Croatia Vs. Greece Comparison – Greece Or Croatia Guide

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Planning your annual summer escape can feel like navigating a sea of options, leaving even the best of us a bit perplexed. But fear not because we’ve got your back. Let’s make it simpler and focus on two stellar choices: Croatia and Greece.

This expert guide is a collaborative effort from a local Croatian and Greek, ensuring you get the inside scoop on these fantastic destinations. Croatia, graced by the mesmerizing Adriatic Sea and the alluring Southern Dalmatia Coast, boasts natural beauty and historical riches. Greece, with its historic sites echoing tales of the past and the serene Ionian Sea, offers a journey through ancient Greek civilization.

For history buffs, Greece’s ancient sites are a treasure trove. Food enthusiasts will relish Croatia’s olive oil culture and groves of ancient olive trees.

Whether you’re drawn to the whispers of ancient history, the taste of exquisite olive oil, or the convenience of passport-free travel in the Schengen Area, we’re here to help you make an informed choice for your summer getaway. Stay tuned for a deeper dive into these enticing destinations.

Are you in a rush and want to know how to choose between Greece or Croatia? Here is what we think you should know:

Greece Croatia
Historical powerhouse (ruins, UNESCO sites) Picturesque countryside & cities
Idyllic island hopping is a breeze Traveling around the country is easy
Greek food…need we say more? Authentic, untouched by tourism vibe
Scenic sail ops galore Easy road trips on the Dalmatian coast
Place of the Acropolis Museum Home to Diocletian’s palace

You’re trying to work out where to go for your annual summer break, and you’re exhausted by the number of choices in front of you. We’re not surprised, and it happens to the best of us.

But, maybe you’ve whittled your choice down to a shortlist of two – Croatia or Greece.

So, which one should you choose?

The truth is that you can’t lose by visiting either. Croatia and Greece are stunningly beautiful destinations packed with history, culture, nature, fantastic food, great nightlife, relaxing places, and beaches. But you can’t be in two places at once, can you?

So, let’s look at how you can choose between Croatia and Greece for your next summer break.

Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Greece vs. Croatia.

Croatia Vs. Greece – The Argument For Greece

Ah, but what Greek landscape appeals to you? Are you thinking about heading to Athens – the country’s capital? Or are you planning to explore the Greek mainland beaches? Of course, you might also be thinking about one of the amazing islands on the Ionian or Mediterranean Sea, or maybe more than one.

It’s not an easy choice.

History

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Parthenon on Acropolis, Athens, Greece

You should choose Greece if you’re into history and ruins for sure. Athens is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world for ancient ruins. After all, it is the center of Ancient Greece! The list goes on: the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Apollo, and Olympia. So, if you’re all about history and seeing the ruins with your own eyes, it has to be Greece.

Cuisine

While Croatian food is delicious, and you should try it, Greek food is up there with some of the best.

Moussaka, Greek salad, Gyros, papoutsakia, pastitsio, the list goes on.

Culture And More History

It’s wrong to assume that you should only go to Athens if you’re looking for history. Greece has 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to its name, so you can easily travel around and get your fill of history and culture during one stay. It’ll be tiring, but at least you’re seeing something amazing.

Countless Idyllic Islands

Croatia has many beautiful islands, too, but few can rival the fabulous Greek Islands. We all know about Mykonos, Rhodes, and Santorini, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also island hop to your heart’s content, thanks to a well-organized ferry schedule that runs throughout the summer months between all main islands.

Do You Want To Travel Into October-November

If you want to travel during the later parts of the summer, into autumn, you’re best looking towards Greece. The main tourist season tends to last just a little bit longer in Greece, especially if you travel to the islands further east. You can also find some great deals at this time of year, reducing the cost of your holiday.

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Croatia Vs. Greece – The Argument For Croatia

Now, you only have to Google Croatia, and you’ll find an excellent reason why you should go there – it’s stunningly beautiful. And, even though tourism in the country is very popular, especially in Dubrovnik, the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic, the country still feels extraordinarily authentic and untouched in many ways.

