What to do, eat, drink – where to go, swim and travel in Croatia.
Deciding what to do in a country as versatile as Croatia is not an easy chore, but if you would spare some time and read our tips, we are sure that you will find exactly what you’re looking for. Of course, you could read a brochure, Google your eyes out and browse the travel forums, but why not get all the information first hand? If you’re a party type, all you have to do is check for the hottest clubs and party beaches, if you’re a nature lover, you will simply search for trekking paths and an accommodation near a national park, but what if you’re all that and more? How to decide where to stay, what destination to choose to get it all…well, almost all? You sure don’t want to be on a family holiday and end up on a beach that parties 24/7, or just the opposite, be ready to party and then find out that your accommodation is close to only one bar which is a coffee bar, restaurant and beach club all in one. Regarding the destination, yes, you may always search for the most popular ones like Dubrovnik, beach Zrce, Pula, Split or Makarska, and they all have a certain flare, but make sure you chose the right one for the type of holidays that you have imagined.
If you’re looking for unique architectural and cultural sights:
– Diocletian’s palace in Split: this palace is more than just a monument that should be visited during its working hours with a guide and an expensive ticket; it is a place where people live and a place which has strongly influenced the panorama of the city of Split. Built in the 4th century AD, Diocletian’s palace is one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Europe. You will walk its streets like you’re walking the corridors of a palace and feel like an emperor.
– Roman amphitheater in Pula: Since practically the entire Adriatic coast was inhabited by the Romans, there are many monuments dating from this period. Take a stroll inside one of six remaining amphitheaters in the world, which during the summer becomes a stage for concert performances, plays and movie projections. Get a glimpse from the inside of an arena, only without the lions.
– Dubrovnik: If there is one thing that has to be particularly mentioned when it comes to Dubrovnik, it is definitely the medieval stone walls surrounding its core. Make sure you don’t miss the palace Sponza, the Rector’s palace, the Franciscan monastery, the church of St. Blasius and the famous street Stradun. Dubrovnik is one of the most famous Croatian postcards to the world, so if you’re craving for some cultural delight, you definitely must visit Dubrovnik.
– Medieval castles of Zagorje: When you get tired of the Roman heritage, visit north of Croatia and the region of Zagorje with its medieval castles and fortresses and among them the most famous ones: Romanesque castle Trakoscan and Veliki Tabor. The castle Trakoscan is one of the best preserved monuments in Croatia and it was a home to a famous noble family of Draskovic. Visit also the castle of Veliki Tabor and enjoy in the legends of Veronika Desinicka and the mild climate of the green hills of Zagorje.
If you’re a party type you should most definitely party right here:
– The island of Hvar: Besides being one of the most beautiful Croatian islands, Hvar is also known as one of the best party zones in Croatia. It is perfect for those who wish to party in a high profile place and enjoy in elite tourism, but even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, Hvar will be perfect for you. Its beach Bonj, clubs Veneranda, Carpe Diem and restaurants with great fish will be all you’ll need for your holiday in Hvar, where world’s top celebrities like Beyonce, Jay-Z, prince Harry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stephen Spielberg, George Clooney and many more come to unwind, so why wouldn’t you?
– The island of Pag and beach Zrce: Beach Zrce is without a doubt the most popular party zone in Croatia. Here you can lay on the beach during the day or party in the clubs on the beach: Papaya, Aquarius, Kalypso and Euphoria. Enjoy in mousse party, after beach party, bikini contests and the best DJ’s in the world: Fedde Le Grand, Avicii, The Shapeshifters, Swedish House Mafia, David Morales, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Armin van Buuren and many more. Find your accommodation in some pieceful bay on the island of Pag and in Novalja but turn into a party animal every night,and enjoy on the hottest dancefloors of Europe.
– Makarska night clubs: If you wish to enjoy in rich night life, but not in a strict party zone, but rather in a town that offers great beach cocktail bars and numerous cafes along the promenade, then you should definitely visit Makarska. Makarska is a beautiful Mediterranean town between Split and Dubrovnik, near the park of nature of mountain Biokovo with numerous accommodation possibilities and streets packed with bars and restaurants. Makarska is also a great place for family holidays, so perhaps this is why it is so popular among the tourists from all over the world.
