba Diving & Snorkeling|
Spain remains one of Europe's most popular travel destinations and Croatia continues to grow in popularity. Both countries have a lot to offer visitors. There are beautiful coastlines, fascinating histories, and delicious food. Both Spain and Croatia are slightly more affordable than most European countries, but in general you're likely spend less on a trip to Croatia. Everything from accommodation to food and transportation are usually more affordable in Croatia than they are in Spain.
Each country has it's own personality. Spain is a very diverse country. You can see the Arabic influence throughout. Croatia has fascinating old towns, particularly in cities like Dubrovnik, which is one of the country's top tourist destinations.
Spain is a diverse, historic, and proud country. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the national parks, history and culture, nightlife, and food.
From the popular coastlines to the rugged interior, Spain is full of history, natural beauty, vibrant people, amazing cities, unique cuisines, and gorgeous views. While Madrid is the capital, it's by no means the main attraction of a country full of beaches, ancient castles, and cultural diversity. Barcelona is the hub of the Catalan region with its own unique culture, and the southern areas have a deep historic relationship with Moorish culture, too. Visitors will also find epic hikes, world-class food, vineyards and wineries, epic nightlife, famous art, natural wildlife, multiple coastlines, cultural dances and music, friendly smiles, and affordable prices.
Croatia is a costal, gorgeous, and mountainous country. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include national parks, history and culture, nightlife, and food.
This coastal and island nation has become very popular with visitors because it offers such a wide array of attractions. The gorgeous beaches with clear, blue waters are just the start, as Croatia also offers historic cities and towns surrounded by walls with old cathedrals and amazing seafood restaurants. Ancient Roman ruins are mixed in with medieval fortresses, along with outdoor activities such as hiking trails, lakes, boating, snorkeling, and more. The weather is usually warm, and the people are also very friendly. If you visit yourself, you'll see why Croatia has become so popular in recent decades.
Below we will examine the differences and similarities between Spain and Croatia. With this information, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
For an educational experience, head to a museum or a notable sight in either Spain or Croatia.
Spain offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, and others all have world-class museums that cover a variety of topics from history to art to science. Many of them are also family-friendly. In Barcelona, don't miss the Picasso museum dedicated to the famous artist. Casa Batllo is one of Gaudi's famous buildings and worth a tour along with Casa Vicens, too. MNAC is a great place to learn about the local Catalan art and history. And the Joan Miro museum is dedicated to the work and life of this famous artist. In Madrid, you can find plenty of historical places such as the Royal Palace and the National Archaeology Museum. If it's art you seek, make sure to visit the Prado, the Queen Sofia Arts Center, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, all of which have world-class art from Spain and Europe. In Valencia, kids will love the Oceanografic aquarium and the Bioparc zoo. In Seville, the Real Alcazar has fascinating architecture. and the Flemenco museum showcases Spain's most famous dance. This is just a small sample, as you'll find even more museums in Bilbao, Malaga, Granada, and other cities around the country, too.
Barcelona: Architecture and history all contribute to the city's impressive sights and museums. Famous landmarks include the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, and the Palace of Catalan Music.
Cadiz: As the oldest city in Europe, there are countless historic sights and monuments to see. Some of the most interesting historic sights include Catedral Nueva, the Arcos de los Blancos, Torre Tavira, and Museo de Cádiz.
Croatia is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. A variety of museums can be explored in the major cities, such as in Zagreb where you'll find the Archeology Museum, the Zoo, and several large art museums. The technical museum is quite interesting itself, as is the museum of Torture. In Zadar, you'll find a glass museum focused on ancient glass works. Also, check out the Museum of Illusions while in town, too. In Dubrovnik, you can visit the Museum of the Croatian War of Independence, which is dedicated to the war in the 1990's. It sits at the top of Mount Srd and reached by cable car. The views from the top are worth the trip itself. Several other historic museums are found around Dubrovnik, focusing on the old fortifications of the city and its walls. And throughout the countryside, many of the historic castles and estates have been turned into museums. Trakošćan Castle is just one of many beautiful sites to visit for a glimpse into Croatian history.
Both Spain and Croatia offer similar levels of history and culture when visiting.
Spain has many famous historic and cultural sights and attractions worth visiting, and is one of the main reasons why poeple come here. The blending of cultures in this region of Europe along with the accessibility of historic sights and cultural traditions make this country an obvious place to visit for history lovers. A long period of Spain's history was influenced by the Moors from the south, and you can see it in the architecture, art, cuisine, and music. Furthermore, the Catalan region in the east has it's own cultural differences. The Roman empire also left its mark, as did visitors from the rest of Europe and northern Africa. Some of the best historic places to see in Spain include the Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, the huge cathedrals of Seville, Barcelona, and Madrid, El Escorial palace outside of Madrid, Montserrat Monastery near Barcelona, amongst others. Some of the best historical sites are actually the smaller castles and fortresses that are left from the long conflict between the Spanish and Moors that dot the countryside in the southern regions. Furthermore, Spain has made unique contributions of music, theater, and culture to the world stage. Flamenco dancing and Paso Double are just two of the musical art forms that are worth seeing on a smaller, intimate stage during a visit. And don't miss the world-class cuisine, too.