Game Of Thrones

Game Of Thrones Dubrovnik Locations (1)

The one thing that separates Greece and Croatia very clearly, without any doubt, is Game of Thrones. So, if you’re a show fan, you must head to Croatia. This is where many scenes were shot, particularly in Dubrovnik on the city walls.

Easy To Travel Around

If you’re someone who gets itchy feet when they sit in one place for too long, Croatia is an excellent choice for you as the country is much smaller. Hire a car and head off on the open road to visit several places during your stay. The roads are of excellent quality and easy to follow. Road trip, anyone?

Nature Is Everywhere

Nature is literally everywhere. While Croatia is very blue, i.e., the sea, as is Greece, another color you’ll see a lot of in Croatia is green. It’s a stunningly beautiful country with many national parks and waterfalls to explore.

Combine Cities And Countryside

Things To Do In Zagreb - Ban Jelacic Square. Aerial view of the central square

Of course, you can do this in Greece, but the Croatian cities tend to pack more of a picturesque punch. Split and Dubrovnik are very attractive cities and have some great photo opportunities.

Zagreb is also a great spot to visit; it has a very youthful energy and is very easy to walk about in a day or two.

The Beaches Are Top-notch

For sure, Greece’s beaches are amazing, but then so are Croatia’s. Don’t assume that Croatia’s beaches are any less in quality, and you’ll find many secluded and even private spots to sunbathe and sun along Croatia’s coastline.

So, Who Is Your Winner – Greece Or Croatia 

Balkans Travel Blog_How To Choose Between Greece And Croatia

Choosing between a Greece and Croatia trip is tough; honestly, you wouldn’t miss out by choosing either. It comes down to what you want to do during your break and what is important to you. But, if you choose one this time, select the other next time.

Either way, they are both top destinations, and you’ll get picturesque villages, historical monuments, and a choice of island and mainland destinations, culminating in a dream trip.

Do you want to visit Croatia and Greece? Great idea, here is how to travel from Greece to Croatia.

FAQs About Choosing Greece Or Croatia

CROATIA VS. GREECE FAQs

What are the main attractions of Croatia and Greece?

Croatia is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, historical cities like Dubrovnik and Split, and the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. Greece is renowned for its white-washed houses, breathtaking beaches, iconic islands like Santorini and Mykonos, and historical sites.

Which country is more affordable, Croatia or Greece?

Greece is generally slightly cheaper than Croatia in terms of accommodations and dining.

What kind of cuisine can I expect in Croatia and Greece?

Both countries have delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Croatia offers a variety of seafood dishes, grilled meats, and flavorful stews. Greece has a wider variety of traditional dishes, including moussaka, souvlaki, gyros, and spanakopita.

Which country has impressive national parks?

Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park offer impressive natural beauty. Greece, on the other hand, boasts ten national parks, each with its own unique landscapes and attractions.

Island hopping: Croatia or Greece?

Greece has a larger number of islands (6,000) compared to Croatia (1,000+). Therefore, Greece offers more diverse opportunities for island hopping.

Which country is better suited for a road trip?

Croatia is more compact and better suited for road trips due to its well-connected cities and scenic drives. Greece, being larger, may require more time for extensive road trip exploration.

Which country has a richer historical background?

Both countries have rich histories, but Greece’s historical influence and UNESCO World Heritage sites give it the edge when it comes to a deeper historical background.

Which country offers a better luxury travel experience?

Greece has a more established and diverse luxury travel scene compared to Croatia, with luxurious resorts, high-end villas, and exclusive experiences.

How can I choose between Croatia and Greece?

The choice between Croatia and Greece ultimately depends on personal preferences and desired experiences. Consider factors such as preferred landscapes, historical interests, culinary preferences, budget, and the type of vacation experience you seek.

Tell us in the comments below which will you choose, Greece or Croatia. 

