Croatia Tips

10 day trips from Split

Split is situated in the center of the southern Croatian region of Dalmatia and it’s the second-largest city in Croatia and the third-largest passenger port of the Mediterranean. The city of Split was an underrated tourist destination for many years as being seen just as an important passenger hub and a gateway to central-Dalmatian islands. But in the last decade, it became one of the most visited destinations in Croatia, each year reporting a record-breaking holiday season. Split was founded more than 1700 years ago by the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his imperial palace occupies the most important part of the old town. With the beachfront and palm trees right in front of the palace, Split offers the perfect Mediterranean postcard. During its long history, many cultures left their footprint still visible today on the squares and the alleys of the city center.

The city of Split is very close to many spectacular places one should visit when in Croatia like the islands of Brač and Hvar, Krka National Park, Omiš, Dubrovnik, the island of Korčula and many other, so day trips to some of these destinations is a must do. Split is well connected with all inhabited central and south Dalmatian islands with several daily ferries and fast boat lines. But there are also numerous travel agencies that you can easily find in the center of the old city if you prefer an organized day trip. So here are the best places for a day trip from Split.

Bol, Island of Brač

Zlatni rat Golden horn

Visiting the island of Brač is kind of a must when in Dalmatia, especially because of its world famous beach Zlatni rat located near the small charming town of Bol. Bol is a small town situated on the southern coast of the island of Brac, under the Vidova Gora mountain (778m), which is the highest top of the Adriatic islands. It is the oldest town on the island dating back to 12th century. Its popularity is due to one of the most beautiful and breathtaking beaches on the Mediterranean – Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn), which is located 2 km from the center of the town. This pebble stone beach has a unique shape and it stretches more than 500 meters into the sea, whose cape is changing its position, turning from the west to the east depending on the sea current and the wind. There are 10 km of small pebble beaches along the coast of the island, where you can enjoy the breathtaking nature and crystal clear sea. Bol is one of the leading destinations in Croatia and the winner of the title Absolute Champion of Croatian Tourism for 2009, 2010 and 2011, but the interesting fact is that Bol was a Champion of Adriatic Tourism back in 1965 and from that date has won this title 17 times. Read more about Bol here.

Read more about Bol here.

Hvar, Island of Hvar

Hvar postcard

Hvar is an island off the coast of southern Croatia. It is the longest island of more than 1200 Croatian islands and the one with the most hours of sunshine in Europe. Town Hvar is an ancient city and a port, situated in a bay on the southern coast of the island. It is a protected Cultural Heritage area. With its story, architecture, Mediterranean landscape, crystal clear sea, untouched bays with beautiful pebble and sand beaches Island and town Hvar will definitely enchant you. It is one of the most visited Croatian destinations. Hvar is a perfect holiday destination for couples, families and young people in search of active holidays and rich nightlife. Town Hvar is a popular destination for many international celebrities, sailors and active young people. Read more about Hvar here.

Read more about Hvar here.

Vis, Island of Vis

Vis stiniva beach aerial view

Vis is a small island in Central Dalmatia, known for its stunning landscape, amazing caves, beautiful beaches like the Stiniva beach, cultural heritage and gourmet delights. It is a perfect place for those in search of relaxation, excellent food, and wine. The island’s two largest settlements are the town of Vis and Komiža, where you can discover the rich cultural heritage of the island as it has been inhabited since the Neolithic period.  In the 4th century BC, the Greek tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse founded the colony Issa on the island. After which the island became an independent polis founding its own colonies, but it didn’t last long. Just as other parts of Dalmatia, over the centuries, the island was under the rule of many different empires that have left a legacy which is still evident.

Read more about Vis here.

The Island of Šolta

Solta Rogac

Šolta is an island situated in Dalmatia region, just south of the city if Split and west of the island of Brač. It is a small island, with a population of only 1700 inhabitants. The island is a perfect destination for all those in search of crystal clear sea, secluded beaches, and delicious fresh food offering ideal conditions for a relaxing and quite holiday. As a tourist destination Šolta is interesting to nature lovers, sailors as well as to diving, sport fishing, and hunting lovers.

Read more about Šolta here.