Croatia is a terrific destination to visit for history, arts, and culture, as it has many sights worth visiting. The history of this country is on display everywhere, as many of the cities and towns have historical architecture dating back to medieval times. The old town of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site itself, as the beautiful walled city sits on the coast like a castle, protecting the old buildings, cathedrals, and harbor inside. Plenty of other historic sites are on display from Roman ruins to cultural Renaissance-era artwork and churches. The restored Pula Arena is a Roman amphitheater from the 1st century, and you can admire it during a concert, too. The Walls of Ston date back to the 14th century and are referred to as the Great Wall of Croatia because of their extensive length and beauty. The Roman Forum in Zadar has ruins and architecture that date back to the 1st century also, among other buildings from various historic periods. The Diocletian's Palace in Split, from the 4th century, provides a historical maze of old streets lined with temples, shops, and more. In general, the close proximity of Croatia to ancient Greece, ancient Rome, as well as plenty of medieval history means that visitors who are interested in history will have plenty to see and do during their visit. Trogir, Korcula, Zadar, Hvar, and many other towns showcase even more of the beautiful history and culture of Croatia, too.
Spain is considered to have more larger cities than Croatia.
Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions in the big cities of Spain that attract lots of visitors. Madrid and Barcelona are the two largest cities and most popular places to visit. Both have world-class museums, historical attractions, cathedrals, parks, shopping, restaurants and cafes, markets, and unique culture. Some of the other cities in Spain should not be overlooked either, as they also offer plenty of big city activities, museums, and culture. Valencia, Seville, Alicante, and Cadiz are also large and full of terrific activities.
Croatia also has some big cities with many activities. While the largest cities are full of beautiful historical architecture and terrific cultural experiences, they are also not so large. Near the cities on the coast, you'll find beaches, historic ruins, easy access to rural areas, and gorgeous clear waters. Also, the cities in the interior are close to national parks, hiking trails, wineries, and more historic sites. These cities all lack large skyscrapers and the busy hustle of larger European cities, though, as the overall population of the country is around 4 million people.
You'll find a similar number of small towns and villages to explore in both Spain and Croatia.
Because Spain offers so many small towns with a variety of charming activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. A few of the most popular small towns to visit include Ronda with its dramatic cliffs, Besalu and it's bridge and castle-like gate, Cudillero on the northern coast, and Morella with its castle. All around Spain visitors can find small towns that once contained fortified cities, fishing villages, monasteries, and more. Bunol, near Valencia, is the location of the famous annual tomato fight. And Pamplona is home to the running of the bulls every year. Benasque in the Pyrenees sits in a valley and offers plenty of outdoor activities. And don't miss the famous hanging houses of Cuenca. Frigiliana is full of white-washed Andalucian houses, along with other nearby towns worth visiting. Every region of Spain offers something unique and special, so make sure you add some of these places to your itinerary.
Since Croatia offers plenty of small towns and villages with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. The coastline and many islands are dotted with beautiful small towns, many of which have historical architecture, nearby Roman ruins, and waterfront and beaches with clear, blue water that's perfect for swimming or snorkeling. These small towns also have cafes, restaurants, guest houses, shops, and historic churches, too. Some of the most scenic small towns in Croatia include Skradin, Purisca, Primosten, Rovinj, Trogir, and Hvar. Other medium-sized towns also dot the coastline and have a small-town feel. Dubrovnik, for example, has a beautiful, historic walled city center with a small town feel, even though the city itself spreads much further along the coast and into the hills above. No matter where you visit, you'll love exploring these amazing small towns, as they are one of the highlights of a trip to Croatia.
There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Spain and Croatia.
Dining out in Spain is an experience not to be missed. Tapas are perhaps the most famous Spanish culinary export. These small sharable dishes started as something to snack on while drinking, and have transformed into a style of meal all their own. Typical tapas dishes include potatoes, sausages, stewed meats, calamari, olives, cheese, and more. But tapas are not the only local foods you should try. Chirizo is a special type of smoked sausage, and jamón Iberico is a smoked ham with tons of flavor. Calamares (rings of squid) are also popular around the costal areas, and are cooked with a variety methods. Anchovies and other seafood are popular, too. Paella is also famous. The name comes from the wide pan that the rice dish is served in, usually with seafood or meat and a variety of spices for flavoring. Finally, while in Spain, taste the local olives, bread, cheese, and fruit as they are all usually fresh and delicious.
Madrid: The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.
Barcelona: With easy access to fresh produce, there are many food markets around town. You'll also find great fresh local dishes at the many restaurants. Make sure you try the paella, croquettes, and Jamon Iberico.
Valencia: The city is famous as the birthplace of paella, which is one of Spain's most famous dishes. Beyond the paella, there are a number of other amazing traditional dishes. Fideuà is similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice. All i pebre is an eel and potato dish and clóchinas are tiny local mussels. For dessert make sure you try the flan de calabaza, which is pumpkin flavored.
Almeria: The food is focused on local, fresh ingredients with many traditional recipes that have been passed down for centuries. Popular dishes change with the seasons because they rely so heavily on local produce. Particularly during the winter months you'll find hearty stews like patatas en ajopollo and gurullos con conejo, which is prepared with rabbit. Sardines are also popular year round.
The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Croatia. Seafood is the obvious choice, as most of this country lies along the Adriatic Sea. The lengthy coastline of the mainland and the many islands is dotted with historic fishing villages and towns that pull in fresh fish and other seafood delights every day. You can have quick and affordable dishes at small street side cafes, quick-service restaurants, taverns, and also street vendors. Or, you can dine in style at delicious fine-dining restaurants in the city centers. Some of the best Croatian dishes to try include cuttlefish (squid), mussels and oysters in various recipes, and larger white fish species. Local wines are also very popular, as the countryside is dotted with vineyards. The same is true for olive oil, so make sure you try the delicious local varieties. Truffles are also popular, as the countryside offers a mix of species that locals enjoy. And don't miss the famous meat dishes. Ham and ox should be tried as Peka, Istrian dried ham, or Boškarin, which is ox served in different forms such as with pasta, thin sliced, or as a steak.
Dubrovnik: Restaurants are usually locally-sourced with fresh produce and seafood. Traditional local dishes include black risotto (made with squid ink), pašticada (a beef dish), and various pasta dishes.