Comments (3)

  1. Hi guys. I was reading your article and I was a little bit surprised about it being fairly superficial and also doing Greece a lot of injustice. If you would actually do a research about Greece you will see how Greece’s nature is vastly richer, more spectacular than Croatia without any comparison. I want to friendly point out and inform you on things that will make you become more aware from here on.

    Greece has 80% mountains, 20% of all of Europe’s Ultra peak mountains lies in Greece. While Croatia has 0 Ultra peak mountains, Greece has 19. For reference. Switzerland has 8, Austria has 12. It comes to show where Greece stands. Greece has 400 mountains, many of them rise 2500-3000 meters straight out of the sea. These mountains are snow-capped till June and leaves for a utter breathtaking view around every corner, vastly beyond what you will ever find in Croatia.

    Greece has 16.000 km of the most crystal clear coastlines in the world. Croatia has really lovely coastlines too, but Greece has much more diversity of coastlines, with 3000 meter mountains rising out of the sea, or without, with virgin forests, volcano’s, even natural hotsprings. Also. While almost all coastlines in Croatia are rocky, Greece has every type. Massive cliff walls, rocks, pebbles, to very soft fine sands of any color. Truly any color. From white to black, from red to yellow, from pink to even blue, and other colors due to Greece’s very diverse geology

    By the way. Greece has 800 natural hotsprings. Some of the most in the world
    Also Greece has 15.000 caves. Many rare ones, like river caves and other truly wonderful cave systems all throughout the country.
    Yet another 2 massive natural aspects of Greece’s prowess.

    But Greece’s truly spectacular natural prowess does not end there. Greece has hundreds and hundreds of gorges. The Vikos gorge is one of the 3 deepest gorges in the entire world, and it’s the deepest gorge in the world when you take in the depth to width ratio.
    Then the Samaria gorge in Crete is the longest gorge in Europe.

    Then you have another massive natural splendor. Greece has 400 wetlands and marshlands in the country, and if you google earth all over Greece and it’s lands that meet the sea area, that there are so many wetlands areas like Messolonghi, Koronisia and so on. Then you have truly amazing lakes and mountain lakes all throughout the lands and exceptionally important ones like lake Kerkini which is 1 of the 2 most important birding places in Europe

    Then you have a whole arc of volcano’s starting from the Peloponnese going to Milos, Santorini, Nissiros.
    Then geological paradises like Meteora, Gyalos pumice island, and so on but also Milos. Milos has all the color of stones you can ever find. There are even rainbow mountain like mines in Milos that are absurd.

    Then also. Croatia has 1000 islands, spanning over an area of 30.000 km2
    Greece and it’s 6000 islands around the mainland lies on 4 tectonic earth plates (European, Asian, African and the 4th one crushed in-between). These 6000 islands lay on 550.000 km2 are full with mountains, valleys, each island unique in spectacular natural beauty in so many ways. Vastly more diverse than Croatia, let alone how it visually impacts the eye.

    As an example. Most islands in Croatia look very similar. A significant percentage of Croatian islands also have very dull/boring shapes. 95% of the islands pf Croatia are 100-300 meters high, with the majority being more around 100-150 meters. If you want to double check this, go to google earth and hover with your mouse cursor over the highest point of each island.
    Then when you go to Greece’s islands, they are much more mountainous in endless combinations. Crete has 5 mountain ranges with 2 of them having mountain chains rising 2500m out of the sea. Then Kefalonia and Samothraki 1600meters. Evia island 1750 meters and so on.

    All in all if you truly want to compare the real Greece with Croatia, then Croatia falls all-round terribly short in nature compared to Greece. Yes Croatia is green. But Greece is very much the same. Croatia has 34% forest cover and Greece 31.5% and yet Greece with it’s 80% mountains, and much more diverse natures makes you seemingly be in forests forever.

    Now. For some names of mountains and nature to check if you want know ofcourse you can and do a proper 1 hour of google earth scanning to see how wonderful Greece actually truly is with it’s immensely diverse geography, topography, geology, mountains, forests, delta’s, rivers, lakes, etc etc etc and so on is.