Krka National Park

Krka National Park is one of eight Croatian National parks (Plitvice Lakes, Brijuni, Kornati Islands, Mljet, Paklenica, Risnjak, Northern Velebit and Krka) and it is named after the river Krka that it encloses. It is located in central Dalmatia, near the city of Šibenik. It was proclaimed a national park back in 1985. The Krka National Park is a vast, mainly unchanged region of extraordinary natural value and includes many preserved or insignificantly altered ecosystems. The national park Krka has more than 850 different plants, over 200 species of birds and fish and 18 species of bats. It has Europe’s second most concentrated areas of lavender per square km in Europe, therefore a high frequency of wasps and bees in the area. Krka is also home to a first hydroelectric power station in Europe. Skradinski Buk waterfall is one of two main waterfalls on Krka river, although there are seven amazing waterfalls on Krka river.Roški Slap is the second main waterfall on Krka river, particularly appealing due to its cascades. There is a road over the waterfall which dates back to Roman times. One of the main attractions other than the waterfalls is a small island of Visovac.

Read more about Krka National Park here.

Trogir

Trogir aerial view

Trogir is a small historic town situated on the Adriatic coast, just 30 km west of the city of Split, founded in the 3rd century BC by the Greek colonists. Its historic center has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997 and it is one of the best preserved Romanesque – Gothic towns in Europe. Trogir’s historic core, situated on a small island, with its orthogonal street plan which dates back to the Hellenistic period, treasures a high concentration of historic monuments from Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Read more about Trogir here.

Omiš

Omis panorama

Omiš is a charming Central Dalmatian town located just 25 kilometers southeast of Split. It is famous for its rich history, amazing landscapes and as one of the best places in Croatia for adventure holidays. The area was permanently inhabited more than 2000 years ago when the locals living on the other side of the mountain started to move and build their houses near the sea. In medieval times Omiš was famous for its pirates, who ruled the seas from Split to Dubrovnik, taking a fee from all the ships sailing the channel of Brač in front of Omiš. Many foreign attackers tried to conquer Omiš, like the Turks and Venetians. Venetians attacked the famous Corsairs of Almissa (from lat. Omiš) several times without success, until the late 13th century, when the Pope organized another crusade against Omiš pirates and finally won. Uner the Venetian rule, Omiš gained its present appearance, except the town walls, which were pulled down after the fall of the Venetian Republic.

Read more about Omiš here.

Šibenik

Sibenik sunset

Šibenik is a historic town located in the Croatian region of Dalmatia. Unlike other cities in Dalmatia, Šibenik was founded by the Croats on a strategic place where Krka river flows into the Adriatic sea. This small, but absolutely fascinating town will leave you great memories as it has so much to offer. Beautiful narrow streets and small squares, peaceful bay and hidden beaches, kind people and good food, nearby islands and national park will make your vacation unforgettable.

Read more about Šibenik here.

Zadar

Zadar Roman Forum

Zadar is a small town on the Dalmatian coast, but nevertheless, it is known for its rich and tumultuous history. It is a monument on its own offering an amazing opportunity to its visitors to dive into the remains of ancient settlements, old churches, and ruins. Zadar won the title for The Best European Destination in 2016 and as it can be assumed it is a popular touristic spot. It is also a magical place to enjoy one of the most beautiful and scenic sunsets in Europe. Alfred Hitchcock during his stay in Zadar in 1964 said: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida, applauded at every evening”.

Read more about Zadar here.

Dubrovnik

Croatia points of interest - Dubrovnik sunset

Dubrovnik is a small town situated on the Dalmatian coast. Since 1979 it is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. This beautiful old town has been nicknamed “The Pearl of the Adriatic” and every year attracts thousands of tourists from all around the world. Dubrovnik is an all year round destination, visited by many international celebrities and one of the most popular Mediterranean cruising destinations. Dubrovnik was chosen as a location for filming many international movies and TV series like “Game of Thrones”, “Casanova”, “The Secret Invasion” (1964), “Captain America” (1990), Star Wars Rogue One (2016) etc. So if you want to enjoy some amazing history, but also beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea, breathtaking atmosphere and delicious local food, Dubrovnik is the perfect top destination for you.

Read more about Dubrovnik here.

07.07.2017 / by / in
Top 5 all-year round Croatian destinations

It’s no secret that Croatia is a popular summer destination as it has a spectacular coastline, more than 1200 islands, beautiful beaches, and crystal clear sea. But there are some destinations that are popular throughout the year and no matter when you plan on visiting, the magical charm of these places will leave you great memories.

