Located on the west coast of the Istrian Peninsula, rising up dramatically in the hills above the Adriatic, Rovinj has a particularly alluring, romantic feel, perhaps in part due to the strong Venetian influence. The most Italian town in Croatia, the St. Euphemia Church tower marks its highest point, while the cobbled streets below are delightfully winding, with something to discover around early every corner, from art galleries, lively bars and eateries to ancient crumbling houses and colorful facades.
Located at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, the seaside city of Pula is home to one of Croatia’s most famous sights, a well-preserved 1st-century Roman amphitheater that’s among the world’s largest surviving Roman arenas. In ancient times, it drew many to watch gladiator flights, and today, it’s the only one that remains with four side towers and all three Roman architectural orders entirely preserved. Visitors can explore many other ancient sites, like the 1st-century BC Hercules Gate, the oldest standing Roman monument; the Triumphal Arch of the Sergii and the Forum, where in Roman times it served as the main square. Today it’s a bustling piazza with a host of cafes.
Situated off the northern coast in Kvaner Bay, Rab is known as the “island of love” as well as being one of the greenest islands in the Adriatic. Enclosed within ancient city walls, this is the place where King Edward VIII famously took his new wife Wallis Simpson, casting off his regal attire and jumping right into the sea, taking part in the isle’s nudist-friendly tradition. That same, let-loose, laid-back ambiance stretches to the gorgeous beaches, with the small town itself filled with historic charms, a landscape of church towers and terracotta roofs. It’s fun to simply wander the stone streets, discovering medieval palaces, Romanesque churches, ancient facades, and the 16th-century monastery. Join our deluxe cruise to Opatija and stop off at Rab along the way to try the island’s traditional sweet: Rab cakes.
Croatia’s least developed island, Cres has a very small population, wowing visitors with its incredible beauty that includes remote wilderness terrain with hills covered in oak forests, majestic cliffs, olive groves, vineyards and pristine beaches. There are abandoned hamlets, crumbling hilltop towns and fantastic bird watching opportunities, with the island known for its griffon population. Cres town brings visitors on a walk through the past, having been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, touched by Romans, Byzantines, the first independent Croatians, and Venetians.
If you are interested in learning about Croatia’s history, check out our Croatia Heritage Tours here>
Sibenik and Krka National Park
Sibenik is an enchanting walled city on the coastal mainland, established more than 1,000 years ago. It’s famous as the home of one of the region’s largest and most important cathedrals, the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. James as well as serving as a popular base for exploring nearby Krka National Park. The park is filled with mesmerizing waterfalls like Skradinski Buk with its tranquil pool below ideal for a refreshing swim.
Why not come and discover Croatia for yourself? Call our travel experts on +1 (844) 879 7838 to start planning your Croatian Cruise today.