This Eastern European country might not be as popular a destination as its European cousins. But this small and impressive country is definitely growing more and more popular! Today, we’re looking at the most intriguing and appealing attractions of this country. From the seaside city of Split to the national parks of the country, check out these reasons why you should visit Croatia!
1. The climate
During the peak months of the summer, Croatia is just as beautiful and warm as the destination Mediterranean countries near it. It’s a great place to travel to if you want plenty of glorious sunshine, but it can also be a perfect choice if you want to plan your vacation outside of the popular summer months. In fact, May and September are the most highly recommended times to travel to Croatia because it’s not too hot, the crowds are low, but the waters are still warm enough to swim in. What more could you ask for in a holiday?
This seaside city is the second largest in Croatia and the most heavily visited on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Split is positioned between the Adriatic Sea and the country’s famed coastal mountains and makes for a perfectly picturesque place to visit. The Roman Palace that looms over the city has been around since the 4th century and is a must-see for any history buffs. It’s a city that’s lively no matter day or night, and the food and wine culture is not to be missed
Located not far from the city of Dubrovnik is Hvar Island, which can easily be reached with a relatively short ferry ride. The weather here is almost always perfect, and it’s said that Hvar experiences 2,724 sunny hours every year! This is definitely a luxury destination and you’ll have your pick of high-end hotels available on the island. Not to mention world-class dining and extravagant beach club experiences!
4. Diving and snorkelling
The clear blue waters of the Adriatic lend themselves perfectly to underwater exploration. Whether you’re certified to scuba dive or would rather stay closer to the surface, there’s something for everyone in Croatia’s waters. The Blue Planet Diving Centre in Dubrovnik is a popular one and for good reason. You can also take lessons there if you’ve never been scuba diving before, and there are underwater caves, coral reefs and a plenitude of sea life to see. There are also several shipwrecks that make for some serious otherworldly viewing!
5. Island hopping
In addition to Hvar, Croatia is home to over a thousand islands of varying sizes. And while you probably won’t be able to explore them all on your trip, you can certainly try. Many of the islands can be accessed by public ferries or privately run catamarans. But if you have sailing experience, renting your own sailboat is the ideal way to get around. There’s something for every taste when it comes to Croatia’s islands, with some geared towards hiking and adventure sports, and others steeped in luxury with spas that will ensure your ultimate relaxation.
While France, Italy and Spain may get the glory when it comes to their wine reputations, Croatian vino is supremely underrated. If you visit, you’ll quickly realise just how many incredible wineries there are in the country. And if you’re an oenophile, you can make it your mission to visit as many as possible! This is not a new thing – Croatia has a very rich history when it comes to their wines, and the best way to learn about it is by taking a tour in one of the popular vineyard regions.
Yes indeed, seafood lovers rejoice! Considering its geographical position in the Balkans, it makes sense that Croatia is known for delicious and fresh seafood. As in Greece, octopus is a popular local delicacy that’s not to be missed, but you’ll also want to make sure to sample some squid, tuna, scampi, mussels and clams! Some of the dishes the country is known for are fish stew or brudet, grilled sardines and buzara, or sauteed shellfish. Pair all this with the region’s incredible wines, surely that’s more than enough good reasons why you should visit Croatia!
8. The national parks
Plitvice Lakes National Park is the country’s most visited and has been called Europe’s most beautiful natural wonder! The park offers a wide variety of terrains, from the titular lakes to caves, hiking trails and gorgeous waterfalls. But Plitvice doesn’t stand alone. Croatia has seven other national parks that are all worth visiting. Krka National Park is another favourite, known for its bright green waters and for even more majestic waterfalls. One thing is for sure: you will not be disappointed no matter which one you visit.
You may look at the aforementioned Dubrovnik cityscape and think, hmm, this looks familiar? That’s because it is also the city of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones! In fact, many locales in Croatia have been used to double a spot from the Seven Kingdoms. Dubrovnik architecture is utterly charming and distinctive, and the stone walls surrounding the pedestrian-only Old Town will make you feel as though you’ve travelled back in time. But even if you’re not a fan of bloody epics, there is so much to see in this historic city. From its churches to museums and monasteries – this is called the pearl of the Adriatic for good reason.
10. The beaches
Travellers looking to take a beach holiday in Europe will find major satisfaction in Croatia with over 3,500 miles of coastline. The waters are mostly crystalline and there’s no shortage of beach varieties from sandy to pebble-y, laid-back to buzzing with nightlife! Perhaps the country’s most famous beach is the utterly lovely Zlatni Rat, sometimes referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn. But there are many more including Zrce Beach known for its hedonistic dance party culture, and Kraljičina or Queens Beach. With its lovely sand, shallow waters, stunning views and nearby natural healing mud site, you are spoiled for choice in this beach paradise. Need anymore reasons why you should visit Croatia?