Zagreb

Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb along with Dubrovnik is the most visited destination in Croatia during the winter. The beautiful and charming Croatian capital was for many years in the shade of other popular destination, but after it earned a recognition for the best Christmas Market in Europe for two years in a row it suddenly became one of the most requested destinations in Croatia. Zagreb is definitely one of the Europe’s most underrated cities, as it has so much to offer. Read more about Zagreb and why it should be your next holiday destination here.

Opatija

Opatija statue

Opatija has been a popular touristic summer and winter destination since the 19th century when nobles and aristocrats used to enjoy its calmness and beauty and it preserved that reputation ‘till today. The first hotel ever built along the Adriatic coast was Hotel Quarnero in Opatija, built in 1884. As we previously stated, Opatija is one of the few places in Croatia to attract tourists all year round, not only for its beauty but also for the popular and luxurious wellness offers. Many events are organized during the whole year which traditionally ends with “Winter in Opatija”, a rich program with many events such as the Chocolate Festival and the Ice magic. Read more about Opatija here.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik

This beautiful old town has been nicknamed “The Pearl of the Adriatic” and every year attracts thousands of tourists from all around the world. Dubrovnik is an all year round destination, visited by many international celebrities and one of the most popular Mediterranean cruising destinations. Depending on your preferences, you can visit Dubrovnik during the summer so you could also enjoy in spectacular beaches and amazing summer vibe, but we must admit that in summer days it is quite overcrowded, so if you don’t like the queues and crowds, avoid summer months. During the winter, Dubrovnik doesn’t loose its charm, on the contrary, it becomes more magical. A few years ago, CNN listed Dubrovnik as one of top ten cities in the world to spend New Year’s Eve along with New York, Tokyo, London…  Read more about Dubrovnik.

Split

Split

Split, just as the Croatian capital, was for many years one of the most underrated destinations in Croatia. It is an important passenger hub and a gateway to central-Dalmatian islands, so it was seen just a transit place when visiting famous Croatian destinations such as Bol or Hvar. But fortunately, in the last decade, Split became one of the most important destinations in Dalmatia, as tourist discovered it magnetic charm and friendly atmosphere, other than rich history, as Split was founded more than 1700 years ago by the Roman Emperor Diocletian who left the great legacy behind. Read more about Split.

Plitvice National Park

National Geographic

Plitvice National Park is one of the most desirable destinations in Croatia, and if you’ve ever visited the park, then you surely know why. The park circles a chain of lakes linked by waterfalls and underground tunnels that disappear and reemerge in dramatic fashion amid lush foliage and unusually tame and photogenic wildlife.
The particularity of these breathtaking lakes is that they change colors repeatedly during the day and it depends on the quantity of organism and minerals contained in them and the position of the sun. The colors go from turquoise, blue, light green and sometimes even gray. Plitvice National Park is a magical pristine world of woodland, lakes, waterfalls and caverns. Read more about Plitvice National Park.

18.05.2017 / by / in
Top 5 souvenirs from Croatia

Croatian lace

croatian lace

Lacemaking in Croatia was added to the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, represented by the Pag, Hvar and Lepoglava lace. Lacemaking dates back to the Renaissance and the Croatian lace has become renowned for its unique designs and patterns. For example, the particularity of the Hvar lace is that the thread is collected from the aloe leaves of agave plants that grow on the island. In the town of Pag, there is a small lace gallery and in Lepoglava you can visit the Eco-museum of Lace and Lacemaking where you can admire a part of Croatian culture, some unique examples of lacework, attend workshops and classes and much more. To celebrate this particular cultural heritage, every year in September international lace festival is held in Lepoglava.

Tie

 

 

Necktie originated in the 17th century during the war in France. Franch king Luis XIII hired Croatian soldiers that had a piece of cloth as a part of their uniform. King Luis found this part of the official uniform very interesting that he made them an obligatory accessory for royal gatherings. “La cravate” was the name he gave to this piece of clothing in honor of Croatian soldiers and the rest is history. In 2008, the Croatian Parliament unanimously declared October 18 the “Day of the Cravat.”, because on October 18, 2003. Bušić and the Academia Cravatica undertook to wrap a giant red necktie around the gigantic Roman arena in Pula. It was a symbolic way to celebrate one of the most interesting Croatian inventions. So, kravata (necktie) can be a really nice souvenir to take home with you, bought in the state where it was invented.

