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Places to visit in Croatia

Many great places to visit in Croatia – The land of 1000 Islands

When I first visited Croatia, I fell in love with the country. There are an incredible number of great places to visit in Croatia, which is why I have created a list for you to visit.

Istria

Istria has crystal clear sea, shores and ports, cities and towns with narrow stone streets and the true charm of the Mediterranean. Not to forget small medieval towns perched on the peak of its hills and landscapes that irresistibly evoke the most beautiful parts of Tuscany or Provence. I would strongly recommend that you visit Istria when planning which places to go in Croatia.

Main City: Rovinj

Rovinj and its archipelago of 21 islands are relatively free of tourists. You can wander undisturbed among the cluster of ateliers and galleries offering paintings, ceramics and locally made arts and crafts. You have to rely on serendipity to find the best work, but that’s part of the pleasure.

Explore:

Wine Roads and Olive Oil Roads.
Groznan and Motovun with galleries, film and music events in fairy-tale like towns.
Cycling trails – over 100 trails with an overall length of over 3,200 km

Gastronomy:

Istrian prosciutto ham, olive oil, fish and seafood, truffles, home made “fuzi” pasta with game goulash, local wines and brandy.

Wine Roads:

In Istria wine is both a passion and part of the culture of life. A variety of soil, red soil in the coastal area and white soil in the interior, adds another dimension to the winemaking culture. Malvasia is the most famous wine produced in Istria, with a refined aroma and fresh taste that best accompanies seafood dishes. The red wines Teran and Refosk are old and native wines. Their deep ruby colour, lively fruity scent and pronounced aroma are perfect with meat dishes.
Discover the wine roads of Istria, and their many wine cellars, where an unforgettable experience awaits you.

Culture heritage:

Amphitheatre in Pula, once the arena where gladiators and lions fought. Today a stage for festivals and concerts.
Basilica of St. Euphrasius in Porec – complex of architecture and art dating from the 6th century.

Zadar

Where Croatian culture begins. The region of Zadar tells the story of the sources of Croatian cultural heritage better than any book. This city has 3000 years of fascinating history.
As Alfred Hitchcock once said; one can watch the most beautiful sunset in the world. With a slice of Pag cheese and a glass of Maraschino, a local liqueur made of cherry, in your hand, you can enjoy all the blessings of this city.

Explore:

Pag – architecture of the town, production of Pag Lace. Islands of Ugljan and Pasman. Paklenica National Park, complex of canyons and a wealth of flora and fauna.

Gastronomy:

Pag cheese, salt from Pag and Nine, prosciutto ham from Posedarje, Maraschino liqueur, Rosè of Benkovac.

Dalmatia

Sibenik

The Sibenik aquatorium is a yachting paradise and if you seek an experience like no other, then venture into the open sea and discover the Kornati Archipelago.
”The gods wanted to set a crown upon their work, so on the last day, out of tears, stars and the breath of the sea, they created Kornati”. So wrote George Bernard Shaw when recalling about this nature, the largest group of islands in the Mediterranean. Here you will find an island for each day of the year. The mellow, tiny ports and hidden beaches are a paradise for modern day Robinsons seeking unspoiled nature.

Main Cities: Split and Dubrovnik

Split is a city with rich history, not only within the walls of its museums, palaces and churches, but in the city itself, in the squares and alleyways and in the beauty of the waterfront. And they say this city has the most beautiful women in the world. If any doubts, just take a stroll along the Split waterfront. City Walls from the 14th century defence system is outstanding for its length of 5,5km.

Dubrovnik on the southernmost part of Croatia also has another name: The Pearl of Adriatic. Dubrovnik shines with a special glow when the traditional Summer Festival turns the entire old town into an enchanting setting for this quite unique stage in the world

Explore:

Island of Visovac – Franciscan Monastery. Sibenik – St. Michaelm St, John, Subicevac and St. Nicolas. Fishing, sailing and rafting in River Krka, Bungie Jumping from Sibernik Bridge. Mother nature has been generous to Central Dalmatia, to its coastline and long beaches and a string of islands. Brac is the largest of the islands.

