Years ago, the only people lucky enough to visit the sun-soaked shores of Croatia, were sun-deprived pasty Europeans, looking for some summer heat, but these days, Croatia is fast becoming a must-visit location for the rest of the world. With 5,835km of stunning coastline, clear blue waters, bags of history, a varied landscape and incredible cultural charm, it was only a matter of time before the rest of the world took notice. It’s easier than ever to visit, but once you get here it’s not just about hitting the beaches, no matter how tempting they may be. Croatia is like a dice- it has many faces. So we rolled it five times and here’s what we discovered.
DISCOVER THE HISTORY OF TROGIR
Trogir, also named the ‘stone beauty’, is a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site. Brimming with palaces, churches, towers and fortresses, it’s hard to believe that so much history can be packed into such a small place. It’s set within medieval walls, and these walls lock in incredible amounts of charm and character. The seafront is lined with quiet cafes and bars for those looking to kick back and enjoy the picturesque surroundings, but for the history buffs and explorers amongst you, the magnificent cathedral and Romanesque architecture will keep you entertained.
EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK
Probably the most well-known of the national parks in Croatia, it boasts an impressive collection of natural wonders. Cascading waterfalls, fascinating caves and calm lakes, turquoise in colour, all await. The most notable of the waterfalls being Veliki Slap, which as you might expect from the name, packs a punch. Venture to the lower lakes for a more tranquil environment, surrounded by steep cliffs. Although the park can be explored alone, be aware that the park is of a considerable size, so the knowledge of a local guide may be helpful. With walks of all lengths, exhilarating cycle trails and stunning scenery at every turn, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
- RELAX ON BRAC ISLAND’S BEACHESCroatia has a healthy entourage of incredible beaches. The Adriatic Sea delivers wonderfully clear, blue waters to the Dalmatian Islands that surround the coast of mainland Croatia, and it is on these islands that the best beaches can be found. Brac Island is home to Zlatni Rat Beach, which despite the name, is an astonishing display of beauty. Shaped like a horn, the sand is white, the water is calm, and it’s the perfect place to spend the sunny summer days lazing.
HAVE AN ADVENTURE ON THE VRLJIKA RIVER SAFARI
Join the Vrljika River an hour east of Split at the quaint village of Imotski to explore more of Croatia’s seemingly endless natural beauty. From here the snow covered peaks of Biokovo National Park can be seen in the distance. Take in breathtaking panoramic views of the blue and red lakes from high above, before taking to the beautifully clear water down below. Kayak along this gentle river, whilst admiring the striking displays of diverse flora.
FEEL THE BUZZ OF THE LOCAL FRUIT MARKET
Experience the atmosphere and buzz of the vast open air local fruit market. It can get busy at times, but this only adds to the excitement. Grab some delicious, locally grown, fruit and make your way to the nearby port to devour it in the sunshine.