Croatia

Overview

Croatia’s momentum as one of the world’s top vacation destinations shows no signs of slowing down. With a burgeoning infrastructure and more flight connections than ever since its inclusion in the EU in 2013, it has never been easier to visit. Croatia combines astounding natural beauty – in the form of towering mountains and crystalline water along the rocky Adriatic coast – with rich cultural and historical heritage in cities like Dubrovnik, Split and the capital, Zagreb. Add to that the wide selection of water sports and outdoor activities (from sailing and scuba diving to mountain biking and rock climbing), a surging festival scene and exciting and innovative cuisine, and it’s not hard to see why Croatia was the most Googled travel destination of 2016.

Top Attractions

  • Explore the historic city of Dubrovnik, known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” with its well-preserved medieval walls, historic Old Town, and iconic landmarks like the Rector’s Palace, the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, and the Franciscan Monastery.
  • Discover the stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its series of interconnected lakes, waterfalls, and cascades, as well as opportunities for hiking, boating, and wildlife spotting.
  • Visit the ancient city of Split, home to the UNESCO-listed Diocletian’s Palace, one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in the world, as well as historic landmarks like the Cathedral of Saint Domnius and the Temple of Jupiter.
  • Experience the natural beauty of the Dalmatian Coast, with its rugged coastline, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque islands like Hvar, Korčula, and Brač, as well as opportunities for sailing, snorkeling, and beachcombing.
  • Explore the historic city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, with its charming medieval streets, historic landmarks like St. Mark’s Church and the Zagreb Cathedral, and cultural attractions like the Croatian National Theatre and the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Local Cuisine

  • Indulge in the flavors of Croatian cuisine, known for its fresh seafood, Mediterranean influences, and hearty stews.
  • Sample iconic dishes like seafood risotto, grilled fish and squid, and black risotto (made with cuttlefish ink), as well as traditional side dishes like blitva (boiled Swiss chard) and peka (a dish cooked under a bell-shaped lid).
  • Try Croatian specialties like pasticada (beef stewed in wine and spices), cevapi (grilled minced meat), and sarma (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice), as well as traditional desserts like kremsnita (custard slice) and rozata (creme caramel).
  • Savor refreshing beverages like Croatian wine, known for its rich flavors and varieties like Plavac Mali and Malvasia, as well as traditional drinks like rakija (fruit brandy), and herbal liqueurs like travarica and pelinkovac.
  • Don’t forget to try Croatian street food like burek (flaky pastry filled with meat, cheese, or spinach), fritule (fried dough balls), and štrukli (baked pastry filled with cheese), as well as snacks like pršut (Croatian prosciutto), cheese, and olives.

Outdoor Activities

  • Go hiking and trekking in Croatia’s national parks and nature reserves, with opportunities for exploring scenic trails, waterfalls, and mountains in destinations like Plitvice Lakes National Park, Paklenica National Park, and Biokovo Nature Park.
  • Visit the beaches and coastal areas of Croatia, with opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports on destinations like Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar, as well as opportunities for sailing, snorkeling, and diving to explore coral reefs and marine life.
  • Experience adventure activities like rock climbing, zip-lining, and canyoning in destinations like Paklenica National Park, Velebit Nature Park, and the Cetina River Canyon.
  • Explore the rivers and lakes of Croatia, with opportunities for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and rafting on destinations like the Krka River, the Una River, and the Plitvice Lakes, as well as opportunities for fishing and boat tours to explore caves and waterfalls.
  • Discover the biodiversity of Croatia’s national parks and wildlife reserves, with opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife spotting, and nature photography in destinations like Kopacki Rit Nature Park, Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, and the Kornati Islands National Park.

Cultural Experiences

  • Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Croatia with visits to museums, galleries, and cultural institutions like the Museum of Croatian Archaeological Monuments in Split, the Croatian Museum of Naive Art in Zagreb, and the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, which showcase the history, art, and culture of the country.
  • Explore the vibrant arts scene of Croatia, with opportunities to attend music festivals, theater performances, and art exhibitions showcasing Croatian and international talent, as well as workshops and classes in traditional crafts like ceramics and embroidery.
  • Experience traditional Croatian music and dance performances, such as klapa singing, tamburica music, and traditional folk dances like the kolo, as well as contemporary styles like rock, pop, and electronic music, which reflect the diverse cultural traditions of the country.
  • Discover the history and legacy of Croatia’s indigenous peoples with visits to historic sites like the Starigradsko Polje Archaeological Site on the island of Hvar, the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč, and the Cathedral of Saint James in Šibenik, which showcase the art, culture, and traditions of Croatia’s indigenous communities.
  • Participate in local festivals and celebrations, such as the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the Split Summer Festival, and the Špancirfest in Varaždin, to experience the vibrant culture and spirit of Croatia firsthand.

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