One of the world’s top vacation destinations, the things you hope to do while in Croatia can shape your trip into one that’s especially unforgettable. Whether you’re looking to spend your days chilling out on awesome beaches and enjoying water sports, strolling medieval streets with their grand centuries-old architecture, embarking on an adventure-filled trip that brings canyoning, biking, kayaking, swimming or even off-road experiences, or perhaps indulge in a foodie-focused excursion complete with winery visits, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this spectacular country.
Read our latest Croatia travel guide to discover our travel tips and find out what the best tourist attractions in Croatia are:
The wide range of culinary experiences available in Croatia provide the opportunity to learn about the country’s traditional foods and recreate authentic Dalmatian dishes while getting a glimpse of authentic daily life. There are multiple destinations where this is possible, including Split, featured on the Taste of Dalmatia Tour. A private gourmet food tour in this magnificent city that dates back some 1,700 years, starts with a trip to its Green Market to buy ingredients that will be part of a meal you’ll put together, led by an expert guide. Learn about the foods on offer and then after your ingredients are gathered, you’ll get a cooking lesson from one of the talented local chefs, putting together your very own delicious traditional Dalmatian meal, accompanied with tasty Croatian wine.
The Istrian Peninsula is famous for its wine and food, including truffles, particularly in the city of Motovun. This enchanting little walled town sits on a hill in the Mirna Valley, while the Motovun Forest at its base has a fairytale-like quality that’s known for its abundance of truffles. You’ll find this delicacy on many menus in the area, often combined in creative dishes like mini-cheese cakes with shaved truffles and a variety of pastas – but searching for your own is something that’s really a must here. In fact, the world’s largest white truffle was found in the forest of Istria. While it isn’t something you can just go out and find in an afternoon, truffle hunting excursions provide the opportunity to head out with the experts and their specially trained dogs, who have secret spots in the dense forest for discovering these treasures that are said to be an aphrodisiac. Some of the tours available even include the chance to learn how to prepare truffles and sample a dish made with them too.
One of the most photographed and most visited destinations in all of Croatian, Plitvice Lakes National Park is regularly found on travel bucket lists. Filled with striking natural beauty so remarkable it looks as if it was somehow Photoshopped, it boasts 16 interconnected terraced lakes and cascading waterfalls in a myriad of vivid blue and green shades, all framed by lush greenery. The Highlights of Croatia Tour features this UNESCO World Heritage Site, allowing visitors to stroll the wooden walkways and cross bridges to capture their own postcard-perfect photos up close before taking in a variety of other perspectives, including a panorama of the scenery from the train that circles the park or by gliding across the water on an electric boat.
Fans of “Game of Thrones” are probably well aware that Croatia was often used as a filming site for scenes in the hit HBO series, making a visit to this country a perfect excuse to explore them while experiencing its long list of other delights on a Game of Thrones Tour. The Dubrovnik Old Town was used extensively as King’s Landing, and you can visit the City of Qarth on guided trip to the stunning locations and historic sites as you walk the charming cobbled streets. You’ll recognize many places you’ve seen on screen, like Pile Gate and the Jesuit Steps, now infamous worldwide as the spot where Cersei took her “walk of fame.” In the ancient city of Split, wander through majestic fortresses that formed the city of Meereen which is where many interior shots were filmed, and then head to the small town of Klis where exteriors were shot of its fortress, a medieval castle that towers above.
The 3,000-year-old walled city of Zagreb, featured on the Highlights of Croatia Tour, is one of Croatia’s less-visited cities, but it boasts many delights, including many fascinating museums and galleries to visit, a rich history and a remarkable mix of classical Viennese secessionist architecture and Austro-Hungarian heritage, along with a ton of offerings for art lovers. It’s especially well-known for its seafront promenade where locals and visitors enjoy gathering to watch one of the world’s most glorious sunsets, and experience the unique light installations created by artist Nikola Bašić. The Sea Organ is made up of about three dozen pipes, fitted into the pavement, creating music with the power of the waves. The Greeting to the Sun is a 72-foot-wide work of art that represents the solar system. Driven by the sun, at sunrise, the cells beneath its glass panels generate enough electricity for it to illuminate. By sunset, those cells have enough power to light up the waterfront – truly a sight to behold.
Krka National Park sits just outside of the historic city of Sibenik and boasts some of the most jaw-dropping beauty in all of Croatia. The Passion on the Adriatic Tour will bring you here where you can walk meandering pathways and across wooden bridges through this natural wonder to admire the Skradinski Buk falls. And, you’ll even be able to swim beneath and alongside the stunning cascades, immersing yourself in the enticing emerald waters of the Roski Slap area, a place that looks like a dream.
The Blue Cave is one of the world’s most extraordinary natural phenomena. Often listed among Croatia’s must-experiences, when visiting this cave on the island of Bisevo under the right conditions, you’ll see it illuminated in a surreal blue glow that’s created by light refraction with the sun’s rays enter through a crack in the rock. It can only be visited by boat, an excursion that’s part of tours like the Highlights of Croatia which even includes the opportunity to jump from the cliffs, diving into the crystal-clear aquamarine waters in hidden coves, as well as explore other caves nearby.
