You’ve seen Paris. You don’t want to battle the crowd in Rome, and the weather in London is too dreary. Why not try a destination that has become increasingly popular in the few years but has not yet become overrun: Croatia!
Visiting Croatia is growing in popularity because it has something to offer for every kind of traveler. No matter what your interests or budget, you are sure to find activities and sights to enjoy in this beautiful European country.
The brilliant turquoise water of the Adriatic may make you think you are in the Caribbean instead of Eastern Europe! World travelers rave about Croatia’s beaches, which are remarkably clean and boast a breathtaking shade of blue from the refraction of the white pebble sand.
As the country increases in popularity, some of these beaches have become crowded with tourists, but the multitude of little islands and remote inlets ensure you plenty of opportunities to find secluded splendor.
The sand is rockier than many Americans are used to, so make sure you pack some hardy sandals to wear while splashing in the sea.
Because the beaches are so glorious in Croatia, many visitors fail to take advantage of the other natural wonders in this country. Croatia is a land of many mountainous peaks, craggy cliffs, and dense forests.
Check out their amazing national parks, like Plitvice Lakes or Krka: hard to pronounce, amazing to see!
A hike inland will give you unparalleled views of the shoreline, mountains, and endless meadows of wildflowers. You may be far from Wifi and even other hikers, but you may also stumble across hospitable huts run by locals. If you are lucky, they may ask you in for a sip of local schnapps or wild boar stew!
3. Island Hopping
Croatia is a great place to explore by land or sea. You may want to check out a variety of islands by embarking on a sailboat cruise, or even kayaking from one to another.
This article details some of the less well-known islands where you can get a real sense of the culture without the crowds. The farther you get from the main hubs like Split, the more you can get away from the other tourists and really get the feel of the Balkans.
If you retain a local guide, he or she will help you find undiscovered spots and also navigate the Croatian mountain roads and waterways from one destination to another.
There is so much to do in this little country, you will not have the chance to get bored. However, if you need to unwind and chill out, you can do that too.
You can see dolphins play if you kayak around the Kornati archipelago. You can see abandoned monasteries high in the mountains, or explore the labyrinthine streets of medieval cities. You can see numerous UNESCO World Heritage sights. You can scuba dive and see the underwater Seven Stations of the Cross.
You can zip line, truffle hunt, or bicycle. Or you can explore the lively nightclub scene in the major cities.
5. Game of Thrones
The rising popularity of Croatia owes much to its prominent role in the internationally famous TV series “Games of Thrones.” The show filmed in Dubrovnik often, and made the ancient city famous as the fictional “King’s Landing.”
Many entrepreneurs have grabbed on to this hook and launched tours where you can see the locations made famous by the HBO show. You can even dress up in costume and reenact some of your favorite scenes.
Croatia is an ancient kingdom with roots going back to the middle ages. The country has undergone many wars as it has been taken over by neighboring countries ranging from the Ottoman Empire to Hungary to the communist bloc.
The country’s bloody history was not all so long ago. After World War II, the country was consolidated with other Balkan Republics into Yugoslavia. Tito led the country under a socialist regime.
After Tito’s death, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. However, beginning in 1992 the region became embroiled in a terrible war between the former Yugoslav republics: Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia, where hundreds of thousands of people died. Peace finally arrived in 1995.
If you are interested in military history, you can see Tito’s tunnels and other former military installations. These exist juxtaposed with more ancient ruins from earlier times like castles and monasteries.
Croatia’s geographic location means its cuisine is influenced by Italy, Greece, and the Germanic countries like Austria and Germany. However, its regions have special dishes all their own.
Its proximity to the sea means that it is especially known for its seafood, and octopus is favorite dish. You might also like the raw fish known as Mediterranean sushi!
Mussels, shrimp and other fish are often cooked into a fragrant stew.
Other regions of the country have their local delicacies. You will find tasty bean stews, cured meats, and sausages.
Risotto is a favorite dish here, including a special risotto that is a deep black color.
Wine connoisseurs love the wines of Croatia, even though they have names that are hard to pronounce!
Plavac Mali are bold red wines with blackberry notes. You can find these along the Dalmatian coast. Plavac Mali translates to “small blue.”
Pošip are full-bodied white wines with almond notes and hints of apples, vanilla spice, and citrus fruit.
You can also find nice whites in Istria, a popular wine travel destination.
Visiting Croatia: the Time is Now!
Families, lovers, and sportsmen are discovering Croatia for its beautiful scenery, fantastic food and assortment of attractions. Where it once was considered off the beaten path, it is getting more and more trendy.
Find out what makes Croatia such a perfect travel destination. If you like fascinating history, delicious food, gorgeous beaches, and a wide range of choices, this is the place for you. Visiting Croatia should be high on the list of all intrepid travelers.
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