Enjoy in the amazing nature of Croatia and various sporting opportunities:
– Trekking on Biokovo, Velebit, Paklenica: If your perfect holiday idea is for you to go hiking, trekking and climbing the cliffs and peeks of the most beautiful Croatian mountains, then you should most definitely visit mountain Biokovo near Makarska and its nature park, and the national parks of Velebit and Paklenica. Velebit and Paklenica are located in the region of Zadar, so perhaps it would be best for you to combine sea and mountains and also enjoy surfing near the island of Pag, thanks to the powerful wind of “bura”, blowing from the mountain Velebit.
– Rafting, canyoning and sailing on rivers Cetina, Zrmanja and around the islands: If you are more of a water type, then you should definitely enjoy taming the rivers of Cetina near Omis; and Zrmanja near Zadar. You may enjoy fighting the currents in a rafting boat or a kayak. Sailing is something that could be done anywhere on the Adriatic Sea, but if you wish to enjoy the islands and the islets, hidden coves and the intact nature, sail around the islands of Kornati, or Paklinski islands near the island of Hvar. But even if you sail near the coast, the purity of the sea will make you feel like you’re in the middle of an ocean.
– Jogging…wherever, whenever: This is probably the best way to catch a glimpse of the nature that surrounds you, no matter the destination in Croatia. Put your headphones on and enjoy breathing in the fresh air while you run on the beach or in a park. Jogging is a perfect sport for every place in Croatia, so if this is what you want to do while on holidays, you can’t go wrong with any destination, whether on the coast or in the countryside.
The dishes that you simply must try while in Croatia:
– Cro. Pasticada s njokima (Beef stew with potato dumplings): This delicious meal is a typical Dalmatian dish and is one of the most popular ones. It is not something Croatians will often make on a regular day, but rather something to offer to the guests since it is considered to be a specialty. Thick sauce, lean meat and soft dumplings (it. gnocchi) will make you water your mouth the second you smell the cloves.
– Cro. Pecena janjetina na raznju (Roasted lamb on the spit): This is definitely the most popular Croatian meal whenever more than 5 people gather around. We’re kidding, obviously, but it is not that much far way from the truth either. It is also a dish typical for Dalmatia, the south region of Croatia, but it is also popular in the entire country. Another nation taking pride in delicious roasted lamb meat is Greece, as this is one of the most popular Mediterranean meals.
– Fish…Enough said: Adriatic Sea is one of the purest and the most beautiful seas in the world, but besides being a great place to sail or swim, the fish caught in the Adriatic is fish of a very high quality, especially the white one. Make sure you check with the waiter if the fish is farmed or directly from the sea, because you don’t want to be charged 100 euros for two fish worth 20 euros. Make sure you try dentex (cro.zubatac), seabream (cro.komarca), greater amberjack (cro.gof), seabass (cro. lubin) and banded seabream (cro. fratar). Usual side dish with fish in Croatia is mangold (cro. blitva) and boiled potatoes. Pour it all with virgin olive oil and taste the authentic Dalmatia.
– Desserts: One of the most popular desserts in Croatia is the cake “rozata”- which can only be translated as “flan” but it is more of a “crme caramel”. You should especially try the one made in the region of Dubrovnik which is considered to be the best in Croatia. Besides rozata make sure you try almond baklava, which is not original croatian recipe, but is a very popular cake in Croatia.
– And finally…wine: – And finally…wine: Although most restaurants of higher category have best Californian, Italian and Australian wines, you shouldn’t leave Croatia without tasting amazing Croatian wines. Their quality, variety and rich taste make them some of the best wines in the world. Try the following wines while tasting authentic Croatian dishes: Zlahtina, Plavac, Pinot Gris, White Muscat, Debit, Dingac, Babic, Posip, Vugava and many more. It is practically impossible to recommend one, since they are all awarded wines. Ask your waiter and we are sure that he will know exactly what to order. And they are not too pricey either.