    But for even a fraction of things to check even just for mountains Epirus, Zagori, Pindus mountains, Vikos gorge, Tzoumerka mountains, Timfristos mountain, Aoos gorge, Aoos river, Acheron river, Mount Olympus, Tymfi mountain, Taygetus mountain, Kremasta lake, Rhodope mountains, Koronisia, Plastira lake, Smolikas mountain, Acheloos valley, Voidomatis river, Prespes lakes, Mount Giona, Mount Vardousia, Evrytania, Meteora, Mornos lake, Kerkini lake, Amvraikos gulf, Methana and Methana volcano, Parnassos mountain, Dirfi mountain, Aoos lake, Mesolonghi, Lake Doxa, Mount Chelidona, Pelion, Lichadonisia, Mount Aroania, and so on and so on.

    1. Hello there,

      I don’t understand why you want to make it some sort of competition. Instead of appreciating the attraction that both countries can offer, you try to make look greece better by degrading the “richness” of Croatian nature and diversity. Seems really weird and shows some sort of complex, that you had to satisfy, by writing a whole essay on why Greece’s nature is better. This would be fine, if you were able to make it a non-biased comparison and didn’t blatantly misrepresent the existing circumstances.

      Your main arguement is that greece is somehow “richer” in nature and overall more diverese. Sure Greece might have more and bigger Mountains and Islands, but – as you stated – 80% of Greece is mountains, that seems hardly diverse. Croatia is small and has a lot of what Europe has to offer concentrated in one small place:
      Diverse Islands (e.g. Pag and Kornati archipel have a quite unique appearence as they have virtually no vegetation, this is due to the strong kabatic winds known as Bora, thus they look totaly different to for example Cres or Krk) Coast (Yes, they are rocky and mostly pebble beaches, though there do exist sandy beaches and also cliffsides facing the water like Dugi Otok’s Telašćica Nemzeti and Zmajevo Oko), Mountains (Dinara, Risnjak and Velebit mountain range – especially Paklenica, where parts of Winnetou were filmed -, are some of the noteworthy ones).

      Croatia also has many caves (7,000), due to the Karst topography, inhabited by the Olm, a species found only in cave systems along the northern parts of the Dinaric Alps. Some notable caves are Jama, Modrič Cave, Pazin Cave, Barać Caves and Vranjača Cave.

      Another highlighe of Croatian nature are their national parks. There aren’t many countries that have national parks that can compare to the likes of Plitivice Lakes or Krka. Plitivice Lakes Natur Park, with its 16 lakes connected via waterfalls, is one of the most recognizable nature parks in all of Europe.

      All this has been mostly the Adriatic/Mediterranean part of the country. Croatia has both mediterranean climate as wells as continental Climate. The Croatian coast and its hinterland are very much different from the continental part, which in the eastern region is mostly within the Greater Hungarian/Pannonian Plain, through which the Danube and its tributary rivers flow (most notably Sava, Drava, Kupa.
      To the north you can find lofty and willowy landscapes of lush green hills in the regions of Zagorje, Varazdin and Međimurje, which are again different from the rest of the country.

      You mentioned wetlands? Croatia has with Kopački Rit, located in eastern Slavonia along the mighty Danube, one of the best preserved marshlands in europe. Some additional wetlands are Lonjsko Polje, Lake Vranja and Neretva Delta.

      I personally am still amazed of the difference of landscapes you get in a couple of hours of driving from the Karlovac to the Adriatic, passing the the Dinaric Alps. Objectively speaking, Croatia has actually much more diverese landscapes and claiming anything else just displays one’s ignorance about the matter.
      Greece on the otherhand has vast archipelagos of beautiful islands and a lot of mountain ranges, all in the mediterranean climate, flora and fauna. Diversity looks different.

      Cheers.

    2. I imagine you are talking loudly here. I have a sister looking for a husband. I prefer a Greek man for her. Send a message.

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