Both Spain and Croatia are comparable when it comes to partying.
Spain offers plenty to do in the evening. Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Valencia, and many other beach resort towns all have active nightlife scenes, each with their own personality. Barcelona is very popular with all types of bars and dance clubs for locals and travelers alike. Sidecar, Opium, and Pacha are some of the most popular places, and many more can be found in Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter. In Madrid, check out Kapital, Barbara Ann, or Ochoymedio. Along the coast, the nightlife varies from family-friendly restaurants and theaters to more active dance clubs, pubs, and bars for singles and younger couples.
Madrid: Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.
Barcelona: The city offers an amazing nightlife at a much more affordable price than many places in Europe. There are beach parties, boat parties, and bars that stay packed late into the night. The city also hosts many street fiestas and music festivals.
Valencia: Dinner starts late, so you can expect the nightlife to pick up even later. During the summer there are all night terrace parties and year round you'll find nightclubs filled from evening to dawn. If all night raves aren't really your thing, you'll also find plenty of local bars where you can hang out with friends in a more relaxed setting. The nightlife scene really is varied enough that there's something for everyone.
Malaga: The city has some of the most active nightlife in Europe. There are plenty of opportunities to party in Malaga and you'll find the most vibrant nightlife in the Centro Historico.
Palma de Mallorca: Head to Magaluf and Palma for the most popular places.
Croatia has a large number of nightlife venues. This country has become a party destination, attracting plenty of younger travelers. The nightlife and party scene here is not just focused on the typical bars and nightclubs of the major cities, but also on epic beach parties, huge music festivals, and huge dance clubs. On Pag Island, north of Zadar, you can visit during one of the popular festivals such as Electro Beach, Hideout, and Croatia Rocks which are held at Zrce beach. The nearby Noa Beach Club brings in crowds whenever there's not a festival happening, too. Hvar, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik have plenty of bars, clubs, and events that bring in crowds, too. Some of the best are Boogaloo in Zagreb, Banje Beach Club in Dubrovnik, and Carpe Diem on Stipanska island outside of Hvar. Many of these and other beach clubs can be found all over the coastline, and they swell with visitors at spring break and summer vacation travel periods. Another fun option for many visitors is to head out on a party boat. These can be booked in almost any coastal city, and they take groups around nearby islands for swimming, snorkeling, and partying on the water. If you're looking for something a little more relaxed than a huge dance party, Croatia also offers a variety of theaters, fine-dining, cultural shows, casual pubs, and other relaxing nightlife options.
Spain and Croatia offer a relatively similar set of luxury resort options.
For the ultimate resort vacation, Spain is a great choice. A holiday trip to Spain for many means a trip to one of the beach resorts along the southern coast, or in Ibiza or Majorca. Marbella, Cadiz, Valencia, Sitges, Alicante, and even Barcelona are all popular destinations with a variety of luxury hotels and resorts. Many are very family-friendly, and some are all-inclusive. Generically, the resorts offer terrific beaches and many are close to nearby towns, as well as some historical and cultural attractions. But no matter where you choose to go, the beach resorts in Spain are world-class and draw plenty of visitors every year. Also, keep in mind that Spain offers a handful of ski resorts open in the winter months, as well as some relaxing inland retreats outside of major cities and historical areas.
Almeria: Stretched along the coastline you'll find many high end resorts with pools and nice atmospheres. There are all inclusive resorts as well as family-friendly and romantic options to choose from.
Marbella: From luxury to family-friendly, this area has plenty of resorts to choose from. Popular resorts in the area include Marbella Club Hotel, Puente Romano Marbella, and Don Carlos Resort and Spa.
If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Croatia is a perfect choice. The long coastline is full of beaches, many of which have fantastic luxurious resorts. While some of the resorts are adults-only, most are family friendly with beaches, fun activities, restaurants, and fabulous swimming pools. Many of these larger resorts are found outside of the main city centers, as they have larger properties. A few of the best resort areas are found near Dubrovnik, Hvar, Brac, the islands around Zadar, and on the Dalmatian coastline region. Many are quite luxurious with price tags to match, but have a terrific set of amenities to show for it.
There's scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Spain and Croatia.
Spain has a few good snorkeling spots. While the southern coast of the mainland provides plenty of great dive spots with clear waters and a good selection of marine life, the crown jewels of diving are in the Canary Islands, and the Balearic Islands. Here you'll find even better opportunities to see marine wildlife in more ideal conditions. You can see barracuda, octopus, moray, a variety of large fish species, and more. Also, diving in the Canary islands can be done year-round, where as in the Mediterranean, only during the warmer months. If you're looking for a quicker trip, it's also possible to dive or snorkel off the Costa Brava coastline near Barcelona where a variety of interesting species can be found in the usually clear waters.
Marbella: There are more than 100 dive sights and endless snorkeling opportunities in the area. There are deep offshore reefs that you can explore as well as shallower wrecks and caves.
There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Croatia. The beautiful clear waters around the thousands of islands of this coastal nation offer a myriad of diving opportunities. You can see plenty of marine life on local reefs, dive with dolphins, and find larger fish too. But one of the best aspects of diving in Croatia is the large number of wrecks and "underwater museums" that are found around the islands. From old ship wrecks to more modern WWI and WWII wrecks and planes to some ancient underwater ruins from historic periods, there's plenty to see in addition to marine life. Some of the best spots are around the island of Brac where you'll find dolphins and calm waters. Also, don't miss the underwater museum at Mali Lošinj or the one on the island of Vis. The latter offers sunken B-17 and B-24 bombers from WWII along with various sea caves which reflect the light in dazzling ways. Almost every town along the coast offers dive shops which can take you out to the nearby reefs, islands, and inlets for a terrific experience.