Wooden toys

Wooden toys

This interesting craft was developed back in the 19th century when villagers developed a technique for manufacturing colorful wooden toys for children. The men cut and carve the wood (lime, beech or maple wood) using traditional tools, then the women decorate these toys with eco-friendly natural paints. Flapping butterflies, jumping horses, whistles, cars and many other fantastic wooden toys for children are still produced in the same way as more than a century ago. Traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Zagorje was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2009.

Licitar hearts

souvenirs

Licitars are colorfully decorated biscuits made of sweet honey dough and are an important part of Croatian cultural heritage. The tradition of preparing and decorating licitars dates back to the 16th century and they became a symbol of Zagreb – during Christmas time Zagreb is adorned with thousands of licitars and the Christmas tree on the main square is decorated with thousands of heart-shaped licitars. Licitars are prepared with simple ingredients, which are honey, eggs, flour, water and edible natural colors, then decorated with a swirling outline, text or even a small mirror placed in the center. An interesting fact is that they are often called gingerbread, although Licitars are made without ginger. Licitars are a perfect souvenir and an ornamental gift, often given at celebrations like weddings, anniversaries etc. Gingerbread craft from northern Croatia (Licitar) was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2010.

Lavender products

Lavender dried

Croatia is one of the largest producers of lavender, which is one of the most popular Croatian souvenirs. It mostly grows on the rocky hills of Dalmatian island of Hvar and it is known for the highest quality among all sorts of lavender grown throughout Europe. You can buy numerous eco-lavender products when visiting the island of Hvar, but they can be found almost everywhere in Croatia.

 

07.05.2017 / by / in
Visit Đurđevečki Pijesci – the only Croatian desert

Croatia has a desert! Well, let’s say that riding a camel in a desert isn’t the first thing that comes to someone’s mind when it comes to Croatia, a country famous for its spectacular beaches, more than thousand islands, lovely inland and rich history. We also have to warn you not to expect anything like Sahara, Kalahari or Mojave desert, it’s very small, but a pretty nice place to visit.

Đurđevečki Pijesci, the remains of the only Croatian desert located in the region known as the “Bloody sand” or “Croatian Sahara” near the city of Đurđevac. You can admire the visible form of sand dunes and the remains of what was once much larger desert. In 1963, the 20-hectare area was declared a special geographical and botanical reserve. It is a distinguishing habitat for a large number of endemic species, for example, it is home to over 300 species of butterflies.

Photo credit: Željko Car

05.05.2017 / by / in
20 things to do in Croatia

Spectacvla antiqva

 

Watch a spectacular event in Pula, Spectacvla Anticva, that recreates historical Roman gladiator simulated fights in almost 2000 years old Roman amphitheater, Arena.

 

 

 

Kornati

 

Sail the deserted bays of Kornati Archipelago (140 islands), a sailing area that offers an exciting mix of blue water cruising and spectacular landscapes.

 

 

 

 

Motovun hill

 

Experience the thrill and excitement of truffle hunting in the forests of Istria, learn how to prepare delicious meals with truffles while tasting some of the best Istrian wines and regional products.

 

 

 

Zadar Sea Organs

 

Listen to the unique sound of Zadar‘s Sea Organ, an art installation made of series of pipes cut into the promenade and the “music” is produced by the sea and the waves.

 

 

 

Solta rogac port

 

Rent a small boat, explore the hidden bays of many Croatian islands and take a swim on a secluded beach surrounded by unspoiled nature.

 

 

 

 

Pag Zrce party

Photo credit: Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock.com

 

For all the party lovers, Zrce on the island of Pag is the place to be! Enjoy its amazingly wild party scene and dance until the sunrise.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Ajan Alen / Shutterstock.com

 

Visit one of the most beautiful National parks in Europe and take a bath under the spectacular cascades of Krka.

 

 

 

 

Baked octopus

 

Taste some of the Croatia’s most delicious meals like lamb and octopus under the lid.

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Željko Car

 

Ride the camel in the Croatian desert! Oh yes, you can do that too in Croatia, as it has a small desert near the town of Durdevac.