Tourism:

Wine roads, cycling trials, riding, rafting, paragliding, hunting, fishing.

Gastronomy:

Drnis prosciutto ham, Babic red wine, Skadin cake. Taste the mussels harvested where the river Krka meets the Adriatic Sea, with a sip of wine from the nearby vineyards of Primosten. Try lamb, veal and frog brodetto stew.

City of Zagreb – The charming heart of Croatia

Zagreb is the capital and the biggest city in Croatia and a typical Central Europe town. Almost all of the main sites of the city and cultural venues are located in the very centre. With coffee houses, restaurants and lovingly tended parks.
Stroll the streets and walk through history. The best way to explore the city is the slow way. Zagreb is a city I strongly recommend that you visit when planning places to go in Croatia.

Explore:

With 20 theatres, 30 museums, 45 galleries and 13 art collections, a great Zoo and almost a million inhabitants, Zagreb is a real metropolis.
The electric funicular railway links Down Town with Upper Town.
Museum of contemporary art, an exciting story of art without a beginning or an end.

Good-luck charms:

Taking a walk through the city inevitably means coming face-to-face with its shop windows and its stores. There are an impressive number of Croatian labels, products crated in the country – from the fashionable to the practical – they could be a cravat or a mechanical pen. Small family businesses and all the glamorous international chains.
People of Zagreb give flowers for every occasion, you will find flowers everywhere.

Café is culture:

A gentleman in a hat sits on the same place every day, sipping coffee with his friends, another reading a local paper. New generations will come, but as youngsters they surely wonder how anybody could ever look for better company than computer or a mobile phone exchanging emails and a virtual meeting – and then set for something more which is when the café comes into play. This will be a new beginning – the story of yet another coffeehouse.

Gastronomy:

Forget modified products and indulge your taste with home-cooked food, something you may have forgotten. Turkey with pasta, stew of marinated beef, spicy sausage or fresh seafood straight from the Adriatic – these are only a few of the many options and pleasant surprises.
In Zagreb you can find many restaurants where you will hear local sounds of the tamburiza or a tinkling piano in the background.

Explore:

The most significant building in Zagreb as a whole is Zagreb Cathedral with the twin Gothic towers. Inside there is music – ringing bells and the sounds of a great organ.

After dark:

Zagreb has always offered more for bar hoppers, party people and concertgoers than should otherwise be expected. The main square, Ban Josip Jelacic is lined with cafés suited for mid-morning coffee or early-evening aperitif. Nearby, is ideal for post-shop drink at some buzzing lounge bars and two live jazz bars. As for discos and nightclubs, the place to head for is Lake Jarum, where Zagreb’s nightspots have been offering nights out for a decade or more.

Kvarner

Kvarner covers the area of the mythical Absytrus islands and has remarkable rivieras: Opatija, Crikvenica, Vinodol and Rijeka. Asides for being famous as the celebrated elite summer destination of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the coastal Rijeka metropolis is also here. The Kvarner islands are, however, a totally different story. Called the Absytrus islands, after Medea’s brother Absytrus, the islands of Krk, Cres and Lošinj have a rich antique and medieval heritage. The Apoxiomen should definitely be mentioned here, a very famous bronze statue of an athlete found in 1999 in the sea near Lošinj, which was the work of the Greek sculptor Lizip from the 4th century B.C. The Baška tablet should also be mentioned, the first sculpted memorial of the Croatian language from 1100 found on the island of Krk.

Main City: Rijeka

I hope you enjoyed this overview of places to visit in Croatia. If you have a good suggestion for a place in Croatia to visit, I appreciate you leaving a comment.

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya a few years back. Always traveling the world. Meeting people, local food and engaging stories are my passion. I don´t collect countries or require gorilla-stalking in Africa. I just want a tiny slice of adventure to be alive, and then excited to return home.

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