For a relaxing beach holiday, both Spain and Croatia are good choices.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Spain. The beaches in Spain are world-class, popular, and extensive. With a huge stretch of coastline on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as famous islands such as Ibiza and Mallorca. The coastline of Andalusia and Valencia are perhaps the most visited, as tourists from all of Europe, and all of the world, come here for holiday beach vacations in Spain. Good food, sunny warm weather, wide sandy beaches, and family-friendly amenities are found up and down the coast. Some areas are more party-oriented, while others offer a calm, relaxing vibe, or family-friendly activities. Some of the best and most popular beach destinations in southern Spain include Tossa de Mar in Costa Brava, Puerto Banus near Marbella, Bogatell in Barcelona, Almunecar in Costa Tropical, and the beaches of Cadiz, amongst others. You can't go wrong with any of them.
Barcelona: The city features long sandy beaches where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun right in the heart of town. Popular beaches include Bogatell Beach, Barceloneta Beach, and Nova Icària.
Valencia: The city is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Spain. They're accessible but still largely undeveloped. They also have long stretches of sand and although they can get crowded during the summer months, they still have plenty of space. La Malvarrosa Beach is one of the most popular because of its proximity to the city. El Saler Beach is further out and popular with the locals and Port Saplaya is a colorful area with shopping and beaches.
Palma de Mallorca: The island is lined with sandy beaches and rocky coves, which have contributed to it becoming one of Europe's most popular beach destinations.
Almeria: Outside of town you'll find kilometers of stunning coastline and beaches. There are pristine natural beaches that still feel undiscovered with beautiful long stretches of sand. One of the biggest resort areas is Roquetas de Mar.
Marbella: The area boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. They are hubs of activity with lots of energy, and there are more than 18 miles of sandy beach in the area. Popular options include Guadalmina Beach, San Pedro de Alcántara Beach, and Nueva Andalucía Beach.
Croatia is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. With over 1,200 islands and a huge length of beautiful coastline, it's no surprise that this country has plenty of beaches. The beaches in Croatia are stunning and beautiful. While they can be a bit rocky and pebbly compared to other European countries' beaches, they more than make up for it with clear, blue water that is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and admiring the scenery. Many beach areas and harbors have colorful fishing boats that seem to float in the air because the water is so clean and clear. And in most of the Croatian coast, the mountains and rocky shoreline adds to the dramatic beauty. If you're visiting the beaches here, you'll find activities such as boat rides, kite surfing, wind surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, and more. Some of the best and most scenic beaches are found in Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, around Zadar, Brac, and Novalja.
Both Spain and Croatia are good shopping destinations.
Many visitors go to Spain to go shopping. In Barcelona, visitors can find plenty of great areas with fashion boutiques, local arts and crafts, and souvenirs. Check out Portal De L'Angel in the Gothic Quarter, Paseo de Gràcia with its high-end stores, Avenida Diagonal for its diversity of shops, and the famous Boqueria Market where you'll find fresh food and other surprises. In Madrid, don't miss Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Calle de Fuencarral, or the historic El Rastro flea market where you can find plenty of hidden gems. Elsewhere in Spain, most beach resort areas have shopping streets, and the larger towns such as Valencia, Malaga, and Marbella have multiple shopping neighborhoods. In Granada and Seville, it's also possible to find those special local arts and craft shops for the perfect gift or souvenir.
Madrid: Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.
Barcelona: Head to Portal De L’Angel, Rambla de Catalunya, or Passeig De Gracia for some of the city's best shopping districts.
Marbella: This area attracts vacationers from around Europe and the shopping is some of the best in Europe.
Croatia is a good destination for shopping. The major cities offer plenty of shopping areas within along their scenic and historic streets. Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Zagreb, and others have various streets where visitors and locals alike can find boutique clothing shops, art galleries, local craft stores, cafes and restaurants, and food markets. In addition to the shops in the city center, most cities also have larger shopping malls such as SubCity Dubrovnik and Arena Centar in Zagreb.
Visiting the Christmas markets is popular activity in both Croatia and Spain.
During the holidays, visitors often browse through the Christmas markets in Spain. Despite weather that's warmer than most of Europe, this country still has strong Christmas traditions and therefore the major cities showcase decorations in public places along with Christmas festivals, markets, and shows during the holiday season. Malaga is on the southern coast, but still boats some terrific lights and decorations for the holidays. Madrid and Barcelona also have festivals and large public displays of lights along with some outdoor markets and performances. Seville, Granada, Bilbao, and other cities do the same. So, if you're in Spain for the holidays, don't miss the festivities.
Croatia is a good spot to see some Christmas markets. A few of the best Christmas markets in Croatia can be found in Dubrovnik, Rovinj, Osijek, Zagreb, and Split. Many of these markets are accompanied by festivities such as light shows, ice skating, and concerts, too. Have some mulled wine and try the local holiday-themed desserts, too - they're delicious!
Spain and Croatia are fun places to visit for winter sports such as skiing.
While in the area, visitors like to go to Spain for snow skiing. For many, it's surprising to hear that the interior mountains of Spain have a variety of ski areas. While they are not as high-quality as those in the Alps, they are still good and offer plenty of runs, and usually at a much lower price. Some of the best include Formigal and Candanchu in the Pyrenees, Pradollano near Granada in the Sierra Nevada range, and San Isidro near Leon. If you're in the area in the winter months, they are worth a visit.
Locals like to visit Croatia to take advantage of their winter sports. The northern mountain regions of the country have a surprising number of ski resort areas. The climate here in the winter can be quite cold and snowy, and as such, the local population enjoys hitting the slopes. Just minutes from Zagreb is Sljeme, and other ski resort areas can be found at Platak and Čelimbaša, among others. Cross country skiing is also popular in the norther region of Croatia.
