Nestled in southeast Europe close to Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Montenegro, Croatia’s curvaceous Mediterranean coastline, charming walled towns and lively culture have transformed it from a fringe attraction to a tourist hotspot.
There are plenty of amazing activities to pack into a holiday here, but if you’re a first-timer to these shores the following three must-see spots in Croatia should give you a head start!
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik might be familiar to you because this is the filming location for scenes at Red Keep, Qarth and King’s Landing.
Climbing the city walls is one of the best ways to see the entire vista and they’ve been here since the 7th Century AD, although their current incarnation dates from the 15th Century when the fall of Constantinople and possibility of Ottoman invasion saw them rapidly constructed by officials. St Johns Fortress is a particularly well-preserved part of the walls and contains a small aquarium and museum. Meanwhile, The Church of St. Blaise is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture.
Tip: visit Sponza Palace when you’re in Dubrovnik ̶ its Gothic-Renaissance style is gorgeous.
The Istrian Riviera is a picturesque peninsula which is perpetually popular with visitors. Here you’ll find fine cuisine, historical attractions, blissful beaches and much more.
There are wonderful wineries to visit at Trapan, Damjanic, Kozlovic and Kabola if you’re fond of vino and the Parenzana Trail is the main attraction for cyclists. Meanwhile, for sun, sea and sand, head to the beaches at Rabac, Rovinj Lone Bay and Porec, where you can swim snorkel, cliff dive or simply sit sipping a drink watching the world go by.
Foodies are well catered for here and there are a number of lip-smacking restaurants, including Konoba Buscina in the northwest, which serves traditional Istrian meals featuring grilled meat and fish, and the rural Stari Podrum which specialises in steaks, truffles and homemade pasta.
Tip: rent a car in Croatia from Enjoy and explore the stunning countryside in Istria.
3 Island of Brac
Sparkling like a diamond in the Adriatic sea, the idyllic island of Brac is renowned for the wonderful golden beach at Zlatni Rat which pierces the azure waters like an arrow point ̶ it’s a haven for windsurfers outside of the resort town of Bol.
This is another great area for gourmets and the regional cuisine here comprises rich risottos, tender baked lamb dishes and seafood of all stripes. Alternatively, if you want to catch your own dinner, charter a boat for a thrilling fishing excursion.
When you want to burn off all of those extra calories, Brac is also blessed by a network of brilliant hiking trails, such as the track from Bol to Vidova Gora summit, Farska to Blaca Hermitage and Murvica to Dragon’s Cave.
Tip: watch this Brac Island video to get even more of a feel for this fab location.
These three must-see spots are merely a sample of sumptuous Croatia, but hopefully they’ve got your taste buds tingling!