Skirting the coast of the Balkan Peninsula beneath the limestone summits at the end of the Dinaric Alps, Croatia is a serious looker. Its shores are all scented by green Aleppo pines and fringed by pebble coves that glow marble-white under the summer sun. Fragmenting into the Adriatic from that are islands that turn into yachting meccas from June to August, each hiding lavender farms and old Byzantine churches and bumping beach bars. There are relics of old empires, with Pula's mighty theatres leading the way, along with glorious national parks that are dashed by waterfalls and woodlands and azure lakes. Cheap flights to Croatia from Australia will usually land in Zagreb. Look for the best ticket deals with stopovers from cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
You'll see the huge Roman amphitheatre of Pula long before you arrive in the town. Then, be sure to explore the Forum and its ancient temples.
Yachting trips and hedonistic parties all converge on the island of Hvar, where medieval towns now have marinas that buzz with life.
The Krka National Park is a paradise lost in the woods and mountains, where green-blue waterfalls lead to hidden lakes and monasteries.