While Croatia and Spain both have hiking trails, overall Spain is more well-known.
Known for its hiking, Spain draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. The Camino de Santiago is Spain's most famous hiking route. Also known as the Way of St. James, this historic 500 mile-long pilgrimage route stretches across the entire width of Spain and also has numerous secondary paths. Hikers come from around the world to trek the entire length or just a small portion of the trail which ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest. Additionally, you'll find plenty of other hiking opportunities in the Pyrenees mountains, the various national parks, or even in the Canary islands or Mallorca. Also, the Caminito del Rey has amazing trails along cliffs near Malaga. From Barcelona, it's easy to reach the base of Montserrat, where you can hike up to the monastery instead of taking the cable car, or hike on the higher up trails as well. Sierra Nevada national park, near Granada, also offers plenty of hiking trails that are close to a major city. And in the Costa Brava region up the coast from Barcelona, even more gorgeous trails have great views of the landscapes and Mediterranean Sea. Generally, no matter where you visit in this country, you can find some great trails.
Many people include a hike when visiting Croatia. The rugged terrain of the coastline and the interior means that hikers will find a variety of trails here. National parks such as Plitvice and Krka offer some gorgeous trails around lakes, waterfalls, and through the forest. Other high mountain trails can be found in more national parks, too. If you're looking for a challenge, check out the Velebit Hiking Trail which is a multi-day journey through epic mountains where you stay in huts. Or, adventourous hikers can head up Vosac Peak. If you're near Dubrovnik and are looking for some amazing views, head up Mount Srd. Also, if you're up for the full Croatian hiking experience, the Via Dinarica is a set of trails that runs the entire coastline from the northern border with Slovenia to the southern border with Albania. Offering epic views and some challenging hills, the route spans over 1,200km. But don't worry, you can just do a small section of it if you like.
Both Spain and Croatia are good destinations for visiting national parks.
Many visitors go to Spain to see the national parks. With sixteen national parks and a variety of other natural parks and wilderness protection areas, visitors are offered a diverse set of natural destinations to explore. Some are in the mountains, some at the coast, and others are found in unique ecosystems. Some of the most popular include Cabañeros in the mountains of Toledo, Guadarrama near Madrid, and Illas Atlánticas de Galicia near A Coruna on the northern coast. Several national parks are found on the Canary Islands and make the trip there even more interesting if you have the time. In many of Spain's national parks, you'll find hiking, camping, horseback riding, adventure sports, and beautiful views.
Plenty of travelers enjoy the national parks of Croatia. The 8 national parks found here offer a wide array of landscapes from coastal regions to mountains to rivers and lakes. The most famous national park in Croatia is perhaps Plitvice Lakes, where visitors can walk through gorgeous landscapes made of up clear lakes, waterfalls, and forests that all feel magical. Krka River also has similar beautiful landscapes with waterfalls and rocky pools full of green and blue clear water, lined with small villages, hiking paths, and rolling hills. You can also see a 14th-century medieval fortress and a monastery, too. Mljet national park, located on an island, offers gorgeous coastlines, interior lakes, and forested hills waiting to be explored. Risnjak national park offers visitors a more typical mountain vibe with beautiful valleys, hiking trails, and wildlife such as wolves, deer, and lynx, among others. Fishing is popular here on the lakes and rivers, especially fly fishing. And if sailing and snorkeling is on your bucket list, make sure to visit the many islands of Kornati Islands National Park, which are unique and mostly untouched. The abundant marine and coastal life will leave you breathless.
While Spain and Croatia both have plenty of wilderness activities, overall Croatia is considered to be better for travelers seeking wildlife.
Croatia is a great destination for wildlife viewing and wilderness activities. For a country with such a long history and culture, visitors here can find a surprising amount of beautiful wildlife and natural landscapes. Bears, deer, foxes, lynx, and a variety of other smaller species can be found around much of the country, especially in the northern mountainous areas. Many of the national parks offer a diverse set of animals and plants. And with the huge length of coastline and fairly shallow waters, it's also possible to get up close with the abundant marine life in the beautiful and clear waters of the Adriatic.
While Spain is not known for its wildlife and wilderness adventures, visitors can still find some fun outdoor experiences. Most notably, in some of the national parks and wilderness areas, visitors might catch a glimpse of wolves, ibex, deer, and the Eurasian brown bear. Wild boars are not uncommon either. Bird watching is also very popular, especially in Extremadura in western Spain where you can find a variety of unique and large species. Also, the Iberian Lynx can sometimes be spotted in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park in Andalusia.
Both Spain and Croatia offer adventure travel opportunities for visitors.
Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in adventure travel. From the mountains to the coastline, visitors can experience bungee jumping, mountain biking, paragliding, zip-lines, ropes courses, rock climbing, canyoning, whitewater rafting, and more. The coast also offers surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, scuba diving, and boating. It's possible to find these activities all around the country, usually in the countryside not far from major cities.
Croatia is a very popular place for adventure travel because of its abundant wildlife. Along the coast, you'll be able to participate in amazing activities such as sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. And in the mountains, you'll find hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, horseback riding, paragliding, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, snow skiing, caving, ropes courses, and rock climbing. Some of the best areas for all of these activities include the national parks, as well as just outside of some of the major cities such as Zagreb and Zadar. And all along the coastline, you'll find a huge number of amazing watersports activities.
Both Spain and Croatia offer an similar amount of mountain activities for visitors.
