Croatia is one of the most diverse, inviting, and stunning countries that Europe has to offer. Sitting in Balkans in the southeast of the continent, Croatia is a country of rocky coastlines, pristine beaches, ancient cities, glistening lakes, and untouched nature with vibrant cultural hubs sprinkled in throughout.
It’s a destination that promises something for everyone, regardless of age. Whether you love water, beaches, mountains, or culture and nightlife, you’ll find something to do in this beautiful country.
But where should you go on your trip to Croatia? The following is a guide of some of the country’s top destinations to get you started.
Split is the second-biggest city in Croatia and sits on a peninsula in the south of the country on the Adriatic Sea. Often dubbed the “Mediterranean Flower” by proud locals and enamored visitors, Split is a city of orange roofs, ancient stone buildings, and winding lanes. When in Split be sure to appreciate the wide array of different architectural styles, ranging from Roman to Gothic to Renaissance that’s anchored by Diocletian’s Palace, a beautiful Roman complex that is over 1,700 years old. Then walk down to the Riva waterfront and sip some wine at the seaside cafes as you watch the sunset. Outside of the city, enjoy hiking up at Marjan hill, which is as big as Central Park, for an outstanding view of the Adriatic Sea, and walking along the sands and admiring the crystal clear waters at Bacvice beach.
Split is also an excellent jumping off point for visiting many of Croatia’s islands, such as Hvar. While there, you can also visit the fantastic island of Vis and its surrounding islands, such as Istria and Ionian islands. Vis is home to the exquisite Wooden Palace, an architectural masterpiece. To get from Split to Hvar, just take the ferry, which costs a mere $19 and takes four hours.
Hvar is the perfect place to take a holiday break in the summer with the whole family. When you arrive on the island of Hvar be sure to take in the beauty of its port and waterfront. This is one of Croatia’s prime tourist destinations for a reason. Like much of Croatia, the town of Hvar itself is ancient, with walls that were constructed in the 13th century, streets that are made of marble, fortresses, palaces, and everything else that can give you the feeling of stepping back in time. When finished walking around the ancient town, head over to the beach, where you can sunbathe and swim in the glistening blue water. Hvar is nearby picturesque beaches like Dubovica, inland rocky cavities, and other serenely beautiful scenery. After that be sure to venture out into the countryside and go for walks in the vineyard and lavender fields. For the traveling foodie, Hvar is also a treat, with old time restaurants serving all manner of delicacies from the sea. Hvar is also a hub for nightlife, and if you are inclined to get your drink on the town will be very much obliging. Highlights of this coastal town include its charming 14th-century fort, a spectacular hilltop castle, and an impressive main square anchored in the Renaissance-style Hvar cathedral.
Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, deserves a slot on any traveler’s itinerary. The city was founding all the way back in the 600s and grew as a trading hub linking the ocean-faring civilizations of the east and west, eventually becoming one of the prime cultural hubs in the world. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is one of the most fascinating places on earth, with its 80-foot high walls shooting straight up from the sea. Dubrovnik was built in the 13th century, and everything about it looks like a movie set from medieval times (in fact, parts of Game of Thrones was filmed here), from the cobblestone streets to the shear stone walls of all the buildings. So get a bottle of wine and stroll down Sradun street, stopping at curio shops and snacking from cafes. Outside of the Old Town are the staple of coastal Croatia: beautiful beaches, such as Lapad and Banje.
Dubrovnik is a favorite among tourists because it has a beautiful old city and a modern feel. Plus, with reliable Dubrovnik Airport Transfers available anytime, you can get around with style and ease. While you’re there, you can visit the Church of St. Nicholas which was built centuries ago yet remains impressive. There are also a lot of museums to enjoy in Dubrovnik. As you can see, there’s no shortage of great things to do and see in Dubrovnik. There’s a plethora of options for every budget, which means that visitors are never bored.
The beauty of this small but charming country is that it’s perfect for tourists of all tastes. You can find plenty of different activities to fill up your days. So break out of your quarantine slumber and start planning your trip to Croatia today. Helpful sites like Bookaway.com can help with the planning and logistics.
One candidate says no more lockdowns, the other wants to put us in plexiglass boxes.
Ghost Cities of China
Ghost Cities of China is a book which recounts the two and a half years I spent on the ground investigating China’s empty new cities. Pull back the dark veil on the New China and find out what the country is really all about.