 

 

 

 

Piciginplayer

By Dedinski89 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Have fun playing the famous beach game called “picigin” in Split, after walking the narrow cobbled streets of 1700 years old Diocletian palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korcula tower bridge

 

Visit Marco Polo’s birthplace in Korčula and the enjoy in Moreška sword dance, a traditional sword dance and drama performed for over 400 years.

 

 

 

 

Kamenjak nature park

 

 

Follow the dinosaur footprints in the Kamenjak Nature park.

 

 

 

 

Ston walls

 

Walk the “Europe’s wall of China” in a small town of Ston near Dubrovnik and don’t forget to taste the best oysters in Croatia.

 

 

 

Kožarić - Prizemljeno sunce

By Kožarić; foto Suradnik13 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

Discover the secrets of Zagreb‘s rich history by following the planets of the Solar system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a fantastic rafting experience on Cetina river and enjoy the adrenaline rush combined with nature at its best!

 

 

 

 

Walk the city walls of Dubrovnik and explore the city through “Game of thrones” filming locations.

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Sinjska Alka, the famous medieval equestrian competition that honors the Croatian-Venetian victory during the Ottoman invasion.

 

 

 

 

Nature Park Kopački rit

 

Visit the “European Amazon”, Kopački rit Nature Park and take a water tour to experience the nature’s wonders in one place.

 

 

 

 

Edivo vina peljesac

 

If you’re craving some unique adventure than dive and visit the first Croatian underwater winery near Drače, Pelješac.

 

 

 

 

Zlatni rat beach Bol Croatia

 

Take a swim on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Zlatni rat on the island of Brač.

 

05.05.2017 / by / in
Scuba Diving in Croatia

The crystal clear waters of the pollution-free Adriatic Sea and a variety of fish and wildlife have put scuba diving at the top of Croatia’s long list of outdoor activities. Along the coast, there are numerous protected archaeological sites dating back to ancient times and many amazing places where to explore the magnificent underwater life of the Adriatic sea. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert diver or just starting to learn the ropes, you will enjoy diving to its fullest.

Scuba diving

Photo credit: JGA / Shutterstock.com

Croatia’s diving industry is thriving because of the beauty and variety of its underwater sights and the clarity of the water. Besides a lack of pollution, several factors cause the water of the Adriatic to be so clear. Microorganisms concentration in Adriatic waters are quite low which results in overall low particles concentration, allowing sunlight to penetrate as deep as 120 meters in some places. Also, the Adriatic’s sea floor is generally stony instead of sandy. With larger rocks on the bottom, there is less silt and sand for tides and currents to kick up off the sea floor.

Scuba dive snail

Diving is now very firmly established along the all of Croatia’s coast, from Istria to Dubrovnik as a way to enjoy another level of Croatia’s beauty. The northern part of the Adriatic sea is very shallow, as for example, around Istria peninsula where the depth rarely exceeds 45 meters and it becomes deeper moving south towards southern Dalmatia. The deepest point is near Jabuka island with the maximum depth exceeds 1300 meters.

All divers must be certified with a Croatian diving card (it costs 100 kn – 13 Euro), but if you are not certified, classes are readily available and are often at discounted rates. Check with the Croatia diving federation and enjoy your certification—valid for a full year after issue.

Shipwreck croatia

Cave diving is a Croatian specialty, and the cave at Sv Andrija island (near the island of Vis) is among the best the sea has to offer. Surrounded by red coral, the cave is a beautiful underwater sight and accessible by all certified divers.

Historically a seafaring region, Croatia also has shipwrecks to explore from all through the country’s long history. Because exploring shipwrecks can be more dangerous, many shipwrecks are recommended for advanced divers only. The Baron Gautsch is one of Croatia’s most popular shipwrecks to dive to and ten dive centers offer trips and tours of the underwater ship. The Baron Gautsch, Austro-Hungarian passenger ship that sank in 1914, offers the unique opportunity to dive where no one has explored before. The lower sections of the ship have not yet been fully explored, but because of the unpredictable nature of unexplored ships, the trip is recommended for advanced divers only. It sank after running into a minefield that has been set by the Austro-Hungarian Navy. The ship, 84.5 meters long and 11.64 meters wide was transporting 306 passengers and crew, of which only 159 were rescued. The wreck of Baron Gautsch lies near Rovinj, on a sandy and stony bottom 40 meters deepovergrown with algae and sponges. It is one of the most popular diving destinations for wreck divers in the Adriatic. Other popular shipwreck sites in Croatia are tugboat Ursus (island of Vis), Lina cargoship (island of Cres), Boeing B-17 (island of Vis), Totonno cargo steamer (Dubrovnik) and Peltastis (island of Krk).