Spain is a great destination for visiting the mountains. The Pyrenees are the largest mountain chain in the country, making a divide between Spain and France. Here you'll find epic views, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, ski resorts, and more. Elsewhere in Spain you can find plenty of other mountains, as the inland is quite varied. The Sierra Nevada mountains in the south are some of the most beautiful, and are also easily accessible. Across northern Andalusia, you can find even more mountains north of Seville and Cordoba, with several national parks and wilderness areas. In all of these places you'll find natural beauty, wildlife, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and even paragliding. And don't miss the Canary Islands, where you'll find even more great activities. Tenerife is the largest island and offers gorgeous mountain views, native wildlife, and an exotic, tropical atmosphere. Spain absolutely has some gorgeous mountains worth visiting.
Croatia is a good destination to visit the mountains, as there are some fun activities. While it's not as famous for its mountains as much as its beaches, the northern half of the country is actually quite rugged, natural, and mountainous. This region offers plenty of hiking, camping, protected wildlife areas, rivers, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and other fun and fantastic mountain activities. The capital, Zagreb, is located in the heart of the northern mountain region, and puts you within easy reach of snow skiing, mountain biking, and hiking trails. Also, plenty of mountain ranges and related activities can be found near the coastline, as the rugged terrain extends all the way to the shores of the Adriatic sea. So, if you're visiting Dubrovnik, Hvar, Split, or any of the other seaside cities, hiking, biking, camping, and other activities are only an hour away at the most. For some of the best mountain views, check out Ucka Nature Park, Sjeverni Velebit National Park, Paklenica National Park, and Risnjak National Park, among others.
You can find a fairly equal amount of watersports in both Spain and Croatia.
Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in watersports. With a huge length of coastline both on the southern Mediterranean shore and the northern Atlantic shore, water sports in all forms can be found here. Surfing is very popular on both coasts, as wake boarding, kite surfing, and wind surfing. It's also easy to rent kayaks or canoes both on the coastline or in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular along the coast, as well as in the Canary Islands and around Ibiza and Majorca. The beaches and clear waters of these island paradises attract plenty of water bound tourists for a good reason. If you're interested in doing more at the beach than just laying on the sand, Spain is the place for you.
Croatia is famous for its exciting and thrilling watersports activities. With over 1,200 islands, a huge array of watersports and aquatic activities are offered along the vast coastline of Croatia. You'll find more than just beaches and swimming, as snorkeling, diving, sailing, kite surfing, wind surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are all very popular. Some of the best places to explore the coastline are on the islands and coastline near small towns such as Korcula, Hvar, Brac, Trogir, Sibenik, Rovinj, or Novalja. These towns make it easy to head out into the water on boats or from the shore. In many places, it's possible to hop right in for snorkeling, stand up paddle, kayaking, or other seaside activities. You'll also find plenty of boats for hire to take you on a day tour to nearby islands, or charter a sailboat for a week to have a truly amazing adventure through the islands.
You can find a fairly equal amount of outdoor activities in both Spain and Croatia.
Spain is an extremely popular destination for those interested in outdoor activities. Popular outdoor activities here include camping, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more. Canyoning is popular, especially in the Pyrenees. The Sierra de Guara is one of the most popular spots for this, located outside of Zaragoza. Or, try rock climbing in Andalucía where you'll find a variety of spots not far from Malaga, Cordoba, and Granada. For those looking for a hike, trails are everywhere and not just in the national parks. Of course, there's always the famous Camino de Santiago if you're looking for an adventure.
Croatia is a popular place to visit because of its outdoor activities. Popular outdoor activities here include horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and watersports such as snorkeling, diving, and boating. The landscape of Croatia is diverse, and offers a bit of everything. From the mountains to the coastline, it's possible to travel around to experience watersports, coastal scenery at the beach, and mountain activities within just a few days of each other. Some of the best areas to see the outdoors are at Plitvice Lakes national parks, Krka River, Korcula island, around Hvar, and the Vis archipelago, among others.
Both Spain and Croatia offer plenty of great road trip opportunities.
Taking a road trip through Spain is very good way to see the countryside and smaller destinations. The roads in Spain are efficient, quick, and well-maintained, making it easy to get around. If you don't have a car, it's also easy and often affordable to rent or hire one at the airport upon arrival. Many visitors take a road trip along the coastlines. The northern coastline in particular is very scenic with epic views and small towns The southern coastline is lined with beaches, more small towns, and larger cities. The Catalan coast north of Barcelona is especially beautiful with small towns, cliffs along the sea, and historical sites. The interior shouldn't be missed either, as you'll find national parks, castles and fortresses, and beautiful cities such as Granada, Ronda, Seville, and Toledo. And since Spain is not too large, the drives won't be too long between destinations.
See also Andalusia Road Trip.
Croatia is an extremely popular destination for those that want to take a road trip. The long coastline, multitudes of quaint and beautiful small towns, and rugged mountains make this country a perfect place for a road trip. The roads are in great condition, and you'll find scenic viewpoints, castles, coastal fishing towns, secret beaches, and mountain views all along the way. Start in the north in Zagreb or in the sound in Dubrovnik and work your way up or down the coast and mountain ranges for plenty of epic adventures along the way.
Kids will enjoy a visit to either Spain or Croatia.
As it has a large number of activities for kids, Spain is a very family-friendly destination. Beach vacations are one of the first things that come to mind for a family holiday or vacation to Spain. The Mediterranean coast has multiple beach resort towns such as those in Valencia or around Malaga and Marbella. Even Costa Brava and the areas around Barcelona are popular beach spots, too. But don't assume that the beaches are the only thing to see for families, as the big cities and mountains have plenty of activities as well. Madrid has kids tours of the Prado museum, the Mercado de San Miguel, a great zoo, the Warner Brothers Park, a railway museum, and a fantastic natural sciences museum. Barcelona offers the CosmoCaixa science museum, Montjuic and it's fun gondolas, the chocolate museum, a terrific aquarium, and plenty of interesting architecture. Kids also love all of the old castles and fortresses that dot the countryside, especially the Alhambra, the Castillo de Peñíscola, and the Royal Palace of Olite. Furthermore, plenty of cities have a mix of cultural and historical sites combined with modern family attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, and natural park areas. The mountains also have national parks with wide open spaces which are great for family hikes, bike rides, camping, and road trips. You can't go wrong with a family trip to Spain, as there's just so much to do.
