A Foodie Experience in Croatia
Europe is often praised for its exquisite food and wine scene. Spain and Portugal boast delicious wineries and global wine brands. France is home to the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. Italy – well, we do not need to remind you that millions of traveler’s head back to the country each year because of its food alone. With all that in mind, surely other European destinations like Croatia get missed when it comes to foodie destinations?
We are here to tell you otherwise and showcase some of Croatia’s best food and wine experiences across its mainland and islands.
This article was originally published in Issue 4 of Unforgettable Travel Magazine.
Food and wine tour, Konavle
Approximately a 30-minute drive from Dubrovnik is Konavle. Often regarded as a hidden gem, the Konavle Valley is home to world-renowned wines, an abundance of history and culture, and some delicious traditional delicacies. During a food and wine tour, you will discover the speciality of ‘Peka’ which is an experience in itself. Succulent meat and vegetables are slowly cooked together under a fire, softening, and flavouring everything altogether. Local wine is served alongside, as well as a tasting of ‘grappa,’ the local brandy!
Winery visit and tasting, Istria
We are back in Istria again… this time for wine. This region is often referred to as the ‘Croatian Tuscany’ and in many ways, it offers similar characteristics. There is a similar landscape, with rolling, green hills, and quaint charming villages, but more than anything, exquisite wine is grown and produced here. Wherever you travel or stay in Istria, you will see a wealth of vineyards and wineries. In terms of fine wines, Malvazia is the most famous in Istria, which tastes exceptional when paired with seafood. Teran is a great choice for those enjoying meat dishes. And of course, the perfect end to a meal is a glass of the sweet Istrian Muscat.
Historical & gastro walking tour, Split
The medieval city of Split is a must-do during your time in Croatia. Not only is there a wealth of history, culture, and tradition, but there is a huge gastronomic scene there. To combine both, we recommend a guided tour through Split, which gives you an insight into both the history and food scene of the city through the city’s market and produce. During the tour, you will sample the Dalmatian Plate of mixed delicacies which features prosciutto, cheese, soparnik pie, and olive oil. Seafood dishes will also be featured, accompanied with a superb local wine. Of course, ending your gastro tour, you will finish with a dessert and some sweet wine.
Bee-keeping and honey making experience, Solta
Solta is a Dalmatian Island off the west of Split in Croatia’s mainland. The island itself is recognisable, with a collection of quaint, pretty villages amongst a rocky coastline. As well as a strong tradition of olive oil growth and production, a fantastic experience in Solta is honey-making. The Tvrdic family here have three generations of experience in beekeeping and honey-making. You will get the chance to visit the bees working hard in their incredible hives and have a go yourself at making honey. Like any foodie experience in Croatia, you will have the opportunity to experience ample samples of the local honey.
Dive for your own wine at the underwater winery near Dubrovnik
About an hour’s drive from the coast of Dubrovnik is the jagged Peljesac Peninsula. As well as homing a wealth of seafood, mussels and fish, there is another experience that attracts people to this peninsula. This is the underwater wine cellar. In this winery, you can dive down into the ocean and handpick your own bottle from the underwater wine cellar which, in most cases, will look like an overgrown piece of treasure, covered in seashells and barnacles. It is certainly a unique experience, and one which many other countries have followed.
Check out other restaurants to visit in Dubrovnik.
Sample local craft beer, Zagreb
While local Croatian wine often gets praised, it is also worth praising the craft beer scene in Croatia’s capital. With a rising number of home brewers and microbreweries in Croatia, the pubs are always filled with good quality craft beer to sample and enjoy a pint of on a hot day! In fact, Croatia often features on the shortlist of best countries in the world for beer. While you can enjoy a pint in every city and island in Croatia, Zagreb is particularly great for pubs and bars – Tolkien’s House, the Craft Room, All In, Hop In, the Old Pharmacy Pub, and Pivnica Medvedgrad Ilica to name a few.
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