Although scuba diving is not allowed in the freshwater national parks like Krka and Plitvice, there are organized dives at both Kornati and Mljet national parks. The Kornati islands were designated a national park based partly on the exquisite beauty of the ocean floor in that region, its coral harboring an abundant and colorful display of fish and rays and reef life. The park has designated seven approved diving zones, throughout its 89 islands, each one offering different sea-life and geologic formations. Mljet national park also offers organized dives in the saltwater lake that makes up much of the parks area. Because of the weak tidal pull and low currents of the saltwater lakes, the wildlife and natural beauty of Mljet park is beyond all others. Like the Kornati, only divers with an organized group are able to dive. Even with the Croatian diving card, you will need a special permit for scuba diving in Kornati islands national park and Mljet national park.

Scuba Diving in Croatia

Scuba Diving in Croatia

Scuba Diving in Croatia

Scuba diving lobster

03.04.2017 / by / in
Top 10 Things to Do in Istria

Istria is one of the best-kept secrets in the modern world, with incredible cultural and historical heritage, delicious food and friendly people. You will discover places where time has stopped, where flowers adorn centuries-old stone houses, where walking along the medieval streets feels like entering a time machine and find infinite places to see the nature at its best.

Motovun hill

Wander the streets of Pula

Known for its long tradition of shipbuilding, tourism, and winemaking, Pula also stands out among other larger Croatian cities for the rich and well-preserved Roman architecture, the amphitheater being the most famous and dominant part of it. Start by wandering through the beautiful streets and discovering several museums, Roman ruins such as the Arena, Temple of Augustus, Arco dei Sergi, Roman Floor Mosaic and many other important historical sites. If you are interested in reading more about Pula, click here.

Pula Arena

Wine down in Istria

After exploring the wonders of Istria and discovering its rich cultural and historical heritage, get lost in the vineyards of the Istrian countryside. It is a very popular wine region and the wine making in Istria has a long and continuing history. A large portion of the Istrian countryside is dedicated to producing wines, high-quality wines made from Teran, Momjan’s Muskat or Istarska Malvasia grapes.  Wander around beautiful landscapes of Istria and visit the traditional family owned wine cellars and taste some of the best Croatian wines. Don’t miss a chance to taste Istrian Medica (grappa with honey) and Istrian supa, a specialty prepared with hot red wine, olive oil, and spices.

Vis grapes

Photo credit: Stjepan Tafra / Shutterstock.com

Go wild in the Učka Mountain

Učka is a limestone massif that divides the Kvarner region from central Istria and it is protected as a Nature Park. There are many activities you can do on Učka like mountain biking, hiking, free climbing, skydiving, caving and many other. It is also a great place to visit for families with children and be sure to visit the children’s educational path. Within the Nature Park, there are 8 marked mountain-bike trails of varying difficulty to a total length of 180 km. Visit the mountain’s highest peak, Vojak (1402 m), where you will find Vojak Tower built in 1911, from which you can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of Istria, Kvarner bay and the islands.

Explore the hilltop towns

Your holidays in Istria would not be complete without visiting at least two of its impressive little hilltop towns. Hum with its 30 (2011 Population Census) inhabitants is formally listed as the smallest town in the world. It is located in the center of Istria region, near the town of Buzet, know as a “town of truffles”. The city which is only 100 meters long and 30 meters wide holds so much of history. Motovun is a small medieval village in central Istria, a famous tourist attraction and one of the pearls of the Istrian inland. Walking through small narrow streets, discovering its rich history through medieval buildings or simply admiring the amazing view from the hilltop will make you fall in love with this magical place.It has been added to the UNESCO Tentative List in order to enter the World Heritage list. Visit also the medieval hilltop towns of Grožnjan, Momnjan, Oprtalj, Roč and Buzet. The beautifully persevered fortified towns with walls, towers, narrow streets are a vision of medieval perfection and are an important part of the Istrian historical heritage.