See also The Ultimate Guide to Madrid.
Croatia is a very family-friendly destination. The combination of beaches, beautiful small towns, historical sites, and natural scenery makes for a terrific combination that kids and adults will love. You'll find multiple destinations that offer both beaches and history, so after a terrific morning in the sand and water, you can explore the beauty of the ancient city walls, old cathedrals, and historic ruins. Dubrovnik is one such place with terrific activities for the whole family. Not only are there some nearby beaches and the amazing historic city center, but you'll also find some nearby hiking trails and a gondola to the top of the mountain with stunning views over the nearby landscape. Hvar, Split, Zagreb, Korcula, and Zadar also have similar attractions where historic towns are surrounded by beautiful hills, stunning beach areas, and historic sites. And if you seek nature, Plitvice Lakes national park combines gorgeous views with fun hiking trails that kids will love exploring.
With fun activities for couples, both Spain and Croatia make for a good place to visit.
Spain makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. In addition to the historical centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Valencia which contain plenty of romantic attractions, couples and honeymooners also love Majorca and Ibiza for it's epic beaches, the southern coast of Spain for the beach resorts, and Costa Brava for its charming small towns with fantastic cuisine. Honeymooners could stay in one spot for a week, or spend their entire trip touring the highlights. Or, if you're just looking for a quick weekend getaway, any of the major cities or smaller towns offers plenty of charming activities. Andalucía is a popular destination because it combines the beaches with historic towns, mountain retreats, and fantastic food. The Asturias region on the northern coast is popular for many of the same reasons. No matter where you visit, it's easy to combine all of the best features of Spain into one terrific and romantic trip.
Marbella: The area has luxury resorts, nice beaches, water sports, golf, and water activities that are perfect for a honeymoon or a romantic weekend or a honeymoon.
See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Female Travellers, & Couples in Madrid, Hostels & Campgrounds in Ibiza for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups, and Hostels in Pamplona for Backpackers, Solo Travellers, and Couples.
Croatia makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The small towns with their quaint historic vibe, beautiful islands with stunning beaches and clear blue waters, and classical historic cities provide the perfect combination for a romantic honeymoon or couple's getaway. Add to this all of the terrific seafood restaurants, local music and culture, and sunset cruises, and you have a recipe for the best romantic trip you can find. Rab Island is referred to as the island of love, because it has a small walled city lined with artists and shops. But it's not the only one, as Korcula, Dubrovnik, Hvar, and others also offer the choice of exploring historic sites, snorkeling in blue waters, hiking in the nearby hills, or all of them on the same day! Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and other larger cities have historic cathedrals, theaters with cultural and musical productions, delicious restaurants, fresh markets, and other romantic activities that couples will love.
Dubrovnik: With its beautiful old town, nice beaches, and laid back atmosphere, this makes the perfect couple's getaway destination. Pop in a local restaurant and try the seafood before exploring the charming squares and historic buildings.
See also Hostels for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Hostels in Dubrovnik for Solo Travellers, Couples, & Groups, and Hostels in Zadar, Croatia for Solo Travellers, Couples, and Groups.
Both Spain and Croatia are popular destinations for backpackers.
Spain is a very popular country for backpackers and budget travelers. Affordable prices, easy transportation, and a wide array of budget accommodation make this country extremely popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Barcelona, Madrid, the costal cities, and small towns all have plenty of hostels, pensions, and guest houses. Barcelona is also known for its nightlife, attracting younger travelers on a budget, and plenty of places cater to them with low-cost accommodations with a party vibe. Also, a huge number of museums and cultural attractions have low-cost or free entry tickets, or provide discounts for anyone under 25. Affordable food is also found everywhere, whether at local restaurants, street vendors, or markets. Transportation is also easy, cheap, and efficient, and serves the entire country. Overall, prices in most spots in Spain tend to be a little more affordable than in the rest of Europe.
Madrid: The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.
Barcelona: There are many hostels around town, each with its own personality. Many of the hostels also organize activities or dinners for guests so it's easy to meet other travelers.
Malaga: From an endless supply of hostels to plenty of opportunities to meet other backpackers, this is a very backpacker friendly area.
Croatia is very popular with the backpacker crowd. The overall affordable prices combined with the wide array of fun activities has led this country to become very popular with budget-oriented travelers and younger backpackers. While the most famous and popular city for tourists is Dubrovnik, its prices are still not as expensive as in other European cities. Add to this the other beautiful towns along the gorgeous coastline that offer more affordable prices, and you'll be able to explore this dynamic country on a reasonable budget. Hvar, Zagreb, Korcula, Zadar, Split, Vis, and Rovinj are just some of the many terrific places that can be visited in an affordable manner. Hostels and low-cost guest houses are prevalent, the beaches are free, hiking is easily accessible, food can be found at lower prices, and museums are usually not too expensive, either.
Dubrovnik: It's not hard to find a room in a local's home near old town at an affordable price. The food is delicious and affordable as well, and you'll find plenty of other backpackers in town to hang out with.
Spain provides more transportation options than Croatia.
