Croatia is one of the top recommended places to travel to in Europe. The sun kissed beaches, medieval towns and the sensational culinary make for a wonderful experience. We toured Croatia over two weeks last year and still reminisce the varied experiences this country has to offer. If you too are wondering whether to visit Croatia, here are some reasons that might inspire you to explore this beautiful country.
Planning your next travel destination. Think Croatia!
Experience Old towns, beaches, national parks
Croatia offers a rich variety of experiences for its travelers. The long coast line, emerald waters and white sand beaches makes for balmy vacation. You can find a medieval old town and beautiful architecture gems in most Croatian cities. If that’s not it, there are numerous unexplored islands, under water caves and pristine national parks to explore.
With its rustic villages and rich vineyards, Istria is considered a Croatian rendezvous with an Italian twist. Istria shares historic and cultural heritage with Italy. And local transitions, cuisine and architecture has preserved this heritage very well. Think lovely wines, home made pasta, local cheese and truffles 🙂
Read our posts on Istria to plan your visit to this beautiful destination.
Plitvice itself can be the reason alone to travel to Croatia. A UNESCO world heritage site, Plitvice is a collection of 16 emerald cascading lakes and interconnecting waterfalls over a 295 km.sq. national park.
It is one of the top things to do not only in Croatia but all of Europe. And if you can’t get enough of nature’s charm, there are several other reserves like Krka national park, Mjlet island that are equally mesmerizing.
Read our travel guide to Plitvice national lakes park to plan your visit!
Croatia has a long coastline along the Adriatic coast. Croatian cities are blessed with stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear emerald blue waters. Split serves as a gateway to the exotic islands of Hvar, Korčula and Brač which are considered jewels of the Adriatic. Zlatni Rat, one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia is located in Brač and should definitely on your bucket list.
With its sun kissed beaches and crystal blue waters, a trip to Croatia is all about enjoying the wonders of the sea. The beaches here are very calm as compared to rest of the locations in the Mediterranean and offer great swimming and snorkeling opportunities.
Sailing through the Adriatic gives you a chance to explore many unexplored beaches, secluded beaches and national reserves. You can also opt for sunset yacht parties or overnight yacht rentals for private groups when visiting Split and Hvar.
Read about our kayaking experience along Dubrovnik walls and an evening filled with mesmerizing views!
Most Croatian cities have come up around old towns which have retained the ancient heritage of the city. You can live like locals in old town residences (sobe) and experience the old town charm first hand.
Dotting these old towns, there ruins of monuments and cathedrals from the Roman and Byzantine empires. The ruins of Pula arena (the third largest roman Colosseum) and Diocletian palace in Split are simply beautiful. Old towns of Trogir and Sibenik have been recently declared UNESCO world heritage sites for their historic significance.
Read our next post about how to plan your travel to Pula!
Indulge in Dalmatian cuisine
The rich and varied cuisine across Croatia is sure to draw you in. Dalmatian cuisine blends home made dishes with European style cooking. A typical Dalmatian meal will include meat dishes, lots of seafood, home made cheese and fresh vegetables.
You can indulge in the hand-made gelato which comes very close to the ones in Florence and Italy. Olive oil is the mainstay of Dalmatian cuisine and you can explore various local varieties. As you move to the south, expect to get some incredibly fresh seafood platters which are great with local wines.
Istria is one of the few places in the world with the richest density of black and white truffles. If you are a food aficionado then visit to Istria to indulge in truffle delicacies along with local wines is a must. Truffle based dishes are very popular in northern part of country and are generously laden with the in-season truffle.
Check out our post on gastronomical experience of Motuvun to kick start your truffles exploration. You can also attend a truffle gourmet festival or join a truffle hunting tour to experience local traditions.
Croatian wineries have gained popularity for their unique flavor and organic methods of production.
There are a number of wineries are experimenting to produce some great quality artisan wines. You have a chance to take a tour of luscious vineyards and learn local wine making traditions and variations.
Read our post on top wineries in Istria that you must definitely visit while in Croatia.
Visit Game of Thrones locations
If you are an ardent GoT fan like us, you must consider visiting Dubrovnik and Split to explore the filming locations of famous TV show series Game of Thrones. Walking tours organized by local tour groups will take you through famous filming spots. You will surprised to see how some of the favorite scenes were shot at locations that look nothing like the original . Make sure you remember your part as most these tours quiz tourists on the smallest details 🙂
Hope this post inspired you to explore the charms of Croatia for your next visit. Check out our travel guides to major Croatian cities to start tripping now !