Hum

Take a day trip to Brijuni National Park

Brijuni Islands (Brionian Islands) are a group of fourteen small islands in northern Adriatic, separated from the west coast of the Istrian peninsula by the Fažana Strait. Popular for their impressive beauty, the islands are a famous holiday resort and a Croatian National Park. Other than enjoying the amazing landscape, sunbathing and swimming, you can explore many stunning historical sites, most of them located near the Verige bay. Don’t miss to visit the Safari Park on the island of Veliki Brijuni, home to a variety of exotic animals, many of them donated as gifts from Croatian diplomatic partners like the Asian elephant and zebu from India. The island has another interesting particularity, as it is home to four sites with over 200 dinosaur footprints from the last period of the Mesozoic Era, absolutely worth visiting.

Brijuni Nature Park

Eat local

Istrian cuisine is a colorful mix of various influences that accumulated through history – Austrian, Hungarian, Central European, but above all Italian. You can enjoy fresh seafood specialties, a brodetto, Istrian prosciutto which is unique by the way it is prepared, cured and dried in the wind. Then, there is so-called fritaja (scrambled eggs) prepared in many different ways, maneštra (traditional thick soup with potatoes and beans), various types of pasta like fuži, gnocchi, ravioli etc. For those with a sweet tooth, try out kroštole, fritule or cukerančići. All these delicacies go perfectly together with a glass of good local red wine. Don’t forget to enjoy the real taste of the extraordinary Istrian gastronomic specialties with truffles. Istria is a high-quality truffle mecca, the trademark of the Istrian cuisine. You can also attend several festivals dedicated to these tasty tubers or take a truffle hunting tours too. Did you know that the biggest truffle ever was found by Giancarlo Zigante back in 1999 in the Istrian forest near Buje that weighed 1.31 kg.

Relax in Opatija

Opatija has been a popular touristic all year round destination since the 19th century when nobles and aristocrats used to enjoy its calmness and beauty. This charming little town preserved that reputation ‘till today, not only for its beauty but also for the popular and luxurious wellness offers. In fact, Opatija is a perfect place for all those in search of a great escape from the urban rush, where you can easily relax and revitalize your body and mind. Did you know that the first hotel ever built along the Adriatic coast was Hotel Quarnero in Opatija (built in 1884)?

Opatija statue

Scuba dive near Rovinj

Croatia has a rich underwater life, sites, and wrecks to explore in the crystal clear sea. One of the most famous is the wreck of Baron Gautsch, Austro-Hungarian passenger ship that sank in 1914. It sank after running into a minefield that has been set by the Austro-Hungarian Navy. The ship, 84.5 meters long and 11.64 meters wide was transporting 306 passengers and crew, of which only 159 were rescued. The wreck of Baron Gautsch lies near Rovinj, on a sandy and stony bottom 40 meters deepovergrown with algae and sponges. It is one of the most popular diving destinations for wreck divers in the Adriatic.

Bird’s eye view over Istria

Istrian peninsula offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in Croatia and some of the best ways to enjoy the views are definitely paragliding, skydiving, and panoramic flights. So why not to add some adrenaline to your vacation in Istria and admire its impressive beauty from a different perspective. There are several paragliding sites in Istria, most of them near the Ucka mountain and the town of Buzet.

Paragliding

Explore Istrian caves and caverns

Istria has many underground caves and caverns, many of them opened to visitors, while other are accessible only to experienced cave explorers. The most popular is the Romuald cave, located on the east side of the Lim Channel,  where, according to the legend in the 11th-century, lived a holy Romuald. This 105 meters long cave is protected as the karst phenomenon. Other fantastic caves to visit in Istria are the Barendine grotta near Poreč, Pazin cave, Mramornica cave and Festinsko Kraljevstvo cave near Zminj. If you are into sea kayaking, we recommend you to visit many other stunning caves where Istria meets the Adriatic sea.

 

 

29.03.2017 / by / in
Best Water Activities in Croatia

Croatia is a true paradise for all the thrill seekers and adventure lovers, offering many water activities for all ages and abilities. As Croatia has a huge coastline and more than 1200 islands, there are numerous amazing places you can choose for your next trip if in search of sun, sea and water fun.