Spain has an effecient and thorough public transportation system which can take you anywhere in the country. High speed trains as well as local trains take visitors and residents around all of the cities in Spain fairly quickly. Once in a city, the local transit systems are excellent at reaching most places quickly. And if you choose to drive, you'll find a quality and efficient highway system, too. Buses can fill in the spots where trains don't go, and sometimes buses are a cheaper alternative to trains or flights between cities as well. The most popular airport connections are found in Madrid and Barcelona.
Is it easy to travel around Spain?
Croatia has some public transit options. Trains connect the major cities in the northern half of the country quickly and efficiently, but only travel as far south as Split. This leaves Dubrovnik and other southern regions without train service, but they are connected by a terrific bus system. The rail lines provide a smooth and efficient way of traveling between the major cities and to nearby countries, and high-speed trains and night trains are also available on some of the routes. Buses fill the gaps of where the trains don't go, and it's possible to take a bus to Dubrovnik from Split and other destinations. Also, the roads are great, and if you want to see more of the countryside or national parks, hiring a rental car could be worth the money for a terrific road trip. Furthermore, with so many islands, Croatia has a huge network of ferry boats to transport people and vehicles. Many of these are high-speed catamarans, too. The major cities, including Dubrovnik, have airports with connections to the rest of Europe. Also, many travelers arrive on cruise ships.
Is it easy to travel around Croatia?
Spain and Croatia are both modern and comfortable places to visit.
Spain is extremely comfortable for travelers as it is a modern destination with plenty of amenities. Luxury beach vacations and historical attractions in famous cities usually come to mind when people think of Spain. Rightly so, because this country is modern and offers a wide array of comfortable modes of travel and vacationing. It's easy to find budget-friendly accommodation, but even at the lowest prices, guests can still expect to find modern and comfortable amenities. The roads, trains, and public transit are also clean, safe, and can get visitors anywhere. The tourist infrastructure here is extensive, and anyone can travel comfortably here no matter their budget or price range.
Croatia is a very comfortable and luxurious destination with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and activities. Even though it's in Eastern Europe, you'll still find modern standards of comfort here as you would expect in any other European or western country. Hotels at all prices ranges have modern amenities, clean facilities, and helpful service. Tour companies offering a variety of services can be found everywhere, the public transportation is clean and safe, and food quality is extremely high.
Spain and Croatia are both quite touristy, seeing a large number of visitors every year.
Spain is very touristy. While Madrid and Barcelona are the most popular cities to visit, the beach resort areas in Andalucía and Valencia can also get touristy, especially in the busy summer months. Additionally, other cities such as Toledo, the towns in Catalonia, Granada, and Seville attract many visitors. The summer months are the most busy, and you can expect larger crowds in these destinations as well as at major tourist sites. In some places, entrance queues for museums or attractions can get quite long. The most popular places to visit in Madrid include the Prado museum, the Royal Palace, the Crystal Palace in Retiro park, and sometimes the football museum at the Real Madrid football stadium. In Barcelona, you can expect crowds at the Sagrada Família cathedral, Park Güell, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at night when it's lit up, and in the streets of the Gothic Quarter. Despite the crowds, it's never too chaotic or unmanageable, and Spain is absolutely worth the trip in any case.
Croatia is somewhat touristy. The most popular places to visit are Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes, and some of the other beautiful cities such as Hvar, Split, Zagreb, and the island of Korcula. While Dubrovnik hosts the most tourists, many of which arrive on cruise ships for the day, the crowds are still not too bad compared to other European cities. The evenings see less crowds, so you can experience the city lights and restaurants in style without any hassle most of the time. The other destinations also don't see too many tourists, meaning that you can relax and enjoy your time exploring Croatia without having to wait in long lines or deal with crowds that are unmanageable.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Spain is €119, while the average daily cost in Croatia is €75. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each country. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Spain and Croatia in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Spain or Croatia? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Spain:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Spain:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Croatia:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Croatia:
Prices for flights to both Croatia and Spain change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
Some typical examples of dining costs in Spain are as follows:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Spain.
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Croatia:
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Croatia.
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Spain are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Spain are as follows:
Here are a few typical costs in Croatia for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Here are a few actual costs in Croatia for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Spain:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Spain:
Also in Croatia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Spain and Croatia, we can see that Spain is more expensive. And not only is Croatia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Croatia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Croatia and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Spain would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Spain than you might in Croatia.
Both Spain and Croatia are popular tourist destinations, but in general, Spain attracts more visitors which makes costs a bit more expensive. Spain also uses the euro, while Croatia uses the Croatian kuna, so exchange rates help keep prices down.
Croatia is also a bit more affordable because in many places you can find rooms for rent in the homes of locals. These rooms are usually very affordable, conveniently located, and offer a unique perspective on the country.
In Spain, coastal cities and towns can actually be a bit more expensive to visit than the larger cities. The high demand for accommodation can drive prices up, particularly during the peak times when most visitors visit.
In Croatia, the most popular coastal towns tend to be the most expensive places to visit. Towns like Dubrovnik, where you'll likely see several cruise ships docked, have higher prices than more off the beaten path destinations.
Prices in both Spain and Croatia are heavily influenced by the season in which you travel. Prices in both countries tend to be high during the summer months, so it's best to travel during the fall or spring seasons.
Choose fewer places to visit and spend more time in those places to save some money.
Just wander. Take a day or two to just explore a city or town on foot. Soak up the atmosphere without rushing through a museum or trying to hit all of the sights and attractions.
Buses are almost always cheaper than trains, so look into all of your transportation options before buying tickets.
Stay in local accommodation instead of major chain hotels. Local hotels and hostels tend to be cheaper and have a bit more character.
Eat where the locals eat. Wander away from the main touristy areas to find restaurants that are delicious and affordable. By avoiding tourist traps you'll find good food for a fraction of the cost, and experience a more authentic side to the country.
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