Your Bucket List to Croatia…Our absolute list of what to do in Croatia
Where to start? Croatia offers towns, cities, national parks, architecture, beaches, food like no where else in world. This bucket list of what to do in Croatia will hopefully make you get the best out of your trip, whether it’s walking Dubrovnik’s city walls, visiting one of Croatia’s 1185 islands, or discovering why Plitvice Lakes National Park is heaven of earth.
1. Discover “Heaven on Earth” Dubrovnik
Most people who haven’t been lucky enough to visit Croatia, inevitably want to come of Dubrovnik. Who can blame them?! Dubrovnik is a wonderful destination and great as a base to explore the wider region or to be part of multi-centre holiday. Why? Well, quite simply in the words of George Bernard Shaw:
If you want to see Heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is most famous for its spectacular Old Town, which dates back to medieval times and is now home to thousands of locals, dozens and restaurants, cultural sites and shops. Visitors can walk the city walls and gain a different perspective from every angle. You can also appreciate its beauty from high above, by ascending Mount Srd by cable car. For those avid views of the hit series of Game of Thrones, visitors will be familiar with a number of the filming locations, including the Old Town, Lokrum Island and Trsteno.
2. Explore an island…or two…or four
Croatia boasts 1185 islands, we know that doesn’t quite match Greece, but hey, it’s not quantity, but quality. Some of the main islands that tourist love to visit are close to Split, which include Hvar and Brac. While further south there’s Korcula, Mljet and Elaphiti Island (Lopud, Sipan and Kolocep). Further to the north, you’ll find the fantastic islands of Cres, Rab, Krk, Pag and Losinj. These are also must visit islands, however they’re a little trickier to get to compared to those in the south.
3. Visit one of Croatia’s 8 National Parks
When it comes to the natural beauty, Croatia was certainly blessed. Visitors must must must visit one of its 8 national parks. The king of national parks is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, situated 90 minute’s drive from Zagreb and Zadar. Set in deep forest, its tiered lakes and connected by dozens of waterfalls. If you’re staying near to Split, Trogir or Zadar, the Krka National Park is also a must where waterfalls feature heavily and you can also cool off with a swim. If you’re staying near to Dubrovnik, the Mljet National Park is a definite must. As is the Kornati National Park if you’re staying near to Zadar.
4. Sample the Local Culinary Delights
Croatia’s cuisine is vastly different dependent upon the region you’re in. The Dalmatian region (including Dubrovnik, Split, Hvar etc) offers a very Mediterranean feel, with fish and olive oil at the heart of its dishes. The Istrian region (Rovinj and Porec) was once part of Italy, therefore the focus is more on pasta and pizza. In the north, such as in Zagreb, a more Austro-Hungarian feel is provided, with slow-cooked dishes at hand. Eating out in Croatia is generally cheaper than the UK, especially in the smaller towns. A main meal can cost for around £4!
5. Be wowed in Istria
Located in the northwest of Croatia, bordering with Slovenia, Istria was once part of Italy and has retained many of its Italian influences. It’s capital, Pula, lies on south west coast and boasts many Roman sites, including Amphitheatre, the 6th largest in the world. The coastal towns of Rovinj and Porec are simply breathtaking and a pleasure to base yourself for your holiday. Hill-top towns are aplenty in Istria, mirroring those in Tuscany, Italy, including Groznjan, Motovun and Hum.
6. Awaken your senses in Split
Croatia’s second largest city, Split is sometimes overlooked as a tourist destination in itself. We disagree! It’s Old Town, containing the Roman Diocletian Palace is a wonder to behold. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of cobbled streets, containing many cultural delights, sumptuous restaurants and delightful cafes. Split is also a fantastic base for your Croatian Holiday, due to central location to a number of excellent sights, including Trogir, the Makarska Riviera, Krka National Park and a number of nearby islands including Hvar and Brac.
7. Sail the Adriatic
If you’re looking for an island hopping holiday, look no further than Croatia. Imagine setting sail in the morning with time for swimming in the warm, glistening Adriatic, followed by a lunch served on board before docking for the day. You’ll then have time to yourself to explore your port of call before finding a local restaurant and enjoying sampling the local culinary delights. This can all be achieved with one of our exciting Adriatic Cruises.
8. Don’t forget Zadar
Located around 3 hours north of Split, Zadar is somewhat of an undiscovered gem. Like many of its neighbouring