Windsurfing and Kitesurfing

In Croatia, there are numerous windy destinations, where windsurfers and kitesurfers can find perfect conditions for practicing their favorite sport. In each of these places, you can find internationally certified windsurfing and kitesurfing schools where you can also rent or storage your equipment. Strong thermic wind called “Maestral” (Mistral) blows on a regular basis during nice weather and it gives experienced windsurfers and kitesurfers the adrenaline they need. The most popular kitesurfing and windsurfing destinations in Croatia are Bol on the island of Brač, a true paradise for water activities, Viganj on the Peljesac peninsula, Premantura – small peninsula south in Istria, Jadrija near Šibenik, Baška on Krk island and river Neretva mouth near the town of Blace.

Windsurfing in Bol Croatia

Snorkeling and Scuba diving

Snorkeling is for many the best way to have water sports fun while on holiday. It is absolutely fun, affordable and easy way to discover the wonders of the abundant underwater life and sites. There is no need of any diving certifications, experience or loads of equipment, the only thing you need is a mask, snorkel, fins and you are ready to explore the underwater world of splendid beauty. If you plan on snorkeling on your own it is a good idea to bring a buoyancy compensator vest for safety reasons.

Snorkeling

Scuba diving is another fantastic way to explore the underwater life, sites, and wrecks. Along the coast, there are numerous protected archaeological sites dating back to ancient times and many amazing places where to explore the magnificent underwater life of the Adriatic sea. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert diver or just starting to learn the ropes, you will enjoy diving to its fullest. Croatia is also a great place to get certified, with numerous dive centres available along the coast. Some of the popular scuba diving sites in Croatia are:
The wreck of Baron Gautsch, Austro-Hungarian passenger ship that sank in 1914. The ship, 84.5 meters long and 11.64 meters wide lies near Rovinj, on a sandy and stony bottom 40 meters deepovergrown with algae and sponges.
Tugboat Ursus (island of Vis)
Lina cargoship (island of Cres)
Boeing B-17 (island of Vis)
Totonno cargo steamer (Dubrovnik)
Peltastis (island of Krk)

Scuba diving

Photo credit: JGA / Shutterstock.com

Rafting and Sea Kayaking

Rafting and kayaking are adrenaline rushes combined with nature at its best! Sea and river kayaking are very popular in Croatia, both on the inland rivers and on the Adriatic Sea. During the white water rafting trip, you will experience moments of pure excitement, moments of total serenity and a deep connection with wild nature. It will be an amazing experience that will leave you with great lifelong memories. There are several rivers in Croatia where you can take rafting tours and one of the most popular is Cetina river –  On Cetina white water rafting trip you will experience moments of pure excitement, moments of total serenity and a deep connection with wild nature. For its unspoiled nature and impressive canyon, parts of Cetina river were chosen as some of the filming locations of the famous Winnetou movie series (1962-1968). On Cetina river, you can also enjoy in zip lining, kayaking, and canyoning. Other rivers where you can take rafting tours in Croatia are on the river Mrežnica, Una, and Zrmanja.

Sport Fishing

Sport fishing, both freshwater angling, and deep sea fishing became very popular in Croatia during the last few years among tourists. Of course, for fishing, you must have a license which you can get at the tourist office. Spear fishing, game fishing, and recreational fishing are all practiced with passion by locals and tourists. There are numerous agencies that organize big game fishing trips in some of the most popular destinations like near Kornati Islands, Island of Vis or Brač. In the Adriatic, you can catch many different fishes like tuna, bluefin tuna, blue sharks, swordfish, amberjacks etc. Many lakes and rivers in Croatia make a perfect place for freshwater fishing, like the Danube and Drava river, or Lička Jesenica which is a charming little lake near the Plitvice Lakes National Park where fishing is allowed.

sport fishing

Stand Up Paddling

All watersport enthusiast will love stand up paddling in Croatia. It is a fun and different way of exploring the amazing Croatian coast, admiring it from a different angle. The only thing you need a specially designed, large size board that will allow you to stand firmly and a long paddle, which you can rent in many windsurfing schools along the coast. Paddleboarders can also enjoy and explore Croatian rivers running through the pristine nature over the fresh, pure water. Some of the most popular rivers are Mrežnica, Cetina, and Neretva, where you can admire the impressive landscape and beautiful canyons.

stand up paddling

 

 

 

 

 

09.03.2017 / by / in

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