Croatia’s turquoise waters are ideal for sea kayaking excursions. If you like to paddle, you’ll have multiple options, including the Croatia Lakes & Cities Vacation which features this adventure that travels to the charming seaside town of Brela. Located about an hour south along the coast from Split, it faces the island of Brac with its crystalline, tranquil waters not only ideal for kayaking, but for swimming and snorkeling, while pristine pebble beaches that stretch for nearly four miles, linked together like a necklace, are wonderful for a peaceful soak Mediterranean sun, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery.
If you are visiting Dubrovnik and want to get a different perspective of the city’s magnificent medieval walls from the outside, you may want to join the Passion on the Adriatic Tour which includes a guided sea kayaking trip from the old port. You’ll paddle alongside the imposing city walls before heading to remote beaches that can only be reached by small watercraft, enjoying a break to snorkel or swim. Paddling on to Lokrum Island, there you’ll be able to experience a lush nature reserve where colorful peacocks and adorable bunnies roam around before heading to a hidden beach cave that can only be accessed by sea.
The scenic Konavle region is ideal for exploring on two wheels and a fun way to explore Croatia. Located just outside Dubrovnik, this enchanting hidden area lies between the borders of Bosnia and Montenegro. Especially popular among wine enthusiasts, a cycling tour available via the Croatia Lakes & Cities Vacation, travels by lush herb gardens, picturesque vineyards and rushing rivers. Along the way, you’ll learn about the region’s history, cultural and wine production, including its endemic grape known as malvazija that produces a wonderful white wine. At the end of your bike tour, you’ll be able to sample some of the tasty locally produced wines.
One of the most heart-pounding adventures you can have in Croatia is to embark on a canyoning experience in Cetina Canyon near Split. The Dalmatian Family Adventure offers this exhilarating day guided by professionals who provide expert instruction, giving you everything you need to make the most of the excursion in this remarkable historic and archaeological site. You’ll go deep underground into tunnels and to the ledges of cliffs, climbing and swimming while surrounded by stunning rugged landscapes, cascading falls, calm pools and crystal-clear lakes.
In Croatia you can also enjoy what’s become one of the world’s favorite adventure sports: zip lining. And here, you’ll be able to do it while taking in a bird’s-eye view of the awe-inspiring Plitvice Lakes landscape. Included on the Croatia Lakes & Cities Vacation, the fun begins with a thrilling ride across the Korana River and canyon which lie adjacent to the national park. Don’t worry if you’ve never embarked on this unforgettable thrill before as expert instructors will teach you all you need to know before soaring across the nearly 1,000-foot-long zip line at speeds of 40 miles per hour or more.
Zlatni Rat as often been described as one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. Also referred to as the Golden Cape or Golden Horn for its unique and ever-changing shape that’s transformed by the waves and the wind, the long strip created by deposits of fine pebbles that spread like a small tongue as far as a third of a mile into the sea, is popular for boat excursions and small-ship cruise stops. Edged by glistening blue-green waters, you won’t want to miss taking a refreshing dip along the shore.
When traveling to Croatia, make sure you visit the famous Mljet National Park on a cruise or on a day trip and you can experience its famous salt lakes along with lush scenery and an especially tranquil ambiance. Much of this virtually car-free island is protected by national park to preserve it as it was since the dawn of time. You can explore the national park by foot on the many hiking trails on offer. By taking the short boat ride across the waters of Great Lake, the largest of the two, you can visit the tiny islet of St. Mary in the middle that hosts a historic church and 12th-century Benedictine monastery.
There are many island hopping tours, including the Passion on the Adriatic, that will bring you to the sunny island of Hvar, a favorite among Croatian travelers. Hvar Town enjoys a backdrop of the sparkling Adriatic and glistening white homes, providing Old World Mediterranean charms. For the very best view over it all, climb to the top of Fortica Fortress. Towering above all the mega-yachts in the harbor is this Spanish fortress, built in the early 16th-century, saving the local population when much of the island was destroyed by the Turkish in 1571. Worth the effort, your ascent will be rewarded with a panorama of the island-dotted sea and the maze of winding streets lined with fine dining restaurants, enticing cafes and shops selling unique artisan crafts.
Hvar is a Croatian island which is worth exploring in-depth, including its more remote, hidden towns and villages that are dotted around the island. You can do just that by joining a Jeep Safari Tour, enjoying the ride while gazing out at ancient stone walls, vineyards and endless lavender fields that reveal the reason why shops on the island carry a wide range of lavender products.
There’s no doubt that Croatia was made for food and wine lovers, and if you’re among them, you won’t want to miss the opportunity for wine tasting, oyster harvesting and feasting on the Peljesac Peninsula. Join the Taste of Dalmatia Tour and you’ll be led by one of the most sought-after sommelier wine guides for an unforgettable excursion to the country’s primary wine region. It includes visits to two top wineries and sipping locally-produced wines complemented by cheeses, olive oils and parma hams. Afterward, you’ll learn how to harvest oysters and then indulge in the delicacies straight from the sea.
Give our Croatia travel experts a call on (844) 879 7838 to start planning your dream vacation today!
Lydia June 28th, 2019
Posted In: Blog
Tags: Cetina River, Croatia, Croatia Cruise, Croatian lakes, Dalmatian meal, Food, Game of Thrones, Kayaking, Krka Waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park, The Blue Cave, traditional Croatian food, truffle hunting, Zlatni Rat